Friday, February 10, 2006

Pharmacies and religion

So...the basic premise some people hold is that if a pharmacist has a religious belief that the morning after pill causes the taking of a life, they shouldn't have to fill the perscription.
I wonder...
1) Some people don't believe in birth control. Should they not have to give out any birth control pills?
2) Some people believe that people with AIDS are sinners and are going to hell. Should they not have to give them their meds?
3) Some people believe that anti-depressants are wrong.
4) Some people believe that blacks and whites shouldn't have sex. If they know the person coming in to get birth control is going to have sex with someone of another race, should they be allowed to not fill the perscription?

What about doctors? Should doctors be allowed to say 'no' based on religious beliefs?

For many years, religious beliefs were used to support the idea that blacks are not human.
What about jews? I mean, we nailed Christ to a couple of planks.
Aren't we, ultimately, the enemy?

Of course, the morning after pill doesn't actually cause an abortion.
It prevents the pregnancy by preventing the fertilization, or by preventing implantation...which happens naturally, so, I suppose women are constantly having abortions, if thats your criteria.

I do believe that the Pro Life movement has a number of strong points in their arguements. This, howevver, is just denying reality. I suppose, though, that if you are one of those folks who believes that sex should never ever be done unless pregnancy is the intent, I have a bit more respect for you. You are still, in my opinion, not far different from the men in cultures who beat women and give them circumcisions that tear their vaginas to shreds, but at least you aren't quite as deep in denial as others who seem to have this idea that pregnancy starts at ejaculation.
oh, and by the by...exactly what do you think happens in fertility clinics?
if life begins at conception, and I have all these fertilized eggs and I put them in a freezer for keeping, isn't that
1) kidnapping
2) assault
3) a number of other horrific crimes?
and, if, after they are no longer needed, I dispose of them, does that make me a murderer too?
If so, then exactly how many people who try to go through this already expensive procedure could afford to pay the 'rent' required for me to keep them on ic forever?
Oh, I see.
Its OK to kill these 'babies' so long as you get to really have one. So murder is OK so long as you benefit.

Its not the Pro Life concept that bothers me so much.
Its the hypocracy.


Richard said...

For many years, religious beliefs were used to support the idea that blacks are not human.

Curiously enough, science was also used to support this belief. Especially in the 19th century, biologists were searching, frantically, for ways to prove that blacks were inferior to whites. And these weren't fringe scientist, but people firmly in the mainstream.

Check out this book for details.

And, oddly enough, most of the counter-racists in US history - eg, abolitionists prior to and during the civil war and civil rights leaders in the 50s and 60s - were motivated by religion.

But who would minimize the importance of science by saying something like "For may years, scientific beliefs were used to support the idea that blacks were inferior to whites"? Not too many people. I certainly wouldn't.

moleboy said...

my point was (and you know it was) that we can take whatever beliefs we have and twist them to whatever ends we want.
And that we do the best we can.
And that we can't allow a person's personal beliefs to get in the way of health care. I don't believe this would even be a discussion if I, say, oepned a pharmacy and decided that my religion prohibited anti-depressants and I decided to nor hand them out to patients. Or, better yet, I belonged to one of those groups who are against medicine in general.
The only reason that this is even discussed is because it appears to involve abortion (which is an erroneous belief)

I actually meant to post a follow up saying something along the lines of how political beliefs can cause the same issue, as well as philosophical ones.
The end result si that when you take on a job and responsibilities, you sometimes have to shurg off your own personal feelings.
For example, if I worked at Burger King, I wouldn't be allowed to stay on if I became a vegetarian and refused to serve meat.
You may feel free to take offense at these statements if you like, however, given that some secctions of christianity have been attemtping to force their own morality (and 'science') onto the rest of the country, I don't believe I am out of line in criticizing this behavior.

moleboy said...

in summary: my point wasn't to take any anti-christian stance, but rather to take a "you can't let your own personal beliefs over-ride the responsibilities you have chosen to burden yourself with" stance.
Pharmacists do what the doctors tell them to do (via perscriptions). They don't get to decide on the course of treatment.

Richard said...

I don't take offense at all.

Nor do I disagree with you on most of your points.

My only point is that people so often associate religion with negative ideas - eg, anti-science, racism, sexism, etc - in ways that are simply unfair. Science has had its share of atrocities. So has democracy, for that matter. And yet we would hardly indict science because it was used by racists. We simply assume that those who were using science to forward their own political agenda were not true to the scientific spirit. Religion rarely gets such a benefit of the doubt.

The fact that you single out religion - and I may be wrong to infer this but I'm guessing that you were thinking of Christianity in particular - and let other belief systems get a pass makes it look like you think that religion is more culpable in the promotion of racism than, for example, science.

As to your criticism of some secctions of christianity [who] have been attemtping to force their own morality (and 'science') onto the rest of the country that is not only fair, but to be encouraged. Christianity and politics mix like oil and water. Christians are called to be counter-cultural, not worldly and political.

My only problem is that associating Christianity with racism is unfair considering how much Christians have done to fight racism.

moleboy said...

oh, that wasn't my point at all.
If the pharmacist (in this example) had not wanted to give out the pill based on his faith in Islam, or in his affiliation with the Republican party, I would have had much the same reaction.
I would have had a somewhat different reaction, possibly, if he had refused to give the pill out based on science. If his science was bad (and by bad I mean 'self serving), I would have reacted more or less the same.
If the science was good (and by good I mean as objective as can be and supported by strong evidence) I would have still felt he was wrong since it isn't part of his authority to refuse medication as perscribed by a doctor. I am not, however, certain about how I would have felt in other aspects.
Given the above, I obviously chose religion and its issues with racism as a supporting point.
regarding using a 'world view' to promote a personal agenda: I believe firmly that this happens in just about any view. However, it seems to me that, at the moment, the distinction between 'actual' religion and 'religion perverted to forward a political agenda' has become very VERY small. The desire of so many groups to forward their own agenda based upon a text has given that desire a very real legitimacy, and authority. With that comes the difficulty in distinguishing between 'pure religion' and 'political religion'.

however, I do see, for example, the hatred (and yes, it is hatred) of many towards gays, validated by their religious views as a complete and utter perversion of religion for personal agenda.
I'm not certain how many passages in the Bible can be referenced as condemning homosexual behavior (I think there are 3, right?) but I am sure they are vastly outweighed by things like 'help the poor' and 'feed the hungry' and 'love your fellow man'.
I don't know if this happens on the left much (it may very well and I may be blind to it), but the right seems to take great enjoyment out of perverting things for their own uses. The right tends to, say, twist science around to show how there's no global warming, or twisting religion to show how gay marriage is wrong.

Richard said...

I'm sure it happens on the left, but since I lean toward the left on most issues, it is harder for me to see it.

moleboy said...

thats pretty much what I was saying.
I dunno if it happens with science, so much, but I'm sure that, for example, history is used in such a way by the left.