MidTerm Exam - MidTermExam Part1:ShortAnswer(70%) 1.

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Mid Term Exam Part 1: Short Answer (70%) 1. What is Thomson’s three-step argument for the permissibility of abortion in  the case of rape? State two reasons why Thomson might use such a bizarre  thought experiment in giving her argument?  Judith Thomson’s three-step argument for the permissibility of abortion in the case of rape is illustrated with an unusual thought experiment in which an individual awakes to find himself plugged into a machine that is keeping a famous violinist alive. She states: It is morally permissible to have an abortion when one’s pregnancy is the result of rape. Her argument is based on two premises. Premise 1: If it is morally permissible to unplug the ailing violinist in this thought experiment, then it is morally permissible to have an abortion when one’s pregnancy is the result of rape. This is an argument by analogy. Premise 2: It is morally permissible to unplug the ailing violinist in the thought experiment. She appeals to intuition in this premise. Therefore, Conclusion: It is morally permissible to have an abortion when one’s pregnancy is the result of rape. This conclusion follows premise 1 and premise 2 by modus ponens. Thomson may have used this odd violinist thought experiment in giving her argument for two reasons. First, she attempted to eliminate biases by using a situation where someone unlikely has a bias towards the violinist in thought experiment. Second and more importantly, Thomson attempts to connect to male readers by making them imagine they are pregnant. Being suddenly connected to this ailing violinist is similar to becoming pregnant as the result of rape. With this, men are more likely to connect to the thought experiment and to the reading. 2. Compare and contrast the arguments given by presidents Bush and Obama  to ban/allow funding for the practice of creating and destroying new human  embryos for embryonic stem cell research. Who has the better argument? Explain  your answer. (Notice that you are being asked only to evaluate each argument. You 
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
are not  being asked which president you believe reached the right conclusion .).  Both Presidents acknowledge the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research but reach different conclusions. President Bush did allow funds for some kinds of embryonic research, such as umbilical, placenta and animal cell research, as well embryos that were created for in vitro fertilization or that were going to be destroyed anyway. He believes that by doing this, he avoids the moral dilemma of stem cell research. Bush believes that the funding for new stem cell research is a moral dilemma, and that human life is a sacred gift that should not be destroyed. This argument is quite bizarre because it allows funds for research to be performed on the older embryos that are going to be destroyed anyway, but not for new stem cell research.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course PHILOSOPHY 105 taught by Professor Mccrossin during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

Page1 / 13

MidTerm Exam - MidTermExam Part1:ShortAnswer(70%) 1.

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online