Originally Posted by ZephyrusX
I think the problem with that is that there are groups of people with competing value systems that don't want to work together. In Canada, for example, we are having a problem with an increase in honor killings. There is clearly a conflict of value systems in this case: one that posits women as the property of men and one that thinks women are autonomous human beings with the right to life. Is there room for a constructive solution, in this regard?
I wouldn't consider one person's desire to murder, and the murder victim's desire to live, as a mere difference of opinion. One defining trait about a human right is that everybody has them: free speech, privacy, pursuit of happiness. If the enjoyment of your rights has to end so that mine can begin, then not only do you not have any rights anymore, but neither do I-- I have privilege, disguised as a right.
If someone says Twilight
is the greatest love story ever told and I disagree, then I have as much freedom as they do to say what's on my mind. Or roll my eyes and go somewhere else, write in my diary, complain to like-minded friends. And watch/read something I really like.
It doesn't hurt me for them
to enjoy their Eclipse / New Moon / Midnight Sun marathon with their friends, and it's actually no skin off their nose if I
don't like it. They're not setting werewolves on me to tear my throat out so I can never say another word in detriment to perfect Edward Cullen, and I'm not calling for book-burning, movie censoring, and franchise banning. If that did happen, then one or the other's rights have been infringed upon.
Take the same template and apply it to something more serious...
How about pro-life vs pro-choice? Is there a constructive solution that doesn't blatantly disempower one group at the expense of the other?
If you believe that an embryo in your body is a person who you're obliged to carry to term and support, that you want to birth alive and nurture and watch grow and fulfill their potential, then don't get an abortion.
But don't tell other people what to do with their... not even their kids, because it's not yet only
their kids, it's also entangled with the other person's body, which is an extremely intimate thing to presume to dictate, and a very large factor to ignore.
I first mentioned the matter of one person enjoying murder at the cost of another person enjoying their life. However, this isn't the case with terminating pregnancies because for both to live, the host must suffer.
It's quite disingenuous to direct an entire system to force someone to withstand nine months of discomfort, hours of horribly painful contractions, genital tearing, the stress of which has a chance of them dying even with present advances in medical technology. If you would personally go through all that or even die so that your unborn child would fulfill their potential, that would be respected as your choice-- but that has to be a choice, and that means allowing other individuals not to do the same. Shakesville: You have no rights
Rights are for all. When only some people have them, they're just privileges. And privileges can be taken away.
Think through the consequences of what equal rights for all really means, and you wind up with a system that doesn't look much like what we have now. There's lots more about it here, but this is the bit (paraphrased) that concerns us right now:
The right to control one’s own person is fundamental. Even the right not to be murdered is secondary, since killing is allowed in self-defence.
Abortion muddies the argument only because some people believe the fetus is a person with legal rights greater than those of the mother since it can require her life support. There is nothing to stop women from believing this and living accordingly
because there is a right to control one’s own
body. Depending on beliefs, an individual's dilemma about abortion may be very complex.
But fair social policies are simple. Either every one can live according to their beliefs, or nobody can.