Toward the refutation of the pro-choice conviction--
|this really is a debate and shouldn't be on the article talk namespace(the all caps gives you away)|
Here, I refute Castaigne’s major criticisms of the pro-life position. If you do not wish to read every criticism and refutation, you may search for Castaigne’s criticisms, each offset by a number and quotation marks, determine which are most relevant, powerful, or interest you the most, and then read my refutations. You may freely ask me questions and challenge my beliefs. Unlike Castaigne, I will actually deliver. I must also apologize for that, toward the end, I became occasionally snide and disrespectful in my speech. But should not we lambaste disrespectable ideas? Should not we declare bullshit wherefore presented bullshit ideas? If you discover bullshit between either I or Castaigne, please call us out. If you any criticisms of your own, deliver them. And remember—your comments must be relevant. I, nor anyone else, should respect irrelevant chatter to serious objections, particularly wherefore such irrelevant chatter masquerades as legitimate criticism. Hence, “move this to the debate page” so we can tuck away all too conveniently the work of a kid whose arguments have grown too powerful, or commenting on my personal foibles, thereby perpetrating the fallacy of ad hominem irrelevance, do not suffice in any logical context. THE FOLLOWING SERVES THEREFORE SO MUCH AS A REFUTATION TO CASTAIGNE'S CRITICISMS AS TO MANY OF YOUR OWN, AND IS THEREFORE RELEVANT TO ALL PARTIES INVOLVED, AND NEITHER CAN NOR SHOULD BE IGNORED THROUGH SIMPLE DISMISSAL.
Nothing is valuable, intrinsically, instrumentally, or otherwise, without beings to value it. For example, a mountainside is virtually without value—the only value we may purport it to have is that, alongside other conditions, life might arise, in which case the mountain is of instrumental value, alongside the dirt, rubble, and debris from which primordial life emerges. Since these primordial lifeforms lack a concept of the mountainside and more fundamentally, consciousness, and possess, at best, a very dim sentience, these lifeforms cannot consciously, purposefully, or in any meaningful way appreciate the mountain. However, the distinction arises that, while these lifeforms lack “preference interests”, they retain “welfare interests”, for which the matter of the mountain and the conditions it harbors are instrumentally valuable. We may thereby derive the conclusion that such matter, given lifeforms which engage in self-preservation and maintain homeostasis to a sufficient extent, that value will exist so long as a single bacterium functions in the biological sense. However, since self-preservation under homeostatic influence captures the essence of all known lifeforms, we may deem such self-preservation as the inherent aim of all life. To deny this, you would have to disagree with the Encyclopedia Britannica upon its definition of life, and repudiate the whole of evolutionary theory, by which self-preservation occurs via the propagation of genes. Due to the sheer irrationality it requires to deny the apparent aim of life, and the imputed “right to life” which follows accordingly, I submit once more your utter unreasonableness, your selective irrationality wherefore, in every other domain, with perhaps a few exceptions, you would acknowledge and embrace the drive to survive.
Your selective irrationality, again, astounds me, Castaigne. If life has no “special status” may we attribute to life, why is murder, in general, an evil? If life has no “special status”, why should we have liberated the prisoners Auschwitz? If life has no “special status”, why cannot I kill you? Your life is clearly disposable, and I may therefore kill you at this very moment, but there exists no “special status” by which to respect and preserve your life. If you are just as disposable as a fetus, why cannot I take you to the doctor and have him kill you for me? If you think any of these actions is wrong, it is your burden of proof to demonstrate not only why such actions are wrong, but why, in the case of abortion, the reasons for which murder is wrong suddenly evaporate. Naturally, I expect you to respond only to the second half of my conditional, especially after your defensive temper tantrum—if I receive anything from you at all, you selectively irrational bastard. But, if you think somehow wrong to go on a killing rampage, to kill you this very moment, or have a doctor kill you for me, since you are just as disposable as a fetus, and your and everyone’s lives have no “special status”, THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON YOU, SINCE YOU MAKE THE CLAIM THAT YOU ARE JUST AS DISPOSABLE AS THE FETUS, THAT ALL PEOPLE ARE DISPOABLE. You necessarily must reconcile this belief in disposability with the actions listed above, especially if you find any of these actions reprehensible. If you fail to do so, I must assume that you find no fault with any of the actions proposed above, and I or anyone else might as well murder you right here, right now—disposable, aren’t you? If you find no objections with the above actions, YOU ARE A MONSTER.
How curious that you phrase your objection as an opinion, not to say that you opinion cannot be objectively-founded, insofar as facts about external entities, not yourself, are concerned, but that you would—and have, repeatedly, impiously, and unreasonably—reject my claim that “I regard live as being sacrosanct or intrinsically valuable” CATEGORICALLY. Quite suddenly, I must substantiate every single claim I make, no matter how commonsensical my claims may be, whereas, for you, the standard of proof is almost purely soi-disant, “because I say so.” You would never permit, absent citations and mounds of evidence, which only serve to reinforce commonsense ideas of the world, such as that a mother is driven to protect her child, or the drive to survive is profound and innate—extremely rare exceptions permitted—me to make such a claim. You once more apply vastly harsher standards to me than you do yourself and your cronies. Such inconsistency is reprehensible, not meritorious, for without consistency, virtually every system of logic implodes, wherefore contradictory claims, which, by logical necessity, must either both false or one true and the other false, may be simultaneously true AND false, an utter impossibility. Respecting rather than violating the principle of noncontradiction, we derive that two cases must be treated the same if no morally relevant difference exists the two, or, more succinctly, that like cases must be treated alike, the first principle of moral reasoning.
And in yet another instance of your profoundly unreasonable selective irrationality, like a well-educated theist who, in any other context, would reject faith-based belief, you deny the relevance of potential in moral decisions. To reject the relevance of potential, you should reject probability theory altogether, and with it, all the practical which make our lives livable. For example, if we reject the potential for climate change to wreak havoc in the future, when such havoc is 95% certain, we might as well do nothing in the present to avert these future disaster scenarios, for to reject potential, you reject probability, reject the future, and acknowledge only the present, to evidently disastrous results. In terms perhaps more meaningful to the egocentric human being, your potential to survive cancer and to enjoy a reasonable quality of life is certainly relevant. The probability you will recover from or even survive a disease is relevant in matters of euthanasia, as for the woman who made headlines recently by exercising her right to die faced with next to zero percent recovery, a miserable death, and an already rapidly deteriorating quality of life. Be my guest and go to equatorial Africa, walk into an emergency ebola clinic, and tell me that the extreme contagion of ebola (and hence, the probability you will catch it) and the 50-90% death rate MEAN NOTHING. The overall probability that a conceived child will be born alive rests, based on experimental data, which you are free to update if you find more accurate or useful data, at 60%. Unless or until such time as that you find a morally relevant difference between the death rate in natural pregnancy, the death rate of abortion, and the death rate of ebola, WE MUST TREAT THESE CASES ALIKE.
Again, you state an opinion, as of which you would never spare from criticism, you unreasonable douche bag. As you have betrayed several times already, you evidently do not read my work before you criticize it. I have already addressed, thoroughly, your present conniption in a former essay, DIRECTED AT YOU SPECIFICALLY. But before I rehash my essay for a kindergartener, let me demonstrate your hypocrisy, YET AGAIN. You, by ALL estimations, believe that we should reserve a woman the right to terminate her pregnancy, or, if we owe her nothing, somehow she still reserves the “right” to terminate her fetus. Since you against any and all reason refuse to directly reveal your position—I have only dealt with a few people as unreasonable as you, two of the three of whom were radical religious fundamentalists—I must DECLARE IT FOR YOU. If you believe that a woman reserves such a right, you likely value FREEDOM. But—oh, what a wondrous but!—if you value you anything at all, morality necessarily exists, since value, codified in axiological theory, is a meta-ethical property which underlies any and all ethical theories. Since you seem to lack the intelligence to grasp this implication, let me regurgitate it for you—YOU ARE NECESSARILY DEBATING ETHICS, JUST AS AM I. We have debated ethics all along, no matter how vehemently you deny this verity. And unless or until you demonstrate that your arguments contain no ethical basis whatsoever, I am completely justified in deeming your arguments ETHICAL IN NATURE. But please, since you, among all people, have outwitted Satre, Wittgenstein, Russell, and every other genius who has failed to derive a “should” statement purely from an “is” statement, relate your revelation for the benefit of all mankind. I apologize for my snarky tone, BUT IT IS ALL TOO OBVIOUS YOU EITHER DID NOT READ MY FORMER ESSAY, DIRECTED SPECIFICALLY AT YOU, CHALLENGING AND DEFEATING RATHER DECISIVELY THE MISGUIDED BELIEF YOU PERPERTRATE HEREINABOVE, OR YOU DID NOT UNDERSTAND IT. If you do not understand it, please, ask me to explain. Oh, and by the way, thank you for tucking away my refutations to your misguided belief WHERE VIRTUALLY NO ONE ELSE WILL SEE THEM. To see Castaigne challenged if not also decisively defeated, visit the following link—http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Essay:The_Numerical_Argument.
Bullshit (the final line, at least). I guess I WILL have to rehash my essay because you obviously don’t understand it and… four days later?... have yet to criticize it, let alone legitimately refute its arguments. Before a more formal refutation, let us begin with common sense, from which you estrange yourself, that you may, by a grand act of rhetoric, delude yourself into believing that some people don’t matter, that potential doesn’t matter, that mothers care not for their children, the drive to survive is irrelevant or doesn’t exist because of a few, rare exceptions (such as suicide), that your ethical claims aren’t ethical, and that ethics is meaningless, tackling your belief that personal subjective experiences are worthless, valuable only to you. In fact, subjective experience, usefully imparted and wisely interpreted, increases our knowledge base, thereby informs our decisions, and expands our imagination—such is the use and value of books, alongside other media on to which we may externalize our knowledge. Every idea, even the grandest, most elegant equation, emerged from subjective mental processes. And if relating these ideas served no purpose, quite a wonder we find that in the propagation of ideas, the spread and exchange of information, quite mysterious that powerful tool of language. If you utterly deny the usefulness of relevance of many “ideas” which derive from subjective, personal experience, whether as stories of the holocaust, complaint after a stressful day at work, or the revelation of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, you must not only explain thereby seemingly useless capacity for language, or, for that matter, any symbolic language, including logic and mathematics, but also deny the validity these symbolic languages, in that we may only conceptualize their existence through subjective experience, which means we possess only concepts of these revealed “truths”. It may well be the case that the laws of physics and the domain of mathematics exists independently of our awareness of them, but, as limited, non-universal beings, our experience is necessarily subjective, since form only concepts of ourselves and external phenomena. And no matter the truth of the laws we by subjective experience uncover, understand, and transmit, it appears eminently the case that we cannot derive from the “is” but an indirect notion of the “should”, as nary a genius has derived from a descriptive claim a normative claim. Not only are our most objective statements inherently subjective, but subjective experience has varying degrees of value in the lives of other subjective beings.
Believe it or not, the argument from overpopulation is among the strongest remaining “pro-choice” arguments is you are ethically consistent. (In fact, I must refrain from committing that I am ethically consistent, though I leave it to the dispassionate observer to independently verify my well-founded and almost certainly true belief that I am more ethically consistent than are you, in that, if I truly believe life intrinsically valuable, I should support the near annihilation of the human race, since we have caused the sixth mass extinction since the beginning of life, and, in our tremendous arrogance and profound destructiveness, kill more than 60 billion cows, chickens, and pigs a year, to throw salt on a freshly skinned, living body.) Since abortion kills roughly 50 million children a year, the world would be even more profoundly strained by at least half-a-billion more people since the year 2000 alone. If you moreover believe that the rights of countless future generations and life itself outweigh the rights and comforts of but a few generations and, thus far, highly destructive human endeavor, it seems not only logical, but commendable to reduce the human population, as humanely as possible, through increasingly severe methods should less stringent measures fail, from education and family planning, through forced sterilization and mass genocide. You are obviously not ethically consistent. You won’t even relate your positions or beliefs for logical assessment, and I have to invent the reasons for your beliefs FOR YOU. I have only ever had to do this for this radical(ly stupid) religionists.
If I cannot convince you by any moral, ethical, rhetorical means whatsoever that abortion, under certain circumstances, lacks sufficient justification, while you defend your apparently absolutist belief (you CHOSE not to render a counter-example, and in fact, bitched about how I am so unreasonable to expect that you ACTUALLY DEFEND YOUR BELIEFS) against any and all reason, as irrational as you can possibly be, why would you hope to convince me with you moral, ethical, and rhetorical arguments? We are necessarily debating ethics—you can only deny this through HYPOCRISY. You obviously believe—then again, I have to put words in your mouth for you, you pathetic nincompoop (sorry to be so mean, but your argumentation skills are truly pathetic)—that a woman should be reserved the right to abort her fetus, you must value SOMETHING, as of which you have, after repeated requests, after the better half of a week, YET TO IDENTIFY, despite all my competence to this and other ends for my own arguments and positions. Moreover, you will NEVER FIND A SCIENTIFIC PAPER OR EXPLICIT MATHEMATICAL PROOF, WHICH, OF THEMSELVES, AFFIRM THE PRO-CHOICE CONVICTION, NOR WILL I SO FIND SUCH ARTICLES WHICH AFFIRM THE PRO-LIFE POSITION, and you even reject my numerical argument, THE CLOSEST YOU WILL EVER GET TO A MATHEMATICAL PROOF, AND AS OF WHICH YOU HAVE YET TO PRODUCE A COUNTER-PROOF, LET ALONE RELINQUISH ONE GODDAM STATISTICAL FACT IN FAVOR OF YOU POSITION! I am the one citing all the facts, getting damn citations for fucking common sense, and defending my beliefs with page after page of refutations, and here you waltz in, bitch about how you’re supposed to defend your beliefs, about how I need to produce a “mathematical’ proof, when you have NEVER CITED A SINGLE STATISTIC! I will say it for probably the seventh time, because you just don’t GET IT—apply the same standards to me as you apply to YOURSELF, and stop erecting standards, such as the need for a purely scientific “pro-choice” or “pro-life” paper which neither of us CAN OR EVER WILL BE ABLE TO SATISFY.
By the way, I claim that the right to life tends to outweigh the woman’s right to choose, and you appear to claim, though I have to hand-feed you because you are so conveniently hiding your beliefs out of sight, where they cannot be scrutinized, so you neither lose, nor ever win, our present debate, that the woman’s right to life always and absolutely overrides the child’s right to life—if you do not like my attribution of moral absolutism to your unstated but inferable beliefs, then you could, um… I don’t know… STATE YOUR GODDAM POSITION AND CLARIFY IT—you have yet to satisfy your BURDEN OF PROOF. You have your burden of proof, I have my burden of proof. But only one of us has written thirty pages in attempt to satisfy his burden of proof, and it definitely isn’t YOU. You have yet to declare your position, defend it, or even cite a single statistic! Castainge, cannot you see how unreasonable you are? I apologize for my condescension, but you truly disconcert me in that I believed you were a rationalist, not an utterly unreasonable religious fanatic. I haven’t dealt with your level of irrationality since I screamed at the religious protesting in front of my school, asking one picketer, five times in a row, “do you or do you not believe in a timeless, spaceless being who resides beyond all creation?” “I know god exists just like you know god exists” “Sir, answer my question—do you or do you not believe in a timeless, spaceless being who resides beyond creation?” “I know god exists just like you know god exists.” “Answer my question!—do you, OR DO YOU NOT, believe in a timeless spaceless being who resides beyond creation?” “I know that god exists…” “DO YOU OR DO YOU NOT BELIEVE IN A TIMELESS SPACELESS BEING WHO RESIDES BEYOND CREATION?” “I know…” “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU! DO YOU, OR YOU NOT, BELIEVE IN A TIMELESS, SPACELESS BEING WHO RESIDES BEYOND ALL CREATION?!!” “I believe god is invisible.” Debating with you is just a step or two removed from debating with a man who can’t even answer a yes or no question until the fifth time, and even then, fails to actually answer it. I had to put words in his mouth, too, just like you. Pat yourself on your back for this inglorious distinction—how irrational rationalists can be.
A) How are your pro-choice convictions NOT ethical in nature? How do you justify them “scientifically” in the ABSENCE OF MORALITY? Answer these questions and respond to my objections, otherwise YOU FORFEIT YOUR BURDEN OF PROOF, AND ANY CHANCE YOU HAVE TO WIN THIS DEBATE. If my valid objections stand unopposed, by the rules of formal debate, I win insofar as my objections are concerned BY DEFAULT. And even if I have satisfied my burden of proof in the slightest, while you have not satisfied your burden of proof, I win the whole debate BY DEFAULT.
B) Is killing you right here, right now, because you are utterly disposable, not objectionable? Is a killing rampage not objectionable? Why should we refrain from killing people? Are there any circumstances in which people are NOT disposable? What morally relevant difference distinguishes these acts of murder from killing a fetus? If you find nothing wrong with any of these proposed
C) Since you reject potentiality, and thereby probability—potentiality IS probability in that it denotes a possible outcome with its own likelihood of occurrence—why are not considerations of the future and the probable outcomes of actions not relevant in making informed decisions? What is the morally relevant difference between a cancer patient with a 60% chance of surviving his cancer, being cured, and returning to a normal, healthful, enjoyable life for decades to come, flipping a coin to decide the fate of his life without giving him a chance to fight for it, and taking the 60% chance we will kill a child through abortion who would otherwise be born alive? Remember—like cases must be treated alike. Finally, why shouldn’t you consider the potential you will acquire and die from ebola before you visit equatorial Africa and walk into an emergency ebola tent? You don’t get sick immediately, but why shouldn’t you consider the potential and probable outcomes of this action?
D) Respond to my former A-E without bitching about someone asking you to defend your beliefs, the essence of debate and rationalwiki. Go ahead and join the ranks of cranks and religious fanatics if you choose, but I still believe you can function as a rational human being, even in the present debate, if only you overcome your selective irrationality.
- Animalian, you're debating philosophical/moral matters with someone who's admitted not being interested in such endeavours. It's a self-defeating excercise. If you wanna debate abortion, at least pick opponents that want to play ball. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 21:46, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
- And, again, for that specific end, let me point you to Rationalwiki:Debates. A lot of users will be happy to engage in entirely frivolous wastes of time there, whereas on the talk pages of articles, we like to be slightly more "serious business". Ikanreed (talk) 21:49, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
- I have to respectfully disagree on the alleged frivolity of debating philosophical issues. Personally, I find it can be pretty intellectually gratifying. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 23:53, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
- And, again, for that specific end, let me point you to Rationalwiki:Debates. A lot of users will be happy to engage in entirely frivolous wastes of time there, whereas on the talk pages of articles, we like to be slightly more "serious business". Ikanreed (talk) 21:49, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
- Ikanreed, it is not frivolous to argue the morality of certain actions; it is deeply meaningful to the human condition, both the rationality which conceived, criticized, and defended it, and the implications which percolate through our social behavior. Moreover, a debate about the morality of abortion, or at least specific instances thereof, is entirely relevant to a page dedicated to abortion, or, as it so happens, the pro-life page in this instance. If you truly believe that this debate, my objections, and my work are frivolous, it is unto you to demonstrate the imputed frivolity, which could be handily accomplished if, instead of the off-hand remarks about my work, which takes but several minutes to read--why read 200-page books if six is too much?--you actually addressed and refuted my arguments. To proceed in this direction, you would best carry on Castaigne's work, and refute my objections, 1b-7, point by point. You need invest yourself minimally to do so, especially this I recommend refuting one point a day, and leaving it to the multitude of others, as of which I lack such convenience, and must single-handedly defend my beliefs, to compose their own refutations. And to abate the "confusion", I will proceed, point by point, until we understand each other, and until our debate reveals the truth of the various propositions we advocate. In such regard, our present debate, in our questioning, refinement, and uncovering of truth, or an ever closer analogue to it, is of intimate significance, not only to our understanding, but our humanity.--Animalian (talk) 16:17, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
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. 126.96.36.199 (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. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 11:31, 27 May 2016 (UTC)