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Switch to Forum Live View How do I knock em out I mean engage in a polite discourse?
4 years ago  ::  Jul 30, 2010 - 6:53PM #1
Bezant
Posts: 1,338

Hullo all


I'm not a regular on this board to be honest the abortion debate gets stupid after a while -- its that and a handful of other topics that people take too personally. Anyway. This is a chance to put the fists down and get perspective.


I think the best way to argue the position is just to leave the emotional arguments out--and I think most people (eventually) agree.


Personally I favour asking questions and an ethical argument; the problem is a) you'll have to answer them and b) ethics aren't universal.


Hash it out...

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4 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2010 - 6:51PM #2
Weepingangelofthetrees
Posts: 2,053

Hullo back,


I think it is a matter of that old truism. The personal is Political.


Especially in matters of ones privacy and in light of ones reproductive organs. So, when the nation divides between two factions, one of which addresses fertile females exclusively and with both a Moral and Legislative imperative and declares; you must remain pregnant against your will!


With the sidebar of rationale to buttress the argument ranging from a strictly secular set of points, unto that of  the religious, the debate is eventually going to veer toward the avenue  of the emotions, because the topic itself was born from such stuff.


 


"Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family."
Stephen Colbert
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4 years ago  ::  Aug 04, 2010 - 5:01PM #3
Cesmom
Posts: 4,237

I got bored with the abortion debate also.  I occasionally pop in here, but it's the same ole same ole.  There are those who will make the issue very emotional, and there are those who are capable of discussing it rationally.  Either way, what it comes down to is the fact that, unlike other topics, I don't think it's really possible for anyone in the abortion debate to really "win" the debate.


Either the debate eventually ends in a stale mate, or it becomes heated and ends in PL's calling PC's a bunch of murderers and PC's calling PL's a bunch of woman-haters.  It's not the kind of issue you can really dissect and discuss from a lot of different angles.  You either believe the woman should have the right to choose and a fetus, not being a legal human, should have no rights...or you believe a fetus should have rights that over-ride a woman's right to choose.  A or B.  The debate runs dry after awhile.

Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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4 years ago  ::  Aug 05, 2010 - 12:32PM #4
Bezant
Posts: 1,338

Hullo WOAT


I am jealous of your icon. How did you procure it?


If you want to tote a Pro-Choice banner (or a Pro-Life banner, for that matter)...off topic.


But yes, the "personal is political"...hence I would put abortion along with religion one of those things you don't debate in the workplace, for good reasons...


Jul 31, 2010 -- 6:51PM, Weepingangelofthetrees wrote:


Hullo back,


I think it is a matter of that old truism. The personal is Political.


Especially in matters of ones privacy and in light of ones reproductive organs. So, when the nation divides between two factions, one of which addresses fertile females exclusively and with both a Moral and Legislative imperative and declares; you must remain pregnant against your will!


With the sidebar of rationale to buttress the argument ranging from a strictly secular set of points, unto that of  the religious, the debate is eventually going to veer toward the avenue  of the emotions, because the topic itself was born from such stuff.





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4 years ago  ::  Aug 05, 2010 - 12:40PM #5
Bezant
Posts: 1,338

Aug 4, 2010 -- 5:01PM, Cesmom wrote:


I got bored with the abortion debate also.  I occasionally pop in here, but it's the same ole same ole.  There are those who will make the issue very emotional, and there are those who are capable of discussing it rationally.  Either way, what it comes down to is the fact that, unlike other topics, I don't think it's really possible for anyone in the abortion debate to really "win" the debate.


Either the debate eventually ends in a stale mate, or it becomes heated and ends in PL's calling PC's a bunch of murderers and PC's calling PL's a bunch of woman-haters.  It's not the kind of issue you can really dissect and discuss from a lot of different angles.  You either believe the woman should have the right to choose and a fetus, not being a legal human, should have no rights...or you believe a fetus should have rights that over-ride a woman's right to choose.  A or B.  The debate runs dry after awhile.




Hello Cesmom


Good point.


No one can really "win" the debate because each side operates under its own premises; that and debate in itself isn't something you win--it's just that you argue better than your oppotion.


Reminds me of a cheesy Asian proverb I can only paraphrase:


Don't think of your opponent as your enemy; think of him as your partner to acheive victory.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2010 - 11:33AM #6
angpuppy
Posts: 520

I think the main issue is that our society and our education doesn't really teach us basic principles in holding a civil argument.  I realize that there are schools that have debate teams, and I did take some classes in college, but the problem is that most people still resort to rhetorical fallasies. 


At the heart of the issue are very philosophical questions:  What makes life worthy of protection?  For Christian pro lifers, the answer tends to involve their religion: Human life is sacred because God made it sacred, as such all human life from conception to natural death should be protected.  Unforunately, if we're going to argue with non-believers, we have to remember God from the equation.  Then we just get on insisting, human life is sacred and we try to get people to acknowledge that they already accept this basic principle even if they can't answer why they believe it. 


However, on the pro choice end, I think you have a lot of people who base things simply on empathy.  They see the people suffering in other countries and want to prevent that suffering.  They see the suffering of a pregnancy woman and want that woman to have the freedom to end that suffering.  The offspring in the womb is hidden and mysterious.  Suddenly you are faced back with philosphy: when does human life begin?  What makes a human being a human being?  What makes a human person?  Its not a straight forward empathy case and its easy to just say "Ok, nothing to be empathic about.  No brain, no self awareness, no suffering, nothing to empathize with, empathy for mother wins."


Then of course there are philosophies that simply say that feelings about right and wrong are personal and not universal and that everything is relative.  Of course, then we can give examples of extreeme cases about how these philosophies have rationalized great tradegies that are obvious to us as being intolerable human rights violations.


What the pro life movement is trying to say is that abortion is a human rights violation.  The pro choice movement then argues that prohibiting abortion is a human or women's right violation.  It all boils down to philosophy.  When does life begin?  What makes us valuable?  What exactly gives us rights?  Why is murder wrong?  What we need then is to get back to Socrates, Plato and classical education to teach people to think very deeply and to debate civilly, because like I said, these questions are important.  We can't just say "Well the bible" or "I'll just go with my gut feeling."  And we cannot approach these questions with the attitude of trying to merely defend our positions.  I can't just decide to reject a philosphical answer because it doesn't fit my cause.  I have to look at whether my answer is illogical.  Does the answer when applied to other situations not work?  Does it rationalize things that are more obviously unjust?  In other words, am I saying that two contradictory principles are true when they both can't be true?


The other thing to realize with debate is that winning an argument is not the same as changing someone's mind.  Changing minds and hearts is entirely a whole other avenue. 

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2010 - 1:08PM #7
Marysara722
Posts: 2,548


Are we debating and/or discussing the 'essence' of formal debate itself in this thread?
--Or are we discussing the debate/points/facts/merits, etc. of PLers debating against PCers with regards to the Abortion Debate itself?
[And vice-versa.]

Thanks, just trying to clarify the purpose and/or intent of the the opening poster's post so this thread doesn't drift off-topic.

MSara
Bnet Community Host
ADB Co-Host

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2010 - 10:33AM #8
Cesmom
Posts: 4,237

I'm not sure what the original intent was, but I approached it as a discussion of why the abortion debate is a little different than other debates.  Sure, I will agree that debates are generally 'won' or 'lost' (if there is such a thing) based on the debaters ability to get their point across.  I spent plenty of time on the debate team in high school debating either side of an issue, depending on the assignment.  I just think it's much harder to debate the facts regarding abortion because it's absolutely impossible to separate emotion from this argument.  There are a lot of topics that can be debated objectively.  I usually walk away from a debate having learned something.  I just don't necessarily think that's always the case in the abortion debate.

Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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4 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2010 - 6:20PM #9
Mmichael
Posts: 157

Jul 30, 2010 -- 6:53PM, Bezant wrote:


Hullo all


I'm not a regular on this board to be honest the abortion debate gets stupid after a while -- its that and a handful of other topics that people take too personally. Anyway. This is a chance to put the fists down and get perspective.


I think the best way to argue the position is just to leave the emotional arguments out--and I think most people (eventually) agree.


Personally I favour asking questions and an ethical argument; the problem is a) you'll have to answer them and b) ethics aren't universal.


Hash it out...





Can you (or anyone else here) give an example of a Pro-Choice "argument" that is not an "emotional argument" and an example of a Pro-Life "argument" that is not an "emotional argument"? When I tell people that I sincerely believe that before viability the woman alone should decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy (and be able to do so legally), I am accused of making an "emotional" argument. Although I don't really see it that way, I can understand someone thinking my argument is "emotional". Can every PC argument and every PL argument be labeled "emotional" by someone? Are there any PC and PL arguments that can in no way be labeled "emotional"?

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 17, 2010 - 10:44AM #10
anidominus
Posts: 105

Aug 16, 2010 -- 6:20PM, Mmichael wrote:


Can you (or anyone else here) give an example of a Pro-Choice "argument" that is not an "emotional argument" and an example of a Pro-Life "argument" that is not an "emotional argument"? When I tell people that I sincerely believe that before viability the woman alone should decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy (and be able to do so legally), I am accused of making an "emotional" argument. Although I don't really see it that way, I can understand someone thinking my argument is "emotional". Can every PC argument and every PL argument be labeled "emotional" by someone? Are there any PC and PL arguments that can in no way be labeled "emotional"?





The example you gave is not an emotional argument.  I would call your example as using "arbitrary logic" to "win" the debate.  The reason I would classify it as that is because you can't prove "viability" is better than any other point in the development process. 


An emotional argument would be, "What happens if a 11 year old crack adicted child gets pregnant by her father..."  That's an emotional argument.  Emotional argument usually (probably always) is some kind of story used to promote ones argument. 

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