It is not the job of any democratic government to regulate morality and especially to not make laws based on any particular idea of what morality is. Dictatorships and Theocracies legislate the morality of the land, democracies recognize the individual as the social unit of consequence and part of freedom and liberty is managing your own morality; leaving government to legislate our interactions with each other, such as in contract law and the criminal code.
The anti-abortion lobby is a moralist lobby – they are seeking to enshrine their morality into secular law in a democratic nation under the false belief that America was founded as a Christian nation. And their reasoning is that they beleive that morals are external to humans and handed down in absolute form by a deity.
In the Jesusverse, original sin is the knowledge of good and evil – in other words, being able to make moral distinctions is original sin and treading on an area reserved for god.
So in claiming that there’s a god and thus absolute morals because while god knows better than us, yet is incapable of providing credentials, we are all supposed to put aside what our experience and reason tells us about moral distinctions on the say so of people who are more concerned about their absolutist morals being imposed on the population rather than how that would restrict the freedom and liberty guaranteed by the foundational documents of the land – the constitution and bill of rights.
That morals vary widely demonstrates that there are no absolute morals – only degrees of worse or better, relatively speaking. There are many different systems through which people understand morals and morality; although most systems of morals do not consider a person’s underlying motivation, which to my mind, makes them lacking in force or meaning
The idea that morals should trump actual living people is appalling; yet, this is what religious people regularly do – hold their claimed morals above people. This is why they are consumed with the unborn and comatose rather than a living person who needs social assistance for a hand up in the world. The unborn and comatose aren’t demanding and can’t participate in decisions – and it’s the being in charge of decisions that the religious want to take away from people.
Imagine that your spouse, parent or child was in hospital and you weren’t able to make decisions for their care and treatment, especially end of life treatment, because this ability was legislated away regardless of the doctor’s assessment and medical reality.
Living in a democratic country means you get to decide for yourself what happens to you in your life. Whether you marry, whether you have children – these are important decisions that we all have to determine for ourselves.
Yet, anti-abortionists would tell you that they know better than you do about what you should allow to happen within your body.
Part of the anti-abortion sentiment arises from anti-sex attitudes, that if you don’t want to risk pregnancy that you should keep your legs shut – an outdated, controlling and unrealistic desire to maintain the illusion that there’s girls you marry and girls you have fun with – something that benefits only the girls who say no and no one else.
Really, if we want to reduce the divorce rate, we should be encouraging people to be in touch with their sexuality and to marry someone they are compatible with. Sexual incompatibility leads to marriage problems and often to divorce.
We learn morals from our parents, our experiences and what the society we live in tells us is moral within the context of the society. Being educated and learning about more cultures, it’s not hard to see that morals are context sensitive and relative to circumstances – and you can determine what’s moral or not with a broader perspective – what’s common morals to cultures through the ages and what’s clearly okay or not based on a macro view.
Morally capable adults do not depend on fairy stories to know how to behave, they can and do distinguish between unacceptable and acceptable under certain conditions. There is no list of absolute morals that can be memorized and attempted to be applied in life – moral lists generally fall apart over rule conflicts – can you lie to spare someone’s feelings or to save a life?
When it comes to morals, you have to do the work yourself – and when you can do that, you don’t need any gods and certainly, you don’t need your morality legislated by people who have no consideration of your life. So why should their morals be respected or enshrined, when they are absolutely heartless and ignore the circumstances of making a life changing decision.
Because collective and individual survival and thriving is best ensured by cooperative behaviours – which is balancing both people’s needs, interests and morals – applying an absolute rule would make genuine cooperation difficult.
a person who is moral, is moral with or without an audience
if you can’t determine morals on your own, then no amount of obeying social rules or laws are going to make you moral