Moral Philosophy Notes

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11/20
Why Abortion is Immoral – Don Marquis
-Most abortions are seriously immoral

What makes killing us (normal adult humans) wrong?
2 Incorrect Answers:
1. Is it the fact that killing causes pain to the victim? a. No, sometimes killing can be painless
2. Is it the fact that the loved ones will suffer grief?
b. No, some people don’t have loved ones.
c. Or loved ones could be glad someone died.

Marquis’s Answer:
-What makes killing us (normal adult humans) wrong is that it robs us of a future, the satisfaction of our desires and the fulfillment of our aims.

The Argument:
Premise 1: What makes killing us wrong is that it robs us of a future of value. Premise 2: A fetus, whether a person or not, has a future like ours. Premise 3: Abortion robs a fetus of a future like ours.

Conclusion: Therefore, abortion is wrong for the same reason killing us is wrong.

In his pro-life argument, Marquis assumes that the fetus is a person.
A. True B. False

In his pro-life argument, Marquis denies that the fetus is a person.
A. True B. False
**-He doesn’t think it is relevant if the fetus is a person or not; neither assumes or denies that the fetus is a person. **-He thinks that it does have a future.

Marquis’s argument is an extreme pro-life argument.
A. True B. False
-Not an extreme view, but a strong one.

The Singer Solution to World Poverty – 1999
-AKA the argument for the obligation to assist those in absolute poverty

In ‘Family, Affluence, and Morality’, singer argued that it is indefensible for affluent people to spend money on luxuries while less fortunate people are starving –Rachels

Drowning child in shallow rudimental pond
-To save child, he has to get wet/muddy

Premise 1: If we can prevent something bad from happening without sacrificing
anything of comparable moral importance, then we ought to do so. Premise 2: Absolute poverty is very bad (because of pain, suffering, disease) Premise 3: Because of Western affluence, we can alleviate some of the suffering

associated with absolute poverty, without sacrificing anything of
comparable moral importance
Conclusion: We have an obligation to assist those in absolute poverty *Since the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. The argument is valid.

If we can prevent something very bad from happening without sacrificing something of comparable moral importance, we must do it. *Argument for the obligation to assist

-Singer says we are allowing people to starve by feeding grain to animals in return for meat (biologically inefficient)

-According to Singer, (and consequentialists?) there is no difference between killing (taking the life) and letting die (because you could have prevented it)

-Right to property – Negative right; Right to not have your property taken from you unjustly.

Premise 1: If the right to property is negative, then we have no obligation to assist. Premise 2: But we do have an obligation to assist.
Conclusion: The right to property is not negative.

According to Singer, there is no morally relevant difference between killing and letting die.
A. True B. False
-Doesn’t matter if something is done, or nothing is done; death still occurred.

According to Singer, the right to life (or property) is a negative right
A. True B. False
-It can’t be just negative; it must include a positive property. -Utilitarians do not like the idea of “rights”

According to Singer, it is morally wrong to spend money on luxuries when that money can be used to save lives
A. True B. False

According to Singer, when those in affluent countries spend money on luxuries rather than saving lives, they are like Bob, who lets a child die rather than to lose his Bugatti.
A. True B. False

According to Singer, saving his Bugatti is morally permitted for Bob because the right to property is a negative right.
A. True...
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