Friday, April 10, 2015

Words Mean Things

I think a lot about our socio-political culture, because I like politics, and more importantly, I like people. An important concept in politics is called "framing". One frames the issues or the opponent in such a way to make the political situation more favorable to one's own position.

Your average Democrat knows that defending the senseless murder of innocent children in the womb is almost impossible, so she frames the issue with euphemisms. Euphemisms, recall, are words to obscure or soften the blow related to something morally unacceptable or otherwise unpleasant. Important people know that telling the truth about abortion would turn most sensible people against it and the Democrats faster than admitting they mostly agree with Bernie Sanders on economics.

"The right to choose," "women's rights" "reproductive freedom," these are all euphemisms for abortion. One doesn't have to convince all the people, or even most of them, that it is acceptable. Only enough to get people distracted, or worried about something a little closer to their experience. After all, I can't worry about every problem in the world, right?

And so it goes. The deep irony of all this is that the abortion issue and related issues are the only time that a Democrat worries about the size of government. The only time you can witness this is when we want the US government to perform its most primary task: defending the fundamental right of people against unjust aggression. It would be funny, if it were not so grave.

We have one more thing to talk about. One other way that an abortion advocate obscures the fact of what he or she is advocating is to mention the hard circumstances in which people tend to find themselves when the killing of an innocent person is on the table. They know that most ethical systems hold that the gravity of an offense is lessened by external pressures. The powers that be want you not to consider the circumstances in the abstract, but always through the eyes of a person, down on her luck, so to speak. You want to feel for her; you want to like her. If they can get you to burn with anger toward the selfish man who got what he wanted, and "left her alone," so much the better. Even Planned Parenthood pines for the '50s, when it suits them.

Our popular culture is loaded with stories and instances of consequentialism, which is a philosophical position that judges the morality of a thing based on its anticipated consequences. Did anyone see the film, "Million Dollar Baby"? It won Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 2004, I think. Great movie. Well acted, great characters, great story...except for the end, when Clint Eastwood kills his boxing protege, severely disabled from a cheap shot in the ring. She doesn't want to live "like this," which is dependent, and in a wheelchair. I get it, man. If you watch it, you'll feel what they want you to feel. But after the feelings died down, you'll feel what I felt, and what I know. It is never morally acceptable to take the life of an innocent person. That's what an "intrinsic evil" is: a thing which cannot be morally acceptable, regardless of the circumstances.

It's probably passe to believe there are intrinsic evils in the world, and to believe that governments have no right to sanction them. I don't care; I'm tired of people not saying what they think, and what they know.

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