Sunday, February 12, 2006

Rape, Incest and Extremism: A Lesson in Logic

Aristotle taught us that there are two kinds of logic in this world: inductive and deductive.

Inductive reasoning argues from example. For instance, my assertion that the sun will rise tomorrow is based on long experience and a rudimentary knowledge of astronomy. But I can't prove it absolutely.

Deductive reasoning deals in absolutes: this is the sort of reasoning that is airtight. A common example of deductive logic runs like this: Fido is a dog. All dogs have four legs. Therefore, Fido has four legs.

If the premises of a valid deductive argument are true, then it follows that the argument is true.
In this diary, I will prove deductively, using four simple premises, that those who oppose abortion are automatically extremists in American politics, and hide behind bullshit arguments that they use to snow John Q. Public.

It's all about rape and incest, you see...

The premises on which I base my argument are as follows:

1. Americans view any anti-abortion law that does not grant exceptions in cases of rape or incest as extremist and draconian.

This is an extremely safe premise. The vast majority of even wingnut America, when polled, believes that exceptions should be made in cases of rape and incest--to the tune of 70% or more.

2. Americans view those who would attempt to legislate sexual behavior as extremists.

I think this is a pretty easy premise to validate; after all, anti-sodomy laws have been struck down--with public approval--in almost every state, even as gay marriage issues inflame the wingnuts. Most Americans simply don't want the government in their bedrooms.

3. The only valid argument against abortion is the idea that a fetus has inalienable human rights from the moment of conception.

After all, if the fetus is not human, why are we even discussing the point? If it's not human, an abortion is no different from an appendectomy. But if it is human, then abortion is no different from killing a newborn baby.

4. Anyone who advocates killing newborn babies if they are the product of rape or incest is a murderous extremist.

I know--this one's a no-brainer. But by now I think you can see where this is going.
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You see, here's how it works. This is basic deductive reasoning from these premises.

1. IF the fetus is human, THEN it deserves the same protections as a newborn.

IF killing a fetus produced by rape or incest is moral, THEN killing a newborn produced by the same is ALSO moral.

Killing a newborn is extremist.

ERGO, killing a fetus produced by rape or incest is extremist.

You see? That was tidy! But what are the anti-abortionist's other choices? Not pretty--because there are only two, and they're both bad:

CHOICE #1:
A position held by a small minority of wingnuts--that "the fetus is human and sacred, and must not aborted under any circumstances."

Of course, this butts up directly against premise #1: that those who would not grant exceptions in case of rape or incest are automatically extremists.

As you can see, things aren't going well for our anti-abortionist friends. They seem to be getting hemmed in to extremism by Aristotle himself. Hmmm...let's see what's behind door number 2!

CHOICE #2:
"The fetus is important, but pregnancy cases of rape or incest aren't the mother's fault!Therefore, she should not be forced to go through with the pregnancy!"

Looks like we need a little more Aristotle...:

If there is fault, there is blame for an immoral act.
Pregnancy is the direct result of a sexual act.
Being forced to do something is a form of punishment.
Laws requiring that someone be punished for a certain act constitute legislation of that act.

IF unwanted pregnancy cases arising from rape or incest are faultless, THEN all other cases involve FAULT.

IF those cases involve FAULT, then they are considered to have stemmed from immoral ACTS.

IF such cases of unwanted pregnancy are the direct result of unsafe sex, THEN unsafe sex is an immoral act.

IF pregnancy is something that is FORCED on someone, THEN pregnancy is a PUNISHMENT.

IF there is a law requiring that a woman be forced to go to term with a pregnancy, THEN there is legislation of that circumstance.

And IF the fault of the circumstance lies not in pregnancy, but in the nature of the act that generated it, THEN the legislation is of the ACT, not the CIRCUMSTANCE.

ERGO, legislation that a woman must be forced (punished) to carry a pregnancy to term when not under circumstances of rape or incest constitutes legislation of sexual behavior.
QED.

Which, of course, butts up against premise #3: Americans view those who would attempt to legislate sexual behavior as extremists.
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So what does this mean? It means, very simply, that anti-abortionists are one of three things:

1. Extremists who want to kill newborn babies.
2. Extremists who want no contingencies in case of rape or incest.
3. Extremists who want to legislate sexuality.

Or some combination of the above.
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So just remember: all you EVER need to destroy a wingnut's stance on abortion are two simple words: Rape and Incest.

It's simple, airtight logic. Really, it is.

Then again, logic was never the wingnuts' strong suit, was it?

5 Comments:

Blogger Pastor John said...

why have you polluted my blog with your hatred? i only want to spread a message of love

10:30 AM  
Blogger thereisnospoon said...

your little game isn't funny. You think you're trying to give wingnuts a bad name.

It's not working--you're just an asshole.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Pastor John said...

demons be gone!

3:02 PM  
Blogger samrocha said...

I enjoyed your post... I would qualify as a number 2. Your logic their breaks down in aristotelian term in a logical fallacy - argumentum ad populum - citing truth from the status quo. You are right to mention the overall acceptance of abortion for reasons of rape and incest, but my exception would only be insofar as the life of the mother was in danger, at that time the moral dillema requires that life be taken which is never good, but at time necessary and licit.

The biggest inconsistancy with the extremist you mention is their logical inconsistancy on the other side of the life spectrum - i.e. capital punishment... I have written a series on Lifes Issues is you would like to check it out in my archives for the end of december and the beginning of january...

11:30 AM  
Blogger thereisnospoon said...

I wasn't saying anything specific about the morality or immorality of abortion per se.

I was saying something about what was viewed as extremist in American politics. It's an unashamed Argumentum ad Populum, since the entire argument centers around the viewpoint of the American populace.

My point was simply that the American people would not accept legislation of sexuality, and would not accept abortion bans even in cases of rape or incest.

Since abortion bans require one or the other, I was simply stating that abortion bans would therefore be unacceptable to the American electorate if they were thinking straight and weren't being deceived.

6:23 PM  

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