Where I Cram My Ideas

Friday, June 22, 2007

Rhetorical Analysis - Ultimate Words in the Abortion Dispute

When two sides are in direct dispute over a topic, their stance is often labeled appropriately: pro-war vs anti-war; pro-gay marriage vs anti-gay marriage. In only one contemporary debate is there a situation where one issue has two conflicting 'pro' sides. Abortion rights is the battle between 'pro-life' vs 'pro-choice.'

These terms are 'ultimate words,' according to Richard Weaver, one of the preeminent rhetorical ethicists of the century. 'Ultimate words' are used to direct our passions toward favoring one side or another; to shape the way we look at the subject.

Both sides of the abortion debate use loaded language, which doesn't help to move our passions in the way that a responsible rhetorician should.

Value-laden terminology
Weaver's discussion of 'ultimate words' distinguishes between 'god' terms and 'devil' terms. In America, there is a positive association with words like 'progress,' 'democracy,' 'freedom' and 'justice,' and a negative connotation with 'reactionary,' 'fascist' and 'militant.'

More pointedly, there is a positive association with words like 'life' and 'choice,' and a negative with 'killing babies' and 'forced pregnancy/childbirth.'

Weaver had a somewhat traditional view of rhetoric - 'addressing itself to the most important of all ends, the persuading of human beings to adopt right attitudes and act in response to them.' The sort of attitude generated by the particular use of 'ultimate words' by opposing parties in the abortion debate is not very helpful to understanding the arguments in regards to the issue.

Certainly nearly everybody is 'pro-life' in most circumstances. You won't find many people in the general public who are 'against' life... but that is the connotation implied when those opposed to abortion use the term. People are essentially told that 'if you value human life, you must side with us. If you side with them, you don't value human life.'

The other side does the same thing, through its choice of words. Nearly everybody is 'pro-choice' in most regards in this democracy, particularly, ironically enough, the Republicans who usually stand on the other side. Yet when the value-laden terminology of 'pro-choice' is used by the pro-abortion rights side, the public automatically gets the assumption that those who disagree with abortion rights aren't concerned with allowing people to make their own choices with regards to their bodies. Making independent choices is an important American value - a 'god' term in our culture.

Language is sermonic

Weaver is probably most famous for his claim that language is sermonic; that people engaging in rhetoric are preachers.
"Finally, we must never lose sight of the order of values as the ultimate sanction of rhetoric. No one can live a life of direction and purpose without some scheme of values. As rhetoric confronts us with choices involving values, the rhetorician is a preacher to us, noble if he tries to direct our passion to noble ends, and base if he uses our passion to confuse and degrade us."
The use of value-laden language to cast two opposing sides as noble is quite simply the oldest form of argument on earth. In this case, using 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice' amounts to a pathetic appeal - an argument from pathos. Pathos is the third of Aristotle's artistic proofs (Ethos: perceived character of the speaker, and Logos: logical syllogism, are the other two).

The passions are being stirred by using value-laden language that suggests 'We support life. They support killing babies.' Or 'We support the right to make our own choices. They think important life decisions should be forced down our throats.' This is not the same as trying to 'direct our passion to noble ends.'

Pathos, Phaedras, and the noble rhetorician
"The office of rhetoric is advising men," wrote Richard Weaver. In his analysis of Plato's Phaedras, he points out that the dialogue between Socrates and Phaedras was written to describe the difference between a noble and a base rhetorician.
"Sophistications of theory cannot obscure the truth that there are but three ways for language to affect us. It can move us toward what is good; it can move us toward what is evil; or, in a hypothetical third place, fail to move us at all."
The analogy Plato made was between a lover and a rhetorician. A lover can treat you in a dispassionate way - as an object or in a carefree manner, in a way that manipulates your emotions and uses you for his/her own benefit, or in a way that focuses on meeting your needs, on self-sacrifice and mutual trust. A speaker, likewise, can be dispassionate and boring, can manipulate your emotions to promote his/her own benefit, or - this is the 'noble lover,' or 'noble rhetorician,' can speak in a way that 'persuades human beings to adopt right attitudes and act in response to them.'

We have an obligation to use language responsibly. 'But any utterance is a major assumption of responsibility,' as Weaver concludes. Using loaded language will always have ramifications. Be careful.


Jane said...

Thank you for the invitation to your bog site G-man. You have a pretty intelligent repertoire here in this "locker room". And to think I expected smelly feet and ball scratching. Glad to be disappointed...

Anyway, after encountering ignorant fundies like you and I are apt to endure these days, I often reflect on the fact that I'm neither pro-life or pro-choice. How do you like them apples?

I'm pro-abortion. In fact, I think we need more abortion - even late term abortion - Really late term abortion. Actually, I favor post natal abortion at as long as 61 years post-gestation for people answering to the nickname of Dubya.

If you read Freakonomics you can see references to the studies that pretty clearly support the premise that the record drop in crime in the late 80's through 90's was correlated with abortion.

Let's face it, you and I both know there is nothing sacred about life. Many people are simply pests. Let their mothers exterminate them before society has to at far greater expense.

Is that a two-fer? - Sort of a reply to your abortion and utilitarian musings in one silly fell swoop!

G-man said...

Well I'm sure you noticed that this blog not only gives off a fresh, shiny new feeling and aroma, it is clearly a little attention-starved :)

It's young; it just needs time (and maybe shorter blog posts).

The first thing you may have noticed, as a matter of fact, is that I didn't directly deal with the issue of abortion in this entry.

We agree that life isn't sacred - at least, not in some super-natural, extraterrestrial way. In the sense that it's the only one we ever have, I suppose we could call it sacred :) Besides, I've never heard of any problem more serious than overpopulation stemming from treating life as if it's sacred...

Anyways, this response is long enough already without me going into my two-fold rationale behind my support of abortion rights.

I'm glad to pleasantly disappoint you, and to welcome you to the short list of Locker visitors :P

Anonymous said...


[b]Xrumer SEO Professionals

As Xrumer experts, we have been using [url=http://www.xrumer-seo.com]Xrumer[/url] for the benefit of a long time for the time being and remember how to harness the enormous power of Xrumer and go off it into a Cash machine.

We also yield the cheapest prices on the market. Many competitors devise charge 2x or square 3x and a end of the time 5x what we pervade you. But we feel in providing gigantic accommodation at a low affordable rate. The whole incidental of purchasing Xrumer blasts is because it is a cheaper variant to buying Xrumer. So we plan to stifle that contemplating in rebuke and provide you with the cheapest rate possible.

Not simply do we have the unexcelled prices but our turnaround heyday for the treatment of your Xrumer posting is super fast. We will secure your posting done to come you certain it.

We also provide you with a full log of loaded posts on different forums. So that you can notice over the extent of yourself the power of Xrumer and how we have harnessed it to emoluments your site.[/b]

[b]Search Engine Optimization

Using Xrumer you can trust to apprehend thousands upon thousands of backlinks in behalf of your site. Tons of the forums that your Location you intent be posted on have acute PageRank. Having your tie-in on these sites can truly serve strengthen up some top-grade rank help links and really boost your Alexa Rating and Google PageRank rating utterly the roof.

This is making your site more and more popular. And with this better in reputation as familiarly as PageRank you can keep in view to see your place absolutely superiority high-pitched in those Search Engine Results.

The amount of transportation that can be obtained by harnessing the power of Xrumer is enormous. You are publishing your locality to tens of thousands of forums. With our higher packages you may still be publishing your locality to HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of forums. Create 1 collection on a stylish forum will by rig out 1000 or so views, with announce ' 100 of those people visiting your site. Modern assume tens of thousands of posts on in demand forums all getting 1000 views each. Your traffic liking associate because of the roof.

These are all targeted visitors that are interested or bizarre far your site. Deem how many sales or leads you can achieve with this titanic loads of targeted visitors. You are line for line stumbling upon a goldmine ready to be picked and profited from.

Retain, Above is Money.



Anonymous said...

Takings Our Morose Prices at www.Pharmashack.com, The Esteemed [b][url=http://www.pharmashack.com]Online Apothecary's [/url][/b] To [url=http://www.pharmashack.com]Buy Viagra[/url] Online ! You Can also Espy Life-and-death Deals When You [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/cialis.html]Buy Cialis[/url] and When You You [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/levitra.html]Buy Levitra[/url] Online. We Also Shopping catalogue a Brilliant Generic [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/phentermine.html]Phentermine[/url] On account of Your Regimen ! We Vend Elephantine area docket [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/viagra.html]Viagra[/url] and Also [url=http://www.pharmashack.com/en/item/generic_viagra.html]Generic Viagra[/url] !

Anonymous said...

List latitude the hardbitten with two backs casinos? scrutinization this advanced [url=http://www.realcazinoz.com]casino[/url] lodestar and acquiesce to up online casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and more at www.realcazinoz.com .
you can also poke one's nose in with our blooming [url=http://freecasinogames2010.webs.com]casino[/url] orientate at http://freecasinogames2010.webs.com and chagrin verifiable away crazed !
another braggart [url=http://www.ttittancasino.com]casino spiele[/url] in the sector of is www.ttittancasino.com , for german gamblers, blurt old-fashioned in manumitted online casino bonus.

Anonymous said...

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

Anonymous said...

You have to express more your opinion to attract more readers, because just a video or plain text without any personal approach is not that valuable. But it is just form my point of view

Anonymous said...

You have got to see this. Obama playing on XBox. Funniest video ever. http://bit.ly/bllhx1

Anonymous said...

Someone deleted a variety of links from kewlfile and megaupload servers.

From now, we will use www.tinyurlalternative.com as our default [url=http://www.tinyurlalternative.com]url shortener[/url], so every url will be there and visible for everyone.

You can choose from many great [url=http://kfc.ms]short url[/url] names like:

kfc.ms easysharelink.info jumpme.info megauploadlink.info megavideolink.info mygamelink.info myrapidsharelink.info mytorrentlink.info myurlshortener.com mywarezlink.info urlredirect.info urlshrinker.info weblinkshortener.com youtubelink.info and many others.

They maintain above 60 different available domains and the [url=http://myurlshortener.com]url shortener[/url] service work properly for free without any registration needed.

So we assume it is good idea and suggest you to use [url=http://urlredirect.info]url redirect[/url] service too!

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

i actually adore your posting way, very exciting,
don't give up as well as keep creating as it simply just nicely to look through it,
looking forward to browse even more of your content articles, enjoy your day :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the great work!
Here is my page ... Fish Food

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but good
topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.

Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this information for my mission.
Feel free to visit my web-site mortgage help

Anonymous said...

Malaysia & Singapore & brunei ultimate on-line blogshop for wholesale
& supply korean accessories, accessories, earstuds, choker, rings, bracelet, bangle & hair add-ons.

Offer 35 % wholesale rebate. Ship Worldwide
Here is my website :: La Fiesta

Anonymous said...

top [url=http://finlandonlinecasino.com/]casinos online[/url] coincide the latest [url=http://www.casinolasvegass.com/]casino las vegas[/url] manumitted no set aside hand-out at the leading [url=http://www.baywatchcasino.com/]www.baywatchcasino.com

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.23planet.com]casino[/url], also known as stimulating casinos or Internet casinos, are online versions of commonplace ("buddy and mortar") casinos. Online casinos ok gamblers to dissemble and wager on casino games right down to the ground the Internet.
Online casinos habitually sailboat odds and payback percentages that are comparable to land-based casinos. Some online casinos avow on higher payback percentages in the business of deficiency automobile games, and some cut back wide known payout behalf audits on their websites. Assuming that the online casino is using an correctly programmed unexpected quantity a relate up generator, tableland games like blackjack clothed an established quell edge. The payout participation as a replacement pro these games are established nigh unto to the rules of the game.
Numerous online casinos privilege into the uncovered or incline their software from companies like Microgaming, Realtime Gaming, Playtech, Intercontinental Intrigue Technology and CryptoLogic Inc.

Anonymous said...

Pretty part of content. I just stumbled upon
your web site and in accession capital to claim that I
acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing on your augment or even I success you get entry to constantly fast.
Feel free to visit my web blog ... halloween Costume Ideas

Anonymous said...

interracial dating white men black women http://loveepicentre.com/advice.php singles canada indian dating

Anonymous said...

I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!
Also visit my webpage ; blackjack online for real money

Anonymous said...

I visited multiple websites but the audio quality for audio songs present at this web site is genuinely excellent.
Here is my web page ... online slots money

Anonymous said...

Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to grasp so much about this, such
as you wrote the book in it or something. I feel that you
just could do with some p.c. to power the message home a little
bit, however instead of that, this is magnificent blog.

A great read. I will certainly be back.
Here is my blog ... forex trading systems

Anonymous said...

First of all I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question that I'd like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints? Appreciate it!
Also visit my webpage - Full Statement

Anonymous said...

We absolutely love your blog and find many of your post's to be just what I'm looking for.
can you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs?
I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome website!
Here is my web page ; play online

Anonymous said...

http://site.ru - [url=http://site.ru]site[/url] site

Anonymous said...

If you desire to get a great deal from this
post then you have to apply such methods to your won blog.
Check out my site Ways to Become a Millionaire

Anonymous said...

Admiring the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you offer.
It's good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the
same old rehashed material. Great read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm
adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.
Also visit my weblog - search engine optimisation

Anonymous said...

I do not even know how I stopped up right here, but I
thought this post used to be good. I do not realize who you might be however certainly you are going to a famous blogger in case you are not already.
Look at my web blog ; search engine optimization india

Anonymous said...

I'd like to find out more? I'd care to find out more details.
Here is my page shopping 2.0

Anonymous said...

Actually when someone doesn't understand afterward its up to other viewers that they will assist, so here it occurs.
Here is my web-site : http://fanskpop.com

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
Plz respond as I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. many thanks
Also visit my web-site : legit ways to make money on the internet

Anonymous said...

I've been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website. Studying this info So i am satisfied to exhibit that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I so much indisputably will make sure to do not omit this web site and provides it a look regularly.
My weblog - play slots online for money

Anonymous said...

I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

My blog post; roulette real money

Anonymous said...

taschen ebook download http://audiobooksworld.co.uk/es/Heikki-Kaaranen/m48934/ eclipse ebook ebook spokane arbitron pappapc ebook torrent

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's what I was seeking for, what a data! present here at this blog, thanks admin of this website.

Also visit my page apparelcycle.com

Anonymous said...

For latest news you have to pay a quick visit the web and on world-wide-web I found this website as a most excellent web
page for newest updates.

My website; start your own home business

Anonymous said...

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm
not writing all that over again. Regardless,
just wanted to say superb blog!

Also visit my page ... page seo

Anonymous said...

Currently it seems like BlogEngine is the top blogging platform out there right
now. (from what I've read) Is that what you're using on your blog?

Feel free to visit my web-site: stop smoking tips

Anonymous said...

Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to say that I acquire in
fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be
subscribing on your feeds and even I success you get admission to persistently fast.

Also visit my blog; legitimate ways to make money on the internet

Anonymous said...

Terrific article! This is the type of info that are supposed to be
shared across the web. Shame on Google for no longer positioning this put up upper!
Come on over and seek advice from my web site .
Thanks =)

Here is my web blog: memobilia.com

Anonymous said...

A huge dick in my pussy,the warm wet tounge
up our arse and cum as well as pussy juice all over me. Fuck, ozzy

My blog post; hcg injections

Anonymous said...

sac louis vuitton [url=http://www.lvsacnew.fr]louis vuitton pas cher homme[/url] kzbolf louis vuitton officielle [url=http://www.cuirlv2013.fr]louis vuitton[/url] xajmng

Anonymous said...

Hello theгe! Thiѕ is my 1st cοmment here sο Ӏ ϳust wanted to give a quicκ ѕhοut out anԁ
tell you I really enjoy readіng your
posts. Can you suggest any other blοgs/websіtes/fοгumѕ that deal ωith
the sаme ѕubjects? Mаny thanks!

Here is my webρage ... hcg diet blog

Anonymous said...

Of course this was achievable on certain types of food on paleo diet list and why this diet
just may save your life. The paleo diet is not a starvation diet well many are surprised as there was large supply of foods at the time of Dr.

Review my site - the paleo diet for athletes

Anonymous said...

What's up Dear, are you in fact visiting this site on a regular basis, if so afterward you will definitely obtain nice experience.

Take a look at my page: the hcg diet
my site: where to buy hcg

Anonymous said...

Liver Body Cleanse Drinksification flushes the toxins
and harmful impurities from your body by means
of negative ion osmosis through pores of our feet. Except the alcohol
part. For example, if you suffer from occasional, unexplainable bouts of constipation or

my web-site good way to detox your body

Anonymous said...

I visited many web pages but the audio quality for
audio songs existing at this web page is genuinely fabulous.

Take a look at my web blog: Http://Mail-Smart.Com/?P=25

Anonymous said...

But some of People who don't know how to create super effective search engine results page power pages. 16 Alum Creek Oct.

my weblog - search engines seo

Anonymous said...

Greate article. Keep writing such kind of info on your
page. Im really impressed by your site.
Hi there, You've performed a fantastic job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they'll be benefited from this site.

my homepage :: Www.facebookiya.com

Anonymous said...

If some one wants expert view concerning blogging and site-building afterward i advise him/her to pay a quick visit
this webpage, Keep up the nice work.

Review my web-site ... home-page

Anonymous said...

Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up.

The words in your content seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.
I'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I'd post to let
you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem solved
soon. Many thanks

Also visit my web blog Http://Sexygirlchat.Net/

Anonymous said...

You should take part in a contest for one of the finest blogs online.
I'm going to highly recommend this blog!

my web blog staclassof78.com