Dark Brightness

Bleak Theology: Hopeful Science

Against killing, sort of.

I signed up as doctor to save life, and comfort when life ends. I did not sign up to ascribe some people less worth, and allow their death, or actively kill them. The ban on abortion and euthanasia goes back to Hippocrates: the pressure to procure abortifacients or open the veins of patricians existed then.

And as now, it was promoted by the Sophists. Free Northerner has identified the logical arguments in one.

I remain against killing, sort of. The killing of the soldier and the executioner under lawful orders in a righteous war has good justification. But not this. No one argues that a criminal or an enemy is of lesser value: one argues that their cause must be stopped, or the crime stopped.

There is an unspoken argument Tomlinson denies making and doesn’t come right out and say, but implies heavily and is trying to make you emotionally feel without having to come out and say it because, at some, level, even Tomlinson has to know that it is utterly ridiculous. This argument, the argument that the pro-abortion argument rests on, is that if there is a difference in value between a child and a embryo, then it is alright to kill the unborn. Tomlinson, and most other abortion supporters, won’t make is that an unborn child is without value, because anybody with a shred of humanity knows there is at least some value in the unborn.

Instead, they say it is of lesser worth, then leap from lesser worth to morally acceptable to kill with impunity, and hope you won’t catch the leap, maybe not even catching it themselves. Tomlinson denies making this, saying he’s against abortion, but his argument right from the go is that pro-life people (ie. those wanting to restrict abortion) don’t care about the unborn but only desire to control woman (for some vague unprovided reason). His whole argument, unstated but very clear, is that the only reason to be against murdering the unborn is that you hate women and desire power over them for some unknown reason. Contra his objections, this does not seem to be imputing any value to the unborn.

Even if it is ceded that an unborn child is of lesser absolute moral value than a born child, (something I won’t cede, but that Shapiro weakly did) that does not in itself make abortion morally acceptable. If the elderly cancer patient is of lesser moral worth than the healthy child, that may morally allow me to save the child instead of the cancer patient, it does not morally allow me to shoot the old cancer patient.

To make abortion morally acceptable you have to show that it has no value (which Tomlinson rejects) or show that the difference in value is great enough that killing an unborn child for convenience is permissible while killing a born child is not. Tomlinson does not even attempt to do so, he just accuses his opponents of bad faith and hopes the emotional correlations he builds will carry this implicit argument without him having to make it.

Sophists will always use troll logic. They know they are wrong: they will conflate the rhetorical tricks they have to make you believe two and two are three. Ignore such: and do not let them take your moral choices from you by anointing you with their shroud of victimhood.