At the moment, abortion is on the nation’s agenda. It’s about time I think; it’s amazing that such an extraordinarily significant issue is essentially a “do not discuss” zone in Australia. I’m going to strike while the iron is hot and do some blogging on it, but…
There’s one serious problem with the discussion on abortion I’ve heard so far – pigheaded certainty. If you are committed to never, ever changing your mind, real discussion can never, ever happen.
Whatever your stance, if you can never be changed by the other’s argument, you can never really discuss it. You will only assert, assert, assert you own view and deny, deny, deny the other’s. Doubt is such an important part of public discourse, it’s the admission that I could be wrong. A bit of doubt means you’ll really listen to the other’s argument, because, well, they just might be right. When you make that admission, the other’s defences lower, your arrogance lowers, and people can really share ideas, and listen, and change.
I don’t think abortion will ever be an easy topic. But I do want it to be a public one. And I do want it to be a thoughtful one. What sort of argument could change your mind? Is anyone making it?