These CL Discussions are imagined conversations between a conservative Christian and a liberal person. The conservative’s name is Charles. The liberal’s name is Larry. These are not real conversations. They are imagined and the conservative views are mine, a fact you would have had no trouble discerning yourself. The opinions of the Liberal are typical of people I have met over the years, but don’t reflect any one person’s point of view. I am not claiming that these discussions are unbiased. I’m using them as a means of organizing my own thoughts as well as possibly helping others clarify their own point of view as well. Let me know what you think.
(Check for further conversations like this on Fridays. Whenever I have a CL discussion, I’ll post it on Friday.)
C: What do you think of this political campaign. It’s really something, isn’t it.
L: Yeh, I’ve never seen anything like it. But I agree with Hillary. It’s not right to tell women what they should do about their own body when it comes to pregnancy.
C: You think it’s wrong then to pass laws that would prevent a woman from having an abortion?
L: That’s right! Legislators have no right infringing on a person’s right to choose whether to terminate their pregnancy or to go ahead and have the baby.
- So you’re saying that it is wrong to pass such laws.
L: Yes, it’s wrong.
C: Do you mean wrong as in personal opinion “wrong”? Or do you mean it’s wrong like it’s wrong to steal or murder someone?
L: Well, obviously your examples are way extreme, but yes, it’s wrong in that sense. It shouldn’t be done.
C: So other countries where they pass laws supported by a majority of their people blocking abortion, those people are wrong. Right? Or do you mean it’s wrong here because a majority support women’s right to choose, but it’s ok there because those people see it differently?
L: No, they’re wrong too and eventually they will understand and make their law match what is right.
C: So how do we know your opinion is the right one?
L: It’s common sense. Anybody can see that you shouldn’t tell a woman what she should do regarding her pregnancy.
C: It can’t be that common sense because for most of the history of our country and in many other countries, the laws prohibited abortion. So it can’t be because of common sense.
L: Well, no. People who are sort of uneducated and sort of backward in their thinking can’t see it.
C: So there is a certain group of people who are able to see it, but not everyone can?
L: that’s right.
C: How are we able to tell who are the people who have it together enough to know the truth and which ones don’t. By seeing if they agree with you? That’s not the proof of anything. If you’re claiming that some position you are taking is absolutely right and not just an opinion of some people at some particular time in history, then we need to look outside of ourselves somehow to determine what is absolutely right.
L: There’s nothing outside of ourselves. We just have to work it out from within ourselves as a people. You’re trying to get me to admit that there is some absolute standard of right and wrong outside of ourselves. That list of truth doesn’t exist.
- If that’s the case, you can’t say it’s wrong to prevent a woman from having an abortion if she wants one. All you can say is, “There are a lot of us who want it to be this way and we’re in the majority.” And you can do that, but it doesn’t make it right or wrong. What if we all agreed it was right for people below the poverty line to go into other people’s homes and take what they want. Would it be right then?
L: I can see what you’re saying, but in this country we base our laws on the constitution and how the supreme court interprets the constitution.
C: Do you agree with all of the supreme court’s decisions?
C: When you disagree with them, do believe it’s just a difference of opinion, or do you believe they were wrong?
L: Usually that they were wrong.
C: But they’re not wrong if there’s no list somewhere to tell you what is right or wrong.
L: We’ve already been around this circle. They are interpreting the constitution. It’s the constitution that is what is right and wrong.
C: But you said you don’t always agree they are right. And besides that, it only applies to our country and I would bet that there are things that you think are right or wrong everywhere and not just because some judges in the U.S. say so.
L: That’s true.
C: So why do we think there are some things that are absolutely true or right or wrong?
L: I don’t know, but I do know that there is nothing that is absolutely right or absolutely wrong at all times and in all places.
C: Was that last statement absolutely true at all times?
Check next Friday for another exciting CL discussion.