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So much for not "enforcing my morality on others"

Posted by Chance on July 10, 2006

I don’t like to make posts concerning left/right issues very often, but I have to get this off my chest.

Those in the pro-choice arena argue that abortion should not be outlawed because “who am I to enforce my morality on others?” Okay…that’s all well and good, but many of them don’t really mean it.

If they did, then why am I obligated to pay for the abortion through my tax dollars? Is that not enforcing their morality upon myself?

Lee refers to a post in which Joe Lieberman was attacked by fellow Democrats by stating that doctors should not be forced to provide abortions if it goes against their beliefs. So, in other words, it is wrong for me to tell them they cannot have an abortion, but it is perfectly fine for them to tell me I have to do the abortion, should I have a medical license.

Another issue is stem cell research. Many people think that stem cell research is actually banned, but that is not the case. As Spinsanity notes in August 2004

The reality is that the President has actually allowed federal funding for research into embryonic stem cell lines that had already been created before August 9, 2001 (22 are currently available according to the National Institutes of Health Embryonic Stem Cell Registry). Furthermore, privately-funded research can be conducted without restrictions in the United States. The only “ban” is on federal funding for new stem cell lines that were not included in Bush’s original group – hardly the meaning that Kerry suggested in his address. [Emphasis mine]

So, anyone can do stem-cell research privately funded, or even state funded. If this was not the case, the issue of state funding for stem-cell research in California would not even be on the ballot. Many columnists and newspaper letter writes have stated that Bush let his religious opinions override the necessities of science, but that simply isn’t the case. This is something that many do not understand: When the government does not fund something, it is not the same as banning it. Many could consider Bush’s approach somewhat reasonable (I do not know enough about the issue, but research on aborted fetuses is troubling), Bush has not banned stem-cell research, but he is not federally funding much of it either. But that is not good enough…people cannot respect the fact that some may disagree with it and may not want to fund the research.

Now, concerning the funding of things we disagree with, someone may say “I have to pay my tax dollars towards a war I disagree with.” “What about soldiers forced to engage in a war they disagree with?” Fine…for that, there is no easy answer. For one, medical procedures and research do not have to be funded by the government. However, that leads to other issues altogether. Secondly, I don’t use the argument about “not enforcing morality on others” when defending the war. Those who argue for the war do not use supposed “libertarian” arguments when defending it. It is just when someone defends the permission of an action through the supposed “let me live according to my own moral code”, it sounds hollow and empty when you do not let others do the same.

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9 Responses to “So much for not "enforcing my morality on others"”

  1. The Prophet said

    Chance, Good Post.

    I’m not going to bring up any new ideas. You however, in an earlier post, mentioned the fact that many liberals who are for abortion because the woman has the right to her own body, are also for banning companies like McDonald’s & KFC, from selling fatty foods.

    My question to the political world, “Is there a consistent party out there?”

  2. Chance said

    “Is there a consistent party out there?”

    Good question. I would say that, as far as I can tell, pure libertarianism seems to be consistent, but not necessarily correct. But even in a consistent philosophy, tradeoffs have to be made. Pure libertarians argue the only legitimate function of gov’t is protection, but even then there is a tradeoff between civil liberties/privacy vs. protection. However, I would not be surprised if there are any inconsistencies, and would love to hear about them.

  3. Chance said

    And when I say consistent, I mean consistent goals. For instance, libertarians espouse maximum freedom, but maximum freedom may not be desirable. For instance, trading in some freedom for security, or for a little bit of help for the poor.

  4. Dan Trabue said

    Fair enough post. There are certainly difficult questions out there. The balancing of freedom and responsibility and reality is a difficult thing, huh?

    It’s a totally unworkable solution, but don’t you ever wonder what would happen if our US Budget were written by The People? That is, if our tax system allowed us to say, “I’d like 10% to go to defense, 10% to helping the poor, 20% towards the environment, 5% to foreign aid…” etc.

    Pretending that it were somehow workable, what do you reckon the results of that approach would be (besides a big mess)?

  5. Chance said

    That’s an interesting question Dan, I don’t think I can answer it here, but will probably answer it in a new post, because it is an interesting thought experiment. In short, I think it would lead to increased accountability where are tax dollars go, but I also see the same problems with growth of a welfare state, but who knows? We may be better off.

  6. Dan Trabue said

    For those of us who are opposed to paying War taxes or paying for abortions via taxes (and other issues, as well I’m sure), such an idea has an appeal. The logistics of it make it seem impossible, but the democratic nature and morality of it is intriguing.

    You want my hunches?

    According to some polls, people are unaware of what a large percentage of our budget goes to the military. People will often say things like, “Well, I think we need to finance the military plenty so that we can defend ourselves. Probably something like a full 25% of our budget should go towards defense…” not realizing that we spend ~50% of our budget on the military.

    Other polls suggests that we think we spend WAYYY too much on foreign aid but people are saying “It should be much less – more like only 5% of our budget…” when in fact, foreign aid is less than one percent (if I’m remembering correctly).

    My hunch would be that people would be much more generous to “the least of these” and to our environment than our lawmakers are and much less generous to the military-industrial machine. Just a hunch.

  7. Dan Trabue said

    For those of us who are opposed to paying War taxes or paying for abortions via taxes (and other issues, as well I’m sure), such an idea has an appeal. The logistics of it make it seem impossible, but the democratic nature and morality of it is intriguing.

    You want my hunches?

    According to some polls, people are unaware of what a large percentage of our budget goes to the military. People will often say things like, “Well, I think we need to finance the military plenty so that we can defend ourselves. Probably something like a full 25% of our budget should go towards defense…” not realizing that we spend ~50% of our budget on the military.

    Other polls suggests that we think we spend WAYYY too much on foreign aid but people are saying “It should be much less – more like only 5% of our budget…” when in fact, foreign aid is less than one percent (if I’m remembering correctly).

    My hunch would be that people would be much more generous to “the least of these” and to our environment than our lawmakers are and much less generous to the military-industrial machine. Just a hunch.

  8. Chance said

    Dan,
    You may be right. I think what would drastically help with how we spend our money is a fixed tax rate. That is, the gov’t does not increase the tax rate when it thinks it needs more money. If the gov’t spends more and more money, more than it has, and thinks, hmm, we need to increase the tax rate. Instead, the gov’t should just spend what it takes in, and if one program needs more money, then it takes money away from another program. Such an approach would cause gov’t to shift money away from less needed programs and more towards the important ones (what is “important” is an issue in itself). This would be an alternative to where gov’t simply directs the same amount of money or more towards unnecessary programs and raise taxes to fund the more necessary ones. I may post more on depth later.

  9. Chance said

    Dan,
    You may be right. I think what would drastically help with how we spend our money is a fixed tax rate. That is, the gov’t does not increase the tax rate when it thinks it needs more money. If the gov’t spends more and more money, more than it has, and thinks, hmm, we need to increase the tax rate. Instead, the gov’t should just spend what it takes in, and if one program needs more money, then it takes money away from another program. Such an approach would cause gov’t to shift money away from less needed programs and more towards the important ones (what is “important” is an issue in itself). This would be an alternative to where gov’t simply directs the same amount of money or more towards unnecessary programs and raise taxes to fund the more necessary ones. I may post more on depth later.

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