Cherry-Picking the Hippocratic Oath

Cherry-picking refers to people’s practice of selecting information to justify their points of view, even as they ignore perspectives and data from the same or similar legitimate sources that contradict their positions.

For example, the Hippocratic Oath is sometimes quoted to justify a stance against abortion rights by the same people who are certain that faith in female divinity as expressed in this document is heretical. Indeed, this oath, from which anti-abortion advocates draw support, was created by people who worshiped goddesses. It states, “I swear by Apollo the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and judgment, the following oath and agreement.”

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