7. Monday, October 4, 2010

7. Monday, October 4, 2010 - PHL281 - Monday, October 4,...

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PHL281 - Monday, October 4, 2010 Dworkin: The Sanctity of Life (Again) Hursthouse’s Virtue Bioethics - Virtue approach to bioethics “embodies” a “belief in the sanctity of life”(240) - Recall Pope John Paul II’sarguments - Official argument invoked the right to life - We noted a second argument Pope’s Second Argument - Abortion is worse than murder: “an unspeakable crime …against life”(§58). - Not an attack on a particular life as such, but an attack on what it embodies: God’s creative powers - Problem: argument seems parochial and unpersuasive to those who do not share the theistic assumptions. Can virtue bioethics invoke a conception of the sanctity of life without taking theism on board? - without religious presuppositions Dworkin’s suggestion - suggests that the way the abortion arguments are framed does not look at our moral feelings - The sanctity of life is the core value animating the abortion debate. Arguments about the personhood and rights of the fetus are mostly beside the point, given that an early-term fetus can’t have rights because it has no interests. - opponents of abortion can’t really be relying on claims about rights of the fetus if they allow (as almost all
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7. Monday, October 4, 2010 - PHL281 - Monday, October 4,...

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