Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Supposed "Pro-Life" Inconsistency

Allow me to clarify briefly before delving into this. Certainly people can oppose capital punishment, war, etc. in addition to abortion. Specifically however consistent life ethics claims they should oppose these things if they oppose abortion to be consistent. I believe this is false. When the issue of abortion came into prominence with the late 1960s, early 1970s in the US, people who supported the right to have an abortion were then named "pro-choice", those against it "pro-life". These labels remain, despite how much the specific arguments have expanded and shifted over time.

In full disclosure, I am pro-choice myself. However, it does not seem at all apparent how having one view necessitates any others in this case. A person can be against abortion, but in favor of capital punishment, without being in contradiction. If they feel abortion is murder (as most do), and capital punishment the just penalty for that, that makes up a wholly consistent position. Obviously people can critique either of those views, as with any other. It does not follow, however, that because someone opposes killing in one instance they must do so universally. Situations differ.

For comparison, one could accuse pro-choice advocates of "inconsistency" for not advocating choice with every issue. The pro-choice person who is not also for school choice (which since most pro-choice people are progressives, would likely be the case) has not been inconsistent. They have two different opinions regarding the issues. I fail to see the inconsistency, and the only exception is if one says all killing is wrong, or every choice valid. Yet very few do this. Unless they do, it is not inconsistent. This does not make the pro-life position right (or wrong), but this particular argument is not valid. 

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