System Critical Analysis Forms

Topics: Stem cell, Morality, Critical thinking Pages: 11 (2687 words) Published: February 5, 2008
Critical Analysis Forms

Fill out one form for each source.

SEARCH TOPIC: stem cell research

Source 1 Title and Citation: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Not Ethical Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Not Ethical. Dennis P. Hollinger. At Issue: The Ethics of Genetic Engineering. Ed. Maurya Siedler. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005.

Identify the principal issue presented by the source.

The principal issue is: utilitarianism and appeals to compassion on the issue of embryonic stem cell research are dangerous and problematic. The author is suggesting that utilitarianism and appeals to compassion should be avoided.

Identify any examples of bias presented by the author. If none exist, explain how you determined this.

The author is bias. For example, the author stated, "Utilitarianism and appeals to compassion, so prominent in contemporary American culture, are dangerous. Instead of following God's directives, humans are relying on their subjective and emotional responses to make important decisions about stem cell research."

The author is against stem cell research.

Identify any areas that are vague or ambiguous. If none exist, explain how you determined this. In the author's bias remark I pointed out in comment #2 (previous to this comment), the author makes a vague statement, "…Instead of following God's directives," the author did not elaborate on what God's directives are in the entire publication.

Do you find the source credible? Explain your reasoning.

I fine the source credible because he is defining utilitarianism & virtue of compassion from a Christian perspective. Also, his definition of utilitarianism & virtue of compassion are similar to other sources. In addition, the author is a professor of Christian Ethics at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, and serves as an adjunct professor in the bioethics program at Trinity International University.

Identify and name any rhetorical devices used by the author. If none exist, explain how you determined this.

The author make's a statement which is a bit too extravagant, "…compassion will lead us to the abyss of moral nihilism." – Hyperbole.

Another example the author stated, "..spiritualistic naturalism functions without recourse to moral and worldview givens, seeking instead experiences that engender a sense of spirituality with minimal content, essence, and direction." – Here, the author is downplaying spiritualistic naturalism.

Identify and name any fallacies used by the author. If none exist, explain how you determined this. I do admit that fallacies' were hard to pick up in the publication. However, I notice that the author's primary concern about his oppositions only used a utilitarian theory. I noticed that his arguments on utilitarianism and virtue of companion where very similar. In other words, I can argue that a major point can be that an embryo is not a person which I know is a popular argument. I think the author may have narrowed his major points to much. Thus, committing a False dilemma.

State one argument made by the author.
The author stated, "…regarding compassion as the moral trump card is problematic."

Identify the premises and conclusion of the argument.
Premise: …"when set apart from the moral givens of a loving, gracious Creator", Conclusion: …"compassion will lead us to the abyss of moral nihilism." Premise: …"

Is the author's argument valid or invalid, sound or unsound, strong or weak? Explain how you determined this. I think that the argument is invalid because its claim is vague, and lacks evidence because the argument of God, or Gods are controversial and unproven.

In regard to its conclusion, it implies that compassion will lead us to loose all our moral values if we do not include a "gracious Creator" in the equation. This aspect is controversial and unproven.

Does the author use moral reasoning? If not, explain how you...
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