Some Pro-life arguments

1) Distinct human lives should not be treated as objects but as subjects. Abortion treats humans as objects, namely, instrumentally inconvenient human life. Therefore abortion is wrong.

2) It is immoral to issue a death penalty to a morally innocent or neutral party (see, Geneva Convention). Abortion extends the death penalty to a morally innocent or neutral party, the preborn. Therefore abortion is immoral.

3) It is immoral to abuse higher-order animal life merely for the sake of convenience such as vertebrate mammals. Abortion abuses to the point of death higher order animal life (there are currently no restrictions on how to go about with the abortion except for that of timing/when it is done in gestation. Any method of killing is allowed, with no regard for fetal pain). Therefore abortion is immoral.

4) Human rights, including the right to life, extend to every “member of the human family” from the point of creation onward (i.e.: conception; see Universal Declaration of Human rights-preamble, and Declaration of Independence-preamble). Abortion militates against human life from conception to birth. Therefore, abortion militates against a human right.

5) The right to life should be honored except in cases of moral dilemma where an equal or greater moral value is at stake. Liberty is not an equal or higher moral value than life. Therefore the right to life should be honored above the right of liberty.

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14 thoughts on “Some Pro-life arguments

  1. The death penalty is always immoral. The Geneva conventions apply only to conflicts of war.

    I agree abusing many animals is immoral, but we think it is just fine to kill higher order animals for food. Even if they are juveniles. This argument is also still contingent on your first and unnecessary if you are right.

    I cannot believe you still rely on the UNDHR, which clearly speaks, in art. 1 of these rights beginning at birth. I have pointed this out to you several times and you ignore it.

  2. 420olon, show me where the UDHR (it’s not UNDHR) denies that preborns are humans or that preborns do not have any human right to life? You are making an argument from silence. The UDHR was primarily aimed at establishing/identifying common rights shared by citizens regardless of nationality and ethnicity or gender. Check out my “Scan of the Judicial and Political History of Abortion” post. I go into this a good bit there.

    As for the death penalty being immoral, prove it. The U.S. court system, the broad concensus of the United States, and the majority of civilizations across world history and today disagree with you. I’m not saying that proves you are wrong, but it certainly doesn’t help your case.

    I agree that eating some animals is okay. I would not stretch the animal-abuse vs. child-abuse argument very far. But there is a conflicting parallel between the abuse of pet dogs, for example, where it is illegal to cook and eat dogs or abuse dogs or kill dogs for sport (etc.) but it IS legal abuse and kill human beings. Even when it comes to animal meat-eating, such as beef or chicken, there are still protective laws against abuse if the meat processing is considered “inhumane” or intentionally torturous. Currently, there are no restrictions on how to go about with the abortion itself–with methods including chemically burning it alive, tearing it apart limb by limb, crushing its skull, sucking it out with a vaccuum, etc. Abortion is animal abuse, is it not?

    Here are some research articles that help support some of the points I’m making, namely, that it is fine to call a preborn human embryo a “human being” and that begins at conception (http://bdfund.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/wi_whitepaper_life_print.pdf)

    And there is a robust international chartered case to be made for establishing that the preborn have human rights (http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/247662/international-human-rights-law-and-unborn-child-john-keown).

  3. Art 1. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” So it clearly contemplates this occurring after birth and is silent on before birth. Show me where it says these rights exist before birth. Show me any indication if contemplates humans before birth. You are making more of an argument from silence than am I.

    The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment and has been abolished in every industrialized country, except one. If you think there is consensus on this in the United States you either do not know what the word means, or you are not paying attention. 17 states have abolished it.

    See the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which aims at the abolition of the death penalty. See the UN Commission on Human Rights 1999 resolution. I could go on.

    Did you really just try to defend the death penalty and then, in the next paragraph, decry the legal killing of humans?

    Yes, abortion would be animal abuse if we defined the preborn as animals, you seem to want to, I do not. I say it is part of the mom and she can do what she wants with it.

    Good luck with that international case. Where would you raise it? Human rights are adjudicated internationally by the UN Commission, which has found that denying abortion violates the mom’s rights. So good luck with that.

  4. 420olon, you shot right past my point to go off on a tangent. The death penalty is no big issue for me. Yes, I hold to it, even though I have an uncle on death row. But I’m far less impassioned, and far less concerned about that than I am about abortion. If there were an option to trade-off abolishing the death penalty so as to end abortion–I’d support it. It is far closer to ethically justified to punish a convicted criminal whose crime is comparable or equal to murder than it does to punish a morally neutral and legally innocent human being, and yes it is a human being. You seem to think that instrumentally inconvenient and unwanted humans are justified targets of the death penalty but convicted criminals are not. Parasites on society (forget my rhetoric, I’m trying to use comparable language) are less deserving of death than parasites on a single mother. One woman’s inconvenience weighs more than the inconvenience of a whole society to pay for the living arrangements, court fees, medical care, etc. of a convicted capital criminal.

    About the “animal” nomenclature, you are making an unscientific statement again. Preborns are scientifically and medically speaking, human animals of the species homo sapien. They are biologically distinct living organisms, qualitatively different from mere “human cells” or “human tissues” since the conceptus has the harmonious multi-organ functionality unique to organisms. And since it is human, and humans are biological life that is not plants or protist, it is animalia, therefore human children in utero are animals. Don’t take it out on me if that fact disagrees with you. Take it up with biologists and doctors worldwide.

    You say it is part of the mom. Again there is a strong scientific argument against that claim. If it is part of the mom then it would not be attacked as foreign invader by her immune system, it would always have the same blood type and gender as the mom, it would not have another persons DNA constituting 50% of its genetic identity, it would not be sustainable as a separable organism (i.e.: either viable on its own, or in a test tube). That child is inside the mom, for sure, but it is a distinct human organism from the moment of conception.

  5. Okay, you are more offended by the destruction of a single cell you call a “human being” than the mistaken execution of dozens of wrongfully convicted adults.

  6. 420oloon, you treat this “human being” status for the conceptus as if it’s my (merely) personal opinion. Prove that it is not a human being. I speak with the the weight of modern embryology on my side. Disprove it if you consider yourself reasonable/rational or otherwise logical. I do not support mistaken execution. I have already pointed out that I’m not using “human being” as a term to refer to that tertiary sense of “legal personhood.”

    Regardless of what I believe about the death penalty, and the nature of justice. Your return to it is STILL a red herring. My argument above implies that for the sake of consistency if you think that capital punishment is wrong you ESPECIALLY would not support issuing the death penalty on morally neutral and legally innocent human beings. It is a human being, and you are okay with killing it even though 100% of the time that child has done nothing wrong.

    *The Laci and Connor law and the UN declaration on rights of the child rights affirms that preborns are children in utero.

  7. Depending on the definition of human being, it may or may not be. You think sometimes it is ok to kill borned human beings. Under what circumstances?

  8. Which definition are you going with? I’m going with the Oxford English Dictionary, Harper-Collins, and Merriam-Webster, as well as Blacks Law dictionary. I’ve not found a single dictionary that lists “human being: person” as a primary definition, but I’ve found several that list “Human: human being” as the primary sense.

    I’d say human life is the highest human right, that can only rightfully be taken away when another human life is mortally threatened such as a war context, self-defense, a tubal pregnancy, or capital crimes.

    For the sake of argument I can surrender the last one, capital crimes, to avoid distraction. If I had to defend it I could say that even in many advanced countries that have abolished the death penalty they do not do so because its principally unethical but rather because it’s practically problematic, and not ethically ideal. That is, there is a chance for a miscarriage of justice or we have other more gracious options that are less than full justice–although capital punishment would still be principally just and ethical. As for “cruel and unusual” punishment I’m not convinced on that one. It’s cruel to the family to let their daughter’s killer, for example, never get to see a comparable punishment for the criminal fitting the crime, and moreover, to make society have to continue to pay to sustain the life, entertainment, and healthcare of someone who took the life of a member of society. I would not, for example, fault a country for retaining the death penalty if they did not have the means for a jail system. If they have a practical concern for punishing capital-level crime, but did not want to enlist penal slavery, and did not want to empower or allow them to do more crime later–the death penalty halts 100% of recidivism in those criminals. And the threat of death, such as in self-defense, is a powerful deterrent in gun studies around the world. There is a case to be made for capital punishment, but honestly, I could discard all of that here if its a distraction from the more basic issue here that abortion pits one women’s freedom against a child’s life, and life is the higher moral value, deserving protection over and above that women’s freedoms.

    1. I would define a human being as “an auntonomous individual of the Homo sapiens sapiens species”. I do not consider the preborn to be autonomous of the moms.

      The UN bodies that enforce the human rights instruments you refer to disagree with you on capital punishment, they clearly consider it cruel and unusual.

  9. 420olon, fallacy of private definition. I’m not particularly interested in your private definition of “human being” since you are not the arbitrating stipulator of what English words mean. If you have some established, or heavier authoritative references that counter my definition, then do share. I really don’t want to err on this critical issue. I offered established, value-neutral, dictionary and encyclopedia support for “human” as meaning “human being,” since I’m interested in working from established conventions of language, i.e., factual stuff, not psychological self-reflection on “what do I feel about the word ‘human being.'”

    Capital punishment is useful by analogy if it’s relevant at all to this discussion. Since you consider it, with the U.N., cruel and unusual punishment then the only reason I can think of for why you are still bringing it up is that you don’t consider it hypocritical to protect convicted criminals against “cruel and unusual punishment” but support subjecting legally innocent and morally neutral preborn human children to capital punishment without trial, without jury of peers, without a lawyer, and without any consideration for the rights indicated in the preamble of the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959). Honestly, if I were in favor of abolishing the death penalty I would have that much more reason to support abolishing abortion on demand. No human being should be ripped limb from limb, or have a medical doctor crush their skull intending to cause death, or be burned alive from the inside out in a doctors office by chemical injection. Now THAT’S lethal injection.

    1. Dictionary definitions are not binding authorities on anything. They are descriptions of how words are commonly used. You asked me what definition I was using and I told you. I don’t see what difference this makes as I have never said my position on abortion is dependent on any definition of human being.

      This is your blog site. Why don’t you clearly lay out your moral position on why abortion is wrong rather than make weird analogies?

      1. And private definitions are even less binding.

        When you disagree with my usage of “human being” then you need to offer a principled reason to do so. Invented, arbitrary, or private definitions are not grounds for rejected established conventions of language. The majority could be wrong, and they may have picked a misrepresentative term for something, but they are not wrong because your private opinion says so. The burden of proof is on the skeptic to show that the the Oxford English Dictionary is wrong.

        My position on abortion? Done and done. Peruse my site some more.

  10. “5) The right to life should be honored except in cases of moral dilemma where an equal or greater moral value is at stake. Liberty is not an equal or higher moral value than life. Therefore the right to life should be honored above the right of liberty.”

    So hypocritical. What constitutes a moral dilemma for one won’t be the same for another, guaranteed.

    1. I use the phrase “moral dilemma” in a technical sense, not just some colloquial sense. I literally mean cases where it is two or more normally evil options and no alternatives. Such as to lie or assist a murder; steal to feed your family or let them starve; kill a baby or endure a trialsome pregnancy. Sometimes “dilemma” is used to refer to two or more equally bad options, not just any two evil but unequal options. Ethics is messy, I admit, and it can be hard to identify when and whether true dilemmas happen. But there are at least some such as “Sophie’s Choice” (i.e., a prison camp woman who had to choose which of her children would be killed or else the guard would kill both of them). In the case of Sophie’s choice, that would be an indisputable moral dilemma, where Sophie had no option but to pick one of her children to be killed. In those cases one literally cannot honor the right to life since every option includes killing. Those are the kinds of “dilemmas” I had in mind; not the kind of subjective and agenda driven rhetoric of politi-speak and personal preference.

      What’s hypocritical about that point?

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