Ninth Lecture

Ninth Lecture - Philosophy 4 Ninth Lecture A Defense of...

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Unformatted text preview: January 26, 2009 Philosophy 4: Ninth Lecture A Defense of Abortion (Continued) • Seafood Case: - Im a gin e t h a t yo ur lon g los t t win br o t h e r s h o w s u p o n yo ur d o o r s t e p – y o u w er e s e p a r a t e d s h or tly aft e r birt h a n d u p u n til n o w, did n o t k n o w t h a t h e e xis t e d . To c el e b r a t e yo u off er t o t ak e hi m o u t t o din n e r, a n d sin c e y o u l ov e s e afo o d, yo u c h o o s e Re d Lobs t er. You k n ow t h a t h e h a s a s m all 12 % c h a n c e of h a vin g a s e v e r e life-t hr e a t e nin g all er gic r e a c tio n t o t h e s e afo o d, in w hic h c a s e yo u will h a v e t o provid e hi m wit h t h e u s e of y o u r k id n e y s for a b o u t nin e m o n t h s . H e d o e s n o t kn ow t h a t h e s uff er s fro m t his c o n ditio n, b u t s ur e e n o u g h, s h or tly aft e r din n e r his kid n e y s fail a n d y o u a r e t h e o nly o n e w h o c a n provid e c ar e. o Do yo u ow e hi m t h e u s e of yo ur b o d y? If s o, t h e n eit h e r t h e p e r mi s sio n principl e is fals e, or Tho m s o n n e e d s t o s a y m o r e a b o u t w h a t givin g “i m plicit p e r mi s sion” a m o u n t s t o. • An Altered Henry Fonda Case: - To illus tr a t e c o n sid e r a n alt er e d H e nry Fon d a c a s e in w hic h H e nr y is in t h e s a m e h o s pit al roo m yo u a r e in a n d c a u s e s yo ur illn e s s a s a for e s e e a bl e b u t u nin t e n tio n al c o n s e q u e n c e of his a c tio n s – h e k n e w t h a t his le a vin g t h e w in d ow o p e n for c o ol air mi g h t, jus t p o s sibly, m a k e yo u d e a t hly ill; b u t h e d id it a n y w a y for his ow n c o mfort. o Do e s h e n o w ow e yo u t h e t o u c h of his “co ol h a n d ” o n y o u r br ow t o s a v e yo ur life? Did his c o n trib u tio n t o yo ur c o n ditio n g e n e r a t e a m o r al d u t y t o yo u ? o If yo u a c c e p t a m o r al o blig a tio n in t h o s e c a s e s t h e n yo u t hink t h a t y o u c a n b e m o r ally o blig a t e d t o a n o t h e r e v e n t h o u g h yo u did n o t giv e a n y s or t of p e r mis sio n. • Thomson’s Reply: - Tho m s o n w o uld s a y t h a t in b o t h t h e s e c a s e s , n eit h e r ow e s t h e victi m a n y a i d, t h o u g h n o t givin g ai d w o uld b e ind e c e n t, c allou s, s elfis h, i nco n sid er a t e , or cr u el. - For Tho m s o n, n o o n e h a s a rig h t t o b e pr ovid e d ai d of a n y s o r t u nl e s s a “ s p e ci al r e s p o n sibility” h a s b e e n a s s u m e d , eit h e r im plicitly or e x plicitly. S h e illus tr a t e s t his “i m plicit” r e s p o n sibility wit h t h e c a s e of p ar e n t s w h o h a v e a c hild a n d t ak e it h o m e wit h t h e m . Th e y c a n n o t n o w wit h d r a w s u p p or t fro m it, s h e s a y s . Th e y h a v e giv e n t h e c hild a rig h t t o t h eir s u p p or t. • Kitty Genovese Case: - Kitty w a s s t a b b e d t o d e a t h a n d r a p e d b y h e r a s s ail a n t (Mo s el e y). H e s t a b b e d h e r t wic e in t h e b a c k a n d s h e s cr e a m e d for h el p. N eig h b o r s h e a r d b u t n o o n e w e n t t o h e r ai d. 1 0 mi n u t e s lat e r, h e r a t t a ck er c a m e b a c k, t r a ck e d h e r d o w n a n d b e g a n s t a b bin g h e r a g ai n. H e t h e n r a p e d h e r w hile a t le a s t o n e p e r s o n n e a r b y w a t c h e d b u t did n o t hin g. So m e o n e fin ally c alle d t h e p olic e. Mos el e y g o t a w a y a n d Kitty di e d o n t h e w a y t o t h e h o s pit al. o For Tho m s o n, n o t h elpin g w a s cl e a rly ind e c e n t for t h o s e w h o s a w a n d h e a r d. But, s h e cl ai m s , it w a s n o t a n inju s tic e t o h e r n o t t o a c t. This is b e c a u s e h e r m o r al rig h t s h a d n o t b e e n viola t e d b y t h o s e w h o k n e w b u t d id n o t hin g. o Th e y h a d n o m o r al o blig a tio n b e c a u s e it w a s n o t t h eir r e s p o n sibility t o h e r t o a c t. o In t h e s a m e w a y, t h e w o m a n w h o b e c o m e s pr e g n a n t in s pit e of u sin g b irt h c o n trol d o e s n o t cr e a t e s o m e im plicit s p e ci al r e s p o n sibility t o c ar e for t h e fe t u s . It w o uld b e r e ally d e c e n t of h e r t o c arry it t o t er m , b u t n o t d oin g s o will n o t viol a t e its rig h t t o life. ...
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