Thursday, April 5, 2018

Mature Conversation

Image found here

To begin, I’ll just place here some story headlines from the news this week.

Planned Parenthood's Richards Details Secret Meeting With Ivanka And Jared About Funding And Abortion

Richards revealed details of the meeting in her book. Trump and Kushner offered full funding for Planned Parenthood, even increased funding—if Planned Parenthood completely stopped doing abortions. She refused. Because Planned Parenthood isn’t about “women’s health”; it’s about doing abortions.

Next, this:

She recommended adopting shelter dogs, rather than buying a dog. LifeNews had this response:

Planned Parenthood is so obsessed with making a buck that the idea of adoption rarely — if ever — comes up. Sure, the organization will take credit for a few moms choosing life to feed the lie that it does more than abortion, but the numbers are hardly flattering. In its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood could only claim one adoption referral for every 83 abortions. If Cecile wants to rescue dogs, she might want to show a little more concern for their prospective owners.
And a few days earlier was this:

Of course, removing a tweet after it’s gotten a lot of attention means it’s not really gone.

The tweet, found here

It was discussed today on the Michael Knowles show, worth hearing (requires subscription, but audio is free).

From my viewpoint, I’m not surprised when I learn yet one more unfavorable thing about Planned Parenthood. I believe the people within Planned Parenthood are guilty of heinous wrongs of the worst savagery. Chances are you agree.

Abortion is one of the most polarized issues in our society. And yet, it’s horrifying to a huge majority. The Democrat platform position is restriction-free abortion. But only 12% of Americans agree with that position. Not even the majority of the so-called “pro-choice” position agree. Only 22% of women go along with the Democrat position.

Put another way, on this most polarized issue, 88% of Americans agree that there should be some restrictions on abortions. A hefty 76% favor limiting abortion to the first trimester, or limiting it to only certain very rare circumstances (rape, incest, or to save the mother's life), or barring abortion entirely. In fact, 78% of women favor limits.

That’s a lot of agreement.

During a class lecture last May, Dr. Jordan Peterson was asked his opinion on abortion. He’s a thinker, and his answer was careful and much deeper than for or against. But he started with this:

Abortion is clearly wrong. I don’t think anybody debates that. You wouldn’t recommend that someone that you love have one.
Jordon Peterson
screen shot from the video

He’s right. The data bears that out. And yet it seems a surprising thing to say. He gives a larger answer, to address why this wrong thing still presents a problem for society:

So, the discussion regarding the legality of abortion is nested inside a larger discussion about the morality of abortion, and that’s nested inside a larger discussion about the proper place of sexuality in human behavior. And, to me, that’s the level at which the problem needs to be addressed.
If that’s the level at which the problem needs to be addressed, why aren’t we addressing it at that level?

He goes on to touch on the importance of marriage quite beautifully:

It signifies a place where people can tie the ropes of their lives together so that they’re stronger. It signifies a place where people can tell the truth to one another. It signifies a place where sexuality can properly be integrated into life. That’s no easy task. It’s a place where children, at least in principle, can be put first and foremost, as they should be once they exist.
But he believes our culture isn’t mature enough to have this conversation on proper sexual behavior.

He’s hardly ever wrong, and probably isn’t now. But maybe we help the culture mature by having the conversation anyway. Think about having a conversation with children around. Sometimes you interact with the kids, but eventually you’re going to have a conversation with the grownups, and the kids will be bored and tune you out. Maybe leave the room, or find some other way to occupy their interest.

But if you have a long series of these conversations around your children, eventually they mature enough to get interested. Long before they're ready to contribute, they start to pay attention, and start to think about what the grownups are talking about. And eventually the listening children have matured enough to join in. By then they’ve been exposed to grownup ideas over and over, and have thought about them, and started to think through their own opinions.

We shouldn’t wait until the immature are matured before having a conversation among the grownups.

The growing awareness and agreement that abortion is wrong is evidence of some maturing among previously less mature listeners.

So, in hopes of more maturing to come, I will say, sex outside of marriage is always wrong.

Look, for example, at the formula for avoiding poverty in America. I’ve written about it before, had this data for more than 15 years. It shows up in Brookings Institute data in 2013. Ben Shapiro mentioned it in a speech last October. It’s essentially the theme of the Charles Murray book Coming Apart. It’s this:

1.       Don’t have sex before age 20.
2.       Don’t have sex until after marriage.
3.       Stay married.
4.       Obtain at least a high school diploma.
Regardless of race or economic level of the family-of-origin, 98% of people who follow this formula move up to the middle class.

If “planned parenthood” meant this formula, that would be a societal help. The euphemistically named Planned Parenthood doesn’t tell anyone this. They tell you that everyone has sex outside of marriage, and that the inevitable resulting pregnancy is an inconvenience to you and therefore you have a right to kill. Does that really make a contribution to a person’s life? Or to society’s?

So there are economic reasons for following the formula. Beyond that, the next part of the conversation has to do with reasons for confining sex to within marriage.

I jumped in to that side of the conversation back when I wrote the original Spherical Model material. It’s in the “Family Is the Basic Unit of Civilization” section. Absolute monogamy is a necessary feature of a thriving civilization. This isn’t new information. Giambattista Vico knew it in the mid-17th Century. Nearly a century ago Joseph Daniel Unwin demonstrated it with data about pretty much all the world’s civilizations.

And if that weren’t enough, Moses got that information straight from God about 2300 years ago (Exodus 20:14).

It’s a mature civilization that has figured out how to build on the wisdom of the past, rather than throw it out as old-fashioned. Not every tradition is worth keeping. But when the wisdom of the ages tells us something, maybe we ought to believe it until there’s incontrovertible evidence that it’s not true—instead of assuming it’s worthless regardless of mounds of evidence, which is what our immature culture has been doing the past several decades.

So, this is my effort to get that grownup conversation going. I'm sure we'll talk again.

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