Summary and Critique of Don Maquis- Anti-Abortion Argument

When he compiles his argument he begins by providing the argument for a ‘pro-choice’ approach which makes the assumption that a fetus is a being but one who’s life is not ethically applicable and can be ended thou moral consequence This gives us an insight into the apparent symmetry between this set of ideals in contrast with the beliefs of the ‘anti-abortion’ approach which views a fetus as a being, ones who’s life is ethically applicable and cannot be ended without moral consequence.

The conflicting issue being weather or not a fetus falls under the category Of a morally applicable ‘sentient being and this, in turn, is what Marquis sets out to confirm in order to create a solid case for the ‘anti-abortion’ approach. He accepts that logically if either Of these arguments are to be convincing needs to extend beyond normal social realities. For instance an anti;abortion argument cannot simply rely on the age old conception that “It is always prima facie seriously wrong to take a human life” or “It is always prima facie seriously wrong to end the life of a baby. As both of these understandings cannot be ridiculed. The pro-choicer argument in and of itself will make a similar claim that is once again supported by the moral principles in society such as; “Being a person is what gives an individual intrinsic moral worth” or “It is only seriously prima facie wrong to take the elite of a member of the human community,” which also poses a parallel hut opposite problem. While the anti-apportion scope is too broad, covering ‘all elite’ the pro-choice argument is too narrow only applying to fetus who are not taken under the category of the wrongness of killing’.

Therefore Marquis, under his own intuition, is required to look beyond social practicalities and prima facie of his argument to give tit stronger practical perception as well as an absolutely convincing understanding on the anti-abortion approach. When addressing the wrongness of killing argument using the positive attributes of both the ‘sanctity of life account’- utilized strongly by anti abortionists and ‘Persephone account’- seed inherently by pro-choicer s. Ay combining these view and avoiding the holes in both he creates a strong foundation for his own argument, using theirs as a platform from which he expands.

Assuming we are talking about human fetus and ‘human being’ is to be taken under the base biological sense: Marquis makes the observation that biologically or even psychologically categorizing his arguments creates more problems then it solves as he suggest that it is almost impossible to separate what is the most relevant to the dispute of the wrongness of killing, For example why Mis it any more reasonable to base a moral conclusion n the number of chromosomes in one’s cells than on the color of one’s skin? ” (Marquis, 1989).

This carries a huge weight of social and moral implications and Marquis solution is to take the concept of ‘human being into a moral category. Hereby excluding the matter of weather a fetus is human or not out of the equation as it is morally irrelevant for his argument. This contradicts most Pro-choice advocates vivo would suggest that a fetus is not psychologically human an therefore this very important distinction is exactly What makes abortion a non-wrongful killing and gives no moral affliction. However he addressed this clear view using challenging ideas that apply this concept to the real world.

Such salsa it then permissible to kill people who are mentally retarded or unconscious? ‘ He therefore presents a dismissal in the use of psychology as a distinct classification for this argument as it imparts a narrow and vague viewpoint. Summarily he excludes an argument that involves the wrongness of the ‘discontinuation’ of a life. He rationalists this by giving the understanding that a fetus cannot be taken under this argument as it is required for a being to have a past and experiences to be discontinued.

A fetus on the other hand is not even sell aware and has had no previous ‘experience’ as such to speak to, hereby the argument dose not apply in the case of abortion. Marquis then goes on to disassociate the ‘desire account’ as an influential element of his debate. It is pro-choice belief that takes into account it is someone’s desire to keep living that makes it wrong to kill a person as it interferes with their direct wishes. Once again when relating this view to abortion there is an obvious logical flaw. A fetus does not have the capability to be self aware let alone able to express a desire for the continuation of its life.

Dose this make the action morally permissible? If so then Marquis elaborates this idea relating it individuals in circumstances where they either do not desire the continuation Of their life Or they are unable to express such a desire for instance in a coma. He concedes that it is still deemed wrong to kill them even though there would be no expressed desire for life at the time of the killing. Because the argument is broad it cannot be practically applied in the case Of abortion. His belief is largely pivoted on “the effect Of the loss Of a biological life, is the loss to me of all those activities, experiences etc. Marquis, 1989). The loss in this case is almost entirely accumulated in the loss of opposable experiences. He describes this as the death of an individual, fetus or otherwise, deprives them of all the possible value of their future and as a result it is in inflicting this loss that makes killing morally wrong, Of course the entire anti-?abortion argument entails one major sting attached; it is neigh impossible to distinguish abortion from contraception and therefore anti-abortionists are usually forced to concede that contraception is morally wrong.

However Marquis addressed this conflict of interests by providing arguments to distinguish the moral integrity of contraception, He defines contraception as preventing the possibility betaking a future like ours, of value, but dose not actually take a future value, and therefore holds no moral afflictions in the way abortion does. He expands on this view by presenting the concept that if threes no known subject of harm then you cannot be wrong in undoing the possibility of a chance to an existence.

This distinction in his argument also strongly goes along with your natural intuitions, society does not want to think of contraception as morally wrong. Intact that side of Cathie faith is highly deducible as an extremist and out dated view in today’s global society. Marquis argument does hold some strong ethical and moral grounds that are very much applicable in today’s society.

However while the theory is solid, the argument is not, in his effort to blend different concepts and strongly define his debate he leaves more then one issue unresolved which dose not help create an entirely convincing argument. The first significant point here being his assumption that there is no subject to be harmed. In the case of contraception. Argue there very much is a subject, defined in the manner that every egg ND sperm have the potential to become a fetus and therefore a being with a future value like ours.

By stressing the concept that it is our future experiences that not only give us worth but define us as individuals. Retort with the claim that gametes have the same, if not stronger claim, to this because while it impossible to predict the influences and experiences one may encounter there is a finite number combinations to eggs and sperm twitch the probabilities of combinations can he calculated. Hereby there is a definite potential being that is losing a chance at life, how is this different to the abortion?

Imagine before his death a man wrote in his will it was his dyeing wish to have the first child that his daughter bares aborted even though his daughter is not pregnant yet. Is it morally permissible to the man to plan the death of his grandchild? Practical morality would tell us it would be so but Masques argument clearly states that as there is no known subject of harm one cannot be morally afflicted by preventing the chance of an existence. He goes on to try separate the fetus from the egg and Sperm by entailing that On their own they cannot achieve a future like ours.

However while gamete may not have a future on its own a fetus doesn’t either. It needs its mother, even after birth, in order to maintain the possibility Of a future. Marquis would retort this by defining the difference, that while a fetus already has that possibility to a future Of value a gamete is not permissible to that same claim. While a fetus will outgrow its need for a caretaker an egg will always need a sperm for the chance to a future like ours and Vic versa.

Marquis dismisses the biology and the discontinuation approaches well but one can’t help feeling it was these arguments that held up the most convincing differences between ND gamete and a fetus, Either though the clear biological changes, the gamete’s holding only had a DNA strand and a fetus which is completely biologically human, that are understandable to logical thinkers, Or the ‘discontinuation account’ which can be understood as the fetus elite, already having existed since the moment of conception, will be discontinued where as the gametes only perform basic live tensions and hold no experiences that would be ended by preventing conception, In this way he has made an effort to dismiss well known and understood definitions and replaced it with moral philosophy which is much reader to practically apply to a society, By dismissing the case of the biology of the fetus Marquis defines the value as based on a ‘being with a future like ours’.

Hereby not specific to humans, no biological specific given, individuals with an extra chromosome (down-syndrome), or even aliens with the potential for a future like ours are morally wrongful to abort, However most mothers who discover their children will have genetic disorders will abort the fetus and this in society is viewed morally permissible, if not so far as ethical practice. Imagine he would retort with and argument that reinstates the idea that a child vivid sever genetic disorder does not have the potential for a future like our and therefore is not morally applicable. However who is for us to judge the value of the experience Of a life Of and individual Who is severely mentally or physically handicapped. Albert Einstein for instance is commonly suspected of having Speakers Syndrome, a sever genetic disorder. Despite having provided the theory of relativity and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics he was unable to speak fluently at the age of nine (Bottom, 2006, p. 16).

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