Friday, June 05, 2015

The burning building

I'll comment on this:

First, the burning building narrative is an example of direct action. If children are at risk of dying in the burning building, our attempt to rescue them is direct action: physical action to intervene and save those at risk. The appropriate parallel would be to relate the narrative to the proper physical action that Christians should take when they know someone down the street intends to kill their preborn child. What physical intervention should be taken on behalf of children brought to the abortion clinic (killing center) to be destroyed? This is a very challenging question.

But having posed the question, he ducks the question. How does AHA answer that question? If he' thinks that's the right analogy, then what is he saying? That if we shouldn't physically intervene to protect unborn babies, then we shouldn't physically intervene rescue kids in a burning building?

Or does he think we should physically intervene in both cases? If so, what does that mean? AHA allegedly eschews violence. So what does he mean by physical intervention? Preemptive action or empty gestures? Action to prevent an outcome–or standing around with props (e.g. placards of aborted babies)? 

Abortion legislation is not direct action. Rather, it is indirect action that establishes the legislative framework for criminal behavior.

Simply drawing a distinction between direct and indirect action fails to show how that's morally germane to the issue at hand.

If one were to equate abortion legislation to the burning building analogy, the equivalent idea in the narrative would be the extent that laws criminalize the intentional setting of fires at orphanages.

That's not the equivalent idea. The burning building example isn't meant to illustrate direct action, indirect action, or physical intervention. It's meant to illustrate the principle of a forced option where you can't save all, so you have a choice between saving some or saving none. Those are the only two viable alternatives at the time.

To draw extraneous distinctions which the example was never intended to illustrate is irrelevant to the purpose of the illustration. He hasn't show how the example is disanalogous in reference to what it was meant to illustrate. 

Second, the narrative’s hero risks his physical well-being for victims in danger. But support for compromised legislation that limits, restricts, or regulates child sacrifice does not risk the supporter’s physical well-being.

That's another irrelevant distinction. The point of the example is not to illustrate moral heroism. What makes saving innocent lives good isn't that the rescuer is risking his own life. Saving innocent lives would be just as good if that was risk-free. The action itself is virtuous apart from the motivations of the rescuer. Once again, his parallel is beside the point. 

If the rescuer engagers himself in the process, that says something good about him. His courage is commendable. But the goodness of the action is independent of what motivates the agent. It would be good to save innocent lives even if his intentions were malevolent. Does AHA think we have no duty to save innocent lives unless we endanger ourselves in the process? If we can do so safely, should we not do so? Should I only save an innocent life if that puts my own life at risk? 

Incremental abortion legislation leaves some children with zero protection from murderers.

And opposing even incremental legislation leaves all children with zero protection from murderers. Does AHA think we should repeal restrictions on abortion? Have unfettered access to abortion unless or until it can be banned in toto? 

1 comment:

  1. Well deconstructed. AHA's bizarre and hamfisted attempt to blunt the force of the burning building analogy serves to further illustrate their inability to see the obvious - that their ideological opponents are actually DOING what AHA claims to wish to do.

    To wit pro-lifers are actually abolishing some abortions on a small scale now and in the past through the introduction of incremental legislation while they simultaneously work toward total abolition in the future, doing as much good as they can as they go.

    On the contrary AHA talks a lot of smack, and engages in many of the same activities as pro-lifers, but stop short of taking any tangible action because they're too pure to soil their hands with the dirty work.

    AHA is like those who passed on the other side when they saw the man who was robbed, beaten, and stripped. They are not loving their unborn neighbors in deed, but only with empty promises and IOU's.