Author Topic: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong  (Read 5132 times)

PoFP

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2017, 03:41:12 pm »
You seem to be missing many of my points.

First of all, the thought leaders you dismiss as irrelevant or meaningless are the sources of the slogans slung back and forth at dinner tables. People who engage in this debate draw their conclusions by the shorthand of "Person X believes this way, and I like person X, so therefore I believe this way." They are not active participants in the formation of their own beliefs. They did not arrive at the conclusion that abortion is wrong for any reason other than because they have been conditioned to adopt that conclusion by some external force. The people who have something to say about it at the dinner table are, nearly invariable, just spitting out what they heard on Fox News or at church last Sunday.

In order to change such minds, it is pointless to rely on a competing ideology on the opposite side of the debate. You will not convince someone who believes fetuses are babies that fetuses are not actually babies no matter how airtight your argument is. Because every ironclad dogmatic religious pillar of identity includes a trigger to protect against undermining it, every attempt to directly confront the religious proclamation that "Fetuses are children" will not only fail, but it will have the ultimate effect of strengthening that proclamation in the mind of its believer. Besides, trying to argue a moral point -- even if you see it as a scientific one, they see it as a moral one -- against someone self-assured of their own moral righteousness is utterly futile.

The way past this argument is not through insisting that they draw a distinction between baby and fetus. Like I said: they're not going to. They just aren't. Drop it. Give up. That way lies madness, etc.

The way forward is in bringing their attention to the fact that if you want to actually decrease abortion, rather than just whinging about it forever while it goes on all the same whether legal or illegal, then put your investment in effective sex education, ubiquitously available birth control for everyone, and set serious penalties for rape - both social and criminal.

This line of reasoning has the benefit of removing the opponent's insistence on the stupid "crime and punishment" approach to abortion AND removing your own need to alter your opponent's moral framework. Let them go on believing that fetuses are babies. Let them think abortion is some kind of abomination before God. Who cares what they think? The point is they're no longer out for the blood of people who end up needing abortions for whatever reason, and as much as they might hate and spit and curse, they lose their momentum toward prohibition.

I'll secede that point. You got me there.

Re: "They are not active... last sunday.":

I think you're lumping different types of people together that should not be equated.

Again, you are right. People like this do exist, and they may make up a large portion of the population of anti-abortion people (Anti-abortionists? Non-stoppists? Go-ists?). But there is a large portion of people that would normally be swayed immediately by at least a valid argument against "Ur killing babiz." Not only that, but it doesn't hurt the view of the left if you have a valid counter-argument that doesn't ignore their argument.

You're also still acting like the immediate assumption by a non-scientific individual that abortion is the killing of babies is absurd and can only be made by someone who was brainwashed by the right-wingers. Being lazily introduced to the debate does not qualify as brainwashing.

Re: "In order to change such minds... lies madness, etc.":

Thankfully I'm not trying to change such minds. I'm trying to win over the people that the left would normally get with a simple argument. I'm not talking about extreme conservatives, I'm talking about moderates that come from moderate religious households. Forget the science of my post. It's not relevant at this point. My point is, every abortion debate I've ever seen ignored the one fact that makes abortion okay and a women's right's issue. And yet, women's rights is the main argument made every single time. You can't kill babies just because you're a woman. Yet, that is exactly how every single person who's pro abortion defends it. It's a bullshit first-response argument.

And before I continue, let me make this clear: I want to redirect the conversations of the people I'm around on a daily basis with the above post, not convince you guys, specifically, that this is the only solution to the bigger problem. However, I highly value all of your input. This is why I presented this here, before Facebook.

Re: The rest:

I completely agree with you here. This is very likely the best option when fighting the entire anti-abortion movement. Probably better than any argument alteration. However, I did not intend for the OP to be a catch-all solution for the entire problem. It was intended to be a contribution to victory, much less a method for victory.

If we're going to win, we need to re-evaluate the way we, as progressives, develop our arguments. I'm not even necessarily saying that we have to make sure our arguments are air-tight, or even fully correct. But our arguments need to be palatable to the most people they can be. And we have to actually have an argument. Otherwise, they are the only ones getting any air-time or getting their word out.

If my point in my post was "Let's improve our argument for abortion" and your argument is "There is no point in presenting an argument," then I have to disagree with you there. Non-arguments or no argument whatsoever is not better than an argument you know won't change everyone's mind.
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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2017, 03:50:12 pm »
I think there's also an element here, where the definition of "life" may differ between the two parties.  You may be talking about biology, but the pro-life camp often takes the viewpoint that an irreducible "soul" exists, and becomes a part of the baby/fetus/blastocyst at some point.

So, even if you try to make the argument that a fetus is biologically 'part of the mother' up until a certain number of weeks, you can't scientifically approach the concept of a "soul" and when it does or does not inhabit a fetus.

Essentially, it seems like you've jumped to stage two of an argument without addressing stage 1: Setting the parameters and definitions of the debate.  Your solution sounds fine, as soon as your opponent agrees that pure atheistic biology is the context of the argument.

In fact, one could posit that the entire debate vanishes as soon as that's agreed upon, regardless of how clever your position is.

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2017, 04:39:35 pm »
And, for FoFP, I offer this hypothetical example:

READY

10 PRINT "Abortion is murder."

20 PRINT "All abortion?"

30 PRINT "Yes.  Because life begins at conception."

40 PRINT "Ah!  But [scientific jargon], so the fetus should be considered a part of the mother's body until X weeks of pregnancy."

50 PRINT "No."

60 GOTO 40

Better than the following:

READY

10 PRINT "Abortion is murder."

20 PRINT "All abortion?"

30 PRINT "Yes.  Because life begins at conception."

40 PRINT *Says nothing*

50 PRINT "So, I win..."

60 PRINT *Observers see this and are convinced that they did win.*

or

READY

10 PRINT "Abortion is murder."

20 PRINT "All abortion?"

30 PRINT "Yes.  Because life begins at conception."

40 PRINT "I brought'em into this world, I can take'em out."

50 PRINT "That's a non-argument, so I win..."

60 PRINT *Observers see this and are convinced that they did win.*

I think there's also an element here, where the definition of "life" may differ between the two parties.  You may be talking about biology, but the pro-life camp often takes the viewpoint that an irreducible "soul" exists, and becomes a part of the baby/fetus/blastocyst at some point.

So, even if you try to make the argument that a fetus is biologically 'part of the mother' up until a certain number of weeks, you can't scientifically approach the concept of a "soul" and when it does or does not inhabit a fetus.

Essentially, it seems like you've jumped to stage two of an argument without addressing stage 1: Setting the parameters and definitions of the debate.  Your solution sounds fine, as soon as your opponent agrees that pure atheistic biology is the context of the argument.

In fact, one could posit that the entire debate vanishes as soon as that's agreed upon, regardless of how clever your position is.

Good point. And that's why I mentioned the potential theological basis of autocatalysis. I know of several religious people that I could convey that argument to as something that is pro-religion, and they'd buy it. They believe in magic, for fuck's sake. All we need to do is sell them magic that sounds better. The bible doesn't say life begins at conception, nor does it say autocatalysis is or isn't the basis of life. Therefore, all of it is up for grabs. Assuming you can make the idea sound better than their previous interpretation of the biology, of course.

If we get a religious icon to sell our kind of magic without them knowing it, we can start making some progress in terms of argument logic.
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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2017, 04:49:08 pm »
Quote
The bible doesn't say life begins at conception

Psalm 139:13, if that matters.

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2017, 04:49:30 pm »
[Maybe a bit of a tangent...]

I think the right psychic-kung-fu stance is to try to understand their position, the way they see it, then feel it out for weak points.

If you want to feel what it's like in the pro-life space, visualize this:

Imagine that you live in a world where it's legal to kill a child at any point before their first word. They're not really considered independent people until they can talk.

This is obviously murder, right? But nobody else seems to think so. If you try to explain that a 6-month old baby is a person, people are like "It can't even fuckin' talk! You hate women."



Quote
The way forward is in bringing their attention to the fact that if you want to actually decrease abortion, rather than just whinging about it forever while it goes on all the same whether legal or illegal, then put your investment in effective sex education, ubiquitously available birth control for everyone, and set serious penalties for rape - both social and criminal.

yeah I think this is the right jujutsu

isn't it funny how these same spags always go "Gun regulations don't actually stop criminals, so why do we need regulations?" - but abortion laws, totally different animal, right?

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2017, 05:04:30 pm »
Yeah, I've also seen the argument life does not mean conciousness or things like a developing fetus is a developing conciousness: A grey prelife state. It's seen as the compassionate option, that saying "it is the mothers choice" is somehow cruel to the unborn. Ireland is the only country in Europe where Abortion is completely illegal, which the 8th Amendment enshrines the rights of the unborn.
Even my mother who is fairly liberal on most issues believes abortion after the first two weeks is murder.

The 8th has resulted in the death of at least two women in the last few years because of complications where there was a risk to their lives and they requested the abortion and were denied.

The Hypocrisy is that the state does not offer these children the same opportunities to others nor have a mechanism in place for proper adoption for unwanted children forced to term by mothers who don't want them. A case from a couple of years ago that was exceptionally grim was a rape case where a 15 year old was denied the right to abortion, she carried the child to term but insisted she never wants to see it. The child is still in state care, it has been two years. The compassionate option my ass.

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2017, 05:26:17 pm »
[Maybe a bit of a tangent...]

I think the right psychic-kung-fu stance is to try to understand their position, the way they see it, then feel it out for weak points.

If you want to feel what it's like in the pro-life space, visualize this:

Imagine that you live in a world where it's legal to kill a child at any point before their first word. They're not really considered independent people until they can talk.

This is obviously murder, right? But nobody else seems to think so. If you try to explain that a 6-month old baby is a person, people are like "It can't even fuckin' talk! You hate women."

This is essentially the exact point that spurred on my original thoughts about this. These people think that people are killing mass numbers of babies. And that would be very fucking important to be upset about, if it were true. And that's why I didn't understand why the usual response to that was so casual and irrelevant to what they're actually saying. From their perspective, we are literally psychopaths. People die because of this assumption, and as progressives, we blow it off.

There's been all kinds of anti-abortion violence for more than decades. And our response always amounts to "J'ai une vagoo, what about you?"

And then I don't like that progressives like to turn around and make the same blanket assumptions about them, claiming that they are all inherently, purposefully sexist, and want nothing more than for Christianity to rule the world. They want the same shit we do. Including the reduction of abortions. Hence Vex's point.
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PoFP

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2017, 05:55:45 pm »
Quote
The bible doesn't say life begins at conception

Psalm 139:13, if that matters.

 :um:

Well, that's not exactly...

Okay, let me put it like this:

That's not specific enough to completely rule out twisting that into being something useful. Thankfully the bible was written in vague enough analogies to be interpreted literally in different ways. I mean, I could twist "knit me together in my mother’s womb" into autocatalysis.

And I would if I wasn't at work.



Also, I generally can only respond at work because I don't have a computer or phone. Sorry if that means late responses.
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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2017, 05:57:59 pm »
But do you really think that telling someone about a neat fact of biology is going to change their stance?

I mean, they didn't ask for scientific evidence when they drew their initial conclusion, so why would that sway them after they've come to their decision?

And if it's true that the decision is ultimately one about morality, starting by accepting their moral POV cripples whatever counter argument you're trying to make.

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2017, 06:04:42 pm »
*snip
our response always amounts to "J'ai une vagoo, what about you?"

And then I don't like that progressives like to turn around and make the same blanket assumptions about them

See my stance is rarely ever "us and them", per se. I make every possible effort to avoid having an "us" if at all possible. I see most liberals and/or progressives as dumbfuck assholes the exact same way I see most conservatives or right wingers as dumbfuck assholes. The question of which brand of retarded bullshit going on in their heads doesn't really matter since, historically speaking, right or left anything will very quickly round up subset - B and exterminate them if given half a chance.

It's most pro or anti abortionists that give either side a bad name, same as it's most anybody who's pro or anti anything that paints that cause in a bad light. You wanna pick a side and argue for that? Fine, just remember that you have now just joined all the retards that the dude you're trying to get through to has had it up to here with. Oh and that dude? He's probably a retard too and will refute your every statement with with the most retarded crock of shit you can imagine.

If it's anyone you have a chance of getting through to, they'll either be reasonably smart and usually somewhere near the fence and you'll be arguing over smallprint like how many months or else they're a total dumbfuck and you're probably as well just gaslighting shit out of them and leaving them to try and figure it out a bit better.



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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2017, 06:04:57 pm »
Not necessarily lmno, value debate has been happening forever. You just have to show how your value supercedes and/or subsumes their own position. Or,  how their value is better served or maximized by your position.

Unfortunately it's just difficult to top babylivesmatter. Freedom? Something else? It'll have to be something else, maybe something we've yet to conceive.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 06:32:45 pm by MithridatesXXIII »

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2017, 06:21:22 pm »
But do you really think that telling someone about a neat fact of biology is going to change their stance?

I mean, they didn't ask for scientific evidence when they drew their initial conclusion, so why would that sway them after they've come to their decision?

And if it's true that the decision is ultimately one about morality, starting by accepting their moral POV cripples whatever counter argument you're trying to make.

It's not going to change someone's stance. It's going to give someone an incentive for an initial stance if they're new, and not make it look like our side is losing. Which, in itself, can make some people change stances.

Forget the science. We need to be able to say something that's not "Muh women's rights" since that argument is based on the science. Women's rights is a non-argument without the science.

If we're twisting religious text into something that fits our narrative, we're obviously not too hellbent on being correct or logical. We're set to use their fallacies against them. That strategy is just a way to win. As is my point with all of this. We're losing. Hence, Trump. Re-evaluating our strategies is how we win. They play dirty? We play dirty. They play fair? We play better.

We have to beat them on all sides, or we won't win anything.

*snip
our response always amounts to "J'ai une vagoo, what about you?"

And then I don't like that progressives like to turn around and make the same blanket assumptions about them

See my stance is rarely ever "us and them", per se. I make every possible effort to avoid having an "us" if at all possible. I see most liberals and/or progressives as dumbfuck assholes the exact same way I see most conservatives or right wingers as dumbfuck assholes. The question of which brand of retarded bullshit going on in their heads doesn't really matter since, historically speaking, right or left anything will very quickly round up subset - B and exterminate them if given half a chance.

It's most pro or anti abortionists that give either side a bad name, same as it's most anybody who's pro or anti anything that paints that cause in a bad light. You wanna pick a side and argue for that? Fine, just remember that you have now just joined all the retards that the dude you're trying to get through to has had it up to here with. Oh and that dude? He's probably a retard too and will refute your every statement with with the most retarded crock of shit you can imagine.

If it's anyone you have a chance of getting through to, they'll either be reasonably smart and usually somewhere near the fence and you'll be arguing over smallprint like how many months or else they're a total dumbfuck and you're probably as well just gaslighting shit out of them and leaving them to try and figure it out a bit better.

This is a good point. And raises the question: If we do win, how do we distribute power among those who we brought to our side? We certainly won't like everyone who's on our side. I know I don't like liberals who think that abortion is okay, but also believe that fetuses are babies.

And I think the theological misdirection and redirection will count as gaslighting. We're essentially twisting their theological reality into what we want it to be. One that is okay with abortion and the things we consider okay, and leaving out the things we don't think are okay.
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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2017, 06:56:17 pm »
The pro-choice people I know who were raised pro-life were converted by arguments of reducing abortions through education and contraceptive availability, and from there walking back on late term bans (since most late term abortions are non-viable fetuses and/or threatening the life of the mother), and eventually walking back on all abortion access.

Compassion sells, not science.

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2017, 07:01:21 pm »
PoFP, I'm fascinated that you're approaching this from a moral stance, and your apparent solution is an attempt to manipulate and warp a person's religious texts and beliefs and essentially trick them into agreeing with you.

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Re: Autocatalysis, Hammers, and How We're Defending Abortion Wrong
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2017, 07:02:49 pm »
I just see absolutely no value in trying to convince the religious conviction out of someone in order to get them to stop believing anything. The amount of time and effort that goes into doing a thing like that on purpose is so immense and so likely to fail anyway that it's a fool's errand. No amount of biological or cognitive science is going to sway one person, let alone enough people to change the dynamics of the debate.

Maybe the need to do this arises from some weird desire to have everyone on the same page, or in thinking that a lasting truce cannot be built between opposing sides until they agree on some very basic facts that just happen to saw the legs out from under one or the other of them. But it seems to me that it's beyond useless to pursue any such goal. We'll never have a frame of reference common to the two sides that includes the definition of life or the existence of a soul, so it's a waste to even try.

What we can agree on is what to do about the situation we are in right now. Presumably, the anti-choice crusaders want to end abortion. It makes a lot more sense to me to show them how their current tactics are unlikely to succeed in that goal and give them an alternative that can succeed without any need to threaten their religious or moral convictions and also with a long-term understanding that simple prohibition is a failure of an idea no matter how strictly they imagine it can be enforced. They won't like the moral fuzziness of it, but at least it isn't a direct assault on their moral foundation. And the pro-choice side won't like the continued existence of a faction of people who pass moral judgment against a woman's basic bodily autonomy, but at least it's a moral judgment rather than a criminal one.
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