Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pro-Life Atheists

Patheos recently had an article by a Pro-Life Atheist explaining her position and the arguments for those positions.  It was not taken well by the community. You can read the Post here. A rebuttal was also added from a Pro-Choice Atheist here.
    I waded into the argument because I am Pro-Choice. I believe a woman's bodily autonomy is Sacrosanct and no one has the right to dictate decisions onto another about their bodies.  I explained my position as one of viability. I have no right to take another person and use them as a blood filter, food source or blood oxygenator for myself, all things a fetus must have from  a woman to survive. My point is that you cannot be forced to subject your body to the needs of your children (or anyone else) once they are out of the womb.  You can voluntarily give blood, a kidney, bone marrow, etc... but you cannot be forced to save another's life. 
    The problem I have with the Pro-Life people (Secular or Religious) is their granting special rights to the fetus. They say the right of the Fetus to live is more important than the right of the woman to her body, but if that is true then it would have to hold that a fetus is more human than all others or we all have the right to take what we need to survive from those around us. It always becomes an issue of emotion (think about the BABY) over rational conclusions. Outlawing abortions would be a disaster. I promote expanded sexual education, access to cheap birth control, and alternatives for those who do not want abortions. If you do not believe in abortions, no one is forcing you to have one. If you believe that abortion is murder then that is your right, but I disagree.
    The biggest problem I had with the original Pro-Life post (besides the horrible justifications disguised as arguments) were those in the comments saying she did not belong in the Atheist community. Last I checked Atheism was about the need for evidence regarding gods. Expanding the Atheism community to include the skeptical community would bring in those that demand evidence for all things, and this still does not preclude those with differing opinions, especially over something as vague as when life begins. Their us and them, black and white, mentalities were not acceptable to me. They called her an enemy thus removing her humanity and allowing for complete dismissal of her arguments, and any further discussion.  It was a sad view into the absolutists in the Atheist community.
     I asked there and will ask here: Where does it end? Factioning into little sub groups incapable of talking to eachother because of differences that have nothing to do with Atheism. Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice, Pro-Gun vs Pro-Control, Conservative vs Liberal, Anti-GMO vs Pro-GMO... all inside the Atheist movement and unable to come together over the issues that should unite us.
     Stop trying to stifle the voices you do not agree with, do not o"other" them in an attempt to not have to engage in civil discussion. Do not dismiss their opinions solely out of adherence to those views you already hold. We should be able to present our arguments to eachother with thought out, reasoned, rational debate and the best ideas should win the day. Shouting over those you disagree with does not support your side, it bashes theirs.I have been guilty of this when arguing with theists, I admit.