Thursday, July 7, 2016

Abortion is Evil and Equates to Murder! Period!


"Abortion is Evil and equates to murder. Period."

If you are the type of person who believes this, I'm sorry to be the barer of bad news, but in all likelihood you've been brainwashed.

I don't say that to be divisive. Really. I don't.

It's just an observation.

See, the thing is, you can't exactly talk about the meta-ethics regarding something as complex as abortion in absolute, black and white, terms and still expect to be taken seriously. It's just not gonna happen.

Saying "all abortion is evil" and "abortion is murder" is a very binary way of thinking, it's either right or wrong, good or bad, and leaves no room for discussion.

It is a lot like a doomsday preacher giving the date of the end of the world. You might believe it, sure. You might scream it at the top of your lungs. But the fact remains, it's simply not true because you want to believe it's true. One's mere opinion is not an adequate substitute for a proper argument and in noway displaces the bulk of knowledge already accumulated on the subject, philosophically, ethically, and otherwise.

Saying that "abortion is evil" or that women who have had abortions are "murderers" is just a defense mechanism you've developed to prematurely end a debate you don't want to have.

I know. Because I used to be in your exact shoes. I was a conservative, pro-life, advocate who berated abortion. But now I'm on the other side of the fence. Fancy a guess as to why?

No, it's not that I think I'm better or smarter than anyone else. You'd be surprised by how many people use that deflection to take the burden off them to have to answer the question of why they feel that way. Often you don't get well thought out reasons. You get emotionally charged justifications. That's how you know that you've been brainwashed.

Zealously only cares about being right for the sake of being right. It does not care about truth -- even when, or I should say *especially when, the truth proves the zealot wrong.

Don't worry. I get it. I do. Chances are you were taught to think this way. You didn't examine all the facts, you never sat down with a distraught mother who just had a miscarriage to talk with her about it, you didn't take time to interview other women who've had abortions for all kinds of reasons (most of them probably medically valid reasons at that), and you probably never chose to talk to an entire fleet of doctors on fetal development thereby educating yourself on the relevant material before jumping to the conclusion you liked best.

You just assumed that you knew better because some authority in your life told you that life, all life, was sacred and, well, it stems to reason that if life is sacred abortion is evil because it expunges life.

Again. That's not how morality works.

We don't get our morals from on high, from some supreme source. Of course, there's philosophical reasons why Divine Command theory, just to name one example, is problematic. But that's a discussion for another time. Let's just be satisfied with knowing it has never been demonstrated -- and maybe, just maybe, we should learn to accept that moral considerations aren't so simplistic.

The Good VS Evil binary thinking doesn't have a place in the intricate realm of ethics where subtleties and nuances play a big role in determining the rightness or wrongness of an act.

Bio-ethics, and the gray area where medicine and human life enter the equation, the fact of the matter is that solutions to tricky ethical problems aren't always crystal clear. This certainly applies to abortion. If you don't think so, then chances are you've never heard of anencephaly -- i.e., literally being born without a brain.

And if you say life begins at conception, which it very well may, but you haven't considered the Ship of Theseus paradox, odds are you probably shouldn't be saying life begins at conception. You still haven't defined "life" -- and although you are entitled to your own opinions, you aren't entitled to your own facts. 

Furthermore, even if you had a clear idea of what precise point life technically begins, and how to define this life, you still must ask yourself: does my conclusion comport with science?

This is important. Because, if not, then your conclusion runs against the scientific consensus and probably has more in common with a lot of hocus-pocus than actual science.

If you say *all abortion is evil, but neglect the fact that 20 out of 100 women (in America alone) experience spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) before they turn 40, then you have no right to speak on abortion. If you don't think miscarriages are *technically the same thing as other forms of abortions, you have no right to speak on abortion. Your opinion is not a valid argument. And in this particular case, saying *all abortion is evil makes you anti-woman. Don't be that person.

If you say all life is sacred, but just so happen to eat meat, support enlistment into the armed services, and are for capital punishment, yet are against things such as stem-cell research, you are contradicting yourself in the extreme and don't understand the first thing about ethics. In this case, you'd best go and educate yourself before spreading your thin veil of wisdom over everything. Because as flimsy as your opinion is, it's just going to come back riddled with a myriad of holes. Swiss-cheese logic has no place in serious ethical debates, I think you'll agree.

If you think that being pro-choice means you're anti-pro-life, you're mistaken. Pro-choice advocates do not call for the death of babies. We merely support the rights of the mother as an autonomous individual. And the fact is, whether you like it or not, unborn fetuses aren't autonomous individuals. Their rights aren't the same as an adults in the same way a child's rights aren't the same as an adults.

If you think being anti-abortion equates to being pro-life, you're equally mistaken. Anti-abortion is unscientific and almost always predicated on anti-woman platforms. It's a perversion of the pro-life stance. Pro-birth is the re-branding of anti-abortion to try and dupe people into agreeing with anti-women policies. Don't be fooled.

Oh, and if you think that pro-life and pro-choice are opposite sides of the same coin, you're still wrong and chances are you need to do some major research before weighing in on the matter.

Just to be accurate, the pro-choice stance is a contra-argument to the legal, ethical, and philosophical problems that are raised by the pro-life stance. But in order to know this you need to know what both stances entail. You have to look at both sides arguments as objectively as possible. Leave the hyperbolic, alarmist, over emotional baggage at the door.

Assuredly, pro-life positions are almost always inherently flawed, logically, morally, and otherwise. This is due to the simple fact that pro-life advocates fail to logically defend their premise or find scientific support for their claims. Instead they just want to spout of moral pleas and platitudes. But this sabotages any attempt to form a rational argument, because everything devolves into a mess about feelings -- not facts.

I still have yet to see a fully developed, fully rational pro-life argument be made. It always comes down to crocodile tears for all the unborn children who never got to be born, and some questionable links to some alarmist, yet obviously doctored, abortion videos meant to give you a bit of the shock and awe treatment pro-lifers so blithely imagine themselves to be feeling whenever they think about the horrors of abortion. Horrors, which in reality, are extremely rare occurrences that happen less than 1.3% of the time. Which is about the same as saying almost not at all.

Pro-choice has its own flaws, sure, although in my experience they are easier to find adequate solutions for. It's not as cut and dry with the pro-life side of things, I think you'll find.


Advocatus Atheist

Advocatus Atheist