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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Addendum -- parsing libertarian-speak on abortion

Apparently part of the issue with David Silverman's statements is that people think he brought up secular arguments against abortion out of nowhere. Trust me, he didn't. Here's how it works:

1. Silverman described social conservatism as theocratic, and he gave three examples of what he considers to be social conservatism: gay rights, the right to an abortion, and the right to die.
2. Silverman contrasted social conservativism with "real conservatism," which is anti-big government.
3. Social conservatism, which is theocratic, is pro-big government because it entails opposing gay rights, the right to an abortion, and the right to die. That's why social conservatism isn't "real conservatism."
4. The interviewer, Roy Edroso, challenged the notion that "the Right to Life guys" aren't real conservatives.
5. Silverman, who thinks that social conservatism = theocratic = big government = pro-life, then replied that actually yes, secular argument against abortion do exist.

Or as Sean Gillespie put it on Facebook,

Here are the things I'm sure of:
1. Silverman was not trying to make a secular pro-life argument himself.
2. Nor was he saying that those arguments are any good.

Here's what I'm not sure of:
1. Does Silverman then think that there's a "real conservative" pro-life argument? That is, an argument against abortion which is not pro-big-government because it isn't theocratic?

I dunno. But then, I have a hard time understanding what Silverman thinks is "big government," specifically, or that he really understands what theocracy is. True theocracy is not simply trying to pass legislation which is based on religious beliefs, but literally trying to establish a religion via government. Christian Reconstructionists are theocrats. People who try to pass religion-based laws are better described as "First Amendment-resistant." But that's kind of splitting hairs in this discussion.

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