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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 9 The Morality of Abortion 9.1 Homework Readings : • Required: RTD 11 (Thomson), RTD 10 (Marquis), SLB9 • Recommended:- Jane English, ‘Abortion and the Concept of a Person’- Bonnie Steinbock, ‘Why Most Abortion are Not Wrong’- Mary Anne Warren ‘On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion’ • Further Readings for yourself: Carol Gilligan In a different voice Study questions – Give a short answer to the following questions: 1. What are the two conflicting values in the abortion debate? 2. What is the Person Argument against Abortion? 3. What is the problem with the first premise of the Person Argument against Abor- tion? 4. Why is it wrong to kill a fetus according to Marquis? What is the difference between Marquis’ argument and the traditional Person Argument? 5. Explain the analogy that Thomson does with the violin player. Which premise of the Person Argument is it supposed to help us address? How? Can you think of ways in which the analogy is not convincing? Can you think of ways in which the analogy could be changed such that to make it more convincing? 83 9.2 Introduction A difficult question – The issue of abortion is probably the most difficult and most con- troversial ethical issue, especially in the United States. So, let me make clear a few things right away: What this chapter is not about – This chapter is *not* about- Telling you what to think, or telling you what the right answer is- Changing your views on the topics or forcing my own answer on you-→ The authors of the readings clearly take sides. The point for us is to listen to the arguments on both sides. What this chapter is about – This chapter is about: Our assumption will be that there are reasonable people on both sides. In investigating what these people have to say, you should be able to:- understand why people who don’t think like you do think the way they do – i.e. understand that reasons that are behind the other side’s beliefs;- deepen your understanding of your own position, in investigating what reasons are behind it. An important distinction – It is important to distinguish between: 1. whether doing a particular action should be considered as morally wrong 2. whether doing a particular action should made illegal There are many things that we consider being morally wrong, but that we still don’t want to be illegal. Example: you won’t get into prison or even get a fine if you cheat on your girlfriend (resp. your boyfriend) with her (resp. his) best friend. It is clearly morally wrong, but not illegal. In this class, we will only address the first issue: whether abortion is morally wrong or not. We will not discuss the problem of legality....
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This note was uploaded on 03/28/2011 for the course PHI 200 taught by Professor Horse during the Spring '11 term at Grand Valley State.
- Spring '11