]]]]]]]    MY CLOSING STATEMENT IN THE ABORTION DEBATE   [[[[[[[[[[[
                   WITH MR. PANCZENKO                   (10/13/1989)
           By Brant Gaede (Freeman 07656GAED)

   It is time for me to end my part in this discussion which has the
potential to continue ad infinitum.  As I made the opening statement,
Mr. Panczenko is welcome to final rebuttal.  I have only a few re-
marks as I am not going to address every point raised by my opponent,
especially in issues of epistemology and metaphysics.  However, at
the end of this letter, as a kind of appendix, is the detailed re-
buttal of the second of 12 points of criticism by Mr. Panczenko's
letter of Sept. 4, which I deleted from my reply of Sept. 18 for
reasons of length.  This is not a reply to his letter of Oct. 4 as I
made no effort to match it up.  We now have a tangle, to say the
least, but it shouldn't bother anyone not interested in these sub-
jects.

  1. It is not Capitalism that makes freedom possible, it is freedom
that makes Capitalism possible.  Freedom, the protection of individ-
ual rights, comes from philosophy put into law and respected as such.

  2. The abortionist's tool penetrating a womb does not necessarily
establish a social context for the fetus is always in a biological
context unless it can exist apart from the natural womb.  If it can,
then the tool does as Mr. Panczenko says and shouldn't be there.  At
this time in our medical-technological development it is impossible
for a 20-22 week-old fetus to survive outside that womb because of
the immaturity of the lungs.

  3. I consider many opponents of abortion to be strongly religious,
which I don't use as an argument in support of my position; it's just
that I am not interested in answering religious arguments.  I don't
care about "God's Will."

  4. I can't provide an adequate reference as to the Catholic Church
opposing the use of anesthetics and must withdraw the allegation.  I
got it from Ayn Rand and I jumped before I looked.  She, of course,
has no references either.  Too often aspects of her philosophy are
presented as ukases, without, as Mr. Panczenko says, being "sustained
analytically."  When I obtain access to an adequate library I will
investigate the matter further and if I do get a reference I'll ask
the SYSOP to tack it onto the end of this letter.  The best I can do
now is refer to the infamous Syllabus of Errors issued by Pius IX in
1864, Error 80, which denounces "progress" and "civilization," but I
don't have access to the text as a whole and the Syllabus is but an
index.  To establish what the 80 Errors really refer to demands
going through 15 previous years of Papal pronouncements which it
refers to to establish the actual context and meaning of what the
Pope was saying.

  5. The primary virtue of the Church is the same as for Christianity
generally, which is the idea of individual salvation which I regard
as the cultural basis of individualism.  This probably underlies the
philosophical basis as well.

  6. Instead of saying rights are "activated" by birth, I would posit
the use of the verb "created."

  7. My meaning as to what I mean by "abortion" in regard to killing
the fetus is clear and it makes no difference as to what a dictionary
says.

  8. The Mother cannot do whatever she wants with a fetus that's to
be carried to term for the same reason that I can't plant a bomb in
an empty theater I own that blows up when the audience shows up on
the grounds that when I planted the bomb there was no audience.


                    -------------------------

REBUTTAL TO POINT 2 OF SEPT. 4, 1989

    Mr. Panczenko proves the fallacy of defending "God's Will" by
asserting that "Every system of morals needs a 'God says so'" or
"'Natural rights says so' or 'Kant's axiom of nonaggression says so,'
or 'Ayn Rand says so.'"  Why?  Because "there are no philosophical
truths ...."  If so, what kind of truth is this?  Some kind of truth,
I suppose; then he has used the fallacy of the "stolen concept,"
which consists of using a concept (truth) while denying the under-
lying antecedent concept (philosophical truth).  If no kind of truth,
then his statement is no kind of truth--i.e., it's self-contradictory
and fallacious.
    There is, of course, no division between truths qua truth.  If a
fact is true the true in the truth can be traced all the way back to
axiomatic concepts--to philosophical truths. Fittingly, Mr. Panczenko
then immediately misrepresents and attacks the Law of Identity and
follows through with an obscurantist version of the fallacious
Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy which tries to separate subject and
predicate.  Simply put, the fallacy consists of confusing a concept
with its definition and trying to make them interchangeable.  The
existents not in the definition become "predicate" or "a posteriori"
or "synthetic" or "contingent" or "empirical" or "not logical" etc.
as opposed to "subject" or "a priori" or "analytic" or "necessary"
or "theoretical" or "logical," etc.
    Logic and reason are derivatives of axiomatic concepts.  Even
though he rejects their foundations of existence, identity and
consciousness, he tries to use them in his attack on my position on
abortion.
    My position is not grounded in "Ayn Rand says so" therefore ...
I used her definition of rights as a take-off point for the
discussion, appropriate, I thought, for Fort Freedom.   Her view of
rights is part and parcel of a philosophical context ultimately
grounded in reality.  A is A.  If A becomes B then the process can be
identified as A becomes B is A becomes B.  B is then B.  Existence
exists. It cannot be "proved" because you cannot go outside existence
to obtain  evidence in support of the proposition.  An attempt to
disprove it is a contradiction because all of your efforts are im-
plicitly grounded in the proposition itself.  You are trying to prove
nonexistence of existence using existence.  You are using existence
as a stolen concept.
    If you grasp that existence exists you can then grasp that you
exist and with a consciousness that can apprehend existence and its
constituent parts.  On this foundation we develop logic ("The art of
noncontradictory identification" [Rand]) and reason, the application
of logic to the facts of reality.  Then we can derive concepts from
concepts, not just percepts.  Then we can venture forth into ethics
and human rights and politics.

    See:
     Branden, Nathaniel  "The Stolen Concept," THE OBJECTIVIST NEWS-
                         LETTER, Jan. 1963, vol. 2 No.1, The
                         Objectivist, 1965.

     Rand, Ayn           INTRODUCTION TO OBJECTIVIST EPISTEMOLOGY,
                         Mentor, 1979.


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