« Google News Bans Blog on Hate Speech Grounds | Main | Estate/Inheritance/Death taxes »

April 04, 2005



seriously... I would understand if no one had the energy to discuss this at this point.

and I left out something obvious to me that I didn't want to bias my post with.

"The Culture of Life" is one of these code word phrases. While it's also something some people honestly believe is a real principle of choosing life, it's also code language for the Abortion movement fancying itself pro-life.

this is always ironic to progressives who see the pro-life stance as not pro-life but pro-birth... once the child is born it's on it's own...

anyway, I got it out of your system.

feel free to bump it down with something less drugerific.


pyrrho: this is always ironic to progressives who see the pro-life stance as not pro-life but pro-birth... once the child is born it's on it's own...

I'm not sure where this notion originated. Are pro-life people less likely to adopt than pro-choice? Do they not support homeless children's charities? Are there not Catholic hospitals who help sick children often when no money is to be made?

Ryan Somma

I think you've hit on the incredibly personal nature of life and death decisions. "Culture of life," as it is used by its loudest proponents today seems synonymous with maintaining life at any cost. It denies the deeply personal nature of life and death decisions.

My conservative, Catholic-raised father wants to be kept alive no matter how degenerated his medical state. Should I ever need to, I will respect this wish; although I side more with my liberal, West Virginia-raised Mother, who wants no life support whatsoever, even if she is not in a vegitative state -- it's a self-sufficiency thing. Death before dishonor, and I don't expect many people to understand it, but I do ask that they respect it.

Personally, I must reject this "culture of life" concept, as I prefer "quality of life" as a standard. I prefer a culture where abortions are not outlawed, but are simply not needed -- a society the pro-life and pro-choice movements are both working towards. I prefer a society where a person has the right to be kept alive or not according to what they personally find an acceptable quality of life.

President Bush believes in a "culture of life," but publicly mocked Karla Faye Tucker when signing her death warrant as governor of Texas -- this is the type of hypocritical situation people find themselves in when they try to take absolutist stands. "Quality of life" is a disputable concept, which makes it good for a Democratic society. Keeping life and death decisions in the hands of individuals keeps in accord with the American ideals of personal freedoms.



I don't want to perpetuate that... believe me it's not Catholic charities that lends the impression that once born the life is no longer important. I wouldn't want to imply it's a legitimate complaint but I can't deny I see some sense to it either.

So in that spirit, it's a matter of people that are "pro-life" but want to cut social services which help people survive.

fwiw, I find the Catholic position the most consistent pro-life position out there, anti-abortion, also anti-death penalty, anti-war, etc.


btw, "drugerific" is not a real word, but would have made more sense as a made up word had I included the "d"... drudge... this subject is feeling like a drudge to me because in spite of it's import (life and death... can't get more important can you?)... it's also one of those we fight over in this nation endlessly with little compromise in sight... especially exhausting with Shiavo and the Pope going together.


This is the culture of forced alimentation in the absence of any obvious meaningful human interactive capacity versus what is judged to be the patient's will by her spouse and healthcare surrogate. We could use a few more cases like this in order to allow the far right wing of the Republican party (and assorted other grandstanding buffoons- Jesse Jackson) to further define themselves and their relevance to our everyday lives.


Hello all -

It illustrates exactly how organized the totalitarians are that they cop certain feel-good phrases that on face NOBODY could be against, but then define them selectively so that they take on a very narrow meaning. "Pro-life?" If I wasn't pro-life, I'd either be committing suicide as we speak, or going postal.

The problem isn't the false duality that we are told exists between the "culture of life" and whatever its polarity might be (hollywood, abortions, etc.) It's that those who loudly espouse and rigidly define "culture of life" also have zero compunction about frying a man of color for a "third strike," pulling the plug on those who cannot afford to pay, slaughtering cows, chickens, fish and other species by the millions every day, or heck, just killing "towelheads" if they don't raise their hands in time, have the right answers to our nightsticks, show requisite servility to authority, or whatever - you fill in the blank. It's happening in NY and LA as much as in Iraq.

Authoritarians, or totalitarians (I prefer to call them what they really are - fascists) always find ways to demonize something to affirm their solidarity and the infallibility of the state. Not that long ago, it was communists, trade unionists, gypsies, gays, and Jews. The Nazis were very pro-life. They expected every good Aryan woman to do her duty to provide the fatherland with as many good aryan babies as her body would produce in the shortest amount of time, as long as the father was of aryan racial stock. They were not into abortions, except selectively. Now sterilization? That was viewed as a necessity to keep the birth rate of inferior populations at a mimimum.

At this point, the "pro-life" movement has defined the enemy as anyone in opposition to a rigidly defined ideology hijacking slogans in the name of oppressing human liberty. They have no problem enslaving people as long as it suits their end. Their real problem is that sometimes people choose to disagree, and to paraphrase the great philosopher Alan Watts, "the world is under the sway of the three most militant religions in history, and all believe that they must either convert you, exile you, or kill you."

I didn't mean for this to be so long, but it's great grist for the mill re: pyrrho's post over at Political Physics on animal rights, or rather the lack thereof. But hey! They don't vote, so who cares, right? We just better hope that when we check out from this world we don't discover "God" is a great big cockroach. Then again, it would be fun to see what would happen to Tom (Mr. Bugspray himself!) DeLay if that were the case. Of course, the Krishnas believe that Colonel Harlan Sanders of KFC fame will have to come back as a chicken for every one he's served up. Now THAT'S something to ponder.

Ryan Somma

Two aspects of the "Culture of Life" movement that I've had to think about thanks to the above posts: What is "Life?" Is the movement totalitarian?

We all agree that "life" deserves protection, but we are dealing with a movement that defines "Life" very narrowly. We are talking strictly about human life. No one in the "Culture of Life" movement is lobbying Congress for the human treatment of Chimpanzees with 200-word vocabularies; although, I believe such mammals are cognitively aware enough to deserve such protections.

At the same time the movement defines anything having the potential to become human life as deserving protection. The moment human zygotes merge, they become life deserving protection. A child born with only a brainstem, a frighteningly common birth defect, also deserves protection, even though it has no brain.

I choked on the word "totalitarian" in the above post before I realized its accuracy. The "culture of life" movement works tirelessly to impose their definition of life on the rest of rest of us through Governmental controls. They ban late-term abortions to protect babies without brains, they prevent those who believe differently than they do from dying with dignity through assisted suicide, and they want anyone in a coma or vegitative state kept alive through any means medical science can provide.

A movement that seeks to impose its definition of such a subjective issue on our entire society through Governmental legislation and enforcement is certainly totalitarian in nature; but, at the same time, in an environment of Democracy, they can only succeed if the people let them. One of the positive outcomes of this disputation is that Americans have come out overwhelmingly on the side of personal choice.


Ryan, that's why it's imperative that we get an honest vote count through open-source code voting machines with paper verification, or we could find the House making law that is anti-democratic. They've already tried, so I wouldn't trust their tender mercies as far as I could throw them. Our present House and Senate do NOT reflect the views of the majority of Americans, their own pr notwithstanding. But as long as the recidivism rate of these "public servants" is almost 100%, they constitute a privileged class with almost no accountability. That's pretty scary for a self-proclaimed democracy, actually a republic.



we need to fight for that... left and right together. Perfect fodder for the non-partisan non-moderate cabal... it's in all our interests.

My lazy side isn't too worried... I think the pressures are there that it's inevitable --- democracy is literally meaningless if we are beholden to commercial black boxes that can not only be gamed and hacked, but also, if we get to a point we need Diebold to have an election... how much do you think Diebold is going to charge to run the election? This latter may seem less scary than rigged elections, but it's not really. Rigged elections will spawn investigations and disgust and reaction. Having to pay billions more than it's worth... we'd have to do that.

I think a Department of Elections has to be created under a special non-partisan charter, it should actually develop the machines and especially especially the software that runs on the machines. It would be fine to subcontract the construction of the machines, or even some of the programming, assuming the resulting code was glass box not black box.


I have been hesitant to jump in to this “Culture of Life” discussion because it seems so meaningless to me, kinda like “Communities of Character” or “One Million Points of Light” (never mind that there are almost 300 million Americans, what was that all about?). “Culture of Life” is a squishy term that sounds good and cannot be opposed. It is so vague that anyone bringing up capitol punishment, or the ‘pull the plug if they can’t pay’ law that Bush is supposed to have signed in TX, or war or whatever, bring up these issues in the context of “Culture of Life” and you will be accused of leading, stretching. It’s not a doctrine, it’s a slogan.



that's my impression, except I add that the sound of it appeals to me. I know it's meaningless... so it fails to appeal.

I think there is a clue there for judging slogans... not all slogans are bad.

So a good slogan for a good idea needs to be something that can really be applied consistently and generate some insightful reaction.

You can't really take this idea of culture of life and apply it to a problem to find an answer. There MAY be an exception, it may work for the pope.

But in American politics there is no consistent application... and ultimately I think it even fails the pope. It the easy example, epitome of history, but if you don't go to war against Hitler... choosing death, then you allow more death.


shouldn't someone post something to the front page? :)

you know I'm not above posting daily... but then... it's "cabal" not "the pyrrho ball"!!!!

cheers all.

Winston Smith

We’re not winning the War on Terra.
But, hey, we are http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/11407689.htm> getting rid of the evidence.

Winston Smith


How do people think Bush reacted to not being notified?
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000920092> With annoyance?
http://www.mypetgoat.com/> Relief?


I think Bush is smart. I sure wouldn’t want to be the one to make the call to shoot down a plane over Washington. For me (and Bush) the less I know, the better. ‘No one told me’ is an excellent defense.

The comments to this entry are closed.