This Man Shuts Down Anti-Abortion Argument By Asking One Legit Question

Everyone has a right to express their feelings.

That is what freedom of speech means. No matter how ‘sacred’ that particular subject is. Now, we know the subject of abortion can be quit touchy for many people and many have very strong opinions on it.Whatever your stand on this subject matter.

Patrick S. Tomlinson did raise a very valid question. He is actually a science fiction writer and he has been asking a question in relation to the ‘life begins at conception’ contingent of anti-abortionists for ten years.He also claims that he has never gotten an honest answer.

He presents the question with a simple enough scenario.

It starts out simple enough.

However, it does turn out to be a doozy.

And apparently, you don’t have a third option.

Patrick does explain as to why the question is such a conundrum.

The question is quite valid you see. As anti-abortionists have the ‘life begins at conception’ so they should save the thousand embryos rather than the living breathing child. However, anyone with a beating heart would choose the 5-year-old.

He claims thats exactly the reason as to why they are afraid to answer the question.

He ended his slew of tweets with great advice.

His tweets have been getting quite a lot of attention. They have more than 54,000 likes and 27,000 retweets. Now, this isn’t going to make the abortion argument go away but it certainly is a step in the right direction.

What are your thoughts on this matter? What would your answer be to his question? Comment on below and let us know.

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  1. This is really a very simple test question. Of course you would save the child, but the question itself reveals the asinine mindset of the tweeter. In reality, the same thinking is put to whether you would save the life of the mother in the case of needing to remove her womb for cancerous reasons if it mean’t the baby would die. The doctor would remove the womb, knowing that the baby would die, without meaning to terminate the life of the child. In this scenario as put forth by the asinine tweeter, you would save the young child, and then the embryos would die, not as a direct killing of human life, but as a by product of the heroic action to save the life of the child.

    • Actually this situation would open a whole bunch of other questions, which i don’t want to personally put too much effort at a time into answering, when the idea of surrogate mothers is brought into the question; how would the option of going to the effort of finding another to carry the baby effect those who object to abortion based on medical reasons?

  2. First of all that’s not a question that’s an extreme scenerio that there is no right answer to. Even if you saved the child or just one embryo you saved a life, and all life is precious! Even in it’s beginning stages. And secondly yes I do believe life begins at conception. And who are you to say that noone believes this. Really, do you know everyone? If you can’t realize these things then you need to look into your heart and stop being so analytical and cold. And you should be ashamed to force this ridiculous scenerio on people.

  3. So his whole question on the morality of ending life at conception is based on an extremely rare situation that for some reason some one is in a fertility clinic and there is a fire you are forced to choose one or the other.. Well i just easily apply the same logic to an even more realistic case say any building is on fire and you kick open the door and there is the same kid and an elderly person or a disabled person and you can only carry one out at a time… Its stupid… Because that doesn’t change the morality of ending life just because.. So trying to apply the exceptional case to justify the majority of abortion which just abortion of convenience is a bad argument

    • But any elderly person would just say ‘save the child’ or something, unless they are a heartless cunt. and in that case id just save the child first anyway.. And in the situation of the fertility clinic being on fire, yea child first i mean who wouldnt. Shouldnt even need to think twice about that

  4. This isn’t a difficult question to answer, and it’s not “shutting down” an argument. Truth be told, it would be difficult for me to choose, so I would probably just pick one at random. It’s like me asking whether you would save one of two people you loved in life.

    I’ve seen sonograms, and the babies inside are living. That’s a fact. That’s a fact given by every person in the medical field I’ve came across, and that’s a fact backed up by medical science. Now, whether you support abortion, or not, that’s your opinion.

    OF course-I don’t think people actually deny the science behind. I think they know it’s technically killing a human, but they try to force their beliefs through propaganda.

    • BS – I refuse to believe you would choose randomly! If so, I think you have a more serious problem you should be dealing with, However, that said, I agree that the decision as to which one to choose is not the same as deciding whether or not to have an abortion. Life is life; the fire scenario is based on choosing the living, breathing birthed child, if you will, instead of choosing fertilized cells. An abortion means you terminate the ability of those cells to reach a stage where they become a living person.

  5. I don’t believe the question really fits the issue most pro-life people have against abortion. Abortion happens to a growing baby in the womb…not on a frozen embryo which may or may not become a growing baby.

    • This. Ending an existing pregnancy (embryo is in a current state of growth and development) and leaving behind frozen embryos (not currently growing and developing) are 2 different things.

  6. 1. Moral Instinct Does Not Always Mean Correct Moral Decisionmaking. We all have the moral instinct to save the child. That does not mean that the instinct is either correct or justifiable. A few quick thought experiments suffice to prove the point.

    Here’s another, more famous thought experiment: you’re standing at the fork in a track for a runaway trolley. On one side of the track is a man tied to the tracks; on the other side are five people. You choose to throw the switch to save the five people, presumably. But now comes the second part of the hypothetical: instead of standing at a fork, throwing a switch, you’re standing above a single track on a bridge. Five people are still tied to the track. Conveniently enough, there is a single fat woman standing atop the bridge with you. If you throw her in front of the train, you can stop the trolley before it hits the five people. Most people say they wouldn’t do it. Does that mean that the five people below are not humans, or that it is morally correct to avoid tossing the woman?

    Or, say that instead of the box of random embryos, there are two embryos – and they are yours and your wife’s, your only potential children, and as in Tomlinson’s example, we know they will come to fruition. Your instinct could easily be to save the embryos rather than the five-year-old child. Would Tomlinson then say that the five-year-old isn’t a human?

    Or let’s say that it was your five-year-old in the room, and next door were 1,000 actual full-grown human adults. Your instinct would probably be to save your five-year-old. Mine would be. Does that make me right, or the 1,000 humans no longer human?

    2. Tomlinson’s Thought Experiment Does Not Reveal The Value Of Embryonic Life. We can agree with Tomlinson that one ought to save the five-year-old rather than the box of embryos and still not admit that embryonic life is meaningless. In fact, we can imagine scenarios where we choose the box precisely because we want to preserve human life. Here’s from Gregor Damschen and Dieter Schonecker at Universtat Halle-Wittenberg in response to Sandel: you’re in Tomlinson’s thought experiment, the embryos will grow into human beings using artificial means (as in Tomlinson’s thought experiment), but there are no other human beings. In fact, this is often the leading premise of science fiction. Do you save the five-year-old and doom the human species to extinction, or do you save the embryos? In this case, potential human life outweighs current human life. Does that mean the five-year-old is no longer a human being? Does it prove, according to Tomlinson, the value of embryonic life?

    Here’s an easier one: you can save the box of embryos or you can save the life of a woman who will die of cancer tomorrow. Which one do you save? If you choose the embryos, is the cancer-ridden woman therefore of no moral value?

    3. Most Pro-Lifers Freely Admit The Supreme Value of Already-Born Human Life, But That Doesn’t Make Prenatal Life Valueless. Virtually every religious system, including Catholic religious doctrine, allows passive abortion (the moral equivalent of this case) in order to save the life of the mother. Let’s say a woman has cancer and she requires chemo in order to cure it, but the chemo will result in the death of a fetus. There is no third option. Catholic doctrine suggests that the doctor bears no moral responsibility; the abortion is a byproduct of saving the woman’s life. So Tomlinson’s hard choice doesn’t remotely demonstrate the valuelessness of embryonic life.

    4. The Hypothetical Isn’t Reality. This is the most obvious rebuttal to the implication Tomlinson draws from the hypothetical: the case of pro-abortion advocates isn’t a choice between a five-year-old and a thousand fetuses. It’s a case of killing a fetus, by itself. No such hard choice exists in 99.99 percent of abortion cases. Which means that using such a hypothetical to justify a doctor killing thousands of fetuses out of pure convenience is simply ridiculous.

    Tomlinson’s initial thought experiment is interesting, but it doesn’t prove much beyond the fact that we make decisions all the time about the relative value of human life, often based on instinct. That doesn’t make our instincts right; it doesn’t justify non-hypothetical cases; it doesn’t even prove Tomlinson’s general point. But at least it allows Left-wingers to pour their instinctual scorn on conservatives without actually acknowledging the faultiness of their arguments.

    -Ben Shapiro

  7. I absolutely agree. It is an unpopular response, and many people are going to be afraid to acknowledge the truth because the “pro-life police” attempt to target and vilify (or worse, assassinate) those who dare to stand up for a woman’s right to govern what happens with her body.

  8. Sorry, I must misunderstand abortion, are we killing live children when we choose life? No – the fact is that either side of the argument could be painted as “ridiculous” when we use an extreme hypothetical against it.
    The problem is we’re not dealing with hypotheticals, we’re dealing with reality. This man on Twitter tries to call out pro-lifers by claiming they work strictly off of an emotional argument, but do we not see the hypocrisy in his own hypothetical question? It is the pinnacle of emotion in a drastic situation.
    He then assumes victory because he’s clearly never talked to someone intelligent enough to see past the lunacy of his question, and makes the bold claim, “No one believes life begins at conception.” He also claims we “pretend to” so we can manipulate women – as if every pro-life advocate is male. (Many are women, including women who have had past abortions. While there are little immediate effects on a woman’s mind [and this is what most pro-abortion studies focus on when discussing any mental issues], there are many long-term issues of depression that wage war on the mind when compared 5 years after)
    I stay out of every political post I see online – and my main aim is that beyond all of the politics, from either side of an ‘argument’ (in the academic sense… I have no desire to fight online!) we should seek to share the Gospel, but I find no “bombshell” or “mic drop” in this post.

  9. Thank you Patrick for stating “we all have a right to express our feelings” Yes, I would obviously choose “A” and I also believe “Life begins at conception”. Can the baby, excuse me, embryo live on its own without the environment of the mothers womb? No. The jar of frozen embryos cannot either. Without the intervention of humans there is no way to extract embryos. I am not here to deny that this intervention has brought joy to many people that have not been able to conceive. Also, all embryos in their mother’s womb don’t always survive naturally. To validate or rationalize intentionally terminating a pregnancy is not liberating women or removing a so called patriarchy mentality. I, as a woman, feel we are pretty powerful in this world. Since the choice is out there and available it is the woman’s personal choice to make and live with that choice. Not a choice for someone else to make, especially a government. I do not agree with those that picket, support violence or threats…….from BOTH sides.
    On that note, that is my answer and hopefully it excludes me from “being slapped with the big ol Scarlet P” . Thank you for welcoming an expression of my feelings.

  10. its easier to create more embryos than another 5 year old, but either way its not right to kill any living thing out of malcontent or confusion…

  11. Though I agree with the premise that presumably everyone (and certainly I) would choose to save the child, I do not support the other assumptions that you make. As a former lifeguard, we all underwent training very similar to the scenario you set up. You come to the pool and find 3 people in the water in different states of distress. In that instant, you must determine who do you save first. That decision is based on a number of factors, what is their condition and likelihood of survival…what is your ability to save them and possibility of saving another…in some cases, their age may be a decision making factor. But to say because you choose one over the other does not mean that the lives of the other have no value or no significance. I imagine that our military personnel and specifically doctors and medics on the front lines (or even firefighters or the coast guard) are confronted with similar decisions frequently. To say that the people that they are unable to save are worthless because another life was chosen over them is not true. It is actually a lot more complicated than that. Most any parent would gladly sacrifice their own life for their child. In desperate situations, the motto “women and children first” speaks of the prioritization of some over others. The decision is based on emotions, not just statistics. The truth that people would save the child is because people have empathy and imagine that could be their own child and would hope that someone would save it. Do people have the same empathy and human emotion for an embryo (or a thousand) in a freezer? I don’t and imagine most do not. But just because most people haven’t created a personal connection to embryos or have life experience that creates an emotional connection with embryos, does not speak to whether or not they represent a life. I imagine that everyone would save the child over 1,000 puppies too. That doesn’t mean that their lives are insignificant, but only that the child’s life is more significant. Is a child’s life more significant that an embryo (or a thousand)? I believe so. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a life.

  12. The problem is, it’s just as easy to force the listener to pick between saving a 5- and 6-year-old, thus “proving” (i.e. forcing the answerer to accept against his or her will) that there is a moral, ethical difference between a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old.

    In fact, believe it or not, this question is conceptually derived from an older question that 1960s- and ’70s-era teachers used to use in school to try to brainwash kids in post-Christian, utilitarian/pragmatist philosophy (back when such philosophy was still revolutionary): Children were told to imagine that ten people (with various ages, careers, skills, etc.) were stranded on a boat with only enough food and water for 9 of them to survive. They had to pick the one they thought was “best” to allow to die. If they picked any one, they passed, but if they picked no one they were given an F on the assignment. (I’ve spoken with various people who were born around the end of the Baby Boomer era, and it appears that many though not all of them were given this assignment or one like it at least once–my mom was given it in two different classes!)

  13. I dont believe this is a legit question. First of all, In a high stress situation you wouldnt be stopping to read a box marked 1000 viable embryos. You would grab the screaming child and run. Second of all, If you have any experience with A.I. you would realize that the container to properly store 1000 embryos is more than one person could carry and if they are not properly stored then you will have killed them by moving them. Thirdly I think this question is trying to evoke an emotional response rather than the realistic response. Whether or not a person saves the child or the box of embryos does not change the fact that the embryos and the child are humans. In the embryos current ( presumably frozen ) state they would feel no pain if they were to burn and die but leaving a screaming child to burn to death would be cruel. I actually dont see how this question has anything to do with abortion! Its trying to make people feel guilty for saving one or the other, when the screaming child will have a emotional and physical connection with the person when they hear the screams. The embryos are silent but just as much a person as the little girl. Now if the question was, do you save a box full of human embryos or sheep embryos? That would be a legit question.

  14. Unfortunately this argument has nothing to do with being pro-life. I am for destroying an embryo if it will kill the mother. So yes, existing life is more important than potential life! A human life is more important than a potential life, but making the false equivalence that if I don’t save everyone then somehow I guess I am pro-choice. In philosophy this is called a straw man argument. Here’s another scenario. If you push a man onto a train track to save a hundred lives, was that legitimately killing someone innocent. Or is it an honorable act to save hundreds? It’s actually called a straw man argument because that scenario will never happen, so why am I judging my morality on hypotheticals.
    If 90% of the abortions that are done in the United States are nothing more than prophylactic (accidents), and not done because the baby’s life or the mother’s life is in jeopardy, or the act of rape or incest, then frozen embryos, which is what they would be. Are not alive yet unlike when we do an abortion the baby is alive. Dumb argument and you get no points. God help your soul.

  15. Agh, I’m pro-choice, but I have a problem with this argument. This poses a different problem entirely with what a pro-life person would argue. Of course, anyone would choose option A to save the child (at least, anyone in their right mind). But this is an entirely different situation, a different scenario, and doesn’t apply to the actual event of a woman wanting an abortion. There is no 5-year-old’s life on the line.

    Pregnant women enter a clinic to get an abortion – either they (a) get the abortion and “kill” the embryo, or (b) they don’t, and the embryo “lives” – without sacrificing some random 5-year-old child.

    If nothing else, I appreciate the underlying principle that people who are alive, breathing and have more nerve endings deserve more respect than an embryo – sorry, but that’s how I feel unless this supposed embryo is going to save the planet – and in THAT case, I think the GROWN WOMAN with the embryo inside her DESERVES more respect than the embryo itself. It’s not about saving a hypothetical 5-year-old child – it’s about the woman who went to the fertility clinic and decided to save herself from the fire rather than risk her life for a petri dish full of embryos. That’s an argument I can get behind.

  16. The argument is a deflection, and says nothing about the value of the supposed embryos or the supposed child. It’s an emotional situation that, when examined, actually says much more about the person considering the conundrum. If this fictional dilemma helps you feel better about killing the unborn, it has served it’s one and only purpose.

  17. Yeah it’s a false equivalency. The fact that you can pick only one invalidates his argument. According to him if you pick the child you’re admitting that the embryos aren’t actually human. But in order to show that you think they ARE humans, you have to let a fully developed child die. It’s an impossible scenario as it’s presented. I’d ask him what his answer would be if it’s a 5 year old child or an 8 year old child. A “Sophie’s Choice” scenario.

  18. I know that the sacred life process begins at conception. Anyone who understands how life forms and develops also knows that conception is the point when the process begins.

    I also know that, while all aspects or phases of the life process are sacred- because they are the sensual expression of a unique life- how we treat the life at different stages of the process is going to be different for many reasons.

    When a child is fully formed and out of the womb, walking, talking, and so forth, we relate to it in a different manner than we do an embryo in a test tube. That fully formed child can seem to respond to us, and seem to comprehend us, in ways that an embyro cannot.

    This doesn’t mean that the child is magically alive in a way that an embryo isn’t; it means that the child is a later stage of life that has a social capability. Having social capability doesn’t magically make someone “alive”- people who have certain medical conditions that prevent them from being social are still alive just like you or I, and still possessed of dignity and should be protected.

    An embryo is a very sacred part of the same kind of life-process that brought the fully formed child into existence. If those embryos were allowed to develop naturally, they would in time sensually express themselves just like the fully formed child given in this example. They _are_ the presence of life, in an earlier condition or phase of the life-process.

    This fully-formed child has a social presence, a social existence, that embryos do not. That is why we humans, as social entities, feel naturally inspired to save the child before the test tubes full of embryos. This is a simple consequence of our social natures. We will instinctually respond first to the entity that looks and behaves more like us. We can relate to an entity that looks and behaves like us more easily.

    In no manner does Patrick’s argument invalidate the pro-life position. No manner at all. It simply points out something we all know already: that social conditioning is a very powerful force in human life, and that humans, lacking the easy ability to be aware of the subtle phases of the life-process, have a bad habit of assuming that life only exists or matters when it can look more like them, talk more like them, or interact more like them.

    I don’t think the embryos are less important than the child or myself, but I do think that the child and myself have social identities that the embryos do not, and as a social creature, I would react first to the other social creatures in the room if I had to save someone.

    My assumption is that, like myself, the child has had time to form relationships with other social creatures (other humans, like their family) and by saving the child, I am saving those relations from much grief. That matters to me because again, I am like all humans foremost a social entity.

    No one will grieve in the same way for an embryo because embryos are pre-social and have not made relationships. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t alive. It doesn’t mean that they deserve no protection, and it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a tragedy when they burn up in the fire.

    It simply means that, when hard situations like this exist, being pre-social entities, they aren’t likely to get much in the way of priority from social humans when relational decisions have to be made. It may be that we have survived this long because we are so hard-wired to react with protection and a natural sense of kinship to other beings who are socially capable like us.

    But this hard-wiring isn’t the complete picture of life, and not the complete picture by which we should judge the morality of this issue.

    Anyone who thinks that this is a moral blank check for abortion is very foolish and short-sighted. In the abortion issue, we aren’t talking about embryos statically frozen in a lab. We’re talking about real human lives dynamically developing in the warmth of a womb, the same kind of womb we all developed within.

    Yes, some people do believe that life begins at conception- they’re called “scientists”, who all know that it does. Scientists know that life is a process, and that process starts at conception.

  19. You are very shrewd. Such an argument certainly appears to hold water, until one examines it more closely.

    Before I go any further, I will honestly say that my first instinct was to rescue the child, and that I stand by that decision.

    Now, let’s look at what you’ve actually said here. You claim that
    a) human embryos are different from children
    b) children are more important than embryos
    c) no one believes that life begins at conception
    d) believing that life begins at conception is equivalent to believing that embryos are more important than children

    Those first two points I will not argue against.
    Embryos are different than children; that’s why they are called different things. No logically minded person disputes this.
    Children are more important than Embryos. This one is a bit more controversial, and a bit complicated to explain why, but your own hypothetical scenario proves the point without explaining it. People always instinctively save the child.

    However your third and fourth claim seem a bit outlandish. You have given no evidence or argument to support the idea that no one believes in life at conception. Simply that a child’s importance outweighs that of an embryo, or 1000 embryos. It is understandable to mistake the importance of life for the presence of life, but I think anyone who has ever been bitten by a mosquito will agree that a lack of importance does not always mean a lack of presence.

    So why then—I will ask—are the embryos less important than the child? I am sure you would like to say it is because the embryos are not alive, but any scientist will be able to point out the growth the embryos present, and the clear evidence of life there. No one can deny its presence, though I would like to ask of its importance.

    To answer this question, I would like to examine the very process of raising children. Why do we put in the effort? Why rescue them from their countless mistakes? Why forgive their wrongdoings? Why provide so much care for something that clearly provides nothing for society? Why not just let them fend for themselves?

    To any human with a beating hear this answer should be obvious, to the point of evoking anger at me for even asking it. But just like your own question, answering it honestly destroys the argument you hope to make here: that life does not begin at conception, and that embryos are not important, or worth saving.

    I’ll provide my answer. There is value, in what they may become. No one believes that a seed is the same as the plant it grows into but we still go to lengths to protect the seeds we plant so that we may eat of the fruit the plants produce later on. If the birds were to eat them, there would be nothing. So too do we raise our children because they have the potential to grow into upstanding people. But most importantly we protect and raise them because they are ours. Because we care more about their well-being, than our own.

    What is different about an embryo? Not much, conceptually. Both are a stage in the human life cycle, so both have the potential to grow into wonderful people. Both have life in them, as clearly represented by their growth. The difference is investment. More has been invested into a child than into an embryo. This is a logical calculation anyone understands on any level. The more you have invested into something (be it time, money, energy, resources, etc) the more important it is to protect. If a project fails when it first begins, few count it as a great loss. But if a project fails when it is near completion it is a great tragedy.

    So yes, that child is more important than those embryos, a thousand times over. I would pick A every single time I am presented with this scenario. But that does not mean the embryos aren’t important. They still have potential. I still consider it a tragedy when an embryo is killed, despite the small investment entered so far, because they have the same great potential, regardless of how far they have yet come. They can still develop, and given just a few more seconds you had best believe I would save both of them.

    • I was going to craft a response, but then Benjamin Hankinson answered it so beautifully, and was EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING.

    • That sort of holds up. If you view children as things to be own, and not people in their own right. Meaning, if you only think people have value if they satisfy you in some way.

      Let me ask you some more uncomfortable questions: what if a particular child does not represent a significant “investment”? If they had been heinously neglected?

      What if a particular child does not have potential to become something wonderful in the future because this child has a terminal illness? And please don’t say something disgusting about how their death can teach adults above how wonderful it is to be alive, or the value of God or something inane and exploitative like that.

      You say someone gains more value the more that has been invested in them: do you believe that adults are more important than children? They have had more invested in them, after all.

      But let me address the rest of this quote, “So too do we raise our children because they have the potential to grow into upstanding people. But most importantly we protect and raise them because they are ours. Because we care more about their well-being, than our own.”

      Really? So if your daughter were horrified and terrified at the prospect of reproduction, if she herself had huge ethical problems with reproduction under any circumstances, would you try using this same argument with her? That there is POTENTIAL for life, and that is more important than her current autonomy?

      You yourself just compared an embryo to a mosquito; have you never slapped a mosquito before?

      This is a direct quote from you, “I think anyone who has ever been bitten by a mosquito will agree that a lack of importance does not always mean a lack of presence.”

      You yourself just implied that a mosquito’s life is not important, despite its undeniable existence. Would you say that your hypothetical daughter’s bodily autonomy is less important than a mosquito?

      In the hypothetical initially posed, a single child’s life is worth more than 1000 embryos; how important could these embryos actually be? You haven’t said why anyone should give even the slightest damn about these embryos, only that you agree that they are not as important as actual people.

      The original question is a response to the implication that life begins at conception and that that fact carries any weight. No one is arguing that the scientific phenomenon that we refer to as “life” only exists after birth. The pro-choice/pro-abortion rights camp demands that the importance of life be proven before an embryo is given any more value than any other example of non-sentient life.

      “They can still develop, and given just a few more seconds you had best believe I would save both of them.”

      How would you save them both? Would you donate your own womb to bring each and every one of those embryos to term (I’m asking this ironically, because I’m fairly certain you are a man)? Do you extend this same effort towards children who are already alive and fully sentient? I don’t mean ‘do you give money or volunteer somewhere’, I’m asking if you have adopted all the children you possibly can in order to help them? If you have given equivalent “investment” to the expenses, toils, and traumas of pregnancy and childbirth?

      If not, what makes these 1000 embryos more important than currently existing people, and yes, children are people?

      “I still consider it a tragedy when an embryo is killed, despite the small investment entered so far, because they have the same great potential, regardless of how far they have yet come.”

      What if someone didn’t have “great potential”? What if they were physically incapable of becoming or doing anything you consider “great” in the future? And at what age do you decide that they no longer have potential to become anything but what they are? When they’re on their deathbeds? What value do they have then? Please see the above question regarding the terminally ill child.

      “To answer the [why adults take care of children] question, I would like to examine the very process of raising children. Why do we put in the effort? Why rescue them from their countless mistakes? Why forgive their wrongdoings? Why provide so much care for something that clearly provides nothing for society? Why not just let them fend for themselves?”

      Why? Because most of us are not sociopaths, that’s why. Not because children are things for adults to project their own hopes and unfulfilled dreams onto, not because children are symbols of innocence or the future, but because people (not embryos) have a right to live regardless of how useful they are.

      And, if you respond, please spare me the falsely offended, “this answer should be obvious, to the point of evoking anger at me for even asking it”. Knee jerk offense is not an actual argument, and since you just compared children to “projects”, and thus PROPERTY, I think I would have the upper hand anyway.

  20. When you ask this type of question it challenges a maternal mortality. Save the five year old first and then die trying to save the others because we don’t give up on protecting life. They are both living humans and you grossly underestimate their value with this fabricated scenario. Shame on you.

  21. @ Patrick Tomlinson
    Ok, you make one decision to a principle argument. So I have one question for you.
    Same situation, but instead of 1000 embryos there is an ninety years old man in a wheelchair.
    You also have the decision to save only the live of the five year old or the old man.
    It does not matter whom of this both you will chose. But the other one’s life for you will not count any pence more then the 1000 embryos from your example, if we all would follow your argumentation.

    • Actually that scenario is even easier than the one above: You simply put the five-year old on the 90-year old’s lap and wheel them both out.

  22. This question will not end the anti-abortion argument, or solve the issues regarding abortion policies, and here’s why.

    The options that are presented, and the outcomes that result, do not represent all of the scenarios in which abortion is used.

    According to a 2004 study, most American women who choose to have abortions do it because having a child would affect their education, career or other responsibilities, or because they don’t feel they can afford to care for a child. Less than 10% of the women who responded said that their health, or the health of the fetus, was the most important reason for having the abortion, and only 12% cited personal health as a contributing factor in the decision. (See report: https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/journals/3711005.pdf)

    The scenario Tomlinson presented gives four possible actions, and four corresponding results:
    A) Save the child
    B) Save the thousand embryos
    C) Attempt to save both

    Result A) You and the child survive. The thousand embryos are destroyed.
    Result B) You and the thousand embryos are preserved. The child dies in the fire.
    Result C) You fail to save the child or the embryos and die of smoke inhalation.

    It’s obvious that C is the least desirable result, because it results in the most deaths. You survive in both A and B, but one option preserves 1000 embryos and the other preserves a child. These are mutually exclusive. Hence the question: “Which is more important, 1000 embryos or one child?”

    He’s probably right that most people would instinctively choose the child.
    So the logic is that one born child has more than 1000x the value of an embryo, or unborn child (neglecting the difference between a frozen embryo and a fetus in utero).

    In a question of abortion, what is the equivalent scenario? It will have these choices:
    A) Save one person
    B) Save one thousand “potential” people
    C) Everybody dies

    Suppose an expectant mother has a health condition which is likely to cause her death and the death of her unborn child. The condition is such that if the pregnancy is terminated, she can receive treatment and survive. Alternatively, she could carry the child long enough to ensure his survival, then receive a caesarean section, the trauma of which would at that point kill her. The third option is to allow the natural course, which risks the life of both mother and child.

    In this situation, there is only one mother and one child, and the choice is still not as obvious as the choice between one child and one thousand frozen embryos.

    It is clear that the mother’s right to life is comparable to that of the unborn child. Many people may choose the option that saves her life at the expense of the child.

    Either way, this only accounts for a very small percentage of cases where abortion is considered. The story of the fertility clinic fire does not provide a way to evaluate the difference between a woman’s career and the life of an unborn child. It does not help a woman process the fact that a life began and ended inside of her. It does not suggest policies that will save the most lives.

    We have all heard plenty of anecdotes and analogies about abortion that attempt to boil it down to a simple moral question to say that abortion is ok or not ok 100% of the time, but our situation is far too complex. There are too many people with too many decision making factors and too many possible outcomes. The question of whether I would have an abortion myself is very different from the question of under what circumstances I would advocate or allow for someone else’s right to abortion services. That is a matter that will be better handled through cooperation and collaboration than contention.

  23. “No one believes life begins at conception.”
    Nah. That is totally plausible to me.

    HOWEVER.
    A fertilized egg might be alive, but so is bacteria.
    You are not human until you become sentient.

  24. Saying that a human child is more important than 1000 embryos does not mean that 1000 embryos do not deserve any kind of moral consideration at all. I would choose the human child over a dog if given the choice, but that is not to say that the dog’s death is nonetheless a tragedy in itself.

  25. They are all children loved by God. Because they are God’s children, He will make a miracle happen or take the children to Himself. Death is not an end to life, if you are a child or know God. Think about the parents that live this choice everyday in countries where a rocket could come at anytime, and does. When a warning siren goes off and they are driving, they have to stop the car and get their children out. Which one to help first? It’s not about who is more important, it’s about who is closest and what we can push ourselves, sometimes with God’s help, to accomplish. Miracles happen everyday. Also, the storage tanks require no power and would not be impacted by a power failure or blackout. They are made of metal and would probably survive a small or moderate fire. If the tanks were not physically damaged or knocked over in a disaster, they should survive intact. Even if no one was able to physically check the tanks, or if we were unable to obtain liquid nitrogen, the tanks should still hold their temperature for several weeks. (https://www.pacificfertilitycenter.com/treatment-care/sperm-and-embryo-freezing) I am not sure if everyone would be physically able to lift the container either. I think you are asking the wrong question. It isn’t which one is alive or more important than the other, it is which one is easier to get to and move in an emergency situation. As a parent has to choose, so would the person in this situation. Their worldview would definitely make a difference. If they have a relationship with God, and not all Christians and other do, they will put their trust in God, not in themselves to accomplish what is necessary, or leave the outcome in God’s hands. He knows the big picture, we don’t.

  26. “This Man Shuts Down Anti-Abortion Argument By Asking One Legit Question.”

    Except he does NOT “shut down” the argument. I sincerely believe that “life begins at concepton.” I also would rescue the 5-year-old child. Why? Because the child is viable and able to live without needing to be implanted into a womb. The embryos will still die if I rescued them, unless they were immediately placed into another freezer. The child could survive on what I could provide, the embryos could not. And letting the embyos die is NOT nearly equivalent to abortion. If those embryos were already implanted in wombs, I would escort those women to safety, and one of them would doubtless pick up the child on the way out.

    Your “shut down” argument holds absolutely no water and shows how utterly ignorant you are.

  27. So it’s not black and white. I regard life as starting when the heart starts to beat, which is about 22 days post fertilization, or 36 days from a missed period. But this won’t happen until the embryo implants into the uterine lining. That’s why they have to freeze unused embryos because if it continues to try and develop without a viable supply of nutrients it will not thrive. So I don’t consider not implanted embryos living.

    Similiar to another poster’s comment, essentially they are seeds that are ready to emerge. But if you have a tree that has been growing and tended to, it has strong roots, and you know it will be fruitful someday barring any terrible tragedies, would it be better to focus on saving that one tree, or those seeds that have no measure of potential, you don’t even know if they will germinate.

  28. This is the dumbest scenario ever. First of all, the embryos would not be stored in some waiting area where a five year old’s likely to be hanging around. They’d either be in a cryogenic freezer, which would be the safest place for them outside a uterus, especially if the power’s still on. Secondly, the guy never specified what kind of container the embryos were in, but I can tell it would have to be a dry shipper capable of remaining undamaged and maintaining the cryogenic “cold chain” even in ambient temperatures of a few hundred degrees and rapidly climbing for any of the embryos to be salvageable. (And a fire that goes that fast from “fire alarm going off” to “nearing flash point” based on his description is probably in an oven of a building or was set intentionally using accelerants.) Also, under what circumstances is a person left alone with a container full of embryos and a five year old kid in an IVF clinic? Where are the kid’s parents? Why did the parents leave the kid there? Where are the other staff? Why couldn’t any of the other staff pick up the miraculously fireproof dry shipper on the way out?

    Also, the concept of triage is woefully misunderstood by people who don’t work in health care or emergency services. In a mass casualty incident, focusing our efforts on people who can be saved but need immediate help is not a value judgment. We don’t think the person with the minor scrapes or the person with the agonal respirations and nearly nonexistent pulse are less valuable than the person with the compound femur fracture and arterial bleeding. Similarly, focusing on saving a five year old who can be saved instead of a likely damaged container of thawing embryos that won’t survive is not valuing the embryos less than the five year old. It’s again, saving people who can be saved, at least given the thoroughly absurd scenario.

  29. This argument is designed to play on emotions pure and simple and doesn’t come close to addressing the issue. When you have an abortion you are not putting 1000 other lives at risk. Only one.
    None of which addresses the main issue. When you engage in sexual intercourse, regardless of what precautions are taken, the chance of conception exists. When you make a conscious choice to willingly engage in an activity, any activity, you must also accept all risks associated with that activity. If you are not willing to accept that risk, then you shouldn’t be engaging in that activity.
    Freedom of choice does not equal freedom from consequences.

  30. This argument is based on a false premise. The number of “lives” you would be saving has NO bearing on the morality of the issue. Why would saving hundreds or even thousands of “lives” be more morality correct than saving just one life? Morality has NOTHING to do with quantity. If a mother had to choose between saving her own child over several others calling for help, she would not be considered wrong for saving her own child, even though that was only one life. The value of several others lives does not lesson the value of her own child’s life, even though it is only one. In the scenario presented here, obviously most people would save the 5 year old child. Doing so does not mean they think the container of embryos are not human life as well.

  31. If the fire is so intense that I couldn’t grab the child and the container and save them both when they are both in the same room then it means the fire has already thawed the frozen embryos in the container and therefore the embryos are already dead and there is no reason to try to save them. Therefore I would save the child and mourn the loss of the human life taken by the fire.

  32. Wow ok so if you don’t answer A or B in this extreme closed ended scenario then supposedly you haven’t answered the question? I’ll set aside the fact that this scenario is extreme and doesn’t fit the real world, and I’ll humor this guy for a moment with an A or B answer just like he asked for.

    A. Save the child
    Before I explain any further let me set a basis for the decision.

    —People judge Morality Under Normal Conditions differently from Morality in Life vs. Life scenarios.—

    Morality Under Normal Conditions says that all life is equally valuable and incomparable. For example, If (A = a person’s life) and (B = the life of another) then we would express that by saying (A = B). (A > B), or (A A). We make this decision based on that fact that children are more innocent, less prepared for death, and have more of their life ahead of them. We make this decision to get an outcome that seems acceptable even though the net value is a loss either way. So in the (Child vs. Embryos) scenario, I change my basis to this: (Child > 1000Embryos). I think it’s reasonable to assume that most people would feel the same way. This time the rationale is that the child can understand the situation, experience fear, has already lived several years of life, and each Embryo has not yet achieved independence. This demonstrates how moral logic changes under different scenarios.

    My Point? Just because I choose to save the child in a (Child vs. Embryos) scenario, it doesn’t make the Embryos any less valuable under normal conditions. Life vs. Life scenarios are screwed up. That’s why we don’t understand them and just have to guess for the answer according to what seems right. Thankfully, we don’t experience Life vs. Life scenarios in most pregnancies. That’s why we should strive to protect life even at the embryo level if possible. Between (Embryo – Embryo = 0) and (Embryo – 0 = Embryo), we should choose the second. Just because the life of an established child is something that we can justify choosing over an embryo’s life, that doesn’t mean that a mother’s desires to escape a past decision have that same value.

    (Sorry for any rough grammar or terminology. I think this gets the point across though. Also, sorry all of the “Logic Math.” I don’t really know how to do all of the stuff in the perfect scientific way, but using a rough version helped me keep all of this straight in my head.)

    • Morality Under Normal Conditions says that all life is equally valuable and incomparable. For example, If (A = a person’s life) and (B = the life of another) then we would express that by saying (A = B). (A > B), or (A A). We make this decision based on that fact that children are more innocent, less prepared for death, and have more of their life ahead of them. We make this decision to get an outcome that seems acceptable even though the net value is a loss either way. So in the (Child vs. Embryos) scenario, I change my basis to this: (Child > 1000Embryos). I think it’s reasonable to assume that most people would feel the same way. This time the rationale is that the child can understand the situation, experience fear, has already lived several years of life, and each Embryo has not yet achieved independence. This demonstrates how moral logic changes under different scenarios.

      My Point? Just because I choose to save the child in a (Child vs. Embryos) scenario, it doesn’t make the Embryos any less valuable under normal conditions. Life vs. Life scenarios are screwed up. That’s why we don’t understand them and just have to guess for the answer according to what seems right. Thankfully, we don’t experience Life vs. Life scenarios in most pregnancies. That’s why we should strive to protect life even at the embryo level if possible. Between (Embryo – Embryo = 0) and (Embryo – 0 = Embryo), we should choose the second. Just because the life of an established child is something that we can justify choosing over an embryo’s life, that doesn’t mean that a mother’s desires to escape a past decision have that same value.

      (Sorry for any rough grammar or terminology. I think this gets the point across though. Also, sorry all of the “Logic Math.” I don’t really know how to do all of the stuff in the perfect scientific way, but using a rough version helped me keep all of this straight in my head.)

  33. I have a question. If something isn’t living, then why does it need to be cut up with forceps to kill it? Oh, and choosing between a young child and a science experiment many deem unethical aren’t the same thing (although still saddening in my opinion). How about a pregnant woman and a man? Who would you pick? If you pick the woman, you justify the homicide of men…

  34. This is an inaccurate representation of how abortion actually works. Here’s a more realistic example:

    You are in a room with a 5 year old, a gun, and a person holding $300,000 in a briefcase(the average cost to raise a child from birth to 18 years). You are given the option to A) shoot and kill the child and receive $300,000, or let the child live and have $300,000 taken from you over a period of 18 years. There is no option C, option C is that you are killed instead. Which do you choose?

    Abortions performed voluntary (i.e. no threat to life of mother involved, rape/incest scenarios, etc) are absolutely a question of morality because you are choosing to improve your life at the cost of another’s life. That is murder.

  35. Unfortunately. The answer no one considers is actually the right course of action. The fact that the question is bias escapes every one because the path to take is blatenly stomped on as not a viable option from the get go. The author then tries to make the reader guilty in considering the two open option’s as both come with the realization of having left living human life to inevitably die. There is no greater love then to lay one’s life for another’s sake. No one said the answer is easy. Option C, and die trying if that be the way.

  36. Wasn’t my kid, girl I was with ran out safely, I’ll save my beer. Let someone else be a hero. I’m pro life… My life, pro choice too…. That’s my choice. Taking this stuff seriously. But what I find amazing is the pro lifers who blow up abortion clinics or murder the doctors. Or the same with pro choice who let welfare moms with 6 kids stay in the system while doing drugs and knocked up again.

  37. Oh cool, this guy can regurgitate arguments presented in Philosophy 101 on the aspects of Utilitarianism. How many years has he been asking this question? Sounds like somebody’s been wasting a lot of time trying to pretend they’re ‘woke’. But hey, at least he got his 15 minutes of Twitter fame.

  38. The scenario is wrong to me too. I would suggest an alternative scenario where you have the choice between saving a mother and her son (age is irrelevant but let’s say 5) or a pregnant woman. Then you eliminate the bias from which a viable embryo will never amount the a human being if never attached to a womb and you may still get people saying that they would rather save the pregnant mother.

    That way you may not always shut down a pro-life but the point of this is to make someone realize what he would actually choose, not to force your own answer on them.

  39. I’m fascinated by the number of men who feel they have any right to make this argument. No uterus, no opinion is a good rule of them. Always. Your ideas and beliefs should have absolutely no bearing on any argument about a woman can do with her own body. Furthermore, NO ONE’S personal beliefs should have any impact on what another person does with their body. If you believe that life begins at conception, that’s totally fine. Live your life. That doesn’t mean you get to tell someone else they can’t have an abortion. It’s right up there with saying someone can’t have a cookie because you’re on a diet. Whatever your beliefs are, they’re YOUR beliefs. Keep them off everyone else’s rights and bodies. Seriously–it’s that easy. Don’t tell everyone else how to live their lives. Don’t tell people they can’t do something because of your beliefs. Stop it, stop it, stop it.

  40. I’d pick the 1000 embryos. Because the 5 year old is old enough to walk…. if they aren’t going to follow you then that’s their choice. The 1000 embryos though don’t have a choice.

    Thus, pick the embryos. Logical answer to a silly problem.

    Now if you would have said like a 5 month old baby.. then screw the embryos we can make more.

  41. If we ignore the whole scenario concept since that just adds layers of confusion, the choice is really.
    A) Save a 5 year old with certainty.
    B) Save 1000 embryos with certainty where at least two are certain to be born.

    I would save the 1000 embryos in my version of the scenario.

    Now if we apply the scenario, I would probably try to grab the embryos first and tell the child to follow me. If this was not possible, I would leave the embryos behind and save the child as I know for certain that this will save a life. The problem with the scenario is the level of information you have is really not specified to any degree. If you save the embryos, how do you know for sure that they will be born? You don’t, and because of the lack of information, there’s no moral contradiction with being a pro-lifer and choosing to save the 5 year-old child in this scenario.

  42. You sir have a right to your opinion. I personally would save the child and return if possible to save the embryos. the two week period after conception is called the “germinal” stage. Conception occurs when the sperm cell combines with the egg cell to form a zygote. Thus a fertilized ovum(egg) The zygote develops rapidly in the days folowing fertilization. Latest debates say that ” a being or thing” or something having existence” is complete once the egg has been fertilized.The zygote possesses half the DNA of each parent. Embryos in misscarrage.. most commonly occur when the chromosomes are abnormal. The embryo according to documents that I have just read… say that an ” embryo has been been fertilized “. See wiki or other sources.A fertilized egg in early stages of development a “zygote” has begun cell division often called a pre-embryo(for pre- implantation). The union of the mother’s and father’s sex cells or germ cells. The (Zygote) is transformed into a embryo. At the end of the 8th week , the woman is considered pregnant, since her last menses. The medical definition of pregnancy includes ,two weeks added by doctors to predict the date of birth,thus counted as 10 weeks. The division of cells begins, “12” hours after fertilization and continues throughout fetal development. At the beginning of the ninth week the em the embryo is considered a (fetus).Structures have already been formed during the embryonic stage.At 12 weeks the fetus fills the uterus. As a fetus.. the structures that have already been formed grow and develop. The embryonic stage ****according to psychology ***is the time when “normal” **cognative** and physycal development begins, aprox. two weeks till two months. I am a prolife person because I know people that survived abortion and the nurse took the child to the hospital. There are many who lecture this same story and there are tons of couples and singles that want a baby! I am a follower of the Nazarene prophet Yeshua his Jewish name.You may know him as Jesus his greek name. I am a mystic deciple not a bible thumper nor merely a pewsitter! The great book, one of many called the bible is a guidebook and testimony from peoples experiences. Some Eye witnesses and some Scribes and scholars wrote the bible and it took 4000 years. Here is a quote from the bible that I believe… ” Jeremiah 1:5New King James Version (NKJV)
    5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
    Before you were born I sanctified you;
    I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” My web page is called EYE of the STORM on FACEBOOK. If anyone would like to challenge me or just inquire of my level of authority..please feel free to visit me and comment. If you r heart or mind resonates with anything I have said then follow your own conscience .I am only a messenger and no more pious than anyone.lol I do not willfully practice sin or self medicate to escape all of lifes trials. I turn all my burdens onto God through his Son Jesus. I smoke and it is killing me my teeth have rotted and are breaking and falling out, due to nicotine which is addictive as Heroin. We all have demons some are legion and wreak havoc on all aspects of our lives. We all have the “worm,that dieth not” according to Jesus. Even his great deciple ST.PAUL said”That which I wish to do..I cannot..and that which I loathe I do this thing” “I conclude that it is sin that has made a home in me”.Those 12 deciples argued who amoung themselves whom was the greatest! They were only men with the desires all men have,but chose to give up their egos for true life. I will explain more in my live FB feeds and have continually through mass media. Thank you for reading this far. God bless my friends and enemies I let God do the rest. Amen FHU.Com Roy Masters radio for 50 years running. I am sixtymyself but have a childs curiosity and always question everything and research topics add infinitum.lol SEE ya!

  43. I mean, he’s right. But it’s not just men that are pro-life a*holes. Plenty of women are too, trying to shame other women who are pro-choice. My other favourite question is “Are you going to take that baby in and raise it when the woman you forced to birth it can’t or won’t do it herself?” They can’t answer that one either. Really, their whole argument falls apart with either of these questions. Usually they will back off and disappear or they’ll start getting angry, that’s when you know you’ve won.

  44. A fertilized egg, a viable embryo is “the potential” for life, just like a fertilized chicken egg is, or the seed from a ripe melon. Outside of the correct nurturing environment none of these potentials can ever come to fruition. The 5-year-old is alive, not potentially, IS. An embryo growing in a womb is also alive. This is a bogus scenario based on a deluded individual’s desire to murder the unborn.

  45. http://www.rearfront.com/man-shuts-down-anti-abortion-argument

    So this is the game show “Jeopardy”. The answer is, “Life begins at conception.” The question, “When does life begin?” As a society, this is a question to debate and I’ll give my answer to what I believe is the answer here.

    But first, I need to say a few other things. Personally, I think the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are misnomers. Why? I believe the vast majority of pro-lifers would agree that a woman has a right to abstain from sex so that she doesn’t have a baby. Only the most extreme (possibly mentally ill) person would argue that a woman is obligated to do everything in her power to ensure that every egg in her ovaries is ferilized and becomes a baby. How can anyone call allowing a viable egg to be eliminated from a woman’s body without making significant attempts to fertilize it anything but anti-life?

    Regarding pro-choicers, I doubt any pro-choicer who is not mentally ill, would claim that a mother has the right to choose to kill her 15 year old child. The child has needs that a mother (and father) have an obligation to fulfill. This necessitates actions on the part of the parents, to make money to buy the necessities of life, as well as spending time teaching and caring for the child. This requires the mother to do things with her body that she may not want to do (like perhaps spending many hours per week putting three screws in every washing machine thaT goes by her on a production line). Doesn’t she have the right to say “I’ll take my body to work at this factory to put food on my table, but I’m not giving any of that food to my child. I’m no slave to him or her. It’s my body.”

    Both of these situations I described are extreme, extreme, EXTREME examples of a) forcing a woman to bear children (pro-life) and b) permitting a woman to terminate an unwanted child (pro-choice). If a person doesn’t agree with the first premise, is he or she really pro-life? And if a person doesn’t accept the second premise, is he or she really pro-choice.

    So, it boils down to the fact that essentially everyone is pro-choice to some degree. And essentially everyone is pro-life to some degree. Therefore, the question isn’t a question of choice or life, but rather at what point do we as a society allow the choice of preventing or terminating a pregnancy?

    In my opinion, that questions has the answer implicit in it. That is, a woman has a right to prevent a pregnancy. But not the right to terminate one.

    She can do whatever she wants to prevent a pregnancy. She can use whatever form of contraception she wants, be it abstinence, the pill, IUD or drinking tea made from boiled spiders and newts.

    But just as she doesn’t have the right to kill a week old baby because she’s tired of the requirements placed on her and her body by the requirements of motherhood (or whatever reason), or kill a day old baby or an hour old baby, she doesn’t have the right to kill a fetus that is one minute, one hour, one week, one month or nine months from being born.

    For me, the transition from a woman’s having the right to do whatever she wants with her body to her having an obliigation to have a baby is the moment when action replaces inaction in preventing the birth of a child. And the name we give that moment is conception. Before that moment, no action is necessary to prevent the birth of a child. After that moment, preventing the birth of a child DOES require action. It seems to me that that moment, conception, is the logical point to say when life begins.

  46. I love how this guy thinks he’s so brilliant for coming up with a stupid scenario while he was high. Hey, moron, an embryo isn’t a life. A fertilized embryo in a uterus is.

  47. The conservative voters of Alabama are demonstrating this as well. The would rather vote for someone they think would would put someone on the bench that is pro-life over the concerns of someone that abused a living child. The hypocrisy of the so called religious right is boundless and pathetic.

  48. When the heart starts beating that’s life-period. Embryo’s are an egg and sperm. It is not a fetus that has resulted from our cells reproducing and ultimately result in our lives beginning with our heart beating. That’s why after the embryo’s which are perceived as viable are implanted for those of us women who cannot conceive “normally” we wait for the doctor’s to check afterwards for the sound of a beating heart. There is life. They are no longer an egg or sperm that die and are washed away in a woman’s menstrual cycle. So the answer is yes I would of course save the five year old child.

  49. This is a good question for general ethics, but not a very good one to defend abortion…I get the feeling this is not asked usually to people who are philosophically literate.

    Look, this is just a variation of the popular train-track dilemma (Trolley Problem) in philosophy (look it up), in which one is forced to question the seeming common-sense ethical validity of utilitarianism.

    This question wants to force to hearer to answer the question in one of two ways, and disregard the value of one choice, and it’s dishonest because not even the Trolley problem demands that!… in reality, there are more ways to address it.

    One perfectly valid answer would be to simply try to save both, even if it means you all died trying; maybe by some fluke of chance you could save both instead of giving up on one. (imagine a scenario is between two of your children, this is the choice in the rush of the moment that many would make.

    Another valid answer is to simply agree that IN THIS scenario you would save the child, but only because there is a more direct and emotional bond vs. the future potential of the rest; in other words it’s a more selfish choice out the gate.

    Try this: you can mix up the thought experiment, and see how it overreaches for a conclusion that has little warrant…simply take out the child and replace it with the last copy of your favorite videogame, book, or movie, now what is the ethical choice? Clearly most would choose the unborn lives. But WHY if they are not considered viable life? Are they as entertaining as the rest? NO..but…we know better in that case don’t we?

  50. Hypothetical question meant to stump a pro lifer. It doesn’t. You see, it doesn’t matter if you choose the child or embryo , you are making a choice to save a life. Unless you started the fire, you made no action to harm either one.Abortion , you are making a choice to end one. And yes, both are alive.

  51. This ridiculous scenario would make more sense if your choice was between a pregnant woman and a small child. But either way, someone is dying in the fire. It really doesn’t matter which one you choose. There is death. Which implies that there was life. No one would choose the embryos because quite simply, they are faceless and formless…and they need a body in order to grow. So a pregnant woman is really the better example..to this ridiculous hypothetical.

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