Essay Summary of Rhetorical Analysis

Heather Johnson Johnson PG 1 Braden English 101 16 March 2013 Understanding Philip Brocoum’s Reasoning If we are allowed to murder unborn children then why is it illegal to murder other humans? I recently read an article titled Why Abortion Is Okay written by Philip Brocoum on his website. Throughout the article he uses only a few persuasive techniques and many invalid points as to why abortion is okay.
His entire blog about this subject is contradictory and most-likely not believable. Philip wrote a very interesting and captivating response to the question “what are reasons for abortion to be kept legal? ” He started out by saying; in which I quote “my argument isn’t solely based on that a fetus isn’t human as it is the idea that some human lives are worth less than others” (p. 1). I would like to note that in this very same paragraph he states that science doesn’t unambiguously know much about life.
He follows that with the fact that as far as biology and life go, science doesn’t even know what life is let alone when it begins. With that being said, I come to my first disagreement; he is contradicting his own words. If he believes scientists don’t know much about life then who is he to put a value on human life and who is worth more? Furthering this, Philip goes on to try and define the word life, and how a lot of inanimate objects would fit that definition as well. He says we can pretty quickly discover that the only definition of life we have so far is, “I know it when I see it” (p. ). What is the definition of life? “The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism. ” (Dictionary. com) So how can he give his own definition “I know it when I see it” when it is so far from the actual definition? Philip then goes on to say since we don’t even know what life is, it’s very difficult to declare that life begins at conception.

He believes life begins at birth because before then you only have one living being, not two. In contrary to this, there are two living beings. One is just inside the other and hasn’t been born yet. His next argument in favor of abortion is that killing is basically okay. Philip emphasizes that humans kill everything. We kill cows for meat, trees for furniture, germs because they make us sick, and so on and so forth. Now this is a very well thought out point but one thing comes to mind in which he does call to action “yes we do kill a lot of things but we draw the line at killing other humans”(p. ). Philip then tries to shoot this argument down by saying “No, we don’t, we kill old people (euthanasia), we kill criminals (capital punishment), suicide and even war. ” Yes, these are factual but here’s the thing, there isn’t a legitimate reason as to why you need to abort your unborn child. All these ways we kill people all have legitimate reasoning, the only reasoning behind killing your fetus is because it will better your life which is not legitimate. Mr. Brocoum does have quotes and legitimate facts throughout his blog. For instance, he quotes Dr.
House “a fetus is a parasite that cannot live on its own”, or that 99. 99% of the time it is okay to kill as long as there is logical reasoning (p. 2). After he states these “facts” he goes on to say “some lives are worth more than others. ” In which I repeat, If he says there isn’t a definition to life then who is he to put a value on it? He says “Women are worth more than men, and children are worth more than women. ” He tries to say that killing a man isn’t as bad as killing a woman or child. Well this is solely based on his opinion and you can’t build an argument on something that is not factual.
Society has made it seem that way but really the government will punish a woman for killing a man just as they would punish a man for murdering a woman or child. For the audience he is trying to persuade he really should think about using more factual evidence to be more believable. Philip states that calling a fetus human is very misleading and that “goo” is a more accurate term (p. 3). Where is his evidence showing that this is misleading? If he believes there is a more accurate term then he needs to site the source he got it from otherwise it isn’t factual nor believable.
He tries to say a mosquito is more alive than a fetus because it can fend for itself, feed itself, and procreate but a fetus cannot. Just because you can do certain things doesn’t make you more alive than something else. If this is true then he needs to show evidence because his audience is going to use common sense, a baby can’t fend for itself because it’s a baby which doesn’t make it anymore less alive. Mr. Brocoum makes a point that a fetus has the potential to grow into a human being but it’s just “potential” in which he emphasizes on.
According to Philip in his article he states, “Speaking of potential, think how much potential mosquitoes have. One billion years from now they could evolve into hyper-intelligent cosmic beings that rule the universe. Right at this moment we could be slaughtering the greatest race that could ever live. Doesn’t anybody feel bad about that? No, because it’s just potential! It’s not real! ”(p. 3) Well, there is a difference; a fetus is guaranteed to grow into a human being and a mosquito is not guaranteed to rule the universe. So by using the word “potential” his statement would be deemed untrue because it is guaranteed.
Philip doesn’t use much of a persuasive technique throughout his entire blog, he’s kind of everywhere with his choice of arguments. Most aren’t factual and he doesn’t have supporting evidence or sources that he got his information from. Mr. Brocoum also said a lot of things that were completely off topic and irrelevant. One of them being about sacrificing lives now in order to save lives later (p. 3). He states “Lots of women get an abortion and then later on in life have a child. If they hadn’t gotten an abortion that child would have never been born because it would have been the aborted child instead (p. 3-4). This is once again based on opinion and your beliefs. If he is trying to use ethos persuasive technique, he needs to have something that gives him the credibility to do so. Throughout the rest of his blog he goes on to state many more opinionated arguments such as “Having kids is not always a blessing (p. 4). ” Philip even refers to himself as being arrogant for telling women what is and is not alive inside of them which is contradicting his entire argument (p. 4). Although he does make one good point towards the end of his article when he says “We also have to ask ourselves what the punishment should be if abortions are made illegal (p. ). ” Murderers go to prison and if abortion is considered murder then shouldn’t the woman getting the abortion go to prison as well? This is a point well made along with how he closes his argument with the fact that it saves America a lot more money when someone aborts their child than raising it. After all of this being said, Philip Brocoum’s article Why Abortion Is Okay is one big contradictory argument. He barely uses facts, and he doesn’t site his sources to establish his credibility. Although this was a very interesting article to read it is very much not believable.

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