Rhetorical Research Analysis Essay

Topics: Morality, Ethics, Rhetoric Pages: 7 (1321 words) Published: July 23, 2014

Rhetorical Research Analysis Essay

English 102
Stephanie Olson
16 February 2014

Rhetorical Research Analysis Essay
This paper aims to analyze the rhetorical situation presented by Lee and George while they are discussing "The Wrong of Abortion". The way the authors have rendered classical appeals to their audience, such as ethos, pathos, logos, would also be analyzed through the same rhetorical lens. In so doing, the arguments analyzed would be supported through the empirical research. This rhetorical analysis will be narrated in a schematic manner.

Patrick Lee and Robert P. George are the authors of "Chapter 1: The Wrong of Abortion" included in the book "Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics" edited by Cohen and Wellman. They have raised the question of morality if someone chooses or performs or helps receiving abortion (Lee & George 13). Since their arguments are based upon objective views of abortion and by ignoring the subjective wrongs of abortion, the mental element (subjectivism) of this applied ethics may render this debate bias when it comes to determining the intention of wrongdoer. This also contradicts the epistemological layouts of applied ethics in the context of subjective vs. objective justifications (Feldman 405). This is also evident from authors' argument that even if the person who chooses abortion is objectively wrong, he/she would still be considered innocent subjectively. Though, no institution is sponsoring them apparently but they seem influenced by a particular school of thought.

Their major thesis focuses on the question: "is the choice to have, to perform, or to help procure an abortion morally wrong?" (Lee & George 13). They have argued that what is killed in an abortion is a human being and their ethical considerations and justifications are based upon objective analysis only. They have synthesized their argument by arguing that since the choice of abortion itself is a question of morality, the ethical objectivism would help them to seek a better understanding of this ongoing debate.

Lee and George (14) have chosen to study sexual reproduction first to argue that a fetus is a human being. Since their objective test of abortion is based upon the justification that a human embryo is a distinct human being, they have narrated this perspective by arguing that the human life starts with successful fertilization during the cycle of sexual reproduction. Their choice to derive from sexual reproduction is consistent with their major argument that a fetus is a human being. In explaining this argument, they have put forward three important facets of a human embryo. First, it is a distinct human life even from the start. Secondly, since an embryo has all genetic features that a living human being should have, it again endorses that it is a human being. And finally, they have emphasized that a human embryo is a "complete or whole organism" even since conception (Lee & George 14). While addressing the contradicting arguments, they have maintained that there is no comparison between human embryos and sperms, ova and somatic cells because the later cannot be deemed as distinct organisms as the human embryo is supposed to be.

The authors' major purpose is to defend the argument that killing a fetus or embryo is a killing of a human being. Having said so, they have asserted that an intentional abortion is objectively immoral (Lee & George 24). They have developed the whole argument to inform that the choice of abortion itself is a moral wrong. They aim to persuade their readers that a human embryo should be considered as a distinct human life and a complete organism in distinction to sperm, ova or somatic cells. While defending their argument and countering arguments, they have criticized the approach that abortion is unintentional killing (Lee & George 20). They have further insisted on the argument that abortion is foreseeable, thus an...

Cited: Dietze, Erich Von. "Review- Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics". Meta Psychology Online Reviews (2006). 15 February 2014 http://metapsychology.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=book&id=3125&cn=394
Feldman, Richard. "Subjective and Objective Justification in Ethics and Epistemology". The Monist, 71 (1988): 405.
Lee, Patrick and Robert P. George. "Chapter 1: The Wrong of Abortion". Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics. Ed. Andrew I. Cohen, Ed. Christopher Heath Wellman. Willey-Blackwell: 1 Edition (January 24, 2005).
Unwin, T. "Book Review: Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics". Progress in Human Geography 30 (2006): 825.
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