First Paper Outline

First Paper Outline - January 20, 2009 Philosophy 4 Outline...

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Unformatted text preview: January 20, 2009 Philosophy 4 Outline for Paper Assignment One • Thompson’s Argument: - At t h e h e a r t of Tho m p s o n’s a r g u m e n t is t h e id e a t h a t rig h t s c a n c o nflict o Rig h t t o Fre e S p e e c h a n d Righ t t o S af e t y Fire in t h e a t e r e x a m pl e: s h o w s c o nflict of rig h t s - Two things about rights: o Rights are not absolute (you are not free to exercise them at just any time) o Rights can conflict so that some rights trump others in certain circumstances - Tho m p s o n will a r g u e t h a t in t h e c a s e of a b o r tio n t h e m o t h e r’s rig h t t o a u t o n o m y tr u m p s t h e rig h t t o life of t h e fet u s - Bot h h a v e rig h t s , b u t b o t h rig h t s c a n n o t b e r e s p e c t e d in full. Th e q u e s tio n t h e n b e c o m e s w h o s e rig h t s s h o uld t ak e pr e c e d e n c e – t h e rig h t s of t h e f e t u o r t h e rig h t s of t h e pr e g n a n t w o m a n ? • The Violinist Case: - Argu m e n t fro m a n alo gy: Tho m p s o n giv e s a n a r g u m e n t fro m a n alo gy. T his ty p e of a r g u m e n t a s s u m e s t h a t like c a s e s a r e t o b e tr e a t e d alik e a n d d iff er e n t c a s e s a r e t o b e tr e a t e d differ e n tly. Th e violinis t c a s e is m e a n t t o b e a n a r g u m e n t for t h e p e r mis sibility of a b or tio n in c a s e s w h er e t h e m o t h e r h a s n o t c o n s e n t e d t o int erc o ur s e, a n d y e t a fet u s h a s b e e n b r o u g h t i nt o e xis t e n c e . - If yo u c a n n o t find s o m e p oin t of dis a n alo g y b e t w e e n a pr e g n a n t w o m a n a n d a w o m a n w h o h a s b e e n s urr e p titio u sly a t t a c h e d t o a n ailin g violinis t, a n d yo u c a n n o t a r g u e t h a t t his diff er e n c e jus tifie s t h e killin g of t h e v iolinis t a n d n o t t h e fe t u s , t h e n yo u w o uld b eto believe that irrational abortion is never morally permissible but that killing the violinist would be. • A focal point of her argument: - Tho m p s o n’s a r g u m e n t r eli e s o n a dis tinc tio n b e t w e e n w h a t is g o o d or nic e o f yo u t o d o, a n d w h a t is m o r ally r e q uir e d of yo u t o d o - So m e a c t s a r e s u p e r ero g a t ory: o An a c t is s u p e r er o g a t ory if a n d o nly if n o t a c tin g is m o r ally p e r mi s sibl e, b u t a c tin g is m o r ally b e t t e r t h a n n o t a c tin g. - You “ s h o uld” or “ou g h t”: o Th e dis tinc tio n is b e t w ecency-based moral ought judgments and de e n rights-based moral ought judgments. • Type of argument & what is taken for granted: - I b eliev e t h a t Tho m p s o n’s a r g u m e n t is a d e d u c tiv e a r g u m e n t, b e c a u s e if al o f t h e pr e mi s e s w er e tr u e, t h e n t h e c o n clu sio n w o uld al s o b e tr u e. It is a v alid a r g u m e n t, t h o u g h it is n o t s o u n d b e c a u s e n o t all of h e r p r e mi s e s a r e 1 0 0 % tr u e - In h e r a r g u m e n t Tho m p s o n t ak e s for g r a n t e d h e r b eli ef t h a t a f et u s is n o t a p e r s o n. S h e p u t s t his p e r s o n al b elief a sid e b e c a u s e s h e cl ai m s t h a t s h e c a s till pr ov e t h a t a b o r tio n is m o r al in c e r t ai n circ u m s t a n c e s e v e n w h e n t h e f et u s is c o n sid er e d a p e r s o n • A criticism to Thompson’s argument: - Disco n n e c tin g fro m t h e violinis t is a c a s e of for e s e ei n g b u t n o t int e n din g d e a t h (t h a t is, “le t tin g di e”) w hile a b or tio n is a c a s e of int e n tio n ally o r d ir e c tly killing. You h a v e a d u t y n o t t o int e n tio n ally kill, b u t n o d u t y t o n o t let di e. o If t his is c orr e c t, t h e n yo u m a y u n plu g fro m t h e violinis t b u t y o u m a y n o t a b o r t. • The distinction between killing and letting die: - In m o r al p hilos o p h y w e g e n e r ally t ak e t h er e t o b e a n im p or t a n t m o r al d iff er e n c e b e t w e e n int e n din g d e a t h , a n d for e s e ei n g d e a t h a s a n u nin t e n d e c o n s e q u e n c e of o n e’s a c tio n s. o e . g. milit ary mi s sio n s, p ulling t h e plu g – fe e din g t u b e , e t c. • Thompson’s Reply: - Tho m p s o n s a y s t h a t yo u h a v e a rig h t t o r e m o v e t h e fe t u s fro m y o u r b o d y, a n d t o d e t a c h t h e violinis t fro m yo ur b o d y, b u t d o n o t h a v e a rig h t t o kill if e it h e r s urviv e s ind e p e n d e n tly of yo ur b o dy. o So a b o r tio n is n o t a c a s e of int e n tio n ally killing – it’s a c a s e of c o n trolling yo ur ow n b o d y wit h d e a t h a s a n u nin t e n d e d b u t for e s e e a bl e cons e qu e nc e. Th e Born-Aliv e Infa n t s Prot e c tio n Act (2 0 0 2) ...
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