How can one deal with such bedrock disagreements? The first thing to see is that logic alone will not settle them. Starting from a certain conception of per- sons, it is possible to argue coherently for a pro-choice view on abortion; start- ing from another point of view, it is possible to argue coherently for a pro-life view on abortion. The next important thing to see is that it is possible to under- stand an opposing view—that is, get a genuine feeling for its inner workings— even if you disagree with it completely. Logical analysis might show that particular arguments are unsound or have unnoticed and unwanted implica- tions. This might force clarification and modification. But the most important service that logical analysis can perform is to lay bare the fundamental princi- ples that lie beneath surface disagreements. Analysis will sometimes show that these disagreements are fundamental and perhaps irreconcilable. Dealing with such irreconcilable differences in a humane way is one of the fundamental tasks of a society dedicated to freedom and a wide range of civil liberties.
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