Grey Thoughts
Life - Leslie Cannold's irrational bias
Dr. Leslie Cannold, seemingly incapable of showing sensitivity to someone else’s suffering when instead she can try and push her agenda, has given us an article on Tony Abbot titled “Humanised or hypocrite - does Abbott have clay feet?” with the synopsis being “Leslie Cannold argues that Tony Abbott is not in a position to judge the reproductive mistakes of others.” Over at Online Opinion.

Quite simply, the whole article deserves a serious fisking.
The message from Health Minister Tony Abbott remains unequivocal: Kathleen Donnelly, the mother of his wrongly assumed son, Daniel O'Connor, is a "nice" girl.
As the latest twist in the ongoing adoption reunion story broke, Abbott made his continuing fondness for his old girlfriend clear, despite his newfound awareness that she was sexually involved with other men during the years he believed they were having an exclusive affair.
While reporters repeatedly invited him to dump on Donnelly, Abbott refused to pass judgement about what he described as “hot-blooded young people”.
“We were all pretty wild back then so I am not in the business of making critical judgements. She is a great girl and this doesn’t change any of that”.
Yep. Leslie starts off brilliantly, Tony Abbott will not publicly condemn a women he loved for something she did nearly 3 decades ago. Obviously, we need to highlight this great defect in his character.

Indeed, in his interviews with the press, Abbott has suggested that his “callow” decision to go overseas during Donnelly’s pregnancy must also be understood in the context of his youthful immaturity.
It may be hard for someone to understand, but people can grow and change and learn from their mistakes. This does not change the fact that it was wrong, just that he has moved on and dealt with the past. Obviously Leslie will only be happy if he continuously self-flagellates himself for his entire life.
Presumably, a similar explanation accounts for the couple’s failure to use contraception throughout their years of intimate involvement.
Actually, there is no need to presume anything, as Tony Abbott has personally given his explanation regarding Catholic Law. Of course, that does not fit as nicely with Leslie’s theme, so I guess she feels free to ‘presume’ away. As a side note, many people seem unable to grasp the simple concept that just because you break one law, does not mean it is hypocritical to not want to break all of them.

Leslie of course, now tries to make a tenuous connection to her pet topic.
Such sentiments should be music to the ears of the vast majority of Australians who support a woman’s right to choose. They imply that having recently tried to give parents access to their teenager’s medical records in order to stop their “open-slather sexual activity”, and to restrict the access of women and couples to safe and affordable abortion, Tony Abbott has seen the error of his ways.
The logic is staggering. Tony Abbott was sexually active before he was married, and he refusing to publicly condemn someone he cared for deeply for an act she did nearly 30 years ago, so obviously, this failure to condemn implies Tony Abbott has changed his mind about the evil of abortion.
So, by this twisted logic, Tony can change his mind about a moral issue in a couple of months, but cannot do so in 30 years. Nowhere has Tony suggested that cheating on a partner is moral, nor does he think abandoning a pregnant partner is moral either. He does indicate however, that after nearly 30 years of suffering the consequences of wrong acts, he feels he is a different person to back then.
Having refused to judge or condemn Donnelly for past mistakes, or behaviour inconsistent with his moral values,
Actually, he has refused to publicly condemn her, but nowhere does he say that what she, or he did back then was the right thing to do. Leslie seems unable to grasp the simple Christian teaching of hating the sin, but loving the sinner or even that Tony may have forgiven her (another Christian concept that doesn’t seem to occur to Leslie) and has no desire to publicly condemn her (Does she realize that when you forgive someone, that you do not want to keep harping on about it??)
is Abbott finally prepared to recognise the arrogance of his past judgement of other woman and couples who - like he and Donnelly - had sex and unintentionally wound up pregnant?
I wonder if Leslie really understands what she is writing. Tony and Kathleen did not have sex and unintentionally wind up pregnant. His comments on Kathleen have to do with her cheating on him, and his abandoning her in her pregnancy. This jump of logic to extend comments on those topics, in that context, to mean that he is not allowed to say that something is wrong is absurd. And Leslie is a fellow at the center for Applied Philosophy and Public ethics???

To realise that like he and Donnelly, we are all nice people doing our best to live what we see as moral lives but at times we get waylaid by cloudy judgement, immaturity or sheer bad luck? That everyone deserves to have their behaviour and decisions interpreted in the context of their limits, and the framework of their lives?
Clearly, Leslie’s logic and ethics here leads to accepting EVERY behavior and not judging anyone. Why, even a mass murderer should not be judged because he did it in a context of his limits, and the framework of his life according to what HE SAW as a MORAL LIFE.
Leslie is missing the point in that Tony Abbott has judged actions as wrong or right. And it is not inconsistent to do so. As Leslie seems to indicate, all people still fail to live up to their own standard of morals.
If Donnelly can violate Abbott’s code of sexual morality but still be judged a nice girl, then why not the rest of us? If the definition of a nice girl (and boy, for that matter) is a person who does their best to live well in a complex world where things don’t always go to plan, don’t we all qualify?
Sure, lets redefine nice girl based on a gross misunderstanding of Tony Abbott’s position, and the fact that NEARLY 30 YEARS HAVE PASSED.
Get a grip Leslie and stop pushing this biased drivel.
What remains unclear is whether Abbott’s complex personal situation will lead him to question his rigid and long-held views of female sexuality and reproductive obligation. Remember, he comes from a family that Donnelly says froze her out the moment they discovered she was pregnant. Will Tony Abbott’s intimate engagement with the real world, with all its shades of grey, collapse the nice girl-slut distinction that has driven his agenda on sexuality and reproduction for so long?

The real question is whether Leslie’s lack of reason lead her to question her own uncontrolled bias and help her to view the world in a more balanced and objective way without trying to use the tragic circumstances of another man’s life to push her own agenda for exterminating whatever humans she does not see as worthy of protection.
According to psychologist Dr Susie Allanson, a counsellor of 15 years at the East Melbourne Fertility Control Clinic, the odds are regrettably slim. Over the years Allanson has counselled a number of women who are not just morally opposed to abortion but have actively campaigned against it being safe and legal. Yet, when they have found themselves unhappily pregnant, they decide in favour of abortion.
Leslie’s choice of an expert shows even more how unbalanced, irrational and biased her comments really are. Dr Susie Allanson, a clinical physchologist is a pro-abortion speaker and promulgator of myths on abortion..
Leslie also contradicts herself. She has previously said that “doing our best to live what we see as moral lives but at times we get waylaid by cloudy judgement, immaturity or sheer bad luck” yet here she raises the issue that people who where strongly opposed to abortion still had them occasionally. Well duh Leslie. You just said people get waylaid. Do the wrong thing. Stuff up. So really, any point about women opposing abortions having them is moot.
The problem, says Allanson, is that while such women sympathise with their own situation and feel confident their case justifies an abortion, most refuse to allow their experience to translate to compassion for other women facing the same dilemma. Instead, these women prefer to see their experience as unique and so no challenge to their abortion politics or their uncompromising judgement of all aborting women - except themselves, of course - as murderers.
With no real explanation of what reasons were given to justify abortion, Leslie is conflating many possible reasons, each with differing levels of justification into a single issue. This is incredibly poor logic, but as Leslie has been consistently showing her lack of balanced reason, it is not unsurprising. She further goes on to conflate any occurrence of hypocrisy to be equal and representative, a somewhat hasty generalization.
I would also hesitate to listen to much of what Dr Allanson says, as her bias also causes her to have a distinct lack of care for the facts. Dr Allanson is still pushing the backyard abortion myth. Lets make it very simple. There were some ‘backyard abortions’, there are still some today. But in neither case are these unsafe abortions very common. Mostly because most women are not stupid enough to take a coat hanger to themselves. Dr Allanson obviously thinks otherwise….
Hypocrisy? You bet.
Leslie once again misses her own points. According to Leslie people do things that are against their own morals. I.e. They are hypocrites. So, according to Leslie we shouldn’t judge anyone or an action because of this. Except of course for any action that Leslie finds objectionable. She seems to make a nice exception for herself as she judges Tony Abbott. I guess that makes her a hypocrite too.
And the worry is that Abbott will fall victim to this most universally despised moral failing too. That instead of recognising that the personal limits and situational complexity characterising his case precisely mirror the dilemmas others face on the sexual, contraceptive and unplanned pregnancy front, he’ll insist on seeing them as one-off and one-of-a-kind. That rather than preserve the freedom he and Kathleen had to make their own decisions - even mistakes - and to take responsibility for them, he’ll continue to do all in his power to deny those caught in a similar bind the freedom to choose with dignity, according to their own needs and values.
The chief failing of Leslie here is that she fails to even remotely consider what the other side (the pro-life) people say. She is assuming the unborn is not a life. Ultimately, this means she is taking Tony Abbott’s comments out of their proper context. You see, If the unborn is a life, then the freedom to ‘choose with dignity according to their own needs and values’ which she so zealously supports, is a freedom to ‘kill according to their own needs and values’. Should we all have that freedom Leslie?
According to Dr Allanson, imposing one’s rigid views on others relieves the stress of those who find the contemporary world chaotic. “Must-abating about others,” says Allanson, “gives such people a sense of control”.
Of course! It all makes sense now. Bring on the psychobabble, from biased experts who can tell us exactly why someone, who the psychologist has never treated, does something. It’s just a incredibly convenient coincidence how the psychobabblic conclusions always seem to show the target in just the light the writer wants. Just a coincidence I tell you!
Please Leslie, do you really think all your readers are that stupid?
Tony Abbott has had control of his sexual and reproductive world and now, as Health Minister in a government about to take control of both houses of parliament, he is about to assume unprecedented control of ours. The question is whether he will finally allow the evidence of his own experience to collapse his rigid views about how others should behave when it comes to sex, contraception and decisions about unplanned pregnancies. Or will his rigid views about nice girls and sluts live to see - and to guide the nation’s health policy - another day?
The question is whether Leslie will ever consider the possibility that killing unborn humans for the convenience of the mother is wrong, or will her irrational views about the unborn as a nuisance and not alive continue to guide her writing towards further depths of illogic and malice.
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