Marquis' Anti-Abortion Argument
* Marquis suggests that the parties to the abortion debate find themselves at a stand-off. Pro-lifers want to focus on the fact that fetuses are human beings (at least potentially) whereas pro-choicers want to focus on the fact that fetuses are not persons (even though they may be so potentially).
* Marquis suggests that to make progress in the abortion debate, what we need is a new strategy. His preferred strategy is an argument he calls the “future life ours” account of the wrongness of killing (FLO).
Marquis argues that most abortions are immoral because they deprive the fetus of a future like ours. This future-like-ours is a future of value; hence, to deny such a future is wrong. Future of a fetus includes experiences, projects, activities, enjoyments which are identical with futures of adults and children.
Killing is wrong in all of the following cases:
A. Normal functioning adult human beings
B. Aliens (non-biologically human species)
C. Non-human mammals (with future-like ours)
D. Children & infants
Killing is NOT wrong in all of the following cases:
E. Severely/incurably ill (Marquis supports active euthanasia)- future of pain/despair; wish to die F. Permanently comatose persons: cannot have a future that they can come to value
Principle “m”: It is wrong to kill individuals who have futures that are relevantly like ours. * The principle sufficiently explains uncontroversial cases A-F * Therefore: principle m is true.
Therefore: abortion is wrong (to kill a fetus is to deprive it of a future-like-ours) If it is wrong to kill in cases A-F insofar as killing deprives the individuals of a future-like-ours, then it is likewise wrong to abort a fetus since it possesses a future of value identical to ours.
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