SLIPPERY SLOPES IN PRO-LIFE ARGUMENTATION

Posted On Jul 27 2012 by

In pro-life discourse arguers strategically use arguments from consequence in order to make the audience aware of the gravity of abortion by pointing out the dire consequences of this deed. Using the pragma-dialectical critical questions (van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1992, 2004), I will test the dialectical soundness of the causal argumentation put forward by pro-lifers in various argumentative texts. The examination of these texts reveals that the death of the aborting mother, different forms of punishment for the rest of the family, for doctors, pharmacists and for whoever else might take part in an abortion directly or indirectly are among …


THE ABORTION DEBATE AS A CONTEST OF INCOMMENSURABLE MORALITIES

Posted On Oct 17 2011 by

The paper is concerned with framing the abortion debate as a contest of “incommensurable moralities” (Zarefsky, 1991). I start from the empirical observation that both pro-life and pro-choice argumentative discourses do not meet the “higher-order” conditions stipulated in the ideal model of a critical discussion (van Eemeren, Grootendorst, Jackson and Jacobs, 1993) in the sense that disputants do not have the required attitude to resolve the disagreement at stake. The pro-life standpoint that Abortion is impermissible no matter the circumstances since the one eliminated is a human being is set against the pro-choice position that Abortion is permissible as the …