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Re: [bostonatheists] "No real rational basis to opposing benefits of family planning..."

From: David M
Sent on: Thursday, August 15, 2013 10:43 AM
80 of American women who get abortions are single and 60% already have at least one child. The main reason for women getting abortions in the US is making ends meet. Most of these pregnancies are unintended.

Remove coercion from the equation by empowering women in their relationships with men and you will see abortion rates drop independent of level of racism.

I agree with Paul except in focusing on the social burden to the entire society. Abortion is an individual decision. While diverting government resources to those who have unintended pregnancies would decrease the number of abortions, it is still the individual who decides whether to get an abortion based on how it would impact their lives and the lives of their family.

The number one way to empower women is to create a culture where they feel they have the power to insist on birth control when having sex without the fear of reprisals from their partner. Sadly, many women throughout the world are not in this position.

In my eyes, the racism hypothesis concerning abortion can't overcome the strong correlation between levels of racism and opposition to abortion. The people who are most likely to dislike Hispanics (the largest abortion demographic in the US) and to often not even consider those born here as true Americans (look at all the National Anthem controversies where viewers complain about US-born Latino 'foreigners') are also the ones picketing clinics and voting on the abortion issue.

Dave

On Aug 14, 2013, at 5:52 PM, "Paul G. Brown" <[address removed]> wrote:


 Kenneth - 


On Aug 14, 2013, at 1:54 PM, "kenneth a. thomas" <[address removed]> wrote:
I'm of the opinion that over consumption, and racism are the primary problems. And both are very prominent features of the USA.
With regards to the opening quote about, the fewer the people the simpler the problem. For those who believe that, eliminating themselves, seems the their first, and primary option. And any other option would tend to be coercive, violent and murderous.

  I agree with you whole-heartedly about that over-consumption and racism are prominent features of the US today. 

  But about your second point … I am not so sure. 

  Your position seems to be that the problem of scarcity is largely a question of distribution. The 21st Century US is an incredible time and place in which to live. We have the means currently to meet everyone's needs. Yet instead we have collectively chosen a way of life that leads to the persistence of poverty and yields evidence of lack and need everywhere we look. 

  I absolutely agree with you that one of the causes of this unequal distribution of economic riches is structural racism, to which I would add a salting of "magical thinking" on the part of many Americans. Religion inclines believers to fatalism. There's no reason to believe an individual's will or desires matter much when everything is, after all, merely the plan of some pan-galactic-bearded-(white)-dude-in-the-sky. And I also agree that there are places where we all might improve our lives by consuming less. Even … *cue the woo sound-track* … thinking about something other than the material things by which so many of us define our lives. 

   BUT … I detect a whiff of "false dichotomy" in the places you choose to go after that. I think over-population is a major contributor to long current poverty, because caring for and educating kids is an enormous social and economic burden, and societies with exploding youth populations can't allocate the necessary resources. Fewer kids in a society means that the society as a whole can invest more in each of them.

   I'd also take issue with your characterization of effective population control strategies as tending to be "coercive, violent and murderous". To the contrary, recent history suggest that the most effective route to population control is … empowering women. Simply give them information, access to birth control, and a justice system that lets them escape 'coercive, violent and murderous' situations … 

   I don't see an either/or here. We can *both* address social and economic injustice *and* pursue non-coercive approaches to population control. 

    But that's all mechanics. So far, I've been silent on the question of why population control is a good, even necessary thing. And my justification here is, as best I can tell you, founded in the notion that we are just another species of mammal. Nothing special, biologically. Our evolutionary "trick" has been to invest vast amounts of energy into a "sense-making" organ. Crabs got claws, beetles and turtles got armor, bacteria got incredibly fast mitosis. Ya do what ya' gotta do t' make a living. 

  I don't see why having brains will prevent us from going the same way as 99% of all species who have ever existed. Or even if we don't disappear, it's a long way down from 7 billion to 1 billion. If you ever want to see something even more terrifying than the awful coercion of China's "one child" policy, more violent than the treatment of the "feeble minded" and otherwise "defective" and "sub-human" by eugenicists in the C20th, or more murderous than white America's "cleansing" of the land, go look ,some-time, at what nature does to a species that has exceeded the limits of its carrying capacity. 

   Paul 






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