Monday, June 05, 2006
You're Still not all that Pro Life
I was trying to think back to a time when a single post generated as much hoopla as my Why you really can't be all that Pro Life post from last week. I received a number of emails and comments, and I felt the issue needed further clarification. I am going to directly answer some of the comments and emails that I received.
First of all, there were a number of emails and comments accusing me of twisting facts to support my viewpoint. And yet, none of these individuals were able to say exactly how I was misrepresenting those facts or what facts were misrepresented. A lot of comments were specifically about the immunizations issue, so I wanted to address that directly.
People who consider themselves to be Pro Life view the issue as black and white. You either have respect for human life or you do not. The irony about this stance is that it is an impossible one to take and not be a complete fucking hypocrite. We have government programs, like immunizations, that are predicated on the fact that we sacrifice a few kids, so that the rest of society doesn't perish from small pox or mumps. People would call you a crazy donkey-raping shit eater if you spoke out against immunization programs. And yet, people who are Pro Life miss the punchline on this one. They think abortions are the only way that innocent people die, and by opposing them, they absolve themselves of any responsibility for all the other killing that goes on with their tax dollars every single day.
My point was that you cannot be a moral absolutist about anything, unless you are completely ignorant of what is going on in the world around you. The only thing moral absolutism does, is make is a little easier to judge other people who don't conform to the impossible standards that you or your religious sect have created for the rest of us. Being a black and white moral absolutist, as so many Pro Lifers are, only shows that you're too stupid to consider all the possibilities.
Another great example of our willingness to accept less than perfection when it comes to saving lives is car safety. As a society, we purchase cars every single day that we know could kill someone. Could we make cars safer by investing tons of money in safety technology? We could save thousands of lives every year by doing that, but we choose not to for the simple reason that cars would be horrifically expensive. We accept cars that are a balance between safety and affordability. While cars will never be 100% safe, we could certainly invest more money in making them safer, but as consumers, we don't think of it that way. And if a car came out that was significantly safer, but also significantly more expensive, very few people would actually choose to drive that car (as emperically proven by Mercedes Benz).
The bottom line is that every single one of us accepts some margin of acceptable death so that things remain affordable, convenient and safe for the rest of us. To ignore this fact is to demonstrate a lack of comprehension and acceptance for what we do as a society. I am not condoning this practice, but we should at least recognize it is out there. If people did acknowledge that, no one would be able to sit here and say "I am Pro Life and you are not." because they would understand that we're all in the same boat, where death and killing are Ok as long as it benefits us in some demonstrable way.