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Rhetorical Question Begging

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Written by Basil on 08/24/2006 9:36 PM. Filed under:

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Clifton notes the subtle rhetoric of people more enlightened than you, me, or Jesus:

The pill acts in two ways. Primarily, it prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg so no fertilization can occur. Then in the rare event that an egg has already been released by the ovaries, the pill also changes the chemistry of the lining of the uterus so that any fertilized egg cannot implant.

Is this an abortion pill? No. For the most part the pill simply stops an egg from being available to come in contact with sperm. And even if there happens to be an egg present when sex occurs there is no disruption of an implanted embryo. The only way the pill can be seen as inducing an abortion is if one holds the view that non-implanted, fertilized eggs are fetuses — a view which few doctors, pharmacists, scientists or Americans subscribe to.

So, the good doctor and all those calm rational people who agree with them are true by fiat. Ipse dixit indeed.

Read the rest: This is Life: Revolutions around the cruciform axis — Lies, More Damned Lies

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5 Responses to “Rhetorical Question Begging”

  1. Theodora Says:

    Jesus had something to say about birth control pills?

  2. Basil Says:

    No more than he had to say about abortion or euthanasia. But I was using that hyperbole as a metaphor for this gentleman’s supercilious attitude in general, not relative to this specific issue.

    Perhaps I could communicate my anger and disenfranchisement by recontextualizing his phrase. What if someone were to say (in an article about a different issue — say, food in this country): “The only way this is possible is if one holds the view that the meat industry in America abuses animals and produces unhealthy products — a view which few doctors, pharmacists, scientists or Americans subscribe to.” Bingo. Just like that, the views of a significant subset of the American population — namely most vegetarians — have been completely dismissed as irrelevant.

    All because someone is more enlightened than God.

  3. Aborted Says:

    There are times where abortion becomes a requirement. If this pill was around when I was forcefully pregnated – it could have helped avoid the loss of an unborn life.

  4. Theodora Says:

    Basil, I think this (birth control) is a dangerous issue to use as an example of a more general point, just because it is such a passionate issue in its own right. Just a comment.

    As a vegetarian, I can tell you that it’s completely true that “few” doctors, pharmacists, scientists, etc., subscribe to the view that the meat industry abuses animals and produces unhealthy products! It would be a total waste of time and energy for me to get angry and feel disenfranchised, and begin to splutter, because I felt dismissed as irrelevant. Far more effective is to educate, both myself and others.

    For the issue of birth control pills, I suspect that “most” people, and that includes me, actually do not know enough human biology to be able to have any kind of informed opinion. Instead, we fall back on emotional appeals to religion, women’s rights, fetal rights, choice, whatever. You’ve issued a challenge for me to educate myself, actually, so I thank you.

    A second issue, and I realize I’m digressing, is the shared responsibility. How many men, converting to Orthodoxy, while making their life confessions, ever think to confess that their sexual partners had abortions or used hormonal birth control? I genuinely don’t know; perhaps many do! Women, on the other hand, are specifically directed to confess abortions (I’m not sure about birth control). If abortion is killing, then it is a crime for which two people bear full responsibility…

    Except in the case of rape, as Aborted points out. Aborted, I am sorry that whatever happened to you, happened. I hope you have been able to find peace, over time.

  5. Aborted Says:

    Great entry Theodora.

    What happened to me was horrific. Probably something that I will never forget as long as I live. But to turn it into something positive, I use my experience to help others deal with similar situations.

    I am now on birth control as well. More because my abortion left me with some problems that the pill helps alleviate. Birth control can be used for reasons other then prevention of pregnancy – there is definitely a need for this.

    I know that this was not what Kevin was trying to point out; but I felt compelled to write when I came across this as it really hit close to home.