Pages

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another Aspect of Persuasive Dialogue

[Today's guest post by Clinton Wilcox is part of our paid blogging program.]

Oscar Wilde once said, "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth." Wilde, of course, lived in the 19th century, born over a century before the internet was merely a gleam in Al Gore's eye. However, his statement is just as true now as it was back then. Internet anonymity allows people who would otherwise not be blatantly honest with people to show their true colors without having to look the person they're denigrating in the eye when they're saying it.

This article is a follow-up, of sorts, to my previous article about being persuasive in your conversations with pro-choice people. It was actually inspired by the recent tragedy regarding comedy legend Robin Williams taking his own life. It's bad enough that his family had to go through this situation, but Williams' daughter Zelda was forced off of social media because internet trolls posted fake pictures regarding her father. Thankfully many people have more sense than this, but if you want a true taste of human nature, just peruse the comments section on any YouTube video or blog article. There have been numerous accounts of teenagers pushed by internet bullies into committing suicide.

This, of course, also happens often in the abortion debate. People who are allegedly pro-life will attack pro-choice people verbally, even going so far as to make death threats against pro-choice people. Now right away, I know there are going to be people who are going to say that "it happens on both sides" (and I know there are going to be people who won't read the article so they won't see my prediction before making that statement). And that's true. But no matter what abortion advocates may do, it doesn't make it okay for us to do it.

Yes, it's frustrating when things don't go our way. We're fighting an uphill battle against our own government and the multi-billion dollar abortion industry. But if we really have truth on our side, and if we truly want to be persuasive, we have to stop acting as if we don't really believe our own arguments. If the unborn are human beings (P1), and all human beings are deserving of protection (P2), then the unborn are deserving of protection. This goes for pro-choice people, too. If pro-choice people aren't deserving of protection, then that invalidates our second premise and leaves the door open for arguing that the unborn don't deserve protection!

I have already written about being persuasive in our arguments by treating the other person with respect. Another aspect of persuasiveness is to let our actions match our words. If we argue one way and live another, on what grounds should pro-choice people accept our argument? Let's stop with the rhetoric and the name-calling; let's stop with the anonymous internet bullying, threats, and intimidation. Yes, let's stop even if we were on the receiving end of it first. We need to be a movement that can truly be respected, so that when a pro-choice person brings an accusation against us, we can honestly say that there may have been people like that in the past, but you'll be hard-pressed to find someone like that now.

32 comments:

Clinton said...

I'm not sure you understood the content of the article. I never said we should "agree to disagree."

Clinton said...

In fact, let me ask you this: Do you believe that we should be up in arms, literally, over abortion? Should pro-life people be buying guns, and storming abortion clinics by force? I would guess you would say no. And if you would say no, then you must accept that the abortion issue is not the same as a war (specifically, the Revolutionary War). The way you affect change in an issue like abortion is not the same way you affect change when it comes to literal warfare.

Clinton said...

Thanks.

John Whitehead said...

Excellent piece, Very well said!

RoamingCatholic said...

For that matter, I don't understand how anyone can think that death threats are in any way pro-life.

Clinton said...

Thanks!

Plum Dumpling said...

If you abuse my daughters on their way to the women's clinic, I will take appropriate action. I have a permit to carry.

Like you said "The time for respectful handshake, "agree to disagree" b.s. is over."


It has been over as far as I am concerned since your ilk started assassinating medical personnel and committing arson.

Plum Dumpling said...

I agree. Well written and conceived.

Faye Valentine said...

Sweet! I exercise my 2nd Amendment rights in the same way.
Unless your daughters are planning to abuse me or mine, no "abuse" will happen, since I only dish out what I am given.
P.S.
http://www.prochoiceviolence.com/u-s-violence

Plum Dumpling said...

You shoot forced birth cultist stalkers? Good for you.

Faye Valentine said...

I don't shoot anyone. I'm Pro-Life.

Plum Dumpling said...

Are you for criminalizing abortion?

Clinton said...

Thank you.

Faye Valentine said...

Yep. So?

Plum Dumpling said...

You are pro birth. If you are for criminalizing abortion, you are pro death.
I can prove that with one link. Want it?

I am pro life so naturally I am pro reproductive choice for women.

Faye Valentine said...

That's the funny thing, though. I'm also "pro reproductive choice for women". If a woman doesn't want to reproduce, she should have that right, and methods to avoid reproduction should be legally available to her. Same with the opposite-if she wants to reproduce, she should be allowed to go for it.

...It's just...the sticky wicket is...if a woman is pregnant, she has *ALREADY* reproduced! Whups! Abortion doesn't *prevent* reproduction-it kills the result of successful reproduction *AFTER* it has *ALREADY* occurred, the outcome being a dead offspring/child. No bueno.

Gaiuse Strome said...

the sticky wicket is...if a woman is pregnant, she has *ALREADY* reproduced!



No, she hasn't. Not if you believe in the homunculus theory of reproduction, which, clearly, you do


*laughs*

Faye Valentine said...

How do you figure? I'm not the one claiming that travel through the birth canal or having *just* the right amount of synapses firing is the magical princess-kiss of humanity.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Homunculus

a miniature adult that in the theory of preformation is
held to inhabit the germ cell and to produce a mature individual merely
by an increase in size

Faye Valentine said...

Yeah. What about anything I've said gives you the impression that this is the position I espouse?

...or is it just that you don't understand and the talk about "haploid", "diploid", "gametes", "gestation", or "genetics", so this is what you've come up with in your quest for comprehension? XD

Gaiuse Strome said...

You use a few bigger words, but the concept is the same


An unborn human is a human that is under construction. That construction may or may not result in a complete, fully formed, autonomous individual. There is a reason for 40 weeks of gestation. It's to create an infant. You don't have an infant at the moment of conception. Women's bodies *make* babies - babies are not made the moment sperm meets egg.

Faye Valentine said...

"You use a few bigger words..."

Yes...bigger words that mean something different. Fancy that.

"An unborn human is a human that is under construction."

As is a toddler. We are *all* "under construction" until adulthood.

"That construction may or may not result in a complete, fully formed, autonomous individual."

1.) We are all "fully-formed" for our age or stage of life, barring disease. But even someone with a disease which causes errors in formation is a human being. ;)

2.) We are all also autonomous from our earliest stages of life. Our growth is self-directed and built into our genetic code. You don't have to be a "fully-formed adult" to be an autonomous human being.

"There is a reason for 40 weeks of gestation. It's to create an infant. You don't have an infant at the moment of conception. "

Great. I never disputed that. But a human being at a stage prior to "infant" or "neonate" is no less a valuable human being who should be treated with dignity and have a right to life.

"Women's bodies *make* babies - babies are not made the moment sperm meets egg."

"Babies"? No. However, OFFSPRING (otherwise known as "children") are. You're arguing against points I never made.

Gaiuse Strome said...

A newborn has all of the body parts and organs that it will ever have.

A zygote is just a snippet of DNA that may or may not result in a fully formed, autonomous individual.

Faye Valentine said...

"A newborn has all of the body parts and organs that it will ever have."

As does a human embryo by the end of the embryonic stage.

"A zygote is just a snippet of DNA..."

No they're not. They're the first cell of a new human being's body, and that DNA set is complete.

"...that may or may not result in a fully formed, autonomous individual."

No...as previously stated, they're "fully-formed" for their stage of life, and they may or may not survive past any given point. But that shouldn't somehow grant legitimacy to the decision to actively prematurely end their life.

Gaiuse Strome said...

As does a human embryo by the end of the embryonic stage.

Meaningless. You always repeat this as if it means something, and it doesn't.

The whole of gestation = a construction project, and there is no separate individual until birth, or very close to. Until it has proven that it can survive as a separate individual all that you have is potential.

hey're the first cell of a new human being's body, and that DNA set is complete.


Unless, of course, it isn't complete, and it's a hydatidiform mole.


Unless, of course, the ovum has defective polarity and it self-aborts at some point along the line.


Unless, of course, it has any one of many genetic defects that prevent it from continuing.


Unless, of course, various hormones, nutrition and bacteria are not available during the gestation period, at which point it will *not* result in a fully formed, complete human being.


Gestation is a crap shoot. A roll of the dice. A lot can go wrong along the way.


Don't count your chickens before they hatch, is the saying.

Faye Valentine said...

"Meaningless. You always repeat this as if it means something, and it doesn't."

Then why did you bring it up? :/

"The whole of gestation = a construction project, and there is no separate individual until birth, or very close to. Until it has proven that it can survive as a separate individual all that you have is potential."

Says you. Back it up.

I'll back up mine:

“Traditional ways of classifying catalog animals according to their adult structure. But, as J. T. Bonner (1965) pointed out, this is a very artificial method, because what we consider an individual is usually just a brief slice of its life cycle. When we consider a dog, for instance, we usually picture an adult. But the dog is a “dog” from the moment of fertilization of a dog egg by a dog sperm. It remains a dog even as a senescent dying hound. Therefore, the dog is actually the entire life cycle of the animal, from fertilization through death.”

Gilbert, Developmental Biology

"Unless, of course, it isn't complete, and it's a hydatidiform mole."

Okay. Well, I'll quit trying to pass legislation against abortion when the only "abortions" taking place are to terminate molar pregnancies. (Not that anything I've stated in this conversation would even apply, since we've been discussing z/e/f's, and a hydatidform mole is none of those. Derp.)

"Unless, of course, the ovum has defective polarity and it self-aborts at some point along the line.

Unless, of course, it has any one of many genetic defects that prevent it from continuing.

Unless, of course, various hormones, nutrition and bacteria are not available during the gestation period, at which point it will *not* result in a fully formed, complete human being."

Hmm...I'm pretty sure I've already discussed natural death vs. active killing, and how the former doesn't justify the latter. You should go re-read until it sinks in a bit better. You can get it! I know you can!

"Gestation is a crap shoot. A roll of the dice. A lot can go wrong along the way."

Same could be said about the continuance in life at any stage. Does that mean it should be legal to kill anyone at any time, for any reason ever, since "a lot can go wrong" at any give time and people die naturally frequently? 9_9

"Don't count your chickens before they hatch, is the saying."

Go eat a chicken egg that contains an embryo and compare it to one that wasn't fertilized, then get back to me on that.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Says you. Back it up.

Simple. It's a genetic blueprint. That blueprint has to be read, interpreted and expressed. Many many factors play a role in whether this even happens, and in how it happens - the presence or absence of certain hormones, maternal diet, even bacteria.

Well, I'll quit trying to pass legislation against abortion when the
only "abortions" taking place are to terminate molar pregnancies.


We don't know which ones are genetic mistakes and which are not. You want to treat every single one as if it is already a fully formed infant. That's called putting the cart before the horse.

I'm pretty sure I've already discussed natural death vs. active killing, and how the former doesn't justify the latter.

And the ZEF dies naturally, indeed it does, because it cannot survive upon separation from the woman's body - a body that it has NO right to.

Same could be said about the continuance in life at any stage.

Sure it can, but by that time you already have a fully formed, complete, autonomous individual.

Not a genetic blueprint. Not a zef that can't survive without the placenta, it's *most* important organ. Every single organ in the ZEF is different from what is present in an infant. The lungs are nearly solid, the heart has holes etc. A zef can survive without functional organs only because the woman's body performs all of life's functions for it.

Go eat a chicken egg that contains an embryo


That means you've eaten a chicken embryo, nothing more.

Plum Dumpling said...

Nope. No child until I make it.

Suba gunawardana said...

As I mentioned elsewhere, your whole premise rides on the presumption that "Death is the worst possible fate, ever. Killing is wrong and unacceptable under any circumstance"

This is a FALSE presumption, one you have yet to substantiate.

Suba gunawardana said...

Well said!!

Now have you wondered WHY those destructive tactics are being used over & over instead of valid arguments? Maybe because there are NO valid arguments against abortion?

Let's start from your basic point: (P2) all human beings are deserving of protection.
-Are they?
-Why should anyone deserve protection just because they are human?
-And if everyone deserves protection just for being alive, why should this protection be limited to humans?

Furthermore, "protection" doesn't necessarily equate birth or life. In some cases life is what one needs protection FROM.

secularprolife.org said...

Feel free to prove me wrong using yourself as a test subject. ; )

secularprolife.org said...

Then go protect yourself. <3