Abortion & Ben Shapiro | Philosophy Tube

Abortion & Ben Shapiro | Philosophy Tube


Welcome to my theatre. Tonight, I wanna give you a completely new way of thinking about one of the most incendiary issues of our time, so I’m gonna put on a show about a sinister kidnapper, a provocative radio host, and graphic violins. A lot of people believe that foetuses definitely aren’t people, but others aren’t convinced, and Ben Shapiro is one of them. So during tonight’s operation I’m going to assume that the pro-life people are correct when they say that a foetus is morally fully equivalent to a grown human being. And I hope if you believe that you’ll stick around and watch the whole thing. So scrub your hands thoroughly, sterilise your instruments, and remember – no smoking in the theatre.TOM GENTLY: Well hey there! Tonight we’re gonna talk about abortion, the Democrats’ attempts to subvert American politics, and why Leftist discourse has gotten so toxic online. I’m Tom Gently; this is the Tom Gently show.I was down at Princeton University last week talking to pro-life students there about the Left’s continual failure to address any of the arguments from the pro-life camp. They think we’re all religious redneck bigots brainwashed by evangelical Christianity. I’m not an evangelical, I was raised Baptist, but uh Roe V. Wade – for our international listeners, of which there are a lot I wanna say thank you for tuning in – Roe V. Wade was the absurd Supreme Court decision that found a woman’s quote unquote right to privacy meant that states can’t criminalise abortions. There’s a phantom right emanating from penumbras in the law, oooh! And Roe V. Wade was 1973. Evangelical Christians weren’t even talking about being pro-life until 1978, or later, and in fact many evangelicals supported Roe V. Wade. But the Left fail to appreciate, or refuse to appreciate actually, that the pro-life position is supported by science, the science of human development. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about tonight but before we get into what I think I wanna hear from you so let’s go to the phones. Hello caller, you’re on the Tom Gently show with Tom Gently: ???: Hello Tom. Long time viewer, first time caller; lovely to talk to you. TOM: Nice to hear from ya. Is that a British accent? ???: Yes, for my sins, hah! I just want to say I think you’re completely right about abortion. I don’t see anyone on the Left discussing it honestly! TOM: Thank you. I agree, I see a lot of illogical and bad-faith arguments from the Left, attempting to dodge the central moral issue which is that the killing of human beings is wrong and your right to convenience can’t outweigh that. ???: I couldn’t agree more. I’d love to have to a longer chat with you about this. TOM: Well, if you’re ever in Washington I’ll buy you a beer how about that? Thanks for calling! ???: See you soon. Ben Shapiro is an American media figure famous for his polemic style, slick delivery, and looking like the bad guy from the 2007 Nicholas Cage movie Ghost Rider. The New York Times once described him as “The Cool Kid’s Philosopher,” which…Ben champions various conservative causes, including opposition to trans rights, opposition to government action on climate change, unleashing the darkness of Hell upon the soulds of unsuspecting mortals, and opposition to abortion. I list them not to sway you, but cause they’re gonna come up. And for reasons that will be deliciously ironic later on, he’s also an extremely talented violinist! In recent months various states in the US have voted to criminalise abortion and in Northern Ireland, one of the four countries that make up the UK, it’s been criminal since 1861. I assumed, wrongly, that the pro-life position was always a religious one because one of its chief supporters is purveyor of high camp mild mannered evil, Pope Francis the Only. But Ben Shapiro showed me the truth. Although he is religious he doesn’t support his position on abortion with religion. And for me that’s more interesting: if somebody says they want to criminalise abortion because God says so then they’d have to prove that God exists, prove He does say that, and explain why the government should listen to God when He spends most of the year living in a tax haven. And that’s just not an area of philosophy I personally find all that interesting at the moment. If God does exist and He’s watching the show, then Oh Lord – if it pleaseth thou, subscribe and click the bell. I know Ben is frustrated by people coming to him saying, “If you’re “pro-life” why do you support the death penalty? Or wars? Or why were you the bad guy in the Hunger Games film?” And I think I can help by being just a little more precise – Ben is pro-state forced pregnancy. If somebody is pregnant, he thinks it is okay for the government to make them to stay pregnant unless being pregnant is medically going to kill them. Ben says adult humans obviously have a right to life, and then he points to foetuses and says, “Look, at X number of weeks you’ve got heartbeat, fingers, toes, – they’re human. Even at early stages when foetuses lack some of the things that grown humans have, they usually develop those things so, if we can’t draw a certain line between right to life and no right to life we should act as if there is no line.” For those on the pro-choice Left, maybe we can see why we sometimes fail to persuade because those who support state forced pregnancy have conceived a very different kind of argument. If you believe that life begins at conception and that life is morally fully equivalent to a grown person it must be a little distressing to know that abortions go on. Ben certainly seems very upset by it. And if you believe as he believes then I’m afraid I’ve got more bad news.Fertility clinics, where people go if they can’t have babies, delicately extract eggs from human follicles using a needle guided by ultrasound. And then they extract spermatozoa (that’s the scientific word for jizz) through a complex, medical procedure known as wanking. (Or if you’re a bit put off at the idea of busting a nut in a hospital you can use one of these $6000 sperm-extraction machines. That’ll put you at ease. Ahh yeah… sexy.) They combine eggs and sperm in a lab and implant the resulting embryo in someone’s womb so it can grow and they can have babby. When sperm meets egg that’s what we call conception. But they always make more than they need so they’ve got spares and they discard all the embryos they don’t use. So if you believe that human life begins at conception then I’m sorry to have to tell you that fertility clinics the world over discard several million more “lives” annually than you maybe even realised. And I’m afraid the bad news continues: even amongst people whoms’t get pregnant the old fashioned way – – by holding hands with your wife and doing a special hug – a huge number of fertilised eggs don’t implant in the wall of the uterus and are passed out. Estimates vary between about a third and two thirds, but let’s take the lower end – if you believe life begins at conception then you might wanna sit down cause that means approximately a third of all people die within a week of being created. Maybe you didn’t know that. Several American lawmakers have been caught not knowing even basic stuff about what pregnancy and abortion actually involve and that must be a little embarrassing if you support their cause. Maybe you did know it! But if you support criminalising abortion on the grounds that life begins at conception and you’re not also thinking about fertility clinics, or research to increase embryo implantation rates…maybe get a little bit curious about that? Maybe you can see why some people suspect you of just wanting to control women. It’s not so much a comment on your conscious intentions as an explanation of why the focus seems to be on abortion rather than all fertilised eggs. But anyway, we’re assuming for the sake of argument that life does in fact begin at conception. Ben says nobody has ever drawn that line between right to kill and no right to kill and he’s frustrated that people dodge that. So I’ll confess I don’t think there is a fact of the matter, I don’t think drawing a line even makes sense. The philosophical discussion of when somebody becomes a person with full moral rights is absolutely fascinating, But I’m afraid it’s also completely irrelevant. In 1971 the philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson wrote one of the most famous philosophy papers ever, in which she asks us to consider a very weird scenario: TOM: Where am I? THE ARSONIST: Ah, you’re awake! It is delightful to meet you at last, Tom. I’m such a huge fan of the Daily Fire.TOM GENTLY: You’re a fan of my show? THE ARSONIST: Oh, the biggest. TOM GENTLY: … You wanna tell me why I’m here? THE ARSONIST: There’s someone I want you to meet. TOM GENTLY: Jesus Christ! Who is that? THE ARSONIST: Shhh, he’s resting. That is Paulo Vinnatonni, one of those most accomplished violinists in the world. Paulo is very sick, Tom. He has kidney failure: unless he’s given urgent dialysis he’ll surely die and as President of the Society of Music Lovers I can’t let that happen. You have two beautiful kidneys, Tom, and now that you’re connected to Paulo’s bloodstream you’re going to help him get better. TOM GENTLY: You grabbed me from my studio and hooked me up to this guy? THE ARSONIST: No, I grabbed you from the carpark. Sorry about hitting you over the head by the way, I couldn’t risk knocking you out chemically – anything that gets into you will get into Paulo- TOM GENTLY: This is sick! It’s kidnapping! THE ARSONIST: I suppose technically it’s illegal but it’s all for a good cause. TOM GENTLY: Help! Help me! THE ARSONIST: Sir, I’ll politely ask you to lower your voice. If you have objections to this arrangement I’m only too willing to listen to them but I insist we have a civil conversation. TOM GENTLY: This is kidnapping, it’s kidnapping, let me out of here asshole! THE ARSONIST: Sir, sir! I’ll consent to a robust discourse but I must ask you to adopt a more friendly tone or I might have to go with my backup plan. TOM GENTLY: Yeah? What’s that? You wanna volunteer?THE ARSONIST: No one’s going to find us down here. And even if they do you’ll just tell them that if they disconnect your veins from Paulo now it’ll kill him. It wouldn’t be right to punish Paulo for my sins. TOM GENTLY: That was you, calling my show! Why me? THE ARSONIST: I knew you’d agree with me. You’re pro-life. You support everybody’s right to live, no matter how inconvenient That is what you’ve always said. TOM GENTLY: Yeah, yeah, I am pro life. I just… you can’t do this without asking. THE ARSONIST: Why not? Surely Paulo’s right to life outweighs your right to convenience, whether I’d asked you or not. I thought you’d be happy. TOM GENTLY: I am, I, I am! just… I’m not responsible for him being sick. THE ARSONIST: Why should that matter? I don’t see why his right to life should depend on the manner in which he came to need your help? You’re his de facto guardian now; if you pull out he’ll die. Do you know what dying of kidney failure is like, Tom? If I unplug you now, Paulo will get weaker by the second. First he’ll have trouble breathing; the phlegm will build up until it bubbles out over his lips onto his shirt; he’ll piss brown urine all over the bed as his hands and feet swell up and his veins jump out from his skin; finally he’ll lose all muscle control and lie there, paralysed, shitting himself into a massive heart attack! Is that what you want?! TOM GENTLY: No! No I don’t. I wanna help you. I wanna help The Society… of… THE ARSONIST: The Society of Music Lovers. TOM GENTLY: Yeah, yeah. You like classical music? THE ARSONIST: Oh yes very much. Vivaldi! TOM GENTLY: Yeah? THE ARSONIST: Enescu! TOM GENTLY: Paganini? THE ARSONIST: Gesundheit. TOM GENTLY: How long do I have to stay? THE ARSONIST: …Just a few hours! TOM GENTLY: I thought you were gonna say nine months! THE ARSONIST:THE ARSONIST: I like you: you have a sense of humour. And you stick to your principles. So many so-called “pro-choice” Leftists don’t. TOM GENTLY: Yeah you’re right, you’re absolutely right. THE ARSONIST: They think that being pro-life means being anti-woman, but it doesn’t. It just means pro-life. TOM GENTLY: You’re right. I don’t hate women. I married one. I have two little daughters. THE ARSONIST: Ashley and Rebecca.TOM GENTLY: You know, I bet they’re worried about me. If you let me call them, I can make sure they’re okay. THE ARSONIST: Oh don’t worry, they’re fine. I would never hurt your family, Tom. Family is the most important thing in the world. TOM GENTLY: Yeah, you’re right. THE ARSONIST: If we lose family, then all of this… Western civilisation, it’ll come crashing down. Nothing should replace family. TOM GENTLY: You got a family? THE ARSONIST: No… I… had a wife. She thought she wasn’t ready to be a family. I tried to convince her I was ready. But she went to the clinic behind my back. And that’s when I realised that you were right. It’s not just her choice, it impacts us all. That’s why I knew you’d see this is the right thing to do, to save Paulo. When we stand by and let an innocent life be snuffed out it affects all of us. TOM GENTLY: What happened to your wife?THE ARSONIST: There was a nasty fire.Thomson’s argument is obviously supposed to be an analogy for pregnancy and for us the question is, ‘If Tom Gently is unplugged from the violinist and escapes should whoever unplugs him be punished by the law?’ What is more important, the life of the violinist, who is definitely a full person, or the bodily autonomy of a conservative radio host held captive by a Tory maniac? As the journalist Laurie Penny puts it, it does not matter whether foetuses are persons – it matters whether pregnant people are. You might well say that this scenario is unrealistic, not to mention in questionable taste! And I’d agree with you. Remember the whole reason we’re considering it though is because we’re assuming that foetuses are persons. We’ve already entered unrealistic – we’re just seeing where the rabbit hole leads. It’s also unfortunately the case that cis men, including many lawmakers, can engage with this topic so freely cause it’s not a site of pain for us As the Alabama senate recently showed sometimes hearing real graphic testimony just doesn’t work, and so in order to bring this topic home to those people I decided to present this admittedly very macabre fantasy. And maybe you think I stacked the deck. Like the film is shot in a sex dungeon, there’s a clear villain, I’m obviously leading you to the answer that I support, and yeah okay fair enough. At least I admit it! If it’s meant to be an analogy to pregnancy though, we could tweak it. What if the violinist was Tom Gently’s brother? What if Tom initially volunteered but he wants to back out when he learns what it really involves? What if it wasn’t a violinist with kidney disease?, f**k it – let’s go all in – what if it was a baby? And remember the question here is – ‘If someone unplugs him should they be punished by the law?’ And you might be thinking “Well, the Arsonist should be punished!” The implication is that if Tom doesn’t go along with it he’ll be killed, and many who support state-enforced pregnancy including Ben Shapiro say if being pregnant is gonna kill you an abortion is allowable. But the threat against Tom isn’t coming from his “pregnancy,” it’s from outside. What if the police arrive, take the Arsonist away for punishment so the threat is gone, and Tom is still plugged in. Is it okay to remove him? Some people say, “Well there’s a difference between withdrawing treatment, like unplugging, and killing, like an abortion.” But if your argument relies on this factual and moral distinction between killing vs letting die, then you are the one who needs to prove that distinction is there. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds, and doesn’t even sound that easy. And even if you do it, and you say, “I support criminalising abortion because it is killing, as opposed to letting die” then that would mean that a pregnant person who starves themselves into stillbirth deliberately must be morally and legally okay. Which I’m guessing Ben Shaprio doesn’t want to say. Moreover, what if Tom wasn’t needed for a few hours but a few years, or even the rest of his life? You might wanna say, “Well then unplugging would be okay,” but if the life at stake is what matters then that doesn’t change whether it’s nine months or a hundred years! If you support state-forced pregnancy but think that Tom shouldn’t be punished for unplugging after a certain point, then you’ve already agreed with the central claim of the pro-choice position which is that bodily autonomy can take priority over a life. You’re just haggling over who gets to draw the line and where. What I like about Thomson’s scenario is that it pushes us to that place of all or nothing. If you’re Ben Shapiro you have to agree with the Arsonist and say that no matter how Tom came to be there and no matter how much he suffers, a human life is at stake and unplugging him should be criminal. If a woman or a trans person with a womb can be forced by the state to use her body to keep someone else alive it must also be acceptable to force a man to do the same thing. But speaking of grotesque medical horror that pushes the boundaries of taste… here’s Dennis Prager, the haunted gammon mannequin behind Prager University, a YouTube channel dedicated to misinformation funded by petrochemical billionaires.In one of his famous fireside chats, ol’ Denny says that when someone is pregnant it’s not just their body that needs to be considered. He wonders why a baby outside someone’s womb is assumed to have moral worth but a foetus within apparently has none at all. After all, if somebody shoots a pregnant person most people would say that’s worse than shooting somebody who isn’t pregnant. Even the Predator knew that in the documentary Predator 2. So we think the foetus has value then, but we allow abortions as if it has no vlaue at all? DENNIS PRAGER: I don’t get it! And I mean I don’t get it! It’s not, “I don’t get it, I don’t agree. I don’t get it!” Uncle Denny’s pulling a sneaky on ya though, cause somebody could say a foetus has moral worth, maybe even full moral worth, and still think that the bodily autonomy of a pregnant person outweighs it. Just like we could say coming in and shooting Paulo the violinist would be wrong but still Tom shouldn’t be punished if he escapes. A lot of people worry about the morality of late-term abortions, including many people who are pro-choice, cause they think that at some stage it has some moral value even if bodily autonomy outweighs it every time. Ben thinks that an abortion like one day before birth is awful, that’s killing! but what he misses is that if you go at 39 weeks pregnant and say, “I don’t want to be pregnant anymore,” they’ll probably just induce birth. They give you an injection or a pill that causes you go into labour. And it’s very common. One in five births in the UK are induced, including me! DENNIS PRAGER: By the way you can’t even build homes with fireplaces anymore in California.Is that why you didn’t use a real fire for your video Dennis? The fire never changes – it’s the same all the time, it’s a gas fire, but he still puts the same log next to it in every shot to make you think it’s wood burning!DENNIS PRAGER: I don’t get it! Horrifying aliens who kill men for sport, and the Predator, might find this hard to grasp but bodily autonomy Vs human life is an area where the same person might have conflicting intuitions. One of Thomson’s critics was a philosopher named John Finis who asked what if somebody wants to use their bodily autonomy to kill themselves? That’s a rough one. Many people feel that suicide can be a legit exercise of bodily autonomy at least sometimes, cause it’s your life. but on the other hand if someone is about to do it shouldn’t you try and do something,? but on a third other hand maybe it shouldn’t be illegal because we tried that in my country and it sucks. What I think this shows is that even if we agree that foetuses are persons and that killing them is bad we would then still have to also justify government intervention. So even if we agree with the pro-life position that morally a foetus is a human being that still doesn’t actually support criminalising abortions. My feeling is it’s a shame if the violinist dies but still Tom shouldn’t be punished for escaping, and just so nobody can accuse me of glossing over it, I am logically committed to saying that even if it was a baby and he was responsible for it being sick. To put this whole video in context, imagine a chain and each link in the chain is like a different position somebody can hold. Some people already believe that life begins at conception, they’re the people I’m trying to reach, and what Ben Shapiro does is he moves you on to the next link which is actually wanting to criminalise abortion. Even though as we’ve seen the arguments don’t work. Which leaves me curious about how he’s moving you from here to here. TOM GENTLY: Well, if you’re ever in Washington I’ll buy you a beer how about that? Thanks for calling! THE ARSONIST: See you soon. TOM GENTLY: Uh, so we’re talking about abortion, we’re talking pro-life. And this is all connected to the ways in which Leftist discourse has gotten so toxic online. I’ve said before, a lot, I’m not against birth control. I think it’s good: we have a huge overpopulation problem and when my two beautiful daughters are old enough I’ll tell them, “You want birth control? Drive down to the CVS and get some condoms. Okay? That’s your decision, it’s your responsibility but it’s not “healthcare.”” But the Left will not have an honest conversation about this. So here’s an honest history lesson – birth control, oral contraceptives, was invented by eugenicists. Margaret Sanger, one of the founders of Planned Parenthood, believed that the birth control pill should essentially be used to stop the weak from reproducing. And the Left talk about what a noble organisation Planned Parenthood is, “Oh we have to defend Planned Parenthood.” but they don’t talk about that. They won’t acknowledge that. Okay? That’s the first thing, right? The second thing is that they tested the first forms of birth control, uh the pill, on poor Puerto Rican women without telling them what was in it. It was an illegal, uh I actually don’t know about the law at the time, but immoral, certainly, medical experimentation on these poor women who suffered the side effects. Do you know what the first country to legalise abortion was? Soviet Russia. That is the legacy of the Left’s position on abortion that they will not talk about. They love to talk about, “Oh President Trump, he’s ignoring the plight of Puerto Rico! We gotta save Puerto Rico” But they don’t care about Puerto Rico. They dont’ care. They say they care but they don’t. Margaret Sanger, by the way, was against abortion. So there’s also that. But they don’t care about Puerto Rico. Here’s an article in Huffington Post about Jasmine Sherman, she’s a black pro-choice campaigner a woman in North Carolina, pro-choice. And she says that white women, white pro-choice, uh, females will turn out to fight for quote unquote abortion rights, okay, but when she’s organising Black Lives Matter protests or whatever suddenly nobody turns out. And of course if they really cared about black lives in America they’d be trying to stop abortions, not encourage more killing of babies. I mean guys, I thought Black Lives Matter, but not when they’re unborn, I guess? So why do they keep talking about it? I’ll tell you why, it’s because abortion is just the first step to their plan. Here’s a quote from a black feminist scholar, Dorothy Roberts – we’re quoting a black feminist on the Tom Gently show! This is what the Left don’t have, there’s nobody on the Left who goes the extra mile and actually does the research for you guys, nobody who puts the hours in! I mean there’s like Philosophy Tube and that’s it but he won’t even come on my show, he won’t debate me – so here’s Dorothy Roberts: “True reproductive freedom requires a living wage, universal health care, and the abolition of prisons. Black women see the police slaughter of unarmed people in their communities as a reproductive justice issue. They recognize that women are frequent victims of racist police violence and that cutting short the lives of black youth violates the right of mothers to raise their children in healthy, humane environments.” So the way I like to imagine this is I like to Imagine a chain. And each link in the chain is a different position. If you’re pro-choice, if you believe in a woman’s quote unquote “right to choose” then the next link in the chain s stuff like abortion on demand, #ShoutYourAbortion, as if it’s something to be celebrated. And then the next link in the chain is Gender Ideology, saying, “Oh, it’s my bodily autonomy to use a public bathroom that does not matcg the sex I biologically am and if you disagree with my right to do this then I’ll call you a bigot on Twitter!” And then the next link in the chain is this – believing that police officers doing their jobs is somehow a threat to bodily autonomy. And then just a few more links in the chain, and you’re into Socialism. You’re into Communism. You’re into, “Oh we need to open borders and abolish prisons and we need to give all the land to Indigineous folks and we’re all gonna hold hands and live in harmony!” They don’t just want abortions to be legal sometimes, they don’t want “safe, legal, and rare,” they want a total transformation of American society where their radical interpretation of what “bodily autonomy” means is valued everywhere. Some people have suggested that Ben’s appeal is that he talks very quickly and confidently, which he does, but I think that’s a little patronising to his audience: they aren’t complete tools. I think he’s offering you something else. Ben is very good at is controlling discussions to make it look as if they are a competition that he’s winning. Everything Tom Gently said about eugenics and history and how pro-choice movements can sometimes forget bodily autonomy is a relevant concern elsewhere, that’s all true. But he sells it as, ‘This is ridiculous’ rather than ‘Here’s an opportunity for you to learn more.’ Ben offers you a reward for agreeing with him – the fun of intellectual victory. And it is fun. A lot of Leftist media can be a bit dour and snooty cause we live in a horrible world and things are serious (and snobbery is darkly pleasurable.) But Ben Shaprio crushes, and clashes, he’s a ‘gladiator’ who cares about ‘facts’ and ‘logic’ and ‘reason’ – whether he ascribes these labels to himself or not they’re part of his appeal and I’ll let you in on a secret: playing Tom Gently is so much fun. It’s like dommeing but instead of a collar and a leash it’s a microphone. But anybody can learn to present like that, as demonstrated by the fact that I play Ben Shapiro better than Ben Shapiro does! And if you master that tactic of appealing to your audience’s need to feel dominant you can sell them bad arguments, like this: IAN N. DRIVEL: Whatup YouTube it’s ya boy the Drivelator! Check this out, Ben Shapiro thinks climate change is real but that there’s no need to do anything about it. He says that until the Left proposes a simple solution and all the science comes in, the government shouldn’t get involved. But this logically contradicts his position on abortion, cause the Right hasn’t proved that foetuses are people or proposed a simple solution to that so by his own logic the government shouldn’t get involved with abortion! It’s a complete logical fail! Anyway guys, smash that like motherf*kin like button if you want more Drivel and follow me on Twitter @CompleteDrivel if you wanna see Daddy Drivel’s selfies. F*kin hot. That was a cheap argument. Ben could, with nuance, explain why he doesn’t think climate change and abortion map onto each other in the way that supposes. It’s not a logical contradiction, that just sounds good. But this is the same argument Ben made in the now infamous “Ben Shapiro Destroys Transgenderism,” in which he says, “You can’t change a boy into a girl! Can you change a human being into a moose? If you call yourself a moose do I have to take you seriously?” It’s the same cheap trick, assuming without argument that gender and species map onto each other and using that assumption to make somebody else look silly. You wouldn’t pass Philosophy 101 with that, but the video has 5 million views and a lot of the commenters love it. Ben Shaprio is the cool kid’s philosopher: he’s the philosopher for kids who really wanna think they’re cool. Which is like the least cool thing you can do, besides being English and a YouTuber. So what are the alternatives to Ben’s style? Well, one is to just take the piss. Ben is notorious for offering to debate people who disagree with him, and Ben if you’re watching I will absolutely debate you son. But only if I can do it in character as Tom Gently! 😉 But if you’re brave enough there is another way, and this is why I personally find Ben Shaprio a really fascinating figure. His competitive style is the total opposite of what I do. He smooths his audience’s insecurities, and says, “You worry you’re a loser? No, you’re winning! You wanna think that you’re clever? Well agree with me, I’m clever!” Whereas I very deliberately craft this show in such a way as to make our insecurities, yours and mine, not only okay, but part of the learning. So let me show you what I mean: Many who support state-enforced pregnancy dwell on the grisly details of surgical abortions. Ben tells horror stories about blood and suction to make a kind of Argument from Disgust and that’s a persuasive place to argue from because you can look strong when you do it. It appeals to people’s desire to banish things that are icky. Transphobes do a similar thing sometimes: highlighting the shocking aspects of gender confirming surgeries. I’ve actually seen live surgery in person – I once saw a double lung transplant done on a 16 year old girl. And the way that worked – content warning! is they took a scalpel and they made an incision down her chest, and they used a heat gun to melt through the lower layers of skin – the smell of burning human skin is quite unique – and then took an electric saw and they sawed through her sternum in half, that’s the bone here, and then cracked it open with a rib spreader. And the junior surgeon said to the senior surgeon, “Do you pull the saw towards you, or push it away from you?” and the senior surgeon said, “Oh I always pull it towards: pushing it away is too American.” BZZZZZZZ So she’s lying there with her chest open, on bypass. And I can see her heart flopping around like that. And they cut out both of her lungs, scooped ‘em out, and took a pair of donor lungs from the ice box which had come out of a smoker who died in Edinburgh that morning: I have seen a smoker’s lungs. I was 17. Sweet Jesus Christ, I quit smoking that day. They put those grey, dead things into that 16 year old girl, suctioned out the blood, and sewed her up. And that was some of the most visceral sh*t I have ever seen in my life. I had to use the sperm extraction machine after that one, lemme tell ya. But as any good novelist will tell you wherever there’s disgust there’s always a little bit of beauty as well. Which is why arguments from disgust don’t work once you confront the thing they encourage you to banish. There was something beautiful in that whole team of doctors trying to help that girl and in her bravery. So I know better than most, sometimes quite graphic operations can produce devastating Beauty. And Ben Shapiro might say, “Well, different kind of surgery! An abortion ends a life, whereas an operation that saves somebody is obviously beautiful.” But I didn’t say that she survived. Even in death, the argument from disgust doesn’t work, no matter how slickly you try and sell it. And you can’t feel like you’re winning when you admit that cause it makes you feel some f*****g feelings. And on this show, that’s how you know the philosophy’s working. That girl didn’t have to have that operation, there were other treatments available that were less risky but they were more about managing her condition than getting rid of it. er disease was gradually undermining her bodily autonomy and she decided that was worth risking her life for. In the end it sadly wasn’t to be, but that’s how much freedom of body matters to people.TOM GENTLY: You said I only had to be here an hour, now you’re telling me I can’t leave? THE ARSONIST: I realise it’s hard lines but his condition is worse than I thought and Paulo’s life depends on you! TOM GENTLY: I can’t stay here the rest of my life here! THE ARSONIST: I’ll be here for you! We can get through this together! Just until Paulo dies of old age! TOM GENTLY: He’s brain dead! THE ARSONIST: He might recover! TOM GENTLY: Well he’s sure as shit not gonna play the violin! THE ARSONIST: That doesn’t matter: he’s a living being. TOM GENTLY: You need to let me out right now! THE ARSONIST: I can’t unplug you, that would be murder! TOM GENTLY: Now! THE ARSONIST: He has a right to life! TOM GENTLY: So what?! So what? We kill people all the time. Soldiers, cops, sick people, old people. Just cause I can save his life doesn’t mean I should have to, it’s my decision! THE ARSONIST: His right to life outweighs your right to convenience, and I see no reason why that should cease to be the case whether he needs your kidneys for an hour or for the rest of your days! What possible reason can you have for saying no? TOM GENTLY: I don’t need a reason! I don’t need, a reason, it’s my body! If I want to do something with it I can, that’s what freedom is! I don’t have to tell you why, I don’t even have to know why, the fact that I want it is enough! THE ARSONIST: I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am in you, Tom. TOM GENTLY: Yeah you know what? I don’t care. You need to let me out now. THE ARSONIST: As you wish. I can’t keep you here against your will, that would be immoral. I’ll let you go home to your wife. Oh and your two daughters, Ashley and Rebecca,At number 77 Thomson Street, Colombia Heights. TOM GENTLY: Please just let me go. THE ARSONIST: I will let you go, Tom. I just need you to do one thing for me first. I need you to look into this camera and admit that you were wrong.

100 thoughts on “Abortion & Ben Shapiro | Philosophy Tube

  1. Anti-Choice wants a woman to justify wanting an abortion.
    Pro-Choice wants the state to justify forcing a woman to stay pregnant against her will.
    This makes it a bit easier to understand ✌

  2. After Tom yelled about his freedom I was 100% expecting for Arsonist to say "fucking leftist" or somethigb dhdggdgd

  3. I see few holes in your point of view. Most of my argumenst will be about part of video beetwen 33-35 minute, Thomson conception and freedom vs life. Ok here we go!
    1) Tom is not responsible for situation of Paulo. Women except the situation with rape are.
    2) Paulo's brain died, so even if we will agree that if someone' s brain is dead than in fetus this brain is not abble to work like born person, but is not dead too.
    3) Pregnancy is during +- 9 months so it' s imposible to make a woman to be in pregnant more than this time.
    For the end I will show you my experiment. I'm going to work by car. It's really early and I'm tired. I see that traffic lights are changing to "red" but I think "Ok I will be late to my job, so I must be hurry!" After this I'm driving with maximal speed and hit the child. After few hours I'm informed that child is alive but need my blood to survive 9 months. It has no brain functions and it's heart need my blood, beacause after accident kid lost most of his blood. Surgeons told that organism will be able to survive withouth me but after 9 months. In this kind of situation obviously for me is that I should be used to preserve live functions of this child. But why? Is this religion? No I don't bieleve in a kind of this shit. More important is that everyone must take a responcibility of action which made. But even despite this all right to live is above all the rights in most of laws in the world. That' s beacause If you have not right to alive any other of your right is not use, beacause you can be killed imediatly. So after i modified Tompson's experiment to be more comparable to pregnancy my answer is: If woman live or health isn't in danger than abortion is murder.

  4. 30:00 why did you watch a surgery in person? Shadowing a doctor to figure out your career path?

    I agree that the smell of cauterized flesh is something that you don't forget or or experience elsewhere. It sticks with you for hours. Ugh.

  5. Life begins at conception argument you didn’t debunk. You just talked about getting rid of semen and eggs separately

  6. what a bunch of bunk – Abortion is MURDER. Period. Full Stop. Don't want to kill a baby? Take some actual responsibility for your own sexual actions and use any of the myriad methods of contraception starting with celibacy. If raped or a victim of incest, let someone else adopt the baby.

  7. The metaphor for baby and violinist is not correct most of the time though. To better steelman the argument, it should be that you have to willingly take the risk to put the violonist in that situation for your own pleasure. Which won't be correct again. Because it is not a violonist, it's a lump of cells without any sentience or interests yet.

  8. after a few minutes of the tom gently schtick i forget that i'm listening to olly
    I'm like "hold on, when did i accidentally click on a ben shapiro debate?"

  9. The full-grown man has the change to get be cured in a hospital. There are different options. I do not think this case can be compared to a pregnancy.

  10. lol, this guy has no clue what he's talking about, probably hasn't even read Atlas Shrugged OR The Fountainhead. Haha, ok, let me show you how you school this kid in just about a second:
    What if Ben Shapiro had been aborted tho.
    BOOOOOOM. That's what I'm talking about! Oliver Thorne, please respond!

    Yours truly,
    Peter Kropotkin

    P.S. Vote Lib Dem.

  11. Morally speaking, I am pro life. I make this distinction because statistics show that making abortion illegal actually doesn't save lives – it just puts the mother's life at risk too because she is desperate enough to resort to less safe, illegal methods. Being morally pro life, I find that equally concerning, so it doesn't solve the problem. So politically, I vote pro choice, but only because the option that matches my morals is not practically effective.

    That being said, I think we should do all that we can to prevent abortion, and it has nothing to do with religion. But I do feel that life is more valuable than pretty much anything (I can't think of anything more valuable, but I hate to speak in absolute terms like all, nothing, always, or never, so that's my disclaimer). Which is why your video really put me under quite a bit of stress here – you make a brilliant point. I almost had to give up my position. And knowing me, I probably would have (it wouldn't be the first time I've had to give up deeply held beliefs because I couldn't defend them properly – whether it was temporary until I found a valid defense, or permanent because I never found a sufficient defense). But I will still debate with you based on one point that has not been addressed:

    There is a way to prevent the entire problem. In this philosophical scenario, the violinist is already sick and already in need of another person to be dependent on. And most people also start the argument for the topic of abortion after the woman is already pregnant. But it does not start there – it starts at the conception (or lack thereof). And I am not suggesting abstinence – that hasn't worked for literally anything we have tried to force it on; it's certainly not a reliable method for stopping something as ingrained in our being as sex. But we have birth control. The reason women get abortions is because they get pregnant when they do not want to be pregnant (for a variety of reasons that rarely if ever are just about convenience). If we destigmatized birth control and made it cheap and easily available to anyone who did not wish to be pregnant, then we could allow women to not get pregnant to begin with, so (generally speaking) the only babies being conceived are the ones that are held by women who intend to give birth to them, and abortions will become largely unnecessary. Now there will always be the odd exceptions – the baby actually won't live long past birth and will die painfully never knowing anything more than suffering and causing trauma to the parents as well, or the mother's life will be at risk if the birth is allowed, or the birth control fails, or whatever. In which case, I would have to concede, both on a philosophical level and a practical level, that abortions would simply have to be allowed. But it would minimize those cases and eliminate most of the abortions by removing the problem at it's source.

    So a better analogy would be if the violinist was getting sick and could be given medicine to prevent it, but instead the medicine was denied and the radio host was kidnapped instead. At which point, I would say without a doubt that the one who acted incorrectly was the one who denied the violinist the medication that would save his life and prevent the entire question of whether it was acceptable to kidnap the radio host in the first place. So it's wrong to simply allow abortion (outside of these other circumstances that would inevitably remain) because we have a better option that prevents the problem entirely and sacrifices no lives.

    And as a side note, I would consider anything that has a possibility of a conscious future to have a right to life. The eggs that get fertilized but never actually make it to birth naturally did not have a future for us to preserve, so they are not lives stolen by someone else and are not concerning in this argument. The eggs fertilized in a lab and discarded are more concerning because they are living beings whose future is entirely in the hands of another person, so it would seem like that person is killing them/letting them die/otherwise responsible for taking away their potential future, but I don't know enough about it to form a solid opinion at this time – I'd need to look further into the details to ensure that I don't take the situation too simply at face value. But I think your potential for future experiences is what guarantees you a right to life, so that is where I draw the line.

  12. Hey can you please make a vedio on feminism and Simon De Beauvoir, and the difference between feminism and masculinity I think they are both toxic and if we could have another way of being viewed as a human instead of a feminist or a masculine?
    Thank you!

  13. …Wow, I didn't even notice that you used the term "theater" in the opening, referring to both a thespian theater and a surgical theater. Super clever! 😀

  14. Im just sick of both sides using extreme examples. It boils down to Life begins at Conception vrs Life has no value frequently.

  15. oh my god when the impression started i just laughed too hard to follow it for the first several minutes and had to rewind

  16. If you take a conservative host, remove his kidneys and make him dependent on you. You are absolutely the one that should keep him alive, for how long it takes.

  17. Interesting, the best kind of Phiilosophy just gets you thinking as this indeed does.

    For me I'm a moral relativist, I don't believe in an absolute right and wrong for every situation I very much feel that every situation is different and needs to be considered by its own context.

  18. So… During that "call in" scene between 2:23 and 3:00 — did anyone else picture Tom Ellis' Lucifer? No? Just me? Damn…

  19. Regarding the violinist… We could posit an equally unlikely but equally compelling thought experiment that counteracts it. Suppose you find yourself trapped in a room by the killer from the movie SAW. He says, "I have locked you in this room for 9 months. You've been given a netflix account with a TV, plenty of food, it's a nice place with plenty of room you've been given a pistol, and you even have a roommate to kill the isolation. You can wait. Or you can leave early but all you have to do is shoot your roommate dead". Would it be even legally justifiable to shoot your innocent roommate to regain freedom? Possibly a duress arguement could be made?

  20. Yeah but isnt a 16 year olds long transplant (even if there were less risky alternitives) still necessary for her life no matter the risks, whereas an abortion isnt? Seems like you glossed over that a little bit. Also, as an outsider looking in on the violinist situation it is easy to hold your ground and maintain intellectual consistency. However, you put ben shapiro inside the situation, as the role of the "mother" but I feel you would feel differently about the situation if you were the violinist. Obvioisly, you wouldn't want to die, and if you did, probably wouldn't want the mother to get off without any punishment. Idk I think its interesting. Great video, I really enjoyed watching it.

  21. I am pro-life, but was never fond of state mandated pregnancy arguments. It's nice to see the thought processes and arguments (or lack thereof) fleshed out.

  22. I love your content, but I cannot watch it regularly. Some of it is just too much. It hits so hard that I need to step away afterward. You are a masterful creator. For me at least, your messages hit home. Oh, and thank you so much for the content warning. No spoilers, so I'll just say what they are there for was so powerful and complex I don't know how to feel about it, but I will feel it for some days.

  23. If you're gonna turn it around onto men then it needs to be at least fair on all parts… so basically… women arent keeping a full grown man alive that isnt even their own child… if you're gonna make it fair youd have to make the man pregnant with their own child and then give them the decision… people get sick… people die… an abortion isnt the same… it is a person(woman) deciding to take away the life of a potentially healthy baby whether it die in 10 years or 100 years just because they dont want it…. wronnnnnng… if you kill a pregnant woman it's a double homicide because 2 PEOPLE have been killed… I could say so many things on this subject but it would prolly take me a good hour

  24. The sketch is stupid but that is most pro abortion people do. Make stupid comparisons and work off trying to twist words around to make anti abortion people look like they don't know what they are talking about. It's simple… don't kill babies….

  25. I don't entirely understand his point with deliberately starving yourself into stillbirth being "letting someone die " instead of "killing" because if you're deliberately doing it to put the baby into stillbirth Ben could still say you are still actively doing something to kill the life not just letting it happen…right?

  26. No…. Ben is anti shrugging of your responsibility….. cause if I kill someone in a car crash but didn't mean it , it's manslaughter and I still need to face responsibility.

    But we let women get pregnant then they can shrug their responsibility to kill off life?

    What would you call cells that are multiplying and growing? …. inanimate?

    Life begins at conception, talking about heartbeats is just trying to justify murder and a totally disgusting lack of responsibility in society.

    Edit: how about state funding to prevent murdering life? Then women can't claim it's financial. How about legally enforcing the father to be around and contribute financially? I agree responsibility world both ways, I don't agree we can kill our inconveniences because we want to keep partying or go to college.

    What if you were inconvenient to your mother ? Do none of you thibk of that? You think we were ALL planned? Your naivety is creeping out again lol

  27. Anyone who thinks they're a philosopher while agreeing with abortion is a fucking idiot…. I would be happy to crush you on any of your confusions and indoctrination.

  28. So if a fetus does not override bodily autonomy…. why would you look with disdain at a pregnant woman smoking and drinking alcohol?

    Your thoughts…? Lol

    Edit: bodily autonomy is only valid when not of harm to others. I don't have the bodily autonomy to murder someone, but I can defend myself from attack by law.

    So hence, a pregnant woman can't murder a life unless it is actually going to kill her. Simple enough?

    I also support aborting of rape babies, I see it as the lesser evil and the route likely to save the victim the most trauma.

  29. Also it's kinda known that in America abortion started as black population control….. You somehow think it's now about "civil rights" and "bodily autonomy"

    Sorry Lol, I thought you considered yourself a knowledgeable thinker, not leftist indoctrination. Does Soros fund your channel? Lol he funds abortion and anti-majority movements everywhere…. but that's not meddling…. not at all.

    But hey just read what suits your opinion, don't get uncomfortable accepting information that clearly forms a pattern. A pattern with an observable direction and aim.

    You don't see this?

  30. "State enforced pregnancy"…. you're a shill of a philosopher. Who forced women to get pregnant? Honestly do you even try to think or just parrot what your master wants you to say?

  31. Women have freedom of body… you're a bit of a weirdo lol there's no facility forcing women to get pregnant.

    This isn't the handmade tale kid, really it's not. Nobody forced any woman to get pregnant unless we're talking about rape..
    .
    How in the fuck can you call yourself an intellectual , which you clearly believe yourself to be with this channel, when you spout such leftist irrational nonsense as "State forced pregnancy"

    Sorry I gotta call a spade a spade , you sound like a fucking idiot saying state forced pregnancy lol

    Can no longer take you serious in the slightest, I hope people stop listening to your pseudo intellectual bullshit , they can do sooo soooo much better lol

  32. Ben Shapiro can't support it from a religious standpoint because he is Jewish (fact) and Judaism for the most part never condemned abortion

  33. So… People with wombs unsuspectingly get pregnant against their will the way Ben was unsuspectingly and unconsensually knocked unconscious and hooked up to be someone else's life support. Gotcha.

    Ben has no complicity. A person who has sex with someone who can impregnate them, in a manner that can impregnate them, does have complicity.

  34. I've been using essentially this argument for a while myself, though I wasn't aware of the existing work on it, so thankyou for the pointer and help filling in some of the gaps in my arguments.
    It neatly puts the line at viability and also makes a euthanasia argument for you (once you accept kicking a fetus out an unwilling womb, it's not much of a jump to accepting the fetus being explicitly terminated, vs just being left to die, as part of the process.)
    I am concerned that this argument may run into some major issues when artificial wombs, foetal transplants etc become a viable technology.

  35. Even on a less extreme scale than a literal kidnapping, shouldn't "pro-life" also support mandatory blood and bone marrow donation? We can keep the same condition, too, where you can opt out only if medically it endangers your life. And, arguably, especially with blood donation, it's a lot less hassle than actually being pregnant.

    On another note, I think you did a really fantastic job of bringing up as many points as possible from the pro-life side of the debate and emphasizing them multiple times throughout the video, so hopefully no one can accuse you of "dodging" and ignoring their side or something. I hear too often "but aren't we forgetting about the BABY'S LIFE?" – no, the points are being made despite that. Thank you, especially, for bringing up the difference between morally belief and the next step of legal punishment. I do know people who wouldn't choose abortion for themselves but also don't force their belief onto others, and they are wonderful people.

  36. "If you master [the] tactic of appealing to your audience's need to feel dominant, you can sell them bad arguments…"

    This is a very succinct description of con artistry.

  37. 0:55 "a foetus has a moral value" is not the same as "a foetus is morally equivalent to a grown human being". Ben shapiro defends the first statement, you attack the second one.

    5:39 same thing: Ben Shapiro has in the past said that a foetus is not morally equivalent to a grown person, but that doesn't mean it's okay to kill them

    The IVF clinics are a good point, and very interesting to think about morally. You could argue that only when the fertilized egg would develop into a full-fledged human being it is not right to step in and stop that. In the IVF clinic the fertilized eggs will not become grown humans unless they are implanted, so I guess you could draw the line there (I'm not saying you should, I'm saying there is a valid argument for it).

    The Thomson paper is flawed in many ways: you can extend the logic to babies and children that are born. Unless in your opinion it's okay to leave a baby, fully dependent on you to survive, in a remote location where it will die off, I suggest you stop using the paper to defend abortion. If you argue that the womans autonomy grants her the right to either leave her kid to die somewhere or actively kill it, I think you are an evil person. Also the analogy with pregnancy is flawed: pregnant women aren't strapped down on a bed for 9 months against their will, they can actually still do anything that doesn't put the life of their child in danger (although sometimes things are more inconvenient, sometimes more convenient).

    Although I agree with you that arguments of disgust should be avoided, your analogy is still bad. The abortion is a 'surgery' that aims to kill a foetus, stop it from developping into a baby, while the disgusting lung transplantation you described aimed to save the girls life (although it didn't work out). A baby that dies in a surgery that tries to save it is not the same as an abortion, though both can be described in a disgusting way. Even if you support abortion, I don't think you should celebrate it as something beautiful like you did with the lung surgery.

  38. "If you pull out now, he'll die"
    I want to know what happens when you say that to someone without context.

  39. I will say that I enjoyed the video for opening up some fresh perspective, but I guess we're just going to ignore the fact that the mother literally creates that life inside of her? Imo, that's an important distinction that sets it apart from your presumed analogous scenario. The mother has a level of responsibility with birth that Tom Gently does not share. Also, is intent just not a factor for you? If a mother starves herself into stillbirth, there is still intent there to terminate the pregnancy – It's not just letting the child die.

  40. I say that after the baby is born the anti abortion fanatics don't take about what happens after the baby is born. I mean are these babies getting adequate food, a roof under their bodies?? I mean when it comes to the debate about abortions we NEVER talk about what happen to these babies after they are born!

  41. As a former antiabortionist that never was religious, thank you for finally tackling the very basic and self-evident "right to life before right to convenience" argument; however, at the point I got in watching the video (11:26) you're doing a pretty bad job.
    That's not a correct comparison. The correct comparison would be being forced by the State to donate blood, which I personally would fully support if the State wasn't in the hands of the bourgeoisie, rather than being kidnapped by some shady individual, harmed, and absurdly bound to a chair.

  42. I wish I could give you multiple likes because this is pure philosophical gold but I can't so here is a comment for engagement.

  43. I'm not a conservative, but alot of the arguments I hear are Sex is a contract of risks and I dont really get his arugment Cuase when your getting busy you forgo that autonomy cuase you both concented to the risk and the aresonist clearly didn't?

  44. Great video once again. But I have to wonder, why not argue against actual clips of Shapiro or whoever else the opposition is? The fake Shapiro segments were funny and all, but they could easily be construed as a straw man by supporters of Ben Shapiro. Not to say that arguing against clips of the opposition is necessarily always honest, as the video clips can still be edited in such a way that makes the opposing argument easier to refute. But at least then you are arguing against the real argument that is out there, and not a satire of the argument that's been presented as comic relief.

  45. You're not arguing fast enough. Pick up the pace. Here you are saying you can out Shapiro Shapiro but you're like going .75 his speed

  46. Seems like rights and obligations are the counter argument. Children have the right to those things necessary for life (among other things) and their parents are the ones with the primary obligation to provide the same. The state steps in when parents fail to do so. In fact, child neglect is criminal. Tom would have no obligation toward this other person. As well, historically, natural law has been considered in these things, but people today tend to pretend there never has been such a concept or those that grant such a notion consider it inferior to artificial law, much as we tend to treat nature as inferior to artifice in general.

  47. What's interesting is that under this argument destroying viable embryos would still be immoral, as no one's bodily autonomy is violated in preserving them. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

  48. 24:32 you were doing such a good Ben shapiro impression with the sprint speaking that I didnt notice this joke the first time through the video 😂😂😂

    also your videos are extremely rewatchable, keep doing this awesome stuff 👍

  49. Not sure if you will see this but I have a question. I keep getting this nagging feeling that Shapiro's response to this would be that pregnancy isn't as bad as this kidnapping scenario and that it is more than "inconvenient." My response to this is that pregnancy is a lot larger of an undertaking and he probably is failing to fully comprehend this because he can't relate. Do you have any thoughts on this line of argument?

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