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ethics paper#1

ethics paper#1 - Gable Parigian Intro Ethics Paper#1...

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Gable Parigian Intro Ethics Paper#1 10-31-07 Thomson’s View on Abortion J. J. Thomson argues for the claim that abortions are morally permissible under certain circumstances. One of the arguments of anti-abortion she argues against is the claim that people have a right to life but, a person may give this up by intending or doing some harm to another human being. And fetuses can’t harm someone so killing it is never permissible. Thomson responds in a way that grants that even if fetuses are people there are still times that abortion is permissible. She goes about this by explaining that rights of people can conflict. So, what will have to happen is that somebody’s rights will have to be sacrificed to the rights of another. Thus to some degree morality requires that people have to give up what is rightfully theirs sometimes. This is exactly the case between the right of the mother to do whatever she chooses to her own body and her fetus’s life in which one of them can’t receive respectively what they morally are entitled to. Sure it may seem like the unborn child has a better argument for living because its life hangs in the balance while the mother had a choice not to have sex in the first place. But, as Thomson explains in her story about the violinist in dire need of a kidney, they’re certainly instances where the mother should have a choice if she wants to get an abortion. As the story goes a violinist is hooked up to an unsuspecting man through or by his circulatory system in order to use his kidney without the man knowing it because he needs it in order to live. This unlucky man was the only one who could do this for him and now he needs to lie in bed for the next nine months until the violinist is strong enough to go on by himself. Of course it would be really nice for the man to do this for the violinist but, it’s not required of him even though unplugging him does mean killing him. The man was kidnapped and didn’t chose to do this just like a woman who is unwillingly raped and gets pregnant didn’t chose to have sex and get pregnant; so killing the man and getting an abortion would be permissible. This scenario
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obviously only works when the people in question have been victimized and can’t work when the women wanted to have sex and knew she could quite possibly get pregnant. Nevertheless, Thomson feels as though rape should be an exception to getting an abortion and that strongly opinioned anti-abortionists should come to terms with this.
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