Skip to main content

In computer talk, it's like an IF/THEN statement. IF such happens, THEN thus happens. We're familiar with the classic.

All humans die. (major premise)
I'm human. (minor premise)
I will die. (conclusion)

Both premises and the conclusion are solid.

Although we may more properly call it enthymeme because they usually leave the major premise unsaid.

It is wrong to take human life. (major premise unsaid)
Human life begins at conception. (minor premise)
Abortion takes human life and is, therefore, wrong. (conclusion)

Are the premises and conclusion of this syllogism solid? We may argue many cases where taking a human life is morally right. Self-defense, war, capital punishment. You may agree or disagree but there is basis for argument. So also may you argue the minor premise and its conclusion.

Expanding on what Chrystia Freeland said on this week's Real Time with Bill Maher, the "Every Sperm Is Sacred" bunch have painted themselves into a rhetorical and logical corner.

Of course Mourdock believes that life is a gift from God even though it may be the product of rape. I think that he truly and honestly believes what he said. Just watch him.

The syllogism will not let him reach any other conclusion any more than an IF/THEN statement will veer from its path. I've done some very simple programming and the crucial step is testing. Do each of your programming statements lead to the result you want? Perhaps their syllogism is constructed to lead to the desired result. Or have they just not tested it adequately?

Okay, I think most of us can agree that it's wrong to unjustifiably take a human life so let's let the major premise stand and argue justification. I wonder if Mourdock felt as bad when stuff hit the fan for him as when a woman finds out her violation resulted in conception. Mourdock is already over the worse of the approbation. He may lose his election. Or he may win. In any case, his life will not be irrevocably changed. How can they ignore the self defense argument when it comes to the mother's life?

Personally, I have a lot of problems with the rape exception and all the other exceptions because I just plain can't buy into the minor premise. The fetus is a human life when it can survive outside the womb. That's what I believe. Until birth the life is hypothetical.

I don't believe an embryo is life. It has life. In the same way that my heart has life. The same way my tonsils and blood have life. None of my body parts will spontaneously continue to have life when removed from body any more than the pre-viable fetus will. If my heart is removed I will cease to have life yet not so with my tonsils or a reasonable amount of my blood.

These arguments have all been made ad infinitum about abortion. Magical thinking abounds throughout the spectrum of their philosophy.

Obama is not an American citizen.
Only citizens can be president.
Therefore Obama cannot be president.

Global warming. The economy. Foreign policy. The list is almost endless.

I don't entirely object to magical thinking. We all need something sometimes. I object to magical thinking as a basis for policy decisions. I object to the lack of intellectual rigor which prevents these people from testing the coherence of their premises and conclusions.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site