Continuation of chapter 2 notes (Abortion and more)
Continuation of chapter 2 notes (Abortion and more) PHI2600
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Midhu Robin on Saturday February 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHI2600 at Florida International University taught by Noel Alphonse in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see INTRO TO PHILOSOPHY in PHIL-Philosophy at Florida International University.
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Date Created: 02/13/16
CONTINUATION…. Normative Ethics II Abortion (Key Terms) Abortion- The unnatural extermination of a pregnancy. Spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) –An abortion due to natural causes such as a birth defect or maternal injury. Therapeutic abortion- Abortion performed to preserve the life or health of the mother. Viability- The development stage at which the fetus can survive outside the uterus. Abortion: The moral question Arguments that DO NOT depend on the moral status of the fetus. A) Bad consequences that may result from a continued pregnancy. B) The loss of happiness and future contributions of the aborted. The issue of whether the fetus is a human being its not among the issues to consider. Example: Marquis makes a very strong claim: “Abortion is, except possibly in rare cases, seriously immoral.. It is in the same moral category as killing an innocent adult human being.” *** Page 361- 371 (The Ethical Life)*** Stands on abortion: Marquis Abortion is wrong because most fetuses have a future like ours. (Pro- Life) Abortion could be justified if the loss of failing to abort is just as great. Premise 1: A person has a right to life. Premise 2: A person has a right to control what happens to her body. Premise 3: In a case in which a woman wants an abortion, one of the above rights will be violated. Premise 4: If morality requires that we violate whichever is the least important right, then we violate the least important right. Premise 5: The right to live always “OUTWEIGHS” the right to control one’s body. Conclusion: Therefore, abortion is wrong. Marquis’s Argument: 1 It is seriously prima facie (first glance) wrong to deprive of being of a future like ours. 2 In most instances, abortion deprives a fetus of future like ours. 3 Therefore, in most instances, abortion is seriously prima facie wrong. Support for #1) This is the best explanation of why it is wrong to kill healthy adult humans. Lets suppose the fetus is a person… A possible argument: Premise 1: A person has a right to life. Premise 2: A person has a right to control what happens to her body. Premise 3: In a case in which a woman wants an abortion, one of the above rights will be violated no matter what, either the woman right to control her body or the fetus right to life. Premise 4: If someone’s right will be violated either way, morality requires that we should violate whichever is the least important right. Premise 5: The right to life always outweighs the right to control one’s body. (*Subjective*) Conclusion: Abortion is wrong. Thomson’s Argument: Thomson: Abortion is morally permissible in most cases. (Pro-Choice). Againist 2 - The case of the violinist - Given the bare minimum one needs for continued life. - The right to life is “The right not to be killed unjustly.” - Therefore, unless a woman grants the fetus the right to the use of her body, it is not unjust to kill the fetus. Thomson’s Argument 1. Abortion: Thomson 2. Even if the unborn is a person at conception, abortion may still be morally justified. 3. The “famous violinist” thought experiment. 4. The unborn right to life is not absolute. The most common argument for the impermissibility of abortion: The main argument strategy for the impermissibility of abortion. 1) A fetus is a person. 2) Every person has a right to life. 3) A fetus has a right to life. 4) A woman has a right to decide what happens in and to her body. 5) The fetus right to life trumps the mothers right to decide what happens in and to her body. 6) Abortion is impermissible. (Morally wrong) (Argument that Thomson does not support) Before Thomson The standard conservative argument 1) The fetus is a person starting at conception. 2) Every person has a right to life. 3) THEREFORE, a fetus has a right to life. 4) A mothers has a right to control her own body. 5) The fetus’s right to life outweighs the mothers right to control her own body. 6) THEREFORE, the fetus may not be killed, abortion is wrong. Thomson’s Novel Approach: The standard conservative argument 1) The fetus is a person starting at conception. 2) Every person has a right to life. THEREFORE 3) A fetus has a right to life. 4) A mothers has a right to control her own body. 5) The fetus’s right to life out weights the mother’s right to control her own body. THEREFORE 6) The fetus may not be killed, abortion is wrong. Violinist Analogy (Pg. 103) You may disconnect yourself, so the violinist dies (even though he is a person with a right to life.) So, right to life of fetus does not necessarily stop abortion from being permissible. Violinist has a right to life, but not a right to use your body. The right to life doesn’t equal the right to everything you need to sustain your life. Fetus has a right to life, but not necessarily a right to use pregnant woman’s body. Two points that Thomson makes: Point is simple: The right to life does not the right to everything you need to sustain your life. She has a person with a right to life. Her right to life doesn’t give her a right to that! Issue is what the right to life encompasses, not whose rights have the greatest weight. Thomson says the weighing talk is misleading. The violinist analogy isn’t the whole argument, that’s why there is more analogies. Cases: Pregnancy due to rape (Violinist analogy) Conservatives disagree about pregnancy in cases of rape. How can it be justified, if the fetus is an innocent person with a right to life? Woman raped, did noting to make fetus dependent on her for life. You were kidnapped, did nothing to make violinist dependent on you for life. Pregnancy when woman’s life threatened a) Self-abortion b) Third-party abortion (Doctor performs) Pregnancy due to failed contraception Pregnancy due to no contraception a) Careless b) Deliberate pregnancy, changed mind
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