web site hit counter Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case against Abortion Choice - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case against Abortion Choice

Availability: Ready to download

Defending Life is the most comprehensive defense of the prolife position on abortion ever published. It is sophisticated, but still accessible to the ordinary citizen. Without high-pitched rhetoric or appeals to religion, the author offers a careful and respectful case for why the prolife view of human life is correct. He responds to the strongest prochoice arguments found Defending Life is the most comprehensive defense of the prolife position on abortion ever published. It is sophisticated, but still accessible to the ordinary citizen. Without high-pitched rhetoric or appeals to religion, the author offers a careful and respectful case for why the prolife view of human life is correct. He responds to the strongest prochoice arguments found in law, science, philosophy, politics, and the media. He explains and critiques Roe v. Wade, and he explains why virtually all the popular prochoice arguments fail. There is simply nothing like this book.


Compare

Defending Life is the most comprehensive defense of the prolife position on abortion ever published. It is sophisticated, but still accessible to the ordinary citizen. Without high-pitched rhetoric or appeals to religion, the author offers a careful and respectful case for why the prolife view of human life is correct. He responds to the strongest prochoice arguments found Defending Life is the most comprehensive defense of the prolife position on abortion ever published. It is sophisticated, but still accessible to the ordinary citizen. Without high-pitched rhetoric or appeals to religion, the author offers a careful and respectful case for why the prolife view of human life is correct. He responds to the strongest prochoice arguments found in law, science, philosophy, politics, and the media. He explains and critiques Roe v. Wade, and he explains why virtually all the popular prochoice arguments fail. There is simply nothing like this book.

30 review for Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case against Abortion Choice

  1. 5 out of 5

    Randy

    We live in an age of paradox. On the one hand, scientific concepts are confidently and systematically understood, and our control of the physical world continues to expand through our employ of thorough, rigorous scientific method. On the other hand, the poverty of moral discourse is such that, in the words of J. Budziszewski, "it is...like a great smoke which fills our houses and dulls our minds and makes it difficult to complete any thoughts." Trying to discuss moral issues such as abortion in We live in an age of paradox. On the one hand, scientific concepts are confidently and systematically understood, and our control of the physical world continues to expand through our employ of thorough, rigorous scientific method. On the other hand, the poverty of moral discourse is such that, in the words of J. Budziszewski, "it is...like a great smoke which fills our houses and dulls our minds and makes it difficult to complete any thoughts." Trying to discuss moral issues such as abortion in my experience does not lead to reasoned discussion; instead it is waved off as uninteresting or intractable, or the "right to choose" mantra is immediately invoked. Francis Beckwith, however, notes that the climate has changed a bit in recent years. People are not so sure of moral relativism in the post-9/11 West. As stem cell research and the spectre of cloning bring to light alarming technological possibilities, we are forced to confront issues of what it means to be human. The thrust of Beckwith's argument, then, is to at the same time clarify the abortion debate and also advance the prolife position, by blowing away the smoke of confusion and appealing to our basic moral intuitions. On January 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade was issued, and with its companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, it effectively legalized abortion on demand for all nine months of pregnancy. However, the reasoning used by Justice Harry Blackmun, who authored Roe, was flawed. To build his case, he had to overcome two legal impediments. The first was regarding the purpose of the anti-abortion laws that many states had enacted beginning in the nineteenth century. The reason, he said, these laws existed was not to protect prenatal life but rather to protect women from dangerous medical procedures. Since abortion was now a relatively safe procedure, there was no longer a need to prohibit it. Going back into common law prior to the nineteenth century Blackmun claimed that abortion was "a fundamental liberty, found in our nation's traditions and history." Therefore, given the right to privacy which the Supreme Court manufactured in the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut decision (but which Blackmun said was older than the Bill of Rights), abortion was declared a constitutional right. Beckwith points out that "since 1973 the overwhelming consensus of scholarship has shown that the court's history...is almost entirely mistaken." It is clear that the primary purpose of the state laws was in fact to protect the unborn from harm. The second flaw in the court's reasoning in Roe involves the Fourteenth Amendment which protects U.S. citizens from having their rights violated by the government, and whether the unborn are persons protected by it. Blackmun argued that since the court cannot resolve the difficult question about when life begins, the state ought to remain neutral and not prefer one theory of life over another, and therefore not rule against abortion. But in practice he really is taking a position: by legalizing abortion the state is saying that the unborn is the kind of thing that should not be protected by the state and is thus outside of membership in the human community. His argument actually provides a compelling reason to prohibit abortion, since it admits that abortion may result in the death of a human entity who has a full right to life (but we just don't know for sure). Under scrutiny, these pillars no longer seem to be able to support Roe, so one would think that when the opportunity arose it would be reversed. Such an opportunity was the 1992 case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey which unfortunately upheld Roe in a narrow 5-4 decision. What is interesting is that since the original discredited reasoning could not be sustained, all the court could do was to base its decision on stare decisis, the principle that the court respect precedent. Chief Justice Rehnquist, in his dissent in Casey said that "Roe continues to exist, but only in the way a storefront on a western movie set exists: a mere facade to give the illusion of reality." The language of Casey indicated that the court had shifted the basis of abortion from the right to privacy to a new right that they found in the Fourteenth Amendment: the right to personal autonomy. It would seem that the right to abortion was derived not so much from sound legal reasoning as from the sheer force of judicial will. It is claimed that the prochoice position should enjoy a privileged standing in our legal framework because the prolife position is religious. Beckwith argues that this is false: both positions presuppose some metaphysical point of view. If one is a materialist (believing that the physical world is all there is) one will reject the idea of a unifying human nature. A human being, then, is not a substance ontologically, but is something that comes into being only when sufficient parts or attributes are in place, whether these are brain waves or self-awareness or whatever criteria one chooses. In this view the whole is equal to the sum of its parts, much like an automobile or a table. Many prolifers, on the other hand, argue, as does Beckwith, that the human being is ontologically prior to its parts. From conception it has a human nature that defines and maintains its identity as long as it exists. Personhood is not achieved after a minimum number of attributes are evident, but exists immediately as an integral part of our human nature. The point is that both the prolife and the prochoice positions are in a sense religious; there is no metaphysical neutral ground. Beckwith deals extensively with popular arguments for abortion choice, and the common denominator seems to be that they all beg the question as to the humanity of the fetus. That is to say, the arguments only work if one assumes from the outset that the unborn is not a human person, but this is the very point in dispute. For example, the argument that abortion on demand would reduce the number of unwanted children and child abuse begs the question, and this can be shown by extending the principle of the argument to post natal persons: would the killing of three-year-olds be acceptable if it would eliminate the abuse of five-year-olds? Obviously not. So the primary issue is whether or not the unborn are human persons or not. Furthermore, making wantedness a criteria for the relationship between a parent and a child is destructive for family life; it gives the parents far too much power if the value of the child is defined by the parent's feelings. Surely wantedness has bearing on value only with things, not people. There are academic abortion choice advocates, such as Eileen McDonagh, who will grant that the unborn is a human person, but that we should be able to kill it anyway because of what it does to a woman's body. The fetus is regarded as an intruder who actually is causing the pregnancy, doing violence to the woman's body without her consent, comparable to the actions of a rapist. The woman may have consented to sex, but she did not at the same time consent to pregnancy, so she should have the right to expell this unwelcome intruder from her person. But this seems to be grossly counter-intuitive on a number of levels. The nature of the sexual organs, of sperm and ova, as being intrinsically directed toward procreation, suggests that the purpose of sex is pregnancy and for many people a radical separation of the two goes against the grain of their moral intuitions. Second, to assume moral volunteerism is to distort what we know instinctively about parental obligations. And if we applied this standard to the father there would be no moral reason to demand child support from him, for he could just say that he had consented to sex but not to fatherhood. The arguments for abortion choice may make great slogans, but upon analysis they all fail, whether they are the crude coat-hanger arguments or ones from academic philosophers. Beckwith helps us to see more clearly just what the unborn are, where they belong, and what our duties are toward them. If we are truly an honest and compassionate society, we will not suppress this knowledge because it is inconvenient. We will practice generosity and virtue toward the weakest and most vulnerable in the human community, and we ourselves will be enriched in the process.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lady Makaveli

    Once again a book with no merit from a biased, hypocritical anti-life activist. (Pro-Life is Pro-Choice) They ignore all scientific facts, medical facts; they ignore the impact unwanted pregnancies have on the fetus aka the possible child and often the one forced to carry it to term as well. They refuse to look at quality of life and they refuse to speak the truth anywhere in this or any other book like it, for they've nothing to base their argument on but OPINION... Even those opinions are lies Once again a book with no merit from a biased, hypocritical anti-life activist. (Pro-Life is Pro-Choice) They ignore all scientific facts, medical facts; they ignore the impact unwanted pregnancies have on the fetus aka the possible child and often the one forced to carry it to term as well. They refuse to look at quality of life and they refuse to speak the truth anywhere in this or any other book like it, for they've nothing to base their argument on but OPINION... Even those opinions are lies as though I'm no Christian I have read and studied the Bible many times and No where does it even mention abortion let alone speak of it being murder. Not only does it not speak of it, but Jesus teaches acceptance, tolerance, non-judgment and that lying = wrong. Despite that, most antis are Christian as this book showed, and yet they don't mention the truth or facts; one being, Abortions used to take place in churches in the US legally Before $$$ and lies got involved. But you'll hear no truths in this book. If you are an anti then you'll enjoy it. It'll tell you all the bs you wish you had facts for, yet don't.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Dry, condescending smirking tone, too tied up in the legal details, some distracting typos...I'm having trouble getting through this one right now. I guess I don't see how his arguments will convince anyone who doesn't already agree with him. Dry, condescending smirking tone, too tied up in the legal details, some distracting typos...I'm having trouble getting through this one right now. I guess I don't see how his arguments will convince anyone who doesn't already agree with him.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Willie Pate

    Defending Life is both detailed and readable, a work which brings the most updated and honest presentation of both sides to light. With elegance and philosophical skill Beckwith builds a case for full-fledged rights bearing, intrinsically valuable nature of the pre-natal life. By the end of the book it is impossible to see the fetus as anything but fully human, and it's death as anything but moral inhumane and impermissible. The culture of American reproductive discussion needs to hear this trea Defending Life is both detailed and readable, a work which brings the most updated and honest presentation of both sides to light. With elegance and philosophical skill Beckwith builds a case for full-fledged rights bearing, intrinsically valuable nature of the pre-natal life. By the end of the book it is impossible to see the fetus as anything but fully human, and it's death as anything but moral inhumane and impermissible. The culture of American reproductive discussion needs to hear this treatise and deeply consider the implication. Beckwith argues that both biological life begins at conception as well as rights bearing citizenship protected by the fourteenth amendment. Must read for anyone and everyone with basic or expert understanding of the topic. An essential read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gerald

    This book summarizes all the most and best arguments against abortion choice. It can be a good book to bring to an abortion/ESCR/cloning debate since the section headings are a good guide. Although, the headings could have been outlined in the table of contents for quick reference. This book does outline the non-religious grounds against abortion choice, but I still feel that the argument ultimately depends on the axiom that all humans (where a human if and only if a person) have inherent worth. This book summarizes all the most and best arguments against abortion choice. It can be a good book to bring to an abortion/ESCR/cloning debate since the section headings are a good guide. Although, the headings could have been outlined in the table of contents for quick reference. This book does outline the non-religious grounds against abortion choice, but I still feel that the argument ultimately depends on the axiom that all humans (where a human if and only if a person) have inherent worth. This axiom is mostly found in faith traditions. If one does not have a faith tradition or other reason to uphold the axiom, the reasoning behind this book (and really all arguments for any protection for anyone) falls apart.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Estelle

    A comprehensive guide in defense of the pro-life position on philosopical and ethical grounds. Beckwith debunks common arguments for abortion, showing the self-contradiction of moral relevance; exposing the folly of popular emotional appeals; and challenging ethicists proposing that not all human life is equal. Beckwith grounds his defense in the belief that the unborn is a person fully deserving of rights at conception; therefore, murder of such a person is prima facie first degree murder and l A comprehensive guide in defense of the pro-life position on philosopical and ethical grounds. Beckwith debunks common arguments for abortion, showing the self-contradiction of moral relevance; exposing the folly of popular emotional appeals; and challenging ethicists proposing that not all human life is equal. Beckwith grounds his defense in the belief that the unborn is a person fully deserving of rights at conception; therefore, murder of such a person is prima facie first degree murder and legally condemnable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I gave this book four stars because it is one of the most comprehensive defenses of the conservative pro-life stance out there. But, Beckwith's arguments for the full moral standing of the fetus depends on his "substantive" view of the metaphysics of the person. That view is open to criticism, and thus how well he defends the conclusion that the fetus has full moral standing from conception is, I think, not all that strong. Nevertheless, it is worth a read by anyone interested in what is without I gave this book four stars because it is one of the most comprehensive defenses of the conservative pro-life stance out there. But, Beckwith's arguments for the full moral standing of the fetus depends on his "substantive" view of the metaphysics of the person. That view is open to criticism, and thus how well he defends the conclusion that the fetus has full moral standing from conception is, I think, not all that strong. Nevertheless, it is worth a read by anyone interested in what is without a doubt one of the most difficult of all moral issues.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sierra

    Definitely helped strengthen my views on abortion by explaining very deep topics. The author does not use anything about religion to argue his case,he instead uses views about morality to put emphasis on things, he also persuades readers in a very effective way by speaking his mind without having the common offensive vibe that other authors tend to have when writing about strong views.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Best pro-life book available. Beckwith’s arguments are hard-hitting from start to finish.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Ann

    "...it is better to suffer evil rather than to inflict it." --Peter Kreeft, The Unaborted Socrates, p. 40 "...it is better to suffer evil rather than to inflict it." --Peter Kreeft, The Unaborted Socrates, p. 40

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  12. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  13. 4 out of 5

    David

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  15. 5 out of 5

    marc lhowe

  16. 5 out of 5

    Will

  17. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

  18. 5 out of 5

    Darius Frasure

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stryder Smith

  20. 4 out of 5

    Evan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brian Roden

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Terence Duraisami

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Vied

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  27. 4 out of 5

    Deniz

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  29. 4 out of 5

    Geir Ravatsås

  30. 5 out of 5

    Clinton Wilcox

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.