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Issues of Life and Death

by: Peggie O'Connell III

Issues of Life and Death PHIL 1740

Marketplace > University of Virginia > PHIL-Philosophy > PHIL 1740 > Issues of Life and Death
Peggie O'Connell III
GPA 3.63

Rebecca Stangl

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Rebecca Stangl
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This 17 page Class Notes was uploaded by Peggie O'Connell III on Monday September 21, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 1740 at University of Virginia taught by Rebecca Stangl in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 98 views. For similar materials see /class/209789/phil-1740-university-of-virginia in PHIL-Philosophy at University of Virginia.

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Date Created: 09/21/15
Philosophy of Life and Death 124 Cultural Relativism Best way to read philosophy is to start at the conclusion and find out what is attempted to be defended First line of philosophy paper llI m going to defend thatquot Two Kinds of Threats to Ethics 0 Threats of Deflection o Aim to transform ethical problems into problems about I Law 0 Problem just because something is legal does not make it permissible I Custom I Religious practice 0 Threats of Deflation o Aim to show that ethical thought isn t as needed as we think these weren t problems to begin with I Radical forms of particularism every situation is different and you can t say anything general about them llYou just need to do the loving thingquot I Fatalism I Cultural Relativism An argument for Relativism o The llcultural differences argument 0 1 Different cultures have different moral codes I Appeal to famous examples I Ex Polygamy I A lot of moral beliefs are contingent to the historical situation that we find ourselves in by chance 0 2 Therefore there are no objective universal culturally independent facts or considerations which determine the truth or falsehood of different moral claims Evaluating the Cultural Differences Argument 0 Rethinking first premise o More importantly 0 As stated it is invalid o The premises imply the conclusion 0 Validity is different than truth What s missing The claim that there is no rational explanation of our differences and no principled way 0 to resolve them Is it true our differences are rationally irresolvable The fact of an argument does not depend on the content Argument Against Relativism o It has implausible consequences 0 Can t be justify criticizing other societies 0 Can t justify criticizing aspects of our own society 0 There is no such thing as cultural progress or degeneration Philosophy of Life and Death 126 Lucretius Symmetry Argument Claims 1 We did not experience either good or bad things before we were born since we did not exist Likewise after we die we will not suffer food or ill because we will not exist It will not bother us But the time after our death I simply a mirror image of the time before our birth To be consistent therefore it should not bother us that we will not exist after we die There we should not fear death P P PF E J 127 Discussion Cultural Differences argument Culture group that follows certain rules and share patterns May be different levels of moral standards There may be an overall base however more specific things may vary 131 First assignment due 2912 located under resources tab Explain argument in Thompson s article 2 PAGES What arguments does she give me for that claim What examples matter and what should be included Nagel why and How Death is Bad 0 Not all evils are states that must be experienced 0 Some evils are not experienced states I Posthumous betrayal brain injury 0 Some evils are not states at all I Brain injury 0 Some evils are inherently comparative rational evils I The fact that he is in the state of a 3month old baby rather the state he could have been adult 0 Likewise Death 0 Death is evil bc it causes us to have fewer goods of life than we otherwise would have had 0 Nagel calls this the lldeprivation accountquot 0 An answer to Lucretius symmetry argument 0 Death is a deprivation life is not 0 Some implications of Nagel s account 0 It matters when we die and matters how our life is going when we die I If we die young we miss out on more Questions for Nagel o Exactly how is it that an event beyond the temporal boundaries of my life can harm me 0 Do we really find ourselves the subjects of lives with an indeterminate and not essentially limited future Williams on the Evil of death 0 Categorical Desires and Death Philosophy of Life and Death 0 Categorical desire a desire for something that requires my existences to be fulfilled but not my desire to exist 0 Should we embrace the ideal of immortality then 0 quotI believe that our generation is the first to be able to map a possible route to individual immortality I William Haseltine CEO of Human Genome Sciences 0 He believes that death is usually bad but immortality is not better 0 Once we don t care about anything else but being alive then there is no reason to be alive 0 He doesn t believe you can sustain categorical desires for eternity AND be yourself Williams Argument against the Meaningfulness of Immortality 1 Suppose you were immortal 2 Either your character would remain constant or it would not 3 If it remained constant immortality would become intolerable 1 Endless repetition and endless boredom Cf Julian Barnes llThe Dream 2 Or endlessly varied experiences and withdrawal and loneliness i Cf Elina 3 Either way life is not worth living 22 All the things that wouldn t be boring or wouldn t be intolerable would eventually give out At the end of the list you would still have eternity Another option would be that you would change as a person as you live on 0 Therefore your reaction to things would change over time o William s says that it wouldn t really be eternity because you would become somebody else Roe v Wade 0 Laws outlawing abortion are unconstitutional o In the first trimester o In the second trimester we can have laws regulating it in the health of the mother o In the 3rd trimester it can be outlawed but there must be in the exception of the health of the mother Doc v Bolton 0 Health pertains to physical emotional mental Penn v Casey o Upheld the main decision in Roe v Wade 0 The trimester decision however gets thrown out the window 0 You can regulate abortion but you cannot do so in a way that puts an undue burden on women who are seeking them 2 7 12 Abortion Fetal Status 0 John Noonan s Restrictive View 0 Fundamental Question I How do you determine the humanity of being 0 Noonan s Answer I If you are conceived by a human and thus you have a right to life 0 Negative Argument Philosophy of Life and Death 0 Argues that any other proposed criteria are arbitrary I Viability I Experience I Sentiments of adults I Sensation by parents I Social Visibility 0 Conception therefore is the only nonarbitrary cutoff point 0 PositiveConsiderations 0 Probability considerations I Once you have conception the chance we all agree that something has the right to life is M 0 Presence of genetic code I Relevant to whether we are all human beings 0 Questions for Noonan o Are vague cutoffs always bad 0 Isn t probability arbitrary as well 0 Warren s Critique I Genetic v moral senses of quothumanityquot I The fallacy of equivocation 0 Equivocation is the same word with different meanings o Humanity has two meanings Purely biological sense and the moral sense of it o llHuman has a right to lifequot is only true in the second sense Mary Anne Warren s Argument for the Permissive View Only person s have full moral rights of which the right to life is one 2 The primary criteria of personhood are the following five 0 Consciousness and in particular the ability to feel pain 0 Reasoning 0 Selfmotivated activity 0 The capacity to communicate o The presence of selfconcepts and selfawareness Any being which satisfies none of these criteria is certainly not a person A fetus satisfies none of these criteria Therefore a fetus is certainly not a person Therefore a fetus lacks a right to life Therefore it is permissible to kill the fetus 8 Thus abortion is morally permissible Questions for Warren o Is premise four true 0 Fetal Pain etc o Worries about premise two 0 What is it to quotpossessquot a trait o By her criteria who else is not a person 0 What positive reason t we have to accept it Potentiality Argument 1 Adults possess a certain property eg selfconsciousness etc that endows them with a right to life 93wa Philosophy of Life and Death 2 The same property endows any organism possessing it with the right to life 3 The potential possession of this property entails the actual possession of the right lleven now 4 Embryos have the potential to develop the same property eg selfconsciousness etc that adults now possess and which gives them a right to life 5 Therefore embryos possess the right to life lleven now Problems with the Potentiality Argument 0 Logical worries o Is an acorn an oak o What else has the llpotentia Marquis on Abortion 0 Standard prolife and prochoice arguments seem to have problems 0 Prolife principles concerning fetal status are too broad o Prochoice principles concerning fetal status are too narrow o Marquis s Question 0 Why is it wrong to kill an adult human being like us 0 Marquis s Argument o It is prima facie wrong to kill a being if in killing it we deprive it ofa future like ours of great value 0 A fetus is a being with a future like ours of great value 0 Abortion deprives a fetus of this future by killing it 0 Therefore abortion is prima facie wrong 0 Marquis Defends premise one because it explains 0 Why death is evil and to be avoided 0 Why it might be wrong to kill beings other than humans 0 Why it is wrong to kill children those in comas etc unlike standard prochoice views 0 Why active euthanasia is permissible in some cases unlike standard prolife views In to become a person 2 14 12 Sumner s Moderate View 0 Proposal sentience as a criterion of moral standing 0 Permissive policy for early abortions o Restrictive policy for late abortions 0 Consideration in favor o ntuitively Appealing 0 Problems 0 Logical problems 0 Arbitrariness llanything but the moment of conception is arbitraryquot Abortion Con icting Right and Interests 0 Judith Jarvis Thompson s Strategy 0 Points out a restrictive assumption I Fetal personhood immortality of abortion o Is the assumption true I Thompson NO Thompson s Argument Suppose you wake up one day attached to a famous violinist who will die unless he is allowed to share your kidneys for nine months and you are the only one who can save him 2 In such a case you are not required to save the violinist nor can we pass any law forcing you to do so Philosophy of Life and Death 3 Being pregnant is analogous to being attached to the violinist Questions for Thompson 0 Are the cases really analogous o The issue of consent 0 Special filial obligations 0 Responsibility for the need in the question 0 Withholding aid vs killing 0 You do not get a chance to kill him if he survives after being attached 0 Obligations and voluntariness 2117112 Discussion We do not have a responsibility to someone as unless we explicitly and implicitly assume it 2 21 12 Reproductive Cloning 0 Possible Motivations o Selfperpetuation narcissism o Replacing dead children 0 nfertile couples averse to donor material 0 Couples with recessive genes for terminal diseases 0 Organ donation etc 0 Ethical Issues 0 Human costs I There would be a lack of genetic diversity 0 Will the clone have its own identity I Will it be like another of the same person 0 Longterm effects 0 Relation of parent to child Therapeutic Cloning Stem Cell Research 0 Motivations o Stemcells for research on various diseases 0 Donor organs 0 Ethical issues of Therapeutic Cloning 0 Fetal personhood again 0 A possible solution President s council suggestion I They could be offered some moral status but not the same as a person 0 Ethical Issues of llAlready there Embryos o Leftover IVF embryos I In vitro fertilization 0 Existing stemcell lines 2 23 12 Setting the Scene 0 Who is Harriet McBryde Johnson 0 And why is she so upset with Peter Singer 0 We should maximize the amount of utility in the world We should maximize happiness in the world Philosophy of Life and Death 0 He believes we should be able to euthanize disabled infants They don t really have a right to life and if we re trying to maximize the amount of happiness in the world we should be able to end them because they won t have a happy life 0 He does not say the state should mandate this but that parents should have the choice 0 Proposition 1 It is rational to selectively terminate infants who have disabilities Proposition 2 Once we have disabled people their entitled to just as much respect and moral consideration as everyone else The Key Question 0 Are Singer and Glover correct in claiming that selective abortion is compatible with respect for the disabled in our society Or is Harriet McBryde Johnson right that their position is morally inconsistent Emerging Technologies 0 Chorion villus blood tests in first trimester 0 Whole or partial genome soon available Public and Professional Support for Genetic Screening and Selective Abortion 0 Widespread and popular screening for Down syndrome spina bifida 0 Abortion in case of disability often regarded as one of the most powerful easily understood reasons for abortion Disability Critique of Screening and Selective Abortion 0 NOT about moral permissibility of abortion in general 0 Assume that fetuses in question could have a worthwhile life 0 And forget infanticide for the moment too just focus on abortion Arguments for Screening and Selective Termination o For the sake of the child 0 Nonidentity problems 0 Glover s notion of flourishing o Competing family interests 0 Cost to parents other children 0 Societal interests 0 Cost to society completion for scarce resources 0 Glover 0 We have a general duty to give our kids the best chance they have a t a flourishing life 0 Disabilities impair the capacity to having a flourishing life 0 There is a sense of normality that is not a social prejudice 0 We have a general duty that the children brought to term do not have those disabilities 0 Singer 0 Maybe it would difficult to raise children with disabilities because of the financial burden on the family and the effect on other children 0 2 28 12 o The Expressivist Arguments o What message is being sent to existing disabled persons I It isn t the fact that we are going to start killing living disabled people but the fact is that it will be that we will prevent the birth of those similar to them o Is a policy of parental discretion to choose testing necessarily disrespectful or denigrating to the disabled o Is this really about free choice and parental discretion 0 Why limit to disability then Philosophy of Life and Death 0 Why not gender or sexual orientation Disability Critique 0 Social vs medical Model of Disability 0 Much social disability is socially constructed 0 But how far does this go o Rebutting the llquality of lifequot argument 0 Johnson Does it make sense to say that the class of disabled persons is llworse off in any meaningful sense 0 Aren t there too many variables here 0 Are families only burdened or are they also benefitted o Societal ideal of Inclusion parental ideal of unconditional love 0 What is the relation of such ideals to public policy 31l12 MIDTERM EXAM 3 13 12 De ning Death Defining Death Background 0 Traditional Criteria 0 The end of cardiac activity and the end of respiration o The respirator and conceptual change proper care of the dying 0 Proper care of the dying 0 Criminal law 0 Needs of Organ transplantation 0 Christian Bernard and the First Heart Transplant o Took place in the 60 s 0 At this point a lot of people were resistant to this o It occurred in South Africa 0 For you to be a live notjust parts of you must be alive A Proposal The Harvard Report 0 llA Definition of Irreversible Comaquot published in the Journal of the American Medical Association 1968 0 Authors Dr Robert and Dr Henry Beecher ad hoc Committee 0 Conclusions deathbrain death 0 Stubborn Questions 0 Medical vs Philosophical Questions 0 Definitions vs Criteria vs Diagnostic Tests 0 Brains and Persons I Are you this living body Three Rival Definitions of Death 0 1 Death when the soul leaves the body 0 Questions I Fundamental criteria I Requirements of Publicity o 2 Death whole brain death 0 Questions I Significance of breathing and circulation Philosophy of Life and Death I Psychological capacities and personhood o 3 Death death of higher brain functions 0 Questions I Personhood and consensus 0 Person means something like psychological continuity and capacity Not just your bodily existence I Slippery slope o What counts as actually having a higher brain function 0 What if someone has Alzheimer s You are a person and a biological organism one could persist while the other goes on 3 15 12 Problems for Standard Approach 0 Standard Approach Total Brain Death 0 Justification Death as loss of integrated functioning as an organism 0 Problem Remnants of Integrated Functioning in Brain Dead Patients 0 Neurohormonal regulation Maintenance of body temperature Elimination detoxification Fighting of infections Wound Healing Sexual Maturation of brain dead child 0 Proportional Growth of brain dead child Deconstructing Death Brody 0 Standard Approach not Working o No other proposed definition is viable 0 Not cessation of cardiac and respiration 0 Not cessation of consciousness and respiration 0 Not permanent loss of consciousness Brody s Proposal 0 Death as process vs death as event 0 Delinking the 3 llbig questions 0 When can life support be unilaterally withdrawn 0 When can organs be harvested 0 When can former people be buried or cremated President s Commission s Response 0 Standard Approach 0 Correct Criterion 0 Wrong Justification o Reject Past Justification 0 Death as loss of integrated functioning as an organism 0 Adopt New Justification 0 Death as irreversible loss of an organism s ability to perform its fundamental vital work 0 O O O o What is an organism s fundamental vital work Distinguishing it from nonliving things 0 Openness to the world 0 The ability to act upon the world to obtain selectively what is needs 0 The basic felt need that drives the organism to act as above 0 Total Brain Death correct criterion given this justification Philosophy of Life and Death 3116112 Discussion Criteria of Death 0 End of Psychological continuity o More generally unity 3120112 Patient Autonomy The Right to Refuse Treatment 0 Some Problematic Cases 0 Jehovah s Witnesses and blood transfusions I Wood refuse them because it is against their beliefs 0 Christian Scientists and Medical Treatment I Object to all sorts of medical treatment 0 Dax Cowart I He is a very active person and had been flying plane in the military I Has a very bad car accident and turn into a blaze of fire and his father dies while Dax is burned over most of his body I He is born just in a time where there was better technology to treat for severe burns however the way they treat him is very rudimentary Had this occurred in the future it would have been a better situation Dax wanted to just be given morphine and let die because of strenuous activity of keeping him alive His doctors ignored everything he said and continued to treat him against his will They believed it was in his best interest for them to make decisions because he wasn t in his right mind 0 Refusing a 2quotd Round of Chemo I Refused the idea of going through with the treatment the second time because of how harsh it was the first time Dies three months later 0 The Issue uniting the cases 0 Paternalism 0 Acting in the best interest despite what the person wants 0 Mills says it is wrong to do this to adults because it is like treating them like a child and they should be allowed to govern over themselves A Millian Argument Against Paternalism 1 Restraint of liberty is an evil and therefore the burden of proof Is on those who propose restraining liberty 2 Since paternalistic restraint does not concern harms does not concern harms done to others we cannot appeal to selfprotection or protection of others to justify the evil of restraining liberty 3 Any justification for paternalistic restraint must therefore appeal only to individual s own good 4 We cannot benefit an individual by restraining his liberty or any attempt to do so will involve evils which outweigh the good done 5 Hence the good of the individual can never provide a strong enough justification for paternalistic restraint Questions for Mill 0 Why does Mill believe premise 4 0 Interest and knowledge 0 Bungling dogooders o Are there really reasons to think paternalism never justified Dworkin s Argument for Limited Paternalism 1 There are goods such as health that all rational people recognize as good Philosophy of Life and Death 2 At particular moments however certain individuals might not recognize these goods as good a Eg not wearing a seat belt Nozick s delusional jumper i Delusional Jumper think they can fly so they try to jump out the window They aren t suicidal they mightjust be high and we have to restrain them 3 In such cases interfering with a person s express will not really interfering with their judgment of what is good Dworkin s Arg cont 0 Thus interfering does not deny the intrinsic value of individual choice 0 Therefore not all paternalistic restrictions are incompatible with the intrinsic goodness of individual choice Questions for Dworkin 0 Application 0 Goods and rational disagreement o Conflicting goods 3123112 Discussion Paternalism restricting some person s liberty and making their decisions for them as if they are a child Harm Principle The only chance in which someone can restrict someone is when it is nonconsensual It isn t a good principle because in general things that you might do to harm yourself might not be a good idea at the time or might be regrettable in the future 3127112 Choosing for Others Choosing for Others 0 Technological Advances Moral Lag 0 Claire Conroy I Became very elderly and could not make decisions for herself I She was bedridden and could not communicate or move I Had not been to a hospital till she began to become ill I Her nephew said had she been capable she would have discontinued treatment 0 Quality of Life Judgments 0 Comparative o Noncomparative 0 Seeing Dilemma o nhumane technology vs suspect QOL claims Proposal 1 Substituted Judgment 0 Focus the patient s right to decide for herself 0 Issues 0 Never competent patients I We can always say llthis is what they would have wanted 0 Lack of Prior decisions 0 Some Judicial Hypocrisy Proposal 2 Best Interests Standard 0 Two versions 0 Pure Objective Test I Burden v Benefit 0 The burden of treatment outweigh the benefit I Pain Philosophy of Life and Death 0 Limited Objective Test I Burden v Benefit I Some evidence of patient wish 0 Issues I Role of pain I ProblematicCategories I Gray areas 3129112 DresserRobertson Proposal 0 Critique of Precedent Autonomy o Discordance of past and present interest 0 Covert family preferences 0 Legal fictions 0 Proposal A llpresent best interests testquot 0 Confront QOL upfront o Confronts conflicting interests upfront o Dispenses wlegal fictions Nancy Rhoden s Rejoinder o Threat to minority beliefs 0 Those in the minority position will be hurt 0 Two ways of viewing persons 0 Successive time slices I Saying what it is to be you is to have certain psychological capacities I They aren t the same person who was in the past is not the same person who happens to be here now in their demented state 0 Narrative ofa unified life I I know there will be a time where I cannot carry out my own wishes and that you might have to help when I am incapacitated 413112 Suicide You might not think suicide is always wrong but you might think assisted suicide is always wrong Suicide Three Divergent Traditions 0 Traditional Denunciations Theological and Philosophical o Stoics and Enlightenment thinkers o llAgainst all the injuries of life I have always refuge of deathquot Seneca o In some cultures committing is not always negative I In Roman culture suicide is better than being captured in battle and in Japanese traditional culture they kills themselves to appease for their disgrace o Medicalization and decriminalization of suicide in the UK 1961 and the US 0 Those who commit suicide has nothing to do with morality but instead mental capacity Traditional Arguments Against Suicide 0 Aquinas o Humans are God s property I He has sovereignty over your life He decided when you came into existence therefore you cannot take yourself out of it o Adverse effects on others Philosophy of Life and Death I We have certain obligations to the community You come into the world as a member of a social setup I Suicide lets everyone else down 0 An offense against natural law I He thinks that there are ends or purposes that are natural to them I There is a normal condition for certain creatures and the amount they deviate from that is normally defective I We have a desire for selfpreservation and therefore suicide is a deviation from our overall human nature 0 Hume s Rejoinders 0 My interests v society s interests I Couldn t it at times be in the interest of society to kill yourself When captured in battle so that you do not reveal secrets I Why should a small benefit to others come at such a large cost to me o For instance if your life feels like a great burden to you it would be a greater loss to yourself to keep on living this despair than to others 0 Suicide in the interest of society 0 Permissibility of changing quotnaturalquot facts I Why should we care about how things are naturally I Just because things are a certain way by nature does it mean it is not okay to change them I llIf it permissible to redirect the ways of the Nile why is it not permissible to redirect the blood in my veinsquot I Because some things are natural cancer does not mean it should be that way 0 Living vs Flourishing I Does it follow that people ought to go with their natural instincts 4 5 12 Humans are God s property We re always subverting the natural order or doing stuff to nature so why is it wrong to do stuff to our body Suicide and its adverse effects on people 0 The idea that someone sees what happens or someone finds the body Suicide is an offense of natural law 0 It s natural to want to further your life and unnatural to want to shorten your life You have to balance your interest with the interest of society and the community Rachels What is euthanasia o The intentional ending of life to provide relief from suffering 0 Three Types 0 Voluntary Euthanasia I Someone consents to their own death or cessation to medical treatment I Legal in Oregon Washington and Montana I Active Euthanasia 0 Not legal I Passive euthanasia o It is legal only in very specific circumstances Philosophy of Life and Death 0 NonVoluntary Euthanasia I Where consent isn t possible 0 People who would be in vegetative states 0 People in commas and infants 0 Mercykilling I Active nonvoluntary killing is illegal in all states 0 Involuntary Euthanasia I In a war situation where there aren t enough treatment to go around and you kill those asking for treatment for their own good I Rarely happens anymore Arguments towards active Euthanasia o Utilitarian Ideals 0 End suffering by actively euthanasia because less suffering the better the world is o Autonomy and Self determination 0 We should offer it whenever a person asks it because they are in charge of their own I e o Rachels Killing at let Die distinction o Premise 1 Suffering is bad Premise 2 Unremitting suffering is worse Premise 3 Therefore you can withhold treatment and let them die Smith and Jones argument Smith kills his cousin in the tub to gain inheritance Jones goes to kill him but he is already drowning and does nothing to assist the drowning boy Rachels however says there is no difference in these two cases such as in active and passive euthanasia Singer says though if you have the power to do something and you don t then you are morally responsible o Baby s with downsyndrome 0 Sometimes the patient will suffer less if we actively kill them therefore we will relief them of their suffering and it will be better for them I In both active and passive euthanasia the intentions are the same No one thinks you should deny medical within ordinary means such as pneumonia which is easily treatable however in the case of terminal cancer the act of saying your life may be through much pain 000 ll What makes Smith so bad is that he is committing a murder however Jones is just committing a negative right If you initiate a new chain of events that leads to someone s death then you are doing something wrong However if you redirect something that was going to kill anyway then it would be fine 416112 Discussion Humes says any kind of medical intervention is going against nature so why is wrong to go against nature Is it natural for humans to have 32 teeth 0 Most human beings don t have 32 but those who don t you are some way defective We can still say suicide is unnatural based on the arguments Philosophy of Life and Death Rachels thinks that times active euthanasia is better because suffering is being cut down In a utilitarian mindset you just want to maximize happiness and without acknowledging how you get there There is a moral imperative to be a good Samaritan 4110112 Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide Physician Assisted Suicide PAS Background 0 Quill Case 0 Legal Status Quo o Decriminalization 0 Permission for refusals 0 Direct killing illegal everywhere PAS virtually so 0 Status Quo of Professional Norms 0 Opposition American Medical Association AMA 0 Support Student AMA supports 0 Ambivalence American College of Physicians The Case for PAS o Impetus for Change 0 Technological imperative v pain control 0 Patient control v bureaucratized medicine 0 PhilosophicalJustifications 0 General permissibility of suicide 0 Equal Protection Argument 0 Selfdetermination and the right to privacy 0 Proposed Safeguards 4117112 Famine Affluence and Morality Singer s Utilitarian Argument For a Strong Obligation to Assist 0 Testing our Intuitions o Singer s pond example Is it wrong not to rescue a child 0 A letter from UNICEF Is it wrong to throw it in the trash 0 Our common intuitions about these cases are different but why Is there any morally relevant difference between the two If so what is it 0 His argument is a moral argument 0 A Direct Argument 1 Absolute poverty is very bad a Your ability to function and live a healthy life is threatened on a daily basis b Can afford medical care can t get food to eat etc 2 If it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance we ought to do it strong version a If it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening without thereby sacrificing anything of moral significance we ought to do it weak version 3 We can prevent some absolute poverty without sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance Philosophy of Life and Death 4 We ought to prevent some absolute poverty Objections to Singer s Argument 0 Extrapolating from the Pond Example to Financial Aid o Is there any other means of help available 0 Exactly what sort of help is required 0 Will the kind of help we are contemplating be counterproductive I Hardin We will only increase population and therefore increase longterm hunger problems 0 Impartiality and rejection of nationality etc 4119112 Singer says we are more moved by those who are nearest to us Why should you have more obligations just because things are nearer to you Objections cont 0 On Singer s 2quotd Premise o On the weak version there will be almost nothing required by way of benevolence I Eg aesthetics may have some moral value 0 On the strong version we need to know what quotcomparable moral significance comes to I Singer thinks it comes to quotbetter results I But most of us think that results are not the only things that matter there are also property rights special obligations etc 4124 12 World Hunger A Kantian Approach Some Final Words on Singer 0 Recall that Singer endorses utilitarianism o A consequentiality theory only results matters 0 Standard of right and wrong maximizing quotutilityquot o What is quotutilityquot I Happiness welfare or preference satisfaction 0 But we objected I Results might not be all that matters I In which case his principle of moral obligation concerning world hunger depends upon a false view of quotmoral significance 0 Surely though we do have some obligations to those in absolute poverty Maybe then we should consider a nonutilitarian perspective 0 A Kantian Approach to World Hunger o Immanuel Kant 1724 1804 0 Key Ethical Works I Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals Key Kantian Claim 0 O Neill focuses on the Categorical Imperative in its Formula of Humanity version 0 quotAct so that you treat humanity whether in your own person or in that of another always as an end and never as a means onlyquot 0 Some things to note about the Cl o It is not geared primarily towards results but towards the action I am now considering Key Kantian Claims cont 0 What does it mean not to treat others as mere means Philosophy of Life and Death 0 To treat them in a way to which they cannot consent 0 Prohibition of violence coercion and lying 0 These all provide a restraint on the achievement of utility maximization o In this way there is a strong negative tone to the CI 0 But there is also a positive side to Kant s ethics 0 Treating people as end in themselves does not only imply that I cannot treat them as pawns o I must also work to shore up their capacity for rational autonomous action 0 Thus there are positive duties to promote others good respecting their autonomy while acknowledging their finitude O Neill s Application of These Kantian Themes to World Hunger o The negative side 0 Those most vulnerable are particularly susceptible to coercion we must protect against this 0 Some examples of behavior that violates this 0 Making quotoffers they cannot refuse 0 Taking advantage of ignorance for eg quotbuyingquot Manhattan from the Indians for beads when they have no sense of market practices 0 Demanding unreasonable quotperksquot based on our more powerful bargaining position Application to Hunger cont 0 The positive side 0 Obligation to preserve life 0 Obligation to foster conditions of autonomy minimal security and subsistence 0 We should foster human capacities but not necessarily aim at people s happiness preference satisfaction 0 Process implication paternalism vs selfsufficiency Morality and Distance 0 Our positive duties are not limited to those near to us bc 0 Such obligations do require that there be quotsome connection between us and them 0 But we live in a highly interconnected world in which such connections are not limited to those nearest us geographically 0 Therefore our duty of beneficence will be triggered by threats to life and autonomous action insofar as we are connected to other individuals 426112 World Hunger Right and Justice Perspectives World Hunger Rights and Justice Perspectives 0 From obligations to rights 0 What does quotrightsquot language adds I Focus on the needy person not the giver I Rights and dignity speaking in one s own name I The international success of human rights 0 What is a right quotTo have a right is for it to be the case that one s interest justifies holding someone else to have a corresponding dutyquot Waldron Henry Shue s Application of Rights to World Hunger o What interests satisfy the condition for grounding a right 0 The interest must be vital o The interest must be vulnerable we say people have rights to things they might not get


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