Saturday, September 06, 2008

Illogical Logic

I love bad arguments. A friend recently told me that he was trying to recover property taxes he had paid on his neighbor's out-building, because his assessment was incorrect. When talking to his county assessor, he was told he wouldn't be able to get his money back, because, "It's like when you're driving 55 mph in a 45 mph zone, and don't get pulled over until you're in a 45 mph zone. You still have to pay the ticket." Rightly, my friend was disgusted with the awful attempt at analogy and reminded the assessor that he hadn't broken any law, but had in essence been stolen from. Anyway, that really has nothing to do with this post - just a good example of a bad argument.

This post is really about abortion, and the terrible arguments coming from the "pro-choice" camp. Over a year ago, I posted about an article entitled "Abortion: why it's the ultimate motherly act." and argued that killing your child probably isn't really very motherly. Back in October of 2006, I posted some "almost unbelievable" logic from a Des Moines Register article entitled "A statement of courage: 'We had abortions'." In July of 2006, I posted about a response from Albert Mohler to an article from Katha Pollitt in The Nation.

This morning I read another incredibly insightful (yes, that's sarcasm) article, about new Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin's choice not to abort her son Trig after he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Dr. Rahul K. Parikh writes that "A 2002 study found that about 90 percent of pregnancies in the United States where the fetus was diagnosed with Down syndrome were terminated." That's some nice clinical language. Nowhere does Dr. Parikh speak of the accuracy of these Down Syndrome tests (I've seen a 5% rate of false positives quoted by several websites).

Here's the gist of Dr. Parikh's criticism of Palin:
" having a blood test, Palin was given a choice about what to do."

"...Palin was given a choice whether to have that child, something, if she had her way as a lawmaker, she wouldn't give others."

"Her decision to make her own choice but not grant it to others is a sign of her hypocrisy."

(Read the full article here.)

Allow me to attempt to follow his logic in another area. Evidently I'm a hypocrite because divorce is legal, but I am not divorced, and I don't think anybody should get divorced.

You make the call - does this sound like hypocrisy or consistency?

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