Pages

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Critical Thinking and Avoiding Logical Fallacies

[Today's guest post by Nate Sheets in the first of a series. The next post in the series will arrive sometime next week.]

One pattern I often see online is that people shape their worldviews in black and white. It doesn't matter what the subject is: abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, Dr. Who, the President, or pumpkin spice lattes--everyone seems to have an opinion, and that opinion seems to rarely declare: "there is grey area here!"

This is striking--at least in my mind--because at no other time have the majority of people (in the US) had virtually all of the wealth of human knowledge literally available at anytime, in virtually any place. We have the internet, with countless dissenting opinions and information, and yet we cling to our perspective with such clarity and confidence, often with little desire to dig into the thoughts of those whose opinions differ from ours. 



I have only recently begun to think critically using certain logical skills. While I have been an atheist for at least 5 years, and a pro-lifer since being a teenager, I only began to recently understand what it means to really think critically. What I found was a whole new world of perspective, leading me to fewer sure opinions, more "I-don't-know"s, and increased wonderment at the universe. 

Over the next few weeks, I will be working out the concept of logical fallacies with all of you. I am by no means an expert in logic or critical thinking, but one thing is clear to me when I read any abortion-related article, blog post, or comment thread on the internet: people revel in their own logical fallacies. If you point it out to someone, they likely will not care, or they will change the subject. I used to react this way myself when my own logical fallacies were pointed out, because I was not familiar with the big-picture of logic and critical thinking, nor was I appreciative of them. 

Assertions and Evidence
It is easier to assert without evidence than it is to assert with evidence. Because of this reality, we often employ logical fallacies to "enhance" our assertions. What ends up happening is that assertions are made that the other side can quite easily take down. So we scramble and move on to the next argument, or we try and enhance our position with another logical fallacy. (Sometimes we don't respond or we block people from our Facebook pages, because those things are easier to do than to abandon our original assertions.)

Politicians often rely on logical fallacies and making assertions without evidence. (From xkcd)
We need to make Arguments, not assertions. 
The difference between an argument and an assertion is probably obvious: arguments give reasons for why we believe our position. Logical fallacies come into play here as well--our brains often justify our positions using seemingly-reasonable lines of thought. However, when closely examined, these lines of fault end up being fallacious, and we have to start again. Unless we're on the internet, in which case we're already 200 comments in and it's too late. 

Examples

"Abortion is wrong."
This is an assertion. There is no argument, nor is there any evidence. In other words, it sucks.

"Abortion is wrong because God says so." 
This is an argument with unacceptable evidence. There are many gods, many versions of his supposed writings, and many interpretations of those said writings. It is not a compelling argument.

"Abortion is wrong. Many biologists and doctors believe this."
This is an argument with a logical fallacy. Do you know which one? We'll talk about it in the coming posts!

I am writing these posts just as much for me as for those of you who are interested in critical thinking. Personally, I enjoy having my worldview, my beliefs, and my strategies challenged. This series of posts isn't meant to reach out to pro-choicers, nor to every pro-lifer. My hope is that when you encounter a bad argument on either side, you can identify it and (hopefully!) correct it in an effective way. My bigger hope, however, is that you begin to see these logical fallacies in yourself. 

I invite other pro-lifers with more seasoned abilities to contact me with corrections, clarifications, or other thoughts you have. You can reach me by email at skepticalprolifer@gmail.com.

455 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 400 of 455   Newer›   Newest»
Gaiuse Strome said...

Coyote, a regular here, has hinted that he might want to get a sex change and become pregnant some day.

Gaiuse Strome said...

"Women can get pregnant, therefore they should remain pregnant, by force of law' because 'nature made women for pregnancy' is your argument :P

Jennifer Starr said...

Would you say that a woman forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy was being enslaved?

expect_resistance said...

This is an example of a personal attack calling her a compulsive liar and a narcissist.

Jennifer Starr said...

While I know they can do sex change operations, I'm not sure they can do them to that extent.

expect_resistance said...

That's not very civil Calvin.

Gaiuse Strome said...

An embryo is a live, distinct organism of the human species.


So what.


So is a hydatidiform mole, a beating heart cadaver, and an anencephalic baby. None have the right to life, because they, although 1) alive 2) unique human DNA do not have functional brains.


Functional brain = human being = rights.

expect_resistance said...

Adopting children from foster care is doing good and it is my opinion that this is more beneficial. So yes it is a valid point, but you can go ahead and argue against me.

mariel said...

obviously not.


i carried a very unwanted pregnancy to term. not once did it occur to me that my uterus, or its contents, was my slavemaster. i don't think so lowly of the female sex as to proclaim my biology as a form of slavery.

expect_resistance said...

The only site than bans pro-choicers quickly than LAN is the Nation Review.

Jennifer Starr said...

That's just you, though. That's not necessarily everyone. And while you made the best choice for you, that's not necessarily going to be the right choice for everyone. Some women may never want or desire pregnancy or motherhood, and they may view their reproductive organs as being enslaving.

mariel said...

thank you for proving my point.


to view female organs as a form of enslavement is to demean female sex. it is a poisonous form of misogyny.

Jennifer Starr said...

What if a female views her own organs as a form of enslavement?

expect_resistance said...

Again with the personal attacks, "thick skulls." I'm not parroting Ann. Did I say a wanted pregnancy is a violent act? No. Quit putting words in my mouth. Forcing a woman who is pregnant as the result if rape, or forcing any woman to remain pregnant against her will is violence. Sorry you can't understand that.

Calvin Freiburger said...

Fortunately, anyone who wishes to look at LAN for themselves will find that to be false. They will see scores of lengthy debates and comments by many recurring pro-choicers, who are generally given a long leash, even with lousy manners. To get banned, you have either be extremely persistent and beyond the pale in your ad hominem personal attacks (see Fiona), or you have to start talking about how much you want to shoot pro-lifers (like your pal Plum Dumpling).

mariel said...

she is the product of a society whose patriarchal structure has convinced her to view her own sex as a form of enslavement.


i know the struggle well. i grew up in culture with deeply engrained patriarchal views towards women, it was difficult to re-educate myself, and lto earn to be able to view my body/my pregnancy from a point of view that doesn't demean me as a female.


this, of course, upsets many males, including glauise. most men desperately want to believe women's bodies are subservient by nature. BUT THEY AREN'T.

Calvin Freiburger said...

A few examples: "just shut up," "Forced-birthers are all about punishment for sex,"

expect_resistance said...

Saying my arguments are "dumb" is your personal opinion and another personal attack. If you call your opponents "dumb" and "liars" it does nothing for the validity of your argument.

Jennifer Starr said...

I get the feeling that I'm about to be fed a line of bull that goes something like "Every woman really wants to be a mommy deep down, she's just been brainwashed by evil feminists/liberals/big pharma into thinking that she doesn't and she should thwart her natural fertility, blah blah blah."

Calvin Freiburger said...

I might need your bone marrow to sustain my life

No natural link between my bone marrow and your life exists that is even remotely analogous to that between mother and offspring. That said, even the forced donation analogy isn't as black and white as you want it to be: http://liveactionnews.org/pulling-the-plug-on-the-violinist-argument-for-abortion/

we humans thwart biology all the damn time



Sure, but never to snuff out other human beings we want to get out of the way. We're never going to get anywhere if you keep sidestepping the relevant facts.

Calvin Freiburger said...

You keep saying this, despite the fact that "nature made women for pregnancy" appears nowhere in anything I wrote.


You're a liar, you know it, and I'm getting tired of you pretending otherwise. Get back to me when you grow a conscience.

Calvin Freiburger said...

So is a hydatidiform mole

No it's not. Take a remedial biology class and get back to me.

a beating heart cadaver

Unless you overlook the "live" part.

Functional brain = human being = rights.



Still waiting for the "why" on this point.......

Calvin Freiburger said...

Whether it's a valid point is another debate. What you're ignoring is that it isn't germane to the specific question I was addressing.

Jennifer Starr said...

she is the product of a society whose patriarchal structure has convinced her to view her own sex as a form of enslavement.


Or maybe she's just a woman who doesn't want pregnancy or motherhood? Is there something wrong with that? Everyone is different.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Why are women treated as second class, often servant class, even livestock class citizens, in many cultures?

Can you explain that to me, anthropologically.

Thanks in advance.

Gaiuse Strome said...

No it's not. Take a remedial biology class and get back to me.

Why not? It's alive and has human DNA, unique human DNA.

You might want to think your ableist position, Calvie-poos.

Unless you overlook the "live" part.

Beating heart means it's alive. The upper mind is gone, but the brainstem is alive, and that controls respiration etc. A beating heart cadaver can live a long time with a feeding tube.

If your cerebral cortex, the seat of your self, were sucked out with a straw, but your lower brain, the brain stem, remained your body would be 100pct alive and 100pct human. But 'you' would be gone, because your mind is gone. Personhood resides in the mind, not the body.

Still waiting for the "why" on this point.


See above.

Gaiuse Strome said...

No natural link between my bone marrow and your life exists that is even remotely analogous to that between mother and offspring

So? Your entire argument is that if someone *needs* your body to survive that they are entitled to it?

Are 5 year olds dying of leukemia not entitled to live? Is a 5 year old worth less than an unborn human? Why should a prenate have the right to the body of another to survive but a dying 5 year old not? Declaring that an unborn human should have extra rights simply based on location/relationship is awfully discriminatory, don't you think? As a general principle, if the 'right to life' includes the 'right to exploit the body of another', then a 5 year old should be entitled to Calvin's bone marrow just as much as an unborn human.

Sure, but never to snuff out other human beings we want to get out of the way


5 year olds are dying because you are too selfish to donate your bone marrow.

Gaiuse Strome said...

You wrote:

"but your quarrel is with biology"

ie, biology is destiny, ie women were 'designed' by evolution/god to bear children ie they should be forced to remain pregnant against their will.

BTW, one way to 'fight' that biology is to uh, get an abortion, something you want to prevent women from doing...

Keep denying what you said, and keep digging your own grave.

expect_resistance said...

I am not a constitutional scholar it doesn't mean I'm stupid. This is not my area of expertise. Abortion during colonial times was governed under English law and was legal until the "quickening." Abortion isn't murder and isn't equivalent to rape or murder. Yes I will proudly help with a new Jane Collective if needed. You can say I'm evil, again it's your opinion not fact.

Calvin Freiburger said...

I'm not denying what I said. I'm calling out you and your fellow liars for endlessly lying about what quarrel that quote was referring to, even though I EXPLAINED IT IN RESPONSE TO THE VERY FIRST COMMENT WHERE IT CAME UP. For halfway decent people with a modicum of honesty, that would have been enough, whatever separate beefs you have with me.


Sadly, decency is too much to expect from prenatal execution groupies.


Good luck growing a conscience someday. To me it doesn't matter, since you're just some anonymous twerp on the Internet. But the people in your life deserve better.

expect_resistance said...

Gaiuse has posted evidence to the contrary, yet you continue with personal attacks of calling her a liar and that she doesn't have a conscience. Simply not true.

Calvin Freiburger said...

Your entire argument is that if someone *needs* your body to survive that they are entitled to it



I continued this debate as long as I have out of some lingering hope that discussion and elaboration might clear away the misconceptions and caricatures your side has infected the issue with. I think that's been accomplished, with more than enough refuted in these 200+ comments to satisfy the more intellectually curious who might come across it.


But you? It's clear that you'd rather debate straw men than the actual ideas in front of you. Since you've destroyed the link between what I actually say and what will be accurately reflected in your own words, I have no reason to waste time with you further.

expect_resistance said...

And now you yelling. Way to keep it civil Calvin.

mariel said...

did you even read what i wrote earlier?


i had unwanted pregnancy. and i certainly don't ever want another pregnancy.
a woman can not want pregnancy AND refuse to view her sex as form of subservience.
the two are not mutually exclusive.

expect_resistance said...

I think I'm catching on. If we don't agree with Calvin we are liars. *head desk*

Jennifer Starr said...

What's your view of a woman who uses birth control or gets herself sterilized in order to avoid any pregnancies?

mariel said...

are you implying that your belief that women's bodies are naturally prone to slavery is actually due to anthropology, and not a deeply engrained misogny?


if so, just come out and say it. no need to throw questions up in the air like confetti.

expect_resistance said...

My post is germane to the discussion and a response to Ann's post. If you think it's germane is irrelevant.

mariel said...

i think there are plenty of valid reasons to want to avoid pregnancy.

Jennifer Starr said...

Glad that you think that.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Why, in many cultures, is a woman's entire value centered around here ability to 1) produce children 2) do housework

Any ideas?

Gaiuse Strome said...

So you can't answer it then.

We accept your concession.

Gaiuse Strome said...

You tried to handwave away the obvious objectification of women as walking uteri, Calvin.

expect_resistance said...

When did I say directly to you "just shut up?" Never. You took what I said out of context. There was no personal attack. I was responding to Gaiuse that men have no uterus hence, "no skin in the game." Men who dictate to women how they should use their uteruses is oppression. I will tell any man who tries to oppress me to shut up. It is my opinion that anti-choicers are punishing women who have sex and punishing female sexuality in general. Go ahead and tell me my opinion and my beliefs are dumb. That's what you've been doing. I've been civil and I'm about to get real ugly and tell you off because I'm really sick of the personal attacks when you try to claim you are being civil.

expect_resistance said...

Me too. :)))

expect_resistance said...

Speaking of, one of my favorite songs is "fuck and Run" by Liz Phair.
Glad to see the RHRC gang here.

expect_resistance said...

Not.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Misogynist!

expect_resistance said...

Fiona is being mature.

expect_resistance said...

She's backed up her argument. What don't you understand?

mariel said...

of course! i don't think every woman should desire pregnancy. i just wish women didn't feel compelled to view their own bodies as forms of enslavement. that does not empower women. that only empowers men to view us as 'lesser than.'

Gaiuse Strome said...

And it is spelled "ingrained" not "engrained", also, anthropology is the study of humans, in a cultural and biological context, and uhm, can't actually be the " cause" of anything, as it is an academic discipline.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropology

mariel said...

ill answer simply, and say it is largely due to patriarchal values that deem woman as subservient, or 'lesser than'.


is that what you were looking for? how about you just say what you want to say?
i'm interested to hear your defense of your argument about the biological subservience of those with uteri.

Gaiuse Strome said...

It's "anthropologist" too!!!!!!!!!!!

You are a very bad person, Jennifer.

No epidermals for you!

Jennifer Starr said...

Aww, shucks :)

Gaiuse Strome said...

Why patriarchy? Why not matriarchy? Why do patriarchal cultures insist that biology is destiny for women?

Gaiuse Strome said...

The misogyny is when other people treat you as an object to be used based on your female organs.

Such as...forcing a woman to remain pregnant against her will.

mariel said...

english is not my first language. sorry if mispellings, uhm, upset you.
well, not really, you should really remove the stick from your ass and embrace the global nature of internet debate.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Its only a form of enslavement if you force them to remain pregnant against their will. This automatically turns women into second class citizens.

Gaiuse Strome said...

My apologies. I had assumed that you were a simpleton.


But I love having a stick in my ass. You should try it sometime. Also, bananas, watermelons, basketballs.

mariel said...

says the person who stated that female biology is a form of enslavement...you're one to talk.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Only if forced


Get that through your thick skull.


I know many, many pro-choice women who have *chosen* to get pregnant, and who have done so multiple times. But, to FORCE them to 1) get pregnant or 2) remain pregnant against their will would be a form of enslavement, yes.


You can *choose* to pick flowers. But if someone *forces* you to pick flowers, denying your free will, that is slavery.


Understand?

mariel said...

i'm sure you know the answer to that question much better than you think.


the reasons aren't so different from your own: a desperate need to assure themselves that woman are naturally prone to subservience.
now that women have entered workplace and are no longer confined to home, men need a new reason to claim subservience on part of women. now pregnancy - a female phenomenon - is a disease, a punishment, an enslavement [as you yourself called it].

Jennifer Starr said...

No, pregnancy is not a disease. It is, however, a medical condition. Women who are pregnant are encouraged to see a doctor.

mariel said...

if mispellings really upset you though, you should be sure to note in your disqus profile that you do not wish to engage those who speak english as foreign language, or maybe note that you do not wish to engage people of color, who often do not spell as you see fit.
just a thought! : )

expect_resistance said...

Anyone who clicks on the link can read what you said. Don't backpedal.

Gaiuse Strome said...

a desperate need to assure themselves that woman are naturally prone to subservience.


It depends on the culture, actually. It just happens that our culture is a patriarchal, war-like culture, where, throughout most of history, a woman's *only* value has been in creating heirs for her own/husband, acting as a fucktoy for him, and doing the chores.



In such cultures, and in countries such as Afghanistan, women are treated as property, and biology for them *is* destiny. Women have zero say in who they will marry, how often they will have sex, and in how many children they will have. If the husband wants to 20 kids the woman has literally NO say in how many pregnancies she will have to undergo. And if the pregnancy kills her, he will just replace her with another 'cow'. This is how women are viewed.



Now, as you correctly state, women in the west have more freedom. They can get jobs, they can vote, etc. However, with bans on abortion, you are in effect forcing women to be subservient to their biology. You are saying that if they own a uterus, that they must act as a delivery system for a fetus - that they do not have a right to self-determination, because they exist as some sort of appliance to be used by men, and by the state, to produce babies.

Jennifer Starr said...

Let's take women staying at home. If a woman chooses to be a stay at home mom, that would not be enslaving. However, if the law forced all women to stay in the home regardless of their wishes, that would be akin to slavery. Much like forcing a woman to remain pregnant who doesn't want to be.

mariel said...

you keep going in sad little circles, gauise.
once again, trying to convince me that women need to be saved from their biology, which we are naturally "subservient" to as you state above.


why do you believe women are biologically more prone to subservience? and how is that not misogny?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Oh, not only am I a misogynist, but I'm a racist now too.


No, sweetie, don't flatter yourself, I just thought you were a garden variety simpleton. But keep grasping at those straws.

Gaiuse Strome said...

most men desperately want to believe women's bodies are subservient by nature. BUT THEY AREN'T.


No, of course they aren't. But, depending on the specificties of the culture, biology IS destiny based on environmental determinism.



The Hadza in Africa are egalitarian. In fact, women have more power than men, because they produce 70% of the calories. There is no slut-shaming in Hadza society, and if a woman tires of a man, she can kick him out of her home.


Now, contrast that with the Yanomomi of Brazil, a war-like, patriarchal people, who need to, in order to survive in a rainforest that is light on resources, produce fierce warriors. In such a culture, the fearsome warrior IS the very key to survival. Defeating enemy tribes, taking their land, resources = survival. Producing more warriors is seen as a communal good.


Now, what use are women in such a society? Not much. They are consumers. They can't fight. Especially if pregnant all the time, what good are they, other than to gather, but then they consume twice as much due to pregnancy. They are not nearly as valuable to the tribe's survival as a good strong warrior. So, women are relegated to a second class status - they exist to provide future warriors, and as sexual toys. You want to create fierce angry warriors? Teach them to dehumanize women. In such a society, women are property, property that exists for male pleasure and profit.



Take away the Yanomami's 1) war 2) scarce resources 3) allow women to control their fertility and suddenly women will be able to expand their horizons and have the same opportunities as men. Technology has freed us all from the yoke of biological destiny.

Gaiuse Strome said...

, which we are naturally "subservient" to as you state above.


Are women naturally subservient? NO. But, it is possible TO make them subservient if you deny them their right to self-determination by forcing them to remain pregnant against their will.

expect_resistance said...

I love anthropology.

I have to jump thread for a while and take the orange cat for a walk. He's been meowing to me for the last hour to take him out. I must obey the cat.

Gaiuse Strome said...

You *really* need to keep up


1) I'm a dude


2) I'm a misogynist


tut tut, ER.

fiona64 said...

That pretty much covers it. Calvin is the authority on all things. Just ask him.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Not just liars. But malicious, hateful, un-educated misogynists!

someone45 said...

UNWANTED pregnancy is a form of slavery... How can you not see the difference between a wanted and an unwanted pregnancy?

fiona64 said...

Tsk, tsk, tsk. You really cannot read, can you? http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv

I'll emphasize the point in this quote:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the
jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the
state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which
shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United
States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or
property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

An embryo, Calvin, is not a person. It has no rights, duties, or responsibilities. Personhood attaches at birth.

fiona64 said...

I quoted you directly, Calvin. You maintain that a zygote is the same as a born person ... which is patently asinine.

fiona64 said...

Thanks for admitting that you view pregnancy as a punishment for non-procreative sexual activity, Cal.

fiona64 said...

We all know why I was banned, Calvie-walvie; I presented evidence that you were wrong, with citations, and you got your tighty-whities in knot over it.

Sucks to be you, Cal.

fiona64 said...

I've never banned anyone "for presenting information that contradicts" my side.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


You're a liar, Calvin.

fiona64 said...

Not my fault no one wants to sleep with you, Calvin. Perhaps working on your social skills, and ceasing your misogyny will help you get past that hurdle.

fiona64 said...

Calvin, your entire position is that of a petulant eight-year-old: "If you don't want a baby, don't have sex! Abortion is murder!"

And a whole slew of other bumpersticker bullshit that has no basis in reality.

I remember being an anti-choice dimwit just like you. I thought those arguments were brilliant.

Then I got out of high school.

fiona64 said...

But murder is neither exclusively nor primarily a legal concept.

Yes, actually, it is exclusively and primarily a legal concept. That's why there are different charges and definitions for manslaughter and suicide, although both (like murder) are homicides.

I guess your intellectual faculties aren't quite capable of grasping that.

Gaiuse Strome said...

You are subservient to the kitty by virtue of being human.

fiona64 said...

I did see your actual words, Calvie-walvie.

fiona64 said...

If you don't like being called a misogynist, then I suggest you cease your misogyny.

fiona64 said...

One of the many choices you do NOT get to make for me is the words that I choose.

Anyone who maintains that a woman should be forced to remain pregnant against her will and possibly against her health has no class, so you have nothing to show me, dearie.

fiona64 said...

prenatal execution groupies.

Not nearly histrionic enough, Calvin. You'll have to try harder.

fiona64 said...

If English is not your first language, perhaps you should realize that you do not always appropriate recognize idiom and stop trying to tone police others. It makes you look like an incensed ape.

fiona64 said...

i carried a very unwanted pregnancy to term

And that was your choice. Another woman in identical circumstances does not have to do the same thing as you.

fiona64 said...

You really do not understand things very well, do you?

fiona64 said...

It’s hardly a tragedy to those of us who aren’t obsessed with sex and worship it like some golden calf.

I've been thinking about this remark for the past little while, and I find, Calvin, that you are being intellectually dishonest.

You ARE obsessed with sex. You ARE obsessed with the idea that somebody, somewhere, is having sex without intent to procreate ... and you ARE obsessed with trying to stop them. You ARE obsessed with forcing women to gestate despite any risks that it might cause to their life and health.

You remind me of a character from classical literature, Calvin: Claude Frollo.

Look the reference up on your own time.

fiona64 said...

Look! Calvin thinks that scientific data that disproves his personal beliefs constitutes an ad hominem personal attack! What a laugh.

expect_resistance said...

You have no idea. My cats are spoiled. The neighbor cats come to my window and ask for catnip. Of course I give in and hand feed them catnip. They could be independent cats and help themselves to the catnip garden. My neighbor calls my backyard the "Haight Ashbury" for cats.

Gaiuse Strome said...

I've never had a kitty that has liked catnip. Woe is me.

mariel said...

so, the trick to making women subservient [as you say] is to subject them to unwanted pregnancy. in this scenario, a woman's biology may be used against her to enslave her.
the idea that a woman's own biology is a tool of enslavement is a demeaning, misogynistic one. shame on you.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Yeah. The invention of birth control was a great example of misogyny in action, don't you agree?

Gaiuse Strome said...

You're far, far too clever for mere mortals.

Any other advice, while we are here and all?

Ella Warnock said...

Oh, but fiona, we don't rilly, rilly, RILLY don't care if you don't create and welcome new life. Rilly!

But . . . but . . . whyyy are you having sex if you're not open to pregnancy? Why are you even married if you don't want to have babies? If you don't intend to participate fully in the wondrous circle of life, why don't you just go all in and be celibate? Oh, you're married, you say? Well, you know, married people who don't intend to welcome new life can always just be abstinent. No, *I personally* don't care if you don't have babies! Fine, then, don't have them! But you're doing sex all wrong, too, and I don't like that; so you should stop doing it until you can come to the realization that sex is only for babies.

Ella Warnock said...

Yes, it's always the old, tired 'brainwashed' line. I know a number of childfree ladies, and we were all what you would call early articulators. I knew when I was seven years old that I wasn't remotely interested in motherhood, and at that age I hadn't exactly had an opportunity to be 'brainwashed' by much of anything in society. Keep in mind that I was also being raised in a fundamentalist christian household, so I was certainly being fed a gender essentialist line of crap and was being 'shielded' from any societal messages that disputed authoritarian patriarchy.

So, no, the desire to 'thwart' unwanted fertility is often simply an integral component of one's personality. Even if I'd never been exposed to any other culture than the one I was raised in, that still wouldn't have changed my mind.

mariel said...

thanks. i know.

Ella Warnock said...

Which makes it all the more bewildering that she won't gestate any snowflake embryos. Perhaps she has much more of an issue with Doritos than she lets on . . .

mariel said...

"Yeah"....? As in, you now agree that the belief that a woman's biology may be used against her to enslave her is a misogynistic one?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Do you agree that the invention of the birth control pill was anti woman and deeply misogynistic?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Marvin Harris.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Harris

Gaiuse Strome said...

Were you forced to carry it to term?

almond_bubble_tea said...

>Millions of pregnant women would take issue with your characterization of pregnancy and childbirth as >“violence.

YOU have never experienced pregnancy complications. You have NO idea
what women undergoing complicated pregnancies endure. Pregnancy can affect their health negatively and even scar them for life.

I had pre-eclampsia when I was pregnant and my daughter had to be delivered via emergency c-section at 29 weeks. The surgery was violent. My daughter was violently removed from my uterus to save my life.

Women have suffered incontinence and some even have difficulty returning to work after giving birth.
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/dec/10/torn-apart-by-childbirth

I dare you to point your readers at Life Action News all the difficulties involved in gestating a baby, including that article from the guardian. Having children is not all rainbows.

It's not our fault that birth control can fail. Sex is not just for procreation, and no woman should have to gestate an embryo for 9 months if they do not want to remain pregnant.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Add birth related PTSD to the list
http://www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk

Somecloud said...

Everyone can read Calvin's quote. He his right you and the other pair attacking him are wrong. Get over it.

mariel said...

i take no issue with people wanting to prevent pregnancy. what i take issue with is the belief that women's biology is a potential form of enslavement. a belief you openly adhere to.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Why would a woman want to prevent pregnancy?

mariel said...

YES. my own body forced me to create and carry life. all part of the 'pregnancy as enslavement' you champion.

mariel said...

seriously? the reasons are innumerable. get to the point, please.

Gaiuse Strome said...

Forced by the government, I mean.

Is abortion illegal where you are?

Gaiuse Strome said...

List some of them.

myintx said...

Guess we should have waited until the Supreme Court was all female before deciding Roe V Wade.

expect_resistance said...

We don't make up what he said. What he said is sexist and misogynistic. I am not attacking him only addressing what he said.

expect_resistance said...

Talk about an illogical fallacy. You missed my point.

myintx said...

Nope... if anyone without a uterus should 'shut up' about abortion, the SC should have not had an opinion on abortion either... and shouldn't have decided Roe V Wade.... at least by your 'logic'.

Jennifer Starr said...

I take it that no one forced you to continue and carry the pregnancy to term. It was a choice made by you, yes?

myintx said...

Slavery was legal once too...


Abortion is killing a human being. It is equivalent to murder.

mariel said...

i did want my pregnancy to end. but my body had other plans. it continued to grow and nurture a human despite all my wishes to the contrary. female body is a form of enslavement, remember?

Jennifer Starr said...

Wrong. You could have actively taken steps to end your pregnancy if you'd wanted to. But you didn't. You made a choice.

mariel said...

a woman's biology is never a means of enslavement. to believe so is to believe woman biologically inferior to man.


your analogy doesn't work for that reaosn.

Jennifer Starr said...

Do you believe that a woman should have a right to decide to end her pregnancy if she doesn't wish it to continue?

mariel said...

uhhh, ok. well in my case, i simply did not want to be pregnant nor raise a child. simple as that.
two reasons enough for you?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Why not?

Plum Dumpling said...

You cannot 'successfully refute' Fiona.
And when you cannot refute someone, your response is then banning them for ridiculous reasons.
So naturally, your 'refutation' record seems good to you. You get rid of opponents who defeat you.

Plum Dumpling said...

Yes. Some pregnancies are a form of slavery - the forced ones.

Plum Dumpling said...

And he should shut up because he is an ineffectual, loud and stupid bully.

Plum Dumpling said...

No thank you.
I will have lots of hot sex.
I will use contraception.
If I become pregnant, I will gestate or abort as I see fit.
Not as YOU see fit.
Not as the state sees fit.

Plum Dumpling said...

I am pro life. So naturally I am pro choice.
You are simply pro birth.
And if you want to criminalize abortion, you are pro death.

Plum Dumpling said...

I AM and I WILL is sufficient argument for having an abortion.

You are not permitted by general agreement to seize my body to do your will - for treasure or to benefit any 'person.'

If you break the social contract and seize or attempt to seize my body, I have the right to stop you by force - by hurting you or killing you.

Explain to me why being female erases those rights and agreements.

"... every man has a property in his own person, and this no one has a right to but himself." John Locke, Second Treatise on Government.

Plum Dumpling said...

I AM and I WILL is sufficient argument for having an abortion.
You are not permitted by general agreement to seize my body to do your will - for treasure or to benefit any 'person.'

If you break the social contract and seize or attempt to seize my body, I have the right to stop you by force - by hurting you or killing you.

Explain to me why being female erases those rights and agreements.

Plum Dumpling said...

Abortion is not murder. Flagged and downvoted for egregious abuse of prochoice men and women.

Arekushieru said...

Nope. YOUR view that women must be ruled by their organs while men can do whatever they please with their organs is misogynist. Believing that all pregnancy for yourself is slavery or that just the forced ones are slavery, is not.

Arekushieru said...

Abortion isn't execution. And why is it Calvin, that the majority of the so-called Pro-'Life' contingent actually DO support ACTUAL execution?

Plum Dumpling said...

Anthropologically, Homo sapiens has three strategies
for dealing with unwanted reproduction (births): contraception, abortion and
infanticide. All three are practiced in every culture worldwide historically
and currently.

Those who restrict contraception and abortion make infanticide, child abandonment/abuse and maternal mortality inevitable. We have many in vitro examples of this but the one that troubles me the most at the moment is this example:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

There is nothing moral about your position if your position is controlling women's reproductive choices by law or by shaming/blaming.

Illegal abortion and sepsis and hemorrhage in childbirth are the three leading causes of maternal death worldwide. Women have blood in the
game. YOU do not. Abortion and contraception are human rights.

YOU do not occupy the moral high ground.
http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/66/254

Summary
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the
enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health considers the interaction between criminal laws and other legal restrictions relating to sexual and reproductive health and the right to health. The right to sexual and reproductive
health is a fundamental part of the right to health. States must therefore ensure that
this aspect of the right to health is fully realized.

The Special Rapporteur considers the impact of criminal and other legal restrictions on abortion; conduct during pregnancy; contraception and family
planning; and the provision of sexual and reproductive education and information.

Some criminal and other legal restrictions in each of those areas, which are often
discriminatory in nature, violate the right to health by restricting access to quality
goods, services and information. They infringe human dignity by restricting the freedoms to which individuals are entitled under the right to health, particularly in respect of decision-making and bodily integrity. Moreover, the application of such laws as a means to achieving certain public health outcomes is often ineffective and disproportionate.

Realization of the right to health requires the removal of barriers that interfere
with individual decision-making on health-related issues and with access to health services, education and information, in particular on health conditions that only affect women and girls. In cases where a barrier is created by a criminal law or other legal restriction, it is the obligation of the State to remove it. The removal of such laws and legal restrictions is not subject to resource constraints and can thus not be seen as requiring only progressive realization. Barriers arising from criminal laws
and other laws and policies affecting sexual and reproductive health must therefore be immediately removed in order to ensure full enjoyment of the right to health.

Arekushieru said...

No, the ones who appear snide, ignorant fools are those that can't manage to comprehend a simple analogy, only because one is something that happens to men and the other is something that happens to women. Keep proving our point, btw, by *ignoring* (there's that word, again, huh?) how you just ACKNOWLEDGED that the statements we've attributed to you and the ones that you actually said have so little difference between as to make them one hundred percent the same, by you yourself making that same assertion about Gaius statement regarding prostate cancer. To put it more simply so that even you can understand, however you state it, in your view, biology = destiny if and only if you happen to be a woman. That's a SIMPLISTIC and CONVENIENT worldview, right there, especially so, considering that you ARE male, no? So, again, self-projection, much?

Arekushieru said...

Sorry, but you're talking to someone who pretty much spends her life parsing words and finding actual wiggle room in what was actually said, to ever convince me that these two things are NOT exactly the same: meaning this "women who don't want to be pregnant should blame nature," and this "people who resent the fact that men can't should blame nature". Given that you're the ones who typically only resort to the nachurel causes and laws and attribution of responsibility for the functions of ones organs when it comes to women and giving birth, by RIGHTS the ones who should be placing the blame on nature for the uterine dependency of the fetus are YOU people. Not us, in any way, whatsoever.

Calvin Freiburger said...

I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are not a premeditated liar like every other pro-choice troll on this thread, and explain this one. More. Time.


I was responding specifically to the claim that anti-abortion laws are "sexist" because there's not an analogous restriction on men, as if this in and of itself was a reason to continue allowing abortion.


So I pointed out that was a ridiculous complaint because the fact that a direct male analogue to abortion -- a procedure that kills a separate human being -- simply doesn't exist is a fact of biology completely beyond our control. We didn't make it that way, can't do anything about it. Hence, "blame nature" FOR THAT. I did NOT say to just "blame nature" for other aspects of the debate.


Finally clear enough, yet?

Calvin Freiburger said...

Oh, look who suddenly doesn't like unfair extrapolations and inferences beyond your original meaning.


Pathetic hypocrite.

Calvin Freiburger said...

I love the irony that you of all people are peddling this lie. SPL readers may be curious to know that these are the comments that got you banned:

In Libertarian paradise I say shoot them upon expression of an anti abortion opinion.

http://liveactionnews.org/breaking-marlise-munoz-removed-from-life-support/#comment-1228501863

If I were in charge of social order in Libertarian Paradise, and in that Paradise each and everyone is in charge evidently, you are the first one I would shoot.

http://liveactionnews.org/breaking-marlise-munoz-removed-from-life-support/#comment-1229575653

Plum Dumpling said...

They are fantasies not plans or promises.


Your fantasy is making the rape and breeder slavery of women enforced by law.


So only your fantasies of violence are permissible and mine are not?


Just as only your morals are to be considered and mine are not. I get that. And I say No thank you.


In Libertarian Paradise, given the behavior of forced birther cultists in the REAL WORLD, I would stand my ground and shoot a clinic stalker soon as look at it.


Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss my fantasy here in front of a larger audience. What a poverty your world is. No sex. No fantasy. WTF is wrong with you? Where are you on the autism scale?

Gaiuse Strome said...

Except you *are* a misogynist.

Plum Dumpling said...

You cannot escape me by banning me now, cowardly fetus freak. I will have my say.

expect_resistance said...

Thanks for the links, more up-votes for Plum.

expect_resistance said...

:)

expect_resistance said...

Another illogical fallacy.

expect_resistance said...

Not that there is anything wrong with being an Ace but I understand what you are saying.

expect_resistance said...

Thanks for the link. I knew that name sounded familiar. I have a copy of "Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches: The Riddles of Culture" on my bookshelf.

Gaiuse Strome said...

I gave my copy away years ago, along with 'Cannibals and Kings'.

I sincerely believe that we are at the mercy of the environment - even if we are responsible, through our technology - of creating that environment. Climate change hello.

lady_black said...

If you think it's an "insufficient" reason, you simply lack empathy. Nobody wishes to "blame nature" because men can't get pregnant. You want to blame women for not wanting to be pregnant at any opportunity. IF it were possible for you to become pregnant, you would recognize that no matter whether you do everything possible not to be pregnant at a very bad time, it happens. We are human and not infallible. Every pregnancy does NOT need to result in a baby.

lady_black said...

How would she POSSIBLY be lying?

lady_black said...

You are being paraphrased. You're a smart boy. You know what that means. And if the paraphrasing is inaccurate, then you should make yourself clear. Whining about the life of the fetus isn't doing that. That's, in fact, reinforcing her characterization of your statement. The life of the fetus is dependent upon a person who is an actual person, and not a vessel or an appliance. The fetus is human and alive (like my arm is alive) and it may be unwanted. You will never succeed in making it wanted, nor forcing a woman to carry it against her will. She will find a way to lose the pregnancy or die trying.

lady_black said...

Execution is a punishment levied by the state. Abortion is nothing like execution. Abortion removes the embryo/fetus and other products of conception from the uterus of an unwilling host. The uterus is an organ belonging to a woman (not YOU), and she doesn't want the embryo/fetus there. It's just that simple.

lady_black said...

NO. UNWANTED pregnancy that is forced by law to be carried is legal SLAVERY to biology. Kthnks.

expect_resistance said...

Calvin I've read enough of your writing to see that it's not based in much fact and it's misogynistic. I'm sure I could find an example from anything you've posted at LAN.

lady_black said...

Being born with a uterus isn't enslavement. Being denied control over that is slavery.

lady_black said...

It's all about consent, cupcake.

expect_resistance said...

I've watched it from the sidelines and seen you ban people for telling the truth and not agreeing with you.

lady_black said...

Right-O! Excuse me. I get extremely ugly vibes coming from the story of a suicidal pregnant rape victim in Ireland being forcibly restrained and force-fed until her fetus was delivered by C-section at 25 weeks. She asked for an abortion, and I don't blame her. Her situation under the law called for an abortion. She was suicidal. She was treated as no better than a barnyard animal, breeding sow and fetus farm. That's a freaking human being we're discussing, not an Easy Bake Oven. TIED DOWN AND FORCIBLY FED. TORTURED. That's ugly. It's inhumane treatment. And it's your end-game. I want no part of that.

lady_black said...

I risked my life to give birth to my son, That was my choice. If it had been forced, there would be no him, and no me either.

lady_black said...

Good for him. And that would be his choice.

lady_black said...

They can't. Some trans-men can get pregnant as long as they have a uterus. Trans-women can't. Not at this time.

lady_black said...

If you believe abortion is murder, don't have one. It's legally NOT murder. And never was, even when illegal. And the law is the only thing that matters. The law says killing (not murder) is legally justified under some circumstances. That isn't likely to change, so may as well deal with it.

lady_black said...

Murder is a 100% legal construct which does not now, and never has applied to abortion. Murder is not, and never has been the equivalent of "killing."

lady_black said...

You are correct. Moral high-ground doesn't come cheaply. And being opposed to abortion is a very cheap way of being pro-life, because it never costs you anything. An unwanted pregnancy is always "someone else's problem" both before and after birth.

Plum Dumpling said...

Absolutely not anything wrong with being asexual. Did not mean to imply that for a moment. I mean only that it is hard for the Asexual to understand someone like my who is hyper sexual and hyper fertile. I give thanks for aging. Whole sex thing has simmered down quite a bit. For which I am very grateful.

lady_black said...

Yeah, having an abortion is not being an aggressor. EVER. It may be self-defense, as in my mom's case. But it's never "being an aggressor." My uterus doesn't belong to you, and it doesn't belong to a hypothetical gestation either.

Plum Dumpling said...

Well you know it is all your fault. Thank you.

Ann Morgan said...

Calvine wrote:

**I see you’re conveniently leaving out those who protest the destruction of embryos to obtain stem cells. Or protest IVF because it creates so many human lives only to dispose of them.**

No. These people are STILL not acting as if they 'believe that fertilized eggs are real babies'. They are not acting as if they believe they are real babies with regards to their OWN behavior, and holding funerals for tampons or rushing around the country consulting specialists to do someting about the 80% of fertilized eggs that die of natural causes. They are only acting (pretending) that the fertilized eggs are 'real babies' with regards to trying to control and punish OTHERS.

**Or who actually do adopt snowflake babies.**

And so? I've bought duck eggs to incubate when I've wanted baby ducks at a cheaper price. It doesn't mean I think the egg is the same thing as a 'real baby duck'.

**Or who protest aborting your child for having a disability.**

Again, a desires to impose responsibility on others that they are counting on the odds and nature that they will never have to live with themselves.

**Or who mourn or even hold funerals for children lost to miscarriage.**

And the tampon funerals for those who claim that fertilized eggs and early term embryos are 'real babies' are held where, exactly? Or are you trying to pretend that funerals for 6 month fetuses are somehow 'proof' that these people 'really believe' that fertilized eggs are 'real babies'. Sorry, no. Only tampon funerals would be proof of that, and I don't see those happening.

**Ever heard of prenatal health guidelines? Fetal surgery?**

Again, the same thing, trying to claim that how people think of and treat a 6 month fetus is 'proof' that they REALLY think of a fertilized egg the same way, rather than just pretending they do, in order to control others. Sorry, no. Surgery on a 6 month fetus may be proof that people think of a 6 month fetus as (or close to) a 'real baby'. It proves NOTHING as to how they really think of a fertilized egg or month old embryo. I would have to see pro-lifers frantically rushing across the country and selling their house to see specialists to do something about all the 80% of their (or their wives) precious little zefs that fail to implant or miscarry in the first month, to consider that proof.

**So rabid is your bigotry that you don’t even allow for the possibility that people you disagree with might simply be mistaken**

'Mistaken' people do not consistently cosmetically small parts of their beliefs to avoid logical inconsistencies others have pointed out, or alternately create a hugely complex gerrymandered position to avoid every logical contadiction, while still being able to conveniently retain a premise that allows them to control others.

Nor do they talk contradictory nonsense such as you do, and claim that people have rights because they are 'human', and that these rights exist because of human being's 'rational and moral faculties', yet somehow have nothing to do with the human brain.


Oh, and btw, I'm actually not impressed by your brags that you're still a virgin. For a man to both be sexually repressed like you, and to desire to punish others for their sexual activities (like you) is a big warning flag of a possible potential serial killer.

lady_black said...

Oh please don't give them any ideas. They already sound enough like that nutcase from Romania.

Ann Morgan said...

Oh yeah. 366 'snowflake babies' born last year? Out of how many pro-life women who claim to think they are 'real babies'? Doesn't sound to me like they are willing to go through pregnancy to save the 'real babies'. They just want everyone else to.


Oh, though experiment here. A mad surgeon kidnaps a MAN and implants an embryo next to his intestines, and hooks up a blood vessel to it. A doctor says that the MAN can probably carry the embryo to a viable age, and have it surgically removed at that point, but there is a strong possibility of the man being permanently physically weakened, and a small possibility of the man dying.


Should the man be forced by law to keep the embryo inside him. If not, why not? Because he didn't have sex? Because he's a man and not a woman? Because such a state is not 'natural' for the man?

Ann Morgan said...

Umm, no. I've studied human psychology. Sexual repression and a desire to punish others for their sexuality are big red flags for a potential future serial killer.

Ann Morgan said...

Smileys upset me. People who need to use them constantly strike me as having the mentality of immature teenagers.

expect_resistance said...

I know, I'm the instigator of trouble. :)

Ann Morgan said...

** a desperate need to assure themselves that woman are naturally prone to subservience.**


A great many of them are. Face facts, women are physically weaker then men. The only way a woman is not going to be subservient is in a machine age, where machines let her do as much work as a man, and if she owns a gun, which lets her defend herself from a man. The vote is still out on whether our machine civilization will remain for any significant length of time, and most women are such idiotic baa-ing sheep that they are anti-gun.

Ann Morgan said...

**No, pregnancy is not a disease. It is, however, a medical condition.**


People do not have an obligation to live with any medical condition in their own bodies, natural or unnatural, desirable or undesirable, that they happen not to want to live with. Not for 9 short months. Not for 9 short minutes.

expect_resistance said...

Totally understand. I agree with the age thing. I used to be very hypersexual from my teen years to late 30s. Now at middle age I'm much more mellow.

Jennifer Starr said...

I agree with you completely.

Gaiuse Strome said...

That 'idea' has already been floated around here. A regular wrote an article about how she believes, in her heart, and her head, that embryos are 100pct rational beings, it's just that she can't shed a tear if an embryo dies. However, they are 100pct real people for sure!!!!!!

expect_resistance said...

The rest of us are premeditative liars if we don't agree with you? Anti-abortion laws are sexist.

expect_resistance said...

Because she doesn't agree with him.

Gaiuse Strome said...

In Afghanistan, anatomy is destiny if born with a uterus
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/sep/22/girls-boys-afghanistan-daughters-raised-as-sons-puberty-bacha-posh

Afghani girls have zero say in who they will marry, at what age they will have sex (think 8 or 9) and how many children they will bear. Its gendered slavery.

Russell Crawford said...

I have never heard a pro life argument that is not a fallacy. It would be good for you to point out a recent or past pro life statement that is not a fallacy. Can you do that for me?

mariel said...

: )

mariel said...

consult a dictionary. subservient does not mean weak. we are all well aware that women are often physically weaker than men. that does NOT mean we are more naturally prone to enslavement.

mariel said...

my "end-game" is for women to stop believing that their own bodies are tools of enslavement. sorry that upsets you.

mariel said...

women are not ruled by their organs. very misogynistic of you to say that we are.

mariel said...

shame on you for suggesting a woman's body is a form of slaveyr.

mariel said...

my body didn't force me to continue the pregnancy? yes, it did. only by taking direct action against my body could i have eliminated the pregnancy that my body was quite diligently nurturing.

mariel said...

that analogy only works if you equate pregnancy with slavery. in which case, you equate the functions of the female body with enslavement.


i don't believe that women are natural-born slaves.

Russell Crawford said...

You murdered my children I tried to save, so how could I molest them. You also plan to murder your own children. I have made the honorable choice, I save your children from your attempts to let them die, by exposing your murders to the world.

Russell Crawford said...

Pro lifers have a choice, they may save innocent born babies or they may choose to let those babies die and save a fetus instead. Pro lifers make the intentional choice to let babies die.

Jennifer Starr said...

No, sorry, but you're wrong. You could have chosen to have an abortion, but you didn't make that choice. You actively made a choice to continue that pregnancy--you were not a passive participant.

Jennifer Starr said...

Do you want women to have the ability to end their unwanted pregnancies if they so choose?

mariel said...

very interesting article.
obviously, countries like Afghanistan hold a perverted view of womanhood: that the uterus is a tool for enslavement. I don't agree with that outlook. abortion is just the flipside of that same mentality: "abortion is a right because a woman's uterus is a means of enslavement. damn those enslaving uteri."

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 400 of 455   Newer› Newest»