Oftentimes, when people ask me about my thoughts on abortion, they phrase it as a hypothetical situation. This is from a recent email that someone wrote to me:
To use an extreme example, a woman is raped, the doctor knows the
child will have severe down syndrome. The state, whatever state, is
unlikely to care of the child. Should that woman not be allowed to
have an abortion?
Or a single woman of no resources is to produce a child in an african
country with no reasonable expectation of adoptability and will be
prevented from having the education that might allow her to prosper.
Should that woman not be allowed to have an abortion?
Do not think that I am making fun of these questions, as they are fair and serious and should be taken seriously. Most importantly, they were asked with goodwill.
However, I can’t help but notice the same pattern of questioning when people in the Christian Just War / Just Defense camp ask me about what they call “pacifism.” This is a tongue-and-cheek video that does a good job of showing (though not explaining) what is wrong with logic that is based on hypotheticals: It’s not really logic at all.