Well, I have no gripe against you; and I've already shared my view on the issues of abortion and capital punishment.
You simultaneously say that, by saying "pro-life", you are NOT "referring to the anti-abortion movement", AND say that "being pro-life" means "Claiming to have sanctity for ALL human life". So, you remove from the term "pro-life" the definition that most users of the term actually give it, and then you not only inject your own definition into the term but even attribute that definition of the term to those who are doing the "Claiming".
So, if we are to get into the broader topic of what words CAN mean, instead of what they are most often understood to mean by the culture at large:
I like tomatoes. So I am pro-tomatoes. Ah, but wait: I don't like raw tomatoes. Does this now mean I am anti-tomatoes? Am I still pro-tomatoes? We could say I am pro–cooked tomatoes. We could shorten that to saying that I am pro-tomatoes. We could say that I am anti–raw tomatoes. We could shorten that to saying that I am anti-tomatoes.
So what do we have with "pro-life"?
1. Being for life. There isn't qualification to say whether this means all life, some life, 'innocent' life, 'guilty' life, eternal life, life that ends naturally, life that is killed off after a certain number of years, all human life, all life of all species, &c.
2. "the anti-abortion movement". Being against certain kinds of induced abortion, the commonest meaning of the term among those who use it in the U.S.
3. "Claiming to have sanctity for ALL human life".
So we have many categories of belief that overlap in certain persons and don't overlap in others: the "I am pro-life" belief; the "I am against all abortion" belief; the "I am against some/much abortion" belief; the "I believe all human life is sacrosanct" belief; the "I believe in not shooting the head off the person who looks extremely likely to press a button, two seconds from now, that would detonate a bomb that would kill 2,000 persons, because then I would certainly be killing that person, while I am not certain about what that person would do [or] because I am against my own killing of someone else [or] whatever" belief; the "I believe in allowing people to live until they have killed someone else" belief; &c., &c., &c.
I just found it curious that you (1) took a word that, on its face, is without qualification in terms of which categories of life it supports and which ones it doesn't support, (2) specifically disregarded the meaning that most people give it (being against most induced abortion of human embryos/fetuses/babies), and then (3) specifically gave it your own meaning (considering "ALL human life" sacrosanct).
(See my next comment, where I continue this.)
(See my previous comment, where I started this.)
Personally, I am repulsed when someone equates respect for all human life with something like allowing the death penalty, allowing abortion, allowing the killing of the retarded, &c. I also am repulsed when someone's "respect for all human life" means standing idly by while someone else carries out mass murder and/or maiming—because I believe that, in such a situation, the appropriate action is to do whatever it takes (including violence) to stop that person from being violent on a much wider scale—and then, once that threat is halted, to treat the damaged body and mind of the person I have just injured, and to do my best to restore him to health—or, if I have gone so far as to kill him, then to treat his body with respect and return it to his loved ones. So, I have real problems with various "anti-killing" views held by various persons.
But I also keep very much in mind the fact that, to get anywhere in the argument, I can't just point out logical fallacies in the meanings of a few hot-button words as defined by certain persons, but must instead get deeper into specific things, such as which practices people support and oppose in what circumstances, what their reasoning is, what they mean by "respect", &c.
These political terms ("pro-life", "pro-choice", "conservative", "liberal", "pro-war", "anti-war", "pacifist", all kinds of things) that so many like to restrict us to are a distraction from the real issues at hands. They lump the variety of human thought and belief, and indeed the variety of human beings, into too few categories and hinder our progress in understanding one another and having real, strong, lasting influences on others' beliefs and actions.
Again, no gripe against you personally—but you did address the issue of what these politically charged terms and phrases mean, and did respond to my earlier comment ... so I felt somewhat compelled to say more. :)
2007-04-10 05:44 pm (UTC)
Re: wow, longest.comment.evah.
After I posted the two long ones yesterday, I was half regretting it. Still, glad to see you understood I wasn't trying to be annoying. No worries: you didn't piss me off and didn't seem a troll.
I guess my original issue with the Sen. Hatch quote that started this was (1) yes, I get really irritated by his view, but (2) pointing out the discrepant logic ('we show respect for life by killing life'—???), which most kids can do, gets us only so far in changing people's minds and behavior. So point 2 wasn't that I was annoyed that any specific person had pointed out the discrepancy again—it was just that I wished we could make more progress than latching on to just one little piece of the argument.
Again, glad you understood. Et cetera. [/babble]
2007-04-10 06:08 pm (UTC)
Re: wow, longest.comment.evah.
haha, dude it's OK. Let it go :)
It's a bit of a conundrum. ;)