Question

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Joe

abortion debate

I'm curious about what fallacy this debate that I had earlier falls under, it goes like this:

A: limiting abortion violates the bodily autonomy of the women

B: The fact that the women does not want the child does not justify a killing of the child. If you really care about the women in this situation, why don't you support expansive child benefits and welfare programs?

A: I personally don't believe in expansive government programs, because I don't think the government should have that much power in providing economic subsidies. 

B: So you don't care about women with that logic? Since you don't care about women by not giving them welfare subsidies, than you therefore don't care about neither party, the fetus or the women in cases of abortion.

Therefore you a selfish nimrod who kills babies and don't care about women either.

Conversation ends

 

asked on Saturday, Apr 03, 2021 03:25:00 PM by Joe

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Dr.Bruce Barron writes:

All three elements are present.

posted on Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 03:39:14 PM

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Answers

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Bo Bennett, PhD
6

These are mostly opinions. But there is some fallacious reasoning / manipulative rhetoric going on here:

Since you don't care about women by not giving them welfare subsidies,

strawman fallacy 

Jumping from one's position to "not caring about" women/babies is an unwarranted conclusion. This mirrors typical black and white thinking where if one is for legalized abortion they "don't care about babies" or if one is against they "don't care about women." Of course, reality is much more complicated as is common with moral dilemmas. We can care about two things but care about one slightly more.

answered on Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 09:38:49 AM by Bo Bennett, PhD

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Jordan Pine
5

So you don't care about women with that logic? Since you don't care about women by not giving them welfare subsidies, than you therefore don't care about neither party, the fetus or the women in cases of abortion.

I see two fallacies here. The first is the complex question fallacy (plurium interrogationum). The question presupposes welfare programs are a way of showing we care for women and children.

The second is the fallacy of composition. That is, even if we accept the supposition that welfare programs are a way of showing we care, we still have a problem that becomes evident when you simplify the paragraph as follows:

  • You don't care about women when it comes to welfare subsidies.
  • Therefore, you don't care about women in general.

Or maybe it's just a non sequitur:

  • You don't care about women when it comes to welfare subsidies.
  • Therefore, you don't care about women when it comes to abortion.
answered on Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 12:37:58 PM by Jordan Pine

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Arlo
4

There seem to be a few instances of false dilemma:

Part of the claim is that caring about the women in this situation means one must support expansive child benefits and welfare programmes; with the implication that such programmes are the only way to "care about women's autonomy" and that not supporting those programmes means one doesn't care about women in such situations, as evidenced by the last sentence of the "conversation".  The possibility of alternate approaches seems to have been discounted.

Limiting abortion violates a woman's bodily autonomy leads us to two options: support a woman's autonomy and allow abortion or limit abortion and violate autonomy -- again, the possibility of allowing abortion while supporting a woman's autonomy has been discounted.

The exchange seems to be mostly opinion, interspersed with commonly-used but unsupported claims.

answered on Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 10:22:52 AM by Arlo

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richard smith
3

"Therefore you a selfish nimrod who kills babies and don't care about women either." would be an ad hominem. "limiting abortion violates the bodily autonomy of the women" would be one issue and " I personally don't believe in expansive government programs" is another issue.. Person B is trying to make it all one issue. Not sure if their is a fallacy in that. 

answered on Sunday, Apr 04, 2021 08:56:54 AM by richard smith

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Jason Mathias
1

"The fact that the women does not want the child does not justify a killing of the child."

This would be a definist fallacy regarding the word "child". A fetus is not a child, and if they used the word fetus instead of "child" it would make for a weaker argument. Its also an appeal to emotion too, because people are generally more emotionally attached to "children" than to fetuses. 

Also, what does and doesn't justify an abortion is arbitrary and an opinion. 

answered on Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 01:10:39 PM by Jason Mathias

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richard smith writes:

Their is more than one definition of the word "Child". Some definitions do include the fetus.

posted on Wednesday, Apr 07, 2021 08:56:48 AM
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Jason Mathias writes:
[To richard smith]

You are right, perhaps an equivocation fallacy would be better, not the definist fallacy. 

[ login to reply ] posted on Wednesday, Apr 07, 2021 09:11:57 AM
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GoblinCookie
1

A lot of unsupported claims there.  Nobody supported any of the claims they were making, which makes the whole thing as huge exercise in begging the question by both sides.  Nobody established that abortion volated any bodily autonomy, nor that unborns count as children.

But basically the opposing team has a point here.  You really cannot expect anti-abortion policies to work without extensive enough welfare, desperate enough people will logically have abortions regardless of whether they are illegal. 

The conclusion that you care neither about babies nor women is however a logical interference to make.  Since you know full well that desperate enough people will have abortions anyway, the only ends you are serving by making abortion illegal in that circumstances is simply to harm women. 

answered on Tuesday, Apr 06, 2021 06:35:30 AM by GoblinCookie

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Shockwave
0

I agree with everything that was said before me, I will not repeat, but I will deal with one sequence.

A: limiting abortion violates the bodily autonomy of the women

B: The fact that the women does not want the child does not justify a killing of the child.

We can look at this in two ways:

1. Person B thinks that abortion is the murder of a child (no, this is neither an opinion, nor some philosophical idea or problem, this is simply a false claim)

2. Person B intentionally perverts the situation by putting words in Person A's mouth. This is the already mentioned strawman fallacy.

answered on Monday, Apr 05, 2021 09:35:13 AM by Shockwave

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Bo Bennett, PhD writes:

Person B thinks that abortion is the murder of a child

Just curious as to how you came to this conclusion.

posted on Monday, Apr 05, 2021 09:58:14 AM
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Shockwave writes:
[To Bo Bennett, PhD]

From the part of the debate that I singled out. I mentioned that as one possibility why the discussion went in the wrong direction.

[ login to reply ] posted on Monday, Apr 05, 2021 10:07:01 AM