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Notes for week three

by: Delaney Wilson

Notes for week three PHIL 230E

Delaney Wilson

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Hey, so class was on labor day and was canceled last Wednesday as well, so we're picking up on the section of part two entitled 'birth'.
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Delaney Wilson on Monday September 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 230E at Old Dominion University taught by ALEXANDER J KOUTSARES in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS in Humanities and Social Sciences at Old Dominion University.

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Date Created: 09/12/16
Ethics week three (classes were canceled last week) Birth Amartya Sen discovered that there are a 100,000,000 ‘missing’ women in the world This number represents the discrepancy between the number of women that ought to be alive (based on birth rates male/female, and expected childhood mortality rates). Why are there fewer women than we would expect? - Gender selective abortion is one factor but is much smaller than expected. - For social reasons, families invest more heavily in male children (Education, healthcare, etc.) - Additionally, there is some, but not a lot, evidence of infanticide. - In the modern world infanticide isn’t an issue, but historically this has been actually a bigger topic than abortion. - Spartans practiced infanticide Abortion On the topic of Abortion, what are stereotypically the two sides of the debate? - pro-choice: Supports the woman’s/mother’s right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term. The basic argument: the woman incurs many expenses, many costs (Physical, economic, emotional, psychological) from a pregnancy, AND she has a right to personal liberty to control her own body and what happens to it. - pro-life: Supports protecting the right of the child to live. There may still be some limitations on this----- the child’s right to life may not trump the mother’s right to life. - One aspect of this debate hinges on what we consider to be (either) a human or a person. So often times, religion takes a strong stance because of its conception of personhood. Stereotypically, both of these views are ‘rights based’ approaches to the topic. Blackburn argues that rights based ethical debate isn’t necessarily the most effective way of working through ethical issues. Blackburn proposes an alternative model, what he calls “gradualism.” His idea of gradualism is based on an appeal to sympathy. - Imagine, for an instance, that you agree with the pro-life aspect of abortion. Then you encounter a young woman is no older than 14 and is pregnant. She had no idea what would happen and she comes from a very conservative family so having a child will probably ruin her life. She considers having an abortion, can you sympathize? YES. - Now, imagine you are pro-choice. You meet a woman in her early 30’s, she is married and is well off and becomes pregnant, and the child will be well taken care of. She gets pregnant sooner than she thought and wants to get an abortion because she wants to go on a trip with her friends to Paris. Is it right? Do you sympathize? NO. - There are always flip sides - You can encounter extreme examples and sometimes you are able to make an exception. What you should do can change based on situation. - Blackburn doesn’t argue that gradualism isn’t the best model to use: instead he offers it up as an alternative to rights based models, we still have to use our judgement in some cases. - Consider the speed limit (represents interest in safety) - Potential… - Who has more? A two year old dog or a fetus? - A fetus, because it can become a person and grow intellectually whereas a dog has all the intelligence it is capable of having.


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