Unspeakable Conversations Summary

When we think about disability, we often think about it in terms of what we can’t do. We think about all the things that we can’t do because we’re in a wheelchair, or because we have a certain condition. But what if we thought about disability in terms of what we can do?

Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, and it’s something that everyone can learn. When you learn how to use rhetoric effectively, you can change the way people think about disability. You can help them see it as something that doesn’t limit us, but something that actually enhances our abilities.

Wheelchair users are often seen as limited because they can’t walk. But wheelchairs give us the freedom to move around independently. They allow us to go places that we wouldn’t be able to go without them.

So the next time you see someone in a wheelchair, don’t think of all the things they can’t do. Think of all the things they can do because of their wheelchair. Because when we see disability in terms of what it allows us to do, it changes everything.

Is it now acceptable to exterminate an unborn disabled kid in today’s society? Selective infanticide is a highly divisive issue that has been disputed by many individuals over the years. In her essay “Unspeakable Conversations,” disabilities rights advocate and attorney Harriet McBryde Johnson expresses her perspective on this topic. She portrays herself as the narrator of this narrative, which she tells as a story. It covers her progress as she battles with Peter Singer, a Princeton University professor, who is opposed to euthanasia for severely disabled children. has an opposing perspective regarding the killing of unborn disabled children.

The thought of selective infanticide, or the killing of a disabled child, is very difficult for most people to wrap their head around. It seems inhumane and heartless. However, there are some who believe that it may be the best thing for both the child and the parents. In Johnson’s article “Unspeakable Conversations”, she talks about meeting with Peter Singer face-to-face to discuss this issue. Singer believes that it is morally wrong to bring a disabled child into the world when they will only suffer. He believes that it would be better for both the child and the parents if the child was never born.

Johnson strongly disagrees with Singer’s views. She is a disability rights activist and she believes that all human lives have value, no matter how disabled they may be. Johnson has Spinal Muscular Dystrophy (SMA), a progressive muscle weakening disease. Even though she is severely disabled, she leads a happy and fulfilling life. She does not believe that her life is any less valuable than someone without a disability.

In the article, Johnson argues that Singer’s views are based on ableism, which is discrimination against people with disabilities. She believes that his views are harmful to society as they perpetuate the idea that disabled people are burdensome and not worth saving. This can lead to dangerous consequences, such as parents aborting their child when they find out that they will be disabled.

Johnson’s article “Unspeakable Conversations” is a powerful piece that challenges ableist views of disability. She argues that all human lives have value, regardless of disability. This is an important message that needs to be heard in today’s society.

With this in mind, McBryde Johnson employs the methods of a Rogerian argument and rhetorical devices such as ethos and pathos to express her point of view. “The goal of a Rogerian argument is to work towards common ground rather than polarizing discussion.”

Johnson uses ethos by providing her credentials as a professor of English and Creative Writing, as well as a person with a disability, which allows her to have authority on the subject. She also uses pathos by sharing an emotional story about when she was first starting to use a wheelchair and how it made her feel.

The purpose of using these strategies is to make the reader feel sympathetic towards Johnson and her position. By doing so, Johnson is more likely to convince the reader that her side is the correct one.

Johnson’s Unspeakable Conversations is an effective way of showing the audience that rhetoric can be used in order to make positive change in the world.

What do you think? Was McBryde Johnson successful in using rhetoric to make her case? Do you think her approach was effective? Why or why not?

I think McBryde Johnson was successful in using rhetoric to make her case. I think her approach was effective because it allowed her to share her story in a respectful and convincing manner. I also think that by using the strategies of Rogerian argument and the rhetorical elements of ethos and pathos, she was able to connect with the reader on an emotional level. This made her more relatable and trustworthy, which ultimately helped to make her case more effectively.

It emphasizes a “You win, and I also win” solution, where negotiation and mutual respect are appreciated (Winthrop). It’s been observed that while McBryde Johnson’s view differs from that of Singers,’ she shows compassion for his believes. This is demonstrated through her desire to despise her opponent by disagreeing with his ideas. The audience may see a shift in her regard for his opinions as their professional connection evolves.

Mc Bryde Johnson argues that there should be a limit to the “right to die” (Winthrop). Even though some individuals with disabilities are not able to experience a “good life”, they should have the right to live. To support this claim, McBryde Johnson uses an example of one of her friends who had been in a wheelchair for years and was not able to move.

He eventually died because he refused medical attention and food. The reason why he wanted to die was because he felt like he was a burden to everyone around him and that his life was not worth living. However, McBryde Johnson argues that even though her friend’s life may not have been the best, he still had the right to live.

Singers response to McBryde Johnson’s argument is that she is being “sentimental” (Winthrop). He believes that people with disabilities are not living, they are merely existing. In his view, it would be better off if they were to die because they are not able to experience a good life. To support this claim, Singer uses the example of a child who is born with a disability and will never be able to lead a normal life. In his opinion, it would be better for that child to die rather than suffer for their entire life.

Although McBryde Johnson and Singer have different views on the “right to die”, they are both respectful of each other’s opinions. This is shown throughout the article as they continue to have conversations about the topic. They are able to see where the other is coming from and why they believe what they do. In the end, both parties are able to understand each other’s views and respect them.

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