Consistency in Sports and Politics
It’s not easy for a human to be completely consistent in their views. I wonder if we all have a hint of hypocrisy in us, no matter how much we try to arrange our beliefs into a cohesive schema.
We notice this in sports when we are hyper-vigilant and hyper-verbal about referee calls against our team, but we accept without question calls against the other team.
We notice this during election time, when we excuse behavior of the candidate from our party even though we excoriated the person from the OTHER side for doing something similar just a few years ago. Which we my have conveniently forgotten.
We find ways to justify.
(UPDATE: Witness your position on the recent Supreme Court vacancy. Would your stance on what the President/Senate should do remain consistent if the tables were turned?)
I got to thinking about consistency in the realm of reproduction. Let’s take, say, abortion (nothing like a little light banter to start a post!).
On one side are people who say life begins at conception and the rights of that life — a baby — must be considered. On the other side are people who say that the rights of the woman supersede those of a set of cells that has only the potential to become a person.
This post is not about which view is “right,” and rarely do I see anyone change another’s mind online, so let’s not make the comments section a debate about pro-life vs pro-choice.
This post is about consistency of views. How easy is it to remain consistent in one’s beliefs?
Consistency in Reproductive Rights
I was taken to task for a post I wrote last year. The topic was openness between parents and children created by donor gametes — donor eggs, donor sperm, and donor embryos.
The scolder took issue with embryo adoption/reception as a method of family building for those enduring infertility. She argued that:
- The baby has the right NOT to be created just to be transferred from one set of parents to another.
- Third party reproduction should be fought rather than supported. The person the embryo would become, she said, has rights.
- A woman should not have the right to use certain available reproductive technologies. Just because a she can give birth to another couple’s embryo doesn’t mean she should. The title “mother” is only a potentiality, and her standing is inferior to that of the already-existing embryo (also arguably a potentiality).
I had this woman pegged. By her comments, I could tell she fell on the side of the rights of the baby. The rights of the would-be mother are subordinate to the rights of the would-be baby.
But wait. Upon investigation, I found that this same person has a pro-choice stance on abortion. She cites the rights of the baby in one situation, and the rights of the mother in another.
This woman may not be alone in such inconsistency. To some, “reproductive rights” might mean the right to choose how to handle a pregnancy. To others, “reproductive rights” might mean using any available technology to build a family. While there is significant overlap, I see a sliver where the rights of a potential mother and the rights of a potential baby are at odds.
Consistency in Myself
As for me, I tend toward libertarianism . I value personal and economic freedoms (and responsibilities) and believe that government generally should not infringe on them. However, I am also an advocate of post-adoption support for families, which will likely have to come from government mandate and/or government coffers. Hashtag inconsistent.
Have you noticed people — maybe even yourself — holding inconsistent viewpoints?