Est. May 2008

28 March, 2014

Deception by Fallacy

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) on the Hobby Lobby religious freedom case (hat tip Frank Camp at The Last Resistance):
Excuse me, I have never heard them put in any type of moral objection – remember this is a moral objection – to men getting Viagra. But they have a moral objection to women getting certain types of birth control…So, I view this as very much an anti-woman position to take.” (italics original)
Mr. Camp calls this a type of ‘straw-man fallacy’, as he explains:
A straw man is a fallacious argument which is built on a truth. A straw man takes an opposing argument, and reconstructs it so that it can be more easily defeated. The resulting argument appears to be the same, but it has been implanted with fatal flaws, which are then exploited.

– and –

Barbara “off with their heads” Boxer has set up a straw man which she believes will distract people from the real argument at hand. Boxer has shifted the debate to women’s rights by claiming that because Hobby Lobby doesn’t protest paying for Viagra in their plans, their objection to certain contraceptives is not about religious freedom, but about women. She wants us to believe that the owners of Hobby Lobby simply hate women, and want to “turn back the clock.” Boxer is being intellectually dishonest if she thinks that what she is claiming is remotely believable. Either that, or she’s just not that bright.

The owners of Hobby Lobby don’t have a problem with contraceptives, they have a problem with certain drugs which can cause already fertilized embryos to die. These drugs are considered “contraceptives,” but in reality, they are in an entirely different category. For those who are opposed to abortion, supporting these drugs financially is akin to supporting abortion.
He’s right.  But I see something else going on there as well; I’m betting there’s a name for it, but I can’t find one – perhaps my readers can supply it.

Before I go on, I want to clarify: I will be using the term ‘contras’ for chemical methods of contraception (pills, injections, patches, and the like); I’m not writing about mechanical forms of contraception, such as IUD’s, condoms, and what-not.

With that said, here are three differences between Viagra and contras which the Senator is either unable to comprehend, or unwilling to mention:

Viagra fixes something that was broken; contras break something which was working.  As prescribed, Viagra works to establish and maintain an erection in men who otherwise could not do so; this allows proper function of the reproductive process.  Contras interfere with the proper function of the reproductive process.

Viagra doesn’t kill; contras do.  The big argument, as Mr. Camp points out, is that Hobby Lobby has a problem with abortifacients – those drugs which inhibit implantation of the embryo or otherwise keep it from being established and growing; in short, abortifacients kill the embryo by denying it sustenance.  Viagra does none of that.

Viagra is positive birth control; contras are negative birth control.  Viagra facilitates the reproductive process in that it allows men to actually engage in sexual intercourse.  Contras obstruct the reproductive process in ways mentioned above.

This is why many Christians have no problem with a medication like Viagra (or Cialis, or any of the other ones), unless, of course, the medication is being taken in order to facilitate casual sexual relations – then there’s a problem.  Of course, Christians also understand that, in order to have and use the free will given to us by our Creator, we, His creations, will often make the wrong choices.

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