Patrick Tomlinson’s super-scientific test of when life begins destroyed, again and again
In case you missed it, writer and comedian Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) thought he’d taken apart the entire “life begins at conception” crowd with a rather far-fetched scenario that he claimed proved his point beyond any doubt.
Tomlinson’s the professional writer, but we’ll give a shot at condensing his anecdote: a pro-lifer is trapped in a burning fertility clinic and can rescue only a five-year-old child crying for help or a frozen box labeled “1000 Viable Human Embryos” for some reason. Which would the pro-lifer choose? GOTCHA. Huh? Proof that life doesn’t begin at conception.
As Twitchy reported, Ben Shapiro took apart his argument in a piece at The Daily Wire, but the demolition job didn’t end there. Matt Walsh also offered up his answer at The Daily Wire.
Definitely click on over and read the whole thing, but Walsh answers with crystal clarity. In short, why does Tomlinson need the ridiculous setup of the burning fertility clinic to discuss abortion?
First of all, the decision of who to save in a burning building is more an emotional one than a moral one. The whole reason we’re put in the burning building for this hypothetical is to get us to forfeit our moral reasoning and adopt emotional reasoning. But emotional reasoning in a burning building is perfectly fine. In an abortion clinic, it isn’t….
There’s your answer, Pat. Now I have a question of my own. Maybe you can help me out. Why is the pro-abortion side so incapable of debating abortion on its own terms?
It doesn’t look like Tomlinson was too intellectually invested in any argument that threatened his fool-proof scenario:
Please make the time also to read another rebuttal by Berny Belvedere over at The Weekly Standard.
Why might I, personally, lead the child to safety in Tomlinson’s scenario, rather than rescuing the thousand embryos? Because I would not be able to stare into the eyes of a child in perfect fear and pass him by. The embryos cannot do anything, in their present state, to match the terror and the dread of a child about to be engulfed by the flames. Let the thousand human lives haunt me afterwards; in this moment, they cannot haunt me more than seeing a helpless child be swept up in a fire.
This does not nullify my belief that life begins at conception. What could be more human than for our actions to fail to live up to what we know is true and right?
Tomlinson seems pleased with himself. The people who’ve just thoughtfully addressed his argument are in one corner of the room, dismissed without a thought. In the other corner, Tomlinson spots a container labeled, “1,000 new followers to whom I can pitch my books.”
Which will he choose …
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