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  #1  
Old 24 April 2014, 10:18 PM
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Default Yes, There Are Pro-Life Atheists Out There. Hereís Why Iím One of Them

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There was a time when the lines seemed clearer and the slogans said everything. Pro-lifers were Jesus-loving Pope-followers with a passion for sticking rosaries on ovaries, and atheists were quick to respond with “Keep your theology off my biology!”

But then lines began to blur. Atheist and civil libertarian journalist Nat Hentoff said that “Being without theology isn’t the slightest hindrance to being pro-life.” Atheist philosophy professor Don Marquis declared abortion is “immoral” because it denies developing fetuses “a future like ours.” The host of CFI’s Point of Inquiry, Robert M. Price, author of books like Jesus is Dead and The Case Against the Case for Christ, called abortion “second-degree murder” on one of his podcasts.
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Clearly, she is pro-life (anti-choice is the more accurate term). Of course anti-choice atheists exist. No one has said they don’t, but her case for being anti-choice isn’t a secular one and it certainly isn’t a Humanist one. The fact that pro-life atheists exist does not mean that there is a secular case for being pro-life.
Aside from her use of 'anti-choice' (which is still better than 'anti-women' that some people use) I think her response is pretty spot on.
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  #2  
Old 24 April 2014, 10:26 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Thank you for posting the response blog. The original article was so head-numbingly idiotic, I had brain freeze by the time I was done reading it.
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  #3  
Old 24 April 2014, 10:31 PM
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Yea Grounded Parents is part of the Skepchick "Blog Family" or whatever, and it's pretty excellent (as are all of them in that group).
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  #4  
Old 25 April 2014, 02:27 AM
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Roll eyes

Atheists can be scientifically misinformed and superstitious too? Who knew?
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  #5  
Old 25 April 2014, 08:07 AM
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Why is her use of 'anti-choice' a problem? It seems pretty accurate to me.
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  #6  
Old 25 April 2014, 03:41 PM
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I've gone through this a few times here and don't really want to again, so I'll just throw out my opinion on it to answer your question but am not interested in following up the debate:

So just to get it out of the way most all of my opinion on this is subjective, but then that is true for other's as well.

I believe that when you are debating other people, particularly on emotional issues, you should do your best to not allow for more emotional weasel words* than you have to. A weasel word is basically an emotionally charged term deliberately used in order to muddy the waters of the debate; pro-life people are full of them, the most common I hear being "Pre-born" or "baby" in place of "fetus".

Now what each side calls themselves in the abortion debate is also tricky, there are few terms that I've personally heard that is both concise enough to be a realistic label but also accurate enough to not sway one way or another (for pro choice in particular). Because of that, I think that the best option is to default to each side's preferred terminology (pro life and pro choice).

But, oftentimes this is not the case, each side is given a nickname by the other, most commonly anti-choice (or sometimes anti-women) and pro-abortion (or sometimes anti-baby, though this one is much less common IME).

Clearly, the original names are chosen to make the side look as good as possible (who doesn't like life and choice?) while the alternatives are chosen to make the opposite side as bad as possible.

Both explanations for why they take the other names, to me, have some merit; obviously anti choice relates to the desire to remove one of the options regarding fetal managment for a woman, but since that one contested option is specifically abortion arguing that they are in favor of abortion (as an option, not in itself) is not an unreasonable determination to me either.

I think it's important to point out that in most cases I don't think people are doing this deliberately to muddy the waters, I think they are doing it because they honestly think it's true and the best option. When pro-lifers honestly think the whole debate is about abortion, so why not label it as so? The pro-choicers feel the whole debate is really about choice, so why not label it as so?

I think you can construct a reasonable argument for any of those terms (perhaps not anti-woman or anti-baby) when applying it generally, obviously a specific person or group can be anti-woman or, theoretically, anti-baby (never personally seen that one).

To me, the best choice for labels for pro-life is probably anti-abortion; it's perfectly suited for what they want. Yes, it has 'anti' in the name, but they have to own the fact that their goal is to take away an existing option so that's the deal. For the pro-choice side I would probably say pro-abortion-rights.. Or something.. That one is harder as they are in favor of the option to have an abortion, but not necessarily in favor of abortion. In the end though, if one wants to actually have real discourse and not just thump their chest and preach to their own, they should probably not open with a direct insult to the other side in the form of a label.


TL/DR: The only choice on the chopping block is abortion; as such it seems disingenuous to frame the entire debate as one side being anti-choice and the other side being pro-choice when the anti-choice side is in favor (in general, individuals of course vary) of every option being available except one. As such you should ideally just use the terms people have applied to themselves, otherwise all you do is immediately put them on the defensive and give the impression to outsiders that you are more into name calling than making an argument right out of the gate. This diminishes any real chance to have a useful debate. If having a useful debate is not your goal than of course this isn't an issue.
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Old 25 April 2014, 03:50 PM
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We all think different names are appropriate, I expect, and thus disagree on which ones are problems.

ETA: Well, that was a pointless read. Of course there are secular arguments against safe and legal abortion. They're just heavily outweighed by the secular arguments in favor of it.
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  #8  
Old 25 April 2014, 03:57 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Mickey.

I do have to disagree with this though:

Quote:
the anti-choice side is in favor (in general, individuals of course vary) of every option being available except one.
I don't think that is true. Most of at least the politically vocal anti-abortion-as-a-legal-option crowd are also against things like emergency contraceptives.

Also, FWIW, I think having a name that says that those in opposition are against women having a choice is less inherently inflammatory than having an name that implies that those in opposition are against life. So there's that.

Also FWIW, someone on this board, maybe it was you, once suggested that the most (or at least more) precise and neutral sounding terms would be pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion rights. I think I agree.
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  #9  
Old 25 April 2014, 04:00 PM
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I'm sure more than one person has said it but yes I've said that in the past; I do think those are the best options (and almost listed it up there but edited that section down as it was long enough). Those terms are a bit wordy but I do think are the most accurate while being the shortest possible.
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  #10  
Old 25 April 2014, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone View Post
Why is her use of 'anti-choice' a problem? It seems pretty accurate to me.
Messaging is the key. I offer two choices of words from the same viewpoint (not by exact word meaning, but by outcome).

"Pro-life" has the word "pro" in it, which carries a subtle connotation of good.

"Anti-abortion" has the word "anti" in it, which, similarly, carries a negative connotation.

I took public affairs training years ago and learned about word selection in the messaging. Often times you will hear the word "anti" only used by opponents of anything.

Anti-vaccination is used by those who vaccinate their children against those that advocate for fewer vaccinations. Anti-pipeline is used by those who do want pipelines to describe those that don't.**

In this case, the person making the point is using the word "anti-choice" to demonstrate that they are against that point of view.

BTW, using the word "anti" in anything is one of the quickest ways to get people to stop reading and dismiss your point of view. We are trained to avoid words such as this to allow our text to be read and judged based upon the merits of the message.

**There are a few examples where being called "anti" is part of the message people want. Anti-war protestors do not mind the moniker, as it demonstrates to a large extent their inability to compromise. Anti-defamation leagues are another group.
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  #11  
Old 25 April 2014, 04:18 PM
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The thing that makes pro-choice & anti-choice the most appropriate labels to me is because the core of the argument really hinges around whether or not a woman should be able to make her own choices about her reproduction. The anti-choice side has always been about taking away the choice of whether or not she gets pregnant and stays pregnant out of her hands.
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  #12  
Old 25 April 2014, 04:33 PM
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And, frankly, the pro-life side is not really pro-life. Once that child is born, the Venn diagram between people who are anti-abortion and pro-"don't give that newborn any of my NFBSKing money" is practically a single circle. They don't even really think that abortion is murder; there's a series of interviews on YouTube with anti-choicers at anti-choice rallies where they're asked point blank how many years a woman who had an abortion should spend in jail and the overwhelming answer is "none" and "we don't want to send them to JAIL, it's just MURDER".

I don't even think that abortion is the sticking point here. I'd be all for calling the crowd "pro-forcing the poor to stick with bad decisions they made when they were young" but I understand that's a bit wordy. "Pro-Big Baby Jesus" is pithy but maybe in the future there will be a bunch of Muslims in that voting bloc, who knows, and more importantly there are a significant number of Christians who aren't judgmental gits.
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  #13  
Old 25 April 2014, 05:10 PM
Singing in the Drizzle Singing in the Drizzle is offline
 
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Personally I'm anti-abortion because of my beliefs and also at the same time personal choice because beliefs. When I look at the new testament and what Jesus had to say and find myself asking why are Christians forcing their anti-abortion beliefs on others let alone any of their beliefs. Show and teach people better ways in the eyes of God, but never force or judge.
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  #14  
Old 25 April 2014, 05:47 PM
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Pro choice and anti choice are non specific terms that could be applied to just about any law and don't speak specifically to the situation.

Why not use it for gay marriage, the death penalty, the drinking age, immigration or anything else? I'm not pro-immigration, I am pro-choice, immigrants should have the choice as to whether they want to come to this country.
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  #15  
Old 25 April 2014, 06:55 PM
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Pro-abortion wouldn't be accurate either. Nor is pro-life. I don't know anyone who wants or enjoys abortions, just people who prefer that to someone being forced to continue a pregnancy. And at least some percent of people on the "anti" side don't even want exceptions for the life of the mother. I see absolutely no way to frame those people as "pro-life".

I am not sure there is a pithy way to phrase it that accurately conveys the positions.
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  #16  
Old 25 April 2014, 07:42 PM
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When I speak about marijuana I am for legalized marijuana. When I speak about abortion I am for legalized abortion. If I believed the contrary I would be against legalized abortion or against legalized marijuana. I don't know any reasonable person who would consider pro-abortion to mean that someone enjoys abortions, but if its an issue shortening the phrase is unnecessary.
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  #17  
Old 25 April 2014, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
The thing that makes pro-choice & anti-choice the most appropriate labels to me is because the core of the argument really hinges around whether or not a woman should be able to make her own choices about her reproduction. The anti-choice side has always been about taking away the choice of whether or not she gets pregnant and stays pregnant out of her hands.
That "core of the argument" is just how it is seen by one side. The other side sees something completely different. Your version of the "choice" is not the same as the other sides.

The "pro-life" verbage is just as valid as the "pro-choice" verbage, it just emphasizes one of the two diametrically opposed views on the issue. You can disagree with one of the views but unless you have some special understanding of the universe that half the population doesn't have then your chances of being correct are still basically 50:50.

A person that prefers "pro-choice" has ignored the other side's core argument and replaced it with what is really a trivial side argument.


jimmy "a fetus is not a person so the phraseology is 'pro-choice'" 101
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Old 25 April 2014, 08:06 PM
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As I said, the people calling themselves pro-life often are not. At the very least, those who want no health exceptions are not. How could they be? They would prefer that the woman die rather than allow an abortion. That usually means the fetus dies as well. How can you consider someone pro-life when they believe that two deaths are preferable to one?
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Old 25 April 2014, 08:26 PM
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I think you missed Jimmy's point. I also think that the number of people who self describe as pro-life and prefer both patients die over an abortion are a minuscule minority.
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  #20  
Old 25 April 2014, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
As I said, the people calling themselves pro-life often are not. At the very least, those who want no health exceptions are not. How could they be? They would prefer that the woman die rather than allow an abortion. That usually means the fetus dies as well. How can you consider someone pro-life when they believe that two deaths are preferable to one?
(emphasis added) What a sub-population believes is not what the entire population believes. Not all anti-abortionists subscribe to your straw man argument. Not all abortions involve saving the life of the mother.

Are their jerks on one side (or the other) or the argument? Sure. So? To reduce the argument to the jerk's viewpoint really belittles the view of the rest of the people on that side of the argument.
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