August 10, 2012

The Exception and Worst-Case Scenario Approaches To Issues

Sometimes our view of issues is based on the exception to the norm and is used as a distraction from discussing the whole issue.

The debate between one who is pro-abortion and a pro-lifer often tends to be two different types of arguments. It's a case of a pro-lifer arguing for the majority or statistical approach, while the pro-abortion person usually goes for the exception or worst-case scenario argument to make the point.

The pro-lifer looks at the overall view that an unborn baby is being killed. That is a 100% certainty in abortion. The pro-abortion view focuses on how terrible life outside the womb will be for the unborn and its mother. For example, they say that the mother is single and in poverty, so that's a good enough reason not to give birth. By taking this worst-case scenario approach, they forget or ignore the fact that for most people this state is transitional. Most do not stay at poverty level, nor do women always stay single. Do they ever emphasize that there are programs of support, either financially or emotionally, from many different agencies?

Another criticism is that the woman's social, career, or school situation will be forever altered in a negative fashion. The alternative view should be that, more than likely, the new baby will change the mother's situation but just on a different temporary level. There may a bump in the road, but in a few years the woman probably will find that bump very insignificant.

Even the alternative of adoption is often criticized. The proponents of abortion may cite a remote case where adoptive parents abused their child, and completely ignore the overwhelming number of very successful adoptions. They also have used the argument that it will be too tough for the mother to give the child up for adoption. The obvious answer is that if it would be too hard on her to give up the child, then she should just keep it.

They basically have their desired result that the baby should be killed, and then they fit in a reason to do it. It is analogous to the evolution or global-warming issues where there is a desired result, and only the evidence that supports that result is accepted, and all of the evidence against that view is discarded.

Abortion proponents often will argue that rape, incest, or a woman's life in danger are reasons for abortions, but these encompass only 3% of all reasons. Of course, even if the pro-lifer capitulated on these, 97% of all babies are still killed in the name of convenience.

What if we allowed other behaviors in our society based on the exception?
Should we always allow murder because a few murders are committed in self-defense?
Should we always allow bank robbery because the robber needed money because he lost his job and had to feed his family?
Should we allow breaking and entering because someone had to break their neighbor's window to save someone in a fire?

The exception argument is often used as a distraction when discussing the issue with someone favoring abortion. When they feel they can't easily justify abortion for convenience, they will resort to the rape or incest argument. What if we say that we will go along with them on the exception if they will fight with us to stop all of the other abortions? Odds are they won't agree to that, because they really believe abortion should be allowed for convenience sake. They use the exception and worst-case scenario arguments because they feel it's the most effective way to battle the truth."

A similar exception argument is made in other areas of our lives.  If you ask a non-Christian why they are against Christianity, often one will respond by giving an example of a televangelist or prominent Christian that has fallen or they bring up the pedophilia problems that have plagued the Catholic Church.  They may even point to an overzealous co-worker who literally shoves the Bible in everyone's face, and they will say, "I don't want to be like that guy."  When they see the word "Christian" they don't see someone having a personal relationship with Christ.  They don't see how Christianity has changed the lives of millions around the world.  They don't see the Christians responding first when there is a natural disaster anywhere. 

The same can be said by some Christians who view a person that claims to be an atheist or just seems weird.  In the widely-viewed film 180, there is a young man named Steve with a Mohawk, tattoos, and piercings.  He is also very fouled-mouth, anti-God and anti-Jewish.  The first reaction to him might be is that he is a kook or "those atheists are so weird and rude."  By the end of the interaction with 180's creator Ray Comfort, it is obvious Steve's heart has been softened and he states that he will think about reading his Bible.

Pro-life activist Bud Shaver demonstrates often how to respond to someone who states they are pro-abortion, anti-God, or just does not want Bud to be in front of the abortion facility.  He has made friends with his enemies by not shunning them but engaging in productive positive conversation.  Many might look at those who verbally attack him and say, "Here's another pro-abortion atheist who hates what I do.  I don't have time for them."

The exception argument or worst-case scenario is used to justify many aspects of our lives when dealing with an issue that we disagree with.  Often our view of the topic may change or how we react to it if we look at the "whole" and not just the "exception."

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