View Full Version : Why is abortion wrong because it's killing, but war is ok even though it's the same?

24th Jul 2006, 18:34
...and why is it usually the people who protest the loudest against the first who call the loudest for the second?

24th Jul 2006, 18:36
Firstly, I'm not sure that there are many people who think that "war is OK"

Secondly, the two things are not the same at all.

So the premise is wrong, and the logic is wrong, but other than that you're on a roll . . . :p

24th Jul 2006, 18:46
There seem to be quite a lot where I live

Why aren't they the same? Someone still dies...apparently.

To keep with the war theme, I'd better make that a Kaiser Roll

24th Jul 2006, 18:46
...and why is it usually the people who protest the loudest against the first [war] who call the loudest for the second [cessation of abortion]?

There is a good reason.

Putting aside all moral objection to both, war is, save in the rare cases of civll war, against a present or potential foreign "enemy". Reduction in the numbers of that enemy is good in strategic terms. Abortion is against one's own people. Reduction in numbers of one's own people is bad in strategic terms. Who will defend you?

That is why the French between the Franco-Prussian war and World War II introduced a three-year military service, whereas the Germans had only a two-year military service. There were just not enough Frenchmen around to keep an eye on the Rhine, just as now there are too few ...................... to keep an eye on the ................

The "home" prohibition operates not only against abortion. It operates against murder and manslaughter, but allows, in fact encourages, killing (of the enemy) in warfare.

24th Jul 2006, 19:06
Some believe that life does not begin until you are born and breathe air. Others believe life begins at the moment of fusion ( which is what I do).
Killing is wrong, but wars start for many reasons. They may not be right to start a war, but the issues behind their beginnings stem from someone's belief in what is right and they stand up for that result war on a country level!

No life should be taken without consideration. In Abortion, the only ones who can't protest is the unborn, in war, alot can, but who takes notice?

24th Jul 2006, 20:13
I was recently in the USA. A large peaceful demonstration was taking place but the most horrific of 8ft posters and pictures scattered the streets. At one point I wanted to turn back and find a different route. I have my own views but it left me feeling sick, but more with hatred and anger towards the people who were ramming it down the throats of myself and passers-by.

They were flying the US flag.... yep, where was the procedure first developed????

But what really got my attention was what was written on the reverse of the protesters T-shirts.


No S:mad: Sherlock!


24th Jul 2006, 20:20
Leaving my personal opinion on this delicate topic aside, about a month ago I had dinner with one of my former university professors (statistics) who made the following observation (please note that I have not checked it for accuracy, but have always found this man the sole of reliability):

1. Of those people who believe capital punishment is right, a majority of those believe abortion is wrong.

2. Of those people who believe abortion is right, a majority of those believe capital punishment is wrong.

If in fact this is correct, there's surely some food for thought here.

24th Jul 2006, 20:51
if he was a professor of statistics and made such a wild and unbounded staement, with no provisos concerning sample size or other conditions, he was making it up, just like 87.695 % of the population..... :hmm:

24th Jul 2006, 20:54
Maybe, but I fall into one of the camps!

It's not entirely invalid; anti-abortionists and pro-capital punishment supporters tend to be right wing whereas pro-abortion and anti-capital punishment tend to be left wing.



24th Jul 2006, 20:55
1. Of those people who believe capital punishment is right, a majority of those believe abortion is wrong.

2. Of those people who believe abortion is right, a majority of those believe capital punishment is wrong.
Once again committing the basic fallacy of comparing two things as if they had something in common when they are in fact completely different. :ugh:

24th Jul 2006, 20:59
But how many of each group drive gas-guzzling SUVs?

24th Jul 2006, 21:08

This was dinner time chat, not a classroom.

Check your PMs :8 in a few mins.

24th Jul 2006, 21:15

What the speaker mentioned in this case is a correlation. There is a difference between a correlation, which can be merely co-incident, and a causality, which implies that for one thing to exist the other MUST also. He didn't say that holding one belief causes the other belief to be held.

There's a general ignorance (not necessarily one you have) of the difference between correlation and causality. It's, in part, media-based. For instance, when we hear on the radio, the Dow was down 1% today based on loosening of the Japanese mortgage market, or somesuch tripe, it creates a complete misimpression in the minds of folks that there is some sort of causal relationship between these two things. For the relationship to be causality-based, the next time the Japanese mortgage market "loosened" the same amount the Dow would have to also go down the same amount. Since, of course this doesn't happen, the relationship between these two data points is at best a correlation, not a causality.

tony draper
24th Jul 2006, 21:26
For that matter why do we accept with apparent philosophicaly resignation 3000 deaths on the roads every years yet go into paroxism of hand wringing when some natural disaster takes a similar number of lives.?

24th Jul 2006, 21:27

One group would drive Volvo SUVs and the other Jeep Cherokees.

Of course, any Subaru drivers would all be lesbians.

You get to manage the motorpool and assign the cars to the believers.

West Coast
24th Jul 2006, 21:33
Why must the two be tied together?
They don't.

24th Jul 2006, 21:39
For that matter why do we accept with apparent philosophicaly resignation 3000 deaths on the roads every years yet go into paroxism of hand wringing when some natural disaster takes a similar number of lives.?
Something that I USED to argue (when working in the Industry). Of course you'll (probably) never reduce the road-deaths to zero (why not?).
What irritates me is that collisions are classified as 'accidents', whereas they usually have a CAUSE, and a foreseeable cause at that.
There again, there's a significant quantity of deaths (not associated with motoring and not truly quantifiable as 'natural causes') that occur under clinical treatment. Avoidable deaths? 'Accidents'?

And then there's the National Disasters when Queens of Hearts succumb to the sort of event suffered by 'normal' people . . .

24th Jul 2006, 21:54
About a year ago I saw a very good documentary movie about former US Secretray of Defense, Robert McNamara called The Fog of War (highly recommended).

For a time, Bob, as he likes to be called, ran Ford. He described injuries and deaths resulting from road accidents as "a packaging problem," (they showed a package of eggs breaking) that was then solved partly by seat belts and later by air bags.

What made this piece of the movie unforgetable was that while he spoke, the images shown were of dropping human skulls (maybe fake ones) down a stairwell until they shattered.

As an aside... though they work, I've never thought of air bags as a brilliant solution. Something about having to set a small bomb off in the passenger compartment to make one safer seems inelegant to me.

tony draper
24th Jul 2006, 22:23
Hmmm, one recals seeing a doocumentry where real human corpses were used in drop test,ie dropping them on their heads on to hard surfaces from varying heights,think this prog was about crash helmets and bone domes for pilots ect.

"Our helmet is perfectly safe Sir, not a single person in our rigourous test program reported feeling a thing"
Apparently late real humans are cheaper than crash test dummies

24th Jul 2006, 22:25
Did they survive?

When my surgery 'went wrong' and left me with chronic pain, I was informed by the Anaesthetist (who was also the Pain Consultant) that 19% of the patients that undergo thoracotomy are left with chronic pain. However, the majority of patients who have this operation are cancer patients, and few survive long enough to complain. I was (he said) one of the lucky ones . . .
I had no choice about whether to have the op. The alternative was . . . . no pain . . . ever.

24th Jul 2006, 22:35
There's a joke about firing chickens out of an air gun to test windshields. The punchline American engineers supposedly told to the (insert nationality of choice) is, "You're supposed to defrost them first."

I spy a modest degree of thread drift here.

24th Jul 2006, 22:40
Of course, any Subaru drivers would all be lesbians.Hey ! I drive an Impreza - and last time I checked . . .

As you rightly say, I guess there's a difference between correlation and causality.

. . . mind you, they do say: "try everything once - except Morris dancing and incest". :eek:

24th Jul 2006, 22:46
Aren't Pro-lifers Inconsistent if They Support Capital Punishment? (http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0181a.html)

(Lest any one get the wrong idea. I am pro-choice, though I hate the concept of abortion and wish other options were made readily available, rather than castigating those involved. Though the argument below is based on the question of abortion v capital punishment. It can equally be made in the case of abortion v just war or just war v capital punishment......)

"Some pro-choice (and even pro-life) advocates have pointed out that some people who believe in capital punishment are also pro-life on the abortion issue. And since capital punishment entails the killing of another human being, these pro-lifers are inconsistent. Some people assume that this inconsistency makes the pro-life position on abortion incorrect. There are several reasons why this belief cannot be justified.

First, how does this help the pro-choice position or hurt the pro-life position on abortion? Wouldn't this argument make people who are against capital punishment and for pro-choice equally inconsistent?

Second, inconsistent people can draw good conclusions. For example, an Irish terrorist may inconsistently believe that it is all right to murder Catholics and not Protestants. But this inconsistency in his thinking would not make his correct conclusion about the wrongness of murdering Protestants automatically incorrect. Hence, this argument is a red-herring and does not deal with the ethical legitimacy of the pro-life position.

Third, there are a number of pro-life advocates who do not believe that capital punishment is morally justified. The pro-choice advocate can't say that these pro-lifers are inconsistent. Why does he (or she) not then give up the pro-choice position and embrace this pro-life position, since it should seem to him even more consistent than the anti-capital punishment pro-choice position?

Fourth, I believe that one can plausibly argue that the pro-life position on abortion is consistent with capital punishment. Pro-life advocates, for the most part, do not argue that killing is never justified, for many believe that there are legitimate instances in which killing is justified, such as in the cases of self-defense and capital punishment, both of which do not entail the killing of an innocent human life. Abortion does entail such killing. Hence, the pro-life advocate who believes in capital punishment is saying, "It is wrong to take the life of an innocent human being, but the capital offender is not innocent. Therefore, capital punishment is morally justified." Although I have not made up my own mind on the issue of capital punishment, I do not believe it is logically inconsistent with the pro-life position.

In summary, like the previous argument, this one is a blatant example of the ad hominem fallacy, since it is a direct attack upon the character of the pro-life advocate. Instead of dealing with the pro-lifer's arguments against abortion, the pro-choice advocate attacks the pro-lifer."

24th Jul 2006, 22:54
Aren't Pro-lifers Inconsistent if They Support Capital Punishment?Good analysis, ORAC.

This definitely does fall under the category of Diversion By Irrelevant Objection.

AcroChik was just pointing out a perceived correlation, but here we have an attempt to go far beyond that, and to draw a logical conclusion.

But the two things under discussion are not the same. There is no more inconsistency in ANY of the four possible combinations of bilateral positions (for both, against both, or the two ways of being for one and against the other) than there is in liking cats but not dogs, or liking dogs but not cats.

"Hey - they're all four-legged animals, so if you're against cats you must also be against dogs".

Doesn't make sense, does it ?

24th Jul 2006, 22:59
Grainger Hey ! I drive an Impreza - and last time I checked . . .

Are you sure you're not a lesbian trapped in a man's body? And we won't even start a dog/car argument!



24th Jul 2006, 23:01

Thanks for an interesting post. I'd seen that thought-provoking piece before in another context.

When I was in high school, my mother took me to a meeting of the New York Bar Association to hear a debate about abortion. Because these were lawyers speaking, they approached it both from a legalistic and Constitutional point of view.

One speaker, citing...

Amendment IV, to the Bill of Rights

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

... argued that for the "people to be secure in their persons" it would be unconstitutional for the government to limit a woman's access to abortion.

An equally articulate speaker said that if you view a human fetus as a person the following applied:

Amendment VII, to the Bill of Rights

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

The logic to this was that if it were proposed that the life of a person be ended, he or she was entitled to all due processes of law prior to sentence being carried out.

I'm far from expert in such things, of course. But you can imagine what an interesting evening it was.

24th Jul 2006, 23:04
Are you sure you're not a lesbian trapped in a man's body?Based on who I'd rather spend the night with, I suppose you might have a point there :E

And I did have this really interesting dream one time . . . :eek:

tony draper
24th Jul 2006, 23:07
Isn't anti abortion thing tied up with the religion thing,
"Go forth and multiply"
But then of course, we also have
"A eye for a eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life", or "Suffer not a witch to live"
Hmm should that be "an eye for an eye"?

Buster Hyman
24th Jul 2006, 23:13
Why is abortion wrong because it's killing, but war is ok even though it's the same?

Because with Abortion, the victim cannot shoot back.:(

Capt. Queeg
24th Jul 2006, 23:17
I had an abortion on the runway, once.

24th Jul 2006, 23:21
Many things happen on runways:


Added >>> Apprears you have to be a member to view. But you can get the thread drift by clicking and reading the URL.

25th Jul 2006, 02:18
There has always been a couple of things I find disturbing about abortion. Don't get me wrong, I believe a woman has a right to an abortion if she so desires and if she's unable to afford one, the state should pay for it. What makes me uneasy is just how many abortions are enough? Is there a maximum number of abortions per client? At what point does abortion become a method of birth control? How about certain cultures where females are deemed less worthy than male children and fetuses are aborted because of gender?

Finally, what about partial birth abortions? Stripped of the fancy medical terminology a partial birth abortion involves little more than the doctor taking a mallet and bashing the brains out of a viable fetus as it emerges out of the chute. Do the same people who vehemently object to the state taking the life of a convicted mass murderer not have a problem living with that procedure?

25th Jul 2006, 03:17
But the two things under discussion are not the same. Why not? If abortions are wrong because the commandments say we cannot kill then killing is wrong. It makes no difference if it's through an abortion or in a war. It is the same thing. You can't start adding clauses and say it really means "Thou shall not ...without consideration" (to quote an earlier post)

West Coast
25th Jul 2006, 04:37
So either both are right or both are wrong goes your argument?

If someone assassinated Hitler early on, then he would be wrong? Just as wrong as if he aided in an abortion? A moral conundrum?

I guess then we need to tie in killing of animals, assisted suicide and a boatload of other moral dilemmas as well.

25th Jul 2006, 05:45
You can't start adding clauses and say it really means "Thou shall not ...without consideration" )

Like so many (assuming, of course, that you are who you were) who claim to be opposed to religion you are remarkably constrained by religion.

Forget the religion. Forget the moral arguments. Forget commands that start with "Thou shalt" or "Thou shalt not". If, to take the example I gave above, France has, as it did at the time I mentioned, a static population of 40,000,000, and Germany has, as it did, a growing population of 70,000,000, and they are in competition for the one scarce resource, namely land or "Lebensraum" to house and feed the people, the one that produces more young soldiers will be the one that takes that resource from the other.

If, again, you and the many who dislike oppressive religion can count, consider the static population currently reproduced by the non-militant religion in Western Europe and contrast it with the rapidly expanding population reproduced by the new Church Militant in Western Europe that is not the least bit hesitant in enforcing strict rules of dogma and practice wherever it can.

Then calculate the projections of where you will be, and the rules that will govern you, in twenty, and for sure in fifty, years' time. I shall not be there, I am happy to say, but most who write here will be. The conditions may not be what you want, but they will be what you have.

In French Canada it used to be called "le revanche du berceau", but those days are now gone. Those berceaux are empty. The new berceaux are occupied by a new and less tolerant tendency.

25th Jul 2006, 07:24
Consider these operations from an economist point of view:

War is such a profitable operation! (for a limited part of population I must agree, but how decisive they are! They control lobbies, are decision makers in governments......

War is popularised in citizens brains, as a necessary procedure to save your nation, your way of life, your assets, your wife, your family, your house.....in fact anything you are related too and cherish so much.

War is supposed to be the best incentive for scientific research, and help making huge progress in industry, which will be later on used for peacefull purpose.

War allows our Great Leaders to avoid sanction for their mistakes by turning populace eyes to a greater nuisance.

.........................While abortion rights are only the legal ways for distressed women to free themselve from a burden they couldn't bear, without much noticeable profit for media tycoons, industry, governments....

I wonder how monstruous the amount of sufferings was, to allow most of civilised nations to authorize women to make their own choice?

25th Jul 2006, 12:57
Without war there would be no peace. Otherwise how would we know what peace is?
War is as normal in human society as any other activity. As a child I fought in many a war with the kids from the other end of the road. The fact that it was fought with sticks and stones and no one really got hurt is beside the point. The wars were about power, access to resources and who was really in charge. It was war in miniature but no less real to the participants. They weren't fun wars. They were scary.
Many people these days perceive war as an aberration or only involving gigantic clashes with huge armies. War is just human conflict.

As long as we have humans we will have war. I am reminded of the episode in the X-Files where Mulder met a genie. Naturally he was granted three wishes. He wished for world peace. It was granted; all the people disappeared. Point made.

25th Jul 2006, 15:06
In the book, Freakanomincs: A Rouge Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, the authors examine the radical drop in violent crime that occured in New York City beginning in 1991. One result of this drop in crime was the FBI citing NYC as the "safest large city in the USA."

They look at things such as policing methods and numbers of police on patrol, types of crimes reported, types of crimes for which people were arrested (these are sometimes wildly different things), and the demographics of the city's population.

The changing demographics of the city in the years leading up to this significant decrease in the number of serious crimes, they say, is very interesting. Apparently there was a steep decline in the rate-of-growth of the age-group and income-group and also racial-group (a delicate topic to be sure), most often cited as those arrested for serious crimes.

After what is truly an interesting (if idyiosyncratic) analysis, they come to the conclusion that one of the causal (not merely correlated) factors in the decrease in crime is that, a quarter century before, mothers of potential males in the demographic group cited as most often arrested gained access to free, tax-payer-supported abortion in New York City.

I haven't a clue if their conclusions are right or not, but it surely is a provocative idea.

The book, by the way, is a fun read, is totally non-technical, and asks such questions as "Why do drug dealers live at home with their mothers?" and "Who steals more at the office, blue-collar or white-collar workers? And why?" There are lots of surprises and some laugh-out-loud moments.

25th Jul 2006, 15:11
I'll let you know if it's a good read, I've just ordered it. Thanks AcroChick.:ok: