Thursday, September 5, 2013

Our Ideological Inconsistencies with Abortion and the Death Penalty

You read the headline correctly. I am going to attempt to talk about two very controversial topics at once. Please try to be as objective as possible regardless of where you stand and I promise at the end you might not agree with me, but I may at least give you some food for thought.

One thing that has always puzzled me is that generally “conservative” folks are pro-life and pro-death penalty; on the other hand “liberal” folks generally are pro-choice and anti-death penalty. In my opinion these stances by both liberals and conservatives are patently inconsistent with each other, and here’s why……..

The Conservative argument on abortion generally (and I understand I’m not covering all the nuances) is that even if there is a good reason to abort a child the value of the life of that child is too high and therefore abortion should be disallowed. So why than is it ok to kill a criminal, even if you have a realllllly good reason to do so? If a conservative were being consistent wouldn't they make the argument that the value of life is too high for it to be worth it? Now I can hear the argument some of you may be making; that a criminal is guilty and a child is innocent so therein lies the distinction, however isn't that just same as saying that you have a realllllly good reason to kill the criminal and that’s why it’s ok? I mean it’s not like the alternative is that a criminal gets to walk free, it’s either death or life in prison, which is no paradise.

Now to the Liberal ideological inconsistency, their argument generally (and again I understand I’m not covering all the nuances) on abortion is that even though it is not ideal, sometimes there are reallllly good reasons to do so, and therefore it is an unfortunate necessity. However, when it comes to the death penalty they value life so much that no matter how gruesome somebody rapes or murders another, that criminal’s life is too valuable to take, and therefore should be preserved. So is what they are saying is that it’s ok to kill an innocent person if you have a really good reason, but not ok to kill a guilty person even if you have a really good reason? Again, I’m confused.

In the end, my point is that if you are pro-life when it comes to abortion you should be pro-life when it comes to the death penalty, at least if you want to be ideologically consistent. The inverse is also true, if you are pro-choice, why in the heck aren’t you pro-death penalty, that doesn't make any sense?

I would encourage your thoughts on this, but please remember that no matter where you stand, or no matter where I stand, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I know that these topics are extremely volatile, however if we can’t have cordial dialogue with each other how will we ever grow as a society.

Until the next time……