abortion versus Obama care

Topics: Children
01 Oct 2009

From: Ervan Darnell

I recently heard a speaker at TED talking about how our internal moral
sense is the same in any society. It varies from person to person, but
the average answer in a given population to hypothetical moral questions
is the same for Brazilian rain forest natives as it is Westerners. It
is the same for atheists as it for Christians (thus arguing against the
idea that religion is the source of morality).

One example he gave was abortion. There is a difference there between
atheists and Christians, but it seems an artifact of indoctrination on
that particular question. If you ask the following abstract question:

"You wake up to find a man in a bed next to you whom you are connected
to by some tubes. You are told he is the best violinist in the world
and his kidneys are failing. He can get a new kidney in six months, but
he will die if you are disconnected now. This happened without your
knowledge or your consent. Is it moral for you to refuse and disconnect

Atheists and Christians both answer about 70% yes to that question.
While this is an imperfect analogy to abortion, it does get at one
aspect of it.

Being forced to surrender your money is not as severe (usually) as being
forced to endanger your health/surrender your body for some other use.
Nonetheless, the amount of money you lose equals time in your life that
is lost to you (as you have to work harder to make up what was lost and
that time comes out of your pleasure). That's somewhat similar to being
tied to the kidney tube.

It struck me today how liberalism is inconsistent on this. Being
adamantly pro-choice on abortion is a strong statement for not being
forced to surrender yourself to someone else's life even for a short
term (I'm not taking a stand here on whether a fetus is a person, but
the pro-choice argument doesn't care, thus for the sake of argument I'll
assume it is). But being forced to surrender yourself for someone
else's health care is accepted without a blink of the eye. I'd like to
see the study above broken down by liberal versus not to see where the
inconsistency pops in.