Last Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, tense and punctuated by unsportsmanlike interjections and guffaws, was more than a critical contest in this (now) close election. For the 25 percent of Americans who identify as Catholic, it was a historic showdown between two men with radically different conceptions of how to live out their Catholic faith in the public sphere.
The most compelling argument for abortion is denying that the fetus is a person. If one can do this absolutely, then abortion is not wrong. If one rejects one of the above premises, I’d like to ask him to consider the following quadrilemma. We begin with two new premises: The fetus is a person or is not a person, and we either know it or we don’t know it. We end up with four possible outcomes.