{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Philosophical question (not trying to be political, just a genuine question I’ve been grappling with): do you think being pro-choice and pro-vax mandate are logically inconsistent? Both are sincere views of mine, but upon further reflection I haven’t been able to think of a way one position could be completely defended without undermining the other. Goes the other way for pro life/against vax mandates as well. The fact is, they just feel different to me, but I’m not sure why. Thoughts?", "post_id": "613fb3f05b441f0030bb25c9", "reply_count": 238, "vote_count": 29, "bowl_id": "5e6fe1c31f5e51001d267e46", "bowl_name": "Coronavirus Work-life" }

Philosophical question (not trying to be political, just a genuine question I’ve been grappling with): do you think being pro-choice and pro-vax mandate are logically inconsistent? Both are sincere views of mine, but upon further reflection I haven’t been able to think of a way one position could be completely defended without undermining the other. Goes the other way for pro life/against vax mandates as well. The fact is, they just feel different to me, but I’m not sure why. Thoughts?

likesmarthelpful
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There are some legal and religious perspectives in here already. I'll attempt the philosophical one, so we're talking Ethics, specifically on harm. Most folks' answers, whether they realize it or not, will turn on the school of Ethics they subscribe to. And I was taught a majority of people are Utilitarian, whose charge is to cause the least harm to the most people possible. There is an almost quantifiable "utility" to every choice for Utilitarians. Given the classic trolley dilemma when forced to kill one person or five, a true Utilitarian always hits the singular person instead of the five. Even if it's your grandma versus five strangers, you choose to reduce the harm done. Sorry grandma. The other common major school is Kantian deontological ethics, wherein people have a "duty" to live by certain "maxims," and the universe is governed by "universal laws." Sound familiar? 'Don't lie' is one of Kant's perfect maxims (i.e. the ones you can never violate). A true Kantian will not lie under any circumstances. Compare this to a Utilitarian who might find lying acceptable when less harm is caused by lying. You can be pro-choice and pro-vaccine mandate simultaneously by using a Utilitarian defense: in abortion, the woman's bodily autonomy must not be harmed and moreover a forced pregnancy may ultimately lead to more harm done to both the mother and the child. The "death" of the fetus, whether defined as a person or not, doesn't risk as much utility as the alternative. This is how you can sidestep what in Logic--another field of philosophy--would be called the slippery slope of trying to scientifically or spiritually define the exact moment a fetus becomes a human being or a soul enters the body. In vaccines, the harm reduction is even more clear. You get the damn vaccine to prevent illness or death in yourself and others and you have a duty to do this, thus mandates are ethical according to a Utilitarian. You will find many pro-lifers are aspirant Kantians trying to live by a maxim: all life is sacred. It will be hard to ever convince them they're wrong because their world is built on irrefutable beliefs. To prove them wrong is to literally break their worldview.

likesmart

Strawman

It comes down to the definition of "abortion". Every single abortion always results in a dead child (we can call it a fetus for sake of argument, but it's important to understand that pro-lifers consider it an actual child, albeit unborn). That's the definition of abortion. There is no aspect of risk/chance involved. There is an intentional dead fetus/baby every single time. Vaccines are a game of chance. On any given day, you can walk around unvaccinated and do no harm because you probably don't have COVID (statistically speaking). A better comparison would be having an abortion vs intentionally walking around while you are knowingly contagious with covid. You may have your own justification for doing so (need to get groceries, need to work, etc...), but you're still knowingly causing harm. Or, another comparison would be your typical unvaccinated situation (might be contagious any given moment, but a probably not) vs a pregnant women participating is activities that may increase the risk of miscarriage—like taking certain medications while pregnant. Besides a few potential crazy exceptions, the vast majority of unvaccinated people have not intention of harming anyone. You could argue they are being unwise or even negligent, but they're not intending to do harm. Abortion has intentional harm to the fetus/child baked into the definition.

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Q1 - every single abortion does not represent a dead child. It represents a safe and legal medical procedure to end a non-viable pregnancy.

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I think the big difference is pro-vax is an argument for the greater good of society. Pro-choice or pro-life doesn’t effect society as a whole. It impacts a subset.

likesmarthelpfulfunny

SM2, the vast majority of abortions that are due to anything but rape, incest, birth defects, mother’s health, etc. are in the first trimester. The vast majority of abortions after that are really unwanted and due to necessity.

Abortions are not contagious, so your choice to get one doesn’t affect me in any way. Your choice not to get a vaccine infringes on everyone else’s freedom to escape the pandemic and not die from a virus. Also, the view that a fetus is a person equal to the mother is a religious view not shared by everyone. Some religions require an abortion if the pregnancy endangers the mother. Rights are always balanced against other rights. For abortion, the scale tilts toward a woman’s right to choose. For vaccination, the scale tilts toward everyone else’s right not to be exposed to a deadly disease. It’s the same rationale used for earlier vaccine mandates. This is not new.

likesmartfunny

If only 1% of infected people die, that’s still a staggering # of people, if every person alive in the U.S. today gets infected (roughly 3.3 million people). Are you ok with that number? What if it includes people you love? The idea that we should just let a potentially deadly disease run rampant through the population because “only 1% of infected people will die” is beyond comprehension.

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This is a great explanation for why pro choice makes sense. The rest is all politics.

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likeupliftinghelpfulfunny

SC1, how many times are you going to make this argument? If you choose to stop caring for your 4 year old, someone else can take your place. A “fetal transplant” or “embryo transplant” is not possible after implantation.

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Why are so many pro-life folks also in favor of the death penalty? It doesn’t spring from a deeper philosophy, it’s just what feel right to them.

likefunny

Also … prisoners do work. A massive swath of American corporations use prison labor to make everyday items like toothpaste, contact lenses, etc…. While pretty much providing zero comp to prisoners.

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No because no one is advocating for an across the board vaccine mandate for everyone - you would still have a choice where to work and where to send your kids to school. Whereas pro-lifers want to ban ALL women from having abortions, no exception. There is no choice.

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What about pro life and pro guns (anti-gun control laws)? That one always makes my head spin

likeupliftingsmart

EY5 don’t discount the staggering amount of defensive uses of firearms year over year. CDC concluded between 500,000 to 3 million in a given year

likefunny

I’m 100% your body your choice If you’re concerned about covid get vaccinated. If you get vaccinated and still catch covid and die not much you can do. Covid will never be eradicated so we have to learn to live with it.

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MC1 you do realize there are lasting side effects of having COVID? Just because you didn't die doesn't mean you aren't going to be dealing with the after effects for potentially the rest of your life. People haven't regained their lung function back, still don't have their sense of taste or smell, now there's studies showing there's lasting neurological side effects. In a child with a brain that hasn't fully developed yet? That's a frightening thought that they would have to deal with that in their formative years.

I think the difference is the impact they have on others - i don’t think life begins immediately, so pro choice only impacts the person with the abortion, whereas me taking the vaccine can directly impact someone else

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Thanks for the attempt to keep this thread on track lol

There are less critical thinking skills needed when we accept two things as equal, rather than unequal. These issues are not equal.

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If i can provide a religious perspective, that supports pro life (although i have been thinking do we know when the soul enters the baby's body? A presence of a soul is the only factor to consider a person to be a person). Religion also supports loving and caring for our neighbors, that should includes being vaccinated to reduce risk of infecting others or staying home so you don't harm your neighbors with your choices. So pro life should also go with pro vaccine/ quarantine - others' life to be protected by any means in your disposal.

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Yes, because vaccinations have already eradicated these diseases. Covid is not yet, so active measures must be taken to control the spread. Once its no longer an active threat all of these mandates will go away and it will be treated like other vaccinations.

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Not trying to be political… but let’s discuss the two most contentious (in the current news cycle) issues in politics. Lol

likefunny

You are right to ask this question because you are open-minded and you notice inconsistencies and double standards that frequently surround us. It's important to step out of our echo chambers sometimes and consider view points across the table. I don't like the tribalism that developed in recent years regardless of which side it's on.

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Pro choice is not about choice at all [though a great marketing strategy]. It’s about bodily integrity and autonomy. It is a commonly accepted part of our society that upon someone’s death, we can not take their organs from them. Even though those organs provide no further use to the dead person, and even if those organs could save the life of another living human being -> we protect the individual bodily autonomy as #1 priority. The same holds true for abortion: even if a woman could “save another life” (that of the unborn child) we must protect her individual bodily autonomy just like we would with her organs upon her death. Her bodily autonomy prevails above those around her. Vaccine mandates can be viewed similarly: even if taking a vaccine could save the life of another - the government cannot force you to take it. However, that doesn’t stop a government from passing a law that says “in order to use public schools and otherwise participate in society then you have to get a vaccine” - because you do have a choice there, you can maintain your bodily autonomy and get education via private means. A government could certainly also pass a law that says “if you have had an abortion then you cannot enter a public school” but good luck proving a negative “I hereby provide proof that I have not had an abortion”.

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Although bodily autonomy is an interesting perspective, and arguably a better argument than simply stating “pro-choice” (because the government restricts our choice over our bodies on a variety of things), I’m not sure this argument holds. For one, the government can certainly violate your bodily autonomy. For example, if you are suspected of driving drunk and you refuse the breathalyzer, the police have the ability to draw your blood without your consent. Additionally, why does one not have the “choice” to inject oneself with drugs? That too violates ones right to choice and bodily autonomy.

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Being pro choice and pro vax mandate are both concepts that put the interest of society above the interest of the individual. Pro choice means nobody can force you to carry a baby that you neither want nor can care for (making it eventually a burden of SOME variety on the state/society). And pro vax is obvious. Hope that helps a little!

likefunny

Thanks for the new take on this very long thread!

Could make some kind of utilitarian argument for each

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Sc1, do you count miscarriages as part of the child mortality rate?

Hmm... that's a good question, and I have thought about it too. A lot of people will say abortion is not contagious, and you are not harming others with it. However, an argument can be made that every person you infect with Covid by not being vaccinated (although vaccinated can spread the virus too) has anywhere from 0.5% to 2% chance of dying (depending of the age/health/risk, etc.) while abortions have 100% death rate for the unborn babies. Then, you will have some people saying well unborn babies are not real humans so it's not the same and others will disagree. I don't know, it's a real conundrum so I hear ya completely.

likesmart

Do men know their sperm will end up impregnating a women when they ejaculate inside them? If so, shouldn’t they be the ones legally responsible and getting sued?

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Respectfully, I cannot see how these two concepts are legitimately comparable. Why do you see them as views that are on the same track and scale?

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Very true, which is why I assume the feds included the (arguably onerous) testing option as well. My comment was intended to note that notion of “bodily autonomy” is fallacious.

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It’s simple. Basically if you didn’t get vaccinated and come to work with me, you are putting my health in danger. If you got abortion and come to work with me is not of my business. So, don’t be a fool and go get the vaccine.

likefunny

Will they go for the boosters once they are mandated though.

The way I see it is one of them addresses the health of a community during a pandemic and places importance on public duty over personal rights. You can argue the legality of it all you want, but US as a nation has responsibility towards it's citizens for which the nation will and always has suspended personal freedoms (includes compulsory military service during periods of war). The other one goes after personal freedom of a specific class of citizens (anyone who can give birth) when there really is no emergency. There is no pandemic or war which necessitates this stance. It most probably is politically/religiously motivated and has the bounty hunting element to it.

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