Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

4: "Question-Begging" Arguments & "Everyday" Arguments

  • Page ID
    35871
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    Now we’ll discuss some often-given arguments about abortion that, unfortunately, we will see are rather poor. We need to engage these arguments first, however, so we are in a better position to productively engage arguments that are at the real core of the issues.

    • 4.1: “Question-Begging” Arguments
      Many common arguments about abortion are what’s called “question-begging,” which means the reason given for the conclusion assumes that conclusion. This means that you wouldn’t accept the reason as a good reason to believe the conclusion unless you already believed that conclusion. This is circular reasoning, and so arguments like this are always bad.
    • 4.2: “Everyday” Arguments
      Now we will discuss some other common arguments that you might often hear or read about that are also poor, but often not because they are question-begging. We’ll begin with some arguments against abortion.


    4: "Question-Begging" Arguments & "Everyday" Arguments is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.