In attempting to launch a discourse aiming at the establishment of general distinctions, we are drawn by nature of the discourse to enumerate a number of erroneous opinions or rather general false propositions which often constitute what can in lay terms be referred to as illogical arguments. Logic in itself has never been at peace with false opinions that may be or are commonly entertained. For this reason its primary aim has been to discern and critically analyze the manner or the developments leading to their entertainment. In essence, the analysis is not concerned with the facts that may have erroneously been accepted as proof of other facts but the property inherent in the facts that lead to the development of mistaken supposition (Mill 452).
In cases where individuals suppose a fact albeit incorrectly to be evidentiary of some other fact in question, there is existent a causative agent behind the error. This implies that the supposed fact has in a way a linkage with the fact in argument for it to be deemed evidentiary of the fact thereof. Therefore, it would be implausible to infer a linkage in the absence of a strong understanding that in a majority of the cases, the fact and the other; being deemed evidentiary of occur conjoined. Thus in an analysis if A is evidentiary of B, such that seeing A almost automatically infers B, then either can be antecedent, consequent or concomitant. Erroneous conclusions can only occur in the event that A and or B exhibit an invariable relation with regard to the general formula, as an expression or tacit implication (Mill 453). The supposed connections or alternatively repugnance only exist as a conclusion from evidence on in certain situations they may be admitted on the basis of their own evidence as in, “self evident”.
While many sub classifications of fallacies exist, they more or less point to the invariability of the connection to the logical conclusions. Grant begins his the representations of his inductive and deductive reasoning by positing the overriding understanding of the abortion debate, that in laying belief on the existence of women rights an argument is made that they should thus be given the freedom to procure abortions as a component of the understanding of the liberty and privacy or women. Such an assertion disqualifies an opposing right; that of obliterating the natural rights of a similar species: the embryo. As a necessity in the full enjoyment of the rights of women such as freedom and privacy, the rights of fetus even though unable to advocate for themselves are stifled or in the extreme killed. Based on legal understanding, the Supreme Court, granted women the right of terminating their pregnancies, in the context that an enjoyment of such a right be limited to cases where the women are still within their first six months of the pregnancy cycle.
On the surface one may be content to allude the judges decision on the concept of supremacy of rights where women have all the rights and the fetuses none. Grant argues that the fetuses belong to the same species as the mothers. Such an analysis cannot be dismissed since it asserts a self evident claim. It is thus not fallacious as any claim of fallacy of reference is untrue owing to the absence of genetic fallacy. But by arguing against legitimizing abortion based on the concept of the supremacy of the mother’s rights over those of the unborn on one hand, and on the other Grant draws a correlation of our rights as human beings and those of other species, with such a correlation he attempts to with a partial blow disregard the existence of rights all together. With the same correlation he draws onto what he calls the fundamental issues that should be used in discussions of the legality of abortion. It is our existence as human beings that confers us the intelligence to engage in such discourses and apportionment of rights as well as freedoms and liberties. However, since our rights as human beings are drawn from our acceptance that all human beings must enjoy their rights, freedoms and liberties as human beings, the fact that the woman and the fetuses are of the same species decrees that they equally enjoy rights, hence the absence of the fallacy of relevance.
Drawing his analysis from the historical developments in legal and political systems; most notably the fight for free institutions and Common Law among the English societies and upon which the concepts of rights grew from; Grant poses that if follows that everybody deserves the protection by carefully defined rights. On this basis he concludes that the legalization of abortion contravenes the very basis of rights. As a support of his argument, he cites the Communist and Nazi regimes that radically denied the basic political assumptions consequent to which everybody’s rights become vulnerable. Additionally, since the concept of rights has its basis on religion, totalitarian states that explicitly destroyed religion and replaced it with a pseudo-scientific ideology also destroyed political and legal rights which had their basis on religious systems. Grant concludes that by demanding abortion we disregard the religious underpinnings of legal rights, freedoms and liberties.
If such advocacy is achieved, then there is a possibility that a similar advocacy of rights that denies the vulnerable, disadvantaged, or economically deprived persons some rights for the benefit of others may equally succeed hence the progression towards totalitarianism. The acceptance that just after conception, the genetic code the genetic code of the fetus is entirely unique and different from that of either the parents is an adequate evidentiary fact of the independence of the fetus as a single unique individual who is only dependent on the mother for biological nourishment; a process which is naturally determined. Even if it were to be legally claimed that the fetus possesses no rights, such an argument can only be termed as fallacious owing to lack of evidentiary facts to support it.
The genetic lineage attests to the fact that claims to the extent that fetuses are not human are false. Human can definitive of the species called “human beings” if there exists a connection in the generic sense as in, “of or belonging to a man” or on a secondary level assume the definition of “having the qualities or attributes proper to a man”. It should be understood that the use of the term “proper” in the secondary definition is to satisfy the desire for a man to he “humane”. It is only the generic sense that is inclusive of all the species. The secondary definition is akin to the definition that refers to human as “characterized by such behavior or disposition towards others as befits man”. On a mere basic front, it is very easy to discern that the secondary definition is not an appropriate reference to an infant leave alone an infant.
Other definitions that are used in the advocacy for abortion and which are based on the understanding of the term human can be drawn from Joseph Fletcher’s classifications. His definitions include words such as “a sense of time”, “self awareness”, “ability to communicate”, “ a concern for others”, “the capacity to relate with others”, “control over existence”, and a “balance of rationality and feeling”. All these insertions on the definition only served to advance the interests of Fletcher himself given that he was a popular proponent of abortion. Fletcher’s definitions can thus not be used as evidentiary of the right of abortion since the definitions in themselves only possesses a partial relation with the generic sense of human, what it serves are behavioral dispensations and attributes that are acquired in the course of natural growth and development of human beings. Thus, Grant’s assertion on the supremacy of the generic sense leaning definition can not be in disrepute so long as the genetic linkage is a fact.
With reference to fallacies of induction, Fletcher’s supposed facts upon which he bases the process and results of his inductive reasoning are erroneous as they can not be wholly be cited in reference to human beings who as a result of age, physiological or anatomical abnormalities fail to achieve what he refers to as human but who by nature of their genetic makeup are humans. Such fallacies are broadly termed as fallacies of observation that are consequent to instances of bad observation or bad inference. As opposed to fallacies of generalization in which the evidentiary facts are correct but the drawn conclusion is erroneous, these fallacies of observation suffer from lack of correct evidentiary facts and hence an erroneous conclusion. However, it is prudent to also reiterate that in the course of inductive or deductive reasoning, the use of an incorrect evidentiary fact to infer a fact can also be critically analyzed alternatively. For instance, the terms, “self awareness”, “ability to communicate”, “life”, “person” and many others may have been relevant and correct with regard to the object of observation, but through generalization the conclusions to cover objects of observation absent from the process of observation, a fallacy of deduction occurs where incorrect argumentation within the premises or with the premises do not support the conclusion.
The fallacies of language are more predominant in the confusions in the use of the word life. Proponents of abortion point out that the fetus is alive with regard to the biological sense but not alive with regard to the human understanding. Such arguments are not only confirmatory to fallacies of language as in ambiguity, equivocation, vagueness but also serve no specific purpose in advancing the objectives of abortion advocacy. First, abortion can be simply be defined as the deliberate termination of a pregnancy. The termination can only be done through the destruction of the fetus through the use of whatever technology to kill it. In essence, anything not living cannot be said to have been killed. If the fetus were not living, then the methodology of eradicating it from the mother’s womb would have assumed another linguistic reference but not “abortion”.
Basing his argument on the non specialty of the term biological life, Grant attest that if the embryo is referred to as not possessive of biological life as that reference is only possible among lower organisms, then the development of the embryo with respect to that line or argument can not be said to result to a human being at birth. When we accept that at birth or at whatever later stage of development that the embryo has indeed developed to “human” and hence living, then we must consecutively accept that the embryo was living and that it belonged to the same species as the mother or else we transgress into double talk, vagueness and equivocation.
As opposed to the United States where women are granted the legal right to procure an abortion within the first six months of the pregnancy without giving any reason for the action since the fetus still fails to meet the definition of human being as a “person in the whole sense”, or attained the recognition as “potential life”, Canada’s case is different. The law in Canada implicitly grants women no rights to abortion. In Canada abortion is a punishable offense. An exception is only given in cases where at least three doctors have certified that it termination of the pregnancy serves as a preventative measure to the consequences that may occur should the mother carry the pregnancy to term. Such exceptions fully understand the uniqueness of the living human being but in the benefit of life in general act to serve one life than lose two lives. Grant thus questions what have gone through the minds of those supporting women abortion rights when they themselves were at one stage of development vulnerable to termination but spared the injustice due to a belief in their uniqueness as human beings.
In quest of a historical attestation of the existence of equality of the species, Grant draws from a familiar quotation, “We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal, they are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights, that among these rights are life…that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men”. The foundation of such strong words can only be derived from a belief in the genetic interrelatedness of the species and hence their equality and a belief in religion as the basis of political and legal rights. The very advocacy of abortion erodes the foundations of the doctrine of rights, freedoms and liberties.
It can be argued that the preceding Grant’s analysis of the question of abortion suffers from a fallacy of inference as well as fallacies of premise suitability. As a fallacy of inference, the slippery slope argument and false cause call to attention. Suppose that men are not created equal or not created at all, then the enjoyment of rights is deemed to be variable. The pursuit of justice based on the understanding that there existed some inequality in creation can thus be used to give women some supremacy in the enjoyment of their rights comparative to the fetus. The very supposition that humans may not have been created if supported with a consistent evidentiary fact destroys the very foundations of the legal and political systems, and as a result rendering the advocacy of rights baseless as the doctrines of these rights will have been shattered. As a consequence of the victory of the “no creation” argument or the false cause argument, the powerful members of the human species will acquire the rights to govern and make decisions on the extent of enjoyment of rights. Such a scenario possesses no congruence with the underpinnings of rights, freedoms and liberties as they are known today and would lead to a multitude of slippery slope arguments that are irresolvable.
By undermining the legal and political traditions that have served mankind for centuries by talks such as the “quality of life” or “every child a wanted child”, such phrases can only be deemed to be relevant to critical analysis if the core intentions of such words are known. The quality of life phrase serves certain constructive purposes that seek to alleviate human suffering by leaning on a compassionate approach. However, when the same compassionate approach downgrades some lives, then it selectively chooses the classes of humanity that should be alleviated of suffering while other being not compatible to the purported human definition are excluded from the fruits of the compassionate approach. All in all, the diversity of critical analyses are only a product of the words and phrases that have purposefully been coined to refer to certain concepts in existence. The presence of an evidentiary fact that fully serves its purposes in buttressing the supposed fact or the subject under critical analysis can only yield logical conclusions if observations and inferences are in consistence with the basic truths in life: that the fetuses are indeed humans that deserve the enjoyment of the full scope of rights despite their inherent vulnerabilities.
Mill, S. J. A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive. Harper ; brothers, 1867