Europe increasingly right wing

Europe increasingly right wing

Debates

Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

k
Flexible

The wrong side of 60

Joined
22 Dec 11
Moves
37186
30 Sep 22

@teinosuke said
I agree with some of your points (for instance, it's certainly an important fact that populations were become less transient). But I'd take issue with most of them:

The late Victorian era was rife with industrial exploitation of children

This had been true since the late eighteenth century and remained true in the early Victorian era, but reforming legis ...[text shortened]... Belgian King Leopold II's wholly commercial, and wholly disgusting imperial enterprise in the Congo.
I appreciate your detailed response and stand corrected on some but yet your picture of late Victorian Britain seems a bit too rose tinted for me. I’m far from convinced of the churches role in these improvements but do accept many of the individuals who spearheaded these improvements had deeply held religious beliefs, some like John Cadbury and Edward Rowntree were Quaker’s and seemed driven to lift the poor. But at street level the mainstream Church looked like just another organ of suppression and excuser for the rampant and life shortening inequality.
What has not been mentioned so far is burgeoning union and labour movements of the period or the need for an ever better trained / skilled workforce as drivers for improving conditions and better educational regimes. I don’t buy the Church / Christianity as the sole or even main driving force for the positive trends seen in this period. It seems to be part of the argument that tries to claim that we get the positive aspects of our nature instilled from religious text rather than being innate aspects of our humanity which to me is equally dangerous and depressing.

T

Joined
13 Mar 07
Moves
48661
30 Sep 22

@vivify said
This would mean that raped women, including minors, should be refused abortions based on the doctor's whim. I don't see how this is defensible.
Agreed, it isn't. Indeed, many countries that allow conscientious objection also provide that there are situations in which this conscientious objection can't be invoked. Section 4 of the UK Abortion Act 1967:

(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, no person shall be under any duty, whether by contract or by any statutory or other legal requirement, to participate in any treatment authorised by this Act to which he has a conscientious objection.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall affect any duty to participate in treatment which is necessary to save the life or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of a pregnant woman.


So if the mental health of the woman is at stake (as it would be, in the situation you outlined), then the doctor can't refuse on the basis of conscientious objection.

Compare the situation in the Czech Republic: a doctor may refuse on grounds of conscience to perform an abortion, but has a legal duty refer a patient seeking one to another doctor who will.

And Ireland (which legalised abortion very recently) combines both exceptions: if there is a risk to the life or health of the woman, then medical practitioners can't opt out, and even in circumstances where they can and do refuse, they are obliged to make arrangements that will allow the woman to secure an abortion.

rain

Joined
08 Mar 11
Moves
12351
30 Sep 22

@teinosuke said
So if the mental health of the woman is at stake (as it would be, in the situation you outlined), then the doctor can't refuse on the basis of conscientious objection.
But that logic, no abortion can be refused, since being forced to birth a child against her will can adversely affect the mental health of women.

T

Joined
13 Mar 07
Moves
48661
30 Sep 22
1 edit

@vivify said
But that logic, no abortion can be refused, since being forced to birth a child against her will can adversely affect the mental health of women.
Well, in fact, the proviso is a bit more stringent than that: the doctor has a duty to act if by performing the abortion he will "prevent grave permanent injury to physical or mental health." So I guess a lot is riding on how one interprets the adjective "grave".

Personally, I'm OK with the Czech situation - it means a woman who wants / needs an abortion will get one, but it doesn't force a pro-life doctor himself to perform a medical procedure which is against his conscience.

rain

Joined
08 Mar 11
Moves
12351
30 Sep 22
1 edit

@Teinosuke Thanks for your input. You're an intelligent and fair-minded poster. I hope to see you engage in more discussions around here.

Die Cheeseburger

Provocation

Joined
01 Sep 04
Moves
78766
30 Sep 22

@vivify said
But that logic, no abortion can be refused, since being forced to birth a child against her will can adversely affect the mental health of women.
Uh oh, vivifies undies are getting damp again at the thought of forcing people against their will, not just anyone (well, probably everyone) but people more qualified than her because they don't believe the same things as her. Just like the religious fanatics.

There is a solution of course, a very simple one: the free market, let those that want an abortion seek out those that want to give abortions.

Everyone is happy except the closet bullies. Put the closet bullies back in the closet, choose freedom of choice.,

T

Joined
13 Mar 07
Moves
48661
01 Oct 22
2 edits

@kevcvs57 said
Thanks for your appreciative words. I didn't intend to create a rose-tinted portrait of the era, which like all eras had many flaws, but it does strike me that these days most of us tend to be very judgemental about the past, rather than trying sympathetically to understand why people in the past thought and acted the way they did. The Victorian era was no paradise, but it should be regarded as a period of tremendous progress. Of course, British society still had many problems in 1901, but almost every Briton by then enjoyed a quality of life far improved from that experienced by his grandfather in 1837.

I don’t buy the Church / Christianity as the sole or even main driving force for the positive trends seen in this period.

The established church was no doubt implicated in many of the hierarchies and inequalities of the period; much of the progressive impetus came from the non-conformist churches (you rightly commented on the importance of Quaker philanthropists). Moreover, some of the labour movements you mention themselves had strong religious elements - Keir Hardie was described by his biographer, Kenneth O. Morgan, as subscribing to "a very generalised socialism based on a secularised Christianity rather than Marxism."

It seems to be part of the argument that tries to claim that we get the positive aspects of our nature instilled from religious text rather than being innate aspects of our humanity which to me is equally dangerous and depressing.

I find the claim depressing but not dangerous; over-optimism is usually more dangerous than pessimism, since a pessimist takes more precautions.

But in any case, why should it be either / or? Human nature is a mixture of good and bad; religion is a force that, amongst other things, tries to promote particular conduct by providing an imagined incentive for it. Society can function only if enough people behave well; religion offers people a reward for doing so. Heaven is probably unreal, but the hope of heaven is not unreal, and it might stir people to do good who otherwise wouldn't.

The atheist physicist Stephen Weinberg remarked that "With or without [religion] you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things takes religion." In certain cases, of course, he's right; but the opposite is just as true: for evil people to do good things also takes religion.

Of course, there are other mechanisms for regulating human behaviour and encouraging orderly conduct so that society can be liveable. Most of them involve external restraints, e.g., a powerful police force. It could be argued that inculcating principles like "Thou shalt not steal" via religious education is a gentler option.

T

Joined
13 Mar 07
Moves
48661
01 Oct 22
2 edits

@vivify said
@Teinosuke Thanks for your input. You're an intelligent and fair-minded poster. I hope to see you engage in more discussions around here.
Thanks for the compliment. I used to be involved in the debate much more than I am now - once my job became full-time, it was harder to make space for RHP. So nowadays I tend to pop on and off again.

I do strive to be fair-minded, in the sense of trying to be as generous as possible to my ideological opponents. I think it's important to try and understand why people might have arrived at a different view and to take their arguments in good faith.

We live in a very polarised society nowadays, and I think a lot of people tend to assume their opponents are not only wrong but malicious. I worry that's a dangerous assumption to make. So although I'm broadly liberal / left-of-centre in most respects, I often find myself wanting to try and process / think through right-wing / conservative positions for the sake of argument.

Pawn Whisperer

My Kingdom fora Pawn

Joined
09 Jan 19
Moves
19115
01 Oct 22

@wajoma said
Uh oh, vivifies undies are getting damp again at the thought of forcing people against their will, not just anyone (well, probably everyone) but people more qualified than her because they don't believe the same things as her. Just like the religious fanatics.

There is a solution of course, a very simple one: the free market, let those that want an abortion seek out those ...[text shortened]... py except the closet bullies. Put the closet bullies back in the closet, choose freedom of choice.,
Well put, wajoma. Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedom.