Why Abortion Is Immoral According To John Marquis
Why abortion is immortal?
The moral debate about induced abortion develops at different levels depending on the decision framework in which it is presented. On the individual discusses the moral quality of the act of interrupting a pregnancy; and at the social level the controversy revolves around what kind of public policy should be adopted with respect to practice and what should be the moral reasons that supports it. With respect to the morality of the act of abortion, they are traditionally two issues that have been established as the axis of the dispute: the status moral of the fetus and the possible conflict of rights.
Marquis establishes as an unquestionable moral principle that taking the life of an adult human being is immoral (Marquis, 183- 190). Marquis's argument against abortion, in general, fails to establish, as we have seen, necessarily, the immorality of abortion as a practice in general. The argument in favor, on the other hand, does seem to provide us with sufficient evidence to adopt the position in favor of the moral permissibility of abortion.
Marquis handles testimonies of terminally ill patients whose cause of pain and anguish is knowing that their illness will lead them to a premature end that will deprive them of many experiences to live. The same I would say, apparently, someone who is going to be killed, if we could ask him about it: the immoral thing that their lives are taken from them, is this deprivation of the future. From this, Marquis extrapolates this principle to the case of the fetuses, that they would also be deprived of what he calls "a future like ours." To escape an accusation of speciesism or anthropocentrism, Marquis says that it could even be immoral to take the life of an animal that has "A future like ours", if there is such an animal. The condition that it seems negative to us to lose our lives and to be deprived of the future, is that we are conscious
that we will have a future, that this could be positive for us and that if we end our lives, we lose those possibilities. While Marquis argues that what we consider negative to lose the possibility of experiencing a future life, is enough to assign value to the future, seems to be taking an unjustified step between what we consider valuable and what is valuable. Is the future intrinsically and objectively valuable? Can there be something valuable independent of the subject that values? At least, we know that there are those who do not consider their possible future experience valuable, and it is the case of those who decide to commit suicide or who request euthanasia.
In this way, the author establishes that the essential foundation of the immorality of abortion is that the human future is valuable in itself, because this is at the base of the initial principle that it is unquestionably immoral to take the life of an adult human being. It is immoral to harm animals by causing them suffering, it is not necessarily that extrapolate the concept of 'inhuman harm', but the moral judgment can be broader than the one related to extrapolated human suffering, that is to say: we could say without fear of being wrong that we judge it morally wrong to cause harm and suffering to a sensitive living being, without resorting to the aforementioned extrapolation. On the other hand, even if it were an extrapolation from an ethical evaluation regarding the damage to a human being to damage to animals, in this example the condition of evaluation is shared by humans and animals, that is, in both cases the criterion is the suffering that, in fact, both can suffer (Shirley, 79-80).
According to Marquis, "we think it is seriously wrong to kill people who have little desire to live or, certainly, do not want to live ", However, such affirmation also constitutes discussion bioethics, rather than an immovable principle: it is not clear that it is considered immoral, nor moral. When a fetus is unfeasible, in cases of anencephaly, his future life will probably not be so valuable, either for him or for his parents. But we not only limit ourselves to these cases: technically, when value is not given to the future life of a fetus, this life does not have value in itself, because neither the fetus nor a third party adjudicates it. Hence, we question who is responsible for assigning value to the life or future of the fetus, in order to propose the correction or moral incorrectness of practicing an abortion.
With which, Marquis falls into the same problematic of the classic arguments: when we grant rights and personality to the fetus or even to the gametes. In addition, the argumentof the valuable future suffers, as we have seen, of not being able to be based on anything other than subjective evaluation, because there is no other foundation available: When do we consider a future valuable? Why do we consider it valuable? Performing an abortion does not seem, in any case, to be a desirable experience, which makes it logical to think that, not being a legal practice, it will become a hyper-frequent practice, no more than it already is. In Uruguay, for example, not too long ago a law was passed allowing the abortion not only in exceptional cases.
Marquis, Don. "Why abortion is immoral." The Journal of Philosophy 86.4 (1989): 183-202.
Shirley, Edward S. "Marquis’ argument against abortion: a critique." Southwest Philosophy Review 11.1 (1995): 79-89.
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