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Is it just me, or is there a bit of a disconnect here?

Seen in a parking lot while shopping about three weeks ago:

i-e8cb32a42e675fd03ac6a940674055c2-disconnect.jpg

I sense a disconnect between the two messages contained on the back of a very large SUV…

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

44 replies on “Is it just me, or is there a bit of a disconnect here?”

Apples and oranges. For one thing, aborted fetuses look awful mounted above the mantelpiece. For another, there’s not enough meat on them even for a stew. So from a purely utilitarian POV, it makes perfect sense to support hunting and oppose abortion.

Not exactly. The complaint about abortion in the sticker is that it’s violent. Hunting is violent, too. You can argue whether it’s a justifiable violence, but there’s no arguing that it is violent. Personally, I’m not against hunting per se. I don’t do it myself, but I don’t have a problem with those who do, as long as it’s not just trophy hunting and as long as they actually use the meat.

I know, Orac, but I was being facetious, I thought in a sufficiently sledgehammeresque way.
But yes, obviously objecting to abortion because it’s violent but supporting hunting is a serious disconnect. I’m sure however if you spoke to owners of this vehicle their actual thinking is probably more consistent than what they have on their bumper. Sadly, the inferior taste of fetus even after marinating in red wine and orange zest is unlikely to be part of it.

I googled SCI for Hunters. It’s a very large big game hunting association. So it’s hunting for the thrill of killing something big and sometimes rare for people with the disposable income to travel. I guess it’s a matter of which species the violence is being directed against?

Swift once wrote on the subject. /http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal. Perhaps there are closet Democrats worried about food shortage?

I see the disconnect – and yet; by my standards both those who oppose abortion by bumpersticker and those who propagate hunting by bumpersticker are not quite sane. ( I leave the question if the bumperstickerness makes them so as exercise to the reader. )

Also I am sure that if one wants to one could derive both from Genesis 1:28-30 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%201&version=KJV ) that personally I would come to completely different reading of that passage does not matter – except in my estimate of the owners intelligence.

Hey, you can’t mount ’em on the wall, but them’s good eatin’!

This is standard cognitive dissonance – there is good violence, and bad violence, of course, and the kind that aids in their own gratification is good. I can probably even bet that the individual who had this probably had a “support the troops” sticker and has never (or even refused) to serve.

From their POV, hunting isn’t violent – it’s just pointing a gun and pulling the trigger, with all the nasty gory flesh-tearing stuff happening hundreds of feet away. Whereas abortion is PUSHING horrible sharp SURGICAL implements into a WOMB and RIPPING a tiny innocent cute sweet live BABY into BLOODY PIECES!!11!!
That’s how the disconnect works.

“The complaint about abortion in the sticker is that it’s violent. Hunting is violent, too.”

Er, no. Note the qualifier: “Peace in the womb.” It says nothing about peace outside it. That is to say: there are places and times where violence is acceptable, and there are places and times where violence is not. Violence against an unborn child is never acceptable, any more than is violence against a newborn in a maternity ward. There’s no cognitive dissonance between this attitude and hunting for food or sport, unless one is in the habit of hunting fetuses.

An analogy. Having sex is a fine thing. Nothing wrong with it, at the proper time and place. Would you call a church hypocritical if they celebrated weddings in a chapel where a sign was posted saying ‘please do not have sex in the pews'(*)? They’re condoning sexual activity while rejecting it, right?

(*) Obviously a left-wing church, if the sign is necessary; but not Unitarians, or the behavior wouldn’t be restricted 🙂

I wonder which sticker they put up first.

I like to think it was the one with the dove — and then they thought OMG we look like liberal weenie hippies, so they hastened to get the one from the hunting group, to clarify that no, it’s not “Peace in the World,” you need to look again!

This is what happens when you try to express your beliefs in catchy sentence fragments for those who stop behind your car at a red light or happen to be stuck behind you on the road.

” Note the qualifier: “Peace in the womb.” It says nothing about peace outside it. That is to say: there are places and times where violence is acceptable, and there are places and times where violence is not.”

That’s why SCI members wait until after the kid is born to get them their first real toy.

It’s not like these people have to be consistent.
The Anti-Abortion crowd have members who are in favor of wars, but who want to stop abortions. Many of them also favor the murder of abortion providers while proclaiming to anyone who’ll listen that they are against Abortion because abortion is murder. And of course, many of them are in favor of the death penalty — state sanctioned killing — while maintaining that abortion is murder.

And I’m sure they give a big thumbs up to the death penalty. I’m given to understand that “playing God” is OK in some situations, like when you shoot a Polar Bear to be stuffed for your den, or when you deliberately electrocute a guy because he did something really bad.

I suspect that, to their way of thinking, hunting is something done to animals, and abortion to people. And, clearly, people are not animals. I’m actually astounded at the number of people who do not realize (or accept) that humans are a type of animal.

Well Sophia8 those foetuses could have grown up to be the next generation of murderers, rapists, robbers, etc. Considering everyone has to be taught to be moral the burden of proof is on the anti-abortionists to prove the foetus could have grown to be someone moral.

Only if you don’t make a distinction between human life and, say, a deer’s life.

And what has the SUV got to do with it?

SUVs are quite good at eliminating critters (including humans), both by direct impact and by environmental impact.

I’d be a bit more surprised to see those stickers on an electric or hybrid car, or a bicycle(‘s panniers).

“This is standard cognitive dissonance – there is good violence, and bad violence, of course, and the kind that aids in their own gratification is good.”

Sounds like vivisection to me.

I think that many of us are guilty of some degree of cognitive disonance in these areas. How many vegetarian / vegan liberals support the right of choice but are horrified at the thought of eating animal protein much less pre-meditatedely killing dinner / your wall decoration? Having an ad for a big game association and an anti-choice sticker on your car are only dissonant in that one says “peace” and the other says “boom.” The deeper meanings and their interrelations are complicated and to be trite and cute about them is shallow.

If I am attacked — bad violence — I have a moral right to defend myself — good violence. If someone tries to hurt my family — bad violence — and I intervene and defend them, good violence. I am an omnivore. I have taken the moral position that it is ok for a cow to have its brains bashed in by a pneumatic bolt to the head so I can eat. I am sure the cow sees this as bad violence, but I this as the top sirloin steak in my freezer. Maybe this is cognitive dissonance, but we all have made decision points like these in our lives.

“The deeper meanings and their interrelations are complicated and to be trite and cute about them is shallow.”

I have to agree here. I don’t think there is a dissonance except on the very surface.

At the same time displaying ones ideals in such a public way opens them up to ridicule. We can have our beliefs that we hold dear, but no matter how important they are to us, we can never make them everyone’s beliefs.

I have a feeling these people work only by soundbite. Since their is a gulf the size of mexico between each talking-point it becomes very easy never to see the irony.

To be honest though there is no cognitive dissonance specifically here. Humans are special because it was written so in a book a long time ago. Man has dominion over animals (its in the book) and the book is special because the book says it is special. So killing humans is wrong, killing animals is right.

Therefore wiping animals out is perfectly acceptable because we are better than everything else (while of course being humble and practising humility just like Jesus)

@26
Your claim that anyone who sees a possible reasonableness in being okay with hunting while opposing abortion is a religious zealot is insulting!

Perhaps you would have a hard time deciding whether to save a puppy or a small child from a sinking ship. Yes animals are important and should not be killed for sport or wiped out because they are in the way of “progress”. But saying that humans are no more important than animals is sheer stupidity (sorry, I don’t like that word but it seems appropriate).

In my opinion, you are arrogantly placing yourself above those with differing opinions. I believe that is hypocritical.

[email protected]: I should have known that somebody would skim over all the exclamation marks and capital letters – next time, I’ll remember to put in sarcasm tags.
As for everyone has to be taught to be moral , define “moral” – if you mean something like “being good to others”, “do as you would be done by” etc, well, there is some evidence to show that such behaviour is inborn and doesn’t need to be taught.

Sophia8–I read Gil’s response as continuing your snark, using the ‘congratulations, you just killed Beethoven’ and the ‘morality comes from god’ memes of the religious anti-choice crowd for humorous effect. I guess we’ll have to wait for Gil to turn up and clarify, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until then.

As to the topic itself, objection to abortion as the violent destruction of an innocent life alongside simultaneous support for an organization that endorses big game hunting, suggesting that this latter somehow *isn’t* the violent destruction of an innocent life, does seem to present a bit of a disconnect, even when granting that this particular SUV driver makes a value distinction between human and non-human lives.

There are tons of other anti-choice bumper stickers that could have gotten the message across without specifically addressing violence, but this one was chosen. Why? Probably because it’s an effective marketing tool of the anti-choice lobby, an attempt to get people to visualize the dismembering brutalization of ‘babies’ and respond viscerally with support for anti-choice legislation. The pro-hunting sticker is remarkably understated, by comparison. It’s a very interesting little psychological snapshot, IMO. Thanks for sharing, Orac!

It occurs to me that there is another disconnect here. This person opposes a woman having freedom to end a pregnancy, and at the same time is clearly opposing any restriction on his (I assume “his”) freedom to own and use a gun. Further, he is supporting government intrusion into privacy on one hand, and opposing it on the other.

“I have a right to the freedoms I believe in, and you have no right to those I oppose” appears to be a pretty common attitude.

It occurs to me that there is another disconnect here. This person opposes a woman having freedom to end a pregnancy, and at the same time is clearly opposing any restriction on his (I assume “his”) freedom to own and use a gun. Further, he is supporting government intrusion into privacy on one hand, and opposing it on the other.

“I have a right to the freedoms I believe in, and you have no right to those I oppose” appears to be a pretty common attitude.

The Anti-Abortion crowd have members who are in favor of wars, but who want to stop abortions.

If abortion is treated as an example of an unjust war, that would explain why so few anti-abortion people advocate assassination of abortionists. (That doesn’t fit “abortion is murder” rhetoric very well.) Unjust wars are normally protested by sit-ins, not by the assassination of generals. There’s another consequence of the analogy: An abortion permitted because of the supposed danger to a mother’s mental health can be analogous to declaring war on Mexico because the supposed danger of foreign competition is driving Americans crazy.

As for a supposed contradiction between opposing both abortion and gun control, I doubt if many anti-abortion people are in favor of mandatory registration of coat hangers. (I won’t more than mention the fact that easing gun control laws is not usually associated with crime epidemics.)

I suspect that, to their way of thinking, hunting is something done to animals, and abortion to people. And, clearly, people are not animals. I’m actually astounded at the number of people who do not realize (or accept) that humans are a type of animal.

Humans aren’t animals. When there are more of a species of animal there is less of what that animal eats. When there are more humans there is more of what humans eat. Ecologically speaking humans are plants. When there are more of a species of plant, the resources the plant needs either increase (soil) or stay the same (sunlight).

We’re descended from animals but that doesn’t mean we’re still animals.

“It’s not like these people have to be consistent.
The Anti-Abortion crowd have members who are in favor of wars, but who want to stop abortions. Many of them also favor the murder of abortion providers while proclaiming to anyone who’ll listen that they are against Abortion because abortion is murder. And of course, many of them are in favor of the death penalty — state sanctioned killing — while maintaining that abortion is murder.”

…and don’t forget the anti-abortion activists who choose to have some of their own pregnancies aborted *during* the time that they are activists against abortion (instead of getting abortions then repenting). For example:

http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

“Personally, I’m not against hunting per se. I don’t do it myself, but I don’t have a problem with those who do, as long as it’s not just trophy hunting and as long as they actually use the meat.”

Moron! What a moronic statement. What do you care whether or not they use the meat or just want to mount the head if you’re not really against hunting? Is hunting really about getting meat for the family?

Hell No!

If it is…it’s pretty expensive meat that’s not as good a quality of the meat in the grocery store that was killed in I guess what you would consider a more humane way of a bolt in the head or a snap of the neck of an animal that was treated inhumanely it’s entire life and kept in usually poor conditions.

Hunting is not about the meat. The meat is a bonus. I mean by the time a hunter buys a gun, ammo, hunting gear, license, and then pays someone to clean the deer and make steaks and sausage and jerky out of it, the hunter is paying double what they would have paid for much safer USDA inspected grocery store meat.

Hunting is a sport and if we allowed more permits each fall to help further lower the deer population, then maybe I wouldn’t have to put a new hood on my Freightliner every other fall after hitting a deer…I’m all for it.

You talk about violence and hunting? Have you seen how animals treat each other?

You should stick to issues you know more about…like cancer. After the idiotic statement you made about hunting I would second guess any advice you have on cancer.

I am not against hunting as long as it’s in a safe place and the animal is not endangered. When I say endangered…I don’t mean “people for the ethical treatment of animals” endangered, I mean really endangered.

The truth be told…people who hunt, have more overall knowledge and respect and truly understand the beauty of animals and understand gun control and gun safety way more than some conscientious objecting, tree hugging wacko that previously had no direction in life until he or she was brain washed with psycho babble from some influential main stream media supported talking head that claims to be in favor of animal rights.

“Personally, I’m not against hunting per se. I don’t do it myself, but I don’t have a problem with those who do, as long as it’s not just trophy hunting and as long as they actually use the meat.”

That’s like saying …“Personally, I’m not against vaccination per se. I don’t do it myself, but I don’t have a problem with those who do, as long as it’s not just trophy vaccination and as long as they actually work.”

WTF???

@Joseph says “Humans aren’t animals… Ecologically speaking humans are plants.”

I think (after working it over a number of times) that I have an idea of what you’re getting at. However, it strikes me as a case of Humpty-Dumpty-ism – it works as long as the words mean whatever you want them to mean. But then, by your definition, it also seems that bees and termites are plants, and fungi are animals.

In any case, if you want to argue that humans are qualitatively different enough from other animals to be classed as something else, I would be interested in your reasoning. If you insist on arguing that we are plants, I shall be forced to raise an eyebrow at you 🙂

Thats nothing – I saw a car a few months ago that had a Jesus Fish next to a ‘Peace through Strength’ sticker that featured a rendering of a person with crosshairs on the head.

I wonder what they do if the animal they shoot was pregnant, thus aborting the fetus of that animal in the process of shooting it? Or is it a whole “man is better than animal” thing? Soooo many inconsistencies.

In response to Anonymous #38… You’re assuming a lot. I don’t know if you are a hunter, but you seem to be very knowledgeable on the subject. That said, you can’t possibly know what is in the mind of every hunter, and you are being pretty arrogant to assume that you can. Sure, there are people who hunt because it is practical. I know a couple of people who hunt to keep populations down, and because we killed off all of the natural predators, it is necessary. But that doesn’t mean that every person who hunts appreciates the animal that they hunt. It sounds like you kind of hate the animals you see as needing hunting, for what they do to your fender. I don’t know if you do, unlike you I don’t assume, but I could see that attitude contributing to hunting. And not everyone who hunts has an appreciation for the danger of guns. If they did kids would never get a hold of the guns their parents supposedly have locked up safe.
“The truth be told…people who hunt, have more overall knowledge and respect and truly understand the beauty of animals and understand gun control and gun safety way more than some conscientious objecting, tree hugging wacko that previously had no direction in life until he or she was brain washed with psycho babble from some influential main stream media supported talking head that claims to be in favor of animal rights.”
You are also assuming that people who don’t like guns are tree hugging wackos… I think a lot of British people would agree with me that guns are an idiotic safety hazard. How many people get killed by guns each year in Britain? 51 in 2007… That was the first number I found from a good source. I found an article from another good source stating that in 2004 29,569 Americans were killed by firearms, and a further 64,389 were injured. A bit more than 51, I would say, even accounting for population discrepancies. So are Brits tree hugging wackos with their crazy gun laws? Perhaps you should rethink your judgements of people who you don’t know.

“That said, you can’t possibly know what is in the mind of every hunter, and you are being pretty arrogant to assume that you can.”

No Elleen, the arrogance is all yours. You presume that your way of thinking is so rational and level headed and that people of my ilk can’t possibly be intelligent enough to understand the big picture and that your way of thinking is right and those that have a different view are wrong.

“Perhaps you should rethink your judgments of people who you don’t know.”

No Elleen, perhaps you should rethink the way you spell the word “judgments” and you’re the one that needs to rethink the way you judge people that you don’t know. I live in the real world Elleen, you do not.

” wonder what they do if the animal they shoot was pregnant, thus aborting the fetus of that animal in the process of shooting it? Or is it a whole “man is better than animal” thing? Soooo many inconsistencies.”

Elleen, the irrational improperly thought-out inconsistencies are easily seen in your views…not mine.

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