As an atheist and a secular kinda guy, I practice moral relativism regularly. Still, I've always struggled mightily with the ethics and politics of abortion. Apparently, I'm not alone."
I mention this article because he brings about a point, from a different perspective, of something that has bothered me for a long time. I have often noticed that there are many people who have a liberal leaning who use the "if there is a possibility..." argument in so many arenas, yet they are unwilling to apply the same logic to the abortion debate. Harsanyi states it much better than I do by saying this,
After a life of being pro-choice, I began to seriously ponder the question. I oppose the death penalty because there is a slim chance that an innocent person might be executed and I don't believe the state should have the authority to take a citizen's life. So don't I owe an nascent human life at least the same deference? Just in case?"
read the entire article here.
Do you see the logic that is being used?
One other time I saw this sort of logic was in the Global Warming debate. I saw a video on a blog. It was well done, here is a link to the blog where I got it. I liked the video so much I posted it on my blog. It wasn't until a few days later that I got to thinking about the logic behind the argument that it began to bother me.
That was last December, and it has continued to gnaw at the back of my mind. If someone can say that the Death penalty is wrong ... just in case we're wrong, or if someone can say that we should do something about the environment... just in case it is really impacting things they way some say it is, then can't we say that abortion should be stopped... just in case?!?
How much do we need? What if there was only a 10% chance that that fetus was a real human being? What if there was only a 1% chance that they were, in-fact, alive?!? If there was even a 0.5%, wouldn't it be enough to pass some laws to prohibit it?
Think of some of the excuses that people give to not pass laws to prohibit it. What do they have to do with? The economy? The freedom of others? What if I said, "there should be no pollution control laws because it will put a strain on businesses." How do you think a global warming activist would respond?
I think that is really why this whole debate bothers me so much. Besides the fact that I really do believe that those babies are really babies... It is the inconsistency with the logic. I am a Geometry teacher, I spend my days engulfed in logic. The refusal to admit the weakness of their arguments and the lack of consistency with how they reason is infuriating.
As for me, if you know me at all, then you know that our family has felt the loss of two babies that never saw the light of a day, that never breathed a breath of air. They died while still in the womb and we grieved their loss. Making an issue like this one a political one just seems wrong. Harsanyi points that out as well.
Read the article, it is worth a few minutes of your time.
[HT: Challies, for the link to the article]