Matt Daws wins the inaugural SBBS Arguing About Abortion Awards, for not only spotting the vital premise: "such arguments are essentially pointless", but also remembering the author’s previously expressed views.
Larry comes a close second, with views as well-justified as Matt plus the image of the author running amok with a chainsaw in a maternity ward. However, he loses the top spot for lacking Mr Dawes’ willingness to admit the futility of even bothering to have this debate when we’re all starting from such insanely different premises.
Honourable mentions also go to Squander Two, with a set of well-expressed points (the willingness to admit that there is no solution, without the willingness to say this makes the whole bloody thing pointless counts both for and against S2 here), Matt T (who gained many points for adding stats where others were bolloxing about hypotheticals, but lost a few for emotive reductions of the argument), and dsquared, who wins a million points for quotable quotes, but loses them again for failure to back said quotes up.
Andrew Bartlett only said one thing, but it was sensible. So did Ally, and she’s a woman, and therefore the only person to actually have the right to participate in the debate under the original conditions expressed [*]. And Jimmy Doyle wins the Oliver Kamm Wooden Spoon for condescension, vapid verbosity and unprovoked personal abuse. The prize is an hour’s tutorial with Jimmy Doyle, so it’s probably just as well for all concerned that things turned out the way they did.
The next SBBS Arguing About Abortion Awards will take place either when hell freezes over, or when four randomly selected, well-educated people can sit in a room and have an argument about abortion that doesn’t turn into an acrimonious and bitter ranting match. And lo, the pot has spoken.
Also, some clarifications:
1) I’m well aware that my original opinion on this matter makes absolute sense if you believe the foetus not to be a person, none whatsoever if you believe it to be one, and somewhere in between if your views are elsewhere.
2) I stand by my views on the Catholic church (not the ‘burn them all’, but the dislike of clerical authority and teachings that Mr Doyle labels as ‘shallowness, ignorance and bigotry’). I believe, on the empirical evidence, that the world would be a better place should the Catholic church cease to exist tomorrow (just as I believe about Wahabbi Islam, Protestant fundamentalism, and the VHP). On the same basis, I really don’t care whether or not the Church of England, the Quakers or the Baha’i continue to exist: none is doing any serious harm (or indeed, anything particularly serious) any longer.
[*] The male-dominated nature of the debate may or may not say a great deal about men, the Internet, SBBS readers, or all three.