Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Do Pro-Lifers Exist: The Guns Versus Abortion Debate

A happy New Year to all. To start this year's blogging:

First, note that all material posted on this site is copyrighted Nathaniel Hellerstein, 2013.

This week's blogs start today with four days asking “Do Pro-Lifers Exist?”


Do Pro-Lifers Exist?

A blog in four parts:
1.   The Guns Versus Abortion Debate
2.   A Question of Belief
3.   Eve, the Liberty Tree, and the Universe
4.   Pro-life Wizard, a fantasy story outline

1.   The Guns Versus Abortion Debate

On this blog I have questioned the existence of Santa, and God, and intelligent life in the universe, and money, and white people. I came up with “not proven” for God, intelligent life and money, and a definite “no” for Santa and white people. This time I ask if there is such a thing as a pro-lifer; and this time I answer “not in this universe”.
To be so definite, I must first define terms. I define “pro-life” as being in favor of protecting life; “pro-choice” as being in favor of freedom of choice. Please note that these terms have different conventional meanings; ‘pro-life’ means pro-fetal-life-exclusively, and ‘pro-choice’ means pro-abortion-rights-exclusively. But what about post-fetal life; in particular, the woman? And how about other choices, such as, say, the right to bear arms?
Shouldn’t ‘pro-life’ denote opposition not to just abortion, but also warfare, the death penalty, and gun ownership? And conversely, shouldn’t bearing arms be considered another choice? As is, the terms ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ are used in a way that’s partial, tendentious, and often outright fraudulent; here I insist on rigorous literalness, in order to clarify discussion.
I say that there are no pro-lifers; there are only anti-abortionists. The misnomer is obvious when you consider the “pro-life” movement’s love of weapons, warfare and capital punishment. In general “pro-life” is a misnomer; for there is no such thing as a pro-lifer, any more than there is such a thing as a free lunch.
There are no pro-lifers because there is no free lunch. Given the economic limits on all existence, all choices involve denying resources to someone somewhere, and this ultimately involves loss or limit of life. Therefore abortion exists; but also self-defense, and warfare; and capital punishment.
Most people close their eyes to this tragic dilemma by focusing on only those near and dear to them, and letting the rest of the human race fend for itself. This is called ‘parochial altruism’, or more bluntly, ‘hypocrisy’.
         It seems to me that the real issue being discussed is not, in practice, abortion versus no abortion; or guns versus no guns; but which of guns and abortion is the public willing to tolerate as the lesser evil. I therefore propose that we rename this particular culture-clash the “guns versus abortion debate”.
In the Red rural areas, where there’s plenty of space but not many people, guns are celebrated and abortion is stigmatized; in the Blue urban areas, with their teeming millions, abortion is supported and guns are condemned. The result is a territorial dispute over a detail of timing. The American people have long ago agreed to killing some of their least valued members; the only question now is when and how; either prenatally by means of D&C, or postnatally by means of firearms.
Neither the pro-gun-anti-abortion nor the pro-abortion-anti-gun stance can honestly be called pro-life or pro-choice. Both allow the destruction of life, and both forbid it, albeit in opposite ways. Others have noticed this contradiction and call it hypocrisy. I’m more lenient, for I see this as a matter of economics and population density; ultimately an ecological issue.
As for solutions, I have none, beyond palliatives like social justice, full employment, contraception, and honest policing. The problem is existential: there is no free lunch, life is troublesome, and mankind is still part beast. Until the Messiah evolves, both guns and abortion will remain, as what I call “dark rights”; that is, rights dreadful to exercise but even more dreadful for the State to forbid.
In reality so-called ‘pro-life’ politics - properly, ‘anti-abortion’ - is about who owns a woman’s body; the woman herself, or the State? With presumably men running the State; but if the State owns a woman’s most private property, then rest assured that it will then grab a man’s most private property as well. And if your most private property isn’t yours, then what is?

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