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Thread: Help me with the Liberty and Abortion debate

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    Member paulbot24's Avatar
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    Default Help me with the Liberty and Abortion debate

    I have encountered several people that agree with Liberty ideas, but do not like that fact that they are "so pro-life." I've even heard people tell me they would have considered Ron Paul more but he was "too pro-life" for them. Debating social conservatives is interesting and I like the interest in liberty that I find, but the conversation usually stalls right around the following:

    Person: "If you people are so about individual liberties why do you all collectively tell people they don't have the "liberty" to get an abortion. Or also, "So according to you, people should have the choice to smoke crack with prostitutes but should be denied the choice of an abortion?"

    Me: "We believe in personal liberty and the right to do as you choose, just as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights on another. Wouldn't you say aborting an unborn child would at least qualify as infringing on its rights?

    After that, the conversation nearly always devolves to a life begins at _____________, which means the unborn do/don't have any rights. Then it just sounds like a conservative vs. liberal debate. I know my response is weak and needs improvement, or at least something new to add. Can somebody help me out with this?
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    It should be a state issue, as spelled out in the 10th amendment. At that point, anyone who feels strongly about the issue one way or another can move to a state that reflects their values.

    I used to be pro-choice until I learned about the eugenics agenda.
    Last edited by cajuncocoa; 01-15-2013 at 04:58 PM.

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    I say that voting for a candidate only because they claim to be pro-choice is a poor decision. With all of the politicians that have ran on a pro-life platform it seems like abortion would be illegal.

    Constitutionally though, it is a state issue.

    Edit:
    Also Rick Santorum was supposed to the pro-life candidate savior but he also voted to fund Planned Parenthood via Title X. Look at the latest figures for how many abortions Planned Parenthood has performed all with the help of our tax dollars.
    Last edited by shane77m; 01-15-2013 at 05:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajuncocoa View Post
    It should be a state issue, as spelled out in the 10th amendment. At that point, anyone who feels strongly about the issue one way or another can move to a state that reflects their values.
    It is both a federal and a state issue. The 5th amendment recognizes a right to life, whereas the 10th amendment gives the states policing power inside their borders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulbot24 View Post
    After that, the conversation nearly always devolves to a life begins at _____________, which means the unborn do/don't have any rights. Then it just sounds like a conservative vs. liberal debate. I know my response is weak and needs improvement, or at least something new to add. Can somebody help me out with this?
    You've done your job. They no longer see at as a choice. But which liberties of which person should prevail. The mothers or the unborn child, fetus, zygote.

    Your next step is to ask why they believe life begins when. I can debate this with myself and change constantly over the years. It's a hard topic with no easy soundbites, contrary to what candidates spout off.

    Bringing up that he was an doctor delivering babies probably could not hurt.
    Last edited by LibForestPaul; 01-15-2013 at 05:18 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulbot24 View Post
    After that, the conversation nearly always devolves to a life begins at _____________, which means the unborn do/don't have any rights.
    IMHO, there is no "libertarian" position on abortion. And it usually boils down to the question you identified, which also does not have a "libertarian" position.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confederate View Post
    It is both a federal and a state issue. The 5th amendment recognizes a right to life, whereas the 10th amendment gives the states policing power inside their borders.
    Exactly. Abortion should be illegal nationwide, but the exact penalties and law enforcement of abortion should be done at the state level.
    Last edited by Traditional Conservative; 01-15-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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    Usually when I bring up states rights and sovereignty they give me a funny look because they are used to (and want) a "one size fits all" federal solution. It usually goes nowhere with the debate. Like the whole "We all learned about what happens when states totally disagree. Remember? It's called the civil war." Jesus people. Thanks for that. In all seriousness, states rights and quoting the Constitution usually kills the conversation. They are talking idealistically, they want to know why Libertarians, in principle, endorse taking away people's "liberty" to have an abortion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traditional Conservative View Post
    Exactly. Abortion should be illegal nationwide, but the exact penalties and law enforcement of abortion should be done at the state level.
    Just like all other forms of murder.

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    I'm a Libertarian (actually Classical Liberal) and I'm pro-choice. It's a state issue, pure and simple. I believe the government has no business funding it, and a lot of babies would be spared if the government didn't subsidize abortions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by otherone View Post
    I'm a Libertarian (actually Classical Liberal) and I'm pro-choice. It's a state issue, pure and simple. I believe the government has no business funding it, and a lot of babies would be spared if the government didn't subsidize abortions.
    It's not a state issue, though. The federal Constitution recognizes a right to life, meaning no state can legalize any form of murder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Confederate View Post
    It's not a state issue, though. The federal Constitution recognizes a right to life, meaning no state can legalize any form of murder.
    yes. define murder. define person; from a legal context. not that I want to go down this rabbit hole again.

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    The libertarian position is one absent from government.

    So really, the easiest objection to "oh you want government to impose your values on everyone" is, "nope."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feeding the Abscess View Post
    The libertarian position is one absent from government.

    So really, the easiest objection to "oh you want government to impose your values on everyone" is, "nope."
    So should there be no murder laws at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulbot24 View Post
    After that, the conversation nearly always devolves to a life begins at _____________, which means the unborn do/don't have any rights. Then it just sounds like a conservative vs. liberal debate. I know my response is weak and needs improvement, or at least something new to add. Can somebody help me out with this?
    Firstly, we need to establish that no 'vital life force' or 'life essence' exists, as was thought to be the case until the late 19th Century. Secondly, we must understand that life 'begins' the moment a cell becomes homeostatic. The rest is simple application of this principle: a single zygote is biologically alive in the same way our neurons, lymphocytes, and histiocytes are alive. In short, the zygote is a living organism under the strictest definition possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confederate View Post
    So should there be no murder laws at all?
    False choice time!

    Furthermore, it's not murder to expel someone from your property and decline to feed or house them. Otherwise, not feeding or caring for homeless people, or the elderly, or the infirmed, is murder.

    Quote Originally Posted by James Madison View Post
    Firstly, we need to establish that no 'vital life force' or 'life essence' exists, as was thought to be the case until the late 19th Century. Secondly, we must understand that life 'begins' the moment a cell becomes homeostatic. The rest is simple application of this principle: a single zygote is biologically alive in the same way our neurons, lymphocytes, and histiocytes are alive. In short, the zygote is a living organism under the strictest definition possible.
    I completely agree, which is why creating rules for the forcing of people to feed and shelter the special class of unborn babies is irreconcilable with libertarianism.
    Last edited by Feeding the Abscess; 01-15-2013 at 05:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    IMHO, there is no "libertarian" position on abortion. And it usually boils down to the question you identified, which also does not have a "libertarian" position.
    THIS. When it comes to abortion, there are "pro-life" libertarians, and there are "pro-choice" libertarians.

    The thing that really irritates the hell out of me when it comes to attitudes like those expressed by "Person" in the OP is the hypocricy of it all.

    Let's see ... I perceive that libertarianism is "pro-life" ... so I'm going to stick with supporting a corrupt system that destroys freedom, robs people, murders people at home, murders even more people in foreign countries, etc., etc., etc.

    And I'm going to do it because I am "pro-choice" and don't like the fact that SOME libertarians are "pro-life" ... How goddam lame is that?

    OP should point out to "Person" that EXACTLY the same thing can be said about Republicans and Democrats - and any other group that is not solely dedicated to the issue of abortion one way or the other.

    The fact that "Person" invokes such a lame excuse indicates the posibility that "pro-life" is NOT really a genuine "stumbling block" for "Person".

    It could very possibly be just an excuse to avoid addressing or acknowledging the validity of libertarianism's critique of and opposition to statist/collectivist ideologies.

    ETA:
    Quote Originally Posted by paulbot24 View Post
    Usually when I bring up states rights and sovereignty they give me a funny look because they are used to (and want) a "one size fits all" federal solution. It usually goes nowhere with the debate. Like the whole "We all learned about what happens when states totally disagree. Remember? It's called the civil war." Jesus people. Thanks for that. In all seriousness, states rights and quoting the Constitution usually kills the conversation. They are talking idealistically, they want to know why Libertarians, in principle, endorse taking away people's "liberty" to have an abortion.
    Yep. That just confirms my suspicion that "pro-choice" objections to libertarianism are just a cover excuse for avoiding the real issues of power, control and freedom.
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 01-15-2013 at 06:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confederate View Post
    So should there be no murder laws at all?
    He's an anarchist, so he doesn't think there should be any murder laws. I'm not sure why he didn't admit that.
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    About 2/3 of libertarians are pro-choice so I'm not seeing where this comes from: do not like that fact that they are "so pro-life." I'm pro-choice but respect the pro-life position so I will help you out here.

    When the conversation reaches the point about whether or not life begins at conception and your opponent says it does not, ask this. "So if a drunk driver crashes into your car and you or your spouse (or friend or sister or whatever) has a miscarriage b/c of the incident, you would not want any additional punishment for the drunkard b/c life begins at conception and therefore no life was taken?".

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    Quote Originally Posted by emazur View Post
    About 2/3 of libertarians are pro-choice so I'm not seeing where this comes from: do not like that fact that they are "so pro-life." I'm pro-choice but respect the pro-life position so I will help you out here.

    When the conversation reaches the point about whether or not life begins at conception and your opponent says it does not, ask this. "So if a drunk driver crashes into your car and you or your spouse (or friend or sister or whatever) has a miscarriage b/c of the incident, you would not want any additional punishment for the drunkard b/c life begins at conception and therefore no life was taken?".
    Are you saying you accept that life begins at conception but have no problem with that life being murdered?

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    I would say you need to define when life begins, and preferably it's more than just a moral or religious belief. Something scientific would be most effective (when the fetus has it's own DNA or something like that). Something that would show that the fetus is another person and no longer just a part of the mother. If you want to win this debate you need to make them look like the irrational ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feeding the Abscess View Post

    I completely agree, which is why creating rules for the forcing of people to feed and shelter the special class of unborn babies is irreconcilable with libertarianism.
    Unborn babies are not a special class. They are just as human as you or me, just at a different stage of their life-cycle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emazur View Post
    About 2/3 of libertarians are pro-choice so I'm not seeing where this comes from: do not like that fact that they are "so pro-life." I'm pro-choice but respect the pro-life position so I will help you out here.

    When the conversation reaches the point about whether or not life begins at conception and your opponent says it does not, ask this. "So if a drunk driver crashes into your car and you or your spouse (or friend or sister or whatever) has a miscarriage b/c of the incident, you would not want any additional punishment for the drunkard b/c life begins at conception and therefore no life was taken?".
    I met several people that liked Ron Paul but didn't like his "pro-life stance" which he was not shy about saying. Rand is also not shy about his pro-life views. If they know this, it just serves to galvanize their belief that libertarian = pro-life. The life begins at ___________________ gets me nowhere and then we just sound like loser partisan hacks. There are alot of one-issue voters out there.........especially this issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulbot24 View Post
    I met several people that liked Ron Paul but didn't like his "pro-life stance" which he was not shy about saying. Rand is also not shy about his pro-life views. If they know this, it just serves to galvanize their belief that libertarian = pro-life. The life begins at ___________________ gets me nowhere and then we just sound like loser partisan hacks. There are alot of one-issue voters out there.........especially this issue.
    These people are a lost cause anyway. You're never going to convince these kind of hardcore statists to support liberty. You would be better off trying to convert neo-conservatives, moderate Republicans, blue dog Democrats, independents, etc. The true hardcore liberal statists are truly unreachable.
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    The idea of natural rights, is that all individuals are included. If humanity is picking and choosing who gets to have natural rights, or who is considered to be human. They can't defend Liberty. Why? If you can't respect the unborn's right to exist, and you feel that you have the power to determine who is or isn't a human being. You do not believe in natural rights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulbot24 View Post
    it just serves to galvanize their belief that libertarian = pro-life.
    From the Libertarian Party website:


    1.4 Abortion

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shane77m View Post

    Constitutionally though, it is a state issue.
    But libertarians believe in individual liberty above all else. How exactly are you going to explain to them how it is you hate democracy and state power but want to subject their individual right to the power of the state and a democratic election?

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    Quote Originally Posted by otherone View Post
    From the Libertarian Party website:


    1.4 Murder

    Recognizing that murder is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

    Fixed.

  30. #29

    Default abortion

    [takes a deep breath]

    Yes, the Federal government has no business being involved. But that doesn't get you out of answering the question at the state level. At some point it must be addressed. So let's do it!

    Virtually nobody thinks newborn babies should be expendable as a matter of convenience to the parents no matter how pro-choice. And virtually nobody thinks that an unfertilized egg is a human being with a full set of rights that must be protected by the use of force on the mother, no matter how "pro-life". So for the vast majority of people, the issue of abortion boils down to when, between those two endpoints, an egg becomes a human. There are various theories relating to this question and rational, compassionate, moral people disagree as to which is correct. Consequently, what millions of people believe is a medical procedure millions of other people believe is murder. It is a problem. It is a problem that would stymie a professional philosopher. Fortunately, to answer the abortion question from a libertarian perspective, you don't have to be able to resolve this thorny philosophical problem.

    The reason you do not have to answer that difficult philosophical question is because you can answer ANOTHER question. The other question is: "Is this a problem government can solve?" The answer to THAT question is easy. No, this is not a problem government can solve. Government is scarcely able to fill potholes competently. It is certainly not qualified to resolve esoteric issues of philosophy.

    Even the most dedicated statist would have to agree that there are some problems government cannot solve. This is one of them. Of course just because government cannot solve a problem does not mean it cannot be solved. It simply means that people must solve it themselves without government. People all over the country do that a million times a day. It is a novel idea, people solving problems without government, and it seems so inefficient and time-consuming not being able to use force to make other people adopt your solution, but sometimes it just must be that way.

    But perhaps you are not convinced. Once upon a time, abortion was illegal in most of the USA. Did that solve the problem? Of course not. If it had, we never would have seen Roe v. Wade. So making abortion illegal did not solve the problem. Did Roe v. Wade solve the problem? Of course not. It merely mobilized and politicized the other side of the issue. So there you have it. Making abortion illegal did not solve the problem and making it legal did not solve the problem. Those are the ONLY choices government gives you and both failed. Government cannot solve this problem.

    What government CAN do, and what it does relentlessly, is PRETEND that it can solve the problem. Government has been so effective at making people believe it can solve this problem that entire elections are won or lost on the issue. People vote on the single promise of government solving this problem that it clearly cannot solve. Government cannot punish an act as murder that millions of people think is harmless and it cannot endorse as a "right" an act that millions of people think is murder. The problem simply cannot be solved by government fiat either way. Government needs to be sent packing because it cannot solve the problem and by polarizing the people it makes a genuine resolution more difficult.

    So what do you do when you have a problem that government cannot solve? You solve it without government. You use your mind and your words and your creativity and your market power to persuade and innovate and change minds until the PEOPLE and the CULTURE and the MARKET solve the problem. Then it will truly be solved. It might take a long time. It will not be easy. But it will not be solved any other way.

    So the libertarian answer to the question of abortion is "this is a problem government cannot solve and so it needs to get out of the way and let the people solve it." You don't have to know what the solution will be if you know the right way - the ONLY way - to get at it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Madison View Post
    Unborn babies are not a special class. They are just as human as you or me, just at a different stage of their life-cycle.
    Exactly, which is why forcing a mother to keep the baby in her body, the ultimate property right, is a grave offense. No other person has a right to someone's property - seeing as though we've already laid out the case for the unborn also being a person, ipso facto neither does a baby have a right to someone's property.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul
    Perhaps the most important lesson from Obamacare is that while liberty is lost incrementally, it cannot be regained incrementally. The federal leviathan continues its steady growth; sometimes boldly and sometimes quietly. Obamacare is just the latest example, but make no mistake: the statists are winning. So advocates of liberty must reject incremental approaches and fight boldly for bedrock principles.
    The epitome of libertarian populism

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