Are Drugs Even Bad?

Obviously some drugs are bad altogether, and all drugs are bad if abused.

But almost no one thinks all drugs are bad, all the time.

Of course caffeine is the prime example of this. Even your most heavily addicted coffee chugging friend is probably not going to pawn your TV to get their fix.

Yea you can still get too wired, or have a headache from caffeine withdrawal, but we have all pretty much accepted that caffeine is fine to be addicted to.

There’s a point to coffee! It kick-starts your day! BOOM. Go. Kick-ass. It is a little luxury, a tiny escape, a methylxanthine comfort. Continue reading

Are Photos Stealing Your Soul?

Some say certain tribes from all over the world have believed in the past that a photograph can steal your soul.

More recently, studies have suggested that taking pictures actually makes it harder to remember an event. I guess since we have a physical record of it, we let the mental record slip. And then when we look at the photo, we let that serve as the memory instead of revisiting the moment in our minds.

But the other day I realized that photos have been stealing my soul in a different way. When I find myself in a picturesque moment, instead of basking in the joy of life, I sometimes feel the drive to preserve it in a picture. Continue reading

Liberation: A Spiritual Hypothesis

I see two extremes in religious beliefs. On the one hand, during dark times people flock to religion for the promise of something better after death, since they have lost hope for something better in this life. On the flip side, people ignore religion, or are too distracted to engage themselves spiritually, when their lives are going well. Continue reading

Just for the record, you can be libertarian and anti-abortion

by Jen Lade

As hundreds of thousands of people march on Washington to protest the legalization of abortion for the annual March for Life today, I just want to clarify that it is not hypocritical to be both libertarian and “pro-life.”

As readers of this blog know, libertarians want government to back off and give individuals the freedom to live their lives as they please. Some might think this would include backing off on a woman’s decision to have an abortion. But libertarians still believe government has a role: to protect our most basic rights, the first of which is the right to life. Without the right to life, all other talk of rights becomes meaningless. Libertarians believe the government must outlaw the initiation of force against another individual, which includes everything from assault to murder and abortion.

Because the right to life is such an obvious first principle in our Constitution, the only way to argue for the continued legalization of abortion is to argue that abortion is not ending a human life. But science has been pretty clear on this for a while now. From the moment of conception, the being growing inside the mother is a human life, with its own DNA separate from the mother.

There are plenty of other arguments people use to support the right to an abortion. No doubt many women who seek abortion are suffering because of their pregnancy or the implications of having a child. These women deserve our sympathy and our assistance. But their circumstances do not negate the wrongness of ending of a life any more than a person robbing a house to feed his family negates the crime of stealing.

Oftentimes, proponents of abortion use quasi-libertarian arguments to twist the issue: “If you don’t like abortion, then don’t have one.” The subtext is: “this is a personal choice, so butt out.” These same people would usually balk at the same argument concerning a different issue: “If you don’t like guns, then don’t own one;” or “If you don’t like drugs, then don’t use them.”

But they have it backwards. In the latter two examples, it really is a personal choice. Unless the gun is used to initiate force on someone else (which is already a crime) or the drugs are forcefully administered to someone else, another person’s possession of a firearm or use of drugs does not encroach on your rights. But in the abortion example, the act of getting an abortion IS encroaching on the right to life of the human in the womb.

Another libertarian-esque, but flawed, argument is that of self defense. If someone breaks into your house while you are home and there’s a chance they could kill you, you have the right to defend yourself against them, even if it means killing them. Some might say this could be applied to an unborn baby. According to the Guttmacher Institute about 12 percent of abortions are performed at least in part because of concern for the mother’s health, with a smaller percentage being because the mother’s life was actually threatened. But there is a big difference between killing the unborn baby outright and treating the mother’s life-threatening conditions with the side effect of killing the baby. For example, if the mother treats her cancer with chemotherapy during pregnancy, the unborn child may die but that was not the intent. If the child is aborted and then treatment started, the intent was to kill the child and should be illegal, even if the abortion was only a means to the end of expediting treatment.

To continue the house break-in metaphor, could the unborn life be considered to be a trespassing aggressor against the mother, thus legitimizing the abortion? Not really. First of all, the intent of the so-called aggressor has to be taken into account. An unborn baby has no intentions and is merely an innocent person. And he or she is not a trespasser either — having sex means there is a chance a baby will result. Aborting that baby would be like inviting over a family member (or at least leaving the door open) and then shooting the family member when they wandered into your house.

Furthermore, rape and incest together are listed as reasons for ending a pregnancy for less than 1.5 percent of all abortions, and in these cases, I’d say the rapist was the trespasser, not the baby that resulted. In any case, because of the small percentages of abortions performed because of life-threatening conditions or rape, the self-defense argument does not legitimize widespread abortion.

Maybe this is an obvious argument, but I just wanted to make sure all you libertarians out there kept it straight with regards to this issue. Go ahead and cheer those marchers for life. They’re fighting for defense of the earliest and most important right.