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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ad Hominem Fallacies Derail Conversations

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

Like the Straw Man last week, this week’s logical fallacy is one of the more commonly-known logical fallacies: the ad hominem.

An ad hominem fallacy occurs when we attack our opponent for their character, actions, worldview, or other factor, and use that attack as a reason to dismiss their argument. It is very easy for everyone to engage in this fallacy, because our brains seem to say, “There's no reason to listen to this argument because this person’s a jerk!” And our brains seem to like being reassured in this way. Our predilection toward this type of strong thinking is so strong, it seems, that if you turn on any political cable news program, you're likely to find conversations consisting on little-else than ad hominem, with a little Straw Man thrown in occasionally. 

However, a person’s character has no basis in whether or not what they are saying is true. If someone is known to lie, we can only take that piece of information into account and apply other logical steps; but, we cannot dismiss the argument they are currently making based upon this alone.

Ad Hominem is Easy, Good Arguments are Hard

If you look at any Facebook thread, you’re likely to see ad hominem arguments abound. People who utilize the fallacy—intentionally or unintentionally—often seem blissfully unconcerned about the “meat” of whatever issue is being discussed, and focus instead on an irrelevant trait of the author or another person in the thread in order to dismiss their entire position. Even if other people are trying to have a good conversation, these sporadic comments often succeed in derailing everyone. 

Ad Hominem Attacks vs. the Ad Hominem Fallacy

For the purposes of this article, let’s differentiate between ad hominem attacks and the ad hominem fallacy. We know that with the fallacy, we ignore the point a person is trying to make and focus on a factor about the person. But does information about a person ever matter? Yes, of course.

Let’s say Kelsey Hazzard, president of Secular Pro-Life, was a known compulsive liar. (She is not, of course!) Let’s say that in her dealings online, she continually lied, was continually called out on it, and never directly addressed the accusations of lying. Perhaps Kelsey also is being investigated for tax fraud. Perhaps she bans everyone on her page who disagrees with her. Perhaps she attacks other pro-life advocates for the purposes of her own self-promotion. And let’s say she kills kittens.

The fictitious Kelsey Hazzard described above would not be a person that I would want to work with, nor would I want to believe a single word she says. This is relevant for me as far as figuring out, to what degree, I want to engage with her and consider what she has to say.

But—and this is the big “but”—none of these factors would have anything to do with whether or not any of Kelsey’s arguments about abortion are sound or not. I may not want to listen to her, but that, again, does not mean anything in regards to if her argument is true or logical. You must address her arguments, not her character, if you are to conclude that she is wrong. Of course, with such a sordid history as our fictitious Kelsey has, one might say, “I’m not going to bother.” 



Pro-Choice Examples
Fallacy Why It's A Fallacy
"Of course pro-lifers want clinic regulations! They hate women and will do anything they can to control what people do in their own lives."  Assuming that pro-lifers did indeed hate women (spoiler: we don't), that does not have any bearing on the specific arguments presented for clinic regulations. 
"Your scientific evidence doesn't matter, because you're not a biologist." Dismissing evidence put forth due to the credentials (or lack of credentials) is a classic example of an ad hominem fallacy. 

Pro-Life Examples
Fallacy Why It's A Fallacy
"What do pro-choicers know about equality? They support abortion, which disproportionately affects minorities." Supporting abortion does not mean that any point a pro-choicer is making about race is invalid. You must focus on the argument itself. 
"Senator Smith is pro-choice, so I don't care what she has to say about equal pay laws." A person's position on abortion does not have an impact on the validity of their arguments. 

Keep this question in mind: "Am I focusing on the validity of the argument and not the person?" If you're focusing on anything else about the person presenting the argument, you may very well be committing a logical fallacy. In general, attacking a person derails otherwise-productive conversations about an issue, and if we are to truly understand and appreciate the pro-choice perspective, we need to hone our skills in sticking to arguments.

128 comments:

secularprolife.org said...

Actually anti-choicers do hate some women. They hate the women that don't submit to the way of thinking that we are supposed to be good little girls and only have sex to pop out babies. We are also supposed to all want to make babies since that is our job as a woman to pop out babies... If that doesn't show hatred I am not sure what does.

secularprolife.org said...

Broad character generalizations are assuredly false because not everyone in a given movement is the same and has the same views. In the case you are using, that is completely irrelevant to secular pro-life via their website. I can only conclude that you are trolling or have built up a straw man argument overtime to dismiss pro-life ideas rather than discuss the issues. I am sure some of those people exist on the pro-life side, I've met some intolerant people on both sides, so the surely exist...but that does not make every pro- lifer hateful towards women or wanting the "little woman" image. Personally, I can't stand that idea and I find religion to make it worse, one reason I appreciate secular pro-life do much.

secularprolife.org said...

Yeah. At the National Review a pro lifer just said that women who abort deserve to be hanged to death because abortion is murder.

secularprolife.org said...

You said it yourself A pro-lifer...as in a single person. I completely disagree with this statement, however this is different from hating all women, specifically hating those who abort. I find that to be misguided overall, but again stop with the broad character generalization, one person's opinion does mean a whole movement thinks that way.

secularprolife.org said...

I never made a broad character generalization. Aren't you touchy. I just related that story because YOU said that some pro lifers truly hate women.

secularprolife.org said...

This is a really good post and I think it addresses most of what needs to be said about ad hominem fallacies. Well done, Nate!

secularprolife.org said...

Yes. If I recall, a poster here explained the inconsistencies to you, and it basically came down to "calling for murder charges for post abortive women is really bad for public relations."

secularprolife.org said...

I admit you didn't and I partially misread your post...and I won't assume intent, but I will ask what is the point of your reply then? True , some pro-lifers surely hate women. But then the same applies to pro-choices as well...and truly most demographics have people that hate women. Saying yes and here is an example (although technically it is only clear the person hates women who abort), does nothing to further the discussion or prove the pint either way. What you illustrate is an anecdote

secularprolife.org said...

I thought it was interesting, that's all. Not everyday you hear something so extreme.
http://www.politicususa.com/2014/09/30/wing-columnist-hang-women-abortions.html

Why would pro choicers hate women?

secularprolife.org said...

This is also worth reading and remembering..
http://www.debate.org/forums/miscellaneous/topic/38641/

The ad hominem fallacy fallacy

Too often, people see an insult, assume that it is an ah attack, and dismiss the entire argument. For example, I could say that "1 + 1= 2, asshat", and that would be a fact + an insult. It would NOT be the ah fallacy.

secularprolife.org said...

I love it when true motivations a person's views slips out like that. Another poster and poster of the paid blogging program here wrote

>> If you believe that it is all right to kill unborn children --
the ones whom God knits together in their mother's wombs -- then you are
not pro-life in all respects. You are pro-life in one respect -- that
of the mother.


was a Golden nugget as well. It showed the best reasoning for the pro-life perspective, and also that God is apparently pro-choice as well, as he allows spontaneous miscarriages to happen.

secularprolife.org said...

Unfortunately both sides of the abortion debate have very extreme people and positions.

All I can say is why not? Different people have different reasons for their positions and being pro-choice does not mean pro-woman. I will never assume that because a person holds one position that they must hold another different position.

secularprolife.org said...

Correct. I did hit on the fallacy vs. the attack, but this is good to remember as well. Though, again, I think it's only a fallacy if my brain says, "That argument is invalid because they called me an asshat." However, I'm under no obligation to have a discussion with a person engaging me that way.

secularprolife.org said...

Yep. However, I have found that some people will look for any excuse to claim ad hominem and walk away. For example, someone will make an outrageous claim, and you might say "you do not know what you are talking about", and they will scream ah fallacy and stomp off. It has happened to me on occasion.

secularprolife.org said...

It is worth noting on the scientific evidence that often people aren't dismissing the person because they aren't a scientist, rather that they have misinterpreted or don't understand the evidence (or in the case of listing chemical ingredients it really isn't evidence at all)....and thus are really saying you are not a scientist and do not have the background to interpret the data properly.

secularprolife.org said...

I think the reason b.b.c. brought this up is that there is ample reason to believe there is a real undercurrent of misogeny behind the pro-life movement. Many posters on this forum believe that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape. Another poster wrote on his manifesto website

>> I think that a rape victim should be given counseling emphasizing the possible positive outcomes of continuing the pregnancy, not the negative outcomes.


which to me implies that this person recognizes possible negative feelings and outcomes from giving birth to a baby conceived in rape, yet thinks that only positive aspects of the rape pregnancy should be emphasized.



So I think he wasn't actually trying to paint all pro-lifers as misogynist, but to point out that many most likely are, and gave one example.

secularprolife.org said...

I agree. Science is the discipline to resist believing what you so much want to be true. It pains me to see people with no scientific background throwing around
words that have a very specific technical meaning, like "energy" or
"theory", using them as they mean in the vernacular, and then bulldoze their way in arguments to prove their biased views.

What human civilization as a whole needs is training in statistics, interpretation of data and learning to recognize and correct for biases in conclusion.

secularprolife.org said...

Feel free to correct me at any time if I misuse a scientific word:P

secularprolife.org said...

Well, let's look at India and China for examples. It is VERY common there to abort because the fetus is female and not male and NOT the other way around. If that's not woman-hating, I don't know what it is.

secularprolife.org said...

In China that is largely because of institutionalized misogyny and the one child rule.

In India, it is due to institutionalized misogyny, where a womans only value is in producing heirs and home making.

secularprolife.org said...

No doubt there is indeed a very strong misogyny there, and abortions and infanticide is the solution some have taken. However, this does not mean that abortion itself is misogyny, as both male and female fetuses can be aborted. Also, note that those countries are beginning to see the social costs of population engineering in highly skewed sex ratios, and will have to correct this or else face political and social destabilization.

secularprolife.org said...

And I ask for the same for me as well:)

secularprolife.org said...

That is a valid point/view. I find much of the pro-life movement misguided to that I felt turned off by the movement until I found secular pro-life. As a scientist, I appreciate the evidence based approach. Two things I would like to see from the movement is a discussion about how to help reduce abortions vs. making it illegal and to stop stereotyping women. This is about reaching all women not placing some women as good and bad, etc. This only takes away from the message and is also quite offensive anyway.

secularprolife.org said...

Hi Andrea

I agree with some of the pro-life message, and believe some abortion restrictions (specifically late-term) are justified. I also think we should be working toward a world where abortion is legal but unattractive compared to the other choices available to a woman. The pro-life movement as it currently stands is largely dogmatic with strong religious undertones, and oblivious or dismissive of approaches that are likely to realistically reduce abortions but may not bode well with their dogma. I sincerely hope a secular pro-life movement that takes account of actual human nature grows, as I'm sure such a movement would make a world that actually values life.

secularprolife.org said...

The internet has opened up a lot of opportunities for information, but unfortunately people just find "evidence" or "sciency" words and throw it out to (falsely) establish that their point is valid. I find the recent posts in food and medical discussions to center around chemical lists. As a chemist, I consider this fear mongering rather than informative…at that is why you have to be careful when introducing science, few people care to actually discuss it…they are throwing it at the wall and seeing if it sticks (so to speak) and then staunchly defending it even if you point out holes/problems with their evidence.

secularprolife.org said...

I completely agree with you. I consider myself pro-life because I do not like abortion and would like to see it reduced/rare. (As a side note I'll point out now that "rare" was dropped from the democrats platform on the issue a few years ago…between that and the unapologetic abortion pieces I find that disturbing overall.) However, I think pro-life people need to really consider what abortion being illegal would mean and if that is no longer the goal after such an honest discussion how to move forward. Lastly, I feel even if that is still their "ultimate (though unlikely) goal" that there are more realistic benchmarks that many people who identify as pro-life could agree with. I think we could achieve much more and not be nearly at odds if this could be achieved.

secularprolife.org said...

My approval rating for this site is definitely uneven. Some of the contributing bloggers I would say are in the crazy, dogmatic camp. Though there are some articles like "what would change your mind" and the one where Kelsey (?) pointed out a Republican senator who wanted to make abortion illegal, but when asked why he thinks some women would want an abortion, he honestly said he did not know, and never thought about it.

I think what needs to happen is that for the pro-life movement as a whole to recognize that there is a very real need for abortion. Without realizing this, point blank stamping out abortion would likely have a negative effect, and society would have missed an opportunity to take a holistic approach to improving itself.

secularprolife.org said...

This is true. It can go both ways. Often times, one statement can contain many fallacies, so I am trying to just focus on one at a time. It depends on how the objection is stated: "You're not a scientist" is different than "you're interpreting the science incorrectly".

secularprolife.org said...

I feel your pain as well. My hope in these posts is to help the pro-life movement understand some of these concepts. Maybe afterward, I will try some science-related posts on where people on both sides get it wrong.

secularprolife.org said...

Agreed!

secularprolife.org said...

"Let’s say that in her dealings online, she continually lied, was continually called out on it, and never directly addressed the accusations of lying. Perhaps Kelsey also is being investigated for tax fraud. Perhaps she bans everyone on her page who disagrees with her. Perhaps she attacks other pro-life advocates for the purposes of her own self-promotion. And let’s say she kills kittens."


Are parts of this description inspired by a real person, or am I reading too much into it?

secularprolife.org said...

No one should be forced to have an aborton or be forced to gestate a pregnancy. Both are bad.

secularprolife.org said...

If you are anti-choice you hate women. You want to force them into gestational slavery.

secularprolife.org said...

Do you have someone in mind?

secularprolife.org said...

Hey Marauder!!!


Have you had your baby?

secularprolife.org said...

Yep! Little girl. :D

secularprolife.org said...

The tax fraud investigation, banning people who disagree, and attacking other pro-lifers for one's own self-promotion do seem to describe a specific real person who's frequently been accused of lying. (The kitten killing is obviously meant to be over-the-top.)

secularprolife.org said...

I see. So I guess there is no way you are going to tell me, then?

secularprolife.org said...

Not at all i would never force a woman to become pregnant. But once pregnant then their is a responsibility towards another human life create by her own actions and reliant on her for its survival. Pro-life is not anti choice there is always the choice to not get pregnant int the first place. For those pregnant through rape I would support legalised early term abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

So fetuses don't have an intrinsic right to life according to you?

secularprolife.org said...

In an earlier post, you said that you are pro-life because you can't support the dismemberment of a fetus


I hate that appeal to emotion argument, because they would *still* oppose abortion if it was carried out by:


1) c-section at 6 weeks



2) by disconnecting the placenta from the uterus


3) induced miscarriage, not touching the embryo at all


4) birth control that even prevents an egg from implanting by supposedly thinning the uterine lining


5) uterine artery embolization, which shuts off the arteries that supply blood to the uterus, either preventing implantation or preventing the woman's resources from reaching the embryo

secularprolife.org said...

Well, maybe some of them truly honestly feel love for the unborn baby from the point its 2-celled stage. I won't judge that emotional attachment, but it is f*ed up to force this view on someone else.

secularprolife.org said...

I'm so happy for you. Daughters are wonderful and you get to keep your pink baby as a profile pic .

secularprolife.org said...

Congratulations!

secularprolife.org said...

I think you're simplifying bear's position a bit. I think its possible to sincerely believe in intrinsic right to life, but still support a rape exception, and for that point, I commend bear for recognizing this. As for pro-life not being anti-choice, I would have to disagree.

secularprolife.org said...

I think you're simplifying bear's position a bit.

Why do you think I phrased it as a question:P

I am trying to get him to examine his position.

The problem with the responsibility objection is that it bases the 'right to life' of the prenate on the method of conception, and nothing else.

For example:

http://brainshavings.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/20121024-213203.jpg

Does a person only have value if they were conceived through consensual sex? If a prenate has the same value as a baby/toddler/teen/adult/senior, and it would be *wrong* to kill one of them if they were created through rape, then why is it suddenly not immoral to kill them in utero? But then, they will say, I am just looking at all sides, and I realize that it would cause the rape victim too much pain and suffering to be forced to gestate. In which case, they admit two things: 1) that pregnancy is NOT a minor inconvenience (as you've noticed, they pretend that pregnancy has zero downsides and is just like breathing) 2) and in admitting that pregnancy is in fact difficult, they admit that the purpose of forcing birth in cases of consensual sex is to punish the woman for having non-procreative sex

secularprolife.org said...

Nope once pregnant the woman has complete control if the ZEF comes to term.

To force otherwise is gestational slavery.

secularprolife.org said...

Hi Purple, thanks for your questions. I will try to be quick in answering them.


I don't really consider myself a part of the pro-life movement. SPL and the Agnostics and Atheists Against Abortion group on Facebook are the extent of my involvement. I think why I still describe myself as pro-life is because I cannot (at this point) logically be consistent with a pro-choice view. This is something I hope to explore in posts in the future.


I hadn't really considered adoption when think about how the LGBT community and the abortion debate are linked. I was thinking as far as the "oppressed" group in either case, but yes, adoption is definitely something to consider. As for what SPL commentors believe about gay adoption, I cannot say, as I rarely read long thread of comments on the boards for the very same reason I suspect you don't--it's too damn painful sometimes. SPL is ironically mostly Christian, and so I am not surprised that those kinds of views are often displayed. Yeah, it sucks, but the purpose of the group is to promote secular reasoning among the highly-religious pro-life movement--it's not an agnostic/atheist group in that regard.


I have a similar reaction to the word "Truth" as you do, but I do not blame Kelsey for this. She is trying to spread her message among many religious people varying from the academic to the fundamentalist. I don't think she should let the name of the conference stop her from promoting secular arguments in the abortion debate.

secularprolife.org said...

** I think its possible to sincerely believe in intrinsic right to life, but still support a rape exception,**


Unless you ALSO believe that it would be acceptable to shoot a 5 year old, or a 30 year old, because they were conceived by rape, then your real motivation is merely punishment for voluntary sex.

secularprolife.org said...

Hi Nate, thanks for your reply.

I realize that there is a wide spectrum of views, and its not purely dichotomous. I would say that I am more a "personally pro-life" pro-choice person. You say you're pro-life, but in my view, unless you actually want to make abortion illegal, you are practically the same as my version of pro-choice. If you do want to make abortion illegal or else extremely difficult to obtain, you should also be cognizant of what that means legally. I really feel that to make it illegal, you would have to also make women who obtain abortions illegally or try to self abort also criminals, and have real legal consequences. Otherwise, your policies would just be an invitation for women to seek out illegal abortions or do dangerous things to themselves. It also means that all miscarriages should at least be investigated to some degree. They may have been somehow induced. If abortion is as horrific as the Holocaust, as some claim, it only makes sense that the penalty should also be grave.

Also, if you feel that you are part of this movement to promote secular reasoning among the religious pro-life movement, and you believe that abortion is not a singular issue but directly related to other societal issues (I do, do you?), shouldn't another duty of SPL and atheists allied to it also point out the hypocrisy of their other positions? Social science data points to abortion be linked to many societal factors that traditional pro-lifers want to keep the status quo on. If you believe abortion needs to be stopped, should not the secular pro-life movement also voice its disapproval of the sexism and racism often spewed by the traditional pro-life movement?

secularprolife.org said...

Actually, it's not common at all in India to abort a foetus because the foetus has been identified as female.

Pre-natal scanning to identify the sex of a foetus is illegal in India, and while this is known to be frequently got round by people who can afford to pay, ultrasound scanning is expensive and not readily available to most Indian families.


What is very common in India is for girl babies once born to be either killed outright, or abandoned to an orphanage where they are likely to die, or to be gradually neglected to death as they grow up - girl-children are routinely given less food and less healthcare than boy-children. Dowry murders of brides are also common.



The focus by prolifers on the relatively rare cases of sex-selective abortion, while completely ignoring all of the other ways in which girl-babies and girl-children and adult women are killed, does illuminate how women-hating the prolife movement is: if the prolife movement cared about babies, girls, and women, they would be focussing on the gendercide as a whole, the majority causes of it, not the comparitively rare issue of sex-selective abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

Agreed. When a prolifer claims "that's a living, breathing baby in the uterus!" it's not true, it's a completely unscientific claim: and it is often simpler just to say "you're no scientist/you're not interested in the medical/scientific facts" than to explore laboriously all of the ways in which that statement is not true.

secularprolife.org said...

I am pro-life. I clarified this primarily in relation to medical/food debates. Please don't make assumptions about my beliefs or what I was referring to…this is all about different debating fallacies and I simply clarified one problem with the science one as a person who cares about it.

secularprolife.org said...

I made no assumptions, Andrea.

I simply agreed that it is often faster, when someone is asserting something so absolutely unscientifically wrong, to say "well you're no scientist" than to unpack all of the things wrong with the statement.

secularprolife.org said...

I would never actually address it that way…it is normally after a long back and forth that I ever revert to that statement and it normally is due to (in my experience) a complete lack of understanding of basic scientific principles…one in particular I've found people have trouble grasping is dose.


My only point was to say that there is another common fallacy associated with science…and normally people don't dismiss someone b/c they aren't a scientist….mostly just that b/c they don't have a background in science they have misinterpreted the information (if it is in fact evidence to begin with)...again, normally not related to the pro-life debate itself (although it could potentially come up on birth control).

secularprolife.org said...

Nope.. not slavery... RESPONSIBILITY!

secularprolife.org said...

Nope forced pregnancy= gestational slavery.
Slavery= forcing someone to use their body against their will where they get nothing out of it.

secularprolife.org said...

So, a woman who doesn't want her newborn can cite your lame 'slavery' defense for killing her newborn - "I didn't wanna bring the brat to the fire station or call CPS - that would have been forcing me to do something against my will". A parent has a responsibility to CARE for their offspring. That responsibility should start when their offspring is created - not at 24 weeks, at fertilization.

secularprolife.org said...

Again there is a difference between a ZEF and a child. The ZEF can only be cared for by the pregnant woman and anyone can care for it once it is born.

A woman is not a parent just because she is pregnant and she does not have any responsibility toward the unwanted ZEF.

secularprolife.org said...

The thing is a child and an elderly person have both been born. They do not need a host to survive.

A woman does not have any responsibility toward the unwanted ZEF. The only thing she has to do is to make sure she removes it in time.

Myself I would do whatever it took to get rid of the ZEF before it destroyed my life.

secularprolife.org said...

Born or unborn, a child is a human being - the same human being before birth and after.


And, thanks again for proving that abortion isn't always a gut wrenching decision. And that pro-aborts think about themselves over their own unborn children. talk about selfish. wow.

secularprolife.org said...

Unborn it is only a POTENTIAL human being. And for me abortion wouldn't be a gut wrenching decision. There would be question to it. I would have an abortion and not regret it ever.

secularprolife.org said...

Also why should I have my life destroyed for the ZEF? It is not worth more than me... In fact it has no worth yet since all it would have done is cause me misery.

secularprolife.org said...

An unborn child is not a potential human being. He or she is a human being with potential.


There is no way scientifically or logically that a newborn born at 23 weeks and on life support is a human being, but an unborn child at 23 weeks or 27 weeks is not a human being. You're in major denial to justify your killing. I suggest you educate yourself.

secularprolife.org said...

cause it's all about 'me, me, me, me, me, me, OH, and me!"..... yep, it's your picture next to the word 'selfish' in the dictionary.


Ever thought about getting HELP???? nah.... that would require effort now wouldn't it.

secularprolife.org said...

You don't know 100% for sure that there would be 'misery' that could not be cured by a doctor, medicine, a POSITIVE ATTITUDE, a little EFFORT (gasp!) etc. You're making up b s to justify selfishly killing another human being.

secularprolife.org said...

Then explain how a preemie born at 22 weeks and on life support is a human being but an unborn child in the womb at 23 weeks is not a human being.

secularprolife.org said...

How often are 22 week old preemies born? It is so very rare and you are acting like it is an every day occurrence. Also the 22 week old preemie no longer requires a human host to live.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes I do know that a pregnancy would be nothing but misery for me. I have no desire to suffer through that and to have my body ripped open for an unwanted ZEF to be born.

No amount of positive thinking would stop the misery and a doctor wouldn't help since any medicine that would actually help would harm the ZEF so the doctor wouldn't allow it.

secularprolife.org said...

I'd say I agree with almost all your points. I'm not so convinced all the regulations of abortion clinics are all that necessary, I am not aware that clinical abortions have ever been dangerous, but I've invested almost no time in thinking about that anyway.

The thing that bothers me really is secularists who feel abortion is wrong allying themselves with traditional pro-lifers, many of whom have shown themselves to care only about the abortion issue while demonstrating completely disregard for all the related societal issues. This bothers me because if these alliances go beyond internet message boards, it might lead to pro-life candidates gaining extra support from secularists who otherwise don't agree with them in other important issues. Traditional pro-lifers overwhelmingly don't accept things evolution, climate change, affirmative action etc, all because of dogmatic reasons. These people, like biblical literalist Ken Ham (who also is pro-life), when asked what will change their minds about god and the bible, will pretty much state "I will never change my mind", whereas secularists like Bill Nye will say "Evidence will change my mind". So for me, allying oneself with dogmatic people because of agreement in one issue, could mean disaster down the line, kind of like how US alliances with the Mujhahideen in the early 80s to fight proxies wars with the USSR directly lead to the rise of Islamic terrorists fighting the west now.

secularprolife.org said...

Again, it's all about 'me, me, me, me'... You do now know for sure that no medicine would help and no doctor would prescribe medicine. Hmm... lets see your 'logic'..... the choice are a medicine that MIGHT harm the unborn child, or an abortion which will KILL the unborn child. Better to take the medicine - duh - so that no human being has to be killed. I'm sure if you presented those options to a REAL doctor he or she would prescribe the medicine.

secularprolife.org said...

You're dodging... answer the question. "..explain how a preemie born at 22 weeks and on life support is a human being but an unborn child in the womb at 23 weeks is not a human being."

secularprolife.org said...

I did answer your question. A preemie at 22 weeks is not using the boy of a woman as its hot. It has been born and now is relying on a machine to be its host. ANY machine can do that though.

Answer my question now... How many preemies have been born at 22 weeks in the last decade? Very few or we would hear about it.

secularprolife.org said...

Lets see... I know how much misery pregnancy would be and I know that no medication I took helped me in those few weeks before I had my abortion.

I also know that I take/have taken medicane that HAS helped with problems I have had and it says on the label do not take if pregnant.

I also have had friends who have carried to term and their doctors basically told them they couldn't take anything.





A real doctor would be worried about t he actual patient (the woman) not the potential one.

secularprolife.org said...

There have been some preemies born at 22 weeks... Being on life support via machines or being in a woman's womb does not make one a blob of cells and another a human being. They both require assistance to live. Your 'logic' is flawed.

secularprolife.org said...

If a woman wanted to do the right thing and give her unborn son or daughter a chance she would either try to make it work without medicine or find a REAL doctor who would give her the medicine and hope that the baby was born OK. It's called CARING. You should try it sometime.

secularprolife.org said...

So you finally admit you think a woman should suffer in absolute misery if needed for the ZEF.


I am VERY caring for the ACTUAL people in my life who I want there and who I value. Why should I value something that is going to bring me nothing but misery in my life?

secularprolife.org said...

Not at all. Your logic is flawed because you view a woman as nothing but an incubator who has no rights over her own life and her own body.

secularprolife.org said...

It's not 'her body' killed in the abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

A woman should GET HELP to get through her pregnancy. If her life is truly endangered she should be able to have an abortion to save her life.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes she should get help and she should be the one to decide if that help is an abortion or medication or counseling or whatever else she decides is best for her life.

secularprolife.org said...

It is her body that is involved in the abortion. The ZEF is attached to her body and she has a right to remove it from her body if she wants. No one living on this planet has the right to forced use of someone's body. Why do you want to give a ZEF special rights?

Would you force the same woman to donate an organ to save the life of her child once it is born?

secularprolife.org said...

No one should be able to 'decide' to kill an unborn child simply because that human being is inconvenient or unwanted.

secularprolife.org said...

No one should have a 'right' to kill another human being simply because he or she is inconvenient or unwnated.


After viability abortion is restricted in most states, so your 'no one living on this planet' b s is just that - b s. STATES have a right to protect unborn children after viability. They should have a right to protect unborn children before viability....


Parents have a RESPONSIBILITY to provide their children basic food and shelter. Before birth, the only way to do that is in the womb. They also cannot intentionally kill their children. Their unborn children should be treated the same way - parents provide them basic food and shelter and they should not be allowed to kill them.

secularprolife.org said...

I agree no one should be able to kill a human being. However a ZEF is only a potential human being.

Yes parents have that responsibility BUT just because a woman has a ZEF inside her does not make her a parent.
It is so sad and so disgusting that you hate women so much that you want to punish them for having sex by forcing them to have their life destroyed by an unwanted pregnancy.

secularprolife.org said...

A ZEF is not an "unborn child". Slavery is illegal in case you didn't know.
Forced pregnancy = gestational slavery.

secularprolife.org said...

Slavery used to be legal. I'm sure selfish slave owners used to hide behind the law to justify owning slaves.


Post-viability abortion laws are not 'enslaving' anyone. Your slavery b s is just that - b s. Post-viability abortion laws are about protecting unborn children. We need to be able to have pre-viability abortion laws to protect unborn children.


Merriam Webster uses "Unborn child" in their definition of unborn. The Oxford dictionary has the example sentence "the sound of an unborn baby’s heartbeat"


Unborn child is a valid term. Does it make you think about what you support? the senseless killing of unborn children?

secularprolife.org said...

Post viability abortion laws don't 'punish' anyone. Neither would pre-viability abortion laws.


An unborn child IS a human being.

secularprolife.org said...

Yes forced pregnancy and forced birth IS a punishment. Only a woman hating anti-choicer would not be able to see that.

secularprolife.org said...

Slavery IS illegal which is why gestational slavery should not be allowed.

Unborn child is only valid in the mind of an anti-choicer. A sperm and egg do not make insta kid.

secularprolife.org said...

Nope... if it was, there would be no post-viability abortion restrictions.


About 1/2 the unborn killed will never have the chance to be women. It's not me that hates women.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't hate women. I would never force them into the misery of gestational slavery...

secularprolife.org said...

**yep, it's your picture next to the word 'selfish' in the dictionary**


Kind of like it's your picture next to 'rape' and 'extortion' in the dictionary?

secularprolife.org said...

I believe your friend Joanna stated that 'children' are not entitled to 'extraordinary means' to keep them alive, in order to try and handwave away their right to a parent's kidneys.


This, btw, means they are not entitled to life support. In fact, it means that if a mother doesn't produce milk, by your 'extraordinary means' exception, the mother would be justified (according to you) in letting it starve rather than bottle feeding it. Unless you can show me some other species that refines glass and rubber and takes milk from other species of animals to give to it's own young.


Or do you and Joanna get to decide what 'extraordinary means' is. Let me guess, if it might inconvenience you, then it's 'extraordinary'. Otherwise not. Am I right?

secularprolife.org said...

Whose body is killed if you refuse to give a kidney against your will to a dialyis patient?

secularprolife.org said...

**An unborn child IS a human being.**




Which, although true, fails to prove that being human qua human in and of itself magically causes 'rights' to descend in a golden light from heaven.

secularprolife.org said...

Nope.. never raped or extorted money from anyone.

secularprolife.org said...

You want to kill unborn children and deny many of them the chance to become women.


Taking CARE of a new human being you helped create is much more important than any feelings of slavery someone has. If a new mother feels like a slave, she cannot kill. She has to get help - even if that takes TIME. She may feel like a slave for a little while until help arrives, but she cannot kill. She also cannot kill her unborn child after viability just because she feels like a slave. Even you said at one point you agree with abortion restrictions after viability.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't want to "kill" anything. I want women to be able to make their own choice in life when it comes to unwanted pregnancy. For me it would be abortion because a pregnancy would deny me the chance of happiness and would deny me the life I have worked for.

Taking care of a new human being is only important if you want to be a parent. If you do not want to be a parent it becomes a burden and I myself would resent the child for ruining my life.

"Even you said at one point you agree with abortion restrictions after viability"

Yes but you are leaving out what else I said...
1.Health of the woman exceptions
2.fetal defect exceptions
3.anti-choicers would have to promise to leave early abortions alone

Late term abortions so rarely happen so I think it would be a decent compromise.

secularprolife.org said...

Your rant has nothing to do with what I wanted an explanation on....

secularprolife.org said...

Nobody is killed... the patient may die. It is in no way like me stabbing them in the neck, poisoning them, cutting off their limbs or cutting off their life support - things that a woman does when an abortionist kills her unborn child.

secularprolife.org said...

I didn't kill anything. I removed a 4 week embryo and got my life back. There was nothing that could be done to stop the misery. I tried a bunch of medications. (while I was waiting on my abortion- not waiting to see if it would help)
NOTHING stopped the misery. There would be no happiness in pregnancy.

secularprolife.org said...

Your unborn son or daughter was alive. You killed him or her for your convenience.

secularprolife.org said...

Do you go to bed at night chanting the mantra "it wasn't a human being, it wasn't a human being, it wasn't a human being" to try to help you get to sleep? He or she, the unborn child you killed, was a human being. If you had not killed him or her, there is a chance he or she would be alive today.


You don't know that your life would have been 'ruined' - you didn't even TRY. You didn't even want to try - for your own unborn son or daughter's sake. You could have found a doctor to give you medication to at least try to alleviate your symptoms.

secularprolife.org said...

I actually don't think about it at all when I go to bed. When talking to you I remember how miserable I was and I am reminded why I support abortion and why I would have another if needed.


Listen sweetie I had medications to help with the horrible problems I was having and NONE of them helped. All a doctor would do is give me something milder.

secularprolife.org said...

And you gave those medications just a few days to work... not long enough.

secularprolife.org said...

Silly myintx... If medication is going to help me sleep it would have helped from day one. Sleeping medicine doesn't need to build up in your system to help, it either works or it doesn't.

secularprolife.org said...

I'm sure there are more than 1 or 2 kinds of drugs to try....

secularprolife.org said...

It is so cute how delusional you are when it comes to pregnancy...
If hard core prescription sleep aids don't help I really doubt that NyQuil will do much.

Besides I had no desire to suffer in misery for something I would get nothing out of anyways.

secularprolife.org said...

How many sleep aids did you try?

secularprolife.org said...

Well OTC junk has never worked for me... so I highly doubt that would have done much. BUT I had three different prescriptions I tired and none worked and a bunch of stuff I ordered online. Don't get me wrong I would have had an abortion even if they had worked. I was just trying to find a way to make the two weeks of waiting less miserable.

secularprolife.org said...

All that done within the 2 weeks? not buying it.


There are forums out there were pregnant women with insomnia encourage each other, offer suggestions etc. Many women with insomnia learn to deal with it for the sake of the tiny human being they are carrying

secularprolife.org said...

Encouragement is nothing but words...doesn't help end the misery of the UNWANTED pregnancy. Sorry but nothing you say will ever chnage my mind. The ZEF did not have a right to life at the cost of mine.

secularprolife.org said...

Trust me little girl I would kill myself before I suffer through the misery of pregnancy.
I do not care if the ZEF would be alive today and I do not care what it would be like. I am just thankful that there was a PP in my town when I needed it.

secularprolife.org said...

Cause it's all about 'me, me, me, me, me, OH, and me!'.

secularprolife.org said...

No it is just not about an unwanted ZEF...

secularprolife.org said...

Nope... you WANTED to kill your unborn son or daughter. It was not a decision of 'last resort'. You thought about yourself above your own son or daughter and killed him or her because you were having trouble sleeping and didn't wanna TRY.

secularprolife.org said...

No I wanted to abortion the ZEF to avoid the misery of pregnancy that would happen and I had no desire to have my hoo ha ripped to shreds.

I though about myself before I thought about the thing that was causing me the misery. MOST people think about their own life before they think about things they don't care about.

secularprolife.org said...

An unborn child is not a 'thing' - he or she is a human being. Selfish people think about their own convenience before the lives of other human being. Selfish people kill their own unborn sons or daughters because they don't want their hoo ha's ripped open.

secularprolife.org said...

No the ZEF was nothing but a thing that was destroying my life. I did not care about the potential ZEF. I just wanted my life saved from the misery.

secularprolife.org said...

Your life made easier at the sake of your unborn son or daughter's life. So sad that there are people like you in this world.

secularprolife.org said...

**The state should be able to protect that same human being before and after viability.**
Unproven assertion. You deliberately keep refusing to define what a 'human being' IS, why it should have 'rights', whether that reason applies to an embryo, and why an embryo has special rights that no-one else has.

We can all do unproven assertions. How about: 'The state should be able to protect that same 'human being' both before and after conception', thus justifying forcing you to have sex in order to protec the 'unfertilized human being'.

secularprolife.org said...

An unborn child IS a human being. Sperm and egg are not.

That has been proven to you again and again.

Dr. Alfred M. Bongiovanni, professor of pediatrics and
obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania:

“I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.... I submit that human life is
present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life.... I am no more prepared to say that these early stages of development in the womb represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty...is not a human
being. This is human life at every stage.”

All unborn children should have an equal right to life.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't find it sad... I find it sad that there are people life you who hate women and think we are worthless baby machines.

secularprolife.org said...

Never said anything remotely like that. If there is any hating going on, it's from your side - hating future women (and men too) and not even wanting to give them a chance.

secularprolife.org said...

**An unborn child IS a human being. Sperm and egg are not.**


So what are they? Dog eggs?


Also, you keep playing games and failing -despite my repeated requests to you - to define exactly what you mean by the term 'human being'. In the manner you keep using it, the main results I am deriving from your argument is that a 'human being' qua 'human being', with no other additional qualities, is not entitled to ANY rights.

secularprolife.org said...

Human sperm and human eggs are human, not human beings. big difference.


A human beings life begins at fertilization. All innocent human beings should have a right to life.


"Zygote: This cell results from the union of an oocyte
and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).
The expression fertilized ovum refers to a secondary oocyte that is impregnated
by a sperm; when fertilization is complete, the oocyte becomes a zygote."
Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human (Philadelphia: W.B.
Saunders Company, 1998). (FYI: Keith Moore is an embryologist)

secularprolife.org said...

**A human beings life begins at fertilization. All innocent human beings should have a right to life.**


Again, for about the 16th time, explain exactly what your definition of 'human being' is, such that it includes zygotes, and how that definition, and no non-existent or future 'potential' qualities justify the existence of 'rights'. Because right now you're playing the equivocation fallacy.