Why Abortion is Beyond Philosophical Debate (by Anthony D'Ambrosio)

8:05 AM Marcellino DAmbrosio 0 Comments

This is the article my brother wrote. He proposed civil war. I agree:

I would like to voice my revolsion for the bringing of the abortion issue into the realm of philosophy. Firstly, for philosophers to say that the debate is theirs makes me despair of ever having revolution to the issue. Philosophy is the most fickle discipline that has ever been put down under that category. There is no consensus among scholars even on the most basic issues, and the undulation in opinions throughout just the last two centuries is fantastic. My concern is thus: Give the question to the philosophers, don’t plan on ever getting it back.

Secondly, I am concerned that the issue is far too grave for the recreation that is philosophical debate. Philosophy has its place—late night discussions in front of the fire place (whiskey in hand), in the sunny streets of Athens, on notes in facebook. What we are doing is fighting over the fates of tens of millions of human lives, and we are far off from leisure island where the best philosophy is done. If we were all speaking purely theoretically, calling into question whether or not a certain section of human beings should be protected by law is fine. It will make for a good chat in later centuries, I am sure. But to say now that issue at hand is “should nacent human life should be protected?” is just a smokescreen. The issue at hand is that 46 million beings have been killed since Roe V. Wade, Planned Parenthood is still going strong, and the jury is still out on whether or not those beings should be under the protection of the law or not.
We should all recognize this situation as drastically absurd. If we as a society were actually dealing with the issue rationally, the obvious thing to do would be to order an immediate cessation of all abortions until it is definitively shown that the law should not protect the life of the unborn child. Imagine a demolition worker coming up to his boss and notifying him that there may or may not be children playing in the building they are about to destroy. If he were to say, “alright, lets blow it up and then debate about the moral implications of my decision later,” we would think him a monster.  You wait to blow the building up until it is proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you aren't killing human beings (or at least not ones who have a right to life).  The burden of proof belongs on the prochoircer’s shoulders.

This brings me to my third objection to the proposition that prolifers must fight on philosophical grounds. Disagreement between the prolifers and prochoicers is not intellectual. It is immensely un-objective and emotional— especially for the prochoice side of the debate because their lifestyles are riding on it. The very notion that the prochoicers have a vested interest in keeping the act legal should make their philosophical conclusions more suspect because they lack objectivity. About a hundred forty years ago our country consumed itself in war over a far less dire human rights issue—namely, slavery— and surprise of surprises, the people whose lifestyles would have been most upset by the ilegalization of slavery not only had elaborate arguments in support of their position, but were great at arguing them.

I do not mean to fall into bulverism, but rather to point out that as a society we have in the past been deceived on a very grand scale by very similar arguments to accommodate what we all agree now was a very monstrous breech of human rights. In 1857 Chief Justice Rodger B. Taney said that blacks were, “so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” Sound familiar? I hope so. What some have regarded as the main philosophical issue between prolife and prochoice parties (i.e. whether we are bound to respect the rights of a nascent human being) is the same sort of argument that pro-slavers used to keep their lifestyles legal.
We should make no mistake, this is not a time for philosophical quandary. That whole pot stinks.  Philosophy isn't an objective discipline even for the professionals, the issue is too urgent, and there is no hope of  an objective hearing. I propose that we should consider very seriously civil war.

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