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Anti-slavery 001
Please explain how it is not slavery to force a woman to have to allow their body to be ruined and potentially lose their life due to being raped?
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Anti-slavery 001
Please enlighten me on how it is right to force a rape victim to give up their life and have a child despite never wanting to have a child but not being willing to support said mother and child? Because that is what the majority of these pro birthers are like.
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Anti-slavery 001
Tell me how you think it's right to force a 10-year-old rape victim to have a child but to adopt a child you need to be making some $65,000 a year have a secure home and pass a litany of screenings?
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Anti-slavery 001
By this logic I should be able to break into anybody's house and they should be forced to take care of me. Tell me how I'm wrong?
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201821208
They use the word sentient a lot. "It" isn't sentinent so I can get rid of "it". What are some good ideas to argue against that argument?
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Rachel Crawford
Great question. We teach a full response to this argument in the Equipped for Life course (available at http://equippedcourse.com). In short, a pro-choice person who believes that sentience, usually understood as "the capacity to experience pleasure or pain",(Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) is important for moral consideration is making a claim about personhood. In other words, they are saying that if you have sentience then it is wrong to kill you without justification (like self-defense) and if you don't have sentience then "you can get rid of it."
The response we teach for responding to pro-choice arguments about personhood is the Equal Rights Argument (which we teach in full in the course). We want to encourage pro-choice people to think consistently about moral status and what that means for the rights of people. IF sentience is the foundation of our value IF that is the foundation for why it is wrong to kill people, that also would have to mean that everything that has sentience is a person with the same value as you and I, and everything that doesn't have sentience does not have the same value as you or me. The Equal Rights Argument explains this in clear language and helps the other person think through their own beliefs. The vast majority of people we talk to do not think that squirrels, for example, should be considered to be people with the same value as you or I. But squirrels are sentient, so sentience cannot explain the foundation of personhood.
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sophia_postma
This was really helpful, thank you. I've been really trying to inform myself lately, because I want to be able to properly speak out against this evil. I really liked this article because it explained the arguments, and then ways to combat them. I will definitely use these tips in the future.
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mariemikaelson
"Can you think of another example of pro-choice rhetoric?"
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I could answer this by saying, "What about Prostitution? or Drugs? or Suicide?
If you don't want to control women's bodies then why is prostitution illegal? Shouldn't they have a say in what they can or cant do with their own bodies?
If you don't want to control women's bodies then why are drugs illegal? Drugs only effect that one person, if they want to throw their life away, who are we to control them or to judge them??
What about suicide? it doesn't effect anyone else other than the person that kills themselves. if that's what they want to do, who are to stop them? control them? judge them?
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u dumb af
it aint your choice like u being agaisnt adoption smh
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mishypic
What about pro-choicers who are NOT opposed to third trimester abortions? Is there any way to continue on a dialogue with them? They usually claim to be personally opposed to third trimester abortions but would NEVER DREAM of imposing that on another woman. After all, it's her "choice." I have yet to figure out how to handle them.
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WatchAndLearn
I know this is a comment from two years ago, but yes, there is a way to address bodily autonomy absolutists. Since there is no other scenario similar to pregnancy, you have to challenge their absolute bodily autonomy belief with a hypothetical.
The hypothetical is if a person were to be kidnapped and somehow placed inside (alive) the kidnapper's body (by the kidnapper), would the kidnapper then be allowed to kill the person inside his/her body? Most anyone would say no. If that were allowed, people in this hypothetical scenario would have a way to kill others that circumvented murder laws. It would be absurd to say the kidnapper has a right to kill the person he/she kidnapped and placed inside his/her body. Thus, absolute bodily autonomy cannot exist. The parallel being that the unborn child had no choice to be in the mother's womb. The mother's actions put the child there.
Since they would already admit that kidnapping an individual, putting the individual inside their body, and then killing that individual would be wrong, they clearly don't believe in absolute bodily autonomy, so why not make an exception for the unborn child as well?
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joshbrahm
I was just thinking about this short the other day. I think it's still my favorite Pixar short, although the one with the birds on the telephone wire is amazing too. :)
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jerrycstanaway
Why do you refer to a newly conceived individual as "it" rather than " he or she"?
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clairelushbaugh
Saying "he or she" all the time is clunky, awkward English, hence the rise of improperly using the plural pronoun "they" as a neuter singular. "They" tends to be more preferable to "it" because "it" implies lack of humanness. "It" gets used because it's a neuter, singular pronoun. The popularity of using "he" as both a masculine singular and a neuter singular pronoun has dwindled greatly because many consider it sexist. My personal preference is to use the words "infant", "baby", "pre-born", and "child" and use minimal pronouns. I employ phrases like "the previously mentioned woman and her pre-born child..." Using wording like that can eventually get tiring, though. If you find yourself dialoguing with a pro-choice person, you could ask them to choose the sex of the proverbial pregnant woman's child as a way of relating to the pro-choice person you're dialoguing with.
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acyutananda
Well, some people would say that it's neither he nor she till it gets born and its cis-normative parents brainwash it one way or the other.
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acyutananda
"Can you think of another example of pro-choice rhetoric you can turn the tables on?" “I’M PRO-CHOICE BECAUSE I’M COMPASSIONATE TO WOMEN.” Over 50% of abortion victims are (unborn) women. Shouldn't we be compassionate toward abortion victims? "Forced pregnancy is slavery." A closer analogy with slavery is treating a certain human group as sub-human, as most pro-choicers do.
Would you call those two responses "turning the tables"? They turn the tables in a different way, I think, than any of your examples. I think your examples involve turning the tables to advance a reductio ad absurdum type of response. An RAA invalidates the principle behind the person's original argument (such as the principle "We should never judge.") While my examples AFFIRM the principle behind the original argument – the principle that the person themselves advanced (such as the principle of compassion) – but point to a different way to apply the principle.
My least favorite attempt to turn the tables in the affirming way is to try to counter “WHY DO YOU WANT TO CONTROL WOMEN’S BODIES?” with "The unborn also has bodily rights."
Because it seems to me that the only philosophically useful sense of the term "bodily rights" is a right to refuse to let one's body be used by someone else. In an abortion situation, no one is trying to use the unborn's body (as long as they don't plan to harvest the unborn's organs). So though the unborn should have bodily rights, I don't think THOSE rights apply in an abortion situation. Its right to life applies, but not its bodily rights (in the only useful sense of the term). And of course its bodily rights apply if someone wants to harvest its organs. (As you pointed out discussing Planned Parenthood and Judith Jarvis Thomson.)
Though I don't think the unborn's bodily rights is why abortion is wrong, neither do I think that the woman's bodily rights are normally strong enough to JUSTIFY abortion. I have thought about these things in a blog post, http://www.noterminationwithoutrepresentation.org/bodily-rights-and-a-better-idea/
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AdeFrancisco
Great article. Definitely very helpfulf points to always keep in mind.
Thanks!