Birthdays, Magnetic North and Abortion

 

One classic pro-abortion argument is “If life begins at conception why do we celebrate birthdays instead of conception days” after which the pro-abortion arguer will beam with pride as their unassailable reasoning reigns over you and instantly you find yourself converted to the pro-abortion forces of darkness. Ok maybe not. While this arrow might not be the deadliest in the quiver of pro-abortion archers it is worth addressing and combating because even a simple argument can tip the balance in the mind of the undecided.

I like to compare birthdays to magnetic north. Technically the north pole is located on the axis of where the earth is rotating and for better or worse it’s in the middle of an ocean covered in floating ice so either Santa is working out of some artic mega vessal or he is fibbing on his address I’ll let your children decide on that. Magnetic north, on the other hand, is generated from the magnetic field the earth creates from being a geologically active giant ball of iron and other metals. The Magnetic North pole actually moves around a little bit as the field shifts.

So why do we use Magnetic north when it’s not true north? because it’s easy and convenient. any boy-scout worth their trail mix can magnetize a nail and float it in water to get a relatively good approximation of where the top of the globe is. Likewise celebrating birthdays and measuring age from years since birth is a useful approximation of how old an organism is. But it’s only an approximation. Typically human children are born after 280 days of gestating in life. Through the miracle of modern medicine Some baby’s, like the miracle James Elgin Gill are born after only 152 days of gestating in life. The Approximations can be useful but we can’t allow ourselves to confuse the approximations for the true amounts.

Birthdays are useful because it’s easier to know when someone is born than it is to know when they were conceived. Celebrating a birthday is fun because while thinking of the miracle of birth isn’t the most fun thing in life it beats the heck out of celebrating the anniversary of your parents’ boot thumping :)

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  1. KentForrester Moderator
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Well you’ve convinced me.  Now I just have to meet an abortion proponent who wants to argue about it. 

    • #1
  2. Bryce Carmony Inactive
    Bryce Carmony
    @BryceCarmony

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Well you’ve convinced me. Now I just have to meet an abortion proponent who wants to argue about it.

    I’ve come across it multiple times but I’ve also argued with people about abortion more than most and because I’m a dog with a bone I get everything thrown at me in the arsenal not just the first few opening moves in the match.

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    In many cultures, a child is considered Age 1 at birth. That might be about three months off from conception, but it’s close. And since Americans on the left love to bow to other cultures and consider them better than our own, I think that argument is worth pursuing.

    • #3
  4. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    All true. But picking out the date of conception, for the most of human history, was total guess work.

    But along those lines, here’s a story for you. Our fourth child was a complete and utter surprise as my wife and I had both hit our forties. When we found out there was another one on the way it had been 7 years since the last one. On the day we were scheduled for the first ultrasound the wife wanted all the kids to share in that moment and they all watched the fuzzy images of their baby brother. Our oldest, our only girl, was fascinated by all the literature the OBGYN had given us. We weren’t. When you get to the fourth one you have pretty well figured out what caused it and what to expect.

    As she plowed through the pamphlets one of the subjects was figuring out the date of conception. Now ultrasound technicians make measurements that are pretty accurate. Because they know pretty much how quickly children develop they can measure major bones and come up with the age of the fetus and that’s something they share with the parents. Upon reading this my daughter looked at the estimated age and started counting the days backward on a calendar. And then burst out laughing.

    “What’s so funny?” my wife asked.

    “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!”

    • #4
  5. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    I’ve actually proposed this and I’m pro-life. I first had this idea (probably not an original idea) when I was 20 years old and 3 months and wanted to legally  buy booze. To me it makes logical sense and is also great way to have an awkward conversation with your parents.

    • #5
  6. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Inappropriate comment removed by writer, sorry about that.

    M.

     

    • #6
  7. Bryce Carmony Inactive
    Bryce Carmony
    @BryceCarmony

    Retracted comment from author. I didn’t originally cite evidence of this argument and it is somewhat obscure.

    • #7
  8. Bryce Carmony Inactive
    Bryce Carmony
    @BryceCarmony

    here are a few examples of this argument being made in the wild that I found after a brief google.

    .

    Like I said, this isn’t the #1 go to for pro-aborts but this isn’t a non-existent thought.

    • #8
  9. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Even if the reasoning is kind of screwy I like the fact that it does show some thought process. One can’t be reasoned out of a position they weren’t reasoned into but if they got there by some thought process there is some hope of changing thier minds I think.

    • #9
  10. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    Conception Day. What a silly argument. What a smug, silly comic.

    I like this:

    the pro-abortion arguer will beam with pride as their unassailable reasoning reigns over you and instantly you find yourself converted to the pro-abortion forces of darkness.

    • #10
  11. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    I haven’t heard this “argument”, but boy is it weak cheese.  I mean, if this is your argument, I am suddenly not surprised by the vacuity of your other arguments on other subjects. (I don’t mean you, Bryce, I mean “you” in the collective, the ones who originated those things you found.)

    I hate to even enter this exchange with a smug little **** who thinks he’s discovered the killing stroke to a question that has animated so much controversy since Roe v Wade, but isn’t the answer that when we designate a certain day as a person’s “birthday”, we are referring to the day of his birth. Birthday – birth day. BIRTH day. Get it? Not “conception day”; that was a different day, roughly 280 days earlier.

    The day the kid is ready to come out into the world is simply one of the big important days in his life that his people celebrate; soon will come his first day of school, his graduation day, his wedding anniversary, etc. That we usually measure these days from the time he was born says zero about the time his life began.

    And BTW, I’m not a religious fanatic. Just an ordinary sinner, who can recognize a stupid argument.

    • #11
  12. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Maybe some of these feminists have no problem picking out the date of conception. I mean how hard can that be if you only have sex once or twice a year (depending how the alcohol is flowing?)

    • #12
  13. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    The pro-abortion argument is absurd.

    A Birthday is a discrete, identifiable event.

    A Conception Day is usually a discreet, unidentifiable event.

    Both are essential for the growth of the organism, but celebrating one does not disrespect the other.

     

    • #13
  14. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Uh. . . “boot thumping” ?????

    • #14
  15. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    So . . . who’s gonna post something from Drax the Destroyer?

    • #15
  16. Bryce Carmony Inactive
    Bryce Carmony
    @BryceCarmony

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    So . . . who’s gonna post something from Drax the Destroyer?

    Drax would not like me. Zafar can’t handle my endless metaphors and analogies I don’t think Drax would appreciate them either. 

    • #16
  17. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Bryce Carmony (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    So . . . who’s gonna post something from Drax the Destroyer?

    Drax would not like me. Zafar can’t handle my endless metaphors and analogies I don’t think Drax would appreciate them either.

    • #17
  18. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Bryce Carmony (View Comment):

    Retracted comment from author. I didn’t originally cite evidence of this argument and it is somewhat obscure.

    Thanks, Bryce.

    • #18
  19. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Bryce Carmony (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    So . . . who’s gonna post something from Drax the Destroyer?

    Drax would not like me. Zafar can’t handle my endless metaphors and analogies I don’t think Drax would appreciate them either.

    I talked to Drax and while the analogies don’t always work we both think you’re okay. 

    • #19
  20. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    In many cultures, a child is considered Age 1 at birth. That might be about three months off from conception, but it’s close. And since Americans on the left love to bow to other cultures and consider them better than our own, I think that argument is worth pursuing.

    Is this like the habit of dirty foreigners to call the second floor floor one in a building? It should be resisted. No, you are born 0 years old. This is the way. 

    Also I think the easier and more accurate answer to the question posed is that social and cultural inertia drive our celebration of birthdays vs conception days. We probably shouldn’t be celebrating either really.  I mean they only really matter when your very young or very old and only ones over 90 are impressive now as no one expects babies to die anymore. Nothing special about turning one when 99.9% of all people do it. But turning 100 is still something only a small percentage of people achieve. 

    • #20
  21. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    If some idiot tried that argument with me, I’d explain that maybe liberals have so little fun that they know when they have Done the Deed.  Conservatives clearly have a lot more fun together. And a lot more often.

    Come to think of it, this single fact might explain a lot more about why the Left is so… humorless.

    • #21
  22. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    I confess that at first I didn’t even have the courtesy to really read this article.  As a Christian, I am profoundly opposed to the idea of a “right” to abort a baby, and somehow a switch was flipped in my brain as I started reading, and I assumed it was a pro-abortion piece. I made some awful comment which wouldn’t have been would’ve been wrong even if it were directed against someone who supported killing healthy babies and “harvesting” their organs.

    Sometimes I am not who I think I am, I guess. I’ve already been forgiven by Bryce.

    • #22
  23. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    Maybe the easier path would be to just point out that it is an undebatable scientific fact that life begins at conception. As undebatable as the earth being round. There has never been any scientific refutation of it or, as far as I know, even an attempt to do so in modern times. 

    As to why we don’t celebrate conception days, try this on your pro-abort friends: the tradition of birthdays was developed long ago in the pre-scientific world where they didn’t know what science now tells us. If they had had our scientific knowledge, they probably would have celebrated conception days. 

    • #23
  24. Bryce Carmony Inactive
    Bryce Carmony
    @BryceCarmony

    Bob W (View Comment):

    Maybe the easier path would be to just point out that it is an undebatable scientific fact that life begins at conception. As undebatable as the earth being round. There has never been any scientific refutation of it or, as far as I know, even an attempt to do so in modern times.

    As to why we don’t celebrate conception days, try this on your pro-abort friends: the tradition of birthdays was developed long ago in the pre-scientific world where they didn’t know what science now tells us. If they had had our scientific knowledge, they probably would have celebrated conception days.

    “Life is a social construct” I find the best answer to a tradition is another tradition that illustrates a point. 

    • #24
  25. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    If you ask any Khmer his age, he’ll tell you a Khmer one and a western one. A baby is one year old at birth because the soul entered the womb at insemination. And then we all turn a year older on Khmer New Year, which is why we don’t celebrate birthdays.

    • #25
  26. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Bob W (View Comment):
    it is an undebatable scientific fact that life begins at conception

    Why not before conception?  That’s also arguable.  Sperm and ova aren’t lifeless. 

    • #26
  27. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Bob W (View Comment):
    it is an undebatable scientific fact that life begins at conception

    Why not before conception? That’s also arguable. Sperm and ova aren’t lifeless.

    Correct but the beginning of the individual’s life, as defined by its unique genome, is at conception. 

     

    • #27
  28. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Bob W (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Bob W (View Comment):
    it is an undebatable scientific fact that life begins at conception

    Why not before conception? That’s also arguable. Sperm and ova aren’t lifeless.

    Correct but the beginning of the individual’s life, as defined by its unique genome, is at conception.

    Living cells, but not living organisms.

    • #28
  29. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @WBob

    Bryce Carmony (View Comment):

    Bob W (View Comment):

    Maybe the easier path would be to just point out that it is an undebatable scientific fact that life begins at conception. As undebatable as the earth being round. There has never been any scientific refutation of it or, as far as I know, even an attempt to do so in modern times.

    As to why we don’t celebrate conception days, try this on your pro-abort friends: the tradition of birthdays was developed long ago in the pre-scientific world where they didn’t know what science now tells us. If they had had our scientific knowledge, they probably would have celebrated conception days.

    “Life is a social construct” I find the best answer to a tradition is another tradition that illustrates a point.

    See your comment #8 above. The thing you found from a pro abort, calling prolifers religious bigots and fetuses not being fully human. It’s ironic isn’t it that it’s the supposed “religious” people who adhere to the scientific definition of when life begins and the supposedly enlightened liberals who adhere to some subjective standard. It’s a good tactic to point this out when responding to them. 

    • #29
  30. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Bob W (View Comment):
    it is an undebatable scientific fact that life begins at conception

    Why not before conception? That’s also arguable. Sperm and ova aren’t lifeless.

    If you’re a Mormon you believe your soul was waiting up in heaven waiting to be tested on earth. I guess we transcend space and time and our real age is incalculable.

    • #30

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