Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Freedom of Choice Act: Obama's Dead Babies

Justin Taylor has an excellent post on the implications of The Freedom of Choice Act, which Obama has pledged to support. This act would sweep away all restrictions placed on abortions by all the states. It anti-human in the extreme.

Taylor summarizes his piece:

So to summarize this act--which again, Barack Obama has promised to sign as his first order of business in the White House--abortion on demand will become codified, all regulations and restrictions will be stripped away, Christian hospitals and physicians will not have a choice regarding the performance of abortion (since their accrediting agencies are approved by the federal government), teenagers will not have to tell their parents about an abortion, and prolife taxpayers will be forced to pay for abortions at any stage of the pregnancy for any reason.

This fact in itself is a sufficient reason to vote against Obama and to vote for McCain--and to pray and fast along these lines as well. Wake up, America!


Jeff Burton said...

first order of business

Obama will likely have more power by the end of January than any president since Roosevelt. And this is what he wants to do first? Does this not say where the man's heart is?

Daniel said...

I don't think this issue or any issue should be "sufficient" to vote against him. But it should be one point to consider in a "cumulative case" for who a person votes for.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


You are misapplying the concept of a cumulative case. It is useful in apologetics, but some tests for a worldview must be passed, such as that it is noncontradictory.

In politics, some tests must be passed for the polician to be credible, such as respecting innocent life and not funding their mass destruction. Obama fails this necessary test as thoroughly as possible in American politics. If you cannot respect the sanctity of life, you are worthless as a politician, and this mentality spills over into other areas, such as euthanasia and infanticide (which O already supports).

You simply cannot vote for a person who supports infanticide.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

If no issue is sufficient to vote against any candidate, Daniel, then think of this hypothetical (although David Duke has run for office and may have endorsed it):

Candidate X wants to ban blacks from government.

Is not that one issue sufficient to reject X?

a said...

"If you cannot respect the sanctity of life, you are worthless as a politician."

Amen. Though I would substitute the word human. Anyone who doesn't want to outlaw abortion is worthless.

BJS said...

Dr. G,

I agree that this issue (or comparable issue, like the one you mention to Daniel) may, perhaps, be a sufficient condition to not vote for a candidate. In politics and worldviews there certainly are some minimum conditions (some tests) to be passed. So your claim that this is a sufficient reason to not vote for Obama may, in fact, be correct.

BUT... it is incorrect to claim that this is therefore a sufficient reason to vote for McCain. THAT does not follow at all.

Let me give you a similar thought experiment to the one you gave to Daniel:

Imagine a candidate who is contra everything you personally think is the right way to go in political matters, but these are all things that are *not* of the category of sufficient reasons to not vote for a candidate. So, you disagree with this candidate (let's call her Jones) on (say) things like the right way to handle our education in this country, the right way to handle foreign policy, the right way to deal with environmental concerns... etc., etc., etc. And, for the sake of argument, assume that Jones' policies are not outrageous, you could see how she got there, you just strongly disagree. But the disagreements are not of the sort you describe (like wanting to ban blacks from government) -- they do not automatically suffice to not vote for her.

Now, this candidate's opponent (call her Smith) AGREES with you on every point of the kind mentioned above, EXCEPT one important sufficient condition type issue. So let's say Smith wants to ban all blacks from government.

Now, clearly you cannot vote for Smith. We all agree on this. Smith does not pass a sufficient condition required to be an eligible option.

But THAT fact (that you cannot vote for Smith), does NOT imply that you *must* then therefore vote for Jones.

You argue that it does, and this is clearly mistaken.

Now I know what you are going to say.... You'll try to argue that in our country, once a sufficient reason is found to rule out one candidate, then assuming the other main party's candidate does not have the same or similar sufficient condition against them, this sufficient condition for voting against the one party's candidate then counts as a sufficient condition to vote FOR the other candidate.
You'll argue this because you think that we are so dominated by two political parties that clearly one of them will win, thus, by not voting for one party, you are "helping" the other party win.

In sound-bite form: By not voting for McCain you are voting for Obama.

But this is plainly a bad argument (no matter how often it is trotted out by EITHER party). I don't buy it.

If I don't vote for McCain it is simply not the case that I *do* then, in fact, vote for Obama.
I know exactly who I vote for... I vote for, literally, the candidate I vote for. NOT voting for one candidate does not in any way make it the case that I then DO vote for another candidate by default, or some such logic.

There's only one way that I vote for Obama, and that is if I actually do the positive act of voting for Obama. Trying to spin an act of *omission* for one political candidate into an act of *commission* for another political candidate is a performance in logical gymnastics deserving of a gold medal. That kind of reasoning is what got this country to the sad place of being a de facto "two-party system," if not a de jure one, in the first place.

In sum:
Yes, there are sufficient conditions that must be met in order to even consider voting for a candidate. But one candidate not passing that test does NOT suffice a necessary vote for the opposing party's candidate. Frankly, it seems to me the vast majority of your support for McCain is based on this kind of reasoning.

If you want people to vote for McCain, arguing against Obama is only half the job. You need to make a positive case for McCain, not merely a negative one against Obama.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

It is not a bad argument. It is an enthymeme. The missing or assumed premise is that McCain is not a bad candidate, does not support anything horrendous that would disqualify him. I have made that case before on this blog.

Moreover, Obama is so egregiously, so transcendently terrible, that one must vote for anyone close to good in order to defeat Obama, given his evil designs on America.

BJS said...

....but if someone is not convinced that McCain is a good candidate (or has too many problematic positions or qualities or worries)...

Then you have some work to do...

The *vast* majority of your posts on this blog (lately) relate to the problems you have with Obama. That is well established. We get it. What you need to do is make the positive case for McCain, because, again, they are two different things (making the negative case for Obama vs. the positive case for McCain). And you haven't done much of that. What few positive claims for McCain you have made are usually simply in foil to your problems with Obama ("I hate Obama for X... McCain doesn't hold X..."). But that's not enough.

My bigger, more important point though, you still seem to miss. You responded to my post by saying:

"Obama is so egregiously, so transcendentally terrible, that one must vote for anyone close to good in order to defeat Obama, given his evil designs on America."

But this "must" vote for McCain is a huge claim that you have not established. Let me be clear what this claim is that you have not established since we seem to be missing each other. You may have established that Obama is "transcendentally terrible", that's not what I'm arguing with you against. (Although... wow, that's quite a bold claim....). What I'm saying you haven't established is that *BECAUSE* Obama is "transcendentally terrible" we must, therefore, vote for McCain.

And that does not seem to follow. It appears to be a non-sequitor.

There is no argument for that conclusion. Just because you recognize evil in one place does not by itself entail that we should then *necessarily* support someone in opposition to that evil. (And you put it in necessary terms when you say we "must"). The enemy of my enemy is not always my friend. The enemy of my enemy may also be a bad dude. Maybe not AS bad, but that does not mean I should support him or her.

You need to establish some kind of "we should *always* vote for the lesser of two evils" kind of claim. And you haven't done that.

Given the latent deontological/non-consequentialist/Kantian flavor of many Christian's ethical systems, this will be very hard to do.

But it's actually a harder sell than that, because, AGAIN, the options are not ONLY Obama or McCain.
You could vote for Bob Barr (for example, not endorsement), he's the Libertarian Party candidate.
Or there are many other third party candidates.
Or you could write someone in.

You have set up a false dilemma.
IF there were only two options, then you could attempt the already difficult case you are trying to make that because option A is so bad we should automatically vote for option B. But, of course, that is not the situation. There is also C, D, E, F.... and so on.

Do you see what my complaint with your frequent claim is now?

Again from your initial post:

"This fact in itself is a sufficient reason to vote against Obama and to vote for McCain."

The first part of your claim might be correct... you certainly have worked to establish it. But you have not established that the second part of your claim.