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Discussion 3 to Reflections on Ethics 8
Inflammatory remarks and entrenched positions do not lead to a debate

by JT

Re: Anthony DeLucchi's comments

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In your covering message to your article, you wrote:

"If reaction is kept to purely a debate, then we can achieve our goal."

The trouble is that inflammatory remarks and entrenched positions do not tend to lead to a debate. They tend to lead to arguments and character attacks.

What is inflammatory about what you wrote?

The comparison of abortion to the holocaust is inflammatory. I know it is a comparison commonly used by abortion opponents; all it does is demonize whose who support the idea that abortion should be available, even those who limit their support to one or two minimal circumstances. It is not going to change anyone's mind.

Your obscure linkage of abortion to the wrongs committed under apartheid in your country is inflammatory. I don't know what you are trying to suggest in stating "and we all know they were tried for it." The truth is that I cannot include myself in that "we all know." I could be wrong, but I thought that the Truth and Reconciliation hearings allowed individuals to confess and, as a result obtain forgiveness thereby avoiding trial. Regardless, the relevance of your point to abortions performed in full compliance with current law is very questionable.

As to an entrenched position, you are unable to even consider that there are legitimate arguments for considering that the life of a human being as an identifiable individual may begin at some time after conception. It is something you (and other absolute anti-abortionists) know for certain, a certainty the rest of us our not privy to. As long as you take that position, the rest of us don't have to agree with each other on one of the many alternatives; we just have to agree that you are wrong.

The problem with your position is that it is an absolute. No abortion under any circumstances.

As long as the position is presented that way; as long as the choice is either no abortion or abortion on demand, then I will support abortion on demand.

To be honest, it is a position I am not comfortable with. I happen to think there are circumstances under which abortion is wrong. For example, it is estimated that, through selecting for sex of the baby, about 1 in 10 female foetuses are aborted in India. That practice is going to create a real social problem when this excess of males reach marriagable age.

But still, if the choice is between no abortion at all and abortion on demand; then even those whose reasons appears trivial to me will have my reluctant support.

You leave me no choice. Abortion opponents structure the terms of the dispute solely in black-and-white, no shades of gray.

Go ahead, Anthony. Be inflammatory in opposing abortion. Hide your thinking abilities behind your absolute certainty. But don't expect to create a debate out of it. And don't expect to achieve your goal - whatever it is.