I often get lost reading the comments section at the bottom of articles I’ve read. I never mean to look at them since they almost never add anything of value to the topic — even if I agree with the commenter. There were a few comments on pages that had to do with the Planned Parenthood video releases in the last couple of months that stuck in my mind — perhaps because they were commonly repeated. One was the idea of following your own beliefs and not worrying about what others do: If you don’t like abortion, don’t get an abortion.
At first glance I thought this argument could not have been made with any amount of seriousness, but as I saw it repeated in other comments, I became less sure that the irrationality that was apparent to me was equally apparent to all.
Follow your own beliefs and don't worry about what others do.
To some extent I agree with the sentiment, as do most people. To the extent that it is reasonable, you should mind your own business. But if you see strangers removing costly electronics from the house on the corner, do tell somebody.
Completely different you say? Not at all.
The reason people disagree with abortion is because they contend that the unborn fetus is a live human being, of equal significance and deserving of equal protection as any other person. So, "if you don’t like abortion, don’t get an abortion" is the same as saying if you don’t think people should commit murder, don’t commit murder. This should sound absurd to you.
By the same logic you could argue things like this:
If you don’t think people should drive at night without functioning headlights, then don’t drive at night without functioning headlights.
At first glance I thought this comment could not have been made with any amount of seriousness.
If you don’t think people should perform operations without a medical degree, then don’t perform operations without a medical degree.
If you think people shouldn’t buy and sell women like slaves, then don't buy and sell women.
If you think adults shouldn’t molest children, then don't.
You get the point; we need laws.