Philosophy Paper 1
Why Abortion Is Immoral
In this paper I will formally reconstruct Don Marquis’ argument, explain it, and offer a brief evaluation. In his essay, “Why Abortion Is Immoral,” Marquis argues that abortion is, except possibly in rare cases, seriously immoral, because it is in the same moral category as killing an innocent adult human being. His argument can be formulated as follows: killing an innocent human being is morally wrong. If abortion falls into the category if killing an innocent human being, then it is morally wrong as well. Abortion does fall into the category of killing an innocent human being, therefore it is morally wrong. As Marquis suggests, the act of killing another innocent human being is morally wrong because deprives that person of a valuable future. He examines why exactly it is wrong to kill us. It is not the brutalization of the one who kills or the great loss others would experience due to our absence. Although it seems adequate, it does not account for killing a person who has no family or anyone that cares for them. What primarily makes killing wrong is its effect on the victim—the greatest loss one can suffer is the loss of one’s own life. This action takes away all of the future experiences, activities, enjoyments and many more things even if they are not valued to that individual now, but they will come to value them later in life. Once killed, one is automatically deprived of all of the value of his or her future. This view that what makes killing wrong is the loss of the victim’s future is supported by two considerations. First, it explains why we regard killing as one of the worst crimes, since it is the most depriving of any other crime. Second, those who are suffering from diseases like AIDS or cancer who know that they are getting closer and closer to death believe that dying is the worst thing that can happen to them, because, once again, it deprives them of a future that they would have...
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