Posts Tagged ‘Faulty Pro-Life Arguments’
Download Audio MP3 | 00:22:32
Update 6/22: Upon request, I’ve written most of these points up as an article and published them at JoshBrahm.com.
Here’s an outline of my main points in response to this question from Bobby: “Some pro-life people oppose ‘incrementalist’ pro-life laws because they always end with ‘… and then you can kill the baby.’ What are your thoughts?”
Note: Many of my arguments and thinking on these issues comes from conversations I had with Scott Klusendorf and Dr. Francis Beckwith, who both graciously spent time with me while I was working through these issues in 2007. I’m not sure now who said what and how many of these arguments are really my own, nor would I want to source any of these arguments directly to Scott or Frank without their permission. (These were all private conversations.) It’s probably a fair assumption that the really smart talking points came from one of them though.
This was supposed to be a video but we had technical difficulties with the recorded video, so I’m posting the audio only.
- Common ground: I agree that we don’t want to communicate to people that we only care about babies that feel pain, are a certain age, not conceived in rape, etc.
- I disagree that most forms of incremental legislation send that message. I think most people know how politics works.
- My argument is not that we should do evil that good may come. My argument is that when we pass incremental bills that will have a positive impact for the unborn, we are not actually doing evil. We are doing a good thing.
- What’s implicit in these bills is that we want to save all, but we know we can’t, so we’re going to save the most we can, and go from there.
- William Wilberforce helped pass a bill, the Foreign Slave Trade Bill of 1806) that you could have ended with, “and then you can sell the slave.”
- Do you think it’s more important to make an impact or to make a statement? I don’t believe that passing a bill with a rape exception tacked onto it at the last minute sends a message to pro-choice people that we don’t care about the babies conceived in rape that are sometimes killed in abortions.
Download Audio MP3 | 00:47:06
Josh describes both types of bodily rights arguments, discusses the most common pro-life responses to the violinist analogy and why they are unpersuasive to many pro-choice atheists, and then explains the de facto guardian argument that may solve this problem.
Download Audio MP3 | 00:18:38
After wrapping up four Life Report episodes, Josh, Tim and Gabi hung out to cover some material they didn’t have time to get into earlier in the day. Those topics and questions for Tim include:
- You said, “Love does not insist on its own way; it does not need to have the last word in a debate.” Does that conflict with the Stand to Reason mantra of trying to leave people with a pebble in their shoe?
- A discussion of pro-life memes and why most of them are bad.
- You said, “Love is not resentful, it does not dwell on the failures of those around us. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing. It is not excited when those around us are caught in sin.” What about pro-life groups like Live Action that do undercover investigative videos catching Planned Parenthood doing bad things?
- Can you talk about how we are to love practically with those in the pro-life movement who may disagree on our political method, for example on our use of graphic images? How would you apply your piece to that?
- Which line in the 1 Cor 13 piece do you feel is the most important, or the most contrasted by the way a lot of pro-life people actually act?
Download Audio MP3 | 00:28:00
Megan Almon from Life Training Institute joins Josh and Gabi to discuss how pro-lifers can have productive conversations about Gosnell, as well as the common mistakes pro-lifers should avoid.
One of the most common questions we get is “how do you start non-weird conversations about abortion when you’re not on campus next to a pro-life exhibit?” One of the easier methods is to use a story that’s currently in the news. Josh thinks pro-life people can have good conversations about abortion starting with the controversy of what Gosnell did, but he doesn’t think you should stop there. He uses several specific questions to lead the conversation into talking about the abortions that are less controversial to pro-choice people: abortions done on first-trimester babies that are in the womb, aren’t viable, aren’t conscious and don’t feel pain.
After giving these questions and dialogue tips, the discussion turns to what pro-life people should NOT do when talking about Gosnell. What are the most common mistakes pro-lifers make regarding this story? Listen to the episode to find out.
Josh also briefly responds to the pro-choice argument that it’s pro-lifers fault that women went to Gosnell’s clinic in the first place.
I spent a lot of time yesterday sorting out my feelings about Gosnell and his conviction, as well as the way some extreme pro-life people are talking about him. Thanks to a few respected colleagues who took some time with me to discuss in private, I think I’ve worked out the three major feelings I have. I suspect most of my readers will agree with the first two, but have questions about the third:
- I’m glad limited justice has been served.
- I’m glad he’s going to prison.
- Yet, I don’t want Gosnell to go to Hell. I’d rather spend time with him in Heaven.
Before you roll your eyes and move on, please give me the chance to explain why I don’t think any of those statements makes me a weak pro-lifer.
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