A brief discussion of abortion

Intended for constructive conversations. Exhibits of polarizing tribalism will be deleted.
GandK
Posts: 1968
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by GandK » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:45 pm

Rough subject.

Personal stance: anti-abortion, but oppose any law against it on both medical and Christian free will grounds.

Also pertinent: I had three miscarriages and a stillbirth between 2006 and 2008. From 2011 onward I've counseled women who've lost a child through my church. Some of those women have had abortions. Their pain, regret and grief can be severe. It's definitely not an act. Not for everyone.

The problem, I believe, is almost exclusively on the Christian conservative side of the argument. My own side. As a cohort, we object to abortion being used as birth control, but we also largely object to non-lethal methods of birth control being taught to our young people. This is stupidity to the point of being dangerous. I think we take it to the point where we are even complicit. I mean, no one ever does this because they want to... exactly NO humans have "get an abortion" on their bucket list. Abortion is about lack of planning, about fear, and about feeling trapped. I see a thousand parallels to people who fail to plan in their finances. I don't think we can ever inoculate the irresponsible against financial failure, and I suspect reproductive failure is the same basic situation.

So. If I were queen, I'd corral all my own people into a group and tell them we're abandoning abortion as an issue in itself, and instead dealing with this problem by throwing our political weight behind finding and funding 100% effective birth control measures. This is a second-level problem... let's deal with Part One. If we can't teach people to fuck responsibly (and we can't, because people), we can at least make it so that nobody dies when people fuck irresponsibly. And if we play our cards right, we can get them to opt into this situation on their own. Imagine if we could get regular birth control to a point where every time, in order to conceive, both parents had to decide to do it. No non-medical, non-rape abortions then. Problem solved. Everybody wins.

luxagraf
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:32 pm
Contact:

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by luxagraf » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:44 pm

I have a tangential question that fascinates me about modern debate -- no one seems interested in changing anyone's mind, or making arguments that might appeal to anyone who doesn't already agree with them in an effort to change someone's mind, so what's the point of the debate in the first place?

And I don't mean that antagonistically, I'm really curious to know why anyone would want to state their views on this or anything else of this nature (guns, climate, etc, etc) when the result state will be identical to the starting state?

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2338
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by C40 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:51 pm

I'm open to changing my views, and quite a few of the others here are as well.

This forum is pretty good place for changing views on difficult subjects because:
- Mutual respect among forum members (due to shared ERE views/pursuit)
- Many INTJs (myself included), which means the other INTJs here with opinions different than mine will 'speak my language' and be way more likely to change my mind than say, one of my ISFJ conservative christian relatives.

Kriegsspiel
Posts: 874
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:05 pm

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:32 pm

luxagraf wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:44 pm
I have a tangential question that fascinates me about modern debate -- no one seems interested in changing anyone's mind, or making arguments that might appeal to anyone who doesn't already agree with them in an effort to change someone's mind, so what's the point of the debate in the first place?

And I don't mean that antagonistically, I'm really curious to know why anyone would want to state their views on this or anything else of this nature (guns, climate, etc, etc) when the result state will be identical to the starting state?
John Michael Greer just wrote a blog post about how we've gone full retard in our "debating" styles. I'm TLDRphrasing, but he's pointing out that Group A doesn't even attempt to convince anyone to switch teams, because they're convinced Group B knows they're wrong, but they choose to be on the wrong side anyways.

In the end, he says the way out is through rhetoric. Coincidentally, when I took Rhetoric in college, I argued the anti-abortion position in a class debate. My starting point was that it's immoral to kill people, and people should be moral, so let's get down to defining when a person exists so that we can avoid doing immoral things. The teacher stopped me there and told me I didn't understand the issue. So if that's how rhetoric works, I'm skeptical JMG can do anything useful with it.

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by BRUTE » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:34 pm

suomalainen wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:23 pm
We declined to abort. I love my now 11-year-old son even if (because?) he is a little weirdo.
brute literally cried

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by BRUTE » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:43 pm

luxagraf wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:44 pm
I'm really curious to know why anyone would want to state their views on this or anything else of this nature (guns, climate, etc, etc) when the result state will be identical to the starting state?
these last 2 years have convinced brute that debate and arguments are completely useless except when a party wants to be convinced.

brute has also been convinced that in order to have a functioning society, a certain "core curriculum" of beliefs, values, opinions, culture, and whatever else need to be shared.

nobody might be convinced by this thread, but at least group A knows that group B exists and is honest in their belief, and vice versa.

this whole being correct thing is overrated if brute has to choose between being right and society fracturing.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5212
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:05 am

brute has also been convinced that in order to have a functioning society, a certain "core curriculum" of beliefs, values, opinions, culture, and whatever else need to be shared.
Perhaps, but all of these are built or maintained upon basis of shared and similar economic incentives, and economic incentives can only be built upon viable technology and distribution systems and ecological resources. So, for instance, although I am not conservative/religious, I have little doubt that society in general will become more conservative/religious if/when the grid goes down. So, if you have anything decadent on your Bucket List, you probably ought to schedule it in for sometime in the next 20 years.

Anyways, I do not believe that the purpose of debate is to convince others to change their minds. It's more like an exercise to keep your own mind from getting stuck in familiar ruts, or a method for vanquishing the arbitrary.

ThisDinosaur
Posts: 997
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:31 am

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by ThisDinosaur » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:09 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:05 am
Anyways, I do not believe that the purpose of debate is to convince others to change their minds. It's more like an exercise to keep your own mind from getting stuck in familiar ruts, or a method for vanquishing the arbitrary.
The argumentative theory of reasoning
When the performance of groups and lone individuals in reasoning tasks is compared, groups fare much better—sometimes dramatically so. Not only do groups have a better performance than the average individual, but they often perform as well, or even better, than the best group member
...
Reasoning is made for arguing. Because of this people have a strong confirmation bias that plagues lone reasoners. But when people argue, the biases of the arguers can balance each other out and lead reasoning to felicitous outcomes.

enigmaT120
Posts: 1078
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by enigmaT120 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:57 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:05 am
Anyways, I do not believe that the purpose of debate is to convince others to change their minds. It's more like an exercise to keep your own mind from getting stuck in familiar ruts, or a method for vanquishing the arbitrary.
It is a way to explore others' minds. Even I can't think everything all by myself!

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by BRUTE » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:04 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:05 am
So, if you have anything decadent on your Bucket List, you probably ought to schedule it in for sometime in the next 20 years.
brute is mostly done with the decadent goals.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5212
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:57 am

@ThisDinosaur:

Interesting. The hive mind of the internet recently suggested that the next book I might want to read would be "Living Within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos." by Garrett Hardin.
An element of behavior that is transferred from one culture to another is likely to suffer a sea change. So, it has been with taboo. Pacific Islanders apparently have no hesitancy in explicitly giving taboo as a reason for stopping a discussion. By contrast, Westerners, with their cherished tradeition of free speech and open discussion, would be embarrassed to say (for instance), "We will not discuss population because it is under a taboo." Instead, they change the subject. Hundreds of articles are written every year about the pathological effects of overpopulation-traffic congestion, deforestation, loss of species, soil erosion, and air pollution-without any mention of population growth as an essential cause.

In the United States in the middles of the 1980s the practical issue of population control became entangled with the moral issue of abortion. This is somewhat puzzling because there is no necessary connection between the two.
Hardin is interesting because he is vehemently pro-ecology/anti-immigration, and these two issues are currently split along red/blue lines in the national debate. It could be argued that the Paris Climate Accord failed due to overwhelming taboo on frank discussion on human population control. Hardin believed that strictly limiting immigration from poor, highly populated regions to wealthy, less populated regions was critical element.

Another nteresting connection I never knew about before reading Hardin is that the U.S. Space Program may have been at least partially motivated by the writings of Monsignor Irving A. DeBlanc, Director of the Catholic Family Life Bureau in the 1950s. He suggested space colonization as a means to reconcile "no birth control" dictate with probability of human suffering in over-populated situations.

radamfi
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:46 pm

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by radamfi » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:12 am

In most developed countries there has long been a broad consensus on both abortion and gun ownership, and so there is virtually no political debate about them. The US is the exception. Why?

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11395
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by jacob » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:32 am

@radamfi - Not to derail too much, but the answer is Duverger's law.

Most democracies have proportional representation of voters often with some kind of runoff built in so votes aren't wasted, e.g. a vote for the person is also a vote for the party and if a person gets enough votes for parliament, the residual votes can be used to get the next person into parliament as well. This leads to multi-party systems.

The US elects representatives inside single districts (for example, I live in Illinois' 4th district) that are geographically determined (If you've seen anything about gerrymandering, it's all about how to draw these districts on the map... ideally to ensure that a politician represents the people living there... but in practice to make sure that as many votes of the opposing party is wasted as possible) using first past the goal post (no runoff). This leads to all opinions being represented by either a two party or in some rare cases a one-party system (if the other party just gives up). So each district in the country gets to send one person to congress.

In multi-party systems, representatives, once in parliament, will negotiate to form broad coalitions (multi-partisan) to decide the general consensus on how the country should be governed when it comes to broad issues like economy, taxes, war, social transfers, ... This is necessary, because single parties will almost never be able to hold the majority on their own.

In two-party systems, those coalitions are already formed, that is, they're being formed by the election process itself. Consequentially, the parties already agree on the broad issues even if they pretend not to. Therefore most of the issues that differentiate them becomes petty issues (which of course are important to some people) that politicians can then use to differentiate themselves. E.g. "I [more or less] agree with everything my opponent said when it comes to the economy, wars, pension systems, ... except for a few issues like 'guns and abortion' so if you like those, vote for me"(*). A side-effect of this is that fewer Americans bother to show up to vote than in multi-party systems---also that it's a pretty big/newsworthy deal when a district flips color between red and blue; very big if an entire state does it.

(*) Another strategy is to use a single-issue to vacuum up votes for the general red or blue platform. There are very many issues in the US that has been politicized this way: guns, abortion, climate science, supreme court appointments, gay marriage, immigration, weed, ... issues that are mostly fringe-party stuff in multi-party systems.

The two-party system gives the appearance of being a very stable/solid system because all the important issues are already pre-agreed on leaving voters to focus on stuff that ... well, doesn't really matter that much. [Not trying to instigate here, I know there are some single-issue voters here.] But in a sense, it's stable like an old tree, so if the winds are too strong, it snaps rather than bends---as we see now with Trump who is essentially a third-party candidate working from inside one of the parties. Multi-party systems tend to bend instead which makes them less stable and consequentially more flexible on the overall policy and so therefore also less likely to snap into crisis mode.

In a multi-party system, you could/would have some politicians that ran on guns or abortions or more bicycle paths as their sole platform, but likely they would not attract enough votes unless they they were somehow famous or notorious (you might have heard of Lord Buckethead?).

radamfi
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:46 pm

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by radamfi » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:43 am

The UK is also essentially a two-party system because it also has the first-past-the-post voting system, as are other countries that have inherited the British parliamentary system. The two main parties in the UK are also "broad churches" and they both have left and right wings which regularly fight between themselves. However, abortion and gun ownership are not significant issues in the UK.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11395
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by jacob » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:08 am

@radamfi - Each country will have their own particular single-issue issues. Abortion is a controversial issue in the US because on average religion matters far more here compared to most other western countries. More accurately, the US has significant fractions of the population that consider religion highly important to their lives whereas in other [western] countries those are few and far between.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importanc ... by_country

If you look at the US itself http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/20 ... our-state/ you'll see that importance of religion correlates fairly strongly with Red states.

Similarly, US gun-culture is similar to religion both in the sense of belief (in the second amendment (which other countries don't have)) and a lifestyle for a significant fraction of the population (which is also not the case in other countries).

If you had a two-party system in Denmark or the Netherlands and tried to restrict/ban bicycles, you'd have single-issue voters for or against cycling, because it's very important to a part of the culture/people.

Jason
Posts: 2329
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by Jason » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:14 pm

suomalainen wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:23 pm
We declined to abort.
I would do your best not to mention that this was a considered option to the kid. Now that I'm in therapy, the oft-repeated "why didn't you wear a fucking rubber" comment heard through out my childhood probably had greater impact on me than I originally wanted to admit.

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by BRUTE » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:37 pm

If you look at the US itself http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/20 ... our-state/ you'll see that importance of religion correlates fairly strongly with Red states.
interesting. brute is somewhat surprised that New England is considerably less religious on average than California/NY. although it's probably just due to the very stark city/rural split in CA/NY.

similar to the red/blue vote map for the last election, what's really interesting wasn't states but counties. for example, Illinois is all red except a few counties around Chicago, if brute remembers correctly.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11395
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by jacob » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:38 pm

brute remembers correctly. The urban/rural division features strongly on the red/blue maps. Indeed, you can almost overlay one of those electric lights by night satellite pictures and it'll look very similar to election results at high-res(*). I think urban/rural attitudes/lifestyles is a better explanatory variable for guns than religion or education.

http://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/publ ... -abortion/

(*) IOW, liberalism is caused by electricity! :idea:

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by BRUTE » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:57 pm

jacob wrote:
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:38 pm
IOW, liberalism is caused by electricity! :idea:
now that's just science.

there's a certain argument that heavily regulated areas (= big coastal cities) are liberal and rich, therefore government regulation creates riches. brute has always held the libertarian view that government is like a cancer, and a rich host can sustain more cancer before dying off. hence, rich coastal cities can support more government and regulation than a poorer, rural area, without killing the host.

this could be argued the same way: one view is that humans in rich coastal cities are for abortion because they are more sophisticated, educated, and metropolitan. the other view is that they are for abortion because rich coastal cities allow for greater decadence and allow humans to be further removed from values/ethics that are required in harsher/poorer rural areas.

Jason
Posts: 2329
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: A brief discussion of abortion

Post by Jason » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:58 pm

Evangelical Church planters generally view New England as the most challenging US region to start a congregation. Many don’t even consider it worthy of an attempt.

The intellectual antecedents that led to the dissolution of Protestatanism as hegemonic in America are found in New England. Trinitariamism (Emerson’s grand parents) became Unitarianism (Emerson’s parents) became Transcendatlism (Emerson). All Ivy League universities were originally seminaries but transitioned to bastions of secular thought by end of the 19th century. It reflected the general change experienced in America as the country transitioned from an agrarian to a manufacturing centric country. It’s when Methodists and Baptists supplanted Calvinism as the most significant branches of Christianity which, for the most part, are identified with the non-Eastern states due to mid 19th century evangelicalism efforts by those denominations in the south and mid-west.

Post Reply