Studies in Christian Ethics 16 (2):1-20 (2003)

Authors
Craig Paterson
Complutense University of Madrid
Abstract
The work of Dan Brock and Helga Kuhse is typical of the current stream of thought rejecting the validity of sanctity of life appeals to instill objective inviolable worth in human life regardless of the quality of life of the patient. The context of a person's life is supremely important. In their systems life can have high value, yet the value of life can be outweighed by the force of other disvalues. The notion of quality of life has increasingly come to signify the measurement of the worth of a person's life itself. Having a life equals personal life. Any objectivity to life resides in 'personal', 'biographical', or 'creative' life, not mere biological life. Personal life represents the minimal threshold for any objective worth. In responding to this challenge, John Finnis has argued extensively that life is an intrinsic good – a basic human good. Following from our grasp of human life as a basic incommensurable good, it cannot be practically reasonable both to affirm that (a) 'human life is a basic human good', and (b) that 'human life qua human life can be intentionally acted against to its destruction'. Yet, if the good of human life can be considered self-evident, the self-evidence of the basic human good qua good does not mean that dialectical reasoning cannot be engaged in to indirectly support the practical reasonableness of respecting the good of human life in the deliberative choices that persons make concerning their actions. It is to the use of such dialectical reasoning, supportive of the status of human life as such a basic human good, that the article is primarily concerned to draw out and articulate.
Keywords Killing and Letting die  Worth of Life  Intrinsic Good  Sanctity of Life  Natural Law Ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1177/095394680301600201
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,393
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Death.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Noûs 4 (1):73-80.
The Evil of Death.Harry S. Silverstein - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (7):401-424.
In Defence of Speciesism.Timothy Dj Chappell - 1997 - In David S. Oderberg & Jacqueline A. Laing (eds.), Human Lives: Critical Essays on Consequentialist Bioethics. St. Martin's Press.
Death.Mary Mothersill - 1987 - In Oswald Hanfling (ed.), Life and Meaning: A Reader. B. Blackwell in Association with the Open University. pp. 83--92.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Eliminating ‘ Life Worth Living’.Fumagalli Roberto - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):769-792.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
172 ( #61,413 of 2,449,013 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #442,577 of 2,449,013 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes