Wednesday, February 12, 2014

“Pro-choicers”: here’s why you cannot support abortion while opposing puppy murder

Matt Walsh writes:
One of the advantages of being pro-life is that I get to be upset about things like this.
Social media is on fire this week with the story of an Idaho police officer who shot and killed a man’s service dog — during his son’s birthday party, no less. Apparently, the cop showed up at the house after neighbors complained about unleashed dogs roaming about.
Officer Hassani, by my count, made the decision to execute the pup within 35 seconds of arriving on the scene. He claims the dog “lunged” at him, but no such lunging can be seen on the dashcam video.
What we do know is this:
Officer Friendly made no attempt to subdue the dog using non-lethal methods. He just kicked it and then, a few seconds later, put it down. Apologists will quickly note that the owner is at fault for failing to restrain his animals. They’ll also make the rather unnecessary observation that “we weren’t there,” so we can’t “really know what happened.”
Fine. But cops seem to be gunning down dogs on a whim these days. A few months ago a wolf dog was shot while safely contained in his owner’s fenced backyard. A police officer happened to run through the property in pursuit of an unrelated suspect. The dog reacted like dogs often react when you trespass into its territory, and the police officer responded by firing at it.
Again, no attempt to use anything less than fatal firepower against the helpless, unfortunate thing.
These sorts of incidents leave people wondering whether it’s really necessary, proper, or just to give police carte blanche to euthanize our household pets.
Postal workers tend to encounter their fair share of hostile animals, yet they aren’t authorized to go all Terminator just because Sparky growls at them.
In any case, the popular outrage over cop-on-dog violence has reached a fevered pitch, which brings us to the point. Wherever you stand on these acts of alleged or actual ”animal cruelty,” one thing is for certain:
You cannot be upset about the killing of animals if you are not firmly disgusted by the murder of innocent human life.
Well, you can, but not with any sense of reason or coherence. You cannot, as a sane adult, find animal killing to be morally offensive but abortion to be morally neutral. Oh, I love this game. How about, you cannot, as a sane adult, find abortion morally offensive, but war to be morally neutral.
Sure, many of the folks infuriated by the dog shootings (I’m one of them) might also be firmly against the extermination of unborn humans. But, statistically, a good portion of the anti-animal abuse crusaders are likely not – when it comes to homo sapiens – pro-life.
That’s probably why, in any particular 24 hour span, you’re more likely to see media reports about tragic canine killings than the tragic homicide of the over 100 thousand babies that were aborted worldwide — that day. To be fair, you're talking about our media. We're more likely to see reports about tragic canine killings than, say, the victims of drone strikes.
That’s right: in the last 30 years, well over a billion babies have been slaughtered across the globe. A billion. Interesting fact I came across when studying human reproductive ecology: at least 80% of all pregnancies are  naturally aborted by the human body. So it seems like are own bodies and nature itself are the real killing machines here. And if a fetus was equivalent to a baby, and the death of a fetus was so utterly deplorable, why would God set things up so that most of them died? These are real questions to consider here.
There is something deeply, deeply confused and disordered about a society that gets more worked up about a dead mutt than a billion murdered kids. And there is nothing disordered about a subculture that gets more worked up about aborted fetuses than starving children (look up those numbers, by the way).
This is a symptom of a culture that has lost both its soul and its mind.
In the days of slavery, a horse was granted a higher legal status than an African slave. Abortion has returned us to a similar dynamic, only we haven’t dehumanized a race or ethnicity – we’ve dehumanized an entire stage of life. You are comparing abortion to slavery? Really? Tell that to all of the enslaved women who aborted their babies because they thought the horrors of slavery were much worse than simply dying.
So, rather than shake my head over this sorry state of affairs, I’m going to attempt to explain why one cannot reasonably take a position of pro-animal rights AND pro-”choice.” Ok, and I will use your same arguments to attempt to explain why one cannot reasonably take a position of pro-life and pro-war/pro-capital punishment.
It’s really very simple. The whole issue comes down to a question of intrinsic value.
Herein lies the disconnect. “Pro-choicers” will argue their case by tossing out a parade of “what ifs” and “what about whens.” They bring up rape and incest. They talk about extraordinarily rare “life of the mother” situations. They betray one of the soundest logical rules of all time: you don’t argue principles based on hard cases. No, Matt. It's called "your principles don't exist in a vacuum." It is necessary to apply your principles to the reality that exists, including the hard cases. For example, if your principle is, say, maximizing the common good, you might consider whether prohibition of abortion in all circumstances furthers or hinders that goal. But they do this because they don’t understand — or are unwilling to understand — the actual argument that the other side is making. Says the one who never seems to understand the actual argument the other side is making.
As to that argument, we here on the other side have taken the position that human life — at every stage of development, no matter how vulnerable or small or hidden from view —possesses an intrinsic value. That is to say, human life bears a certain significance that, by definition, cannot be hinged on circumstance. This is what I find interesting (no, really, interesting) about the "all human life has value" argument. You are characterizing the importance of life with a term that has its origins in markets, money, debt, and slavery. Generally, when something is beyond the profane realm of money and commodities, we say it is invaluable. To argue that human life is important because it has inherent value is to rhetorically commodify life. "Value" is always accompanied by the questions, for whom? for what purpose?
So what would it look like if we stopped explaining our attitude toward life by attributing to it a property - a property that is inextricably associated with money? Maybe we could think more about what life is, and how lives are intertwined?
If human life has an intrinsic value, then it must possess that value in all situations and through all stages, otherwise the value is not intrinsic — it is earned, acquired, and conditional.
We pro-lifers do not believe that the value of human life rests on its condition or its external setting. We believe this BECAUSE we believe it to be intrinsically valuable. This is not just essential to the abortion question; it might be said that all of Western moral and legal thought hinges on this very notion. Ok, so if I were to say, let's get rid of capital punishment, because all human life, without condition, has value. You would say?
If I were to say, let's stop wars, because human life, regardless of external circumstances, has intrinsic value. You would say?
Intrinsic: belonging to a thing by its very nature.
This is why we oppose abortion. It destroys innocent human life.
Simple. Logical. Consistent.  Once again, I will determine whether it is consistent when you answer my questions about war and capital punishment.
“But what about when…”
But nothing. These buts do not negate the value of the life in question.
You can throw out the rarest, most tragic, most gut wrenching scenarios you like and it will not change the answer because it does not change the question.
Again, the question: does human life have intrinsic value?
Our answer is “yes,” and so it must always be yes.
In the face of this, the “pro-choicers” have only a few arguments available to them:
**Note: mindless phrases such as “I don’t want the government in my womb!” and “Don’t like abortion? Don’t get one” do not constitute “arguments.” They are assertions; clichéd, overused, absurd assertions at that.** 
-They can consent that abortion is morally wrong, but argue that it ought to be legal anyway. But then we must ask them why they think it’s wrong. If the unborn human is not human, or if it is human yet has no value, then there is nothing at all wrong with terminating it. So if they are calling it “wrong,” then they must be agreeing that the unborn human is human and it has value. But if a human has value — value enough that destroying it at an early stage would be ”wrong” – then the value must be intrinsic, which means this human has the same value as any other human, which means abortion is murder in the same way that it would be murder for me to come to your home and shoot you in the doorway. Therefore, the pro-choicer who calls abortion wrong yet argues for its legalization has knowingly argued for the legalization of murder. Therefore, he is either a radical anarchist or a hypocrite, and cannot be taken seriously in a conversation of this sort. If a person thinks abortion is morally wrong, that does not necessarily mean they think it is equivalent to murdering adults. They may, furthermore, have reasons for thinking it should be legal. Like people can be morally opposed to pre-marital sex, but still think it should be legal.
-They can argue that the unborn child is not human. But if it is not human then it must either be: 1) nothing or 2) inanimate matter or 3) an extension of the mother’s body or 4) some other species. Or none of the above. Now, we know that it is something, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion. We know that it is not inanimate matter, as the rapid (or gradual) transformation of non-life to life is a scientific impossibility. Why is that a scientific impossibility, Matt? Looks like we have more unsupported assertions. Actually, it is apparent that the transition from life to non-life (i.e. death) is a gradual process, and the legal definition of "death" has been determined by considerations of when it is most convenient to take the organs, etc. There is ample reason to believe that the transition from non-life to life is just as gradual. But I guess your black-and-white mind can't handle such complexity.  We know that it is not an extension of the mother’s body, as we are all humans, not mythological beasts, so we do not possess the capability to sprout limbs which have their own DNA and genetic makeup. We also know that it is not some other species, because that’s just insane. Right. But I have also been following the ways that you define "human" - and fetuses just don't fit those characteristics. Everything you say sets humans apart from other animals does not apply to fetuses. The only thing that might set fetuses apart from non-human animals is that "intrinsic value" - except that you determined fetuses have intrinsic value because they are human, so that would be circular reasoning. Besides, since you did get upset about the dog shooting, obviously you don't really see "intrinsic value" as a clear black-and-white distinction between human and non-human anyway.  Therefore, the “pro-choicers” in this argument have posited something that is provably, demonstrably, violently, loudly, obnoxiously false. Sorry, nope.
-They can argue that the child is human but it does not possess the same value as born humans. But this carries with it the horrible implication that the dignity and value of human life is acquired, developed, and conditional. Now they have turned human beings into stock market commodities. Our worth fluctuates with market demands. And, if our life is tied to our development, then what about humans that are born underdeveloped? What about humans with birth defects, genetic abnormalities, and brain damage? The “pro-choicer” may wish to hide from the obvious and unavoidable consequences of her own ideology, but that does not change the fact that disabled and “defected” humans ARE less valuable IF our value hinges on our physical development. And at what point in the acquisition of value do we reach our peak? 18? 27? 32? And, because we’ve turned human value into a subjective and conditional matter, who are we to argue against the despots and tyrants of history who’ve slaughtered millions using the logic that their victims are “less human” than the favored class? Further, if our value suffers in proportion to our reliance on another human (our mother) for survival, then it stands to reason that newborns and the elderly are just as, or at least almost as, expendable as unborn humans. Therefore, the “pro-choicer” in this category either doesn’t understand what they are saying, or they have explicitly aligned themselves with the insidious philosophy that has fueled every genocide and man-caused mass travesty since the beginning of time. Arguing morals with them is a fool’s errand, as they possess the moral compass of lunatics and mass murderers.  People who disagree with me either don't understand what they're saying, or they are nazis. Therefore it is not worth listening to them.
-So, if the “pro-choicer” is not confused, or a hypocrite, or an anarchist, or a sympathizer of tyrants, or a semi-illiterate with zero understanding of basic scientific laws (that would be you, Matt), then only one argument is left for him: he can argue that human life has no objective value at all, at any stage. But if human life – the highest form of life in the known universe – has no value, then life in general must have no value. Right. Maybe we can come up with a new paradigm for understanding, venerating, and protecting life. One that doesn't treat life in the same way that one determines the market price of a sweater. One that acknowledges the complexity of life and its interrelationships.
Therefore, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the murder of dogs, even at their fuzzy puppy stage.
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(Leaving open the possibility that the value of life is tied to cuteness and cuddliness, but this would make babies the most valuable humans of all, so the pro-aborts still lose. It would also mean open season on poodles.)
There you have it, “pro-choicers.” You are either for abortion or against puppy killing. You cannot be both. Ok Matt. And YOU must be a pacifist if you are pro-life. You can't be both pro-life and pro-war.

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