Instigator / Con

The Pro-Choice Position Should Not be Compared with Language or Actions Used by the Nazis


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Contender / Pro
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, 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
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.
Round 1
I want to express my thanks to Whiteflame for engaging with this sensitive subject.

My purpose is to reasonably demonstrate how the Pro-choice position is comparable to what the Nazis did. It brings attention to injustice. As stated in the introduction,
"Pro-choice advocates are dehumanizing the unborn, and this dehumanization is comparable to what the Nazis did to the Jews."

Whiteflame's purpose is to show the comparison is not valid. ("I still very much disagree that this is a valid comparison.")

To demonstrate my position, I will tackle the debate as follows:
Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 - Show how the language used by pro-choicers I have debated, dehumanize and diminish the worth of the unborn.
Part 3 - Show a comparison between the Pro-choice and the Nazi position is valid. This section will be subdivided into three fields of application,
1) Language,
a) Animal, 
b) Non-human, subhuman, not fully human, non-person,
c) Parasite, intruder, unwanted,
d) Disease, virus, contagion, waste product,
e) Objectification.

2) Law,

3) Culture - Education, Media, Arts and Entertainment. 

The aim is to show how the Nazi and pro-choice positions are comparable. The concept of dehumanization will be defined, explored, and then demonstrated as taking place. 

Dehumanization is a way of thinking of and/or treating people/humans as less than what they are - human beings. It thinks of them as subhuman, inhuman, non-human, non-persons, not fully human, or not quite as human. "Taking away a person's individuality isn't the same as obliterating their humanity. An anonymous human is still a human." p. 27 [1]. Dehumanization can take place in several ways, such as through the language of objectification, likening human beings to animals, diseases, viruses, or contagion. These unfavourable terms degrade human beings by making them less than what they are existentially or by nature. Once the culture grabs hold of these dehumanizing terms through media exposure, education, arts and entertainment, and other means, laws often pass to segregate and marginalize individuals, a group, or groups of human beings.

David Livingstone Smith said, "Doing violence to people doesn't make them subhuman, but conceiving of people as subhuman often makes them objects of violence and victims of degradation...dehumanization is something psychological...It is an attitude - a way of thinking about people - whereas harming them is a form of behavior, a kind of doing rather than a kind of thinking." p. 28. [1]

Thinking often leads to doing. 

Dehumanization can be literally acted out through cruel treatment or thought metaphorically. The latter, more subtle examples, can consider a person or group as an animal, objectify them, or employ rhetoric or humour negatively to demean them. When poking fun of an individual or group is malicious or becomes ingrained, an attitude of "moral disengagement" develops that degrades and misrepresents. The person or group is no longer looked at in the same light as other human beings.

Some sites break the dehumanization process into two kinds, 
"Denying uniquely human attributes to others represents them as animal-like, and denying human nature to others represents them as objects or automata.[2]

"Animalistic dehumanization means denying other people essential qualities that separate men from animals, such as morality and culture." p.1 [3]

"Mechanistic dehumanization means denying to other people those qualities that separate men from machines, such as interpersonal warmth, emotion and individual agency." p.1 [3]

"Dehumanization allows people to suppress emotions that they would normally feel towards other human beings," and "has often been linked to genocide and war." p. 2 [3]

"Dehumanization is arguably a defining feature of the most brutal acts of human violence, such as saturation bombardment of civilian populations, terrorist attacks on urban centres, intense battlefield combat, and genocide." [4]

The article [3] goes on to describe 'infrahumanization' (p.2), a subtler form of dehumanization where lesser human characteristics are ascribed to the 'outward' group. That is to say, "people attribute less human characteristics to the outgroup, rather than to deny them" their complete humanity, sometimes seen in an 'us' versus 'them' mentality. These lesser attributes of humanity are portrayed in denying personhood, denying legal status under the law, denying identity as fully human beings, or downgrade them to mere objects while still calling them human, and is a common occurrence. "Power can increase dehumanization" exampled through power politics where those in control use the legal system to justify their actions through unjust laws.

Part 2
I will take examples of either dehumanization or infrahumanization from two of my three debates. The voting is still ongoing in the third. 

Debate 1 - Con, when pressed, identified the unborn as a human being, stressed the importance of treating all human beings equally, then stripped it of those rights and equality throughout the debate, making it less than what it is. Con states,

"...human rights can only be fully realized when rights apply to everyone equally...human rights applied discriminately is an attack on human dignity. We extend rights to other humans not because they are better than us, but because they are equal to us." (R2)

"For someone to be an intruder they must enter a place where they are not wanted...An unwanted pregnancy is analogous to these situations as there is an intruder that potentially threatens life...It does not matter if this intruder is considered a group of cells, viable/inviable fetus, human being, and/or a cannot be legitimately argued a fetus is a person (an individual human) while it exists as an extension of a person's body.  In short, a fetus is, at best, a potential person while inside of (and dependent on) the body and will of another." (R2)

This language continually misguides and devalues the equality and rights of the unborn, as underlined.

Debate 2 - Con states of the unborn,

"Some collection of cells which have not been born...I disagree...that every fertilized embryo in a lab is a living human being “equal in value” and significance to all human beings...Humans...can have a massively varied value...unwilling pregnancies...highly analogous to slavery...Citizens of the USA enjoy protections...“Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” legal access to abortion improves a country..." (R2)

The underlined diminishes in value and/or degrades human characteristics in the unborn.

Part 3
1) Language 
Language, as a tool of propaganda, influences the way we think, often using hate, indifference, or fear, to villanize a group.

a) Animal portrayals (a lower level of existence metaphor)

Pro-choice - Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan compared a three-week embryo to "a segmented worm." At just under five-weeks, it resembles "the gill arches of a fish or an amphibian," its tail "rather like a newt or a tadpole." In the sixth week, it is compared to a "reptilian face." By the end of the seventh week, it is somewhere between a "mammalian" and "piglike" face. By the end of the eighth week, the face "resembles that of a primate,[9] somewhat echoing Ernst Haeckel's discredited "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" theory. [10]

Hitler - "The Jew is only united when a common danger forces him to be..., the united people turns into a horde of rats, fighting bloodily among themselves...His blood-sucking tyranny..." [5] " a maggot in a rotting body." [6]

Nazis - The Eternal Jew, a Nazi propaganda film opening November 29th, 1940, "utilizes a montage that juxtaposes these images of ghetto Jews with images of rats to draw an analogy between the migration of Jews from Eastern Europe with the migration of rats." [11] One caption in the film said, "Where rats turn up, they spread diseases and carry extermination into the land. They are cunning, cowardly and cruel, they travel in large packs, exactly the way the Jews infect the races of the world." [12]

b) Non-human, subhuman, not fully human (less than)

Pro-choice - Magret Sanger (Human Conservation And Birth Control) said, "a policy -- of race conservation is leading us, so that we plan to stem the tide of production of the unfit and try to turn it in the right direction." [7] "Like the advocates of Birth Control, the eugenists, for instance, are seeking to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit." [8]

"The status of the embryo in the first trimester is the basic issue that cannot be sidestepped. The embryo is clearly pre-human;...An embryo is a potential human being." [17]

The pro-choice 'unfit' are unborn human beings, such as the unwanted, or those with genetic deformities such as Down syndrome.

Hitler - "...higher development of man, is not present in him and never was present...every court has its 'court Jew'-as the monsters are called...the inferior being-and this is the Jew." [5] "I began to see Jews, and the more I saw, the more sharply they became distinguished in my eyes from the rest of humanity." [6] 

Nazis - Der Untermensch "The subhuman" [8] 

c) Parasites (intruders, unwanted, sponges, leeches, blood-suckers, "an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species," [13] feeding off the host) 

Pro-choice - Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan wrote that after the 'fertilized egg' [i.e., a human being] attaches to the uterus it becomes "a kind of parasite..." [9]
"University of California San Diego Professor Pascal Gagnuex told students that fetuses are a 'legitimate parasite.'" [14]
"Unborn Babies Are Tapeworms" [15]
Intruder analogy - The Violinist Analogy by Judith Jarvis Thomson [16]

Hitler - " ruined in his hands....only and always a parasite in the body of other peoples...The Jew's life as a parasite in the body of other nations and states...carry on his existence as a parasite...the outward racial difference between himself and the host people is too great...A true blood-sucker that attaches himself to the body of the unhappy people..." [5]

Nazis - Nazi officer Alfred Rosenburg, The Myth of the Twentieth Century, p. 319 - "Parasitism...The Jew - the Pharisee, the parasite...Jewish parasite..." p. 322 - "parasitic devaluation...the parasite...Jewish parasitism...Jewish infection..."

2) Laws
Laws change what is permissible.

Roe v. Wade changed the paradigm of abortion that rapidly led to a devaluation of the unborn. It was an unjust law, denying the unborn personhood, never establishing when personhood began, misrepresented the historical view of the personhood of the unborn, lifted the protection of the unborn, exchanged it in favour of the "woman's rights," and thought only "potential life was involved." [21]

The Nazis passed numerous laws that discriminated against members and groups of society. Two such laws in 1933, the "Malicious Practices Act," [18] which outlawed opposition to their policies, and the "Enabling Act," [19] which allowed Hitler to limit civil liberties and persecute enemies of the State, legalizing his dictatorship. In 1935, "Two distinct laws passed in Nazi Germany in September 1935 are known collectively as the Nuremberg Laws: the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor...the legal framework for the systematic persecution of Jews in Germany." [20]

Unjust laws were accepted in both cases to warrant the taking of massive human life.

3) Culture
Education, Media, Arts and Entertainment will be considered briefly in R2, as used by Nazis and Pro-choice to propagandize and indoctrinate people.
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--> @whiteflame
Thank you for allowing me to do that!
--> @whiteflame
Numerical listing of sources:
--> @PGA2.0
I look forward to it!
--> @SkepticalOne
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.
--> @PGA2.0
Looks interesting!
--> @Ragnar
Then I look forward to your comments after the debate on these two comments.
--> @PGA2.0
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.
--> @Ragnar
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.
--> @Ragnar
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.
--> @PGA2.0
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.
--> @Ragnar
Interesting statement. I'm running it through my mind. Are you agreeing (i.e., "glad") the unborn deserve rights equal to the newborn?
--> @PGA2.0
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."
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