Since I am at home sick currently, I happen to be spending a lot of time listening to a variety of talking heads on various news channels. Over and over again, I am hearing the same mantra emanating from women on the political left.
Here's Rosie O'Donnell, for example, talking to Angelica Huston:
It all boils down to this argument from the left: women's rights are under attack by Republicans.
Pray tell, WTF is so hard to understand about the difference between: "Women should have access to contraception"and raising the issue of WHO SHOULD PAY for a woman's birth control?
The former position is not being contested; the latter is up for debate. In a free society, women may choose to purchase birth control and use it whether anyone happens to disagree or not with their doing it. It is entirely different to argue that someone who happens to disagree with the use of birth control (in this case, the Catholic Church) should be forced by the government to pay for it. In a free society, they have a right to not spend their money on your birth control as a matter of religious freedom or freedom of conscience.
If you want the birth control, baby, then go for it. But don't expect me to pay for it.
The political left is using a classic logical fallacy to attack those who dare to bring up the discussion of who should pay for your right to birth control.
The Straw Man fallacy is committed when you ignore a person's actual position and substitute a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.
It follows this general pattern:
Person A has position X.
Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
Person B attacks position Y.
Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.
This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute a reasonable argument against the position itself.
Republicans and conservatives argue that the issue is NOT contraception per se, but forcing someone to pay for YOUR contraception when it goes against their religious or personal beliefs. (POSITION X)
Democrats and the progressive postmodern left distorts this position to: "Republicans are attempting to restrict women's access to contraception"; or, as Rosie hysterically asserts, "What has happen in America that we women are having to fight for reproductive rights again!" Yes, agrees, Houston, it's obviously a "return to the Dark Ages!"
I have heard this fallacious Straw Man ploy at least a dozen times over the last 24 hours. One woman even tried to discredit the Republican's principled stand for freedom of conscience/religon by saying that the freedom of religion argument was just a "code word" that really stood for the oppression of women.
This latter argument is simple ad hominem (another logical fallacy). It the same, tired, "YOU ARE RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC...(insert slur here)" response you get whenever you try to have a reasonable conversation with the postmodern left, who, as a matter of philosophical pride, don't happen to believe in logic--or objective truth in the first place.
Sorry ladies, but the argument is not rebutted by your lame rhetorical ploys and logical fallacies; nor is it rebutted by your hysteria and appeal to emotion.
The basic premise which underlies this Straw Woman position; and which is not ever explicitly stated is the following:
"IF YOU OBJECT TO BEING FORCED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY FOR MY BIRTH CONTROL, THEN YOU ARE VIOLATING MY RIGHTS AND ARE ANTI-WOMAN, SEXIST, AND EVIL."
If you accept this premise, then you do not deserve to live in a free society; and, frankly, you won't be for much longer.
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