Ep 88. If you thought being a human was enough to protect you from discrimination, think again! At least according to this student who Maggie talked to at a high school, you need humanity plus something else: a certain size body! (We are not sure what size is value-giving, but apparently it's not the size you are right at the beginning of your life.) Now, how does this fit with human equality? We're not sure, but we're talking about it in this episode! Come debrief with us.
Seth referenced Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan.
Seth also referenced this part in James.
Here is a very good video of Stephanie Gray Connors debunking the famous, pro-abortion, violinist argument.
Peter Singer is a proponent of infanticide and is the author of a book called Practical Ethics.
A follow-up to Practical Ethics, Why Should the Baby Live is the name of an article written by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva.
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Episode 88: When Being Human Isn’t Enough
Maggie: Do you think it's our business to stand up for victims? We do, but some don't agree. Come debrief with us.
Hello, I'm Maggie, your host, and I'm here with Seth and Ethan and we are debriefing pro-life outreach. Who has the outreach highlight for today?
Seth: Yeah, I got something. All right, so great. This is Seth, those who know my voice. So this week Elijah and I were out doing Decline to Sign and I know a lot of our listeners have know that in Ohio there's this big initiative right now trying to take Ohio Pro-Abortion advocates want to make abortion legal through all nine months in Ohio.
So, Abortion legal on 15 week babies who feel pain, babies viable at 22 ish weeks, all the way up till nine months. Very dangerous. And so we're out there trying to discourage people from signing the petition, which would put it on the ballot this fall. While we were out there, we, a lot of interesting things happened, but one woman came walking up and I, I started talking to her about abortion and she said, oh, this is demonic.
And she told me about how she had an abortion. She was coerced into abortion. Long ago when she was younger and then her first baby she was pregnant with afterward the baby did not make it and she doesn't know for sure it was because of that. But it was interesting because a lot of this amendment language is talking about how it has a clause in there that seems to protect those who will coerce girls into abortion.
So this mom was particularly very upset about this cuz she was Yeah. Coerced into abortion. People say that never happens, clearly happened for her. Right? But just one thing I wanted to note was they were passing out this little flyer, , the pro-abortion group that day saying, vote no on August 8th. Any of our listeners might not know.
August 8th is a big special election, very important. In Ohio, it would re elevate the standards for making constitutional changes in Ohio. Instead of requiring only 50% plus one of our people voting, it would require 60% of the vote to change the constitutional amendment. This is why this matters, . No abortion group.
In any state so far has gotten to 60% in their abortion amendments, so mm-hmm. On August eight, anyone in Ohio please vote Yes. To help us elevate the standards and make it more difficult for them to put abortion in our constitution. Mm-hmm.
Maggie: And I think this is something that we, we need to make sure people understand that this will apply to us too.
We will for sure. Yeah. In order to pass. How do you say more?
Seth: It's not, like just for this, , fall election, right? Yeah. This makes anyone, anywhere who tries to change our constitution will require, right. That 60% pro-life, pro-choice, pro, whatever you are.
Maggie: Yeah. But the important thing is that some people are doubtful that we should vote yes on that because it'll apply to us too if we ever get to that point where we could pass the opposite.
Seth: What do you think?
Ethan: But we do need to, well, I was gonna say it might apply to us, but I think in this case it is 100% necessary and I'm totally for increasing that threshold because if it makes it harder for people to legalize the killing of babies, you know, that is a good thing. Yes, we might have to work a little harder ourselves to put better laws, , to end abortion completely.
But I will take that any day over, You know, it being easy for people to enshrine abortion in our constitution.
Seth: I'm just not comfortable with the people voting on a moral crime. Right. No, this is, this should not be up for a vote whether we're going to kill or not kill babies. Yeah. So it may make it harder for pro-life groups to put in amendments as well, but I think this shouldn't really even be as citizen democratic vote.
And I know people are gonna wanna take that and say, Seth's anti-democracy. Well, I think there's a republic for a reason, right? Right. We're a, we're a representative republic for a reason, and when it comes to human slavery, abortion, those should be things are just, Honestly, in my opinion, it should be part of the 14th Amendment in the federal constitution, that every human being has rights of personhood.
Yeah. Including the babies. We shouldn't even be having this debate, but because we are, because babies will die. If they win. They must fail. Yeah. It's that simple, I think. Yeah.
Maggie: Okay. Yeah. It's really important that every pro-lifer. Well, yeah. Like you said, anyone go vote Yes. In August on 1.
Seth: August 8th. Yep.
Yes on one. Mm-hmm. Sorry, that was a long outreach highlight.
Maggie: No, that's good. It's important. All right. Well, to get into our clip today, we are gonna talk about a conversation I had with a girl, a couple girls actually at a high school, mainly one girl. So in the clip you'll hear. The one who's talking, kind of say stuff to the other one, but you can't hear the other girl.
But she's like the other girl's wanting her to stop talking and move on. so the girl talking to me is like, no, stop. But if you're confused about that a little bit, that's why it is kidding. Go ahead. Yeah. So let's listen to it now.
Student: If there, there's certain circumstances where, first of all, it isn't anyone's business.
Maggie: unless it's a human being. Just say, I mean, if they're a human being, then it is all of ours business to stand up for them. Well, I feel like it's not really a no stop. I feel like it's not really anyone's business if it's literally the size of that. Like it's a speck of dirt until a certain amount of time.
It's just a clump of cells, so,
Seth: Speck of dirt.
Maggie: Literally. Did she say literally it's a speck of dirt. Yeah.
Seth: Actually, literally not. I mean, Adam came from dust. We came from Adam, so, okay. Maybe. Okay.
Ethan: We're all speck. We're all clumps of cells and we're all specks of dirt.
Seth: Well, , isn't it the atheist love to say that we're all just star dust, right?
You know? Oh, do they say that? They, do you ever heard this before?
Ethan: Oh, is that, um, who is it? Tyson, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Seth: Yeah. Something Tyson, right? I'm embarrassed. Neil deGrasse Tyson. That's right. Yes. I have no idea. Yeah, right.
Maggie: Okay. Well, that's nice. but we are not merely specks of dirt, even at the very beginning where we might be the same size as one.
, , the main thing I wanted to focus on, oh, at least at the beginning, is it our business to stand up for victims? What do you think? I say yes.
Seth: You're gonna go around the circle. Yes. Ethan?
Ethan: I heartily agree. Here. Here. Yeah. Why? I think I have two perspectives on this one. One. As a Christian, I am commanded by God to stand up for those who cannot, , do not have a voice, their own voice. I, it is my duty to represent them. , and then two, I think also from a position of just general human equality and how we should treat each other in a a just and virtuous society, we also have a responsibility.
To represent victims and make sure that justice is served, , not only because it is good for them, but also it sort of protects yourself. Mm. You know, when we represent victims, when we, , assure that justice is meted out equally, it is also in some way beneficial to yourself. , So that's more of a selfish reason, and I don't think that's the best reason.
I think the best reason is we're commanded by God to, , represent victims and make sure that their rights are upheld and to treat all people equally. I think that's kind of how I think about that. Yeah.
Seth: Does anyone say no to this? No.
Ethan: That is the million dollar question problem.
Seth: Yeah. I mean, I guess we have outreach heads.
People do, I guess, right? Yeah.
Maggie: Probably Most people would not say that is, but by their action. Cause they're not thinking about them as victims. Yeah. Yeah. So it really comes down to whether they're human beings, which is what I was trying to point out to her. Mm-hmm. In the clip that it is our business if they're human beings, that's.
Whether it's our business has everything to do with whether they're human beings, so that's what we should be focusing on first. But she really just skips over that. Yeah. And acts like it's not an important point.
Seth: I'm reminded of Christ's story of the Good Samaritan, right? So there are several characters in that story.
There's the man who was attacked. Mm-hmm. There are, there's the attacker who's not really, doesn't play a lot into the story very much. But then you have the priest, Levite, who walk on by, and the Samaritan who helps. the Jewish man, right? So you have these various characters. You have the victim, and you have the people who pass on by.
Yeah. They don't stop to help him, but they're not neutral. Right. When they don't help him, they're actually harming him. Mm-hmm. By denying him the assistance he needs. So it's not like, do you help? Do you hurt? Do you do nothing if you're not helping, you are hurting by walking by when they need your help, right?
Yep. So, the flip side of this is, is okay to hurt the victims? I would say certainly not.
Maggie: Yeah, I would agree. I, I definitely don't think it's. Ever. I mean, if they're already a victim by being in that vulnerable place where it's legal to kill them, then it's even worse to well than to kill them to do nothing.
I don't know if maybe that wasn't a fully fleshed out thought. , okay. I have something, this is kind of under unrelated actually to what I was toss it up there saying, but, or to my, what are in my notes, but something you just said, Seth gave me a thought. Mm-hmm. And I'm. coming at you from like a, a pro-abortion standpoint.
Oh, she's a challenge. This is good. Good. All right, let's go. You said about the story of the Good Samaritan by not offering to help someone who is in a spot where they're being harmed then you are harming them. Mm-hmm.
Seth: But silence is violence kind of thing. Yeah.
Maggie: Okay. But then someone, isn't that kind of the same thing as.
Not offering. Like the violinist argument. Do you see where I'm going?
Seth: Oh, I did not see that coming. Okay. Sorry. Okay. Plot, plot twist. All right, so explain. Okay, so I, first, I was gonna say, let, let's go to the plot twist in a minute. I mean, initially, I'm not saying that everyone else in Jerusalem that day, right, who wasn't helping him, was hurting him.
Mm-hmm. I'm saying when you have responsibility of knowledge and opportunity there and deny the aid, then you're doing the wrong. It's like when, um, is it Sean who writes, like if you say to someone, Be filled, go on, be warm. You don't give a cloak and actually help. Mm-hmm. What good is that help, right?
Mm-hmm. Yeah. We need to love in truth and action, not words only. So I'm not saying that everyone, everyone's responsible for everyone being hurt, but if you see someone hurting and don't help them, that is a problem. But the violinist, I did not see that coming. Can you unpack for me how you're bringing that in?
Maggie: Well, , like in the argument with you, if you're kidnapped in the middle of the night , and then you wake up and you're attached to this guy. Oh, okay.
Seth: You see where keep, keep explaining to the audience. Cause I need to formulate,
Maggie: okay, let's see if I can explain this . By ceasing to provide care for that person, you are harming them.
That's what people always tell us. Yes. .
Seth: So do you mean Okay, so if you, we say that. If you are justified in unplugging from the violinist, so you're, yeah, you're kidnapped, you're put in a hospital room with this strange violinist. You don't know him, your blood type matches him.
So now your kidneys are being used to extract poison from your blood and his, if you unplug and walk away, those who don't know, we have more on this on, I'm sure YouTube clip. We can put this show notes. Yeah. But the traditional argument, pro-abortion argument is if you can unplug and walk away from him,
you can unplug. They say the abortion argument because even if he dies, it's not your fault. Fault, right? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. You are denying him assistance. He passes away. Now they flip it and therefore say, mom may unplug her baby, and we say it's not the same thing. Yeah. I think the relevant point here is that we've never argued, you are justified in unplugging for the violinist Uhhuh, okay.
All we're saying is that even taking the pro-abortion people out there argument, even if you're justified and unplugging walk away, that's not the same as abortion. There's a big robust debate to be had on whether you should unplug from the violinist right. Yeah. Mm. Yeah. And the simple argument I've always understood is that you are justified leaving someone.
In a no worse state than they already were. Mm-hmm. What you should not do is worsen their state. ,
Maggie: okay. Yeah, that makes sense. Well, to bring it back to the clip, She says something that makes it sound like we gradually gain value as we age in the womb. , because she makes the assumption that because they're so small at the beginning that that means that they don't have any value and it's none of our business to protect them.
, that makes me think of the question of if people think we gradually gain value as we age in the womb, which I can almost understand that. Um, but it would mean that value is based on cognitive ability and not humanity. So I, I really don't understand it, I guess, but, so why don't more people think that we continue to gain value as we age once we're out of the womb?
Seth: That's such a good question. So it's like you steadily gain value until boom birth, and then all of a sudden you're like, you got it. Yeah. Right.
Maggie: Why is that? It doesn't make sense to me.
Ethan: I, I think we need to get a, uh, inconsist inconsistency button that we can smack boom, every time we come across my show.
Oh, that is so handy.
Because you're right, Maggie. It's, it's right. I mean, it's everywhere, but especially right here when you're talking to people, it's like, okay, there's this weird line where it's like, well, you know, you're not born yet, or you don't have, you're not developed enough, and then it's, you're born and all of a sudden your development doesn't matter.
Mm-hmm. Anymore. People think you're all a sudden why? Yeah. That's that to me, it just blows my mind. It's like, well, why, why? Why do we stop right there?
Seth: Mm-hmm. It makes no sense. It's called kind of the threshold argument, I believe, where they suggest that. , until you become self-aware, you need self-awareness.
And once suddenly, once you are self-aware, that doesn't really matter anymore. You cross the threshold. It's now you're, you're in the club of human persons. It's really bizarre. If it's like they, they default to our worldview at that point where they say, well, now what matters is not your self-awareness, cuz they don't like the idea of that.
If self-awareness, if value comes from that. The more or less self-aware you are, the more or less value you have. Right? That's pretty uncomfortable to people, right? So they say, well no, now you're the kind of being that's self-aware. We say, oh wait, hang on a second. You're the kind of being that's self-aware, so you are saying, yeah, it's your kind that matters.
That's what we said all along, right? Right. You're borrowing from our worldview now the pro-life worldview saying it's the kind of being you are. That really matters, uhhuh,
Ethan: and even if you, you drop the kind of being that has self-awareness and you just say, You are a being. Mm-hmm. With self-awareness, you then fall into, I, I was just reading up on this Peter Singer.
Yeah. His argument where self-awareness is the big thing in which he admits in his argument that toddlers. One-year-olds and two year olds are not counted as valuable in his worldview. Right. Because they're not self-aware yet. Mm-hmm. And I haven't met a lot of people at least who wanna say that out loud.
Seth: Yeah. He says the secret part out loud. That's why. Uh, um, there was also a follow up, um, singer by, these Australian researchers. I think it was Francesca Minerva and Mineva. Giubilini, I believe their names. Anyhow, so they wrote an article shorter than Peter Singer's. Are you reading Practical Ethics?
Ethan: No, it was just a quote taken from it.
Seth: Okay. Some study's still though. It's like it's a big book, right? Yeah. So people don't really read Practical Ethics. They might read a summary of it or something, but Sure. These researchers , took his same ideas. A published an article called Why Should the Baby Live?
Arguing. If you could kill a, a nine month old baby for a reason, you should also be able to kill the, the born baby for the same reason. Cuz they're not really much of a change. Right. Yeah. Location, not a big change as we always say. Yep. And they got death threats at then they're, they basically like, wow, hey, this has been said long before us by Peter Singer, other people.
So why are you mad at us all of a sudden? It's kind of funny, like Peter Singer for decades has been saying out loud what others won't say. Yeah, you're exactly right. It's terrifying.
Maggie: I almost wish more people. I knew that he said that and like Yeah. Know that that's a logical conclusion. Mm-hmm. But a part, another part of me doesn't want that because I actually have heard people say, yeah, same.
Sure. It's okay once they're born too. Yeah. I've heard more people say that recently,
Seth: but he should be the poster child for abortion advocacy. Everyone should know his view as philosophy. Exactly right. I am convinced that people were really intimately familiar with the actual pro-abortion views. They would be far more pro-life, but they're insulated from it.
Maggie: I'm actually really amazed that the idea of human equality is not commonly laughed at by the world because all these reasons to justify abortion clearly disregard it. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. I mean, I mean, that's why people, so many people say that they're not human, but Just thinking logically. We know that they are ,
Ethan: Logic has gone out of fashion and biology
Seth: and bio and science. Everything is bowing to a new ideology. But that's probably way off the mark where you want to go today, so,
Maggie: well, yeah, I mean, that's what I'm saying. Like this girl in this clip apparently doesn't think they're human. She really didn't say much about whe whether she believes they're human. She just skipped over that, disregarded it completely, basically. Mm-hmm. And went immediately to the fact that they're small.
Yeah. Yeah. So I just wonder if science is at all important to her.
Seth: Well, that's funny. I was, remember having conversation with someone recently on campus about this, some pro-abortion person. They were saying, but they're so different from us. Like they look different. I said, okay. Do you know that they did the exact same thing with.
People who are Jewish or people who have brown skin saying, look at them. And they said, it's not the same thing though. I'm looking, I'm actually showing, saying, look, this face looks different. So they literally like measure their noses or ears to try to justify them being non persons. Yeah, it's the same thing, just different terms, different people group.
Right. But it's the same old anti equality, as you said, Maggie, anti equality. , injustice. So yeah. And I think
Ethan: the idea, her saying that, well they're just, you know, they're literally specks of dirt, kind of going in the same vein as well. They're just a clump of cells. I think going back to what she first said as far as kind of that, why should I care about them?
Mm-hmm. Why should we be advocating for these victims? , she doesn't care to begin with. So a comment like that is sort of just, I think, a weak way to try and add justification to her own apathy. Mm-hmm.
Seth: But that's also, what do you do with that? That's a lot harder than convincing someone of a biological fact, right?
Yeah. Mm-hmm. How do you make someone care?
Ethan: Yeah, and I don't have any silver bullet for that unfortunately.
Maggie: I don't know. I, I mean, I guess my first thought is just helping them see that it applies to them too. Uhhuh making it personal. Like if, if these pre-born people are in danger, then you're also in danger because it, it's the same reasons could apply to any one of us.
Yeah. Cuz they're all arbitrary. If it's size, then I'm smaller than someone else. So, I mean, it's just, it's going back to SLED, which I love SLED. It's my favorite tool. But, , just that idea, like if you don't know sled, it's size, level, level of development environment, degree of dependency, and it's just you use that to show that we all as born people, we differ.
In those ways, just as we differ from pre-born people. So there's like, they're all arbitrary differences.
Seth: Yeah. I mean those are the, the four differences between any embryo and anyone listening to this podcast, but also the same four differences between all of us. Exactly. So if they don't matter between us to, in this room, the four of us.
Mm-hmm. Three of us plus Isaac, if they don't matter, , in our value, why would they matter with the baby's value.
Maggie: Mm-hmm. Yeah, exactly. , well, so even if she doesn't think they're human and that's why she disregards them. I just wonder why that's not the first thing she said.
What? What do you mean? Like, instead of saying they're so small, they're literally a speck of dirt. That's why it's none of our business. Why didn't she just go right to They're not human.
Ethan: They're not human. Yeah. , I don't know.
Maggie: I wonder if she thinks their size proves that they're not human.
Seth: I think that makes sense.
Yeah. Maybe, probably. Maybe. Yeah. Which is a very funny argument. I mean, Sizes clearly does not determine your value. Right. We all know that. Yeah. Yeah. I would say if it did, it'd be bad for women who are generally shorter than men. It'd be bad for anyone in my family who's shorter than a lot of people.
Maggie: Yeah. I think of people who have a disease or her, or. Who were malnourished as a kid. I have an acquaintance who adopted some kids from another country who are severely malnourished and they're, when they're like seven years old, they're the size of a one year old or a three year old.
Mm-hmm. Which is crazy to think about. , but it's just a horrible thought to say that they're not as valuable because they're not. The size that they should be for their age, which Okay. That's not even relevant to abortion because these kids are exactly the size they should be. They're exactly the size that they're supposed to be for their age. Mm-hmm. Which happens to be a lot smaller than we are because they're younger than us. Right. I really don't, I don't know if I believe that anyone actually thinks that size is a good justification for abortion. It's just such a dumb reason.
But then again, I've even heard people close to me use that. So I don't know.
Seth: Statement retracted. Some do believe that.
Ethan: I, I do find it funny, at least in this instance, she uses the term, they're literally a speck of dirt, which. Reminds me of the children's book Horton. Here's a who and the movie that was made from that, in which there are these little people who are living on a speck of dust.
And kind of the whole story is how Horton, the Sullivan is trying to, we are here, we are here we are here. Say them. Protect them from being stamped out by other jungle animals who are larger, who can't see them, who look different, who are different size. It's in our, our children's literature. This is a very simple idea, you would think, but we still have a generation of people who, who are espousing ignorance.
Seth: Yeah, that's right. And I think it's interesting, she uses the word dirt too, right? I think she's saying it for a reason. Like it's not just the size reference. I think dirt is being used in a dehumanizing way.
Ethan: Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Maggie: Yeah. Well, to conclude size has nothing to do with how valuable you are. And if you're a human being, that's really what matters.
And nothing else about you is reason enough to discriminate against you. Mm-hmm. So if you encounter someone who uses this as a justification for abortion, just remember that. Remind them that size does not matter. , we all are different sizes as, as born humans, and it, it doesn't matter that we are different sizes.
We're all human beings and we're all valuable.
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