Political Animal Magazine2019-03-27T14:53:23+00:00

SPOTLIGHT

Untangling popular “pro-choice” claims and arguments concerning abortion

August 23rd, 2019|

By: Hendrik van der Breggen
This article is part of a debate on abortion. For an introduction see: Arguing Dialectically about Abortion. For an opposing view see: Philosophical Arguments for Abortion.

I favor the pro-life position on the abortion issue, all the while realizing that many good and decent people disagree with me. Why do they disagree? It seems they are influenced by popular claims and arguments favoring the pro-choice view.

I intend no disrespect to anyone in saying this, but I think that many popular claims and arguments favoring the choice for abortion consist of knots of illogic that should be untangled.

Consider the following sixteen knots.

1. Pro-lifers/anti-abortionists are anti-choice.

Reply: In one sense, yes. That is, on the pro-life/anti-abortion view, choice for abortion gets limited (though pro-lifers might disagree to what extent this should be: no abortions allowed at all, or no late-term abortions only, or abortions allowed only for special cases such as rape, incest, threat to life of the mother).

But in another very important sense, no, pro-lifers/anti-abortionists are not anti-choice. They favor women having the usual choices everyone else has (e.g., career, education, marriage, voting, etc.) but they also realize that each abortion wipes out a whole life-time of choices—so anti-abortionists increase the total of choices. (more…)

Philosophical Arguments for Abortion

August 23rd, 2019|

By: Nathan Nobis and Kristina Grob
This article is part of a debate on abortion. For an introduction see: Arguing Dialectically about Abortion For an opposing view see: Untangling popular “pro-choice” claims and arguments concerning abortion.

Arguments for ethical and legal conclusions on the topic of abortion are often pursued dialectically, with positive arguments developed in response to contrary positions and objections.

In their recent open-access (meaning, free!) introductory book Thinking Critically About Abortion: Why Most Abortions Aren’t Wrong & Why All Abortions Should be Legal (Open Philosophy Press, 2019), Professors Nathan Nobis and Kristina Grob adopt this strategy. The review many common “question-begging” arguments (that is, arguments with premises that merely assume the conclusions they are intended to support) and other common, but demonstrably poor, arguments on all sides of the issues before getting to their main positive arguments. In an essay published after the book, they critique many “soundbite” arguments on the issues also.

This excerpt from their book presents some of this main discussion, that supports the main ethical conclusions from the book’s subtitle, concerning personhood and the moral significance of early fetuses lacking consciousness or feeling, as well what the right to life is not. (more…)

THEORY

Arguing Dialectically about Abortion

By |August 23rd, 2019|0 Comments

How do we talk about abortion? How do we make arguments about a topic that evokes such strong reactions? In opposing articles, Nathan Nobis and Kristina Grob and Hendrick van der Breggen, approach the issue dialectically. One approach is to think dialectically--to critically examine arguments pro or con, in order to uncover the assumptions and grounds they rest on, and develop new arguments that respond to the faults we find in our prior positions.

Untangling popular “pro-choice” claims and arguments concerning abortion

By |August 23rd, 2019|0 Comments

I favor the pro-life position on the abortion issue, all the while realizing that many good and decent people disagree with me. Why do they disagree? It seems they are influenced by popular claims and arguments favoring the pro-choice view. I intend no disrespect to anyone in saying this, but I think that many popular claims and arguments favoring the choice for abortion consist of knots of illogic that should be untangled.

Philosophical Arguments for Abortion

By |August 23rd, 2019|0 Comments

Arguments for ethical and legal conclusions on the topic of abortion are often pursued dialectically, with positive arguments developed in response to contrary positions and objections. Many people say they just “feel” that abortion is wrong or their “opinion” is that it’s not wrong. But complex issues require informed, fair and honest critical thinking, not just mere “feelings” or “opinions.”

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PRACTICE

Arguing Dialectically about Abortion

By |August 23rd, 2019|0 Comments

How do we talk about abortion? How do we make arguments about a topic that evokes such strong reactions? In opposing articles, Nathan Nobis and Kristina Grob and Hendrick van der Breggen, approach the issue dialectically. One approach is to think dialectically--to critically examine arguments pro or con, in order to uncover the assumptions and grounds they rest on, and develop new arguments that respond to the faults we find in our prior positions.

Untangling popular “pro-choice” claims and arguments concerning abortion

By |August 23rd, 2019|0 Comments

I favor the pro-life position on the abortion issue, all the while realizing that many good and decent people disagree with me. Why do they disagree? It seems they are influenced by popular claims and arguments favoring the pro-choice view. I intend no disrespect to anyone in saying this, but I think that many popular claims and arguments favoring the choice for abortion consist of knots of illogic that should be untangled.

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JUSTICE

Social Contract Theory

By |February 1st, 2019|0 Comments

When you make an agreement of some significance (e.g., to rent an apartment, or join a gym, or divorce), you typically agree to certain terms: you sign a contract. This is for your benefit, and for the the other party’s benefit: everyone’s expectations are clear, as are the consequences of failing to meet those expectations.

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ARTS & LETTERS

Woodstock Turns 50: Behind the Curtain with John Morris, Head of Production

By |August 15th, 2019|0 Comments

When you have a master or a leader, there’s always another master somewhere fighting them off or trying to contest them. The masters of other people can look pretty annoying to you, if not contemptible, irrelevant, reprehensible. I think about Beatlemania, where people were just horrified — What the hell is going on? These four guys with weird floppy haircuts. Or with Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, or any of the other rock stars. The disgust and terror that people have that others are caught up.

A Tribute to D.A. Pennebaker

By |August 8th, 2019|0 Comments

When you have a master or a leader, there’s always another master somewhere fighting them off or trying to contest them. The masters of other people can look pretty annoying to you, if not contemptible, irrelevant, reprehensible. I think about Beatlemania, where people were just horrified — What the hell is going on? These four guys with weird floppy haircuts. Or with Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, or any of the other rock stars. The disgust and terror that people have that others are caught up.

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