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Ethics of Abortion


chilled_fluorine
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I thought that was a biological fact, but it would be believable that I was misinformed.

 

You thought what was a biological fact?

 

 

I think it is the wants that are relevant. If a fetus cannot want yet, the fetus has no more right to life than a sperm swimming up a fallopian tube.

 

Interesting idea.

 

I agree that personhood is a moral and social construct. To me this suggests a definition of personhood can not be made using scientific evidence alone. But you've touched on an important issue, which is, what is the most ethical way to define personhood?

 

I don't feel like I've come to a conclusion on this one yet, and I think that there are probably multiple criteria that should be taken into consideration.

 

 

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You thought what was a biological fact?

I thought it was accepted that animal life begins at fertilization.

 

Wait... There are animals that reproduce asexually. Was I a dupe? :blink:

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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I thought it was accepted that animal life begins at fertilization.

 

Wait... There are animals that reproduce asexually. Was I a dupe? blink.gif

Not quite. Technically speaking, the sperm and the egg are still living cells independent of each other. All that happens at fertilization is the combination of two "half-genomes", as it were, to form a full genome not completely identical to either of its parents. I think the question is really about personhood rather than life, as y'all are talking about (I think).

There are animals that reproduce asexually, or that do sexual reproduction with themselves (ie C. elegans, etc).

Edited by The Flaming Goldfish
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  • 2 weeks later...

I had an interesting thought about the ethics of not aborting genetically diseased offspring. The argument is entirely philosophical. I am a young, childless male, so don't know the instincts of a mother.

 

In my view, abortion isn't harmful to the fetus if the fetus is not capable of wanting anything. This is because death is only harmful to the degree that it prevents one from obtaining things they want. However, things become more complex when you consider time. Taking away something somebody wants is bad even if the victim will be born in the future. For example, if I destroy the environment, my victims are the members of future generations.

This puts a strange twist on abortion (for fetuses that aren't yet capable of wanting). If the fetus continues to develop, it will probably be glad that it wasn't aborted. If it's aborted, it can never be sad about itself being aborted. It's kind of an odd paradox. The paradox is that, in retrospect, abortion would have been bad only if it wasn't chosen. In this context, the concept is useless, i.e. it's useless to say the morality of an action is determined ad hoc. However, the concept is relevant to another issue.

Is it wrong to give birth to a genetically diseased offspring? According to my view, abortion should only be obligatory if the offspring will suffer so greatly that it will wish for its own death. However, most genetically diseased offspring will not suffer to that extent. If they continue to develop, they will still say they are glad they weren't aborted. Thus, the mother still did a good thing, in retrospect, by not getting an abortion. Furthermore, although it is not good for a pregnant woman to drink while she is pregnant, we can still comend that woman for creating life.

Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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