On Name-Calling and the Abortion Debate
A Public Domain document –may be freely copied/posted anywhere
Generally, name-calling should not be done. In certain circumstances, however, it could be OK. The reason is “proof”. For example, if someone tells a lie, and the lie can be proved to be a lie, it is accurate to call that person a “liar“. “Name-calling” is mostly frowned-upon because it is too-often done in the absence of any evidence whatsoever, much less proof. But when proof exists…? While conventional social wisdom frowns on calling the proved liar a liar, what other means is there, to encourage the proved liar to stop telling the lie?
Well, there actually is an alternative that might work. This involves careful phrasing that pays attention to the difference between an actual thing (a liar, perhaps), and the actions that qualify for that thing (the lying). In other words, instead of saying, “This data proves you are a liar!”, an alternate statement is, “This data proves you are acting like a liar!” The latter statement should be a great deal more socially acceptable than the former, while still getting the point across, that a proven lie had been told.
Let us now consider some modified name-callings, in detail.
1. “Some pro-choicers act like liars when they claim the unborn are not alive.” The scientific data is quite well-verified, that not only are the unborn alive, every single “eukaryote”-type of cell in a human body is alive. A eukarote-type of cell has a nucleus with enough DNA in it that the cell is able to divide and make a copy of itself. (Prokaryote-type cells, such as most bacteria, don’t have their DNA confined to a nucleus, and are MUCH smaller than eukaryote cells.) A human body is descended from a very long line of organisms in which eukaryote cells learned how to cooperate in huge groups, toward the overall goals of survival and reproduction.
2. “Some pro-choicers act like liars when they claim an embryo or fetus is a ‘mass of tissue‘.” The scientific data is quite well-verified, that a zygote is a single cell, a morula is a mass of cells, a blastocyst is a mass of tissue, but an embryo and a fetus is experiencing cell-specialization such that it has bones and muscle cells and nerve cells and blood cells and so on. An embryo or fetus is much more than just a mass of tissue.
It could now be appropriate to talk about “hydatidiform moles“. They begin their existence with the fertilization of an ovum by a sperm; the resulting zygote develops into a morula and later, a blastocyst, which normally seeks to implant into a womb –after which events progress very differently from an ordinary pregnancy. The description “a mass of tissue” remains accurate for a hydatidiform mole! Eventually the mole can cause “trophoblastic disease“, and so it must be aborted.
3. “Many pro-choicers and abortion opponents act like ignoramuses when they associate the concept of ‘personhood’ with ‘human life’ —in spite of the fact that they actually do know what persons truly are!” Any reasonably educated self can prove knowledge of personhood’s nature by answering a simple Question: “If you were visiting a very modern and well-equipped medical laboratory, and some madman with a machete cut your head off in an attempt to murder you, but rescuers arrived in time, do you want them to save your headless human body, or save your decapitated head, to save YOU-the-person?”
See? A person is a mind. If it is ever irrefutably proved that dolphins qualify as persons, they will qualify because of their minds. If we someday start building True Artificial Intelligences that qualify as persons, they will qualify because of their minds. If we someday encounter extraterrestrial alien entities, any that qualify as persons will qualify because of their minds.
The fact that a person is a mind is reiterated by how society and the legal system deals with brain-dead human adults on full-life-support. When the brain is dead, the associated mind has been destroyed, which means the person is dead, and therefore the life-support “plug” can be pulled, allowing the still-living human animal body to die. Note that the U.S. Constitution uses the word “person” throughout, and doesn’t use the word “human” even once. That means, if a human animal body alone qualified as a person, it would be entirely legally forbidden to pull the plug! But since the legal system recognizes that persons are minds, not animal bodies, the life-support plug can indeed get pulled.
There exists additional and important relevant data about which a great many people are truly ignorant (as in, “I never knew that before!”, the type of ignorance that is far superior to the deliberate ignoring of data). If there is anything wrong with not-knowing this data related to personhood, it is the degree to which the Overall Abortion Debate would have been different, if the data had been widely-known instead.
Some of the data is about human brain development after birth, and “feral children”. It is basically proof of the importance of Nurture in overall human development, and it means that if a human does not receive appropriate Nurture early in life, the resulting human will only be a clever animal, with nothing more than a clever-animal mind —it will not have the kind of powerful mind that typically distinguishes persons from ordinary animals.
Some more of the often-unknown-but-relevant data is about Koko the Gorilla and Chantek the Orangutan. It happens that human-style Nurturing can lead to extra brain development for certain non-human animals, such that their minds can become as powerful as typical human 3-year-olds (but note they also have roughly the same total amount of brain as human 3-year-olds…) –their minds are enough-more-powerful than ordinary animals that Koko and Chantek could qualify as persons, to the same extent that 3-year-old human minds can qualify.
The reason that data is relevant to the Overall Abortion Debate is because many folks assume that human DNA alone (“Nature”) suffices to guarantee that a human zygote can eventually develop a fully-person-class mind. WRONG! Human-style Nurturing is so important and powerful that without it, for humans the results are clever animals –and with it, it can even work for some non-human species!
The final batch of relevant but often-unknown data is about modern “cloning” and “stem cell” research. It has been discovered that any average human eukaryote cell is very-much equivalent to a zygote, in that it has the potential to divide many times and ultimately yield a complete human body. The main difference is the sections of DNA code getting processed by the various cells. A muscle cell processes DNA code telling it how to behave like a muscle cell; a cuticle cell processes DNA code telling it how to behave like a cuticle cell; a zygote processes DNA code telling it how to behave like a zygote —but all the cells have all the DNA, and could in theory process any other block of DNA code. Note that when a virus invades a cell, it exactly tells the cell’s nucleus to stop processing its normal DNA code, and to start processing different code (virus code). And the cloning process exactly tells a specialized-cell nucleus to start processing zygote code.
The goal of stem-cell researchers is to find a simple way to tell an ordinary cell to stop processing its normal code, and start processing the code associated with stem cells. This will enhance a body’s ability to recover from huge amounts of damage –whole legs could be re-grown from stem cells, after the researchers succeed. But there is a key fact in that the zygote is a type of stem cell! We have proof that every typical living human eukaryote cell is as much “human life” as a zygote! (It simply isn’t-at-the-moment processing the exact same DNA code as a zygote.)
The preceding facts now lead us to the topic of “human beings”. Very often that phrase is synonymous with “persons“, but the preceding data indicates that it is quite possible for a human entity to exist that fails to qualify as a person –it does not have a mind superior to that of ordinary animals. Hydatidiform moles, brain-dead adults, cuticle cells killed by the thousand during manicures and pedicures, feral children, and the unborn all fail to have minds qualifying them as persons, and therefore it would simply make logical sense to never call any of them “human beings”. They are all basically human animal entities!
On the other hand, another definition of “human being” is “any member of the species Homo Sapiens”. By that definition, cuticle cells and hydatidiform moles both qualify (all their DNA is 100% that of species H.Sapiens), and that in turn means they should be called “persons”, right? What should be most clear is that certain dictionary definitions are flawed and need to be corrected! So, note that the simple noun “a human” also is “any member of the species H.Sapiens” –why should we ever need to call something “a human being” when the simpler phrase “a human” is available? ANSWER: Because some (not all) human entities also qualify as persons!
4. “Many abortion opponents act like equivocating propagandists when they use the phrase ‘human being’.” That’s simply a consequence of provably-flawed dictionary definitions. They could be honestly unaware of the flaws. However, if they mis-use the phrase “human being” after encountering the preceding facts, then they will most certainly deserve to be told they are acting like equivocating propagandists!
5. “Many abortion opponents act like liars when they call themselves ‘pro-life’.” The scientific data is quite well-verified that the existing global human population is crowding-out-of-existence thousands of other species every year through habitat-destruction (averaging about three entire species made extinct per hour). By seeking to ban abortion and thereby increase the human birth rate, the consequences will most certainly include the extinctions of even-more whole species. How can that possibly qualify as “pro life”??? Which leads us to….
6. “Many abortion opponents act like they are prejudiced.” On what basis other than Prejudice can anyone think it is OK to kill thousands of entire species every year, just to accommodate some extra human mouths-to-feed, in a provably overpopulated world? According what abortion opponents say, it appears that only human life matters, and all other life, including important other life, can die. –Which leads us to….
7. “Many abortion opponents act like they are dishonest, when they claim the world is not overpopulated with humans.” They make that claim while talking about food-production and food-distribution only, and totally ignoring all the scientific data that is is quite well-verified, about other consequences of human overpopulation. Those consequences include overfishing the oceans, aquifer depletion, deforestation, desertification, extinctions of other species, encroachment of farmland by cities, mass production of toxic industrial wastes, shortages of important resources like copper, and global warming. For abortion opponents to honestly claim the world is not overpopulated, all those things need other explanations!
8. “Many abortion opponents act like equivocating propagandists when they refer to unborn human animal organisms as ‘babies’ or ‘children’.” This is another case where dictionary definitions allow such word-usage, but…, an unborn human has some hugely significant differences from ordinary babies and children. Thus to call the unborn “babies” or “children” is to attempt to make someone else NOT think about those hugely significant differences –differences which prove the unborn are actually “babies under construction” or “children under construction“.
In more detail, and for most of a pregnancy, each unborn human animal organism has a placenta as an attached vital organ, as important as the heart, while ordinary babies and children don’t have placentas as attached vital organs. To be fair, we need to note that fact was not discovered until the late 20th Century, when the DNA of the placenta could be analyzed. For thousands of years it was assumed to be part of the mother’s body, since it is normally directly attached to her uterus. The portion of the placenta that is in actual contact with the mother’s body actually is part of the mother’s body; it has her DNA. The placenta is a jointly-constructed and jointly-owned organ, but for the mother, it is a vital organ only in the sense that it helps protect her from the unborn human animal organism! (More on that later.) Even though we now know an unborn baby-under-construction is different from an ordinary baby, human languages, including medical terminologies, literally-habitually still reflect thousands of years of ignorance about the relationship between an unborn human animal organism and its placenta.
A major purpose of the placenta is to acquire resources needed to develop part of the overall unborn body (the part called the “embryo” or “fetus”) sufficiently to make the placenta unnecessary. Facts such as that, along with modern data about the placenta as a vital organ for the unborn human animal organism, have been known for enough decades that, with respect to the Overall Abortion Debate, many opponents of abortion really can be told they act like equivocating propagandists. Anyone who truly thinks the embryo portion of an unborn human is, all by itself, fully equivalent to an ordinary baby or child (NOT most abortion opponents!), should simply cut the umbilical cord connecting the embryo to its placenta, and see how long it survives –and thereby learn how different from an ordinary baby or child an unborn human animal organism really is!
9. “Many abortion opponents act like liars when they call the unborn ‘innocent‘.” In actual fact, though, and especially because their existence includes placentas as vital organs, unborn human animal organisms are entirely responsible for at least four different reprehensible acts. First is the theft of resources (like calcium) from the body of another human. We know this can happen even inside a Fallopian Tube, and we suspect that if given the oppotunity, a blastocyst could form a placenta inside a man’s body, to steal resources there. A uterus has “slough-able tissue” that evoloved specifically to allow a placenta to detach from a female mammal’s body without ripping her guts out in the process –and even then, sometimes fatal hemorrhaging happens.
Second, simply because all biological processes produce wastes, either the wastes must be dumped or an organism will die. The placenta is the tool by which an unborn human animal organism dumps its toxic biowastes into another human body. This generally causes “morning sickness”, and can be fatal.
Third, the placenta generates progesterone, a hormone that helps ensure that it does not detach from the uterus prematurely –but progesterone is also an addictive substance –it is sometimes called the “feel-good hormone“, and when a pregnancy ends, regardless of whether the end happens by abortion or miscarriage or normal birth, the production of progesterone also ends, and the “withdrawal symptoms” are encompassed within “post partum depression“. Since when is it not reprehensible for one human to infuse an addictive substance into another human’s body?
Fourth, the placenta generates oxytocin, a hormone associated with emotional bonding. Oxytocin is the reason you don’t get between a mama-bear and her cubs! It is also the reason why a woman might change her mind about adopting-out her newborn, and thereby cause much frustration for would-be adopters. Since when is it not reprehensible for one human to infuse a mind-altering substance into another human’s body?
Abortion opponents will sometimes try to invoke a different definition of “innocent”, which involves a person not understanding the consequences of reprehensible actions. However, all that argument does is admit unborn humans are mere animal organisms, different from persons that deserve rights! Such reasoning does not prevent guinea worms and other parasites, which also have no understanding of their actions, from getting killed precisely because their actions are represhensible! So, why should unwanted unborn human animal organisms that act worse than typical parasites (which don’t do the third and fourth things listed above) be spared? To say, “because they are human!” is simply to exhibit Prejudice!
10. “Many abortion opponents act like they are greedy.” The two most-relevant facts associated with that name-call are, (A) political opposition to abortion is traditionally associated with “conservatives“, and (B) a great many political conservatives are business-owners. Per the widely-known Law of Supply and Demand (especially widely-known to business-owners!), the more people that are born, the more goods and services they need, which directly profits businesses. And over the longer term, a larger population is associated with greater competition for jobs, which keeps wages low and also directly profits businesses. It is pure greed, how those political conservatives claim they “value human life” in their opposition to abortion –and yet they fail to follow-through with their claim when they simultaneously oppose Minimum Wage Laws that directly benefit human lives! That leads us to….
Some of their hypocrisies are less-blatant than others, which is the main reason there are too many to list here. But presenting say, four of them, might suffice to make the point. First, consider that abortion opponents are extremely willing to accept the power of scientific methods when it comes to proving that unborn human animal organisms are living entities –but they are not willing to accept the same power of scientific methods when it comes to proving such things as (A) the unborn are mere-animal organisms, and cannot possibly qualify as persons in the same way that dolphins, or extraterrestrial alien machine intelligences, might qualify as persons — and (B) the unborn are different from “babies” and “children”, because the placenta is a vital organ for each unborn human animal organism, while ordinary babies and children don’t have placentas at all.
Second, consider that languages contain many words for accurately describing different types of humans: “strong”, “nerdy”, “chubby”, “red-headed”, “myopic”, “flat-footed”, etc. Many abortion opponents are very willing to use plenty of those accurate words when describing a great many different humans –but when it comes to the non-placental portion of an overall unborn human animal organism, they refuse to use the most-accurate words “embryo” and “fetus”, and insist on using “baby” or “child”. While this was previously mentioned in the context of “propaganda”, it also is Hypocrisy.
Third, in many cultures it is often true that when someone needs something, others pitch in to freely help –but if someone merely wants something, that someone is generally expected to obtain it independently of outside donations. Well, abortion opponents want lots of extra babies to be born and raised, but they mostly aren’t interested in paying for what they want. Instead, they Hypocritically expect others to pay for what they-the-abortion-opponents want!
Fourth, it is known that the sex act does not force sperm and ovum to merge to yield a zygote; they are independently-acting entities. It is known that the sex act does not force a zygote to begin dividing, becoming a morula; it is an independently-acting entity. It is known that the sex act does not force a morula to crack open the “zona pallucida” (outermost part of original ovum) and escape, becoming a blastocyst; it is an independently-acting entity. It is also known that the sex act does not force a blastocyst to implant into a uterus; it is an independently-acting entity. Finally, it is known even to abortion opponents that when a desired pregnancy fails to happen, one of those intermediate and independently-acting entities is often to blame and is fully responsible (and the services of a fertility clinic may be sought to fix the problem). But those same abortion opponents Hypocritically insist that the sex-participants alone are entirely to blame and responsible when an unwanted pregnancy happens (and the services of an abortion clinic may be sought to fix the problem).
12. “Many abortion opponents act like they are stupid.” There is no such thing as “intelligent prejudice” or “intelligent hypocrisy” –and if one tells a lie that can very-easily be proved a lie (like claiming “humans have a natural right-to-life” –let’s see what happens after an unarmed abortion opponent tell that to a hungry man-eating tiger), that is not much of an exhibition of intelligence, either.
13. “Many abortion opponents act like they are genocidal.” The particular “race” threatened by their actions is the “human race”, and if abortion opponents succeed at increasing the total birth rate for humans on Island Earth, they will simultaneously greatly increase the chance that a Malthusian Catastrophe will kill at least 80% of the entire human species. Before-and-after population figures are inexact for Easter Island (the best-known proof that humanity is not immume to a Malthusian Catastrophe), but it is known that the population dropped by 80% to 99%. When an ordinary animal species suffers a Malthusian Catastrophe, the death rate is typically 99%. In what way does working to help cause the death of most of humanity (via increased overpopulation that metaphorically breaks the camel’s back) not qualify as “genocidal”? The name-call “short-sighted” could also apply!
14. “Many abortion opponents act like would-be slavers.” Slavery is often defined as equivalent to “involuntary servitude“. If abortion is made illegal, then women who don’t want to be pregnant will be forced into involuntary servitude, reduced in status from “persons” to “life-support machines” for mere-animal organisms!
In closing this article we can now conclude the following:
“Some pro-choicers act like lying ignoramuses.”
“Many abortion opponents act like lying ignorant equivocating propagandizing prejudiced dishonest greedy hypocritical stupid short-sighted genocidal would-be-slavers.”
Both are obviously bad positions to be in, but one is equally-obviously and significantly less-bad than the other.