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Article Critique ‘A New Look, An Old Battle’ Essay

While the article recognizes the usefulness of stem-cell research in medicine, it also denounces the anti-abortion movement. According to the author, anti-abortion proponents are on the losing side because they failed to scientifically substantiate their claims. Their slogan ‘abortion stops a beating heart’, according to the author, is a mixture of fallacy and deceit. It is generally a misleading slogan. The embryo has no heart; it is a conjugation of biological characteristics which cannot be explained by any a priori moralistic assumption.

According to the author, the utility of any biological research on stem cell has nothing to do with morality. Luring the public into believing that stem cell research is an immoral act is itself a coagulation of irrationality. Unconsciously or consciously, the author argues that the moral implications of abortion are not related to stem cell research. This should not be the case. A general reflection on the moral implications of stem cell research is, at many times, congruent with the issue of abortion.

To argue that ‘it is about science, not abortion,’ is grossly misleading. Not because science is an independent field suggests that it does not have moral implications related to the issue of abortion. The means by which science is applied falls under the rubric of morality. Science as a concept is morally neutral, but its application is not. It must be examined under the microscope of moral precepts. Hence, it is recognized that the moral implications of stem-cell research are similar to the moral effects of abortion.

The author argues that proponents of anti-abortion are on the losing side because they lack the political support of leading politicians and personalities. According to the author, this attests to the general weakness of the anti-abortion slogan. Again, the author commits a fallacy. Yes, political support suggests the strength of any movement, but never the content of its standing beliefs. Content (meaning) cannot be equated with numbers.

Supposing that the author continues to believe that support is tantamount to the rationality of any slogan; then such author falls into Bandwagon fallacy. The author argues that politicians supported stem cell research because they had ‘fathers with heart diseases, mothers with arthritis, and whose hearts resonated with the possibilities of alleviating pain and prolonging life. ’ This assertion is not only misleading but empirically unverifiable. Without reference to actual evidence, it is hard to prove this assertion.

This argument may be also regarded as fallacious, clinging generally to the fallacy of ad misericordiam. The author convinces the reader that the strength of an argument can be established by referencing with other people’s emotional state of affairs. Here, the miseries of individuals cannot be used as an excuse for the rationalization of an action (in this case, support for stem-cell research). Again, this is not to say that stem cell research is ‘bad. ’ This is to argue that the author’s argumentative structure is improper and illogical.

Most of the author’s arguments can be characterized as fallacious and overtly ambiguous. They are fallacious because it exaggerate, lack coherent premises, and dissect seemingly unrelated statements. Instead of looking for the moral implications of stem-research – ‘why it should be morally accepted, and not to be confused with abortion’ – the author ponders on the possibilities of stem-cell research (an abandonment of her own thesis). In addition, empirical evidences are not used to prove some of her important points.

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