Wednesday, October 27, 2004



I usually try to avoid social issues. I prefer hard news stories because they are quantifiable. You can back your arguments up with facts. Social issues are, as a rule, subjective, and your perspective is usually dictated by your philosophy, creed, or religion. I also avoid them because while they are highly emotional issues, their importance in the larger picture is usually greatly exaggerated. But since Cara has requested...I'll take a shot.

I tend to take a libertarian view when it comes to social issues. Quite frankly, I don't believe anyone's personal life is the business of the government. The government should not be able to dictate to anyone who they sleep with, what their medical decisions should be, who, what or how they should worship. I believe in the Teddy Roosevelt theory of government. It is the job of the government to defend the the territorial integrity of the country, to protect the average citizen from the greedy and powerful, and to provide for the general welfare of the populace.

Because social issues are so emotionally charged, their importance, and their impact on society are often greatly exaggerated. For example, the argument is often made that allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry somehow cheapens or makes less meaningful marriage between a man and a woman. But how? Do you somehow love your wife less because there are same sex marriages? Are you less committed to your husband? Is the way your family interacts with each other changed because Ms. and Ms Smith live down the street? In the end, lack of commitment is what cheapens marriage, not whether or not you allow same sex couples to marry.

Likewise, the sanctity of life argument is overblown in the stem cell research debate. It is often argued that stem cell research will encourage abortions. But the truth is that there are thousands of fertilized eggs stored in fertility clinics that will never be used. They will never become a human life, or even a human embryo. They will eventually be disposed of. It seems to me illogical that it is acceptable to simply dispose of these cells, but unacceptable to use them for legitimate medical treatments. Treatments that could eventually increase the length and quality of life for millions of people.

Finally, I believe that the abortion argument is a mute point. It is highly unlikely that the Supreme Court will ever overturn Roe v Wade. Rather then waste extreme amounts of energy screaming at each other, we ought to mutually seek out solutions for reducing the number of abortions performed. Like better access to health care and contraceptives. Programs to teach young women to take control of their own health. Ones that help them to make good, responsible decisions.

Thank you very much. In classes lately all the social issues have been the topic. I have to write a paper for my english class on stem cell research. I know you have awesome views and ideas even when they differ from my own. I wanted to hear what another adult had to say rather than listen to the rambling of my peers, who mostly base their decisions on that of their parents. Thanks again!
yes, social issues are a bit harder to find facts to back up your comments but they are their... of course, like anything else those 'facts' depend on not only your own beliefs but those of the reporting agency you choose to gather the info from..

the one comment that you made that i would like to comment a bit further on is when you said that we should have "Programs to teach young women to take control of their own health. Ones that help them to make good, responsible decisions." i think that program should be expanded beyond just educating the young women to include the young men of the world.. yes, it is ultimately the decision of the young woman whether or not to have an abortion but she did not become pregnant by herself.. if the young man had also been educated so that he could make good responsible choices about his body and bodily fluids she would not be in the position of having to make the decision.. in otherwords my great white hippy canoeis, it takes two to tango so they better both have lessons..
I agree..the first step is to teach her she owns her own body. The second step is teach hiim he doesn't own hers.
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