A Defense of Abortion by David Boonin

By David Boonin

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I additionally recommend analyzing the subsequent readable books facing moral /philosophical issues as well as Boonin's attention-grabbing publication: a) "Justice. what is the correct factor to do" by way of Michael Sandel; b) "The God query: What recognized Thinkers from Plato to Dawkins Have stated concerning the Divine" through Andrew Pessin; c) "Hegel" through Terry Pinkard; d) "The right examine of mankind" by means of Isaiah Berlin; and e) "Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors" via Susan Sontag. different fascinating books, yet no so readable often is the following: 1) "Moral Measures: An creation to Ethics West and East" by way of James Tiles; 2) "Ética como amor propio" by means of Fernando Savater; 3)"The form of historical proposal: Comparative stories in Greek and Indian Philosophies" by way of Thomas McEvilley; and four) "Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy" by way of Rüdiger Safranksi.

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A second common objection to the slippery slope argument cannot as easily be dismissed. For if the relation of continuity forces us to continually push the point at which we first have an individual with a right to 35 The Conception Criterion life back further and further, then why should it stop at the moment of conception? Why not take it that the sperm and egg must also be thought of as having this right? And since virtually no one on either side of the abortion debate will accept this implication, doesn’t this count as a successful reductio on the argument itself?

It reenforces the impression that the controversy over abortion arises from a simple clash of incommensurable viewpoints. It fails to address critics of abortion on their own terms. But a defense of abortion that succeeds on the critic of abortion’s own methodological terms does none of these things. It justifies the claim that abortion, at least in typical cases, is morally permissible on terms that the critic of abortion can, indeed already does, accept. Only this kind of argument can contribute to resolving the abortion controversy, and it is this kind of defense of abortion that I propose to develop in the chapters that follow.

It is not difficult to see how an argument appealing to a claim about sanctity in the first of these senses might prove satisfactory. A 1987 Vatican pronouncement, for example, maintains that “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves ‘the creative action of God’ and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end” (quoted by Coughlin 1988: 315). If one believes that God stands in a special relation to every human being from the moment of conception, then this might provide firm support for the conclusion that each life has the sort of value that makes ending it morally impermissible.

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