Opposing Arguments: Abortion
Why abortion is immoral by Don Marquis is the start of two discussions pertaining to whether abortion should be acceptable in our modern society. The argument, Marquis makes, is that abortion actually deprives the fetus’s “future-like-ours.” Many philosophers support Marquis’ belief by arguing that fetuses have their own possibilities; thus, killing fetuses is absolutely wrong (Marquis, 105). Nevertheless, there are also other philosophers who criticize Marquis’ view in order to prove that abortion is not immoral since the fetus has no right to live. One of them is Peter K. McInerney, who wrote Does a Fetus Already Have a Future-Like-Ours? McInerney demonstrates the fact that fetuses have little or no relationship to their own future; therefore, the belief that “a fetus has a right to life” fails (Brill, 419). In addition, to support McInerney’s argument, H. Skott Brill’s The Future-Like-Ours Argument, Personal Identity and the Twinning Dilemma provides us ideas along with different perspectives on why McInerney’s theory is a strong account against Marquis’s point of view on abortion. On the other hand, Marquis’s Brill’s Objection to the Future of Value Argument criticizes the conflicts between Brill’s premises in order to prove that his initial belief to abortion is consistently right. In this paper, I will present Brill’s and Marquis’s principal arguments and how they support their point of view. The Future-Like-ours Argument, Personal Identity and the Twinning Dilemma In the beginning of this article, H.Skott Brill summarizes the main idea of Why abortion is immoral by Don Marquis. The main idea is “if a fetus has a right to life then nearly all abortion are immoral” (Brill, 419). However, it does not mean that stopping “the means necessary for the continuation of the fetus life” is wrong (419). Brill continues providing the support for McInerney’s “personal identity objection” and addressing the issue of a fetus having the right to life “leads to an inescapable dilemma involving twinning” (420). In the first section “The Future-Life-Ours Argument,” Brill focuses on expressing the details of Marquis’s antiabortion argument. Marquis believes that a fetus, along with adults and even infants, has the property and right to experience the valuable future. Therefore, depriving the life of a fetus is immoral. In other words, if a fetus’ moral valuable future is counted as the same category as adult’s, then abortion is extremely immoral. Furthermore, “euthanasia can be acceptable” (421) if we could address that people who request the euthanasia have a little or no more valuable. Next, in “The Future-Like-Ours Argument and Personal Identity,” Brill starts to criticize Marquis’s antiabortion view. He does this by placing the opposing argument from McInerney that “the most widely considered relations in contemporary discussions of personal identity are those of memory, continuity; of character, and intention-to-action” (422). Both Brill and McIneney acknowledge that the fetus cannot value his or her own life, nor has the valuable experiences by observing or responding emotionally. This is because the fetus has not developed brain and central nervous system, which means that he or she is non-sentient. On the other hands, they do not deny that the fetus and the future of valuable experience are somehow connected by “the biological continuity.” However, it is not enough to prove that the fetus is an individual. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong considers the fetus “is the same organism the body into which it will or would develop” (423). When the organism is not referred as a subject, which has either valuable experiences or enjoyment, it leads to the conclusion that the fetus has neither of them. However, there are two different stages of a fetus: the early-stage fetus and the late-stage fetus. The late-stage fetus has an individual identity, not a “personal identity” as a person, and it is...
Cited: Brill, H. Skott. "The Future-like-ours Argument, Personal Identity, and the Twinning Dilemma." Social Theory and Practice 1 July 2003: 419-30. Print.
Marquis, Don. "Brill 's Objections to the Future of Value Argument." Social Theory and Practice 1 Jan. 2005: 105-14. Print.
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