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It's a fatal illusion to think this subject ever dies


HawkbitAlpha
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Looks like we now have somebody who's actually interesting to debate!

A couple of nights, I made a response video to a guy that some of you (apparently, from "Sandalscord"?) know as DTH, aka The Man With Nothing To Offer on Youtube. He made his own video on the topic of abortion from a pro-life stance, and I felt it would be a good starting point to make my own entry into making video content. The main problem with it is that I'm absolutely horrible at organizing my thoughts in real time (probably due to some combination of ADHD and autism), and that left behind a lot of room for more arguments to be made... which he did, by leaving a lengthy comment on my response video. I'm gonna be responding to that here. Yes, here, for reasons of... things. I dunno. Where the hell else am I gonna make a long-form, blog-like public post like this?

Before we go on, if you're deep enough into this topic, I'd advise you to stop here and watch DTH's original video, as well as the response, and check out his comment on said response (it's the pinned comment). I go through the whole thing in one take in my response, but let's just make sure we're all on the same page.

 

 


Alright, are you done with that? Are you sure? Are you really sure? Cool, now let's get into the fun part!
 

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Hi, there. Sorry to have made a bad first impression on you the night I had "debated" you, supposedly. I have neither ADHD nor autism, but I am not good at talking about things when either unprepared to do so or when I have no idea wtf I am doing, which is what happened over that night. I was kind of pushed into it, soooooo forgive me for my incoherency.


So we were in the same situation, huh? Amazin'!
 

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I should advise that I address a lot of the arguments that you make in the video, I then say a retort to later on the video. Like, the whole thing about it not being responsible to raise a child if you are having financial turmoils. You believe that I think that having a child is the most responsible thing to do and even during financial turmoil that is of great responsibility. I don't endorse this stance. What I was saying was that it's not a good idea to have children during times of financial turmoil because it's expensive and it's only best to do it in times of secure financial decision making. I agree with that and then you act like I disagree with that and then you skew your response to make it as if Im unwillingly agreeing with that, even though I am agreeing with that. That's the whole point of my argument. It's not a good idea to raise a child in times of financial turmoil and if you try, the burden's on your back. That's why I have no sympathy for that because that's something that people need to take more seriously and a lot do not, specifically a lot of people who have abortions. I must reiterate, it seems like you agree with me on this matter, but you think I don't or not in the way you think that I do. And to add on to you saying "then, don't" to that sort of dealio, there are certain fractions of people that do have children who lack financial security that irresponsibly or maybe out of their own lack of condition have children. You ignore that (but then again I do too, that would've been a good point to bring up). Some people lack financial literacy, self-discipline, and foresight and I think that not only sex education, but promoting financial literacy programs can somewhat alleviate that.


Let's reframe this portion of the response video, and I can explain what I was saying. My original reaction was the following:

"Okay, I'll tell you why [most people don't use the argument that people who get abortions are irresponsible]: because it's not a good argument. So, how do you define what's responsible in this situation? Or do you just assume, based on your opinion, that having a child is the most responsible option? Because, if you ask me, we know that most abortions are because of the parents not having a good [...] financial position, social position, or whatever. I'd argue that it's actually more responsible to not raise a child when you are not in a good position to do so, or you don't think you're ready to, than to just push ahead..."

Underlying this entire section is the assumption that "you", in a hypothetical, are a pregnant woman who's not in a good position in life. Consequently, because you're not in a good position, you want to terminate your pregnancy, so as to not irresponsibly try and push on ahead with raising a child without the resources to do so. Also in this hypothetical situation, we're assuming that abortion is, if not outlawed (since you said early on in the video that you have a sort of paleolibertarian position on it), then considered highly taboo, to the point where getting one is liable to ruin you socially. If you get an unwanted pregnancy in this situation, and you're not in a good financial position, then you're kinda fucked in more ways than one by way of having no clear out.

Now, of course, the usual response to this is to say that you shouldn't get pregnant at all if this is the case. The problem with this prescription is the same one that we run into with other issues like police discrimination: while it makes sense to prescribe individual solutions to individuals, on their own, they're not an adequate answer to issues of public policy. Telling black kids to not commit crimes doesn't seriously impact their disproportionate crime rate, and in the same vein, telling people to not have unprotected sex doesn't significantly prevent that either. There have to be more measures taken, sex ed among them (we agree on that), and as a last resort, abortion should also remain on the table for the betterment of society at large.

(Funny enough, I'm also somewhat anti-abortion myself on a personal level, but I don't think it's my place to judge others for having them - again, personal level.)
 

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Plus, I never really said I was against sex education and/or contraceptives (I always carry 6 condoms with me just in case, my guy). Those are good things, but the purpose of my video was not to talk about that, it was mainly to address pro-abortion arguments. I never make a mention of taking the stance of defunding planned parenthood either. I just think that abortions are not really a procedure that should be warranted. I am not a "conservative" persay in the sense that I think in relation to the mainstream Republican agenda and on that note that is one of the things I don't really necessarily agree with the full approach of that matter of banning sex education and defunding PP (conservatives think we should abstain from sex altogether until marriage, but not having knowledge of sex kinda fucks you over, but lol the interwebs kinda takes care of that for you, sadly), although I do think that the way in which we teach sex and/or sexuality in schools is a little skewed within this sort of rise of political agendas behind the LGBTQ+ community rather than reproduction itself and how to protect/abstain from sex. That should be fixed.

Whenever I have an argument like this, all I can really do without knowing more about the person I'm arguing with is extrapolate their likely beliefs from what they say. You might be the first anti-abortion person that I've ever seen actually be in favor of some of the things that would reduce them, so nice! (Worth noting: I live in a painfully evangelical place known as Mississippi, where, for example, we get shit like this for sex ed, if it's present in school at all.)

I could object to that last part about sex ed, but that's a completely different topic that I'm not gonna bother getting into here. Pretty sure that was what our first "debate" was about, actually.
 

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In terms of the abortion/rape argument, it does kind of kill the pro-life argument because that surrounds itself around the moral/ethical justifications of it. So, then pro-lifers backtrack themselves.

It's not a particularly effective argument killer then, because I don't think I've ever seen an abortion debate where bringing up rape cases has ended it. Usually, pro-lifers will (as you did) point out how rare those are, and then continue with other points. I don't use this argument myself, anyway; cases of medical necessity are better for the point of establishing that abortion isn't an intrinsically evil act.
 

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Also, you mention the overburdening of the adoption system and to this I say that reform is needed in variants. My father has occassionally worked in foster homes and whatnot and the conditions are pretty terrible, I agree with that. This all rolls back to an even bigger argument, that I think that more government funding should be allocated to those locations rather than our high military budget or other such discretionary spendings as part of the federal budget. Why give international aid to Israel ($38 billion alone to their military) when we can use that fix things like the adoption system. You sort of subside yourself in the approach that it can't be fixed and it's a high burden and I disagree, although lots of leadership changes and government changes at its core and foundation should be revitalized in order for something like that to occur. I have unfounded optimism that when there's a will, there's a way and if we can improve the adoption system then maybe resorting to aborting the child will not be the best course of action in the future.

There's two big problems with this.

First, these aren't mutually-exclusive positions. It's entirely reasonable to simultaneously believe that: A) abortion should be kept on the table (see this again for an idea of what happens when it isn't), B) we should be redistributing the laughable amount of waste in our federal budget to other things, and C) foster care services should be among those things (as well as Medicare for A-*cough* I mean, death panels healthcare, infrastructure/green energy, etc).

Also, I couldn't find any numbers on what improving foster care would look like funding-wise, but I'll say this: if we spend $5bil on foster care at the moment, that could maybe be reduced slightly by policy changes within the system, but even if we were to guess that it could be reduced by 20% down to $4bil, the 7.5x increase in the size of the foster care system that would result from ending abortions (114,000862,000) would require us to give $30bil to the system, almost as much as you bring up with regards to Israel. Now, bear in mind, that's assuming that improving the system would reduce the cost; if they went up, they would most likely exceed that $38bil. Also, this isn't even taking into account the fact that it's unlikely that more potential adoptive parents would proportionally pop up, which is a problem of its own.

Alright, now my head hurts a little bit from that. Let's get this thread done soon.

Second, keeping in mind the fact that individual prescriptions aren't solutions to large societal problems, this also isn't taking into account how little the idea even factors into mothers' decision-making:

  • "Most women who received abortions were aware of but uninterested in adoption. A minority of women denied abortions (n = 231; 14%) were considering adoption at 1 week after denial. Of participants who gave birth (n = 161), most (91%) chose parenting. [...] Among women motivated to avoid parenthood, as evidenced by abortion seeking, adoption is considered or chosen infrequently. Political promotion of adoption as an alternative to abortion is likely not grounded in the reality of women's decision making."
  • "Findings suggest that the anti-abortion framing of adoption as a preferable alternative to abortion is inconsistent with birth mothers' pregnancy decision-making experiences and their feelings about adoption. Reducing social barriers to both abortion and parenting will ensure that adoption is situated as a true reproductive choice."

 

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On another note, back up your stats on the "healthy white girl" stat. I find that to be a bit fallacious, considering that most adopted children I've seen are African, not to stereotype, but I dont think everyone wants an Annie.

This was a cross-reference of a couple of different statistics. It's a galaxy-sized pain in the ass to find the numbers again on health/disabilities in particular, because when it comes to adoption stats, they all fall under a broader "special needs" category alongside (IIRC) children of color, siblings, and those over 16. The second half, though, is easily demonstrable through studies. In that 114,000 number I cited earlier (of children waiting for adoption), "males outnumber females, African American children are disproportionately represented, and over half are 6 years old or older." And here: "We show that adoptive parents exhibit significant biases in favor of girls and against African-American babies. A non-African-American baby relinquished for adoption attracts the interest of potential adoptive parents with probability 11.5% if it is a girl and 7.9% if it is a boy. As for race, a non-African-American baby has a probability of attracting the interest of an adopting parent at least seven times as high as the corresponding probability for an African-American baby."
 

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CONTEXT: "Say that you're driving drunk, and you crash into somebody, you almost kill them. You're both in the same hospital together. You wake up, and you find that the hospital's hooked you up to the person you injured. They say you've got the same blood type, so they're transfusing your blood to them. Now, in this situation, it's your fault that that person is in as bad a shape as they are. But should it be the state's responsibility to decide whether or not you commit your bodily resources to that person? They do not have that right."

As for (god lots of transition words Im using here) your hypothetical at the end, the hospital and the state are not equivalent to each other and I don't see abortion as a matter of the state deciding your bodily autonomy. Abortion is not a constitutional right, it is a medical procedure and whether or not said medical procedure is ethical or should be done on a person is up to legislation. That's why shit like euthnasia's illegal. It's not a right to your bodily autonomy, it's not really a good medical procedure because of the effects of it. It's protection that is vital, especially when it comes to protecting your body as well as the child inside your body from abortion.

This is side-stepping the point of the hypothetical. Even if we say that the state and the medical system are separate, the question then becomes "should a hospital be responsible for deciding whether or not you commit your bodily resources to another person?" The principle of the question isn't changed in that situation.

The greatest right that we have as individuals is our bodily autonomy, so while abortion may not itself be a right, our bodily autonomy is. You have to commit a crime (or, well, be committed) to have it taken from you. Even after you've committed a crime, you have, at least on paper, a great deal of rights when it comes to that. The reason why the situation in my hypothetical is unheard of is because the state unconditionally recognizes that right. If, in that scenario, you killed the other person, you could be sued, or punished in a number of different ways, but still can't be forced to commit your bodily resources to the livelihood of the other person.

You shifted away from the philosophical angle of the hypothetical to a legal one for a rebuttal, which, again, is missing the point of the thought experiment. Hell, I even said early in the video that the legal language that abortion currently rests on is weak, so it's not like the "not a constitutional right" part was ever really in play.

Oh, and this is all talking about a grown person, not a fetus. When you combine this with the debate of applying personhood to a fetus, you get into some truly absurd philosophical territory.
 

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CONTEXT: "There's a very easy way of proving that a fetus is not equivalent to a human life. You wanna know how I can prove that? Imagine, for a second, that... I'm holding in my hands... in my left hand, a fetus, and right hand, a 3-year-old boy, hanging both of them off a cliff, and I make you decide which one I drop. Are you gonna pick the fetus, or the 3-year-old?"

So right into your last hypothetical, the only reason why you would throw down the fetus is only really because it's dead. The fetus is the early phase of a human being in the process of life and it needs to be sustained through nutrients from the umblicial cord. Without that, it's fucking dead. There's no laws against throwing dead bodies down a cliff, so meh.

Again, this is missing the point. We're assuming, in that scenario, that the fetus is, somehow, still alive. I thought this was obvious, but... ahhhh, well, when have I ever been good at making things obvious?
 

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I think you make a lot of presumptions about my beliefs in this video based on the groundwork of other people's beliefs and I think that when responding to a video, you should take into account that person and only that person's arguments and not any other. Otherwise, decent video.

Probably. As I said before, all I can do with an unfamiliar opponent is extrapolate from what they say.



Alright. This took 5 hours to write. I'm gonna go do something else now. Maybe listen to some Gary Clark Jr. or something.
 

 

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