James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, September 22, 2005


In the future, I will be more careful to avoid making the charge of hypocrisy, when inconsistency is more accurate.

You have inconsistency when prescriptions contradict premises. If "government should stay out of our bedrooms," then legalized sodomy is consistent with that premise. Tax-subsidized contraception, however, is inconsistent; it puts the government right in the bedroom. Likewise, legal abortion is consistent with being "pro-choice," but tax-subsidized abortion is inconsistent, because it forces women who don't get pregnant to pay for the abortions of women who do, and where there is force, there is no choice.

That's not to say that there is inconsistency between the prescriptions. It is not inconsistent to be in favor of both legal abortion and tax-subsidized abortion, only that the latter is inconsistent with the "pro-choice" premise. If you favor tax-subsidized abortions, recheck your premises and find another argument for it.

Pointing out inconsistencies in arguments helps clarify our beliefs and values. What we want and what we advocate should naturally flow from what we believe. We often know, (or think we know) what we want, but we don't really know what we believe. Working out the inconsistencies between our beliefs/values and our practices should cause us to strengthen the former or change the latter.

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