An argument and an analogy

Logical arguments are nice too.  Here is Thomas J. Beckwith’s basic pro-life syllogism:

1.  The unborn entity, from the moment of conception, is a full-fledged member of the human community.
2. It is prima facie morally wrong to kill another member of that community.
3. Every successful abortion kills an unborn entity, a full-fledged member of the human community.
4. Therefore, every successful abortion is prima facie morally wrong.

(Note that “prima facie” means “on first examination,” “apparently self-evident.”  This argument is not saying that we can never take human life – supporting the death penalty or just war is not inconsistent with this position.)

In spite of all your arguments, some people may perhaps insist that you still can’t prove that the unborn has full personhood.  It seems to me that Dinesh D’Souza has a good strategy in that kind of situation.  Consider this: Say you were out in the woods hunting deer, and you heard some rustling from behind some bushes nearby.  You couldn’t quite get a clear view, but you thought it could be a deer.  On the other hand, it could be another hunter.  If you weren’t sure would you say, “Well, I’ll just take the shot anyway.”  Of course not!  You err on the side of caution when there may be human life at stake.  The same goes for the unborn.


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