Week 8 Lecture/Reading Notes (Philosophy 341)
Week 8 Lecture/Reading Notes (Philosophy 341) Philosophy 341
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah James on Friday October 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Philosophy 341 at University of Wisconsin - Madison taught by Dan Hausman in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see Contemporary Moral Issues in PHIL-Philosophy at University of Wisconsin - Madison.
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Date Created: 10/23/15
Week Eight Readings Brody Opposition to Abortion A Human Rights Approach 0 The woman s right to her body 0 It is obvious that the mother has it within her power to abort the fetus and as an autonomous and responsible agent she must choose whether or not to I But this does not make her choice morally right 0 This argument can t be used for anyone that thinks a fetus is a person because people can t do anything whatsoever to regain the right to their body cannot kill I While someone does not need to give up the use of one s body to save another person kidney or lifeboat example a person should not kill someone or take their life in order to regain control of their body 0 Abortion to save the mother 0 While the fetus is threatening the mother s life there is no intent I The fetus case is more like the person with the cure example not with the murderer example 0 The fetus while endangering the mother is neither attempting to kill her nor is it guilty of wanting her dead I Thus she cannot justify killing the fetus 0 Rape 0 Because the mother has already suffered unjustly the argument is that she should not have to undergo an unwanted pregnancy I However the fetus did not commit or commission the rape it is innocent 0 It also says that the fetus has no right to be in the women because it was put there in an act of aggression by the rapist and its presence is a continued act of aggression on the mother I But the fetus is innocent and is not committing an act of aggression 0 Birth may cause a problem for the rest of her family financial etc 0 In this situation more innocent people are being affected than just the fetus and the mother is it okay to abort in order to prevent this I But once again a person cannot kill another person who is innocent no matter how their presence affects them 0 Fetal humanity and brain function 0 Now is the question of fetal humanity 0 When has the fetus acquired all of the properties essential to a human being with these properties being such that the loss of them means that the human has gone out of existence not simply stopped being a human I This quality is the possession of a brain that functions loss of this means death 0 A fetus s brain develops and begins to function in the sixth week so fetuses born after six weeks are human beings 0 If we replace the braindead theory with Ramsey s theory of death you die when your brain heart and lungs stop functioning then there are no substantial changes I Both of these theories exhibit problems because the growth of these organs is progressive 0 Does the brain count when it begins forming when it s fully formed etc 0 Although we have not developed a precise conclusion the fetus becomes a human sometime between the second week and the third month
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