Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Name Game

Mary Jo Anderson shows how language shapes our understanding of reality.
The essential intent of phrases such as "freedom of choice" or "compassionate death" is to deceive. When our language is engineered to hide the truth about the action it describes, it does so precisely because the truth is found to be too disconcerting. Those who seek to reset our cultural standards know that an emotionally comforting phrase must be found to substitute for a frank description of the actual act that is cloaked in soft language.
In "freedom of choice," the baby has no choice; thus, the procedure is simply a "might makes right" move against an innocent being. No one speaks of abortion in straightforward terms: "This baby is inconvenient and I have the power to terminate it, so I will." Once power is the premise, removing the infirm, the old, or the inconvenient is less difficult: The premise of might over right is established, and the culture grows comfortable with it.
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1 comment:

Matterhorn said...

Excellent insights. It is amazing how false rhetoric can put a good "spin" on evil deeds.