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Friday, September 26, 2014

Straw Men Make For Poor Arguments

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

The Straw Man

One of the more commonly-known logical fallacies is the Straw Man Fallacy. This fallacy occurs when we set up an argument in a negative or exaggerated way, in order for us to easily take it down. (This should not be confused with the ad hominem logical fallacy, which we will cover next week.)


From Dinosaur Comics
Straw Men are Easy, Good Arguments Are Hard

It makes sense that mostly everyone engages in Straw-Man-thinking, even if we know intellectually that such reasoning doesn't stand up. Our brains evolved to sort what we encounter into categories for survival--these stereotypes often stick around and impact our thinking as we go throughout our lives. If we utilize Straw-Man-thinking innocently, I believe this is because of our stereotypes toward an opposing viewpoint. Of course, in the course of arguments, people tend to Straw Man intentionally or lazily, because they do not want to invest time investigating the reasoning of their opponents further. 


Buzz shows Woody a typical Youtube comment thread.
How Straw Men Play Out

If I set up an argument in my favor--for example, "The pro-choice side wants to make contraception available because they want to promote a culture of promiscuity"--then I do not need to do much to make my case. If such a thing were the real reason why many pro-choicers favor contraception access, then it would be apparent to the average listener that such reasoning was foolish. But, as any reader of this blog will know, "promoting a culture of promiscuity" is not the reason pro-choicers (or pro-lifers who also favor contraception) want contraception available. 

I sometimes experience Straw Men on my own opinion on abortion (on the rare occasions I bring it forth) from both sides of the debate. If I say "I'm against abortion", pro-choicers may respond with, "Making abortion illegal will kill women through back-alley abortions!" That is a straw man because I said I was anti-abortion, not that I wanted to make abortion illegal. 

Additionally, when we talk about making the pro-life movement secular-friendly, many pro-lifers defensively react with statements such as, "We have a right to our religion! Without the religious, the pro-life movement would be nothing! That is a straw man because SPL never said we should take away the rights of the religious, nor have we said we should remove religion from the abortion debate entirely

Examples

Pro-Choice Examples
Fallacy Why It's A Fallacy
"Pro-lifers are against equal rights for women." This misrepresents the pro-life stance. Generally, pro-lifers are in favor of equal rights, however the specific issue of abortion brings up unusual circumstances not covered in other areas of feminism.
"Forced gestationers tend to engage in all sorts of complex arguments, when occam's razor dicates that all their positions (until fairly recently) are far better and more simply explained by wanting to punish people for sex." The term "forced gestationers" misrepresents the pro-life position and forces the reader to imply a variety of false assumptions about what the movement stands for. Additionally, the pro-life movement does not promote punishment for sex directly, so evidence would be required that it promotes it indirectly.

Pro-Life Examples
Fallacy Why It's A Fallacy
"Pro-choicers think that the unborn baby isn't alive. They obviously don't know about science." Unless specifically stated, pro-choicers understand that the fetus is alive.
"Pro-choicers are against clinic regulations because they do not care about women's health and safety." Pro-choicers are against pro-life bills relating to clinic regulations, not all clinic regulations.
"Abortion is murder, and pro-choicers support murder." Abortion is not, legally, murder. Pro-choicers obviously disagree that it is murder, so it misrepresents their position to say that they are "for" it.


So What Should We Do?
Again, it is much easier to disprove our opponent's argument if we take it upon ourselves to frame it. If we took the time to take their arguments at face value, we might actually find that we agree on several points, and can work together to create some solutions that benefit all. 

In the end, in order to maintain a fruitful and honest discussion, we should aspire to describe our opponents position in such a way where they would say, "Yes, that is what I believe."

474 comments:

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lady_black said...

That's the point. You can identify the humanity of the woman scientifically. Not so with a single cell that could become a baby if it is fit to develop into one. Or it could become a molar pregnancy, and ultimately a malignancy.

secularprolife.org said...

You're using an ad-hominem fallacy (insulting the author) in order to avoid answering the question. And whether or not it's 'out of context' is irrelevent to your refusal to answer, particular since you have gone on at length about the precious 'genetically distinct human DNA before'.

secularprolife.org said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

Please explain how my comment that his *premise* is shoddy and incorrect is in any way an attack on him as a person.

secularprolife.org said...

Again the "unborn child" is only a potential human being. If it was an actual human it wouldn't need a host.

secularprolife.org said...

Ah. Sorry, I'd missed that. My larger point still stands: identical twins do exist, and fertilization was not the beginning of their existence as unique individuals.

secularprolife.org said...

Can you cite some scientific evidence to prove your assertion? Biologically speaking, an organism does not require independence from a "host" (or, in the context of pregnancy, a mother) to be classified as an organism.

secularprolife.org said...

You want scientific evidence that a new organism of the species homo sapiens exists after conception? Sure. See here: https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html and here: https://www.ehd.org/developmental-stages/stage0.php just for starters.
The "ZEF" is an organism of the species homo sapiens, aka a human being. An actual human being.

Once again, can you site some scientific evidence to support YOUR assertion that one of the criteria for the biological classification of an organism is "non-dependence on a host"? I would really like to see it.

secularprolife.org said...

Actually, at the end of the embryonic period over 90% of the 4500 designated structures of the adult body are present and can be distinguished. The changes that occur during the fetal period are largely growth and differentiation of those organs. There are no organs that are present in a newborn baby and absent in a late term fetus.

http://www.embryology.ch/anglais/jfetalperiod/entwicklung01.html

secularprolife.org said...

Except they are actually functional in an infant, which is why a pre-viability unborn human will die upon separation from the woman's body.



Post-viability, there is no need for an abortion unless medically necessary, and labour can be induced, and a live neonate can be produced - which is the method of choice when possible.

secularprolife.org said...

If an egg or a sperm were not a human being, then by your premise, it would be impossible for people to have babies.

secularprolife.org said...

And the usual forced gestationer equivocation fallacy. Again.

secularprolife.org said...

Hint- cherry picking the one definition out of several that happens to support your position is generally an equivocation fallacy. For instance:


Female= woman
Woman= human being
Human being = man
Man = a person of the male gender


Therefore - Female = male.


Sorry, not true. Neither is your little game along the same lines.

secularprolife.org said...

So by that standard, doctors who harvest organs from brain dead motorcycle accident victims are committing murder, according to you? And why Homo Sapiens and not any other species? Does magic powder fall from the sky on us for no discernable reason and give us magical rights?

secularprolife.org said...

Permit me to introduce to you a concept with which you may, perhaps, be unfamiliar. It's known as a 'breech' birth.

secularprolife.org said...

I can take a picture of a brain dead motorcycle accident victim, too. Pictures do not prove personshood.

secularprolife.org said...

If the senior citizen is trying to steal my kidneys or other organs against my will, then I'll go for it.

secularprolife.org said...

If they are getting their air supply from my lungs, without my consent, then I will go for it. If you are claiming that the embryo isn't getting it's air, blood, and other necessities from the mother, than you should have no problem with having it removed and getting those things on it's own the way you imply it is.

secularprolife.org said...

If the homeless person is sucking on someone else's body without their consent, then I say go for it.

secularprolife.org said...

It is of the human species but it is only a potential human. I want proof that it is insta kid the way you guys claim.

secularprolife.org said...

Sperm/ova are human cells, but they are not human *organisms.* A zygote is a human organism. This is basic biology and scientific fact.

secularprolife.org said...

Actually, I was born breech. :) however, permit me to introduce you to the concept known as a "hypothetical situation," which is not meant to cover all variations of a given event.

secularprolife.org said...

I agree. Yet some abortion advocates make the claim that zygotes/embryos are not human because they don't look human. I'm glad we both agree on the illogic of that particular argument.

secularprolife.org said...

Do you believe an unborn child is a moral agent?

secularprolife.org said...

I provided you proof already. You, however, have consistently refused to provide me proof of your assertion.

secularprolife.org said...

Hi Joshua, sorry it took so long to get back to you.


Honestly, sometimes I'm confused as to why I identify with the pro-life movement as well. :) You can read my perspective on the recent post on LGBT pro-lifers that SPL published, though it isn't exhaustive. And my opinion on abortion tends to sway back and forth in many different areas. I am hoping these posts will help me just as much as SPL's readership in clarifying my position in an honest way. I am sure that wherever I "end up" will put me somewhere in the middle, not on one side or the other.

secularprolife.org said...

I like you Nate. You are intellectually honest.

BTW, I also think that people - on both sides - will use certain fallacies because people tend to respond better to emotion than to logic. Appeal to emotion fallacies seem to work the best. Now, they won't convince anyone who is really invested in the subject, or anyone who has studied science or philosophy, but such fallacies tend to work on the average person, to great effect.

secularprolife.org said...

You have not provided me any proof that spem and egg make insta kid. Otherwise why is pregnancy nine months of misery if it is insta kid?

secularprolife.org said...

Yes, I did provide you proof in the form of two separate links, it was a few posts back.
I'm afraid I don't understand what you're trying to say in your question. Are you asking why unborn children develop within the womb?

secularprolife.org said...

No I am asking why you think the second the soerm and egg touch you have insta kid.

secularprolife.org said...

It it the woman's choice if she suffers the misery of pregnancy -NOT yours.

secularprolife.org said...

What is your definition of "insta-kid"? That might help me figure out what you are asking.

secularprolife.org said...

I agree! But that choice needs to be made prior to pregnancy. Once an innocent child comes into existence, s/he has a right to life.

secularprolife.org said...

And yet despite being born breech, so being aware of the possibility, you deliberately handwaved away that possibility in your little whimpers about how if the shoulders were out, then the head was necessarily also out.

secularprolife.org said...

Sorry, you want to have your definitions of what is a 'human organism' change from moment to moment, so you can have your cake and eat it too. Some points here:


1. If people with Down's syndrome are consider 'human' despite having a different number of chromosomes, then you can't handwave away the 'human' status of a sperm and egg based on their number of chromosomes. You can't have it both ways.


2. If having certain organs and a brain is necessary to be a 'human organism', then an embryo doesn't qualify. If it's NOT necessary, then a molar pregnancy DOES qualify. You can't have THAT both ways, either.


3. If a 'child' has a right to the mother's organs without her consent for it's 'very life', then it has a right to either the mother's or the father's kidney for their 'very life'. You can't have it both ways and claim a right exists only when it's convenient to your anti-sex agenda for it to exist.

secularprolife.org said...

Reading comprehension fail. Better luck next time.

secularprolife.org said...

Sorry, no. You specifically stated, and I cut and paste here:

**If a child is halfway outside the birth canal, then his/her shoulders have already been delivered.**



Not true in a breech birth. Since you claim you are familiar with that concept, then I can only assume you were lying and handwaving away the possibility on purpose.


Better luck next time with your handwaving.

secularprolife.org said...

1.**Sperm and are human cells, not human organisms.**

And how does the number of chromosomes magically change a 'non-organism'
but living cell, into an 'organism'. Other than your wanting it to magically be so?

2. ** Having a brain and specific organs are not criteria for what constitutes an organism**

Then you exclude molar pregnancies on what basis? They have your magic number of 46 chromosomes, and you've specifically stated that the brain and organs aren't necessary for what constitutes a 'human organism'.

3. **Organ donation is an extraordinary means of survival, not basic.**



Sorry, epic fail due to naturalistic fallacy. Either a right exists or it doesn't exist. If a child has a 'right' to the parent's organs without their consent, then it doesn't matter if the means of carrying out that right are 'extraordinary' or not. And, btw, if you want to stick to your 'extraordinary' whining, then this would arguably exclude all the frozen ZEFS in IVF facilities from having any 'human rights' on the grounds that they were created in an 'extraordinary' manner. Or do you get to play the 'heads I win-tails you lose' game of determining when being 'extraordinary' does or doesn't apply?

secularprolife.org said...

Do you know what an "example" is? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/example?s=t

secularprolife.org said...

1. A human being is an organism of the species Homo sapiens. Please note that the word "chromosomes" does not appear in that definition.
2. I exclude molar pregnancies because a molar pregnancy is not an organism. At the beginning of such pregnancies, a new human organism may exist (partial molar pregnancy as opposed to full), but by the time the abnormal cells take over, he or she is already dead.
3. No. The naturalistic fallacy points out that the argument that "if it occurs in nature, then it is moral" is fallacious, which of course it is and which I am not making, above. For the above does not claim that something is moral because it is found in nature, but rather that it is moral to act in accord with something's nature. That is not the same as "found in nature."
The purpose of the uterus is to gestate human offspring. When a woman is pregnant, she is using that organ in accord with its nature, and for its intended purpose, biologically speaking. But organs are not meant to be interchangeable parts between different human beings, which is why the recipients of organ donation need to take antirejection medications for the rest of their lives.

secularprolife.org said...

I know that you're desperately handwaving in order to avoid having to admit that your original statement was wrong. Let's try a yes or no answer, and some honesty on your part, instead of handwaving.

You wrote: **If a child is halfway outside the birth canal, then his/her shoulders have already been delivered.**



Is this true in a breech birth?

Yes or no?


If yes, explain how.


If no, then admit your original statement was wrong.

secularprolife.org said...

Obviously you didn't read the definition. Since you are apparently unaware of how to click links, let me make it easier for you. An example is "one thing of many." One method of abortion is to stab the baby's neck with scissors when it's halfway out of the birth canal. (and my original point in bringing up that example was to ask if that method of abortion is right or wrong, since technically the baby has not yet fully emerged from the birth canal, which, by the original commenters assertion, means that the baby is not yet a person.)
In the event of a breech birth, another method of abortion would likely be to dismember the child piece by piece, and pull each body part out of its mother's womb.
In my original comment I was using an "example" of abortion. That means I was describing one method of abortion, out of many different types.
Do you understand now? I'm really not sure how I can make this any simpler.

secularprolife.org said...

And you are still handwaving in order to avoid admitting that your original statement that if the 'baby' is 'halfway out' that means the shoulders have been delivered is incorrect.


Also, exactly why should the method of abortion matter to you? Is it your contention that a barely viable infant should be delivered intact, thereby causing more injury to the mother than would occur otherwise, and kept alive by machines? If so, who is to pay for these machines, and exactly why is the fetus entitled to such 'extraordinary measures' to keep it alive, when you claimed earlier that a child was NOT entitled to 'extraordinary measures'.


Also, I note that you are evading my question as to why frozen ZEFS are entitled to 'extraordinary measures' for their 'very lives', when a child who needs a kidney is NOT entitled to 'extraordinary measures', according to you.

secularprolife.org said...

I agree a woman should use birth control if she doesn't want to be pregnant. However I disagree when it comes to punishing her if it fails.


I also agree once there is a child (after it is born) it had a right to life. Again though where I disagree is that it is an innocent child the second the sperm and egg touch.


Question for you... How do you feel about abortion in the case of rape? The woman made no choice about that so do you think she should have to suffer the misery of pregnancy?

secularprolife.org said...

Whatever you anti-choicers think a sperm and egg make. You people act like it is a 100% viable human being that deserves some type of special right that no actual living person on earth has. (the forced right to use someones body against their will)

secularprolife.org said...

I'm not sure how telling a woman "I'm very sorry, but an unborn child has the right to life so you can't take away another's rights" is "punishment."
Where are you getting your definition that "child" only constituents someone who is born? The dictionary doesn't say that. You may find this helpful: http://liveactionnews.org/decode-pro-abortion-talking-points-with-the-choicespeak-to-english-dictionary-part-1/
I've talked ad nauseum on my comments in this thread about abortion after rape, so you can see them for a full explanation of my beliefs. Nutshell is that no, it's not just to execute the child for the crimes of his/her biological father. The child is an innocent victim of the rape too, along with his/her mother.

secularprolife.org said...

Um, everyone has the right to life. It's not an "extra-special" right, it's a basic right and one from which all other rights derive. You don't have the right of bodily autonomy, for example, if you're dead.

I absolutely agree that men and women have the right to bodily autonomy. But even those rights are limited -- otherwise I would have the right to ingest heroin or engage in prostitution if I so desired. In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, there are two conflicting rights -- the right to life and the right to bodily autonomy. Since pregnancy is a temporary condition, but death is a permanent condition, the right to life logically trumps the right to bodily autonomy.

secularprolife.org said...

No the right is the forced use of an actual person's body without their consent. NOONE has the right.

secularprolife.org said...

Forcing a woman to suffer the misery of pregnancy IS a punishment. I would rather die then suffer the misery of pregnancy...

So you do basically just hate women. You want to punish even a women who was raped. THAT is sad.

secularprolife.org said...

Except in the context of human reproduction. A parent has the obligation to provide basic needs for their child, even if they have to use their body to do it.

secularprolife.org said...

Pregnancy is temporary, but death is permanent. And for the vast majority of women, pregnancy isn't a misery.

secularprolife.org said...

First of all, I note that you are still attempting to play the equivocation game, in which you first get someone to agree that the 'zygote' is human in a *biological* sense, then try to claim that that also proves it is 'human' in a moral sense, and not only entitled to 'human rights' but to special rights, such as the right to someone else's body, which nobody else is entitled to.


But leaving your latest attempt at the equivocation game aside for the moment, I have NEVER seen anyone argue that the *reason*, or that the ONLY reason that the zygote/embryo does not qualify for human rights (I'm not going to fall into your equivocation game so why don't you give it up) is merely because it doesn't 'look human'.


The fact is, it doesn't 'look human', but that fact is incidental, and merely a result of the other, actual conditions, that cause it not to be entitled to human rights. Chiefly, among which, it does not have a functional brain, and is violating someone else's bodily autonomy, which there is no 'right' to.


If you can show me something that LOOKS exactly like an embryo or zygote, but which has a functioning brain, and is able to survive without occupying someone else's body (or other property without their consent) I would never deny that such a thing would be fully entitled to human rights.


And, btw, if it's brain were functioning on the level of a human being, it would be entitled to human rights even if it were an alien creature that 'looked' like a human embryo and had no human DNA whatsoever, because DNA qua DNA without the phenotypical expression of the brain coded for by that DNA is completely irrelevent to rights.

secularprolife.org said...

No.

secularprolife.org said...

When unwanted pregnancy is almost always misery.

secularprolife.org said...

A woman is not a parent just because she is pregnant and she does not have to use her body to care for it.

secularprolife.org said...

Usually "it doesn't look like a human" is one of the first objections I see when discussing this topic. Maybe that's not your experience, but it is for me.
There's no false equivocation going on. I believe all human beings are persons. I don't think there is a difference between a human being and a person, I think they are one and the same. You and others apparently believe that not all human beings are persons. Or you believe that neither zygotes nor embryos are human beings, that they are some sort of "potential human," despite the fact that they very clearly meet the criteria for what constitutes an organism.
Personally I think it's a dangerous proposition to assign personhood to some humans but not others. That has happened before in our history, and it has never been for benevolent purposes.

secularprolife.org said...

Okay, then I'm really confused as to why you are ascribing motives to him or her.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't think you can make that claim for every single pregnant woman who has experienced an unwanted pregnancy. Regardless, no amount of misery justifies killing an innocent human being. I can't kill my born children if they are causing me misery.

secularprolife.org said...

The dictionary disagrees with you. "Parent" is defined as "a father or mother." I really hope you're not going to try and argue that the child conceived within the womb of a woman is not her biological child.

secularprolife.org said...

A woman is not a mother just because she is pregnant. She is only a mother if she carries it to term.

secularprolife.org said...

There is a difference between a born child and an unwanted ZEF.

secularprolife.org said...

**I believe all human beings are persons.**

You're belief is irrelevent to the facts. You cannot be a person without a functioning brain, regardless of your species.

**Or you believe that neither zygotes nor embryos are human beings, that they are some sort of "potential human," despite the fact that they very clearly meet the criteria for what constitutes an organism.**

Being an organism is not some sort of magic state, if the organism in question does not have a functioning brain.

**Personally I think it's a dangerous proposition to assign personhood to some humans but not others.**



The fact that it was erroneous to claim that certain racial groups, which DO have a brain, were not 'persons', does not prove that embryoes without a brain, are 'persons', any more than it proves that snails are 'persons'.

secularprolife.org said...

The biological fact that an unborn child is an organism of the species Homo sapiens. Are or not the child is also a person is a philosophical question, not a scientific one.
Look up the biological definition of an organism. "Having a brain" is not one of the criteria.
A snail is not a person because a snail is not an organism of the species Homo sapiens.
You know, debates are fun, but my worldview is so wildly different from yours that this is just a waste of time. I'm going to respectfully bow out of this discussion.

secularprolife.org said...

No, you don't get to 'bow out' in order to avoid answering questions.


You claim that a snail isn't a person, because it's not a member of the species homo-sapiens. Why is that? You are trying to define 'person' and 'homo-sapiens' in a circular, or magical way.


Why SHOULD 'homo sapiens' be 'persons' but not snails? They are both organisms, aren't they? What's the difference between them? Did God just 'happen' to sprinkle magic powder on our species, at random, for no reason at all?


What is the reason? WHY are 'homo sapiens' considered 'persons'? Why not snails? What difference exists between our two species?


Your world view is not different, you just like to be deliberately obtuse and avoid answering questions.

secularprolife.org said...

I notice you are carefully avoiding mention of the presence or absence of a functioning brain. Usual forced gestationer games, in other words.

secularprolife.org said...

No, they don't. You are either being deliberately obtuse (as usual) or flat out don't know what constitutes being a Libertarian.

secularprolife.org said...

Really? Ultrasounds showing moving entities -- maybe it's aliens! Or tests performed to screen for genetic anomalies... I mean come on, it's like pre-natal care just *isn't a thing*?

secularprolife.org said...

Ultrasounds often show fetuses that are incapable of birth or are using the mother as life support. No test can prove that a fetus is alive one billionth of a second after the test ends.

The scientific fact is that until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype, there is no human life. That is a fact, deal with it.

secularprolife.org said...

Until the DNA of the genotype expresses the correct phenotype there is no proof that there is a human life that will live to birth.

Any test you make is of no use one billionth of a second after the test is complete. And prior to birth the human fetal heart must transform into a human heart, the fetal respiratory system and digestive systems must transform into human systems and the fetal brain must transform into the human brain. If any of those changes from human fetus to human baby do not occur, there may not be a live human birth.

Most non human life consists of "products of conception", not a different, identifiable species.

secularprolife.org said...

I'm really confused as to what statement of mine you interpret as my ascribing motives to an embryo.

secularprolife.org said...

**I believe all human beings are persons. I don't think there is a difference between a human being and a person**

Then why not simply EXPLAIN exactly what reason you have for regarding homo sapiens - but not any other species (such as snails), as 'persons'. Is there a reason, or isn't there? If there is a reason, what is it? Why not just TELL me what it is, instead of handwaving and refusing to answer.

**Maybe that's not your experience, but it is for me.**



Ok, I'll bite. Give me quotations and links to these huge numbers of people (whom you claim) whose first and ONLY reason for not regarding the embryo as a person is it's looks, and nothing else. Because I'd regard the position that something is NOT a person ONLY because of it's looks - and no other reason, as stupid as the position that it IS human only because of it's DNA - and no other reason.

secularprolife.org said...

So what I'm getting from this is that you don't know the definition of the word "human," "alive," or "species." /slow clap

secularprolife.org said...

It is a living human if it has the human genotype and phenotype and is alive. Pro lifers believe non humans are human life.

secularprolife.org said...

Your logic does not follow. "No test can prove that a fetus is alive one billionth of a second after the test ends."
It's like saying to the person standing right in front of me "well since light and sound take time to travel from you to me, I have no way of knowing definitively whether you are still alive or even still standing there for that matter. So, I am just going to shoot this gun towards the place were your head "was", but since I can't say for sure if it will kill you, it's ok." Huh? Are you out of your mind? Also, the statement
"Most non human life consists of "products of conception", not a different, identifiable species." has absolutely no bearing on whether or not it is ok to have an abortion. It is a completely arbitrary statement, and has nothing to do with what is moral or not moral. This is what happens when a biologist tries to practice philosophy. You end up with absurdities.

secularprolife.org said...

"A zygote may not be human and 70 percent will not be alive at the end of the first trimester. That is a massive difference."

First of all I think it is safe to say that no one should be basing an abortion on a maybe or on the projection of a lifespan. Just as one, about to demolish a building with explosives, wouldn't blow it up if there was even the slightest chance that there was someone in it.

"I don't suggest that the fetus be killed, I suggest the zygote is not human and may not live to birth. The odds of it not living to birth is 70 percent and the odds for it not being human is 42 percent."

I think it is best to isolate these two assertions from one another. Regarding the 70% not living to birth. Does a "born" human being medically diagnosed with a 70% chance of dying in the next 9 months lose their right to live? Is it ok to treat them in the same manner as a zygote? And the 42% chance of it not being human: Would it be ok to perform an activity that had a 58% chance of killing someone?

"Sorry, I am just a person, not a biologist. But the facts are still the facts."

Don't worry even biologists are persons, I wouldn't advocate for their extermination lol. On a more serious note, the reason I mention philosophy is because it is a field that is actually equipped explore morality, unlike biology which tells us what something is or is not and not whether or not it has value. Biology has no bearing on whether or not an action is or isn't morally licit. Regardless of how scientists decide to classify certain stages of life, the fact of the matter is this: the nature of the being is the same all the way from conception through adulthood. This means that a zygote has the same human nature as an adult. Only it's form changes, but the form of a being is in a process of change all the time anyways. It is our human nature that gives us value and rights, not the state of our form in any given time or place.

"And keep in mind, in order to force the birth of a fetus, you must let a baby die.and I save life and pro lifers murder life. It is absurd to murder babies to save fetuses." Am I missing something that was mentioned earlier in the thread, because I don't know of any pro-lifers that actively kill babies.

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