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Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice
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Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Defending Life is the most comprehensive defense of the prolife position on abortion ever published. It is sophisticated, but still accessible to the ordinary citizen. Without high-pitched rhetoric or appeals to religion, the author offers a careful and respectful case for why the prolife view of human life is correct. He responds to the strongest prochoice arguments found ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published August 13th 2007 by Cambridge University Press
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Aug 05, 2011 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We live in an age of paradox. On the one hand, scientific concepts are confidently and systematically understood, and our control of the physical world continues to expand through our employ of thorough, rigorous scientific method. On the other hand, the poverty of moral discourse is such that, in the words of J. Budziszewski, "it a great smoke which fills our houses and dulls our minds and makes it difficult to complete any thoughts." Trying to discuss moral issues such as abortion in ...more
Willie Pate
Dec 22, 2015 Willie Pate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Defending Life is both detailed and readable, a work which brings the most updated and honest presentation of both sides to light. With elegance and philosophical skill Beckwith builds a case for full-fledged rights bearing, intrinsically valuable nature of the pre-natal life. By the end of the book it is impossible to see the fetus as anything but fully human, and it's death as anything but moral inhumane and impermissible. The culture of American reproductive discussion needs to hear this trea ...more
Nov 06, 2009 Gerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book summarizes all the most and best arguments against abortion choice. It can be a good book to bring to an abortion/ESCR/cloning debate since the section headings are a good guide. Although, the headings could have been outlined in the table of contents for quick reference.

This book does outline the non-religious grounds against abortion choice, but I still feel that the argument ultimately depends on the axiom that all humans (where a human if and only if a person) have inherent worth.
Nov 25, 2012 Estelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
A comprehensive guide in defense of the pro-life position on philosopical and ethical grounds. Beckwith debunks common arguments for abortion, showing the self-contradiction of moral relevance; exposing the folly of popular emotional appeals; and challenging ethicists proposing that not all human life is equal.
Beckwith grounds his defense in the belief that the unborn is a person fully deserving of rights at conception; therefore, murder of such a person is prima facie first degree murder and l
Jun 26, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: moral-philosophy
I gave this book four stars because it is one of the most comprehensive defenses of the conservative pro-life stance out there. But, Beckwith's arguments for the full moral standing of the fetus depends on his "substantive" view of the metaphysics of the person. That view is open to criticism, and thus how well he defends the conclusion that the fetus has full moral standing from conception is, I think, not all that strong. Nevertheless, it is worth a read by anyone interested in what is without ...more
Mar 29, 2016 Sierra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely helped strengthen my views on abortion by explaining very deep topics. The author does not use anything about religion to argue his case,he instead uses views about morality to put emphasis on things, he also persuades readers in a very effective way by speaking his mind without having the common offensive vibe that other authors tend to have when writing about strong views.
Jan 27, 2009 Katie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Dry, condescending smirking tone, too tied up in the legal details, some distracting typos...I'm having trouble getting through this one right now. I guess I don't see how his arguments will convince anyone who doesn't already agree with him.
Nov 15, 2011 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best pro-life book available. Beckwith’s arguments are hard-hitting from start to finish.
Ruth Ann
" is better to suffer evil rather than to inflict it." --Peter Kreeft, The Unaborted Socrates, p. 40
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Francis J. Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies at Baylor University, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Philosophy and Co-Director of the Program on Philosophical Studies of Religion in Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR). With his appointment in the Department of Philosophy, he also teaches courses in the Departments of Po ...more
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“If morality is reducible to culture, then there can be no real moral progress. For the only way one can say that a culture is getting better, or progressing, is if there are objective moral norms that are not dependent on culture to which a society may draw closer.” 3 likes
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