Which is to say, classically flawed. A commenter on the From one collection of cells to another post made some comments that I thought were worthy to be addressed in a separate post. I find them to be thoroughly flawed, but they contained many arguments that pro-legalized abortion folks find persuasive. Here is how I would respond to them:
Ultimately we are not discussing whether a blastocyst is human, but whether it is a sentient human being. The mother clearly is and the fertilized egg clearly is not.
That is an arbitrary philosophical argument that proves way too much. We are discussing whether a human being is destroyed. And Theobromophile explained why the sentient criteria is incorrect here.
The mother may have been careless about birth control, or her birth control may have failed, but the fetus is part of her body and it is her body that will have to endure pregnancy and birth and her career that may be curtailed and her poverty into which the child will be forced to live.
Lots of problems here. Career, poverty, education and the other reasons typically given for choosing abortion would never justify murdering toddlers. So why do they apply inside the womb? It is a scientific fact that the unborn are human beings. Our worth is inherent in our humanity, not in some arbitrary time frame or philosophical and fuzzy “personhood” model.
Using that reasoning, more than 80% of the pregnancies in the world should be aborted, because those children will be born into poverty worse than anything you find in the U.S.
The concept that abortion is murder is simply not shared by most of the American populace. It is a concept that is not even shared by all Christians. You are right to bring up the parallels, and I would suggest that assisted suicide for the terminally ill in constant pain is one, as are the DNR orders hanging from a loved one’s hospital bed, and certainly the death penalty is another. These are areas where the nation’s morality is still evolving.
There have always been changes in our understanding of moral and ethical behavior and there always will be. Over time our laws change just as our morality changes. We once believed women belonged in the home as property of their husbands, but now they can vote, run for President, and have equal rights with men. We once believed that we could treat some our black citizens as inferior and conspire through law to deny them the right to vote, but we passed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act and now we have elected one to the Presidency. We once believed that gay people should not have the same rights as straight people, and one day soon we will abandon that prejudice. Will this happen with abortion? Who knows?
Until then, those who do feel strongly about abortion on both sides should work together to reduce the number of abortions.
This is pure double speak. He has already rationalized that abortion is morally good or at least benign, but now he switches gears and says we should reduce the number. But as I asked in an earlier comment, why should we reduce them? If you don’t think they kill innocent human beings, why limit them? The pro-legalized abortion lobby insists they are safer than pregnancy and they are a cost effective method of birth control. If you do think they kill innocent human beings, I’m not sure why you think they should be legal.
Simply scaring young women into rejecting abortion is not the answer. We should work to reduce unwanted pregnancies in the first place, and we have to employ realistic methods, not simply tell people to abstain from sex. I fear that many on the anti-choice side will not join in such an effort because their opposition to abortion is at least partially grounded in a rejection of normal human sexuality and a desire to return women to traditional roles.
He is using multiple logical fallacies here. He begs the question and assume we are just trying to “scare” women.” Pregnancy Resource Centers and other pro-life organizations just give the whole story and note the risks of abortion. If the consequences are real, then “scare tactics” would be legitimate, anyway.
He uses the “anti-choice” dig to imply that we are trying to take away rights. But as I noted in Who is really anti-choice?, my first reaction is that I am not ashamed to be anti-choice, provided that they mean “anti-choice to crush and dismember innocent human beings (regular abortions) or anti-choice to stick a sharp instrument in a baby’s head and suck out her brains (partial-birth abortions, aka infanticide) or anti-choice to let born-alive abortion surviving babies die in closets (the method of infanticide protected by Barack Obama).”
He says it isn’t realistic to tell people to abstain from sex, but the liberal efforts at birth control have been a disaster. Where is the “audacity of abstinence message” and “hope” that we can convince people to stop participating in such counter productive behavior?
Fact: If people follow the one man / one woman / covenant marriage guidelines for human sexuality then it would be impossible (or virtually impossible) to get STDs, out of wedlock pregnancies and affairs that destroy marriages and families. Abortions would go down dramatically.
The notion that we reject normal human sexuality is outrageous. Pro-legalized abortionists typically support all sorts of perversions. We realize what studies show: Married couples have the most and best sex. Men were designed to be with women. That’s normal.
The notion that we want to put women in their place is outrageous as well. Nearly all the volunteers and workers at CareNet are women. Early suffragists were strongly pro-life. It is a gross perversion of feminism to imply that women must have the right to destroy their children to be considered equal to men.
Also note that we could easily play the motive game to demonize our opponents. I could posit that you just hate God and are rebelling against him by affirming the “right” to destroy innocent human beings. I could assume that you know abortion is a sin, but that by affirming it you make your own sins look less bad by comparison. And on and on.
But I don’t do that. I stick to the facts: Scientifically speaking, abortion kills an innocent human being. Morally speaking, we should defend the innocent from being murdered.