[This is the first post in a series on the pro-life movement and misogyny. Additional posts can be found here:
So a few months ago I was studying for the Logical Reasoning portion of the LSAT. My practice book had a section on causal reasoning that gave a method for writing out conditional statements in shorthand.
Premise: A --> B
B --> A
A --> B
Converse: B --> A
Premise: If you are swimming, you are wet. (swimming --> wet)
Contrapositive: If you are not wet, you are not swimming. (
wet --> swimming)
Logical reasoning dictates that if a premise is true, its contrapositive must be true. However, if a premise is true, it does not necessarily follow that the inverse and converse are true.
Inverse: If you are not swimming, you are not wet. (
Converse: If you are wet, you are swimming. (wet --> swimming)
Assuming an inverse or converse is true based on a true premise is one of the most common mistakes on the LSAT. Presumably it is one of the most common logical missteps in daily life as well. The inverse and converse could be true, but this cannot be inferred from the premise. What if you’re standing in the rain? You are not swimming, but you are wet.
This brings us to pro-lifers and misogyny. Let us assume for the sake of argument that the following premise is true.
Premise: If you hate women, you will want them to endure unwanted pregnancies. (hate --> endure)
Converse: If you want women to endure unwanted pregnancies, you hate women. (endure --> hate)
Often, people who agree with the premise assert the converse, but this does not follow logically. For example, you may want women to endure unwanted pregnancies because you want fetal life to be protected. This says nothing about how you feel about women, one way or another.
People with terrible motivations may support any number of causes. Those who hate rich people likely support progressive income taxes. Those who hate Mexicans probably want stricter immigration laws. Those who hate children will support the right to an abortion. Does this mean that if you support the right to an abortion you must hate children? No. No more than it means that if you support restrictive abortion laws you must hate women.