Welcome to my theatre. Tonight, I wanna give you a completely new way of thinking about one of the most incendiary issues of our time, so I’m gonna put on a show about a sinister kidnapper, a provocative radio host, and graphic violins. A lot of people believe that foetuses definitely aren’t people, but others aren’t convinced, and Ben Shapiro is one of them. So during tonight’s operation I’m going to assume that the pro-life people are correct when they say that a foetus is morally fully equivalent to a grown human being. And I hope if you believe that you’ll stick around and watch the whole thing. So scrub your hands thoroughly, sterilise your instruments, and remember – no smoking in the theatre.TOM GENTLY: Well hey there! Tonight we’re gonna talk about abortion, the Democrats’ attempts to subvert American politics, and why Leftist discourse has gotten so toxic online. I’m Tom Gently; this is the Tom Gently show.I was down at Princeton University last week talking to pro-life students there about the Left’s continual failure to address any of the arguments from the pro-life camp. They think we’re all religious redneck bigots brainwashed by evangelical Christianity. I’m not an evangelical, I was raised Baptist, but uh Roe V. Wade – for our international listeners, of which there are a lot I wanna say thank you for tuning in – Roe V. Wade was the absurd Supreme Court decision that found a woman’s quote unquote right to privacy meant that states can’t criminalise abortions. There’s a phantom right emanating from penumbras in the law, oooh! And Roe V. Wade was 1973. Evangelical Christians weren’t even talking about being pro-life until 1978, or later, and in fact many evangelicals supported Roe V. Wade. But the Left fail to appreciate, or refuse to appreciate actually, that the pro-life position is supported by science, the science of human development. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about tonight but before we get into what I think I wanna hear from you so let’s go to the phones. Hello caller, you’re on the Tom Gently show with Tom Gently: ???: Hello Tom. Long time viewer, first time caller; lovely to talk to you. TOM: Nice to hear from ya. Is that a British accent? ???: Yes, for my sins, hah! I just want to say I think you’re completely right about abortion. I don’t see anyone on the Left discussing it honestly! TOM: Thank you. I agree, I see a lot of illogical and bad-faith arguments from the Left, attempting to dodge the central moral issue which is that the killing of human beings is wrong and your right to convenience can’t outweigh that. ???: I couldn’t agree more. I’d love to have to a longer chat with you about this. TOM: Well, if you’re ever in Washington I’ll buy you a beer how about that? Thanks for calling! ???: See you soon. Ben Shapiro is an American media figure famous for his polemic style, slick delivery, and looking like the bad guy from the 2007 Nicholas Cage movie Ghost Rider. The New York Times once described him as “The Cool Kid’s Philosopher,” which…Ben champions various conservative causes, including opposition to trans rights, opposition to government action on climate change, unleashing the darkness of Hell upon the soulds of unsuspecting mortals, and opposition to abortion. I list them not to sway you, but cause they’re gonna come up. And for reasons that will be deliciously ironic later on, he’s also an extremely talented violinist! In recent months various states in the US have voted to criminalise abortion and in Northern Ireland, one of the four countries that make up the UK, it’s been criminal since 1861. I assumed, wrongly, that the pro-life position was always a religious one because one of its chief supporters is purveyor of high camp mild mannered evil, Pope Francis the Only. But Ben Shapiro showed me the truth. Although he is religious he doesn’t support his position on abortion with religion. And for me that’s more interesting: if somebody says they want to criminalise abortion because God says so then they’d have to prove that God exists, prove He does say that, and explain why the government should listen to God when He spends most of the year living in a tax haven. And that’s just not an area of philosophy I personally find all that interesting at the moment. If God does exist and He’s watching the show, then Oh Lord – if it pleaseth thou, subscribe and click the bell. I know Ben is frustrated by people coming to him saying, “If you’re “pro-life” why do you support the death penalty? Or wars? Or why were you the bad guy in the Hunger Games film?” And I think I can help by being just a little more precise – Ben is pro-state forced pregnancy. If somebody is pregnant, he thinks it is okay for the government to make them to stay pregnant unless being pregnant is medically going to kill them. Ben says adult humans obviously have a right to life, and then he points to foetuses and says, “Look, at X number of weeks you’ve got heartbeat, fingers, toes, – they’re human. Even at early stages when foetuses lack some of the things that grown humans have, they usually develop those things so, if we can’t draw a certain line between right to life and no right to life we should act as if there is no line.” For those on the pro-choice Left, maybe we can see why we sometimes fail to persuade because those who support state forced pregnancy have conceived a very different kind of argument. If you believe that life begins at conception and that life is morally fully equivalent to a grown person it must be a little distressing to know that abortions go on. Ben certainly seems very upset by it. And if you believe as he believes then I’m afraid I’ve got more bad news.Fertility clinics, where people go if they can’t have babies, delicately extract eggs from human follicles using a needle guided by ultrasound. And then they extract spermatozoa (that’s the scientific word for jizz) through a complex, medical procedure known as wanking. (Or if you’re a bit put off at the idea of busting a nut in a hospital you can use one of these $6000 sperm-extraction machines. That’ll put you at ease. Ahh yeah… sexy.) They combine eggs and sperm in a lab and implant the resulting embryo in someone’s womb so it can grow and they can have babby. When sperm meets egg that’s what we call conception. But they always make more than they need so they’ve got spares and they discard all the embryos they don’t use. So if you believe that human life begins at conception then I’m sorry to have to tell you that fertility clinics the world over discard several million more “lives” annually than you maybe even realised. And I’m afraid the bad news continues: even amongst people whoms’t get pregnant the old fashioned way – – by holding hands with your wife and doing a special hug – a huge number of fertilised eggs don’t implant in the wall of the uterus and are passed out. Estimates vary between about a third and two thirds, but let’s take the lower end – if you believe life begins at conception then you might wanna sit down cause that means approximately a third of all people die within a week of being created. Maybe you didn’t know that. Several American lawmakers have been caught not knowing even basic stuff about what pregnancy and abortion actually involve and that must be a little embarrassing if you support their cause. Maybe you did know it! But if you support criminalising abortion on the grounds that life begins at conception and you’re not also thinking about fertility clinics, or research to increase embryo implantation rates…maybe get a little bit curious about that? Maybe you can see why some people suspect you of just wanting to control women. It’s not so much a comment on your conscious intentions as an explanation of why the focus seems to be on abortion rather than all fertilised eggs. But anyway, we’re assuming for the sake of argument that life does in fact begin at conception. Ben says nobody has ever drawn that line between right to kill and no right to kill and he’s frustrated that people dodge that. So I’ll confess I don’t think there is a fact of the matter, I don’t think drawing a line even makes sense. The philosophical discussion of when somebody becomes a person with full moral rights is absolutely fascinating, But I’m afraid it’s also completely irrelevant. In 1971 the philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson wrote one of the most famous philosophy papers ever, in which she asks us to consider a very weird scenario: TOM: Where am I? THE ARSONIST: Ah, you’re awake! It is delightful to meet you at last, Tom. I’m such a huge fan of the Daily Fire.TOM GENTLY: You’re a fan of my show? THE ARSONIST: Oh, the biggest. TOM GENTLY: … You wanna tell me why I’m here? THE ARSONIST: There’s someone I want you to meet. TOM GENTLY: Jesus Christ! Who is that? THE ARSONIST: Shhh, he’s resting. That is Paulo Vinnatonni, one of those most accomplished violinists in the world. Paulo is very sick, Tom. He has kidney failure: unless he’s given urgent dialysis he’ll surely die and as President of the Society of Music Lovers I can’t let that happen. You have two beautiful kidneys, Tom, and now that you’re connected to Paulo’s bloodstream you’re going to help him get better. TOM GENTLY: You grabbed me from my studio and hooked me up to this guy? THE ARSONIST: No, I grabbed you from the carpark. Sorry about hitting you over the head by the way, I couldn’t risk knocking you out chemically – anything that gets into you will get into Paulo- TOM GENTLY: This is sick! It’s kidnapping! THE ARSONIST: I suppose technically it’s illegal but it’s all for a good cause. TOM GENTLY: Help! Help me! THE ARSONIST: Sir, I’ll politely ask you to lower your voice. If you have objections to this arrangement I’m only too willing to listen to them but I insist we have a civil conversation. TOM GENTLY: This is kidnapping, it’s kidnapping, let me out of here asshole! THE ARSONIST: Sir, sir! I’ll consent to a robust discourse but I must ask you to adopt a more friendly tone or I might have to go with my backup plan. TOM GENTLY: Yeah? What’s that? You wanna volunteer?THE ARSONIST: No one’s going to find us down here. And even if they do you’ll just tell them that if they disconnect your veins from Paulo now it’ll kill him. It wouldn’t be right to punish Paulo for my sins. TOM GENTLY: That was you, calling my show! Why me? THE ARSONIST: I knew you’d agree with me. You’re pro-life. You support everybody’s right to live, no matter how inconvenient That is what you’ve always said. TOM GENTLY: Yeah, yeah, I am pro life. I just… you can’t do this without asking. THE ARSONIST: Why not? Surely Paulo’s right to life outweighs your right to convenience, whether I’d asked you or not. I thought you’d be happy. TOM GENTLY: I am, I, I am! just… I’m not responsible for him being sick. THE ARSONIST: Why should that matter? I don’t see why his right to life should depend on the manner in which he came to need your help? You’re his de facto guardian now; if you pull out he’ll die. Do you know what dying of kidney failure is like, Tom? If I unplug you now, Paulo will get weaker by the second. First he’ll have trouble breathing; the phlegm will build up until it bubbles out over his lips onto his shirt; he’ll piss brown urine all over the bed as his hands and feet swell up and his veins jump out from his skin; finally he’ll lose all muscle control and lie there, paralysed, shitting himself into a massive heart attack! Is that what you want?! TOM GENTLY: No! No I don’t. I wanna help you. I wanna help The Society… of… THE ARSONIST: The Society of Music Lovers. TOM GENTLY: Yeah, yeah. You like classical music? THE ARSONIST: Oh yes very much. Vivaldi! TOM GENTLY: Yeah? THE ARSONIST: Enescu! TOM GENTLY: Paganini? THE ARSONIST: Gesundheit. TOM GENTLY: How long do I have to stay? THE ARSONIST: …Just a few hours! TOM GENTLY: I thought you were gonna say nine months! THE ARSONIST:THE ARSONIST: I like you: you have a sense of humour. And you stick to your principles. So many so-called “pro-choice” Leftists don’t. TOM GENTLY: Yeah you’re right, you’re absolutely right. THE ARSONIST: They think that being pro-life means being anti-woman, but it doesn’t. It just means pro-life. TOM GENTLY: You’re right. I don’t hate women. I married one. I have two little daughters. THE ARSONIST: Ashley and Rebecca.TOM GENTLY: You know, I bet they’re worried about me. If you let me call them, I can make sure they’re okay. THE ARSONIST: Oh don’t worry, they’re fine. I would never hurt your family, Tom. Family is the most important thing in the world. TOM GENTLY: Yeah, you’re right. THE ARSONIST: If we lose family, then all of this… Western civilisation, it’ll come crashing down. Nothing should replace family. TOM GENTLY: You got a family? THE ARSONIST: No… I… had a wife. She thought she wasn’t ready to be a family. I tried to convince her I was ready. But she went to the clinic behind my back. And that’s when I realised that you were right. It’s not just her choice, it impacts us all. That’s why I knew you’d see this is the right thing to do, to save Paulo. When we stand by and let an innocent life be snuffed out it affects all of us. TOM GENTLY: What happened to your wife?THE ARSONIST: There was a nasty fire.Thomson’s argument is obviously supposed to be an analogy for pregnancy and for us the question is, ‘If Tom Gently is unplugged from the violinist and escapes should whoever unplugs him be punished by the law?’ What is more important, the life of the violinist, who is definitely a full person, or the bodily autonomy of a conservative radio host held captive by a Tory maniac? As the journalist Laurie Penny puts it, it does not matter whether foetuses are persons – it matters whether pregnant people are. You might well say that this scenario is unrealistic, not to mention in questionable taste! And I’d agree with you. Remember the whole reason we’re considering it though is because we’re assuming that foetuses are persons. We’ve already entered unrealistic – we’re just seeing where the rabbit hole leads. It’s also unfortunately the case that cis men, including many lawmakers, can engage with this topic so freely cause it’s not a site of pain for us As the Alabama senate recently showed sometimes hearing real graphic testimony just doesn’t work, and so in order to bring this topic home to those people I decided to present this admittedly very macabre fantasy. And maybe you think I stacked the deck. Like the film is shot in a sex dungeon, there’s a clear villain, I’m obviously leading you to the answer that I support, and yeah okay fair enough. At least I admit it! If it’s meant to be an analogy to pregnancy though, we could tweak it. What if the violinist was Tom Gently’s brother? What if Tom initially volunteered but he wants to back out when he learns what it really involves? What if it wasn’t a violinist with kidney disease?, f**k it – let’s go all in – what if it was a baby? And remember the question here is – ‘If someone unplugs him should they be punished by the law?’ And you might be thinking “Well, the Arsonist should be punished!” The implication is that if Tom doesn’t go along with it he’ll be killed, and many who support state-enforced pregnancy including Ben Shapiro say if being pregnant is gonna kill you an abortion is allowable. But the threat against Tom isn’t coming from his “pregnancy,” it’s from outside. What if the police arrive, take the Arsonist away for punishment so the threat is gone, and Tom is still plugged in. Is it okay to remove him? Some people say, “Well there’s a difference between withdrawing treatment, like unplugging, and killing, like an abortion.” But if your argument relies on this factual and moral distinction between killing vs letting die, then you are the one who needs to prove that distinction is there. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds, and doesn’t even sound that easy. And even if you do it, and you say, “I support criminalising abortion because it is killing, as opposed to letting die” then that would mean that a pregnant person who starves themselves into stillbirth deliberately must be morally and legally okay. Which I’m guessing Ben Shaprio doesn’t want to say. Moreover, what if Tom wasn’t needed for a few hours but a few years, or even the rest of his life? You might wanna say, “Well then unplugging would be okay,” but if the life at stake is what matters then that doesn’t change whether it’s nine months or a hundred years! If you support state-forced pregnancy but think that Tom shouldn’t be punished for unplugging after a certain point, then you’ve already agreed with the central claim of the pro-choice position which is that bodily autonomy can take priority over a life. You’re just haggling over who gets to draw the line and where. What I like about Thomson’s scenario is that it pushes us to that place of all or nothing. If you’re Ben Shapiro you have to agree with the Arsonist and say that no matter how Tom came to be there and no matter how much he suffers, a human life is at stake and unplugging him should be criminal. If a woman or a trans person with a womb can be forced by the state to use her body to keep someone else alive it must also be acceptable to force a man to do the same thing. But speaking of grotesque medical horror that pushes the boundaries of taste… here’s Dennis Prager, the haunted gammon mannequin behind Prager University, a YouTube channel dedicated to misinformation funded by petrochemical billionaires.In one of his famous fireside chats, ol’ Denny says that when someone is pregnant it’s not just their body that needs to be considered. He wonders why a baby outside someone’s womb is assumed to have moral worth but a foetus within apparently has none at all. After all, if somebody shoots a pregnant person most people would say that’s worse than shooting somebody who isn’t pregnant. Even the Predator knew that in the documentary Predator 2. So we think the foetus has value then, but we allow abortions as if it has no vlaue at all? DENNIS PRAGER: I don’t get it! And I mean I don’t get it! It’s not, “I don’t get it, I don’t agree. I don’t get it!” Uncle Denny’s pulling a sneaky on ya though, cause somebody could say a foetus has moral worth, maybe even full moral worth, and still think that the bodily autonomy of a pregnant person outweighs it. Just like we could say coming in and shooting Paulo the violinist would be wrong but still Tom shouldn’t be punished if he escapes. A lot of people worry about the morality of late-term abortions, including many people who are pro-choice, cause they think that at some stage it has some moral value even if bodily autonomy outweighs it every time. Ben thinks that an abortion like one day before birth is awful, that’s killing! but what he misses is that if you go at 39 weeks pregnant and say, “I don’t want to be pregnant anymore,” they’ll probably just induce birth. They give you an injection or a pill that causes you go into labour. And it’s very common. One in five births in the UK are induced, including me! DENNIS PRAGER: By the way you can’t even build homes with fireplaces anymore in California.Is that why you didn’t use a real fire for your video Dennis? The fire never changes – it’s the same all the time, it’s a gas fire, but he still puts the same log next to it in every shot to make you think it’s wood burning!DENNIS PRAGER: I don’t get it! Horrifying aliens who kill men for sport, and the Predator, might find this hard to grasp but bodily autonomy Vs human life is an area where the same person might have conflicting intuitions. One of Thomson’s critics was a philosopher named John Finis who asked what if somebody wants to use their bodily autonomy to kill themselves? That’s a rough one. Many people feel that suicide can be a legit exercise of bodily autonomy at least sometimes, cause it’s your life. but on the other hand if someone is about to do it shouldn’t you try and do something,? but on a third other hand maybe it shouldn’t be illegal because we tried that in my country and it sucks. What I think this shows is that even if we agree that foetuses are persons and that killing them is bad we would then still have to also justify government intervention. So even if we agree with the pro-life position that morally a foetus is a human being that still doesn’t actually support criminalising abortions. My feeling is it’s a shame if the violinist dies but still Tom shouldn’t be punished for escaping, and just so nobody can accuse me of glossing over it, I am logically committed to saying that even if it was a baby and he was responsible for it being sick. To put this whole video in context, imagine a chain and each link in the chain is like a different position somebody can hold. Some people already believe that life begins at conception, they’re the people I’m trying to reach, and what Ben Shapiro does is he moves you on to the next link which is actually wanting to criminalise abortion. Even though as we’ve seen the arguments don’t work. Which leaves me curious about how he’s moving you from here to here. TOM GENTLY: Well, if you’re ever in Washington I’ll buy you a beer how about that? Thanks for calling! THE ARSONIST: See you soon. TOM GENTLY: Uh, so we’re talking about abortion, we’re talking pro-life. And this is all connected to the ways in which Leftist discourse has gotten so toxic online. I’ve said before, a lot, I’m not against birth control. I think it’s good: we have a huge overpopulation problem and when my two beautiful daughters are old enough I’ll tell them, “You want birth control? Drive down to the CVS and get some condoms. Okay? That’s your decision, it’s your responsibility but it’s not “healthcare.”” But the Left will not have an honest conversation about this. So here’s an honest history lesson – birth control, oral contraceptives, was invented by eugenicists. Margaret Sanger, one of the founders of Planned Parenthood, believed that the birth control pill should essentially be used to stop the weak from reproducing. And the Left talk about what a noble organisation Planned Parenthood is, “Oh we have to defend Planned Parenthood.” but they don’t talk about that. They won’t acknowledge that. Okay? That’s the first thing, right? The second thing is that they tested the first forms of birth control, uh the pill, on poor Puerto Rican women without telling them what was in it. It was an illegal, uh I actually don’t know about the law at the time, but immoral, certainly, medical experimentation on these poor women who suffered the side effects. Do you know what the first country to legalise abortion was? Soviet Russia. That is the legacy of the Left’s position on abortion that they will not talk about. They love to talk about, “Oh President Trump, he’s ignoring the plight of Puerto Rico! We gotta save Puerto Rico” But they don’t care about Puerto Rico. They dont’ care. They say they care but they don’t. Margaret Sanger, by the way, was against abortion. So there’s also that. But they don’t care about Puerto Rico. Here’s an article in Huffington Post about Jasmine Sherman, she’s a black pro-choice campaigner a woman in North Carolina, pro-choice. And she says that white women, white pro-choice, uh, females will turn out to fight for quote unquote abortion rights, okay, but when she’s organising Black Lives Matter protests or whatever suddenly nobody turns out. And of course if they really cared about black lives in America they’d be trying to stop abortions, not encourage more killing of babies. I mean guys, I thought Black Lives Matter, but not when they’re unborn, I guess? So why do they keep talking about it? I’ll tell you why, it’s because abortion is just the first step to their plan. Here’s a quote from a black feminist scholar, Dorothy Roberts – we’re quoting a black feminist on the Tom Gently show! This is what the Left don’t have, there’s nobody on the Left who goes the extra mile and actually does the research for you guys, nobody who puts the hours in! I mean there’s like Philosophy Tube and that’s it but he won’t even come on my show, he won’t debate me – so here’s Dorothy Roberts: “True reproductive freedom requires a living wage, universal health care, and the abolition of prisons. Black women see the police slaughter of unarmed people in their communities as a reproductive justice issue. They recognize that women are frequent victims of racist police violence and that cutting short the lives of black youth violates the right of mothers to raise their children in healthy, humane environments.” So the way I like to imagine this is I like to Imagine a chain. And each link in the chain is a different position. If you’re pro-choice, if you believe in a woman’s quote unquote “right to choose” then the next link in the chain s stuff like abortion on demand, #ShoutYourAbortion, as if it’s something to be celebrated. And then the next link in the chain is Gender Ideology, saying, “Oh, it’s my bodily autonomy to use a public bathroom that does not matcg the sex I biologically am and if you disagree with my right to do this then I’ll call you a bigot on Twitter!” And then the next link in the chain is this – believing that police officers doing their jobs is somehow a threat to bodily autonomy. And then just a few more links in the chain, and you’re into Socialism. You’re into Communism. You’re into, “Oh we need to open borders and abolish prisons and we need to give all the land to Indigineous folks and we’re all gonna hold hands and live in harmony!” They don’t just want abortions to be legal sometimes, they don’t want “safe, legal, and rare,” they want a total transformation of American society where their radical interpretation of what “bodily autonomy” means is valued everywhere. Some people have suggested that Ben’s appeal is that he talks very quickly and confidently, which he does, but I think that’s a little patronising to his audience: they aren’t complete tools. I think he’s offering you something else. Ben is very good at is controlling discussions to make it look as if they are a competition that he’s winning. Everything Tom Gently said about eugenics and history and how pro-choice movements can sometimes forget bodily autonomy is a relevant concern elsewhere, that’s all true. But he sells it as, ‘This is ridiculous’ rather than ‘Here’s an opportunity for you to learn more.’ Ben offers you a reward for agreeing with him – the fun of intellectual victory. And it is fun. A lot of Leftist media can be a bit dour and snooty cause we live in a horrible world and things are serious (and snobbery is darkly pleasurable.) But Ben Shaprio crushes, and clashes, he’s a ‘gladiator’ who cares about ‘facts’ and ‘logic’ and ‘reason’ – whether he ascribes these labels to himself or not they’re part of his appeal and I’ll let you in on a secret: playing Tom Gently is so much fun. It’s like dommeing but instead of a collar and a leash it’s a microphone. But anybody can learn to present like that, as demonstrated by the fact that I play Ben Shapiro better than Ben Shapiro does! And if you master that tactic of appealing to your audience’s need to feel dominant you can sell them bad arguments, like this: IAN N. DRIVEL: Whatup YouTube it’s ya boy the Drivelator! Check this out, Ben Shapiro thinks climate change is real but that there’s no need to do anything about it. He says that until the Left proposes a simple solution and all the science comes in, the government shouldn’t get involved. But this logically contradicts his position on abortion, cause the Right hasn’t proved that foetuses are people or proposed a simple solution to that so by his own logic the government shouldn’t get involved with abortion! It’s a complete logical fail! Anyway guys, smash that like motherf*kin like button if you want more Drivel and follow me on Twitter @CompleteDrivel if you wanna see Daddy Drivel’s selfies. F*kin hot. That was a cheap argument. Ben could, with nuance, explain why he doesn’t think climate change and abortion map onto each other in the way that supposes. It’s not a logical contradiction, that just sounds good. But this is the same argument Ben made in the now infamous “Ben Shapiro Destroys Transgenderism,” in which he says, “You can’t change a boy into a girl! Can you change a human being into a moose? If you call yourself a moose do I have to take you seriously?” It’s the same cheap trick, assuming without argument that gender and species map onto each other and using that assumption to make somebody else look silly. You wouldn’t pass Philosophy 101 with that, but the video has 5 million views and a lot of the commenters love it. Ben Shaprio is the cool kid’s philosopher: he’s the philosopher for kids who really wanna think they’re cool. Which is like the least cool thing you can do, besides being English and a YouTuber. So what are the alternatives to Ben’s style? Well, one is to just take the piss. Ben is notorious for offering to debate people who disagree with him, and Ben if you’re watching I will absolutely debate you son. But only if I can do it in character as Tom Gently! 😉 But if you’re brave enough there is another way, and this is why I personally find Ben Shaprio a really fascinating figure. His competitive style is the total opposite of what I do. He smooths his audience’s insecurities, and says, “You worry you’re a loser? No, you’re winning! You wanna think that you’re clever? Well agree with me, I’m clever!” Whereas I very deliberately craft this show in such a way as to make our insecurities, yours and mine, not only okay, but part of the learning. So let me show you what I mean: Many who support state-enforced pregnancy dwell on the grisly details of surgical abortions. Ben tells horror stories about blood and suction to make a kind of Argument from Disgust and that’s a persuasive place to argue from because you can look strong when you do it. It appeals to people’s desire to banish things that are icky. Transphobes do a similar thing sometimes: highlighting the shocking aspects of gender confirming surgeries. I’ve actually seen live surgery in person – I once saw a double lung transplant done on a 16 year old girl. And the way that worked – content warning! is they took a scalpel and they made an incision down her chest, and they used a heat gun to melt through the lower layers of skin – the smell of burning human skin is quite unique – and then took an electric saw and they sawed through her sternum in half, that’s the bone here, and then cracked it open with a rib spreader. And the junior surgeon said to the senior surgeon, “Do you pull the saw towards you, or push it away from you?” and the senior surgeon said, “Oh I always pull it towards: pushing it away is too American.” BZZZZZZZ So she’s lying there with her chest open, on bypass. And I can see her heart flopping around like that. And they cut out both of her lungs, scooped ‘em out, and took a pair of donor lungs from the ice box which had come out of a smoker who died in Edinburgh that morning: I have seen a smoker’s lungs. I was 17. Sweet Jesus Christ, I quit smoking that day. They put those grey, dead things into that 16 year old girl, suctioned out the blood, and sewed her up. And that was some of the most visceral sh*t I have ever seen in my life. I had to use the sperm extraction machine after that one, lemme tell ya. But as any good novelist will tell you wherever there’s disgust there’s always a little bit of beauty as well. Which is why arguments from disgust don’t work once you confront the thing they encourage you to banish. There was something beautiful in that whole team of doctors trying to help that girl and in her bravery. So I know better than most, sometimes quite graphic operations can produce devastating Beauty. And Ben Shapiro might say, “Well, different kind of surgery! An abortion ends a life, whereas an operation that saves somebody is obviously beautiful.” But I didn’t say that she survived. Even in death, the argument from disgust doesn’t work, no matter how slickly you try and sell it. And you can’t feel like you’re winning when you admit that cause it makes you feel some f*****g feelings. And on this show, that’s how you know the philosophy’s working. That girl didn’t have to have that operation, there were other treatments available that were less risky but they were more about managing her condition than getting rid of it. er disease was gradually undermining her bodily autonomy and she decided that was worth risking her life for. In the end it sadly wasn’t to be, but that’s how much freedom of body matters to people.TOM GENTLY: You said I only had to be here an hour, now you’re telling me I can’t leave? THE ARSONIST: I realise it’s hard lines but his condition is worse than I thought and Paulo’s life depends on you! TOM GENTLY: I can’t stay here the rest of my life here! THE ARSONIST: I’ll be here for you! We can get through this together! Just until Paulo dies of old age! TOM GENTLY: He’s brain dead! THE ARSONIST: He might recover! TOM GENTLY: Well he’s sure as shit not gonna play the violin! THE ARSONIST: That doesn’t matter: he’s a living being. TOM GENTLY: You need to let me out right now! THE ARSONIST: I can’t unplug you, that would be murder! TOM GENTLY: Now! THE ARSONIST: He has a right to life! TOM GENTLY: So what?! So what? We kill people all the time. Soldiers, cops, sick people, old people. Just cause I can save his life doesn’t mean I should have to, it’s my decision! THE ARSONIST: His right to life outweighs your right to convenience, and I see no reason why that should cease to be the case whether he needs your kidneys for an hour or for the rest of your days! What possible reason can you have for saying no? TOM GENTLY: I don’t need a reason! I don’t need, a reason, it’s my body! If I want to do something with it I can, that’s what freedom is! I don’t have to tell you why, I don’t even have to know why, the fact that I want it is enough! THE ARSONIST: I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am in you, Tom. TOM GENTLY: Yeah you know what? I don’t care. You need to let me out now. THE ARSONIST: As you wish. I can’t keep you here against your will, that would be immoral. I’ll let you go home to your wife. Oh and your two daughters, Ashley and Rebecca,At number 77 Thomson Street, Colombia Heights. TOM GENTLY: Please just let me go. THE ARSONIST: I will let you go, Tom. I just need you to do one thing for me first. I need you to look into this camera and admit that you were wrong.