Ep 90. If you are against abortion, does that mean you must be against capital punishment too? In this episode, we'll talk about how opposing one does not necessitate opposing the other to be consistent, the idea that "killing is killing," and we'll talk about how the man in this clip proves that he, in some way, knows that abortion is wrong, even if he won't tell anyone so. Debrief with us!
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Episode 90: Abortion Versus the Death Penalty
Maggie: Are pro lifers inconsistent if they don't oppose the death penalty? Let's talk about it. Come debrief with us.
Hello, my name is Maggie and I'm here with Seth and Ethan and we are debriefing pro life outreach. Ethan What is your outreach highlight for today?
Ethan: All right, my outreach highlight. We had our last high school outreach of this spring Maybe one of the last for this year
So, you know, it was a school here in Columbus that we were visiting, and boy, what a reception. We had one girl who was really mad we were there, and another lady who was also pretty upset that we were there. And the admin were not doing anything about some of their crazier students who were, uh, Touching some of our signs and maybe doing a little bit more with them that they shouldn't have been doing That's a good nice the way to put it.
Yeah, so Not the most encouraging day ever you would think right? Well If you think about it The reaction we are getting at least means especially this one particular girl who was yelling at us for a really long time She was very upset. We were there with these signs saying
Seth: things you can't say?
Ethan: Yes, basically you're all idiots.
Much more colorful language. , but. The way she reacted to the signs and the way some of the other students react to the signs at least means that their conscience is at least somewhat alive. In reacting so strongly against this, they're trying to defend a position that they're desperate to hold on to.
Which to me, it's at least, there's some spark of hope and light for them. It's like if you're, if you're so desperate to defend it, at least, at least you have somewhat of a consciousness and you're not totally hardened. against the truth. And so that maybe, someday, someone else in her life will be able to share this message that all people are created equal and you shouldn't kill babies with her.
And she'll really think, she'll think about it. So, anyway, maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm totally off base, but.
Seth: You're based, you're definitely based. That's a really good point. , I, I think that I do not like going to campuses where there's, I mean, no one wants to be yelled at the whole day with the massive throng of protesters.
Unless it's kind of fun sometimes. You know I want that usually, but... The worst campuses are where just like apathy and no response. I would want some response and not just from my personal experience, because what you said, right? Like, at least when they're upset, it's like they're close to reality. They have the wrong conclusion, but at least they recognize there's some objective right and wrong.
They take the wrong thing as right, which is killing, but at least they're. They care about right and wrong needs there more compasses pointing south rather than north, but there's a compass working there Right. Yeah, it's not as dead. So we got his point in the right direction. So I agree with you
Maggie: Yeah, they're defending something and i'm sure that we could find some common ground with her On something that she's passionate about something because she thinks that someone is being wronged Yeah, she thinks that we're wrong people But yeah at least She sees that there is wrong in the world.
Seth: Speaking of wrong in the world, this clip will be interesting to get into.
Maggie: Yes! We're going to be talking about the death penalty. So that will be interesting. It's always...
Seth: I don't even know if we all agree on this, but we'll...
Maggie: Oh! Well, okay, I don't have a fully formed opinion on it.
Seth: That's okay. The question you're asking is not, is it right or wrong, but what's its relevance to abortion, right?
Maggie: Yes! Exactly. Good question. Alright, uh, yeah. Wait, it was your
Seth: question, so yeah, well done. Applaud yourself.
Maggie: Oh, oh, I asked that. Oh, wow, I forgot about that. Okay. Let's listen.
Man: Are you against capital punishment?
Maggie: Um, I think capital punishment is an irrelevant issue because that's an issue. That's an issue of killing not innocent people.
So we're talking about innocent people that abortion kills.
Man: But still, killing is killing.
Maggie: Okay, so, are you against capital punishment?
Man: I am against capital punishment.
Maggie: Okay, so then, are you for it? For abortion then
Seth: I'm not for abortion. I think it's right for the person to decide that. So I have no choice.
Maggie: So why are you saying that seems like inconsistent to me? Because you're saying it's wrong to kill these people who have done immense wrong. But it's okay for a woman to choose her innocent child.
Man: Well, it's okay for her because she's the one that has to got, she has to face God, I don't. So she chooses whatever they choose, they, they get punishment or whatever they do at the end.
Maggie: Okay. I have to say, this clip kind of annoys me because I messed up when I was talking to him. I switched up the format of my questions when I was asked. I missed it. Okay. Well, I should have kept the same format and asked, are you, I asked, are you against capital punishment? I should have said, okay, so then are you against abortion also?
What did you say? I said, are you against capital punishment? And then I asked, are you for abortion? It would have been more straightforward if I had said, like, cause he said killing is killing, so if he's against one, he should be against the other. Right. So that made it a little more confusing, probably for him too, when I switched up the format of the questioning.
So he said killings.
Seth: good to admit our fault. Maggie good job.
Ethan: Tell. Well, I was gonna say, I hope one day I'm as great an apologist as Maggie where I can worry about
Seth: little details like this, .
Maggie: But it makes a difference. It does. It does. And does how he understood what I was saying? Yeah. Well, so he said killing is killing, which makes it sound like, like I said, if he's against one, he must be against the other.
I was trying to show him that he was being inconsistent. Sadly, I messed up. So he don't think that he understood that. Mm. But , He was trying to show me that I'm inconsistent. But I'm not the one who said killing is killing. He's the one who said that. So I think that, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he just showed that he himself is inconsistent because he doesn't think they're both wrong.
Seth: Before we get into that, Maggie, I just want to clarify something. He did say killing is killing. I think it's important to unpack that phrase and why there's a problem with that.
Then we can get to the inconsistency, but I don't know if everyone would follow what he means by that, because it sounds good, killing is killing, but is that really, what is he trying to communicate there? What was his point?
Maggie: Well, I think he was trying to say that all killing is equal, which would make it sound like he's against all killing of anyone.
Seth: Right, which is leads to the inconsistency you were saying, right? But it's just not true that, I mean, self defense, Which leads to the death of someone is certainly not the same as premeditated murder, right? So I think we all recognize that that not all killing is the same Has the same culpability on the person who does the killing right or even I guess to the question of capital punishment a state executing someone who has done all manner of despicable crimes on children other people Executing that person surely is not the same as someone going next door to their neighbor who doesn't like the way the neighbor looks in Killing them.
It's not the same thing, right? So do you guys agree?
Ethan: Yeah, I do agree. Yeah, definitely. Is a
Seth: difference. But I think that, again, to drill home what you're saying Maggie, we've never made that claim. He made that claim. Yeah. So if all killing is killing, and he's allegedly against all killing, what should his position be on abortion?
Maggie: That it's wrong. I mean, right, yeah. And note that he didn't say it's wrong. He didn't disagree that it's killing.
Seth: No, he didn't. That's interesting. Yeah. But he then said that he's for the rights of the person to decide.
Ethan: He's, yeah, he's not, he's, I'm not for abortion. I'm for the rights of the person with the child to decide.
Seth: Okay, I'm just sick of that. I'm so sick of I'm not pro abortion, I'm pro choice. What's your response? What's your response?
Maggie: It's such an extreme act, killing an innocent human being, that if you're gonna be quote unquote neutral on that, then you are. Expressing that it's fine to do that.
Ethan: Even, even this idea that you can be pro choice, but not pro abortion.
I've had people tell me that before, and they mean pro choices in pro abortion. Right. Because that's what pro choice
stands for, is pro abortion.
Maggie: Pro choice to kill an innocent human.
Seth: They're not running pregnancy resource centers to give a lot of choices to moms. They're running abortion facilities to kill babies.
Ethan: They are running abortion facilities so they can give one choice to a woman. Come kill your baby here. . Yeah, it is extremely annoying and okay, let's see if I can use this word right duplicitous. Yeah, that's right. Good job to You, to try and wheel your way around this word abortion because it's, it's, they don't want to, they don't want to identify themselves with it.
Seth: No, but if you say I am pro choice on human slavery, you are pro slavery. Right. If you're pro the choice of, I don't know, theft, you're pro theft. Anytime you want something to be a legal choice, you are pro that thing. Yeah. But they don't like the word because abortion still is a bit stigmatized. Yeah. Yeah.
Well, so anyway, sorry, that's off the track, Maggie, but I just, I found that really interesting when he was saying that killing is killing, but. I think, can you clarify for us inconsistency you were finding in this position, just to really make sure we drill that point home. Because that's really important on capital punishment.
Beyond the debate of whether it's right or wrong to kill people who've been found guilty by the state, or by a jury or whatever, , where's the inconsistency? Let's just, you know, drill that home.
Maggie: Yeah, the inconsistency would be in saying that it's wrong to kill guilty people but okay to kill innocent people.
How does that make any sense? It don't to me.
Seth: It doesn't. It's like, it's a classic A4 Teori argument, right, which is to the stronger argument from weak to stronger. If it would be wrong to kill guilty people, it's certainly wrong to kill innocent people, right? Yes. That's a big if there, but if it's wrong to do capital punishment, it's clearly wrong to kill an innocent person.
unifier that. There are different positions, Mag used to just figure out your views on death, on the death penalty and we could some other day spend a time on a different podcast maybe talking about the views on the death penalty, but , the point is that every single person I've ever met has one position on the death penalty and that is that if there's an innocent person on death row, they ought not die.
Everyone agrees to that position. , why? Because we all agree it's wrong to purposefully kill innocent people.
Ethan: Yeah, and I usually in ethics when you have something like this If we're trying to figure out like between like you're saying a guilty person and an innocent person is saying well Which person is it?
Okay to punish with a very extreme form of punishment death usually within ethics We at least say well, we're not sure about the guilty person, but we can at least all agree With the innocent person that it's wrong that you shouldn't use this punishment for them. Yeah, because it's so extreme But today that's being flipped up on its head where instead of trying to find the line and at least backing off from that line For innocent people were we're going to that line and going beyond it.
Yeah and saying well We may not know about guilty people, but we're going to push back past that and say well We may not know about that, but we're gonna experiment all of these Really experiment. Yeah in all these other areas with you know, all sorts of your things like abortion IVF Designer babies where we are literally experimenting with people's lives and just sort of tossing them around in a very Irresponsible manner.
Seth: Yeah. When you mentioned the word punished Did you guys catch his theological basis for his view at the end of the clip?
Maggie: He said they'll stand before God. Yeah, is that the wording he used?
Ethan: I didn't catch that.
Seth: You want to replay the clip? I'll catch that part again.
Maggie: Yeah, sure. Let's play just the end of it
It's wrong to kill these people who have done immense wrong, but it's okay for a woman to choose her innocent child. It's okay
Seth: for her because she's the one that has to, God, she has to face God. I don't. So she chooses, whatever they choose, they get punished, but or whatever they do at the end. Did he unpack his religious views for you?
Because I'm really intrigued by this.
Maggie: No, I think he walked away soon after this.
Seth: Okay, so what's, what's he saying there? What's his argument? That maybe it's wrong, but they'll face consequence someday, so therefore we should allow it.
Maggie: Which, by that logic, we shouldn't stand against any injustice.
Seth: Exactly. Right? Isn't that a huge point? I mean, so, you could agree with his theological idea that people will face punishment someday, judgment someday, I guess I should say, judgment, but his conclusion then is therefore we ought to allow the thing today because we'll one day have judgment for it. Does God's judgment negate man's judgment, I guess is the question.
Maggie: No, of course not. The fact that we will stand before God, or Jesus will stand in our place. That's no reason to be complacent about the murder of millions of little children. We, we have to take a stand against these great injustices. I just wish that he understood that just as we should be against other injustices, which I'm sure he would agree with that, we have to take a stand against this.
Ethan: Yeah, yeah, that's, that is really interesting to me that he, almost like he actually would in a certain sense be against abortion. Mm hmm. But it's kind of like, well, not my problem. So, they can do whatever they want, because they're gonna get punished for it by God.
Seth: Right, he's admitting abortion is wrong.
Yes. Otherwise you'd say, they'll get rewarded by God, right? He's not gonna say, you'll get punished by God for helping the poor one day. No, you'd say you'll get rewarded if you, that's your view, right? If your view is God will reward you. He chose the word punish there for a reason. And that word is instructive that there is something wrong with abortion.
Yeah. I mean, again, I think he said this earlier, Maggie, when he said killing is killing, he's, has this weird broad brush view, but he's admitting it's killing? And he's admitting there's something wrong with it. Like, that's huge, right? Maybe he didn't agree with you when he walked away, but the language he's using shows that he's not that far off.
At least in the facts. Maybe conclusion he's off on. But the facts, he's recognizing this is killing, and it's not justifiable killing, I think.
Ethan: Yeah. I don't know. At least for how he got that, how you can read the Bible, you know, I don't know if he claims to be a Christian or not, but it sounds like he's at least getting some of his...
View on this from a Christian worldview, how you can read the Bible and see the parts where God talks about punishing people, but then not also read the parts where God talks about instituting governments, human governments to protect. Yeah, people because you know God cares about us It's not kind of like well free for all down there and then once you get to heaven, it's time to face up Yeah to what you've done, but he actually cares about people and that's why he's instituted protections and justice for people I don't know how he Missed that.
I mean, I have a guess, but what's your guess? He probably doesn't read the Bible.
Seth: Look at literacy Probably yeah true Maggie. This is your clip So, you know more about this than we do but in the first thing you said was it's irrelevant right when he asked the question Anyone who spent a day doing pro life outreach probably said this question a lot of times, right?
I remember when I was a youth pastor many years ago in Indiana doing pro life outreach and we had signs that just say abortion kills children. People would always say, well, war kills too, therefore, you know, it's not a big deal. Uh, which is the two wrongs that make a right fallacy. Obviously, that being wrong doesn't make this okay.
Um, I should say obviously, because it's maybe not obvious, but it is true that one wrong doesn't justify a second wrong. But, Maggie, when you initially said irrelevant, I think some people are going to push back on that, right? Because they say you ought to care. So my question to you is, do you care about innocent people dying on death row?
And does that connect at all to, people are sometimes asking not, They're not always interested in the apologetic answer we have, that it's irrelevant. They want to know that we care about these people dying on death row. And what are your thoughts on that, like, innocent people? And like, what are your thoughts?
Like, when you, if someone pushes back on you, like, is it really irrelevant? They might say it really isn't.
Maggie: Yeah, well, of course it's horrible when an innocent person is, is killed on death row, because they, That was not supposed to happen. Yeah. , so, I think it's very related to abortion, just as that innocent person shouldn't have died.
Mm In the same way, pre born children shouldn't die in this way. ... Yeah. It's not right. Just as we would and should oppose innocent lives being taken on death row, we should oppose the innocent lives being taken by abortion. Yeah.
Seth: I, I would agree entirely. I mean, I think that, if, if someone were on death row and they were proven innocent, they're taken off death row, right?
Yeah. I think that's a difference, right? So the babies are being killed with the full blessing of the law. The people on death row are dying because the law thinks they're guilty. If the law knew differently, they would not be executed. But here we have innocent people, not only innocent, but dying with the blessing of the state.
And that makes it a. You know, just numbers wise, but qualitatively different. Mm hmm. Their execution is blessed. That's wrong
Ethan: but I mean along with that question I guess you were saying if people saying that kind of well The death penalty is a part of the conversation about abortion I can understand that as far as on an emotional level like yes We want to have compassion for people who are wrongly accused of crimes.
They didn't commit On an intellectual level, it is, it is true that the death penalty does not have anything to do with abortion because you're talking, you're fundamentally talking about two different groups of people. One group of people is guilty of, you know, taking the life of another person. Whereas with this pre born baby, they haven't done anything.
As innocent, , as one could possibly be in that state.
Seth: Has anyone ever pushed back on you? Because I get a lot of, it's like, how do you know they're innocent?
Ethan: Yeah. I, I have had pushback on that, especially what's becoming more common, at least in my conversations, is this idea of abortion being an act of self defense.
Mm hmm. Against the child on the mother's part. And I I, I find, I haven't really held, talked to anyone who's held on to that too tightly. I sort of, I push back and I'm like, okay, well what do they do? And no one answers the question because it's like, well, they're there. And I'm like, well, who decided to engage in activity that we produce?
Seth: You're there in the room with me right now, Ethan, you're really bothering me. So, violence.
Ethan: So, and you know, kind of following the bread trail, the, the trail of bread crumbs back to the source of it. Yeah, it's, they're two fundamentally different, , groups of people that we're talking about.
Seth: I had a long email thread one time with some guy, , who was debating abortion with me.
I can't remember how he got my information, but, his argument was, by definition, when you're pregnant, your body structure changes a bit. We recognize this. , when women go through pregnancy, things change with, , Their body and his point was by definition the baby is there for harming the mother or we just all saw this article from Colorado abortionist Warren Hearn who said every pregnancy is a health issue It's life threatening because the risks you face make it a health issue Which means it like sitting in a room is a health issue because something the building catch on fire But anyhow, whatever side side note, yeah But I think that's just absurd your point is right that those are not actual harms from the baby to the mom Um, the mom's body changing our body.
All of our bodies change. We go through puberty, right? And that's not harm to you. It's your body changing, right? Well, I suppose. And therefore we need
to debrief something else. Some of the time, but, um, but on, on this note though, so we've had pushback on innocent thing, but they've done literally no thing. Yeah. Consciously. Right. But another thing is I think a lot of pro lifers or people who say they're pro life use the death penalty as an excuse to not get involved because they say until we are fighting, , for people on death row in the same way you fight for babies, I'm not going to do anything.
You have to have this. You've never heard this before? I've heard this, people will say, like, of a certain, generally, denomination, group saying you have to be against all the killings to actually start doing something. Have you guys heard this? Yeah, oh yeah, all the time. How do you respond? Maybe it's the same thing Ethan just said.
It is the same thing, I suppose, but what do you say, Maggie?
Maggie: Yeah, I think a really good response is to ask them, how many, wait, maybe I'm thinking of the question of, like, how many kids have you adopted? Is that kind of along the same lines?
Seth: That's not where I was going, but that's okay, go for it.
Maggie: Okay, well.
Maybe I shouldn't answer that question
Ethan: I think you're communicating the same thing. What would you say to how many kids you've adopted?
Maggie: If I adopt, adopted all the kids in the world, not possible, obviously, then would you, would you oppose abortion then? And they probably wouldn't. Or you can ask them, how many kids would I have, have to adopt before you oppose abortion?
I heard a story from someone else who does pro life work and they asked this question and someone said, all of them.
Seth: Really? And then you're going to oppose abortion? Yeah. I think so.
Maggie: But it's, it's just not going to change the argument. So, until you realize that every human being is valuable, that's what is, that needs to be what causes you to oppose abortion, because there's always going to be other things.
Seth: Well said, Maggie. Yeah. Thank you.
Maggie: Well, just to make one last quick point, I think a lot of people, I've heard this so often, people bring up this point of the death penalty. Just as an excuse to walk away, kind of like you were saying, , a little bit different. You were saying, Seth, like, they use this as an excuse not to get involved, but I think a lot of people use this as an excuse just not even to have a conversation with us because they see us as hypocrites.
But I think we need to remember that even if we are hypocrites on this, which I don't think we are, but even if we are, That is not doing anything about the actual argument against abortion. Yeah. when people use that as an excuse not to talk to us, they're still not dealing with... The argument that we're saying that it's wrong to kill these innocent pre born humans Yep,
Seth: if you look at our syllogism our names are not mentioned in it It's not that maggie says this maggie thinks this maggie does this it's it's wrong to purposely kill us that people abortion does it?
Therefore it's wrong objective apart from us. You're exactly right. We don't want to be hypocritical So dm us if you think we are yeah, we'll respond to it or think it through but our case is objective apart from us,
Maggie: right? Yeah, exactly. Well, this was good, , but to finish up this episode, just remember if someone is coming at you saying you're a hypocrite or you're being inconsistent if you think that capital punishment is okay and you oppose abortion, just remind them that abortion always kills an innocent human being.
, innocent is key. And so no matter whether capital punishment is right or wrong, it doesn't change that abortion is always wrong. So thank you so much for debriefing with us. Remember to leave us a five star review and we'll Share with all your friends. Debrief with us again next week.