Abortion and Dawkins’ fallacious account of the so-called ‘Great Beethoven Fallacy’

Hugh V. McLachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In his discussion of ethics and abortion, Prof. Richard Dawkins makes the provocative claim that: ‘The Great Beethoven Fallacy is a typical example of the kind of logical mess we get into when our minds are befuddled by religiously inspired absolutism.’ (Dawkins, p. 339) This supposed fallacy is presented as if it exemplified not only a particular view of abortion held, for instance, by certain fundamentalist Christians but as if it revealed some flaw that is characteristic of the thinking of theists. I shall examine his claim.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-54
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Reproduction and Genetic Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • medical ethics
  • abortion
  • religion and ethics


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