Uncertainty Principles

Mississippi rejects a ballot measure that would have defined something that no one knows for sure: when does life begin?

6 thoughts on “Uncertainty Principles

  1. Ted! I’m shocked. This is clearly (no snark intended) a non-issue.

    Before you turn 21, you cannot buy liquor legally. So, 20 years, 11 months, 30 days, no booze. The next day, magically, something occurs and you are now safe to buy a drink?

    Of course not. The concept of 21 being the legal drinking age is exactly that, a legal concept. It doesn’t discuss morality, ethics, or any of the rest of it. It simply says, “Look, in order for society to function, we have to set a limit. How young is too young to be able to buy booze? We’ve selected 21. Why? Because we can’t sit there as a society and say, ‘Well, this is a very mature 20 year old, he should be allowed to buy booze, and this guy, who’s 27 is still a clown, we should forbid him from buying booze.’ If we did that, the laws couldn’t work for anything. Speed limits would also have to be ‘adjustable’ etc.”

    In the same way, all these anti-abortion initiatives refuse to admit that they are trying to graft morality onto a legal concept (it can’t be done). Try it. Every law (murder is illegal, rape is illegal, theft is illegal) can be linked NOT to a “higher” morality, but to good old-fashioned capitalist interests.

    Personhood begins when you are born. Just like you enter a country the second you cross the border. Just like your insurance policy kicks in at 12:01 a.m. Just like you are charged 17.99% APR. Etc.

    It’s one of the biggest, most obvious pieces of defective logic ever that the pro-lifers are able to distract us like this.

  2. Who cares either way. I don’t care about abortion, there I said it. I would prefer it be legal simply because that way maybe a couple of people will kill their unwanted baby/zygote, and they wont become poorly cared for children, who become poorly cared for teenagers, who become people at high risk to be sociopaths. That said I could care less if abortion was illegal, the net result one way or the other is so minimal it seems rather pointless to waste the energy on it that we could be wasting on other things. That said liberals are bitching about bank rights when our country is becoming/always was a dictatorship.

  3. Well I partially agree with both Ted and with Alex. The reality is that even concepts like “justice”, “good”, “evil” and “Wednesday” are all foma (the term as defined by Kurt Vonnegut) just like the age where we can consider a blob of human protoplasm a person, or, as Alex suggests, the age at which we are magically considered mature enough to drink (which is a different magical number in different countries.)

    I agree with Ted in that there are a great deal of important issues our leaders should be working on now instead of abortion related things, which is why I support this cartoon in its attempt to draw focus to the weightier issues, but in the end much of what becomes the defining legislation of a society is still just that which dictates and manipulates the mandates and prescriptions on local foma.

  4. But Ted, creating pseudo issues – like the length of gestation required for embryonal personhood (for a corporation there seems to be no lower limit) or whether same sex couples can marry, etc, etc, is the very essence of the manner in which «democracy» is practised in what is called the «Western world», in particular the United States. I remember participating in a mailing list devoted to China in which another participant castigated the increasing use of television in China to distract viewers from the pressing issues of the day – she came, needless to stay, from the United States. Matthew 7:3-5….


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