The science of abortion

Last Thursday the United States Supreme Court, led by Sony Sotomoto, finally made a decision in the ongoing class action suit called Roe v. Wade, legislating once and for all that insurance companies cannot use their lavish tax breaks to give bonuses to doctors for performing abortions. The court’s decision was only loosely based on an historic agreement reached in 1885 called the “Dawes Act.” It’s no wonder that the Court decided to enforce this agreement only now, after Obama appointed the first minority to the bench. But PC is as PC does.

What is interesting to me in these debates is that no one pays attention to the science involved in this issue. As you can see by this astrological drivel, even the scientists don’t pay attention to the science. This is not surprising since, as Carl Hempel demonstrated, specialists frequently resist the truth in favor of their current theories.

So what is the science of abortion? Consider the following argument, which uses the scientific method:

(1) Abortions cannot be performed on unliving humans without unalienable rights to dreams, friends, and life [intuitive premise]
(2) Abortions are abortions [transitive property]
(3) If something is aborted, there must be a good reason for aborting it [from 2]
(4) If something is aborted, it was justified [adjusting the consequent; from 3]
(5) If something is aborted, it therefore was a living human with rights, albeit alienable, with respect to dreams, friends, and life [modus pondles; from 1 and 3]
(6) But 4 and 5 yield a negation of 2 [abductive disjunction of parts]
(7) Abortions, if they exist, must be unjustified [metaphysical necessity; ontological argument]
(8) Therefore, human beings are alive, and are not subject to a negation of at least some of the rights detailed in 1 [principles of logic; science]

It seems to me that this paradigm, a la cartes Thomas Küng, better explains the facts. Pro-Choicers and Pro-Lifers can whine all they want, but the truth is plain for all to see. My argument shows that abortions don’t exist but would be unjustified if they did exist. This shows that both competing paradigms – the Constitutional Paradigm, and the Religious Paradigm – are misguided. In a sense, like Newtonian physics, both are correct. I don’t have time to explain any further, but if someone wants to continue discussion in the comments they are more than welcome. As I’ve been known to throw my pearls to swine, I might respond.


12 thoughts on “The science of abortion

  1. Hi NS,

    >(2) Abortions are abortions [transitive property]

    Isn’t this Identity, not the transitive property? (If it matters)

    I’m afraid the logic lost me at step 6, but your conclusions are reasonable, and doubtlessly correct per your usual high standards. I’ll have to think it through when I have a bit more time.

  2. A human fetus, while “living” in the sense that trees, bacteria, and slime molds are living, is not a “human being” or a “human person” before it has cleared certain minimal requirements. A fertilized egg, for instance, or a mass of cells, does not clear this bar.

    If it is wrong to kill any living thing then all sorts of things need to be considered unjustifiable, starting with the unjustified taking of life from plants and animals for food.

    If we stipulate that from the moment of fertilization an egg becomes a living precious human life with as much right to exist as you or I then, yes, dummy, we’ve just defined our way into your position. You lost me at assumption one. An abortion cannot be performed on a human being, because human beings are fully formed life forms which can breathe and survive outside the womb. An abortion can only be performed on a fetus, not a human being, by definition.

  3. I think you left out a crucial aspect of the discussion involved: the Economic Paradigm proposed by Milton Friedman. We have to take into account the capitalistic and collectivist strata of societal conflict; free enterprise will never allow this kind of blatant mercantilistic sine pro quo. The Swiftian model of consumption of premature feotal corporiety should be taken into account as well; one has to look at all sides of the argument, especially in a contentious issue such as this. I think given these considerations, the abjunctive disjunction of parts mentioned in part 6 should be reconsidered.

  4. But, vive42, NS is not saying that it is wrong to kill any living thing. He’s saying that even if abortions existed, they would be unjustified, but since there are no abortions, there is no issue. Can’t you see that from the rigorous sentential calculus proof provided?

    I agree with seungmin282: we should consider the Swiftian proposal when considering justifiable killing.

  5. This is a horrible post. I can’t seem to get enough of these though. Your logic is unsound and incoherent.

    Your intuitive premise (1) is convoluted, mostly because it says nothing. An unliving human is either one which hasn’t been conceived yet, or one who is dead already. Then the bit about unalienable rights is completely irrelevant, and establishes nothing that you reference later in the argument.

    (2) is true, but not a premise that relates to anything in your proof. (3) Does not follow from, and in fact has nothing to do with, (2). The very term “good reason” removes objectivity from this premise. (4) then is more or less a restatement of (3). Your idea of how (4) follows from (3) essentially amounts to “good reason” being equated with “justice” – another unfounded assumption. (5) is also convoluted and filled with myriad possible meanings. Basically the whole proof is unsound. You do not qualify your terms. You make a basic error by trying to prove something logically which relates to world views. You attempt to confuse the situation by saying that abortions are something other than the definition everyone knows. Nothing you say makes sense.

    Who are you? Seriously?

  6. Mr. Tomatoes Man,

    You rightly wonder,

    Isn’t this Identity, not the transitive property? (If it matters)


    According to my calculations, all cases of identity yield a penultimate number of transitive relations. That is to say, for any xR1y where R denotes identity, there is an nR2n where R denotes transitivity and n and n both satisfy R1.


  7. seungmin282,

    You are getting ahead of the class! This post is just a preliminary a priori analysis deducing the logical structure of the abortion paradigm from simple methodological principles of empirical science. The introduction of political philosophy at this point would just bring obfuscation to an already obsfusticated issue.


  8. Jason,

    Must you continue to not understand? I’ll respond point by point by point.

    Your intuitive premise (1) is convoluted.

    I’m sorry that modal logic is too advanced for you! There are other blogs which might suit you better.

    The very term “good reason” removes objectivity from this premise.

    Um, you are welcome to choose the option of denying objective goodness.

    Your idea of how (4) follows from (3) essentially amounts to “good reason” being equated with “justice” – another unfounded assumption.

    John Rawls anyone?

    You make a basic error by trying to prove something logically which relates to world views.

    Well exsqueeze me, some of us want to have internallt consistent worldviews.

    Who are you? Seriously?

    I refer you to the “biography and purpose” page of my blog!


  9. while the mass is captivated with a fake issue like dark matter and abortion, the sick and the old are being euthanized in state sponsor institutions you call a hospital. lol. what a joke.

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