Embryonic Research: A Battle Of Fallacies

1384 words - 6 pages

Many women are eager to become a mother, but infertility prevents some women from satisfying this need. To counter this widespread problem, we develop reproductive choices. One of the most important choices is in vitro fertilization. Even though this method significantly increases pregnancy rate in infertile women, it comes with the problem. Underlying in vitro fertilization is research on living human embryos. We need to research on countless living embryos in order to develop clinical in vitro fertilization. This stirs public attention on its morality. Society asks: Are we killing thousands of human life while we are developing method to give birth to other ones? This question is crucial because it is asking very foundation of our morality. We need to find the answer which can be proved thoroughly relevant, or otherwise, we are undermining our moral standard itself. To resolve this ethical dilemma, we turn our expectation to bioethicists because we need reliable thought, concrete argument, and plausible solution, and they seem to be only kind of people we can rely on. With our expectation, we tend to trust them. But the reality is opposite. The arguments from bioethicists may not be reliable as promised. We have to be conscious and cautious when we are considering their arguments. After contemplating two essays from both sides of the argument, “The Meaning of Life –In Laboratory” by Leon Kass and “Progeny, Progress, and Primrose Paths” by Samuel Gorovitz, we see the dialogues arguing on this moral issue contain amount of weak arguments and even logical fallacies.
We may focus first on the arguments against embryonic research. Among prominent opponents of embryonic research is Leon Kass, who wrote “The Meaning of Life –In Laboratory”. In his essay, Kass takes a standing ground against research that uses living in vitro human embryos, by arguing that the research practices undermine “the respect due to the embryos” (104). He emphasizes the important of embryos’ life and right to develop to be a mature human.
First logical fallacy found in Kass’s essay is inappropriate generalization with the lacking of evidence. Kass supports his statement that life begins at fertilization by asserting, “Any honest biologist must be impressed by these facts, and must be inclined, at least on first glance, to the view that a human life begins at fertilization” (101). In this sentence, he claims that any honest biologist must agree with him. There is no evidence, or at least, reason provided to support this claim.
Apart from inappropriate generalization, Kass also frames his readers’ perspective by using several accusatory words and erroneous analogy to portray embryonic research in devilish way. He describes embryonic research as “destruction of fetal life” (103), “destruction of blastocyst” (104), and “manipulative experiments involving such embryos” (104). Moreover, Kass analogizes the research method with cannibalism. He writes, “We would, I suppose,...

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