David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Bioethics 18 (2):144–180 (2004)
The most plausible pro-life argument claims that abortion is seriously wrong because it deprives the foetus of something valuable. This paper examines two recent versions of this argument. Don Marquis's version takes the valuable thing to be a 'future like ours', a future containing valuable experiences and activities. Jim Stone's version takes the valuable thing to be a future containing conscious goods, which it is the foetus's biological nature to make itself have. I give three grounds for rejecting these arguments. First, they lead to unacceptable inequalities in the wrongness of killing. Second, they lead to counterintuitive results in a range of imaginary cases. Third, they ignore the role of psychological connectedness in determining the magnitude or seriousness of deprivation-based harms: because the foetus is only weakly psychologically connected to its own future, it cannot be seriously harmed by being deprived of that future
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References found in this work BETA
Dean Stretton (2000). The Argument From Intrinsic Value: A Critique. Bioethics 14 (3):228–239.
Jim Stone (1987). Why Potentiality Matters. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (December):815-829.
Stephen R. Coleman (2000). Thought Experiments and Personal Identity. Philosophical Studies 98 (1):51-66.
Jeff McMahan (1995). Killing and Equality. Utilitas 7 (1):1.
J. McMahan (1999). Cloning, Killing, and Identity. Journal of Medical Ethics 25 (2):77-86.
Citations of this work BETA
Dean Stretton (2004). Essential Properties and the Right to Life: A Response to Lee. Bioethics 18 (3):264–282.
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