Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Saturday, January 22, 2005

A Worse No-Win Situation

According to Jonah Goldberg:

I happened to catch a few seconds of a Friends re-run last night. It was the one where Rachel finds out she's pregnant, something we've discussed before in re abortion.

What's really interesting to me is how double-edged allegedly conservative victories are. The argument over Murphy Brown was how it sent a bad message to encourage single-motherhood as glamorous. Today, single motherhood on TV may be less glamorous but it is far more ubiquitous. Anyway, the point is that characters like Rachel decide not to have abortions, which is something of a nominal conservative victory. Right? But they also conclude that being a single mom is eminently "doable." This, it seems to me, is a conservative defeat.

Admittedly they are sort of apples and oranges so it's hard to say which is worse for society. Obviously if you believe abortion is akin to murder then the societal harm of these messages should take a back seat to the importance of choosing life. But sending the message that having a baby on your own is like picking up a new hobby is not good news for society either. This really seems like a no-win situation to me.

There's an even worse potential dilemma facing religious, pro-life but not yet Orthodox Jews. In the rest of society, the obvious conservative solution to avoiding both bastardy and abortion is for the couple to marry. That's not always an option for Jews if it means an intermarriage. Orthodox Judaism has rules intended to prevent Jews and gentiles from socializing and to prevent men and women from getting together outside of marriage. Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism (in practice, if not in theory) ignore those apparently-silly rules. The effect is to give some people a choice between tolerating intermarriage (bad), bastardy (worse), and abortion (rotten).

The rules of Orthodox Judaism might look absurd but rejecting them has led to disaster.

Maybe I should look at the Midwest Conservative Journal for hints of the right type of rhetoric to use while starting to move to a more rigorous religous organization.

A Speculation

This might account for the belief in some quarters that a pro-life Jew is highly assimilated and quasi-Christian. If we just look at non-Orthodox Jews, we might find that pro-lifers are more likely to be intermarried.


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