I never thought I'd write a post like this. But I have been examining my political beliefs recently mainly because I am trying to achieve a certain level of consistency. It occurred to me when I was looking at things that my reasons for opposing abortion are entirely religious which flies in the face of my very firm belief that while religion should impact your political beliefs, they should not be the sole reason for them. Witness my rejection of purely religious arguments against same-sex marriage for an example.
To put it simply, I am adamantly and unreservedly against abortion because I believe that babies are ensouled from the moment of conception and that to abort a baby is to murder that baby. However, there is no scientific way (that I know of) to prove (or disprove) this and therefore it falls squarely into the religious category which is not a valid reason to oppose something politically given the separation of church and state. While I will never support abortion, I am struggling with how to resolve this. I know there are sites that I can look at, but most of them are fairly right wing and I have discovered in the same-sex marriage debate that, all too often, they twist and distort facts to their viewpoint which makes me leery of trusting them. I cannot keep this political belief if I cannot figure out some way to justify it in a non-religious manner.
The other issue I am struggling with is the death penalty. As I have written about repeatedly (see here or here for a couple of examples), the death penalty is not wrong per se. My concern about it stems from the fact that the death penalty seems to be applied in an uneven and ill-considered manner, especially after the botched executions in Arizona and Oklahoma as well as the events in Ferguson, Missouri. I firmly believe that the death penalty is warranted in certain cases where the crime is particularly heinous. However, because it is final in a way that no other punishment is, the guilt of the person *MUST* be proven beyond any shadow of doubt. Also, the execution must be done in the most humane manner possible because even if they are being executed, they are still humans and as such deserve the dignity of humans. I am rapidly coming to the point where I can no longer support the death penalty without some major overhauls to ensure that it is being used properly.
If anyone has any thoughts or information that may be helpful for me, please let me know!