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The doctor called. Your purity test came back…

moral matrix

Purity test. Feh. I could live without hearing that phrase again. Oooo…conservatives are applying purity tests. How intolerant, priggish, stubborn, unreasonable. Is that a niff of Church Lady I smell? Bullshit. Bullshit tactics worthy of a liberal.

Look, most of us depart in some way from conservative orthodoxy. But because conservatism is a structure built on ideas, where we dissent, we have to explain. How can the platform can stand with a plank removed? People who pick and choose issues randomly without regard to the underlying ideas — à la carte Republicans — can fairly be suspected of not having a fucking clue what they believe.

Take abortion. Not one of ‘my’ issues, really, but it’s a good illustration. I think we’d all agree that the central problem is when does a fetus become a human being? — with the right putting the blessed event more toward the whoopee end of the process and the left more toward the owee end.

Would that be fair? Once it’s a people, you can’t kill it; until then, you’ve got some leeway, right?

So whichever way you come down on this one, you would logically come down the same way on the fetal stem cell question, no? Well, not necessarily. I can imagine ways to justify being, say, anti-abortion and pro-fetal stem cell research.

Pretty good reasoning: embryos for research are taken early, before I believe they constitute a human. Abortion, on the other hand, is still legal too late in the process.

Okay reasoning: I don’t think the fetus is a person, but I believe abortion is harmful to women psychologically and should be outlawed on that basis.

Bad, morally confused reasoning: fetal stem cell research “has helped make progress against Parkinson’s disease.” He added, “I’d like to have less intensity on this issue.”

So, there you have it! Murder, not murder. Whatevs. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.

March 18, 2008 — 12:06 pm
Comments: 43