First Paper 10-17-07 (CH)

First Paper 10-17-07 (CH) - 10/17/07 TA: Sharon Skare...

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10/17/07 TA: Sharon Skare PS/Phil 27 – Prof. G. Doppelt First Paper A) John Noonan believes that metaphorical and analogous examples do not work well in arguments for and against abortion. Since these examples are far too specific, it is hard to find too many similarities among them to prove a point. Noonan lists some of these differences when he analyzes Thomson’s sick violinist analogy: it does not mention how the violinist and victim might be related and it mentions nothing of possible compensation for the victim (1. Noonan, CC2007 p. 0174). He is also against the use of hard cases to argue for or against abortion. These cases include ones where someone is raped; a child has a generic disease; or an overburdened mother of many children. It appears that abortion would be justifiable in these cases. However, Noonan argues that these cases put too much of an emphasis on the wants and needs of the mother, instead of the child. True, it would be difficult for the mother, but if the fetus is considered a person, then it would much more difficult, as it would be killed in the process. He uses this argument to show the hypocrisy of some of the opponents of abortion (2. Noonan, CC2007 p. 0174). Noonan believes all of the aforementioned methods to be faulty; they would not work to prove or disprove an argument for or against abortion. Instead, he champions the idea of using perception in order to come to moral conclusions about abortion. He believes you can only see things well if you immerse yourself in the situation. By using metaphors and other cases, you cannot see things as well, since it is not truly through your own perspective, but instead is drawn from others’ points of view. Metaphors have
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too many differences to be accurate. By perception, Noonan refers to both sight and experience. Sight would be observing a fetus associating it with humanity. He invites the reader to contemplate whether they would have the same opinions after seeing a fetus with their own eyes. By perceiving the fetus and actually seeing how much it resembles a human could change someone’s opinion on abortion. He goes even further and asks the reader to imagine the actual fetus inside the mother’s womb, kicking and swimming. Then he brings up the issue of pain. Would they feel pain as we do? This is a major part of Noon’s main point. He believes that emotion is a powerful force in determining moral issues, but to a certain extent; too much emotion could result in bad decision-making (3. Noonan, CC2007 p. 0174).
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course POLI SCI 27 taught by Professor Doppelt during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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First Paper 10-17-07 (CH) - 10/17/07 TA: Sharon Skare...

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