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« Archaeology & the Bible | Main | The Shack-My Review »

February 04, 2009



As was stated in many of the comments to Brett's thoughts on the Catholicvote commercial, the purpose of the commercial is not to imply that human life only has value if it ends up being "useful" or "important" or "presidential", but to offer another reason to hold the Pro-life position. I agree that it is incomplete, but it is something, and something that also uses the Pro-abortionist's rhetorical tools against them!

The "Abortion stops a beating heart" slogan is also not intended to imply that abortion is morally permissible if it does not stop a beating heart, but to help people make the connection between identifying a fetus with "human-ness". Many of those who are Pro-abortion don't actually realize what actually happens in an abortion. They simply don't make the connection. This is evidenced by some of the signs I saw at the Walk For Life in San Francisco on 1/24 that said things like "It's not a person it's a fetus". They are clearly confused about "what" a fetus is. A slogan such as "Abortion stops a beating heart" can help them make the connection. True, it does not say everything it could about an unborn human person's intrinsic dignity, but can still be effective in getting the confused to rethink their Pro-abortion stance.

I think this is similar to when a theist trying to "move" an agnostic uses Pascal's Wager to get the agnostic to re-think their position (or lack thereof). Pascal's Wager doesn't speak to the real reasons for a living relationship with God, but can still be rhetorically effective.

In short, I think there is rhetorical value in such slogans and arguments, even if they do not say everything we would like to say.

I showed the commercial to a pro-abortion person. As far as the the value of the unborn whether intrinsic or instrumental was something that never occured to them, all this person saw was that the baby was wanted by the mother, but if the baby wasn`t wanted abortion would still have been the way to go. That is all this person saw!

I think the insturmental aspect can actualy come in handy as I have used this in a particular context. A friend was once lameting how in a war who knows how many Einstiens or presidents are wasted. I have used this same argument with respect to abortion and it did have an effect. He had nevr looked at abortion that way but instantly saw the parallel. So I think there is a place for this type of argument. Now we should make sure this isn't the ONLY argument but it does make a great springboard to the intrinsic argument.

Boil it down to this: Obama is a grown up fetus. If people walk away with that knowledge burned into their brains, we advance.

That said, I probably would not use this video in a serious debate. It seems to ascribe more worth to successful people. The opposition will then just judo flip the argument by observing how we can cut the crime rate by eliminating births among at-risk groups.

The point needs to be simple and clear: Obama is a grown-up fetus, just like you, me, and Ted Kennedy. That said, we have no business killing any fetus.

Anyone seen the movie "Juno"? Not to ruin the plot, but the girl (protagonist) decides not to have an abortion because a protester outside the abortion clinic yells: "your baby has fingernails!" That is obviously a ridiculous statement, logically speaking. But it worked in that case (even though it obviously was in a fictitious story) because the girl decides against the abortion.

The statement "your baby has fingernails!" doesn't, in my mind, imply that persons without fingernails are not worthy of life.

I don't see how the conclusion of the Obama video is "people who don't grow up to become president aren't worthy of protection", but that's just me I guess...

You know what, someone mentioned something rather crucial. Its easy to forget how little thought has been given to abortion by LOTS of people. And a commerical such as the Catholic Vote one can be very persuasive to the shallow minded individual, which is alot more prevaliant than it should be in our culture. In that light, this video serves its purpose. I suppose you could say its directed at a specific audience, and you know what, thats good enough.

Mark, I like that idea. We should make a bumper sticker "I'm a grown up fetus (or embryo)! Are you?" ;)

"Grown up fetus" is a contradiction in terms like "married bachelor," so we can't use that. It would be very unSTRish of us.

Scott: how would you change the video to give it "intellectual credibility" while at the same time using the power and momentum of the Obama-love that our nation is feeling (i.e. an "emotionally powerful message")? Or do you think seizing on that irrational sensation of the public is something we shouldn't do at all? If a public is behaving and thinking irrationally, how do we reach them?

Jesse and Sam - That gave me a good chuckle. I do like this slogan on T-shirts worn by kids: "I'm glad my mom chose life." And aren't we all?

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