Remember when terrorism in America meant an abortion clinic bombing, or an abortion clinic doctor being shot?
Back when these things were popular, in the 90's, I remember thinking we were headed toward an abortion jihad. A war between pro and anti abortion rights fighters. I envisioned abortion clinics being patrolled by Pro-Choice Paramilitary, waiting for an attack by the Pro-Life Liberation Army.
I wonder now how much the increased surveillance of American citizens produced by 9/11 resulted in a decrease in abortion clinic violence.
I've never been in the middle of something I felt so strongly about that I thought I needed to attack someone. But some of the people behind the violent anti-abortion movement feel just that way. Similarly, certain factions in the animal rights movement feel moved to violence or terrorism in an attempt to force their opposing view on others.
The Animal Liberation Front feels strongly about keeping animals from being tested on. So strongly that they have been implicated in violent acts. On the surface I don't see a difference between their tactics and the tactics of the anti-abortion crowd. The differences lie in the argument over whether the rights of animals are different than the rights of a human embryo or fetus.
-We either have the right to do with animals as we please or we don't.
-Animals experience pain and suffering in a way that is equivalent to or greater than the way we feel pain.
-There is a metaphysical existence that animals experience which makes experimenting on them morally reprehensible or there is not.
-We either have the right to end a developing embryo's life or we don't.
-Embryos experience pain and suffering in a way that is equivalent to or greater than the way we feel pain.
-There is a metaphysical existence that embryos experience which makes ending their life morally reprehensible or there is not.
I'm not ready to offer my thoughts on all of these items. I'm throwing them out there to see what responses they might generate. Without pushing my own opinions on you I'm curious to first hear what others thing about the points I list above. Which side of those issues they are on.
Skepticality #236 - Shots of Awe
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