Monday, March 20, 2006

Illogic Begets Illogic

I had originally posted a rebuttal to a pro-murder advocate's comments on my blog. Much to my chagrin, another pro-murder advocate came into the comments section and offered more illogic. I then responded to his illogic. But, as we know, illogic begets illogic. "Ido" responded again. And it is to this newest exemplification of illogic that we now turn...

"Hi Paul,"

Hi Ido,

"Thank you for answering my questions."

No, thank you for asking your questions.

"I wanted to know if you support the idea that women who have an abortion should be executed, along with their accomplices. "

Yes, you did. That's why I answered you. No need to tell me that you wanted to ask a question that I answered.

"You admitted you do, and I applaud you for your candor and consistency."

Why thank you, I wish I could do the same for you. Alas, illogic is the arch enemy of consistency, don't you know.

"I wish some politicians who share your views would have the guts to be so brutally honest."

Me too.

But why is saying that murderers deserve the death penalty "brutally honest?"

Do you think child rapists should be punished? If you say yes, are you being, "brutally honest?"

"I also congratulate you with your almost miraculous powers of deduction."

Again, thanks, and I'm sorry I cannot congratulate you on the same.

"Let me repeat what I said and then let’s see what you deduce from that."


"Here’s what I said:"

Broken recorditus?

Here's what he said :-)

"As you say, the death penalty is not murder because it is lawful killing of a human being. In the same spirit, abortion is not murder because it is lawful killing. No need to specify whether or not a fetus is a human being for this logic. I understand that you wany [sic] abortion to be murder, but that requires a change of the law. I wonder how far you are willing to take this. Should the potential mother be prosecuted for murder (and possibly face the death penalty for first degree murder)? Should the potential father or anybody else aware of the intended murder be prosecuted for being accomplices to murder?"

Hmmm, yep, that's what you said alright.

"That’s all. You couldn’t possibly deduce that I am in favor of abortion being lawful. For all you know, I am against it."

I can't deduce that? You said, "abortion is not murder because it is lawful killing."

I never implied that abortion was lawful killing, indeed, my post argued against that.

So, you must not have meant that abortion is lawful killing, but unlawful killing. Illogic knows no bounds.

Also, I can read between the lines. Reading takes effort. Illogic coupled with laziness is a dangerous thing indeed.

Now, here's an example of illogic. You said in your response, "But of course your gut feeling was right all along. I believe abortion should be legal." Why do you think my gut feeling was right? Are you honestly saying that NOTHING inherent in your post could lead one to believe that you thought abortion should be legal?

Also, I had inductive reasons to suppose you were pro-murder, based on what you wrote. In a high number of cases (except sophists who argue both sides for money), people who argue against pro-life arguments and conclusions are pro-choice. You argued against pro-life arguments. Therefore, it is highly probable that you're pro-choice.

If the rose colored glasses of illogic were removed then possibly you'd see how your rejection of the Christian worldview has not only morally impaired you (e.g., you think it's okay to murder human infants), but you're also intellectually impaired (e.g., you say that nothing could have possibly lead me to conclude that you were pro-choice, but then you admit that the feelings I got from reading your post, were right. Why would I get those feelings if your post didn't seriously imply them?).

"You brought up the legalistic “lawful” in your original post to defend yourself a priori against the charge that you might be inconsistent as a “pro-lifer” because you favor the death penalty."

Well, as you've been told before, I was not bringing up the legalistic "lawful" but meant "lawful" as in "just." I quoted the law to show that it also backed up this idea.

And, guess what, the law does not mean "legal" when it says "lawful." I gave my definition (which the law happened to agree with) to defend myself against any charge of inconsistency.

You tried to show I was inconsistent by appealing to the human law for abortion.

I had written, "“But, apparently you think that if something is “lawful”, then it is right”.

You wrote, "Again, I have said no such thing."

Well then why bring up the issue of man-made human laws? That's not how I was using "lawful."

So, upon analysis, it turns out that the problems started because you falsely deduced some things from my post. You thought that I meant that it is "legal" (man-made legislation) to take the life of a murderer, and so since it is also "legal" to take the life of an unborn child then I should be for it also. Your mistake, not mine.

"Next you introduce us to the poor ex-slave Dread Scott who was on the wrong side of the law nearly 200 years ago. So you conclude I am a racist because there used to be racist laws."

No, I conclude that if you think man-made legislation is always right then you'd have to be for the beating of Scott.

I conclude that the same arguments for abortion are the same ones racist's use, as I'll show below.

Of course you're going to deny that man-made legislation is always right because of how I turned that idea into Swiss cheese. Fine, but now you've lost your right to appeal to it as an ultimate standard of morality. You then need to use some other means to justify taking the life of the unborn, which I'll dismember below.

"You made a big mistake bringing Hitler’s Germany into the argument."

You think just because you're bad 'nuff to allow for innocent children to be butchered alive that you can level threats towards me? This human has the ability to fight back. Though I suppose I should feel bad about going to a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

"One of first things Hitler did when he came to power was to make abortion illegal. Mussolini idem ditto."

Oh, so this is why I "made a big mistake?" Let's see what I can "deduce" from this:

1) Just because Hitler was wrong in many areas does not mean he was wrong in all, that's called the fallacy of composition.

2) Hitler's Germany aborted the children of Jews, so all abortion was not illegal. See, he didn't consider Jews human, so neither were their children. As it turns out, you've just given me more evidence for my claim that abortionist's arguments are like those of genocidists. You, likewise, think you can "define" who is and who isn't a human.

3) Therefore, you made a big mistake bringing Hitler’s Germany into the argument.

4) What is this supposed to do for you? Are you saying that since Hitler made abortion illegal for some, then somehow I'm a genocidist because I make abortion illegal and immoral for all?

5) My point is that your arguments are of the same type of arguments that Hitler et alia used. What was your point?

6) I think your point was to instantiate illogic.

"Next you claim I “admitted that the unborn was a human being”. Read my post again. I clearly didn’t."

Fair enough.

"I believe abortion should be legal. And the reason is that I don’t consider a fetus a human being that should enjoy all the rights human beings have under the law."

So you admit "the fetus" is a "human being" but it is not a "human being that should enjoy all the rights human beings have under the law?"

This is confused. Do you consider the fetus a human being or not?

Saying that it is not "a human being that should enjoy all the rights human beings have under the law" tells me nothing about whether you think it is human or not. It could be human, but just not deserve the rights other humans have. Kind of like "poor old Dread Scott."

Is the fetus human or not?

"In my opinion it is indeed not an entity that can be separated from the body of its potential mother, and therefore the potential mother is sovereign."

Well, how should I respond to this air-tight illogic?

1) Who cares about your "opinion?" You know what they say about opinions, right?

2) If the "entity" cannot be "separated" then, pray tell, how are abortions accomplished?

3) It's not separate from the mother, as in another individual? So, if your wife (if you have one) was pregnant with a "male" then you could say your wife has a penis?

4) Is the woman pregnant? Is she, "with child?" If so, how is she not a mother, but just a "potential" one?

Does not the law (legislated human law) even say that one reason abortion is allowed is to save the "life of the mother?"

Who is killed in an abortion, a potential child?

Does she have a potential abortion?

"Now here comes the part of my argument that you are most likely to attack: I believe that at some point during the pregnancy the fetus does become sufficiently human being,..."

No, I'll attack most of the parts of your "argument."

Some people "believe" in aliens. Some people "believe" in Santa Clause. Some people "believe" in God. Who cares what you believe? The real issue is, do you have anything intellectually weighty to back it up with? Let's see:

"Where is this point? That is to some extent arbitrary."

Well now! Your you pull out the biggest gun in the illogic arsenal - arbitrariness. If man can arbitrarily be defined, then Hitler can arbitrarily define human life for himself. Now we're back to Hitler's Germany, you see how that happens.

The American courts can "define" Dread Scott as property. If they are asked for justification, well they can just say that it's "arbitrary."

At the crucial moment in the debate, you crumble.

The embryo, upon conception, has human DNA. It is a member of the human species. So, what's the difference between a human and your idea of what is a human?

Personhood is not a property. It is a substance. It is essential, not accidental, to being a human. Human life begins at conception, therefore it is a human person at the time of conception.

"Somewhere in the second trimester I would say."

What, you must think you're the Pope of illogic.

It doesn't matter what "you'd say." Why would you say this? What evidence do you have? How does one thing that has human DNA become a human later? What changes? What is different? What makes the one a human and the other not one? Answer these questions and you'll see why I bring Hitler to this gun fight.

"Sometimes we have to draw arbitrary lines. Why is it OK to send someone to die in a war above a certain age, and not before?"

"Sometimes" we have to? Well, why is this time one of the "sometimes?"

When do we "have to" draw arbitrary lines and when do we not?

Are you limiting my choice not to draw arbitrary lines?

What was wrong with slavery? The court "had to" draw arbitrary lines. What was wrong with Hitler's Germany? He "had to" draw arbitrary lines.

Thus your illogic allows for Hitler and the beating of Mr. Scott.

If they are not humans, then your above argumentation allows for their death. So, how are you going to battle the racist and the genocidist when they come to this fight?

Your war analogy is a disanalogy. How does that prove that the unborn is not a human, or its life can be decided arbitrarily? Maybe it does if you reason thus:

Some things are arbitrary, like the age of soldiers in America, therefore when human life begins is probably arbitrary.

Ido, I'd like to commend you for your being brutally honest and forthright with your illogic. More people need to see it.

You see, this is what happens when you deny the Lord of reason.

In the end, Ido, we both escape something. You escape reason, Christians escape wrath.

1 comment:

  1. Hello again, Paul

    It has been quite an honor to appear twice on the front page of your blog.

    Last time you seemed to have a problem with me admitting to a degree of arbitrariness in deciding when a fetus is a human being. My claim was that a fetus is not a human being until a certain point during pregnancy, and that therefore it is not murder to kill the fetus before this point. You even called arbitrariness “the biggest gun in the illogical arsenal”. It is safe to assume then that your decisions never involve arbitrariness. It seems to me though that your deepest held belief, the belief in Christ as the son of God, is entirely arbitrary. There are thousands of religions, nearly all claiming to be the one and only true belief. Isn’t it arbitrary to decide which one is correct? Being arbitrary about important decisions is an inescapable part of our lives. That is why humans have discussions about moral issues, because to determine what is or is not morally acceptable is to some extent arbitrary. It is certainly arbitrary to base it on a specific collection of books written a long time ago.

    You said “The embryo, upon conception, has human DNA. It is a member of the human species.”
    The possession of human DNA is not a good standard to decide whether life is a human being or not. Whenever you scratch yourself (or someone else), you kill cells with human DNA. Does that make you a murderer? Obviously it does not. Why not? Modern cloning techniques could turn one of your skin cells into an embryo, capable of growing into a human being. You might argue that this is an unnatural way to create an embryo, but is it not just as unnatural to use IVF? Or in fact any other modern medical procedure that creates or prolongs life?

    You claim that human life begins at conception. Does that mean that a single cell zygote is just as valuable as a more mature form of human life? If you had to choose between saving the life of your sister or twenty zygotes in a petri-dish, but you couldn’t save both, what would you do? How about 2000 zygotes that could be implanted and survive to baby-hood with certainty? Are you still un-arbitrary?

    Best wishes,

    Ido (my real Christian name)