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The Ben Shapiro Show

Pro-Life Debate Tips With Trent Horn

Sun Aug 06 2023
abortiondebateconsciousnessbodily autonomymorality

Description

This episode features Trent Horney, an apologist for Catholic answers, discussing his tactics in debating the abortion issue. He highlights the importance of understanding opponents' arguments and challenges Destiny's pro-choice stance. The conversation covers topics such as consciousness, bodily autonomy, and the source of morality.

Insights

Understanding Opponents' Arguments

Trent researches his opponents' previous debates to understand their beliefs about abortion and avoid weak arguments.

The Consciousness Argument

Consciousness is a continuum, and drawing arbitrary lines based on mental function can lead to eugenic territory.

The Violinist Argument

The comatose violinist argument raises questions about bodily autonomy, but Trent counters it by highlighting the difference between choosing not to save a dying violinist and choosing to abort a healthy unborn child.

The Source of Morality

Trent argues that morality cannot solely come from society and proposes that moral standards come from God, a perfectly moral being who transcends time, place, and culture.

Chapters

  1. Debating the Abortion Issue
  2. The Consciousness Argument
  3. The Violinist Argument
  4. The Source of Morality
Summary
Transcript

Debating the Abortion Issue

00:00 - 01:22

  • Trent Horney is an apologist for Catholic answers and has debated the abortion issue on various platforms.
  • He researches his opponents' previous debates to understand their arguments.
  • Destiny, a pro-choice advocate, does not use standard weak arguments like 'what about women who are too poor?' or 'what about back alley abortions?'
  • Destiny believes that a person begins to exist 20 weeks after conception when consciousness develops.
  • Trent challenges Destiny's position by pointing out that many non-human animals are more conscious than human newborns, yet we don't grant them a right to life.
  • Trent argues that Destiny's position collapses because it fails to explain the unique value that only human beings have.
  • Trent highlights the importance of understanding what the unborn are in abortion discussions.

The Consciousness Argument

01:24 - 03:35

  • Consciousness is a continuum, and there are varying levels of consciousness among fully grown human beings.
  • Drawing an arbitrary line at certain mental function leads to eugenic territory.
  • Peter Singer's argument suggests that until a child is three and smarter than a cow, they can be killed.
  • Trent argues that consciousness varies in degrees, but there is still the property of being conscious or not conscious.
  • He compares it to being on a football team where you're either on the team or not on the team.
  • Trent questions the ethical implications of causing a healthy, pre-conscious fetus to be permanently unconscious for organ harvesting or other purposes.

The Violinist Argument

05:24 - 07:40

  • The comatose violinist argument raises questions about bodily autonomy and whether one is obligated to carry another person for nine months.
  • Trent counters the argument by changing the scenario to put the listener in the position of the violinist.
  • He highlights the difference between choosing not to save a dying violinist and choosing to abort a healthy unborn child.
  • Trent emphasizes that the uterus is designed for the unborn child, and if they have any rights, it includes the right to the natural place they would live to receive food.
  • He also mentions that the relationship between the two people involved affects the moral calculus.

The Source of Morality

09:05 - 10:39

  • The source of morality is a fundamental aspect of the abortion debate.
  • Many people who reject objective morality may root it in social opinions.
  • Trent argues that morality cannot solely come from society because people often seek to reform and change society based on their understanding of morality.
  • He proposes that moral standards come from God, a perfectly moral being who transcends time, place, and culture.
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