Thomson takes on the debate of abortion by presenting an analogical argument. She uses other several analogical arguments throughout her paper but the most appealing analogical argument is the sick violists example. To begin Thomson assumes that the fetus has a right to life from the moment of conception. (1 . Thomson, C 37) Imagine that you wake up one morning to find you’ve attached to a famous unconscious violinist. The violinist is attached to you because he needs your kidneys and you were the only individual to share the same blood type as the violinist. (2.
Thomson, C 37) The doctor tells you that to keep the violinist alive he needs to be attached to you for nine months or even more and unplugging yourself would mean killing him immediately. (3. Thomson, C 37) Furthermore, the doctor explains that all persons have a right to life and violinist is a person, so the violinist has a right to life, but because a person’s right to life is more important than your own individual right you cannot unplug yourself, therefore In doing so would be morally Impermissible. (4. Thomson, C 37) So how does Thomson use this example to Justify abortion?
She simply uses the kick violists example to build an analogical argument to further strengthen her position. Even If we assume that the fetus Is a person abortion Is not a violation to the fetus right to life and therefore considered as unjustified killing. The mother or the person (in the violinist example) has no moral obligation to save the person/fetus. A person in this case is something with the right to life and therefore applies to the both the violinist example and fetus. On the other hand murder is unjust morally wrong killing, in some cases in self-defense.
Therefore in Thomson violinist example unplugging yourself from the violinist would not be considered as murder. Murder isn’t Just killing the other person it is morally unjustified killing. All that the person has failed to do is give up is his freedom for that things that may bring him happiness In order not to save his life. In this case the mother has no moral duty to stop her life goals and liberties In order to keep providing for the child. With this Thomson shows a strong libertarian approach to her arguments In demonstrating abortion as morally permissible.
Thomson sick violinist example challenges Noon’s pro-life argument to show hat her analogy applies to abortion based on specific moral values. A challenge that Thomson presents to the pro-life argument is the general moral values of liberty and avoiding misery. Thomson takes on the case of abortion with a strong libertarian point of view. The only responsibilities that the other person has is to not to interfere with ones liberty. There is no obligation to provide goods and services. Even if the fetus is a person it does not mean that the mother has a moral duty to support the child.
It challenges Noon’s idea that we do have moral duty to provide goods and services to others. (5. Anon, C 09). Avoiding misery Is another challenge to Noon’s pro-life position, If the mother chooses to not go through pregnancy Is for reasons of evolving misery. Going through the pregnancy may cause misery upon the may stop the mother from pursuing her life time goals in order to care for the child. Surely that’s against moral values of avoiding misery. Part B) Anon addresses several moral arguments concerning abortion in his paper How to Argue About Abortion.
His arguments and methods are interesting but throughout his explanations he critics Thomson analogical argument and shows how her argument does not apply to abortion. One of the ways he approaches abortion is through his method of perception. Anon challenges Thomson sick violinist example saying that it is an artificial case. (6. Anon, C 05) Anon does not accept the analogical argument and is unconvinced of Thomson position because there is always room for differences between cases. He believes cases are always different.
He states that the analogy is bad, they differ and hence both cases are not the same. In a way both cases are different in the sick violinist example we assume that the person you are plugged into is a total stranger but in the mother’s case the child is to a total stranger to her body she feels and sees the child. Once again Anon relies on the method of perception and experience as his main arguments in order to establish a morality of abortion. Furthermore, Anon presents a different approach and shows that the key is to allow yourself to be immersed in the situation.
To be enlightened by perception is Noon’s strongest arguments. Of course when opening yourself to perception there needs to be a balancing in your moral Judgments. (7. Anon, C 1 1) In certain situations key features may suggest things that are right or wrong and you have to get a balance in order to make a moral Judgment. Unlike Thomson, Anon doesn’t rely on a single value. Balancing requires several values. (8. Anon, C 11). For example, the child’s life, the mothers faithfulness to her dependent, the physician’s commitment to preserve life. (9.
Anon, C 1 1) In all Anon rejects rationalist reasoning over the method of perception. That’s why people act morally in situations because their minds have been trained by perception and experience to act morally and do the right thing under the right environments. You see the fetus as a person, it is wrong to kill a person therefore it is wrong to kill the fetus. To see that the fetus is a person requires the perception, balance and the line drawing of values. (10. Anon, C 9, 10) Some flaws with the method of perception is prejudice. The way we see things can hinder our understanding of the relevant facts.
In some case principles can shape our perception of the things we encounter everyday but sometimes allowing the perception to shape our principles can hinder our moral reasoning. For example, in anti-slavery movements, civil rights movements, and woman suffrage. In cases like these our perception of what it means to have individual rights regardless race or lour which are perceptive attributes were challenged. Thomson suggest in her sick violinist example that we have no moral duty to support a stranger so therefore it is permissible to unplugged yourself and not provide good and services.
Otherwise, Anon challenges this statement and provides that in some cases we do have a moral obligation to help a stranger. In some cases very little is required to save a person. If little inconvenience then, why helping the other person poses a greater risk then our duty to intervene becomes weaker. In some cases it is easy to intervene with no effort or risk but knowing how Eng we may need to provide for the person becomes an argument that Thomson stands against with her sick violinist example. Part C) Glovers main arguments take a pro-choice standpoint.
To reiterate the pro-choice position states that abortion is only morally permissible if the woman chooses to have the abortion. (1 1 . Glover, C 1 50) Now Glover makes several arguments stating that abortion is more complex than what Anon and Thomson argue. The ethics of abortion is multidimensional and cannot be abridged to a single value. As moral beings we need to learn how to take our moral values and apply them to specific asses. Furthermore, Glover appeals to freedom and individual happiness and uses them to argue his view towards the abortion debate. 12. Proof. Doppler) Glover argues against Anon in that it is difficult to draw the line during pregnancy. (13. Glover, C 1 51) With that he claims that being a person requires some degree of self-consciousness, some awareness between you and the world around you. (14. Glover, C 151). When a being has self-awareness of his or her self as a being then there is distinction between what is person. It is still unclear if unborn children can have self-awareness or even newborns. Some newborns may not experience self-awareness until couple years after.
Some may say that self- awareness is when the newborn identifies that something of their own and not of the other, then self-awareness may be achieved but it is still unclear. Glover further reiterates that making the right of life depend on self-awareness is a very vague and abstract idea. (15. Glover, C 1 51) He questions the vagueness of this argument so therefore it may result in vague line drawing as well. Now for Glovers first argument he states that the right to freedom does Justify the right to end a life. 16. Proof.
Doppler) If a woman chooses to abort it is because she wants avoid misery and therefore it is right to end the life because it her right to choose (17. Glover, C 150) Glover takes this argument even further an addresses individual happiness. (18 Proof. Doppler) Giving birth to an unwanted child can ruin careers, family and bring up the child to an abusive environment. ( 20. Glover, C 150) Even denying the mother to choose can cause misery to her life as well. Anon could argue that sometimes it doesn’t bring misery but rather happiness for the entire family.
Maybe the family does want a grandchild so ending the life of the fetus could cause unhappiness for the entire family therefore abortion is not morally permissible. Against that Glover could argue that the mother’s freedom to choose is more important than the family’s happiness, because it is her body and she can decide whatever she wants to do with her own body. Here we can see that these two key values may sometimes come into conflict. Now which value is more important? Anon can argue that this is a clear example of balancing values. In some cases balancing is required to make moral Judgments. The ability to see what is relevant in
In all Glover argues that that the right to end a life is dependent on several values (multidimensional) such as mother’s freedom to choose and individual happiness. Anon believes that perception can enlighten our moral Judgments to a certain degree but with line drawing and balancing we can narrow these moral Judgments in order to apply them to specific cases such abortion. Work Cited Glover, Jonathan. Matters of Life and Death. New York: New York Review of Books, May 30, 1985. Anon, John. How to argue About Abortion. Thomson, Judith. A Defense of Abortion. 2nd deed. Belmont, California: Headwords Publishing Company.