Sunday, May 20, 2018

A rebuttal of Judith Jarvis Thomson on Abortion


Does the multiverse solve the problem of evil?

I once wrote a paper suggesting that the multiverse solves the problem of evil. So God could have created a better world? He did. Then he created this world and all the worlds worth creating.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I had to take the abortion cartoon down

Because it was messing things up. But instead I want to discuss a statement I made many years ago, that if politics were logical, Democrats would be pro-life and Republicans would be pro-choice.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What do gun control advocates advocate?

A lot of people assume that those who advocate gun control want a blanket ban on guns. Virtually no one is suggesting this. Gun control advocates support assault weapons bans and strengthened background checks. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Deal or no deal?

 OK here's a deal for pro-lifers. Or pro-choicers for that matter. You can defund Planned Parenthood. All you have to do is agree that the federal government will provide all the reproductive health services that PP provided absolutely free of charge to all women with the exception of abortion. Deal or no deal?

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Roe v. Wade again

The argument in Roe v. Wade is that you cannot prove that the fetus has the same rights as those already born, and that moral reasoning leaves the question undecided. This was not only the majority opinion, it was explicitly not challenged in the dissent by Rehnquist, and was never argued by Roe opponents like Scalia. The argument in Roe was that we know a woman has a right to privacy, we don't know whether the fetus has as right to life, therefore the right we know takes precedence over the right that is open to reasonable doubt. Dissenters have only argued that the right to privacy is a made-up right and not really guaranteed in the Constitution, a position that I consider to be very implausible and, what is more, is not a real pro-life argument. Because the Court think there is a case beyond reasonable doubt that women have a right to privacy that extends to reproductive health issues such as birth control and abortion, opponents of abortion need to show beyond reasonable doubt that fetuses have the same right to life as babies. Maybe you think, say, the SLED argument does that, but if so, this would require a completely different, and to my mind, more intellectually honest legal strategy than the one that has been used by so-called pro-life justices from Rehnquist to Gorsuch.

Intellectually Honest Pro-Life Strategy

I think pro-life advocacy is, from a utilitarian perspective, a pretty weak way of saving lives, even fetal lives. Three pro-life Republican Presidents have not saved a single fetus. They cut off funding for Planned Parenthood in one county in Texas and it INCREASED the abortion rate. I do believe in a 24-hour waiting period, and having women view an ultrasound, and then choose. That is both pro-choice and pro-life. The only legal arguments that have ever been presented against Roe v. Wade don't argue that the fetus has a right to life and we can prove it. All they do is try to deny that women have a right to privacy in reproductive matters, allowing abortion to be a matter of democratic choice. But that seems absurd, and opposed to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, because it would imply that fetuses have a right to life in Iowa but not in New York.

The only way to get an intellectually honest pro-life outcome out of the Supreme court would be to argue that fetuses have a provable right to life and then argue on the basis of the Equal Protection Clause that their lives should be protected. But if that is the case, we really have never had a pro-life justice on the Supreme Court, and we have never had a President with an intellectually honest pro-life strategy.