Abortion Through the Looking Glass

John Allen Paulos in his Who’s Counting column at ABC News:

Bigjap_2Although abortion battles are in the news with the nominations of new Surpreme Court justices in recent months, the arguments we hear about the issue are all rather familiar and stale. In an effort to introduce a new, albeit somewhat fanciful, argument, let me begin with a classic story that is usually attributed to George Bernard Shaw.

Seated at a posh dinner party, Shaw asks the woman sitting next to him if she’d sleep with him for $1 million. She laughs and says she would, after which he asks her if she’d do so for $10. Outraged, she says, “What do you think I am?” He replies, “That has just been established. Now we’re just haggling about the price.”

Such hyperbolic extrapolations and exaggerations are useful when questioning the absoluteness of people’s beliefs and so might be helpful with an issue like abortion, in which people often adopt an inflexible and dogmatic pro-life position.

More here.