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Default Right to Life, Right to Murder

June 3rd, 2009, 10:04
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
I think Squeek is correct when he says this can't be reduced to B&W thinking. Do a hypothetical and try to put yourself in the shoes of people who totally believe that abortion is MURDER. Now, what are the consequences of that thinking? Not simple is it? Capital Punishment is a similar non- B&W issue. I don't believe murder is the correct response to another perceived murder, but I can certainly understand the motivation. Stretching an analogy somewhat ( ) Saddam Hussein was a mass murderer and many people believed he needed to be 'taken out'. People cheered when he was executed. Some anti-abortionists see doctors who perform abortions in the same light!!
Fair enough - I don't in any way agree with that mindset at all but if that's what they think they can at least stick to it. The ones standing up and saying "You know what? Good. I'm glad he's dead. Perfectly happy to have been part of it, I think he deserved to die and I'm glad he did", okay, mad as a box of frogs, but at least they're honest.

It's the ones saying that it's a terrible tragedy but not holding up their hands and acknowledging that it's a tragedy they helped make happen that I have no time for.
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June 3rd, 2009, 21:11
You're certainly welcome to your point of view, Benedict. But I doubt you would really be happy if anyone spoke up and said, "You know what? Good. I'm glad he's dead, etc."

You seem like a smart guy, Benedict, and I often enjoy reading your posts, but I can't admire this particular position, because it puts people who happen to strongly disagree with you into a preconceived category, and that's weak.

I like opinions, and I like listening to bright people voice their strong opinions. But bright people can dumb down too when it suits them (and to be honest, at the moment I don't actually mean you).

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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June 4th, 2009, 11:59
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
You're certainly welcome to your point of view, Benedict. But I doubt you would really be happy if anyone spoke up and said, "You know what? Good. I'm glad he's dead, etc."

You seem like a smart guy, Benedict, and I often enjoy reading your posts, but I can't admire this particular position, because it puts people who happen to strongly disagree with you into a preconceived category, and that's weak.
I wouldn't be happy, I'd much rather there weren't people in the world I disagreed with so much who had such destructive tendencies. I'd just rather they were honest instead of pretending to be shocked and appalled by the murder while still doing everything they can to set up the next of their enemies to be shockingly murdered.

Anyway, I'm not trying to put everyone who disagrees with me into a particular category. Corwin for example clearly has very different views on abortion to me but I couldn't for a second imagine him participating in any kind of hate campaign of the sort waged by some of these activists.

I'm putting everyone who has been an active participant into a widespread hate campaign (especially those involved in the specific groups publishing information) resulting in a murder into a category of "partial collective responsibility for their own actions". Nothing to do with them having contradictory opinions, they're welcome to disagree. I'm grouping them based on their actions.

Their opinions may explain their actions, may depending on your point of view mitigate their actions and leave the act that they share blame for a totally justifiable one, but it doesn't negate the blame itself.

There's plenty of opinion space to think that abortion is murder without suggesting that people who abort deserve to die themselves.
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June 4th, 2009, 19:28
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
I wouldn't be happy, I'd much rather there weren't people in the world I disagreed with so much who had such destructive tendencies. I'd just rather they were honest instead of pretending to be shocked and appalled by the murder while still doing everything they can to set up the next of their enemies to be shockingly murdered.
I firmly believe that the overwhelming majority of them are doing everything they can to persuade everyone involved with performing abortions to go find other jobs. That's certainly not nice, but it's a far cry from murder.

I do see the connection Filipovic made (and the one you're reiterating). Some of the stuff the right-to-lifers do certainly does seem like it would invite potential murderers to commit murder. But their actual intent is different. If it were anything else other than trying to prevent what they understand to be mass murder, that would make a huge difference to me. But that is their intent.

Let's face it: Isn't that why Filopovic flatly dismissed their motives? Of course it is. Otherwise, consideration of their motoves would have gotten too much in the way of the conclusion she was determined to reach. Myself, I choose to consider it. And when I do, I recognize a delmma she flat-out refused to admit.

That's how I see it, anyway.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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June 5th, 2009, 14:40
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
I firmly believe that the overwhelming majority of them are doing everything they can to persuade everyone involved with performing abortions to go find other jobs. That's certainly not nice, but it's a far cry from murder.
I can see your opinion, personally I think after a previous assassination attempt on this person and 9 deaths and a number of serious injuries in the previous 15 years over abortion related issues there is absolutely no way at all that people can claim that tactics including publishing live updates of someone's location are really intended to stop short of any violent incidents.

I accept that they're angry, that they feel something needs to be done, I just can't accept that they could possibly be kidding themselves that their actions aren't very likely to result in a violent injury.

Happy to agree to disagree on that one though
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June 5th, 2009, 18:12
Good article on Tiller here (although full of all kinds of nasty anti-life bias I'm sure )
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June 5th, 2009, 23:05
Thanks for that link, Benedict. And Corwin, maybe this discussion has reached a stage where it needs to come out of the Obama thread?

First, I don't usually talk about this topic because it's so inflammatory, but I'm making an exception hoping not to rile anyone too badly because this incident is serious

Second, I want to make it clear that I'm in agreement with Squeek and Corwin in that I differentiate between the pro-life movement as a whole, pro-life organizations who work peacefully and productively to help reduce the number of abortions, or individuals who have a strong religious or moral stance against it yet work within the laws to try to change them, from the extremists who were behind the Tiller murder. They shouldn't be painted with the proverbial same broad brush.

That said, the end effect, and —I don't think they would dispute this—indeed, the primary goal of these anti-abortion extremists is not just to harass and punish abortion providers out of principal, but to make it as difficult and next-to-impossible as they can for legal abortion to happen, IOW, to defy the law, to murder, or to wear people down through insult, vandalism and harassment, rather than remake the policy through legislation or to provide any alternative support to women seeking abortion through birth control or adoption.

I'd say it definitely qualifies as domestic terrorism, and it's extremely effective.

For those who want to look at Tiller's murder from the rampantly pro-choice side, Maddow's been having an exploration of it on her show. She's a bit more radical and black-and-white about it than I am though (but I'm only an old hippie, not a wild-eyed young lefty.)
Transcript

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; June 5th, 2009 at 23:21. Reason: removed quote; because people can read
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June 6th, 2009, 02:05
Moved as requested.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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June 6th, 2009, 03:08
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
That said, the end effect, and —I don't think they would dispute this—indeed, the primary goal of these anti-abortion extremists is not just to harass and punish abortion providers out of principal, but to make it as difficult and next-to-impossible as they can for legal abortion to happen, IOW, to defy the law, to murder, or to wear people down through insult, vandalism and harassment, rather than remake the policy through legislation or to provide any alternative support to women seeking abortion through birth control or adoption.
Like Corwin said, it is essential to note that to these people, they are potentially saving hundreds of unborn lives by ending the life of one person. This seems crazy to most people, but then terrorists in the middle east seem crazy as well, though if we were to put ourselves into the shoes of some of these people, we might suddenly see the issue in another light. For these extreme anti-abortionist folks, they view the issue as an urgent mission to save the lives of children. Legislation and working the system be damned to them, I suppose.
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June 6th, 2009, 10:36
Don'tcha all know? It's Bill O'Reily's fault. He practically pulled the trigger.
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June 6th, 2009, 10:57
In my neck of the woods, incitement to murder is a crime. I think Bill O'Reilly might well be on the wrong side of that line.
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June 6th, 2009, 16:23
I think everyone who posted live tracking updates of this guy's whereabouts, etc, should be charged with accessory to murder.
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June 6th, 2009, 16:26
Thanks for moving the thread, Corwin.
Originally Posted by Thoth View Post
Like Corwin said, it is essential to note that to these people, they are potentially saving hundreds of unborn lives by ending the life of one person. This seems crazy to most people, but then terrorists in the middle east seem crazy as well, though if we were to put ourselves into the shoes of some of these people, we might suddenly see the issue in another light. For these extreme anti-abortionist folks, they view the issue as an urgent mission to save the lives of children. Legislation and working the system be damned to them, I suppose.
I do note that, and the analogy you make to terrorists is spot on. They have to feel what they're doing is right in order to be willing to give their own lives for "the cause." However, there's an old saying I heard a lot as a child, (don't know if your generation had it drummed in their ears, though) : "Two wrongs don't make a right."

The pro-life movement will never gain my full respect until they put as much time and effort and slogan-slinging into improving the lives of fetuses after they leave the womb, rather than saving them so they can be brought up by women who wanted to kill them, fathers who aren't there, and a society that feels they're disposable.

As long as sex causes pregnancy, there will always be unwanted children. Having been one, I can say it's not all sunshine and light and little pink baby clothes to be born to someone who really really wishes you weren't there. Also, desperate women will do desperate things if abortion is illegal or impossible to access. (Would I rather not have lived, you ask? I can't see how I would have minded if I hadn't been born, and there were many times it would have been infinitely preferable.)

How many activists like this ask themselves, what are they saving these babies for? How many would donate time or money to help raise them and keep them from being abused, off the streets and out of jail?

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; June 6th, 2009 at 16:46.
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June 6th, 2009, 17:40
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Thanks for moving the thread, Corwin.

I do note that, and the analogy you make to terrorists is spot on. They have to feel what they're doing is right in order to be willing to give their own lives for "the cause." However, there's an old saying I heard a lot as a child, (don't know if your generation had it drummed in their ears, though) : "Two wrongs don't make a right."
I did find that point by Thoth interesting - but I do agree with you here. Even if you think abortion=murder, if you murder an abortion-performing doctor you are morally equivalent with said doctor.

Originally Posted by magerette View Post
The pro-life movement will never gain my full respect until they put as much time and effort and slogan-slinging into improving the lives of fetuses after they leave the womb, rather than saving them so they can be brought up by women who wanted to kill them, fathers who aren't there, and a society that feels they're disposable.
They also love to resort to questions such as:

"If you knew a woman who was pregnant, and she had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis; would you recommend that she have an abortion?

If you said yes, you just killed Beethoven."

When in reality, Beethoven was the second child, his mother did not have syphilis, and none of his siblings were deaf, blind, or retarded. Only he and two younger brothers (out of seven children) survived past infancy.

Originally Posted by magerette View Post
As long as sex causes pregnancy, there will always be unwanted children. Having been one, I can say it's not all sunshine and light and little pink baby clothes to be born to someone who really really wishes you weren't there. Also, desperate women will do desperate things if abortion is illegal or impossible to access. (Would I rather not have lived, you ask? I can't see how I would have minded if I hadn't been born, and there were many times it would have been infinitely preferable.)
I understand completely. There are many times in my life as well I've pointed out that I would have rather never been born then deal with what I've had to deal with. Not everyone is fit to be a parent and in all honesty (and IMO) preventing a child from being born into that environment is far less cruel than making it live through … extremely poor home situations.

Originally Posted by magerette View Post
How many activists like this ask themselves, what are they saving these babies for? How many would donate time or money to help raise them and keep them from being abused, off the streets and out of jail?
That's another good point. When pro-life groups create some massively well-run adoption or boarding school system that can handle "unwanted babies" then I think they would have a stronger case arguing against abortion.
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June 6th, 2009, 18:27
I also find it an interesting contradiction that many of the same people who argue for a "right to life" are also proponents of the death penalty.
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June 6th, 2009, 18:31
For a completely different perspective on the question, here's Dr. John Dolan making a persuasive case for the complete and instantaneous extinction of all humanity:

Originally Posted by John Dolan
For the first time in the history of organic life — the first time in over three billion years of “birth and copulation and death” — the pitiful animals crawling over the surface of the planet have the power to choose to exist or to cease to exist.

Imagine a prisoner condemned to be tortured to death, huddling in a cell waiting for the next call to the bloody floor where his teeth are extracted, one by one. One day someone slips a knife under the door of his cell. For the first time, he has the option of ending a life of pain. And, like a true slave, he throws the knife away in horror, hands it over to the guards so that he may continue to be dragged out and tortured at their pleasure.

We are not the only lives at stake. We have a duty to the dead-and to the unborn. Life reached its peak at the edge of the glaciers; when they receded, we, ugly tropical scavengers, killed all the great mammals who had walked the colder and grander world. They are waiting for us: the mammoths, the last Siberian Tiger and the Tasmanian Wolf — and the Tasmanians, the Caribs, and the other billions of lives we can erase and avenge and join, with a single step, over the cliff, a few seconds of rushing air, and then Nirvana.
[ http://exiledonline.com/feature-stor…uclear-winter/ ]

And here's Crooked Timber referencing David Benatar making the same case:

Originally Posted by David Benatar
Each one of us was harmed by being brought into existence. That harm is not negligible, because the quality of even the best lives is very bad-and considerably worse than most people recognise it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people. Creating new people is thus morally problematic.
[ http://crookedtimber.org/2008/09/03/…-to-have-been/ ]
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June 6th, 2009, 19:10
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I also find it an interesting contradiction that many of the same people who argue for a "right to life" are also proponents of the death penalty.
See, I think there is a distinction to be made there, though. One is an innocent life that has not committed any crimes - the other is a person who has committed a crime society deems worthy of punishment by death.

I'm somewhat of a moderate on abortion, but I'm in favor of the death penalty for certain cases - mainly involving high treason. I personally would much rather be executed then live 50 or 60 years in prison, though - I think it's an easier way out.
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June 6th, 2009, 20:32
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
The pro-life movement will never gain my full respect until they put as much time and effort and slogan-slinging into improving the lives of fetuses after they leave the womb, rather than saving them so they can be brought up by women who wanted to kill them, fathers who aren't there, and a society that feels they're disposable….
Where I live, in Orange County, California, there are a whole lot of people who are concerned about the right-to-life / pro-choice issue. It comes up in conversation from time to time, and I can assure you that, around here at least, those concerns are not only recognized, they're very well considered.

That said, I'm going to completely disagree with you here. I think we should all be encouraged to speak out whenever we feel something is wrong. Requiring a well thought out and defensible solution is too inhibiting. It bottom-lines immediately. It may be a handy monkey wrench to throw but has no value beyond that.

Divisive issues don't need roadblocks to conversation. They need inroads. It's sometimes appropriate to be defiant and indignant, and this is probably one of those times. But progress won't be made with this issue until that sentiment is set aside.

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June 6th, 2009, 21:23
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
In my neck of the woods, incitement to murder is a crime. I think Bill O'Reilly might well be on the wrong side of that line.
Oh give me a break. Reporting the news is not incitement to murder. The guy murdered over 60,000 babies and made millions off of it. It is worthy news to report.

I don't condone what the actions of the nut job who murdered tiller. But the guy is far from the civil rights hero that a lot of the media is trying to paint him as.
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June 6th, 2009, 21:24
Originally Posted by Rithrandil View Post
See, I think there is a distinction to be made there, though. One is an innocent life that has not committed any crimes - the other is a person who has committed a crime society deems worthy of punishment by death.

I'm somewhat of a moderate on abortion, but I'm in favor of the death penalty for certain cases - mainly involving high treason. I personally would much rather be executed then live 50 or 60 years in prison, though - I think it's an easier way out.
Agreed, that whole argument that pro lifers don't care about life after being born is weak and just a 'talking point'.
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