Adventures in Homeschooling in Southern Indiana

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quick Note to Anon- starting the discussion up again

Hey Anon--

First off, I want you to know that I don't really expect to change your mind about abortion-- this is more about letting you see how the other side thinks, I think. Obviously you have strong reasons for your position, and a random discussion on a blog isn't going to drastically alter your underlying philosophy.

BUT I would like to point out that earlier in the discussion you characterized the idea that abortion should not be allowed as a religious belief, and said that religion has no place in politics.

And you've asserted again and again that you believe that life begins at birth, without giving a scientific or philosophical reason why this is so.

So, really, your belief that life begins at birth is ALSO religious in nature, even if it's not the official dogma of a mainstream religion.

While most people's beliefs CAN be explained by philosophy or science, I don't think most people have actually examined the basis for their beliefs-- most voters are voting based on their "religion."

For instance, a lot of people believe we should give more money to public schools. But when you ask them why public education is important, they don't respond with the results of studies or the philosophical reasons why a nation should have a unified educational system available to all.

Abortion is a touchier issue because the divide between pro-and con- is deeper, and the topic is a more emotional one than finance reform or EPA regulations.

But if we limit voting to those who have carefully explored and examined the philosophical and scientific underpinnings of all their beliefs, we'll have a pretty small voting pool. (And who decides what's been properly examined???)

Also, it's not really fair to dismiss a person's beliefs just because they're 'religious' or 'unexamined.' Because many people have a pretty good 'gut' for these things, even when they haven't thought it through all the way.

Of course, not everyone agrees on contentious issues... which is why we vote in the first place, and why we lobby elected officials, and why we all try to change hearts and minds. But the strength of a democracy is that Linus Pauling and that crazy guy on the street corner BOTH get their say, and that no one gets to say who's vote is worth more.

So I would hope that while I can't convince you to accept my positions on when life begins, or whether abortion is good or bad for the mother, I can at least convince you to consider the idea that there is nothing wrong with voting your deeply held beliefs.

And that there's nothing wrong with encouraging your opponents to vote based on THEIR deeply held beliefs. Because that's what Democracy is supposed to be!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You seem to say that every belief is a religious one. I disagree. Some beliefs are moral - and morals can be taught even by a godless person. When a moral belief is based on a person's belief in a teaching of some god, it becomes religious. I don't believe in torture, but that has nothing to do with any god. I believe in reducing greenhouse emissions, but that again has nothing to do with any god. And, just because someone may make a "gut" decision does not mean it is a decision informed or influenced by some god. It may be nature - self preservation. It may be prior experiences. There are many many explanations for beliefs that have nothing to do with religion. To say that every decision one makes is based on religion uses religion as a scapegoat - if the decision turns out badly it wasn't the person's fault, that person did what was right in the name of "religion." Terrorists carry out their actions in the name of religion, but that does not make their actions any more palatable to me, nor should it to you.

The point being that this country should not make its laws based on what the religion of some people say. It should make its laws based on the Constitution (obviously) and what it is that the people, and the courts, determine is right and just. Your religion, your god, says abortion is wrong. My mind tells me it is not. Society is pretty well split on the issue. Why is it that your religion should trump?