The Dichotomy of Political Beliefs

So, I had a question pop up into my head recently and it’s caused some reflection.  There are two big name issues in the political spectrum of the US right now.  One is Universal healthcare, the other is abortion.

The dichotomy between the belief systems of the Democrats and Republicans is very, very curious.

The Republicans want to deny women the right to have an abortion.  Yet they don’t want the individual mandate of Obamacare which says you MUST have health insurance or pay a fine.  I will note that, every single Republican and Libertarian I’ve talked to only argues about the individual mandate and only argues that it takes away there rights to die and make us pay for it.

The Democrats on the other hand are generally firm supporters of the woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.  Yet, they have taken away the right to not have health insurance via the individual mandate.

Isn’t that interesting?  And it has caused some consternation to me as I firmly agree with the Democrats on both issues.

I know why I think that the individual mandate is not ‘taking away our rights’.  It’s not taking away our rights any more than wearing seatbelts is taking away our right to drive without them.  You still have the right to not have seatbelts or health insurance.  However there are consequences.  In both cases, you may have to pay a fine… or you could die.  More on that discussion here. And here.

I also know why I think abortion is OK.  First, and this is something that conservatives will never tell you nor understand.  More babies are aborted naturally than any other cause of fetal death.  It’s estimated that between 25% and 50% of all conceptions are naturally aborted, generally before the prospective mother even knows she’s pregnant.  All those girls who miss once and then go back to normal… they very well may have been pregnant and the fetus was aborted by the body.

A lump of cells is not a human being any more than a corporation is.  What is a human?  When you get right down to it, the only real difference between humans and animals is technology… and that comes from a slightly different brain.  It’s not that different either, as we are coming to find out.  And the brain stem isn’t even fully developed until the end of the second trimester and the actual brain isn’t really fully developed at the time of normal birth.

So, there we go.  I could have turned off my rational side and gone all cognitive dissonance and ignored the seeming dichotomy.  But instead, I analyzed it and carefully considered the issues involved.

These statements aren’t meant to convince anyone.  If I explained all of my reasoning and structures for my own thoughts on either topic, we’d getting into mid-sized book territory.  But I have considered it, and I don’t think there’s a problem with thinking the individual mandate and abortion are OK.

In both cases, our society is better off.

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6 Responses to The Dichotomy of Political Beliefs

  1. Eugen says:

    “It’s estimated that between 25% and 50% of all conceptions are naturally aborted,”

    If some humans are killed by natural causes does it give us right to kill some others for convenience?
    Let Nature do what it does and let us humans do what is right.

  2. OgreMkV says:

    I brought up the point about natural abortions (and I very well may have derailed my train of thought) because the GOP wants to make aborting a fetus illegal. If they do so, then they absolutely must arrest something like 25% of US women for having an abortion. You see, they make no statement about how the fetus is aborted, only that it is.

    What is right? Is it right that an 11-year-old girl is forced to have her own father’s baby, when it could easily kill her? Is it right that a woman and baby dies when the woman could have been saved? Is it right that a doctor refuses to perform life-saving surgery because his religion doesn’t like it? Is it right, that a child who will never be able to function on his or her own without life support have a very short and very painful life?

    If you honestly answer yes to any of these, then I don’t know what to tell you. I sure can’t help. If you answer no, then you accept that sometimes an abortion is the right thing to do. Then next question is, who are you to judge when an abortion is the right thing to do? Answer, when it’s your baby in your body. That’s it.

    The point is that I am woefully unfit to tell anyone when they can have an abortion and when they should. There is only one fit person who should making that kind of decision. And the US government is not it. For sure religion should have no place in it. If a woman chooses to have religion, a doctor, a spouse, a parent, a priest, a witch doctor, or an eggplant as someone to confide in and help with her decision, then that is her business.

    I have rewritten this response several times and it still isn’t what I would call great. This is a difficult subject. I believe, and I think it’s possible to show, that in almost every way, our society is better when women have the option than when they do not. It is better economically, safety-wise, even simple fairness in that only the person having to make the decision actually makes the decision.

    Abortion, seatbelt laws, and the individual mandate are all alike in one respect. Right now, their is still an option to use or not use them. When abortion is made illegal, then the ability to choose by the responsible party(ies) is gone. In either case, the outlook for the child is not good. But then, the GOP wants birth control made illegal too and abstinence only sex ed promoted too. Which only reinforces they fact that they are wed to concepts that don’t work.

    Anyway, I hope that helps, I don’t think it will. Again, this was never intended to be a pro-choice argument.

  3. Eugen says:

    Thanks, Ogre.
    It’s getting late here so I ll reply tomorrow. I only have some common sense comments not really an argument.

  4. Eugen says:

    I’ll make a guess that majority of abortions are done because it would be inconvenient to have a baby. You listed several valid and very important special situations which are most likely minority of abortions. Nevertheless, they prove the issue is complicated. Actually a nightmare.

    I would like your opinion on rather technical issue. Upon fusion of genetic material inside ovum the blueprint for new human is established. After first cell division actual production, formation of the new human begins. Is it right to eliminate the human at this point? How about two months later or two years later? What’s the difference? Size?

    Really just a technical issue; no religion, hell, heaven, government, activists etc

  5. OgreMkV says:

    Ask a tough one. Philosophers have been asking these kinds of questions for thousands of years. Is it OK to kill one to save many? A baby, his father, and his father are on a sinking ship, you can only save one, which do you save? Hundreds of years ago, the male of the household would take malformed babies out to the back woods and leave them to die. They were a mouth to feed and would never be able to contribute to life on the farm.

    I bring all this up because one’s culture and social status have much more to do with one’s beliefs than anything else… including religion. One hundred years ago, many religions felt that slavery was OK. Yet today almost no religion preaches that. Has the religion changed? No, the culture, the societal background of the members of the religion changed. In 25 years, every religion will be supporting gay marriage.

    What does all this have to do with abortion? We, as a society, tend to think abortion is bad because it’s killing another person. Well, that’s a good thought, but what is a person, a human being?

    I think that a human is only what our intelligence makes us. The brain can only receive sensory input after 31 weeks of development. Heck, it’s not until week 27 that the brain really develops. If I was forced to pick a time when I would no longer support an abortion for what will be a healthy, fully functioning human, then I would tend to say sometime before week 20. But that’s just what I think and actually has no bearing on anything. Plus, it’s a purely arbitrary number.

    I would reserve the right to terminate a pregnancy if major, functional abnormalities develop or chromosomal disorders are discovered. While many of these complications can result in a viable human, that human will never be a fully functional human and will generally have a short, pain filled life. Is that right or wrong? Only each person can decide for themselves.

    The issue, as I see it, isn’t one of right or wrong, but people imposing their beliefs on others, which is wrong. If abortion becomes illegal, does anyone think abortions will stop?

    I personally believe (rightly or wrongly) that until the embryo is capable of survival outside of the mother, then it is a part of the mother and subject to her decisions. And given a choice, save the mother at the expense of the baby, not the other way round.

  6. Eugen says:

    “.They were a mouth to feed and would never be able to contribute to life on the farm…”

    I’m sure some terribly hard decisions had to be made in the past.I hope not to be put into position ever to make hard choices of that sort. Focus should be on protection because young people will not listen to abstinence lessons. I cannot blame anybody for liking hanky panky.

    “brain doesn’t develop until 27th week”.

    Well yes, that’s the process of building a human, it certainly comes in stages. I personally cannot use that as an excuse to terminate. Basically , anything after fusion of genetic material is human. Real trick is to prevent genetic material from getting into contact through protective measures. Physical barriers, chemicals,hormones etc… lots of different ways to protect.

    ” In 25 years, every religion will be supporting gay marriage.”

    Gays, can they just stop whining and carry on with their business?

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