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Where I stand on... meme - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Where I stand on... meme
Lifted from phrogget

I hate abortion for the cheapness of life it represents, and I think we'd do a lot better to discourage unwanted pregnancies by discouraging the things that contribute to them (like, oh, sex in relationships that have no chance of working...). On the other hand, I think the question of abortion hinges on two moral questions. The first is, as mentioned, the question of when it's appropriate to have sex and the second is when a child is ensouled. These are both religious questions that the government shouldn't be making a call on. Therefore, I'm pro-choice, but anti-abortion. I wouldn't march to make abortion illegal, but I'm all in favor of the "choose life" sort approach.

Death Penalty?:
I'm torn on this. I used to be firmly against it, but as I've gotten older and thought about it, I realize that there are some crimes for which nothing less would serve. Tim McVeigh deserved the needle he got. If the 9/11 terrorists hadn't done themselves in, I'd be more than happy to do it for them. On the other hand, this is a case where you have to be absolutely, 100% certain.

Annoys me. A lot. I won't go into it being a vast threat to marriage and so on--I think that by the time a guy is looking for a prostitute, something's already wrong in that department--but the notion of selling one's body is just... gross. It caters to the baser instincts of mankind, and too much caters to them already. It's cheap and tawdry, and...

Well, I guess that's my position. I dislike the grungier things in life, and would like to see them all cleaned up. Give the girls a chance. Instead of arresting them and throwing them in jail, arrest them and send them to bloody school to get a useful degree. And stop glamorizing it.

No big, if it's social or just kind of hanging around. I think things about right as they are with that.

I don't have huge objections to it as such, but the legalization movement is likely to kick a door open to other things. If it weren't already illegal, I wouldn't be in favor of making it illegal, but since it is, I think that deliberately changing its status is a bad message to send.

Other drugs?:
Stupid. Just plain, ordinary stupid. And of course, keep them illegal.

Gay marriage?:
Not that big an issue for me one way or the other. I honestly don't care. I'm a traditionalist, and I have an instinctive dislike of any of the fallout from the sexual revolution, but if it's a comparison of gay marriage vs. the spread of unwed motherhood and deadbeat dads, gay marriage looks quite a lot better. On the other hand, two things bother me. The first is the technical argument that's being used about consenting adults, etc--if that's the rational used and canonized in law, then it really does open up the Pandora's Box that a lot of the pundits are worried about, because logically, there's no reason not to include group marriage, incestuous marriage, and a lot of other arrangements under it. (See legalization of marijuana.) This is a semantic matter, though, and could be solved by re-thinking the wording. The other problem I have is the refusal to see that the other side of the question might have any valid points, and the simplistic painting of anyone who objects as a bigot and a homophobe. It sets my teeth on edge, and makes me instinctively resistant.

Beyond this, though, there are some privileges currently residing only in marriage that I think should be spread beyond it (health insurance, hospital visits, etc). I think that people should be able to decide with whom they will share this, whether they're involved in a romantic relationship or not.

Illegal immigrants?:
I don't like the term. I think maybe we should make it less cumbersome to immigrate (after all, we were all illegal immigrants once). Then, we might have an easier time figuring out who is a hostile and who just hasn't gone through the process yet. Better to get people in and taking the loyalty oath than have them sneaking across the border. We could also protect them from exploitation better if they were on the radar screen as full citizens.

All immigrants, though, should be encouraged to move inland--the coastal cities are pretty swamped. I'm not saying "forced," just encouraged. Yes, there would be some unpleasantness at first, but every immigrant group in the country has had to deal with unpleasantness from the people who came first. It goes away.

And English, English, English. I'm sorry, but I have no tolerance for immigrants who refuse to learn the de facto language of the land. If I moved to Paris, you can bet I'd be expected to learn French. And if someone moves to Boston, he or she can bloody well be bothered to learn English. I love cultural sharing, but it can't be done where communication is impossible.

Drunk driving?:
Um, bad? Stupid? Remove license immediately?

I think we discovered it before we were ready for it, and I think most people recognize this, which is why it's going very, very slowly. It's something we need to talk about as a society.

Stupid, incomprehensible, and criminal.

Premarital sex?:
I dislike it a lot. I think that the casual acceptance of pre-marital sex has caused a lot of the pathologies we see. Of course, it's responsible for the existence of yrs truly--out-of-wedlock birth here--but that doesn't really temper my opinion. In fact, it sort of forges it. I think that sex without committment is dangerous and foolish, and really cheapens sex as a part of life. We're sentient beings, and one of the main differences between us and other animals is that we give our acts meaning. Taking that meaning away is a kind of de-evolution.

I think that religion is a good thing, though like all things it can be misused. It helps give a shape to life, to time, to morality, and gives us a language in which we can speak to the Eternal.

The war in Iraq?: Should have finished it ten years ago.

Bush?: I neither like nor dislike him. I think he's kind of dull, and wish we had a brighter bulb in the White House, but I have no special gripe with him. I also didn't have any special gripe with Clinton. I don't get the hate that's thrown at either of them. I definitely wouldn't mind getting a Yankee president next, though.

Downloading music?:
No strong opinion. Probably a bad thing to download a whole album, but a single song as a teaser? No big. Or songs that may not be available easily.

The legal drinking age?:
Twenty-one is fine.

Don't like it, but don't really care. We all get our jollies somewhere. As long as the people involved aren't being exploited, I haven't got a huge issue with it. It just annoys me.

Selfish. Inconsiderate. Oh, I just don't like it. As someone who's had a lifelong struggle with depression, it's a good thing that I think suicide is a wretched and awful thing to do to other people, so I have no intention of moderating my view on it. As to assisted suicide, I do believe that's better known as being an accomplice to first degree murder.
32 comments or Leave a comment
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: April 17th, 2004 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're one of the less annoying people on my friendlist, actually. ;) Politically and, um, fandomly?

I was thinking about your comments on abortion, though. I'd certainly agree that beliefs on when a child is ensouled affect many people's views on it, but I'm not entirely sure if that would necessarily have to have anything to do with the legality. At least, I don't think that most laws regarding when it is and is not acceptable (or justified, or actually happening for that matter) to terminate a life have anything to do with whether the entity in question has a soul. Offhand, I can think of humanity, brain activity, status as an endangered species, ownership by another party, and absence of immediate threat to your or someone lse's life as pointing, in various combinations, toward "no." (Yes, obviously I am including non-human life here.) I wouldn't be overly surprised if there are laws on the books -- US or elsewhere -- which mention the existence of a soul, but I kind of suspect somebody will end up protesting them when they notice.

I'd agree that the approaches you advocate are probably the most productive; I also suspect that this is one of the cases where something I read recently by Modesitt applies -- that if a principle is not generally accepted, trying to codify it in rules will just end with people working around them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 17th, 2004 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that the question of "humanity"--of brain activity and so forty--all hinges ultimately on ensoulment, whether it's stated directly or not. When is the fetus a person? Biblically, actually, the fetus isn't counted as a person (the punishment for taking a life is a life; the punishment for deliberately causing a miscarriage is a fine, showing that the two are not considered equivalent). But I don't think that should necessarily be the standard, either. Is brain activity the equivalent of sentience? Maybe. I don't know. I guess I just don't think it's the government's business to decide a philosophical question on which the population is rather evenly divided. (As opposed to murder or something, on which the population is in pretty strict agreement.)
alphabet26 From: alphabet26 Date: April 17th, 2004 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
You didn't annoy me, but then, I'm one of those rich, bigoted, homophobic Republicans. So, you know. But I'm going to go do this meme now; it's interesting.
volandum From: volandum Date: April 17th, 2004 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
No annoyance. The LJ-cut generally prevents that. Then again, I doubt I'm on your F-list.

I agree entirely with your attitude towards immigrants. However, I would ask what the difference is between Marijuana and other drugs.
From: phrogget Date: April 17th, 2004 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
There is alot of difference between cannabis and other drugs.
you can't overdose on cannabis
you can't build up a £300 a day cannabis habit
There are no recorded deaths from cannabis use
you don't get violent when smoking cannabis
you don't hallucinate from smoking cannabis, therefore it cannot cause flashbacks as acid can
Cannabis is completely natural, whereas any drugs you get from a dealer are not
I doesn't cause any illnesses that I know of, aside from lung cancer (if you smoke it with tobbacco, in which case it is tobacco causing the cancer) - which is more than can be said for alcholhol.

In fact, cannabis is not that much different from alchohol, aside from the fact that alchohol can give you kidney and liver problems, makes alot of people very violent, and costs more money. ;0)
shezan From: shezan Date: April 17th, 2004 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really not much to feel annoyed about. I'm probably a little more pro-sex outside marriage, and I don't think gay marriage opens the door to anything else (group marriage? incest? Hello?) if we don't let it. I may be one of the very, very few LJers around here who likes Dubya Bush, although I completely agree with you that it was criminal not to end the job in 1991: Brent Scowcroft, Howard Baker & Colin Powell were not only responsible for the massacre of tens of thousands of Shias who were encouraged to rise against Saddam, and whom we criminally abandoned; they also bear responsibility for their not trusting us now - why should they? They know the US will leave eventually, but the fundamentalists will stay. So, a major crime that hasn't finished reverberating. And I'm an agnostic, but I like the presence of religion in the world, not to mention that we owe it a huge chunk of Western painting and music.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 17th, 2004 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think gay marriage opens the door to anything else (group marriage? incest? Hello?) if we don't let it.

Like I said, that's a semantic issue. If the law is phrased in such a way that it says, in essence, "Marriage is defined as an agreement between consenting adults, yadda, yadda, yadda," then there are people poised to take advantage of the wording--and trust me, they're out there, ready to start with the civil suits--and they will get it pushed through, because logically if marriage is defined as "pretty much anything consenting adults want to define as such," then it will force judges into a corner when making rulings, as they can't pretend that isn't in the law. Up until now, there hasn't been much debate about what constituted marriage. The only real challenge was polygamy, and how do you argue against polygamy logically? After all, everyone involved is a (presumably) consenting adult, and those who aren't are protected by other, pre-existing laws. But it's always been voted down. If another group which has been turned down for similar reasoning (basically, "Okay, so we can't think of a logical reason, but just, 'no'") is granted the right to marry, that argument will come back, and so will others, and sooner or later, the cases will go to the court, and a law will box the judges into granting rights. Unless that law is construed rather narrowly a the start, of course. Hence, my classing it as a semantic issue more than anything else.
alphabet26 From: alphabet26 Date: April 17th, 2004 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hi, poking my nose in here

I don't think gay marriage opens the door to anything else

In France, a woman married her boyfriend who was killed 18 months ago, as "his death had not dimmed her feelings" for him. If love is the only requirement for marriage--as proponents of gay marriage insist--then there's no way to deny this woman her "right" to marry this dead man.
shellebelle93 From: shellebelle93 Date: April 17th, 2004 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like your style, Fernwithy...I'm going to friend you.

It's nice to find someone I can agree with on most points. :-)
liwy From: liwy Date: April 17th, 2004 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
...the second is when a child is ensouled.

I do think a legal definition on this question is both legal and valid, and I think many pro-choicers do think so as well; they merely draw the line at birth. (I think that's an utterly illogical position, but nonetheless it's the standard the majority of them use.) Everyone defines a point at which one's life ought to be protected by society.

No strong opinion. Probably a bad thing to download a whole album, but a single song as a teaser? No big. Or songs that may not be available easily.

I'm fairly mixed. While in a lot of cases, CDs are too expensive, it's still important to remember that there are many people making their living on sales of CDs. I do buy CDs fairly frequently.
myf From: myf Date: April 17th, 2004 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't agree with much of what you said, but I can't be annoyed because at least I know you think through what you believe in. Unlike many.

Re premarital sex (which I'm all for...*g*)
I think that sex without committment is dangerous and foolish, and really cheapens sex as a part of life.
Absolutely 100% correct. But there's a big jump to be made to say that sex within marriage has that commitment. I think the issue of whether someone has a piece of paper saying they're married should be left out of this altogether. If we focus on why/when people have sex, and not their marital status, we'll be better off.
Plus, if gay marriage is a no-no (not that that was your opinion), where does that leave gay youths? Their yardstick is taken away from them.

Bah - am expressing myself exceptionally inelegantly this afternoon.
ivylore From: ivylore Date: April 18th, 2004 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
But there's a big jump to be made to say that sex within marriage has that commitment. I think the issue of whether someone has a piece of paper saying they're married should be left out of this altogether.

I absolutely agree.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: April 17th, 2004 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here, I'll make this easy re where lazypadawan stands:

Abortion: Against.

Death Penalty?: Used to be against, now for it as the ultimate penalty. I wouldn't apply it in every case but there are some things so bad and so horrible, it's as close to justice that can be served in those circumstances.

Prostitution?: As a career choice, definitely not. As an acceptable way to spend your free time, no. As for legalization, I look at this way...where it's legal it's controlled. But on the other hand, who wants it in their neighborhood? Especially since other crimes tend to follow prostitution whether it's legal or not. I agree with you on its glamorization; most hookers do not look like Julia Roberts. The average prostitute is a skinny toothless heroin addict, crackhead, and/or alcoholic.

Alcohol?: I generally don't drink and while I dislike excessive drinkers or relying upon booze to have a good time, I'm not against it per se.

Marijuana?: I'm against legalization for one reason and that is legalizing it would make it even more accessible to kids. Pot is a gateway drug and when kids are smoking it at 12, they are on to other things by the time they are 16. But if some loser wants to grow some in his own basement for his own use, the cops have better things to do than kick down his door.

Other drugs?: I'm against legalizing them but I favor treatment over jail for addicts. If they won't clean up, then they can go to jail.

Gay marriage?: Against. Once you redefine marriage for one group, you have to do it for everyone who feels left out of current social definitions. I'm also concerned about forcing churches to "accept" any kind of marriage, even if it goes against their teachings. But I'm really steamed about how the courts and officials are going over the heads of the people on this, forcing a big social change on the public and leaving the people out of the debate.

Illegal immigrants?: The trouble is you have both parties who want the votes of certain ethnic groups and the cheap labor. Meanwhile, there's no way to distinguish an honest soul who wants an honest living from a criminal, a nut, or a terrorist. The influx of people also strains state resources, while they don't pay any taxes themselves. Reform is needed or else this issue will bite both parties in the butt someday.

Drunk driving?: It would be nice if drunk driving laws were effectively enforced with repeat violators.

Cloning?: Against. I find the whole idea creepy.

Racism?: Against.

Premarital sex?: We'd be a lot healthier and a lot happier if we put on the brakes with this stuff.

Religion?: For it, though I admit to not sitting up front and center at Mass every Sunday. I dislike cafeteria-style spiritualism.

The war in Iraq?: For it. Saddam should've been gone in '91 and as long as we are there now, losing is not an option.

Bush?: Like him a lot. At least as far as politicians go. I don't agree with everything his administration has done, but I think he stands for a lot of the right things.

Downloading music?: The recording labels have screwed artists and consumers for years, so I don't care about them. I do care about the mid-level artists who aren't gazillionaires and depend on royalties from sales and songwriting credits. I have no problem with artists who permit folks to download their stuff or with legal outlets like iTunes.

The legal drinking age?: I'd get rid of the drinking age for beer and wine. Demystify alcohol so kids can learn to handle it.

Porn?: Gross and unsexy. People who want to do these movies are creepy.

Suicide?: Against, though I understand folks who do it are depressed. I'm against all forms of euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide.

angel_gidget From: angel_gidget Date: April 18th, 2004 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Abortion: Against

Death Penalty?: Conditionally for it.

Prostitution?: Against, I agree with you on the 'give them an education instead' bit.

Alcohol?: Not against, but personally, I don't like the taste of it.

Marijuana?: Against

Other drugs?: Against

Gay marriage?: Against. Agree with you on the 'sharing hospital visits and insurance stuff with whoever you want reguardless of familial or romantic relationship or not' point.

Illegal immigrants?: Wouldn't encourage it, but I would rat on one of 'em either. I agree that legal immigration should't be so difficult.

Drunk driving?: Against.

Cloning?: Animals, for it; Humans, against it. I think the human clone would lead a rather unhappy life, being followed by the media from his/her very beginning.

Racism?: Against

Premarital sex?: Against.

Religion?: For. I'm a WELS Lutheran myself.

The war in Iraq?: Clueless. I guess I'm wishing it were over for my friend's sake. His dad had to go there to serve, and he's obviously being missed. But other than that, the war has had little to no affect on me.

Bush?: Like him. He's proven himself pretty competant, and he's not Clinton. Hate Clinton. Despise Clinton. The legislation Clinton put through put my Daddy out of a job. Without Clinton, my entire family would be better off.

Downloading music?: It'd be nice to download a song once in a while, without worrying whether it's legal or not, but I wouldn't know that much, since I missed out on most of the Kazaa craze.

The legal drinking age?: I might make it older (drunk collge kids can be a frightening thought) but I don't care too much.

Porn?: Against, it makes me feel dirty just having to pass by it at the video store.

Suicide?: It's a form of murder, like abortion. Against.

atropos87 From: atropos87 Date: April 18th, 2004 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't see why you'd think this would annoy people. Some of your views I agree with, many of them I don't, but they're all well articulated and based on logical principles. Nothing wrong with that.
32 comments or Leave a comment