Thursday, January 12, 2006

Proxy Value

One's view on abortion is a proxy for a other values – not that people on either side don’t sincerely hold their views, but that a whole array of our sort of people/not our sort of people issues come into it as well. In simplest form, being prochoice is seen as being for women, in some way. Being prolife is seen as being for churchy stuff. Given the wide difference among women and among churches, it rapidly gets messy. People resent being seen as anti X, just because they are for Y, when X and Y are not true opposites.

But this does explain why animal-rights activists, who by logic should be prolife extremists, tend to be prochoice. It's an Our Sort/Not Our Sort thing. This is intensified by the tendency of PETA folk to have few or no children, lining them up with the environmentalists. Their attempt at legacy is diverted to the entire planet. They don’t have the historically usual understanding about nurturance, and so adopt the faux-nurturance of Gaiaism. (four vowels in a row!).


Anonymous said...

Another consideration:
For the death penalty but prolife.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I think the distinction between them has been explored frequently. I see the similarity as superficial, but it seems to carry a lot of emotional force.

Certainly, you can find folks so frothing for retributive justice that you wonder how it fits with a prolife stance emotionally, even if it holds up philosophically. I don't meet such folks in real life, but I encounter them in online comments sections.

neil craig said...

It is a common & inevitable problem. We can't have expertise on everything so that it is easier & much more comfortable to accept the opinions our friends.

Thus those keenest on threatening us with CO2 caused global warming are, with a few honourable exceptions, against nuclear reactors. The only correlation being a luddite worldview.