Tuesday, November 30, 2021

An anti-abortion argument

1. Infants, however undeveloped, are considered persons whose lives are protected by law.
2. Fetuses differ from infants in four ways represented by the acromym SLED. The differ in size, in level of development, in their environment, and in their dependency.
3. Size is not a morally relevant difference when it comes to the right to life. The fact that I am bigger than my wife, but smaller than Shaq, doesn’t affect the right to life that we all possess.
4. The unborn is less developed than an infant, but I am more developed than an infant. So this can’t be a basis for discrimination with respect to the right to life.

5. The unborn in a different environment from an infant. It’s inside a womb, and the infant is outside the womb. But this is not a relevant difference. We would consider a law silly that said you can’t kill me inside my house, but you can kill me outside my front door.
6. Degree of dependency is not a relevant difference. Toddlers are more dependent than adolescents, but does that mean that an adolescent has a greater right to life than does a toddler? An elderly person becomes more dependent with time, but we don’t’ question the right to life of the elderly, do we?
7. All beginning points for the right to life, except for conception, are matters of degree, of a person having something that you can have more or less of. But that raises the question of how much is enough.  You either are conceived or not conceived, but you can have more or less of the SLED properties. Therefore, conception is the relevant difference that confers a right to life. 


B. Prokop said...

This is one issue where the toolbox analogy is most helpful. You can fashion all sorts of reasonable sounding arguments on both sides of this debate (recall what I wrote in another thread about "rationalizations"), but all these wonderful sounding arguments melt like a spring snow in the noonday sun at the sight of a newborn baby. When you realize that this object of irresistible love was inside the womb just moments ago, then all the gas is let out of the "pro-choice" position.

I say this from immediate personal experience. My daughter just gave birth on Tuesday to my second grandchild, whom I cannot look upon without helpless tears of joy. I dare anyone to say it would have been all right to murder this baby on Monday, on the legal grounds that he had not yet passed through the birth canal.

Unknown said...

Great post! An apologist and graduate from Biola University spoke at my high-school on these same points in the same way. Some of my thoughts:

The problem with nearly every pro-abortion argument is the denial of the child's rights and being human. While calling "it" and "infant" or a "fetus", they say it is not human...but how is a "fetus" not a person, if a baby is a person, and an infant is an unborn baby? What makes the baby any less human if it is just smaller? What excuses man-slaughter? Child-slaughter? Would not that child defend its own life for itself if it could? Is this not killing someone who is innocent while it is still easy to do so, taking advantage of their weakness, before they could grow up to become like you and desire to live and defend their life?

In every case, arguments in favor of abortion should be considered with the child's personhood in mind.

When they say, "but if you don't provide abortions, then women will do it themselves in some back ally and hurt themselves."

they should consider the reality that this means, "if you don't provide abortions, then you will not be helping women commit child slaughter. And we really should help them, since, you know, children are less important than the women's feelings, especially in cases such as rape where they don't want the kid. Why wouldn't we help people kill children? Why don't we try to justify all child murders by pointing to the diminutive cases in which women actually have to chose between life and giving life?"

If those considering abortion did everything in their power to be consistent with the implications of the act of abortion, there would be no need for abortions. If every abortion doctor spent his life fighting for the rights of the unborn, providing for them, etc....there would be no need for abortion. There is always a way to save a life. With the same effort we would save a Mark Watney from death on Mars, we would save every last child...but this can't happen if we continue to deny their personhood. It is tantamount to the human right's issue of racism, whereby one considers another non-human for lacking some trait they cannot control--in the same way, abortion sympathizers advocate for rejection of the humanity of unborn children, and slaughter then en mass as an act of genocide.

Limited Perspective said...

Aside from Bob's argument from experience, I have found the argument of what is wrong with murder to be the most persuasive: What is wrong with murder? It deprives someone of the rest of their life. Smarter people than I have built that into an argument that has convinced me that abortion is wrong.

But, what can I do?

If there was someone shooting up a local school from a position near my home, I have a couple of rifles to grab and wouldn't hesitate to take them out. At the same time, I wouldn't ever consider violence against an abortion clinic. Perhaps a good pro-life philosopher can help me justify my instinct. Or not.

Ilíon said...

Dave Duffy: "If there was someone shooting up a local school from a position near my home, I have a couple of rifles to grab and wouldn't hesitate to take them out. At the same time, I wouldn't ever consider violence against an abortion clinic."

Ah, but do you jump on the tutt-tutt bandwagon to condemn someone when she (*) decides to "take out" the local abortionist as she (*) prepares to perform her (*) first murder of the day?

(*) I'm mocking "gender inclusive language"; the point being that the pseudo-conservative pussies who use it (yes, among others, I am looking at you, Jason Pratt) would *never* use 'she' in that situation.

Ilíon said...

Abortion is murder. Ergo, abortionists are murderers, exactly on moral par with hit-men. And, ergo, those who procure abortions are murderers, exactly on moral par with those who hire hit-men.

Victor Reppert said...

Do you remember this moment in the Trump campaign? What I think it actually showed is that Trump was adopting the pro-life position to get the nomination of a pro-life party, and wasn't familiar with it.


Ilíon said...

^ What *I* take that to be is that a "morerate" (which is to say, a "soft liberal") New Yorker, who had never given much thought at all to the issue was asked a "Gotcha" ... and answered it by the inherent logical implications of the premise that "Abortion is murder" ... and then found himself vilified by the leftists (as per natural) *and* by the professional "pro-life" establishment.

Limited Perspective said...

Do you remember this moment Victor?


Stone cold Hillary

Ilíon said...

Quoting Crooked Hillary from the video: "[As a senator, I voted *against* the bill to criminalize "aborting" already-born "fetuses"] because, Roe v Wade very clearly sets out there can be regulations on abortion do long as the life *and the health *mother** are taken into account. And when I voted as a senator, I did not think that that was the case."

Isn't it odd? The murderess is a "mother", but the baby human being whom she hired some butcher to murder is not even a human being. Maybe it was really a kitten. Is *that* where "crazy cat ladies" come from?

I'm no doctor, but it sure seems to me that forcing a breach-birth delivery, *then* pausing the delivery so you can punch a hole in the infant's skull and evacuate the brain, then crush the skull, before finally removing the now-dead baby human being is a tad more dangerous to "the life and the health mother" than a normal delivery of a live baby would be.

Also, isn't it odd that to the pro-aborts, *any* regulations on abortion mills -- such as requiring the hired murderer to have admitting rights at a local hospital -- endanger "the life and the health mother"?

bmiller said...

It's been a long time since Victor posted a pro-life argument without commenting (himself) how dumb or misguided pro-life people are.

Thanks for the memories.

bmiller said...

Oops. Guess I missed that he reposted this as a hit job on Trump.

Silly me.

Starhopper said...

I'm glad Victor re-posted this, if only to remind certain persons of the fact that I have always been anti-abortion. What I am opposed to is the politicization of the issue. As I said just a few minutes ago on another thread, it is a category error to do so. If there is no room for compromise, then it does not belong in politics... and the two sides on this issue appear to be irreconcilable.