Bioethics and Abortion - Essay by Biskitbutter - Anti …

Earlier I mentioned that Warren does not give us any justification for embracing a functionalist paradigm as far as personhood is concerned. This statement needs qualification, however. Warren does mention that the view that personhood is intrinsic to any human being from the first moment of his existence carries with it the problem that it makes the traditional syllogism against abortionquestion-begging. But this is false. It does not make the traditional syllogism any more question-begging than the syllogism that since Socrates is a man and all men are mortal, therefore Socrates is mortal. The fact that the conclusion follows with great clarity and ease is not because it begs the question but because it is a deductive argument—and it is the nature of deduction to render “obvious” conclusions, since all deduction does is spell out what is already contained in the premises. Therefore, it should not be surprising that the conclusion of the traditional anti-abortion syllogism follows with relative ease. And this most certainly does not disprove the validity of the syllogism or suggest that it contains a fallacy, and hence the humanity-implies-personhood view is not refuted or infringed upon.

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Given all of the above, I propose that abortion, at least as far as the criticized arguments from Warren’s and Thomson’s essays are concerned, cannot be morally justified. On the contrary, the traditional anti-abortion syllogism remains as intact as ever and retains its moral force. Since abortion involves human life (on both sides), it is a very serious issue and must be very forcefully and convincingly argued for—by both sides. The principle of non-contradiction requires that only one of the two sides of the issue is right, and, necessarily, the other must be wrong, very wrong. Again, then, in order to come to a resolution of this issue, the primary requirement is that we let reason, not rhetoric, be our guide to show us what is morally right and what is morally wrong. We must go wherever reason leads us, even if the conclusion be uncomfortable or inconvenient.


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From a bioethics angle, abortion can be ruled out to be both against and for, the scientific ethical practice on human life. In both extremes, killing of the fetus is the major reason why many people believe it is unjustified. It is a sentiment shared by the majority populace that life is a gift from Gad and hence no human being has the right to deprive a fellow human of this precious award. Others argue that the fetus has the ability to feel pain and that it is inhuman to subject it to such cruelty. These emotional views are shared widely by many adults. However, liberals argue that to terminate or continue one’s pregnancy is a decision that is the patient’s prerogative. Following this, the number of women opting for an abortion in America alone is about 1.2 million per annum. Reasons as to why women today contemplate abortion as opposed to carrying the pregnancy vary from one person to the other. Nonetheless, there are some reasons that are very common to most of the women pursuing abortion including unplanned pregnancies due to contraceptives failure and poverty or inability to support the child. Despite the negative conflicting perspectives, abortion maybe justified in various instances. These include situations where the mother can be adversely affected either through physical harm or by psychological influence. Others include terminating a pregnancy conceived in the event of rape or incest. In other instances, complications during delivery may be noted forcing the doctor terminate the pregnancy in a bid to save the mother’s life.