Few things in life cause me to roll my eyes in sad contempt more so than the arguments from the pro
murder of babies abortion crowd justifying the murder of babies abortion. Their absurd claim that a baby is not a baby just because it lives in its mother’s womb; their self-serving love of individual rights at the ultimate expense of the life of another human being; their constant moral equivocation — all of their murderous excuses cause me to struggle with anger as I listen to people justify killing babies for the sake of pure selfishness. However, a recent YouTube video confronted me with what is probably the stupidest argument for abortion I’ve ever heard.
As a general rule, it’s best to ignore YouTube videos arguing for almost anything. Simply put, there are way too many nonsensical and irrational people taking advantage of the platform to justify paying much heed to YouTube videos if you’re interested in adult-level discussion. What makes this current YouTube video worth interacting with is that the featured speaker is no run-of-the-mill SJW using her iPhone to record herself spouting off angry screeds. The featured speaker is Elizabeth Harman, a noted Princeton philosophy professor. Professor Harman has shared the stage (and a university department) with Peter Singer, among other recognized authorities on bioethics. In other words, while possibly a quack, Professor Harman is a quack that people take seriously, and a quack that has been favorably peer-reviewed.
In the video (which you can watch below), occasional movie star James Franco sits alongside his co-host Eliot Michaelson as they interview Harman. As she explains her position, specifically after she starts talking about how there are two types of fetuses, Franco and Michaelson appear noticeably flummoxed and unsure of how to engage their guest in meaningful discourse. Their response is completely understandable considering that Harman is in the midst of expressing an argument that lacks cogency and coherency. Frankly, it is an argument that should be considered silly if it didn’t prompt people to violent actions. Watch for yourself, and enjoy Franco and Michaelson’s confusion while you are also being disturbed by the moral pretzels highly educated people will twist themselves into in order to justify abortion:
In summation, Elizabeth Harman believes that those of us who have made it safely out of our mother’s womb have “moral status in virtue of our futures.” Bringing that home, because I’m able to write articles about fallacious arguments in support of abortion, I had moral value when I was a fetus. On the flip side, according to the philosophy professor, “Some early fetuses will die, either due to miscarriage or abortion, and in my view that’s a very different entity; that’s something that doesn’t have a future as a person, and it doesn’t have moral status.” In other words, if I were unable to write this article due to having not made it safely out of my mother’s womb, I would not have had moral status as a fetus. Drilling the argument down even further, if the fetus is going to be born, it has moral status; if the fetus is not going to be born, it doesn’t have moral status.
If you skipped the video, I’m going to bet that after reading that paragraph you have the same look on your face that Franco and Michaelson frequently display in the video. A look that can be roughly translated as, “Huh???”
Possibly my favorite part of the video happens around the 3:07 mark, at which point the editors inserted a circular motion graphic. For its background, that graphic has Franco’s laughing face that seems to communicate, “I’m going to fire whoever booked this crazy lady!”
All joking aside, as Joe Carter writing for the ERLC pointed out, “Most professors wouldn’t allow a freshman taking Philosophy 101 to attempt to pass off this circular reasoning as a reasonable argument.” Unfortunately, many people who desire to justify abortion do take Elizabeth Harman seriously. As Paul says in Romans 1:28, people can reach such a point of sinful rebellion that God will give them up “to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”
Abortion is murder because it ends the life of a human being made in the image of God. Our moral worth before God is not determined by our future usefulness. That same type of argument will be used (and is being used) to justify the infanticide of special needs children. Christians need to stand up for the worth and rights of unborn humans as well as for the worth and rights of all humans, and not allow arguments like the one made by Elizabeth Harman to go unchallenged.
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