The Pro-Choice Position Should Not be Compared with Language or Actions Used by the Nazis
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This debate is a result of a difference of opinion. My position is that Pro-choice advocates are dehumanizing the unborn, and this dehumanization is comparable to what the Nazis did to the Jews. Whiteflame's position is, "I still very much disagree that this is a valid comparison." (see comment # 44, https://www.debateart.com/debates/1667/abortion-should-be-legal?open_tab=comments&comments_page=3). He believes even if it were true, it still "inflames" people in a negative way in turning them away from listening to the argument rather than educating them. He states,
"Pro-choice people see the words "you're basically Hitler" and that has a strong negative effect on their willingness to read your other words."
My Pro-life position is that even if the Nazi example is misconstrued and people are unwilling to hear it, the argument still needs to be made to highlight an injustice that is taking place.
1st Round --> Initial Arguments/opening statements
2nd Round --> Rebuttals and additional arguments
3rd Round --> Rebuttals and additional arguments
4th Round --> Rebuttals and closing statements, no new arguments
Pro-choice is defined by a perception that the unborn should not be awarded the same rights as individuals born into the world alive, usually advocating a woman's right to control her own body, and supporting or advocating the right to legalized abortion.
Pro-life is defined by the perception that the unborn is due rights equal to individuals born into the world alive, advocating full legal protection of embryos and fetuses, and the outlawing of abortion.
These two definitions are a combination of input from my opponent and https://www.thefreedictionary.com/pro-life
Compare - Draw an analogy between one thing and (another) for the purposes of explanation or clarification.
The onus or burden of proof is shared by each of us to demonstrate our position is more reasonable.
I will be using Canadian English except when quoting.
OV1: This is not a debate about whether abortion is moral. The focus is on the comparison between the arguments of the pro-choice movement and the Nazi Reich. Voters, you can continue to believe that abortion should be banned and still disagree with the comparison. Given this, any point we make regarding the morality or justness of an argument or a law that supports or validates abortion is off topic.
OV2: This debate does not require defense or support of arguments made by individual pro-choice advocates or even statements made by many of them. Saying that these points represent the entire pro-choice position is a hasty generalization, as our personal experiences and a few cherry-picked quotes are not sufficient evidence. The definition of pro-choice that we agreed to is the sole representation for pro-choice views: “a perception that the unborn should not be awarded the same rights as individuals born into the world alive, usually advocating a woman's right to control her own body, and supporting or advocating the right to legalized abortion.” I may choose to defend more specific arguments made in support of this, but I am not required to do so in order to affirm this resolution.
OV3: This debate is not solely a factual comparison between pro-choice arguments and Nazi arguments. Fundamental to this debate is an understanding of what “should not” means in this context. It is both an expression of accuracy and an indication of obligation or duty. So, what would someone who supports the comparison be obliged to do? I will argue that they are obliged to meet two thresholds: convey a greater understanding of the issue, and/or induce improved discussion of the issue (in this case, abortion). Note that these are both entirely distinct from the accuracy of the comparison, and thus precede any discussion of whether the comparison itself is apt. Thus, this is an a priori issue.
So, let’s begin by determining whether the comparison meets these thresholds.
Does it effectively convey a greater understanding of abortion?
No. Including specifics of Nazi atrocities (as Con has in a previous debate ) fosters no greater understanding of abortion and the rights involved. Analogies like this are usually meant to simplify complex issues, yet analysis of the pro-choice position is inherently basic and more easily understood than a full timeline spanning a decade in Nazi Germany. If Con wants to convey the importance of these lives by comparison to others, then he could easily do so without invoking a fascist regime, and that inefficiency alone is enough to dismiss the comparison.
Does induce improved discussion of abortion?
Again, no. This debate would not exist if this was not true because there would be no reason to focus on it at the expense of discussing the morality or legality of abortion. To understand this, though, we need to talk a fallacy called reductio ad Hitlerium. While it is often misunderstood, this fallacy exists because the comparison to Hitler and the Nazi regime is so common that it required a separate designation. Essentially, the basis for the fallacy is that an argument reduces a given position to cherry-picked elements, drawing attention away from its current meaning and context. In this case, it’s the idea of guilt by association: arguments made by pro-choice people are in some ways similar to those made in the past by this terrible group, and because that group is terrible, so is the pro-choice position as a whole.
This is why comparisons to Hitler as a whole are so prone to error: cherry-picking portions of two much larger and more complex ideologies is inherently flawed. The comparison trivializes both the acts of genocide perpetrated by the Nazis and the importance of the mother and her access to basic bodily autonomy. That perceived triviality incites those who are pro-choice (particularly if they’re Jewish and thus have personal connections to the Holocaust) to anger, which inherently runs contrary to rational discussion. Abortion is, itself, a heated issue. Contributing to the frustrations that plague this topic by inciting the other side is not conducive to any discussion or debate because it detracts from any rational discussion of abortion. If an argument detracts from the debate, or pushes others away from the debate, then it should be discarded. In fact, Con has already stated what his purpose is in presenting these points: to trigger moral outrage . So, what makes this comparison outrageous? The comparison is inherently provocative, specifically aimed to paint a swastika over the pro-choice position. While Con will almost certainly argue that he’s not calling pro-choice people Nazis, taking the stance that their positions are comparable without any effort to distinguish the two demonstrates an effort to equate the two. Unsurprisingly, that induces anger and puts the attention on the comparison and has for a long time.
But it’s not just the pro-choice response that’s worrisome, as this kind of language also inflames those who see it as a moral outrage: if your opponents behave outrageously, then that justifies outrageous responses, which many have been incited to commit.[4-6] The perpetuation of this argument leads to further drastic efforts from pro-life extremists and shuts down discussion still further.
Taking this another step back, this kind of comparison also does a disservice to both historical understanding of the Nazis and to our understanding of pro-choice viewpoints. It’s an attempt to obfuscate any further understanding of the Nazis, as the comparison breaks down with even the slightest effort to do so and reduces the entire pro-choice position to a minority of arguments. Even if we assume no negative response to this, these kinds of comparison “dumb down our political discourse, cheapen the actual realities of the past, and rob us of the opportunity to genuinely understand and learn from the past.”
Taking one final step back, the comparison to Hitler is inherently fraught with drama. There’s a reason that Godwin’s Law exists: almost every position gets a similar comparison, eventually, including the pro-life movement.[8, 9] It may even be more absurd in those cases, but these faulty comparisons taint any efforts to use these comparisons, to the point that every such comparison automatically dismissed as frivolous. This means that any validity is inconsequential, as the comparison itself will be dismissed solely because it exists.
With that, let’s get down to the accuracy of Con’s position. I’m going to cover some substantial discrepancies between Nazi-borne dehumanization and the pro-choice position. I’ll need to start with an overview.
The Importance of Context
It is impossible to focus on one small aspect of a comparison without dredging up the context. You do not invoke a group like the Nazis without eliciting responses to many of the heinous acts the Nazis partook in because the comparison doesn’t end at a few quotes. Con clearly recognizes this: in his previous debate, Con spent over half of his opening round providing extensive context on the history of Nazi Germany. He wouldn’t have bothered if he felt that we could focus on a few quotes taken out of that context. The comparison is meant to establish a link between the pro-choice position and Nazi Germany that goes much deeper than a few quotes.
Thus, the goal is to contaminate the pro-choice position with the context of Nazi Germany; however, to do so, we must entirely ignore any comparisons of their contexts. The same mistake is made by countless others who have compared various world leaders to Hitler. They select a set of policies, traits, quotes and other information from said leaders, and compare them with Hitler to evoke the horrors of the Holocaust and turn the public against said leaders. Consistently, each of these comparisons barely scratches the surface, and closer inspection renders them absurd. So, let’s focus on the contexts in this comparison.
Unlike a Jew, a pregnancy is, inherently, causes a variety of physical effect on the mother. Even if we ignore every complication that can occur (of which there are many ), pregnancy requires an expectant mother to carry a child to term for nine months and give birth to that child. These all take a physical toll on the mother, which abortion can cease.
Now, Con will almost certainly argue that this toll is justified. However, referring back to my OV1, these arguments are non sequiturs in this debate. The physical toll is utterly incomparable to anything experienced by the Nazis, who are functioning as corollaries to pro-choice mothers in this comparison. It is fundamental and out of necessity that the sustainment of a pregnancy against a mother’s will reduces her capacity for self-ownership and self-preservation. So, whereas the survival of Jews in 1930’s Germany was never at odds with the rights of other German people, the survival of an unborn child is directly at odds with the rights of the mother.
Genocide vs. Choice
The take-away from this comparison is that the aims of the pro-choice movement and the Nazis are similar: both show disdain for the value of some subset of human lives and want to see them gone. However, this is dramatically oversimplified. Pro-choice people do not want all unborn babies to die; to do so would end humanity, making it inherently self-defeating, and runs directly contrary to the word “choice.” Pro-choice people argue that expectant mothers should have the individual choice to keep or abort the unborn. Meanwhile, the Nazis engineered a systematic, coercive project of racial purity with the goal of utterly erasing Jews, Romani, invalids, and other groups that did not fit their view of what a perfect specimen was. They wanted these populations to disappear, no choice involved.
This establishes a clear distinction between the Nazis and the pro-choice position, as they are clearly seeking extremely different outcomes. Con’s argument fails to consider one basic fact: pro-choice people still having children. Clearly, the pro-choice view still attributes substantial, if unequal, value to the unborn. Moreover, pro-choice people automatically afford those humans full rights when they become viable. Compare that with the Nazis: those they killed received nothing but negative value, and there was no opportunity to obtain rights of any kind.
The comparison between the pro-choice position and Nazi rhetoric and actions is inherently reductive. Context matters, and while it is theoretically possible to compare elements of each, the reality is that it can’t be done without involving their contexts. Ignoring context undercuts any comparison between the two, yet the whole basis for the comparison relies on context to be effective. As such, Con is trying to have his cake and eat it, too. He can’t have it both ways, which offers him no opportunities to oppose the resolution.
This is not a debate about whether abortion is moral...Voters, you can continue to believe that abortion should be banned and still disagree with the comparison. Given this, any point we make regarding the morality or justness of an argument or a law that supports or validates abortion is off topic.
The focus is on the comparison between the arguments of the pro-choice movement and the Nazi Reich.
This debate does not require defence or support of arguments made by individual pro-choice advocates or even statements made by many of them.
Saying that these points represent the entire pro-choice position is a hasty generalization, as our personal experiences and a few cherry-picked quotes are not sufficient evidence.
Fundamental to this debate is an understanding of what "should not" means in this context...an expression of accuracy and an indication of obligation or duty.
[C]onvey a greater understanding of abortion?
"no greater understanding of abortion and the rights involved."
Does induce improved discussion of abortion?
arguments...because that group is terrible, so is the pro-choice position as a whole.
The comparison trivializes both the acts of genocide perpetrated by the Nazis and the importance of the mother and her access to basic bodily autonomy.
If an argument detracts from the debate or pushes others away from the debate, then it should be discarded.
his purpose is in presenting these points: to trigger moral outrage
the goal is to contaminate the pro-choice position with the context of Nazi Germany...to do so, we must entirely ignore any comparisons of their contexts.
Unlike a Jew, a pregnancy is, inherently, causes a variety of physical effect on the mother...against a mother's will reduces her capacity for self-ownership and self-preservation...The physical toll is utterly incomparable to anything experienced by the Nazis...
the survival of Jews in 1930's Germany was never at odds with the rights of other German people, the survival of an unborn child is directly at odds with the rights of the mother.
Pro-choice people argue that expectant mothers should have the individual choice to keep or abort the unborn.
pro-choice people still having children.
"pro-choice people automatically afford those humans full rights when they become viable. Compare that with the Nazis: those they killed received nothing but negative value, and there was no opportunity to obtain rights of any kind."
Con cherry-picks arguments made by individual pro-choice people as straw men to represent the pro-choice argument as a whole. In my OV2, I explained why this is problematic, as the resolution requires that we analyze the pro-choice position, not individual pro-choice arguments. Con even tries to shift away from language in his response to my OV2, arguing that the focus should be on the “mindset” of the people speaking or the “pattern” that speech represents. Mindset is not language, nor is a “pattern” constituted by that language equivalent to the language itself, and neither is indicative of the pro-choice position. Neither mindsets nor patterns among people who support a given stance are emblematic of the stance itself, nor do they establish the intentions behind said position. Ironically, Con’s efforts to distance his arguments from reductio ad Hitlerium have further exposed his efforts to reduce the entire pro-choice position down to what a select, cherry-picked few have said.
Laws are not passed in a vacuum. I will get into the context and how it applies on my OV3, but the laws Con cites for Nazi Germany had the stated, sole goal of removing rights from citizens. By contrast, Roe v. Wade established both the rights of pregnant women and the rights of the unborn by comparison.
Con’s comparison hinges on the notion that both pro-choice proponents and Hitler engaged in propaganda, yet he provides nothing but a quote from Hitler on the latter and focuses entirely on “PC liberal ideas” for the former. This argument doesn’t impact the debate at all; Con fails to link the pro-choice position to this propaganda, fails to make any direct comparison to actual propaganda used by the Nazis, and instead gets tied up in calling out liberals on college campuses. It is yet more cherry-picking of how some pro-choice people behave and this time with even less effort to compare.
Onto my points.
This debate is not over the morality of abortion, hence issues that involve the morality of abortion are not relevant. No matter what’s said in the description regarding the position that Pro takes in this debate, his burden, what he’s actually required to show, is spelled out by the resolution: he must show that the pro-choice position should be compared with language or actions used by the Nazis. The important word there is “should,” yet the position Con quotes from the description exchanges it for “can” as he tries to turn this into a straight fact debate. My OV3 showed that this was not the case, yet Con consistently focuses on cherry-picked points of comparison. He presents several more here, none of which further his position.
The only larger point Con makes here is that discrimination and dehumanization characterizes both the pro-choice position and Nazi ideology. I will cross-apply two points: my OV2 and Importance of Context. All of Con’s points here rely on terminology used by a subset of people who are pro-choice, and they rely on entirely stripping out the context by which these decisions were made. More importantly, even if it is true that both groups engage in discrimination and dehumanization, that does not mean that the comparison should be made, which gets back to my OV3.
Cross-apply my points on language here. Patterns and mindsets are not equivalent to the pro-choice position, no matter how Con contorts them. Con also fails to understand how either reduction ad Hitlerium and Godwin’s Law apply to his case, which I’ll get to on OV3. Pro does later argue that “[o]rdinary people who associate with a particular belief can do terrible things”, which, again, is off-topic. We’re not talking about pro-choice individuals, we’re talking about the pro-choice position. The decisions of some actors do not establish that the position itself is harmful.
Con drops that this is an a priori issue. This is crucial, because if I'm winning any of these points, they precede any discussion of the accuracy of the comparison we're discussing; it can be factually accurate and still fail to meet his burden to show that it should be used.
Does it effectively convey a greater understanding of abortion?
Con drops that understanding of the pro-choice position in any sense does not demand comparison to the Nazis, and his quote of my argument, which he characterizes as fallacious, excludes a large swath of my point: “If Con wants to convey the importance of these lives by comparison to others, then he could easily do so without invoking a fascist regime, and that inefficiency alone is enough to dismiss the comparison.” At no point does Con argue that his comparison is more efficient than directly examining the pro-choice position, nor does he address my warrant that such an argument would be more efficient than his comparison. These drops function as a concession of the argument. The only response he gives that addresses the point is this:
“It shows how language, laws, and culture can adversely sway a society into adopting unjust ‘rights’/practices and dehumanizing the unborn just like the Jew.”
There is a lot of loaded language in here, but the main problem with this is Con’s willingness to strip out any context that does not fit his narrative. Unlike the Nazis, pro-choice people aren’t establishing a fascist regime. No one is mandating how individuals should behave towards the unborn; no one is requiring that they be tattooed with numbers or wear a symbol of oppression; no one is herding them into camps and gassing them in mass; no one is enforcing their views on abortion with military power. Con’s argument here relies on a direct comparison of how pro-choice people and Nazis have pushed their positions, yet he entirely excludes any mention of how the Nazis actually did this. To Con, it is just as terrible that legal protections have been enshrined by the USSC, a body nominated and appointed by representatives of the American electorate, following a trial that clearly warranted a decision on the matter. He can disagree with their decision, call it tainted by language and smear the judges, but that doesn’t change that the means by which abortion came to be legalized are entirely distinct from those behind how the Nazis came to power and enforced their rule. He cherry-picks the context he cares about, using a knife to slice up his puzzle pieces to make them fit neatly together. In all three cases – language, laws and culture – Con fails to establish that the contexts are at all similar. That failure defeats this argument, which relies entirely on their similar contexts for the one to inform the other. All he’s done is force an illogical comparison to unfairly malign the pro-choice position.
Does it induce improved discussion of abortion?
The point here is that Con’s comparison functions as a distraction that takes away from understanding of abortion as an issue. He drops that this very debate is evidence of that distraction, preventing debate on abortion directly. At no point does he explain how being aware of a separate injustice that virtually everyone already knows about increases understanding of abortion as an issue. The number of people who have died and the bodily autonomy of the unborn are non-sequiturs. I am pointing to contexts that distinguish between the pro-choice position and that of the Nazis, each of which show that the two are distinct. The existence of similarities does not remove these dissimilarities. I also explained why comparisons that exclude these factors are problematic. Those points were the basis for my citing reduction ad Hitlerium (“cherry-picking portions of two much larger and more complex ideologies is inherently flawed”), yet Con dismisses them without addressing this point. Leaving out the essential context to make what would otherwise be an invalid comparison appear valid is classic reduction ad Hitlerium, despite Con’s protestations.
Con’s other points are non-responsive. Neither pro-choice nor pro-life people side should engage in language that prevents meaningful discussion. It's a classic tu quoque fallacy: pointing out that others do it too doesn’t make you less guilty. If that comparison pushes others away from the debate, then it should be discarded; Con dropped this argument. His claim that I’m somehow using “emotive, heated, loaded language,” (despite the fact that I’m citing his own statement about triggering moral outrage and I’m justifying that terminology throughout – he’s cherry-picking terms and ignoring warrants), similarly does nothing to justify the comparison he’s supporting. Even if moral outrage is appropriate, inciting further outrage is not beneficial to a discussion of abortion. It is a blatant appeal to emotion that detracts from logical, meaningful debate.
Con also drops every impact. He justifies responses from pro-life groups that increase harms and shut down discussion further. He damages historical understanding of the Nazis and understanding of pro-choice viewpoints, taking away opportunities to learn from the past. This turns his main point against him: skewing history by removing essential context ensures that more people will engage in this kind of comparison, treating everything that they view as “adversely sway[ing] a society” as Nazi-like and destroying any possible value that could be achieved. Finally, he ignores the reality that any such comparison, no matter how validated, is dismissed immediately due to the near ubiquity of such comparisons outlined by Godwin’s Law.
The Importance of Context
Con justifies his points by arguing that the comparison is apt in some ways. Again, this argument (and OV2) is that excluding large swaths of how the Nazis and pro-choice position in order to make this comparison is the problem. Con has spent an excessive amount of time in his previous debates trying to contaminate the pro-choice context with the Nazi context, including providing extensive history on Nazi Germany. Whether others do this is beside the point. Con is engaging in the very contamination he decries in others and, thus, should be punished for it. Vote Con down for engaging in behaviors he calls out pro-choice people for doing.
Con’s rebuttal focuses on the unborn and ignores the argument I’ve provided. If anything, they further validate the argument I’m making: the unborn is physically dependent on the mother, just as the mother is physically affected by the unborn. This clearly separates the circumstances of the unborn and Jews, as well as the Nazis and pregnant, pro-choice mothers. Con does is point out two ways in which they are similar (that they both experience tolls from being killed, and their lives are both “at odds” with another), but deliberately excludes context about physical dependence. This response only further validates my point: Con’s skewed view about what suffices as context renders this comparison moot. The remainder of his points about concern for the unborn have nothing to do with this argument.
Genocide vs. Choice
Con tries to argue that the Nazis chose to kill the Jews just as pro-choice people choose to kill the unborn. This is a dramatic oversimplification. The choices the Nazis made were from a seat of a fascist dictatorship, imposing their views on a minority using fear tactics and military power. He drops that their goal was “a systematic, coercive project of racial purity… they wanted… populations to disappear”. He also drops that pro-choice people are part of a population under a government, are engaging in personal choices based on what is legally allowed (no one is telling them to go out and kill the unborn), and continue to have children – they do not want the unborn to disappear. Finally, he concedes that there is a clear difference in their relative capacities to gain rights, as the unborn gain those rights as soon as they are viable, whereas the populations persecuted by the Nazis were never granted such opportunities. Pointing out that some individuals perceive the unborn with reduced value is not equivalent to a complete and total denial of rights by the Nazis.
Mindset1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.2. An inclination or a habit. 
"The status of the embryo in the first trimester is the basic issue that cannot be sidestepped. The embryo is clearly pre-human; only the mystical notions of religious dogma treat this clump of cells as constituting a person[…] what it [the unborn] actually is during the first trimester is a mass of relatively undifferentiated cells that exist as a part of a woman's body. If we consider what it is rather than what it may become, we must acknowledge that the embryo under three months is something far more primitive than a frog or a fish." 
“As Warren states, there are five properties that characterize persons:
1. Consciousness, and in particular the capacity to feel pain
3. Self-motivated activity
4. The capacity to communicate by whatever means
5. The presence of self-concepts and self-awareness
A person need not have all of these, but they much have more than one to be a person. As a fetus has, at most, only the first, it is not a person. Establishing this, the lack of personhood also leads to a lack of the fundamental right to life that other persons have.” 
“has the natural capacity to bring on the functioning of the brain…contains the natural capacity to develop all the human activities: perceiving, reasoning, willing and relating to others.” 
“[T]he prebrain‐functioning unborn entity has a natural inherent capacity for brain functioning while the corpse does not.” 
1. “The presence of disagreement (or the absence of ‘consensus’) indicates the absence of truth”
2. “moral questions with matters of religious faith or private belief, [...] cannot be judged finally as true or false.” P. 3603. “Blackmun […] never subjected to the test of principle reasoning his […] assumptions about the nature of the fetus and its standing in the eyes of the law.” P. 361
4.“ ’X is wrong’ and yet to insist at the same time that ‘people must be left to do X or not, as it suits their own pleasure.’ ” p.361 
IdeologyConservative – 24% pro-choice of 391 surveyed.Moderate – 49% of 341.Liberal – 76% of 252.Party IDRepublican – 21% pro-choice of 340 surveyed.Independent – 48% of 352.Democratic – 68% of 299. 
The vast majority of liberal Democrats and Democratic leaners support legal abortion (91%), as do three-quarters of conservative and moderate Democrats (75%). 
"This debate is not over the morality of abortion, hence issues that involve the morality of abortion are not relevant."
"how either reduction ad Hitlerium and Godwin’s Law apply to his case."
Let us start with a priori issues.
In my opening round, I argued that there were two thresholds that any comparison must meet to establish that one is obliged to (should) make said comparison:
1) They must convey a greater understanding of the issue, and
2) They must induce improved discussion of the issue
Con is advocating for a specific comparison; ergo, he must show that said comparison increases understanding and improved discussion of abortion as an issue. If he fails to do so, regardless of any factual accuracy, then he fails to meet his burden in this debate. Con dropped this last round, and now argues that the comparison should be made “on the grounds of it being a well-documented fact”, a point which I addressed in my OV3 by explaining the difference between “should” and “can” in this context. This is about more than just a fact-based comparison where Con can just cherry-pick elements of each to make the comparison work, yet Con continues to argue that he can do just that, while simultaneously dropping my definitions and reasoning that explain why he cannot. The following points under this argument were never directly rebutted:
1) The comparison is a staggeringly inefficient means to presenting Con’s stance on abortion.
2) This is an inherently emotionally inciting comparison, pushing pro-choice advocates away from an abortion debate. Comparisons that push others away from a debate should be discarded. Con concedes this harm by calling out others for the same behavior.
3) The comparison incites pro-life groups to physically harm those they deem as immoral, further shutting down discussion. One example of this is Shelly Shannon, who tried to kill Dr. George Tiller in 1993. She justified attempted murder by saying she believed that it was “justifiable force” to end the lives of abortion providers, whom she compared to Hitler.[https://nyti.ms/3h0Z23f]
4) Excluding any substantial context from the comparison damages opportunities to understand both the Nazis and the pro-choice position.
5) That excluded context, as well as the dismissal of its importance, is used by others to engage in comparisons of the Nazis with different groups and political leaders, rendering the comparison too common to have meaning and, thus, destroying any possible value that could be achieved by this comparison.
6) The near ubiquity of such comparisons (i.e. Godwin’s Law) in status quo undercuts any value to making yet another comparison.
Any one of these functions as an independent reason to vote Con down before even considering his arguments on the accuracy of his claims, as Con conceded that they are all a priori. Con’s best-case scenario here is that voters buy that there is a direct comparison between two instances of dehumanization and how they were achieved. At no point in this round has Con responded to the list of contextual differences between the two (see: absence of fascist regime, a mandate, symbols of oppression, herding into camps and mass gassings, enforcement via military power), but even if you grant him the accuracy of this comparison and the value of learning about it (which Con only assumes – he never states how anyone should use this information), the above drops establish it as utterly insufficient to meet Con’s burden.
Before I get into my constructive points, it must be clarified precisely how Con’s arguments fail to meet his burdens, as this all stems from internal inconsistency.
Con wants to have his cake and eat it, too, i.e. he wants to make specific claims that exclude large swaths of context, and simultaneously wants those comparisons to inform the broader context that these two groups represent. Yet, Con has conceded that much of the contexts of the Nazi and pro-choice position are starkly different. No matter how many similarities Con selects from the two sides of this comparison, these differences establish that their contexts are distinct. That is the basis for much of my argument, yet Con never directly addresses this point. So, let’s look at the individual points that establish this.
Under my constructive arguments, I showed those specific pieces of context that were missing from this comparison. This is why riductio ad Hitlerium applies to Con’s argument. Further, I established why the issue of context is unavoidable for any fact-based comparison under The Importance of Context: this comparison only has value by “contaminat[ing] the pro-choice position with the context of Nazi Germany”. Con decries the very same context contamination from pro-choice people (he really seems to love the tu quoque fallacy), so he accepts that context is important, meaning that his only choice is to argue that these contextual differences do not exist.
In this, he clearly fails. In The Physical, I showed that physical effects of the unborn on the mother and the physical dependence of the unborn on the mother “clearly separate the circumstances of the unborn and the Jews, as well as the Nazis and pregnant, pro-choice mothers.” This is a factual difference; the circumstances, despite Con’s assertions to the contrary, are clearly different. Even if both are characterized by dehumanization, that context establishes that the rights of either the mother or the unborn will always be at odds, while the rights of the Nazis and those they killed did not feature a similar dynamic. Con drops all of this.
Con’s only topical argument, Law, is made ineffectual by these contextual omissions. As I said previously, “the laws Con cites for Nazi Germany had the stated, sole goal of removing rights from citizens. By contrast, Roe v. Wade established both the rights of pregnant women and the rights of the unborn by comparison.” Con dismisses this without directly addressing the point, charging that the removal of rights from the unborn is the same as removal from a subset of citizens. This, of course, ignores the context: the latter is a loss of comparative rights, where either mothers or the unborn will lose rights regardless, while the former is simply stripping one subset of the population of their rights. Instead of acknowledging this, Con digs down into the logic used to decide the case of Roe V. Wade, which is off topic. Flaws in Blackmun’s opinion are non-sequiturs, even if they influenced public opinion, because, as I will discuss once again shortly, they are not representative of the pro-choice position. The pro-choice position is not established by any individuals, even those sitting on the USSC. Con also argues that there are similarities, though none of these detract from the glaring contextual differences. Again, the existence of similarities does not erase the differences, yet Con’s position relies on those differences being minor or inconsequential. They are not, no matter how much he deflects.
Con also drops my point on Genocide vs. Choice, where I established the differences between “the Nazis… imposing their views on a minority using fear tactics and military power” as part of “a systemic, coercive project of racial purity… they wanted… populations to disappear” and “pro-choice people… engaging in personal choices based on what’s legally allowed… and continu[ing] to have children.” Con cannot wave away these differences, particularly as the main justification for his argument is that we can compare how the Nazis and pro-choice people achieve their ends. Con also cannot pretend that there’s no difference between affording rights to those who never had them in the future (which pro-choice people argue should be the case for the unborn) and permanently stripping people who had rights they already had (which the Nazis did).
The remainder of this debate is almost entirely non-topical, as I established with my overviews.
In my OV1, I explained why issues regarding the morality of abortion are not relevant to this debate by definition, and in my OV3, I explained why arguments like these fail to meet his burdens. Instead of addressing either of these, he asserts that he has met some hidden burden not found in the resolution. Despite abortion not being mentioned in the resolution, despite the definitions clearly establishing that this is a debate on the comparison between the Nazis and the pro-choice position, Con has spent large swaths of this debate arguing that the morality of abortion is somehow key to this debate. The existence of the word “should” does not magically make every moral argument valid. At best, you might buy that this establishes some possibility of a factual comparison between two circumstances of discrimination and dehumanization, though even if that’s the case (more on that shortly), Con will only have established that a comparison can be made, not that one should be made. Refer to my OV3 and The Importance of Context for why.
In my OV2 (and on Con's Language argument), I argued that the pro-choice position is distinct from any mindsets or patterns that crop up among pro-choice people: “Neither mindsets nor patterns among people who support a given stance are emblematic of the stance itself, nor do they establish the intentions behind said position” and “[p]atterns and mindsets are not equivalent to the pro-choice position”. Con argues that the language used by pro-choice people is emblematic of the mindset, but again, a pro-choice mindset is not indicative of the pro-choice position. Con even spends about half of this round quoting online articles, debates, other media, my own views and apparently digging to find an old debate of mine on DDO (an interesting re-read, though my views have changed from… wow, was that really 6 years ago?). All of this can be thrown out. The sample size is far too small to call it representative of the entire pro-choice population, but even if it was, they are not representative of the pro-choice position. No matter how many instances Con cherry-picks, as every example he gives merely shows what language pro-choice people use, and not what the pro-choice position is, which was established in the definitions and includes none of the language Con cites from other sources.
This also applies to Con’s Culture argument, for which Con includes plenty of examples to show that pro-choice people are “liberal leftists”, but once again fails to establish any connection between propaganda and the pro-choice position. Use of propaganda only establishes that some people are using these tactics, not that the pro-choice position is inextricable from them. Con also consistently fails to establish any link between this propaganda and the propaganda used by the Nazis in the last 3 rounds, meaning that he has not even upheld his own comparison with this point.
Con wanted to have a different debate than the resolution and definitions call for, and unfortunately for him, his arguments simply do not do enough to show that he was successful in negating the resolution as it stands.
Con’s argument relies on one reason, and one reason only, for why the comparison should be made (the remainder of his points focus on why it could be made): he claims he can inform readers of “how language, laws, and culture can adversely sway a society into adopting unjust ‘rights’/practices and dehumanizing the unborn just like the Jew.” All of these points are built on context: he must demonstrate that the language, laws and culture of pro-choice people represent the pro-choice position; he must show that the methods used by the Nazis and those by pro-choice people are largely indistinguishable; he must show that their aims – the actual purposes of these pursuits – are objectively very similar. As I have shown, all these claims are questionable at best, if not outright false. However, none of them must be completely wrong. Substantial differences deplete the comparison of any value, reducing it to a comparison between clearly unlike entities. Con’s argument relies on the broad applicability of his comparison being meaningful, and he has yet to demonstrate that it is. And if this comparison is not meaningful, then none of his arguments affirm the resolution.
ii) What is the more reasonable case?
i) The Pro-Choice Position Should Not be Compared with Language or Actions Used by the Nazis.
ii) Pros two a priori conditions:1) Comparisons do not convey a greater understanding of the issue, and2) Comparisons do not induce improved discussion of the problem.
"you might buy...some possibility of a factual comparison between two circumstances of discrimination and dehumanization."
"fascist regime, a mandate, symbols of oppression, herding into camps and mass gassings, enforcement by military power" comparisons.
1) "The comparison is a staggeringly inefficient means to presenting Con's stance on abortion."
2) "This is an inherently emotionally inciting comparison, pushing pro-choice advocates away from an abortion debate. Comparisons that push others away from a debate should be discarded. Con concedes this harm by calling out others for the same behavior."
3) "The comparison incites pro-life groups to physically harm those they deem as immoral, further shutting down discussion. One example of this is Shelly Shannon, who tried to kill Dr. George Tiller in 1993. She justified attempted murder by saying she believed that it was "justifiable force" to end the lives of abortion providers, whom she compared to Hitler."
4) "Excluding any substantial context from the comparison damages opportunities to understand both the Nazis and the pro-choice position."
5) "That excluded context, as well as the dismissal of its importance, is used by others to engage in comparisons of the Nazis with different groups and political leaders, rendering the comparison too common to have meaning and, thus, destroying any possible value that could be achieved by this comparison."
6) "The near ubiquity of such comparisons (i.e. Godwin's Law) in status quo undercuts any value to making yet another comparison."
"I established why the issue of context is unavoidable for any fact-based comparison under The Importance of Context."
"I will state that viability outside the womb is my cutoff for open abortions (so around 22 weeks). There's a good debate over what viability is, but this seems to be the cutoff."  (R2)
"In The Physical,...the physical dependence of the unborn on the mother “clearly separate the circumstances of the unborn and the Jews, as well as the Nazis and pregnant, pro-choice mothers...the rights of either the mother or the unborn will always be at odds.”
"Roe v. Wade established both the rights of pregnant women and the rights of the unborn by comparison...Flaws in Blackmun’s opinion are non-sequiturs."
"vote Con down before even considering his arguments on the accuracy of his claims.."
NOTICE: Only two days remain for the voting window!
Thank you for the clarification! I was not sure of your inference by "related." I did notice the word enemy but I see masks as a valuable tool in countering the spread of the disease, especially for those who don't know they have it yet venture into the public. In my opinion, identifying dehumanization can be used as a valid comparison. It depends on how deep the comparison goes.
Do you think this vilification is wide-scale in your society, especially with the cancel culture movement? I am an outsider (Canadian) looking in but I feel as the USA goes, so goes the rest of the world to a large extent. I also think that the current leadership in China is an existential threat in the future, so is socialism and big government to your society. I'm all for live and let live, yet it needs to be mutual.
You may have missed said dehumanizing angle:
“People who don’t wear a mask will be soon painted as the enemy — just as they did the Jews in Nazi Germany.” -Republican State Rep. Danny McCormick
YOU: "A related news piece came up:
How is this NY Post article related to my debate which is focused on a specific case - dehumanization? Are you associating the two just because the Nazis are cited in both? I already agreed that Reductio ad Hitlerum does take place in many examples.
YOU: "If your willing to put a woman through 9 months of pain to prevent an abortion, would you be willing to put a male through a few hours of vasectomy pain to prevent an abortion?"
It is not something I have put much thought into. To my mind, what would be the result? The end of humanity if this was universal, and who am I to play God? A man and woman unusually consent to have sex. How these two choose to practice birth control is their business as long as that does not involve the taking of existing human life (i.e., abortion as the method). That is the difference between abortion and other means of birth control, such as condoms or vasectomy. I am objecting to a moral wrong/unequal justice taking place, and what it may lead to when the floodgates are opened and this type of discrimination and dehumanization is turned to other groups.
This type of unjust thinking has a chain effect, as I believe is the case with BLM. I agree that black lives do matter, but so do the lives of those who protect the communities we live in who are largely forgotten and discriminated against because of the actions of a very few bad cops. Defunding the police is Democrat idiocy that the mainstream media, as their bedmates, has picked up upon. Your mainstream media is a propaganda and indoctrination machine. BLM, IMO, has a Marxist undertone in which they fuel hatred towards law enforcement, painting the indoctrinating picture that all police officers are racist and evil and that all Caucasians are the same. BLM are fueling riots, not peaceful protests, IMO. Justice was forgotten over a month ago and another agenda was adopted sponsored by the Democrat side of corporate America who pour in multimillion into this organization and movement. We are living in a "cancel culture" where everything that does not meet the Democrat left-wing approval is demonized. The funny thing is America seems to be buying yet more lunacy. These stupid liberal mayors who operate these liberal Democrat-run cities have totally lost it, driven by such braindead politicians as AOC and Nancy Pelosi who promote more anarchy and violence. These cities are collapsing in lawlessness.
I'm Canadian, but my opinion is that any American who votes Democrat is not thinking well but foolishly. Your country is at stake. I think this is a pivotal election. It might be too late to turn back now. Do you have a clue of what your media and Democrat Party is doing? Even the Supreme Court is partisan. There is a block of four that usually vote the same, especially over critical issues. Justice John Roberts is no friend of justice, either, IMO, providing the tiebreaker to poor thinking and ignoring your Constitution. Heaven help America!
You seem to be missing the significance of or turning a blind eye to what is being killed when an abortion takes place. Does it matter to you? This thinking is common with those who support pro-choice. They gloss over equal justice and the intrinsic value of being human. Once that is done, your culture is in danger of being lost to extremists, where their unjust rules are practiced more and more, IMO.
If your willing to put a woman through 9 months of pain to prevent an abortion, would you be willing to put a male through a few hours of vasectomy pain to prevent an abortion?
A related news piece came up:
Thank you for voting! It’s a long debate to read through and I appreciate your taking the time.
Ragnar, I believe you entirely missed the mark, misinterpreted what I said, and I will argue your points of contention after the vote is complete. It should be an interesting discussion. However, nothing less was expected.
--- RFD (1 of 3)---
To begin, I should state that since I don’t hate women, I am therefore biased in favor of them having rights, and as such pro has a much higher burden of proof to win points from me.
Additionally, the backwards selection of pro is the contender, may cause some errors in reference (I know I could refer to them by name, but I’ve learned that I am more impartial when I try to think of them as being named Pro and Con, in a manner similar to Tabula Rasa judging).
Interpreting the resolution:
With shared burden, pro must show harm from such a comparison, and con must show benefit. Merely refuting the other will net a tie.
This debate is essentially about if fallacies are fallacious when made by groups you like.
Both do a fine job here. I care more for the main contentions than back and forth about preciseness of BoP and such. As much as this is probably the most back and forth I’ve seen on this (really each of those could be their own debates, but shouldn’t be more than a footnote in this one).
Con does an adequate job showing that in some categories phrasing can be compared. Pro calls this cherry picking.
Aside from Gish Galloping, this pretty much bleeds into later contentions which carry the core aspects of it better.
Con argues that Roe v. Wade was a Nazi law which denied people personhood. Pro explains why Nazi laws which stripped people of rights, are not comparable to laws which enforce some people having unalienable rights. And con extends. Near the end of the debate con even claims the abortions are actually forced (“Just like Nazi Germany, the enforcement is through unjust laws”), and pro-choice people are likewise trying to exterminate the elderly, the disabled, and any newborns… none of which was demonstrated in the debate.
As best I can understand it, con is claiming the pro-life movement was secretly indoctrinating the general population until such time as they were able to launch their final solution of aborting all fetuses to end the human race (“effectively converted large bodies of men to the belief in that doctrine and if the organization that actively conducts the fight be exclusive, vigorous and solid...or subsequently forced upon them if necessary”)… The bigger the claim, the bigger the proof, and with babies still around (even birthed by pro-choice people), it’s self-evident that this didn’t happen. To use an analogy, it would be about like claiming movie Independence Day is a historical record, and everyone who says those cities weren’t destroyed is a liar.
Pro basically says con drifted off topic, failing to link what he cited to the debate.
Con argues in favor of cherry-picking from the wrong tree. … I can’t call it anything better than this, he outright confuses Antifa with the pro-choice movement.
--- RFD (2 of 3)---
4. convey a greater understanding
Pro argues that it clouds the issue with complex decades of history, rather than being an analogy which streamlines discussion as analogies are meant to do.
Con asserts this is wrong by pointing to his language laws and culture points but offers no real direct defense. He does mention how well documented it is, which was key to the evidence that it’s too loaded to convey greater understanding instead of being bogged down.
Pro extends, and makes a key point to which comparable harm must be shown for the comparison to be valid: “No one is mandating how individuals should behave towards the unborn; no one is requiring that they be tattooed with numbers or wear a symbol of oppression; no one is herding them into camps and gassing them in mass; no one is enforcing their views on abortion with military power.”
5. improved discussion
Pro argues it lowers things to a reductio ad Hitlerium fallacy, which distracts from the issues of importance, leading to such things as this very debate. He layers this nicely by pointing out Jewish people who are pro-life, who should definitely never be accused of being the varelse who tried to exterminate them. This of course leading directly to discussion being shut down and even turned into terrorism (really surprised this being cherry-picking was not addressed), rather than improved.
Con insists those very flaws are an improvement on the discussion.
Pro extends and flaunts this very debate as more proof.
6. The Importance of Context
Pro points out a physical toll on the mother, which con seems to argue the toll of merely having Jewish people around is just as bad as carrying a baby to term… What the fuck did I just read?
Pro points out that the aim of the pro-life movement is not genocide against any group, whereas the Nazis forced genocide on groups they disliked. Pro doubles down on his claim that pro-lifers exterminated (or at least are plotting to exterminate) the entire human race, and intentionally highlights while not countering the directly contradicting point that pro-life people continue to have children.
Pro extends and reminds everyone that the unborn have full capacity to gain rights, unlike victims of Nazis and similar groups.
--- RFD (3 of 3)---
See above review of key points. Were the resolution that it is not possible to make such a comparison, con would win by a landslide, instead the debate repeatedly highlights why it is a harmful comparison and thus should not be used. It would be kinda like arguing that you technically can compare using solar power to nuclear bombings of cities, so that is the comparison that should be made. 🤯
Even in the end after three months, pro insists against all reason “Pro-choice do precisely what the Nazis did.”
Both did really well on their research.
I will note that I really dislike both URL shorteners for hiding the quality. I likewise also dislike posting them in the comments. I do appreciate the numbered references holding the links (it takes no extra characters to do this).
Leaving this tied, but any insinuation that one side should potentially be killed, is never a good thing.
I enjoyed it!
Anyone interested in this debate, may benefit from an old blog post on mine on the subject of pro-abortion politicians: https://consistentmind.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/abortion-politics/
I'm about half way through an in depth reading of the debate right now, and was strongly reminded of that.
Neat, I /kinda/ got quoted in the preamble.
Very much appreciate your taking the time!
Glad there's a whole month in the voting period, as I would not want to rush through the reading.
No worries. I don't want to win conduct for that.
I thought about it and apologize. You win the Conduct category!
I understand that you're posting to respond to christopher_best, but I would appreciate if you didn't add to your arguments here, and I'm seeing a little of that bleeding into how you're addressing him.
"This is an interesting topic but will probably be an arduous slog to vote for. Respect to whoever votes on this thing."
My feelings are that to capture the bias and thought process of pro-choice, and do it justice, is a tedious task, but worth the risk. Having said that, there is not enough space in a debate to document all the various aspects of the dehumanization comparison and examples. The pro-choice dehumanizing process can be compared via a number of different avenues, such as with slavery, women, and various political systems such as apartheid, but Nazi Germany is perhaps the most documented case of dehumanization available. IMO, to counter the pro-life argument, the pro-choice advocates (the majority outlook on debate forums) just claim reductio ad Hitlerum to end any comparison or stop the discussion and examination of the pro-choice position.
Understandable. There's a lot written here, so I wouldn't blame someone for being turned off to it. Still, hoping to get a vote or two.
This is an interesting topic but will probably be an arduous slog to vote for. Respect to whoever votes on this thing.
Thank you for allowing me to do that!
Numerical listing of sources:
I look forward to it!
It expands on our debate and gets into more of my charge against the pro-choice position and unjust laws by identifying what is being done and listing examples to compare the two.
Then I look forward to your comments after the debate on these two comments.
The place to advance your Nazi comparison is inside the debate rounds. If I read any of it in the comments, it would create undue influence on my vote.
Not only this, it raises questions in my mind as to why we should have the CHOICE to kill some innocent human beings but not others. Should we not treat all human beings equally under the law? Are not all human beings valuable? If not then you win, you can "justify" killing those you mitigate as less than others, provided you have the power or might to do so. But how is that morally justified? How can you call it justice? Justice deals with equal treatment under the law. When you don't have that there is no justice to my way of thinking. The fundamental first and foremost human right is a natural right to my mind; the right to life. Once this right is diminished unjustly anything can be done.
So, in your first statement, your view is that the newborn is deserving of greater or equal merit to the unborn. But as you continue your language suggests only greater than. It suggests greater than exclusively in regard to the newborn. Your view in your second statement is one group of human beings is considered of lesser worth than another group of human beings and you base this on development/hierarchy. This is where I have a hard time understanding how your view is just, legally and morally speaking, and it raises some concerns and red flags in my way of thinking. What makes your view any better than the sediments expressed by the Nazis regarding the Jews leading up to and during WWII? The Nazi sentiment, expressed in their propaganda, was that the Jew was subhuman - the Untermenschen, hierarchically inferior to themselves. Thus the language they used in depicting the Jew was often metaphorical in nature depicting the Jew to an animal, a parasite, a germ, a disease, a contagion. That also led to justification in their thinking resulting in putting such thinking into actions by barbaric treatment of these perceived subhuman, non-human, or animal-like groups.
As for your idea that the pro-life position regards the newborn as less valuable than the unborn, while this may be the case with some, I do not believe it is the opinion of the majority nor me. I believe all human beings deserve to be treated with the same value and self-worth since we are all created in the image and likeness of God as human beings. Hence the term pro-life. We are for the life of the unborn just as we are for the life of the newborn, the toddler, teen, and adult human being.
I would say a newborn generally deserves ≥ to the unborn. Which is an area of disagreement I get into with a number of pro-lifers, who firmly believe the newborn deserves < to the unborn.
Of course within the unborn, I would use a pretty clear developmental hierarchy relating to worth. This is easily exemplified with the pain of miscarriage varying based on how far into the pregnancy it occurs.
Interesting statement. I'm running it through my mind. Are you agreeing (i.e., "glad") the unborn deserve rights equal to the newborn?
While we have our disagreements, I am glad to see you're not one of the pro-lifers who believes in the immediate dropping of rights post birth: "the unborn is due rights equal to individuals born into the world alive."