Sixth Lecture

Sixth Lecture - January 16, 2009 Philosophy 4: Sixth...

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Unformatted text preview: January 16, 2009 Philosophy 4: Sixth Lecture A Defense of Abortion (Continued) • 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. • Decency-based moral ought judgments: - So m e ti m e s w h e n w e s a y “S o u g h t t o d o A”, w h a t w e m e a n is t h a t it w o uld b e d e c e n t for t h e m t o d o A, b u t t h e y a r e n o t m o r ally o blig a t e d t o d o a . o e . g. “yo u s h o uld giv e t o ‘Idol Giv e s Back.’” Wh a t w e m e a n is t h a t it w o uld b e d e c e n t of yo u t o d o t h a t, b u t if yo u d o n’t yo u’r e n o t n e c e s s a rily a n im m o r al p e r s o n. You d o n’t bligationn o give. o have a t • Rights-based moral ought judgments: - Ot h e r ti m e s w h e n w e s a y “S o u g h t t o d o A” w e m e a n t h a t if S d o e s n o t, t h e n t h e y a r e viola tin g t h e rig h t s of a n o t h er. o e . g. tw o bro t h e r s a n d t h e c a n d y t h a t t h eir gr a n d m o t h e r g a v e t h e m . • What’s your intuition? - So, is d e t a c hin g t h e violinis t im m or al? - Pos sibl e o bj e c tio n s: o Th e violinis t h a s n o g e n e tic r el a tio n s hip t o t h e m o t h e r, b u t t h e fe t u s do es. Pos sibl e Re ply ( a dju s t t h e a n alo g y) o Th e b ur d e n of pr e g n a n c y is m u c h le s s s e v er e t h a n t h e b u r d e n of givin g b e d rid d e n s u p p or t t o t h e violinis t. Im a gin e yo u c a n m o v e a r o u n d wit h t h e violinis t ( a g ain, a dju s t t h e a n alo g y) - Wh e n w e a dju s t t h e a n alo g y, d o o ur int uitio n s c h a n g e ? If y e s , t h e n y o u s e e a m o r al differ e n c e b e t w e e n t h e tw o a n d Tho m p s o n’s a r g u m e n t d o e s n o t s u p p or t a b o r tio n. If n o, t h e n Tho m p s o n’s a r g u m e n t s till s t a n d s . • Another Possible Objection: - 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 irectly killing. You have a duty not to inten tionally kill, bu t no du ty to n ot let die. o If this is correct, then you ma y unplug fro m the violinist but you ma y n ot abort. • 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 mpson says that you have a right to re move the fetus fro m your body, a nd to detach the violinist fro m your body, but do not have a righ t to kill if e ither survives independently of your body. o So abortion is not a case of inten tionally killing – it’s a case of c ontrolling your own body with death an unintended bu t foreseeable c onsequence. The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (2002) ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2010 for the course PHIL PHIL 4 taught by Professor Huizenga during the Winter '09 term at UCSB.

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