Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Right to Life vs. The Right to Live

Thank whatever divine being you worship, that this health care debate is almost over. I have had it up to my recently-drained veins with insane "townspeople" and nasty comments made from reform opposition. I feel like our country has devolved into a 6th grade classroom and somehow the bad kids were getting all the attention. Obama's most recent session before a joint congress seemed more like a teacher giving a lecture to a misbehaving classroom than anything else (Joe Wilson's heckling only fit this dynamic perfectly.)

The fact is, we need health reform badly. Whatever reform we get would not be enough to please me. I am a fan of a single-payer platform. As far as modern democracies and industrialized economic power-houses go, the United States comes in dead last for life expectancy. Yet we hear from reform opponents that "when someone in Canada has a medical problem, they come to the U.S." and cite a few examples to prove their point. Sure, the United States does have amongst the best hospitals in the world, but only the wealthy and insured have the luxury to visit them.

What this comes down to is the opposition saying, essentially, that only the wealthy and economically feasible citizens have a right to live. Everyone else, those who have lost insurance due to recession-based downsizing, their children, the poor and working class; they do not have a right to live, according to the reactionary anti-reform dogma. Unless of course, they were willing to go Bankrupt, which only dilates the rich-poor gap.

The worst part of this though, is that these people who refuse to help the struggling, the republican representatives and their incredibly loud and obnoxious "tea-party" allies claim to be "Christian." Or is this form of Christianity only willing to abide by the teachings of their lord and savior until their taxes are put on the line?

I never understood American "Christianity" in the political realm. You have Joe Wilson trying his damn hardest to make sure the children of undocumented immigrants cannot get penicillin for their strep, and yet this very same Joe Wilson is "pro-life."

I suppose he only supports the life of a child when it is inside a woman. Once it pops out, it is no longer a child in need, it is a vile lazy welfare-brat looking for another government handout. Very Christian of you Joe, indeed.

Speaking statistically, of course, if Joe Wilson and his "christian" counterparts really wanted to lower the abortion rate, it probably would help if those who are stranded in tough economic waters could get the health care they need. The "right to life" is an irrelevant stance to have if you do not believe in the right to live.


  1. It's truly sad that many Christians have forgotten a major part of their leader's teachings: we are here to GIVE to others, to support those that the people in power cast aside, the luckless, the weak. Today's conservative Christians are the bible's Romans. Once in power, we forget what it's like to be oppressed.

  2. I agree with you on the fantastic nonsense that these so called "christians" in politics stand up and attack any attempt to help anyone and then call themselves christian, but as for your point that people have a "right to live" being connected to a "right to life" I think ultimately from a libertarian point of view I don't agree. The biggest problem I find in the idea of this health care debate is this idea that things are owed to people, I strongly stand by the belief that nothing is owed to anybody outside of a protection of your individual rights. What gives one man the right to take from another man? Does someone have a right to listen to your music for free without your consent? Does someone have a right to tell you how much you should be paid to play your songs? I strongly believe in health care reform but doctors have rights too, you begin to walk a dangerous path when you start to believe a majority has a right over a minority, no one should have legal power over anyone else (unless it's to prevent one group from abusing its power and taking another groups rights away and freedom of choice (which is where I come in to the health care debate, there is no choice, my belief is that there are insurance monopolies in the system)) . It is very naive in my opinion to put power in any one groups hands whether it be a government or a monopoly like corporation, they are all the same. It's easy to give power away to a government with a vote, it won't be so easy to get it back, remember that. Do I want to give some of my money up to support people who need health care? Yes. The difference though is that I don't believe I have a right to tell other people what to do with their property. Not to come off as too philosophical but I don't think you fully understand the idea of a "right to live" one man should not live for another man, that's not a "right to live" that's a right for one group to live at the expense of another (outside of consent or contract), that's not moral, that's theft. The more you walk down the path of people having moral rights over other people understand that one day that political power you're aiming at others could one day be turned on to you.

  3. Well there, Anonymous commenter, is a different point entirely. My problem with GOP health opponents is the transparent hypocrisy in their stances. Libertarianism is a whole different subject matter.

    While I agree that the power of the majority should not override the rights of the few (don't try to beat me at a J.S. Mill philosophical reference battle) the crux is deliberation of information. If we lived in a pure democracy, a Rousseauvian democracy, everyone would have equal opportunity to the same factual information. Such is the problem with libertarianism, it is an ideology that can simply not be practiced until more equitable fundamentals are met.

    Otherwise, what we get is a "prisoners dilemma." A constant game lacking cooperation. From an academic perspective, government's role is to force cooperation to avoid a race to the bottom scenario for the interests of the whole.

    Take for example, if Ohio and Michigan were trying to attract more industrial economic opportunities. They might consider lowering their Environmental standards to attract more companies. Well if one state does it, the other one follows, until all standards are dropped. The government's job is to prevent that from happening, and we need it because otherwise all surrounding states would start feeling that pollution.

    Health care is exactly the same. Having a LARGE percentage of citizens without health care creates a utilitarian crisis for doctors, for hospitals, and for tax payers. Untreated TB, HIV, and flues are not in our best interest.

    As for your assumption for some having more legal power than others, I would like to direct you to the 14th amendment. If there is a constitutional problem with any bill, that is where we would look. Everyone should get equal protection under the law, precisely why a public option is absolutely necessary.

    I do agree that doctors should also get extended legal protections from this bill, but I would never sacrifice a person's ability to legally protect themselves from their own loss of property.

  4. I agree that all information should be open to every citizen, as for a government's role it is simply protect people's individual liberties, any other point in my opinion is now becoming an argument over what is better for society, there is no such thing as a "society" it's simply a group of individuals, if you protect people's individual rights there is no concern with protecting the rights of "society" because every individual makes up society, once you begin protecting this group or that group you only do it at the expense of another group. That's not a "problem" with libertarianism, if you met a libertarian who believes governments and people should mislead and deceive other individuals and then claim "it's their right to mislead and deceive others" then that's not someone who believes in liberty, that's someone who believes one man can steal from another by hiding the truth. As for your example of what one state might do over another, that's irrelevant, if you force any citizen from any state to go along with the rest of the state, it's wrong, period. A myriad of bills exists that violate the constitution every single day, is gold and silver the only legal tender? No. Does everyone have the same rights as everyone else under the law? No. Do citizens have the right to free speech? No. A public option is not absolutely necessary according to the constitution what so ever, the only thing that is necessary is that men have the freedom to pursue their own happiness, if a man is unable to afford health care it does not suddenly mean he has a right to take property from someone else to pay for it, that's ridiculous. If I can't afford to eat does that mean I have some type of moral right to steal your food? Of course not, is it sad and unfortunate yes, but do I have a right? No. Did the grasshopper have a right to the ant's food in the Aesop fable? As for your claim about a virus running rampant and destroying other people's individual liberties, that's pretty unlikely and if it did happen that's an EMERGENCY situation, not the entire basis of a health care system furthermore if you honestly believe the free market (a actual "free" market though) the thing that has allowed you to type this message out on your computer on the internet can't prevent such things from happening I think you're mistaken. The only true brotherhood among men is mutual consent, any other argument contrary to that falls into what is good for "society" when there is no such thing as a society. The silver lining in all of this sadness is that men by nature want to help other men, I am on that side of it. A simple solution to the poor dying man who is sick is charity, a not for profit health care system that free men choose to pay into to would do very well in my opinion simply because of how badly people want a public option. As for your point that you would never support a man legally losing his property, than you should not support any public option that uses any tax payer money, because that is a violation of another man's property. Oh before I forget, as for your mention of a "pure democracy" democracy by nature gives power to a majority over a minority, I don't know of the democracy you're referring to so I'm going to be tread carefully but any democracy that gives one group political power over another group, is morally wrong. America is not a democracy and the founding father's understood that, it is a constitutional republic, the constitution protects the individual democracy only protects the majority. I want to make this clear though I'm not trying to out debate you, I'm simply putting up the libertarian argument, I believe in liberty, you can choose not to, but understand you're taking rights from one person and giving it to another when you claim people have a "right to live".

  5. Don't worry about disagreeing, I appreciate well thought out criticism! It's all part of a better dialogue.

    As far as liberty is concerned, I believe that liberty should be embraced fully until one's liberty impacts the rights of another. With that said, the public option is essentially crucial to make sure this happens, otherwise one's capitalistic liberties outweigh the personal liberties of many. People with more money essentially receive more liberty which is disastrously inequitable.

    I support my tax payer dollars helping lower the cost of health care, it benefits everyone. Should we stop support public education? Libraries? National Parks? Environmental restrictions?

    The only people "hurt" by the public option are those who will have to be more competitive by lowering their insurance prices.

    But again, thank you for your well thought out and polite responses, its rare in this political climate!

  6. I agree with your statement "Liberty should be embraced fully until one's liberty impacts the rights of another" but in my opinion there is no such thing as a "capitalistic liberty" there is simply liberty, that is all. Capital is simply another word for property, so you're saying you don't believe one person who has more property should have more "liberty" than someone who does not? Once you begin to stand by that belief you again are now assuming one person has a right to another person's property- I don't see how anyone has a right to what belongs to anyone else. A rich man does not stop you from being able to buy health care, unless said rich man is corrupting the system and forces everyone to pay more through some type of monopoly like power and no libertarian worth his salt would ever defend someone's right to do that. As for your statement "disastrously inequitable" that only is valid if you think everything should be balanced and fair, when in truth nothing by nature is "fair". It's not fair I can't make music as well as you can, that doesn't mean I suddenly can demand you to teach me how to write songs or even somehow through some bizarre science experiment force you to give up your excess of musical talent and transfer it over to me. We are not born equal, that's simply the law of nature, we all have the same natural rights by law, but we are not the same. It is not fair, but we are not exact copies of one another, nothing can change that, that's life. Some of us get a better hand in life, nothing will ever change that. Any attempt to make men "equal" will always fail, any attempt to do so politically has always ended in disaster, because we are not the same.

    As for public education, my personal opinion is yes, we should do away with it. The private sector can easily offer education at a lower cost than the public sector furthermore no government has the right to tell a child what they should and should not learn. As for libraries and national parks, personally, I love those two things but it should be paid for voluntarily through charity, not by force (and personally I think those institutions would do just fine from private funding). As for environmental restrictions IF proven 100% by science that said actions would destroy the environment we all live in it's the government's responsibility to protect it simply because the groups of people polluting the environment are destroying my individual right to live on this planet for their own personal gain.

    A public option is a company that can not go bankrupt, lose money and continue to function by coercing citizens to sustain it through taxation- that's the farthest thing from freedom within a market. The people that will be "hurt" are the people who can not compete because they can go bankrupt and don't have every citizen in the united states financially backing them, is that moral? I don't think so.

    I wish more people brought up these types of debates in politics than yelling out "YOU LIE!" when that's not what the debate is even about. Personally Rand Paul at the moment and Ron Paul are among the handful of people who really understand what they are talking about when it comes to this debate in my opinion. They understand economics and they understand the health care system better than anyone else outside of it.