Nearly two weeks have passed, and the equilibration of rights and the utilitarian argument stand unopposed, not to say that either is without criticism. While briefly challenged, the numerical argument has been moreover satisfactorily defended. I thereby submit these articles to the Arguments against Abortion section, where they, even against your best criticism—or lack thereof—rightly belong. If you find portions of these arguments objectionable, incorporate your objections into the main article, or for more extensive debate, raise these objections on the appropriate section of the talk page. In this way, our work is collective and intellectually honest—we each contribute to the article and we each defend our views, against the thrust of our opponent’s best arguments. Such is the spirit of rational inquiry.
Some final notes: The present abortion article is replete with arguments for legal abortion, and has, in comparison, a trivially modest section dedicated to arguments against abortion, a section won only a few weeks ago after heated debate and intense revisionism. For reasons I have explained on multiple occasions, the present arguments against abortion section are among the weakest, not the strongest, pro-life arguments.1 In the spirit of rational inquiry, we should present not only the most relevant, but the strongest arguments to either side of the issue. Therefore would we know those arguments most essential we refute, lest they undermine or even invalidate our position, perhaps irredeemably.2
Moreover, the present article is incomplete insofar as the arguments against abortion section not only underrepresents, but represents not at all many of the most prevalent pro-life arguments. Most glaringly absent is the right to life, which presents, as academicians (such as Tom Regan) have spent a lifetime defending, the most compelling arguments for the rights view, and, consequently, against abortion.3 Whereas you may object to the numerical argument on the grounds that it is not endemic to the pro-life encampment—without good reason, as I argue4—you cannot object to the right to life on these grounds. If ever there was a conviction which united the pro-life encampment, it would be either the belief that life is sacred or the right to life, the latter but the foremost legalistic interpretation of the forerunning. In such regard, the right to life duly earns a slot on the abortion page, if not also the harshest criticism.
Finally, I must note stark differences between myself and others I have encountered here in the past. Having demonstrated the need for, at the very least, the inclusion of the right to life, due to its centrality and merit—which we shall presume unless or until demonstrated otherwise—in the arguments against abortion section on the abortion page, I contribute either lacking or altogether missing content. This missing content is habitually removed by ever vigilant “guardians”, who, within minutes of uploading this missing content, swipe it from existence. Even if the missing content I generate for the arguments against abortion section on the abortion page prove flawed, all the better for criticism and my personal humiliation. But seeing that two entire proposed sub-sections stand yet unopposed, and that those criticisms which elsewhere (as on the pro-life page) were competently refuted stand without further defense, I find it highly unreasonable to categorically dismiss and expunge content that none among you will, as it seems, ever contribute and, worse yet, intellectually dishonest. To destroy by force of the fist—or computer mouse, as it so happens—that which you fail to more competently refute (let alone read, as the case often seems) is a victory in a limited sense, and most certainly not a philosophical one.5 For reasons already enumerated, do I therefore restore work previously expunged to its rightful place—
- 1. Consider the unconstitutionality of abortion argument--since the constitution neither mentions abortion nor family planning, both are categorically illegal, if not pervasively immoral. Neither does the constitution directly mention anything about African American’s rights (prior to the 13th amendment) nor women’s rights (prior to the 19th amendment). Nor does the constitution directly mention gay rights or rights of the disabled, except by extension of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, formerly unrecognized or severely abrogated in the case of African Americans, women, homosexuals, and the disabled. The constitution outlines rights which are at once universal, impartial, and objective, and which therefore apply to all matters of legal justice. Only in extreme cases (consider slavery) were amendments which targeted a specific subpopulation necessary. To protest that abortion ought to be categorically illegal due to its “absence” from the constitution is just as preposterous as and no better than arguing, as many taken to the “Christian slavery” conviction in an era prior, that, since the bible never objects to slavery, slavery is therefore not only part of the human condition, but a virtue. No reasonable person would accept this argument, nor would I, even as an adamant pro-life advocate.
- 2. The duty of every bounden philosopher is to affirm in the logical sense the most voracious, complete, and well-reasoned theory as defended against the most salient attacks from quarters within and beyond the ivory tower.
- 3. Tom Regan, even in his 1983 work, The Case for Animal Rights, published but a decade after the Roe v. Wade verdict, argues that the subject-of-a-life criterion, or an experiential welfare, is a sufficient but not necessary condition to bear rights. Among other sufficient criteria he lists potentiality, as in the case of fetuses, for many fetuses will quite clearly develop an experiential welfare in the not too distant future. To Regan, the probability that a fetus will come to occupy a distinct psychophysical identity is morally relevant, a capacity the fetus does not share equally with a rock. The disparity between the experiential potential of the rock and a fetus so unbridgeably vast, Regan argues that, though infants, imbeciles, and children may lack personhood in the Kantian sense, they are nevertheless subjects of a life, with an experiential welfare independent of their utility to us. Precluding imbeciles, perhaps, Regan considers it morally relevant that the vast majority of infants and children will become moral agents. He nevertheless maintains that, as in the case of those imbecilic from birth, being a subject of a life, even if one is or will forever remain a moral “patient”, is a sufficient criterion by which to bear rights. If Regan is consistent, as his eminent mind and work suggest, alongside his generally critical remarks concerning abortion, he must concede that killing an infant or child is a prima facie harm comparable to killing a fetus in the absence of a morally relevant difference. I have identified one such morally relevant difference, the generally higher rates at which fetuses die compared to children, an implication encapsulated in the numerical argument. Nevertheless, for the remaining 60% of fetuses, the harm is prima facie comparable to that fundamental, irreversible harm of death, as when we kill the young gratuitously without engaging in what Regan calls “preference-respecting euthanasia”. If you wish to denounce potentiality as an invalid argument for the attribution of moral rights to the unborn, you must find reasoned objection to argument thus far conceived, and argue as would the philosopher, through reason, precision, and clarity.
- 4. Refuting an argument on the grounds that it is unpopular, or not shared by enough people, would commit oneself to the ad populum fallacy. Instead, you must refute an argument by its respective merit—or demerit, as it may so happen—independently of popular approval or avowal.
- 5. There is, as it were, two ways to win an argument—through superior logical argumentation, or through steadfast denial. But victory comes not truly to hand until you win in a latter respect—by changing the minds of those once opposed, for which I continue to fight, as ethically enlightened (or disillumined) I may be.--Animalian (talk) 18:09, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Pro-life / pro-choice article neutrality
Does anyone else see any issues with the neutrality of this article when compared to the counterpart "pro-choice" article? This page says "pro-life" is emotionally loaded and a more accurate term is "anti-abortion," yet makes no mention of the political nature of the term "pro-choice" (choice being connoted positively in America) and does not say that "pro-abortion" would be more accurate. (though honestly "pro-" and "anti-legalization-of-abortion" is the most accurate, but quite the mouthful.... It just doesn't seem in keeping with rationalwiki to have two articles clearly two sides of the same coin be described so differently. It seems to bespeak a bias on the part of the authors. Unintentional, but clear. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 02:00, 27 May 2016 (UTC)
- Though I can tell this is a politically-motivated post, I still think it's a legitimate criticism. What do more experienced editors have to say about this? Pbfreespace3 (talk) 02:20, 27 May 2016 (UTC)
- We are openly biased. I do basically agree that "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are bad, loaded terms, like many things in politics, but we're kind of stuck with them. --Ymir (talk) 11:11, 27 May 2016 (UTC)
- Ah, I see. Thank you! You're right, I did kind of presuppose an NPOV stance. Even Reading The Manual though I don't see directly how opposition to abortion is inherently anti-science, anti-scientific method, or a position of "Cranks." It's definitely not unorthodox, and there are many prominent secular and leftist figures who oppose abortion on intellectual, rational grounds,like Feminists For Life. 126.96.36.199 (talk) 11:31, 27 May 2016 (UTC)
Add a section?
I read this article the other day that was fascinating, and might deserve a section in this article.
The question is
There is a separate argument for encouraging people to take suitable contraception/preventative methods (of whatever kind).
The question is - how many children will these pro-lifers adopt (particularly the severely disabled and those from rape etc) - and how much they will be prepared to pay for extra schools, housing, housing for abandoned children etc. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 18:43, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
Nazism and abortion
The claim that Weimar abortion laws were very liberal is a severe overstatement. Weimer law criminalized all abortions although the constitutional court required an exception to save the mother`s life in 1927. Poland`s military dictatorship would legalize abortion for rape victims in the thirties while Chile`s military dictatorship allowed it for therapeutic reasons. The Netherlands only criminalized doctors who performed abortions and not women. Weimar law still punished both the women and the doctors and generally with jail time. Although the Nazis opposed abortion on healthy Aryan babies of healthy Aryan couples with healthy pregnancies, Martin Bormann refused to implement Himmler`s Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion and such abortions still generally happened. This article fails to make clear that it were the Nazis who legalized abortion on disabled children, when one parent had a hereditary disease, Jews, Gypsies, and all the occupied Slavic territories and that the Nazis were even convicted for encouraging and compelling abortions and the Nuremberg trials.184.108.40.206 (talk) 07:02, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
"My abortion is ethical" section
I have a problem with this one. It's way too easy to try to tar the entire movement based on some hypocritical individuals. I don't see much utility in this section unless we can demonstrate that these particular individuals are representative of the movement. As much as I despise the anti-abortion movement, this sort of section is really unfair and undermines other more sensible arguments. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 03:08, 23 October 2018 (UTC)