The argument of abortion is largely circumstanced around whether or not a fetus should be considered as a human person and, if indeed it is, when exactly in the stages of development can a person agree with the aforementioned statement. Most pro-life supporters firmly believe that a fetus is a human at the instance of conception and use this as a sole basis to argue that abortion is therefore immoral. Judith Jarvis Thomson is not convinced that this basis is a sufficient defense and approaches the argument by modifying a generic view on abortion. In the article, "A Defense of Abortion," Thomson makes the assumption that a fetus is, in fact, a human person upon conception and has a right to life. She then claims that even if this notion is …show more content…
Thomson uses a number of analogical cases besides the ill violinist to support her argument. John Noonan criticizes the analogical reasoning of Thomson by saying that the circumstances she creates to duplicate the facets of abortion are not similar in their relevant moral aspects. In his article, "How To Argue About Abortion," Noonan claims that using a moral response in one situation (sick violinist) to reach a moral conclusion in a different situation (abortion) on the plane that there is an analogy between the two situations is unreliable because the cases are always different in some respects. Reaching down to moral conclusions in one situation would be inherently different to a moral conclusion reached from another situation. In Thomson 's case, the analogy is too weak to be used as justification for her argument. For one, the subject in the violinist case was kidnapped. This spontaneous kidnapping is a radical occurrence and therefore does not equate to an unforeseen pregnancy. Also, the subject in the violinist case must be directly hooked to the violinist. This inconvenience cannot be compared to the inconvenience that a pregnant woman experiences while pregnant, since a pregnant woman is still mobile and capable of everyday tasks. These inconsistencies make the moral standings in the case of the sick violinist irrelevant to the case involving pregnancy and abortion. To further his refutation,
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The goal of Judith Jarvis Thomson in her defense of abortion is to sway the ideas of those who are against abortion by challenging the arguments they give for thinking so. She begins by stating a premise. “For the sake of the argument” a human embryo is a person. This premise is one of the arguments most opponents of abortion use, but as she points out, isn’t much of an argument at all. These people spend a lot of their time dwelling on the fact that the fetus is a person and hardly any time explaining how the fetus being a person has anything to with abortion being impermissible. In the same breath, she states that those who agree with abortion spend a lot of their time
In the article "A Defense of Abortion" Judith Jarvis Thomson argues that abortion is morally permissible even if the fetus is considered a person. In this paper I will give a fairly detailed description of Thomson main arguments for abortion. In particular I will take a close look at her famous "violinist" argument. Following will be objections to the argumentative story focused on the reasoning that one person's right to life outweighs another person's right to autonomy. Then appropriate responses to these objections. Concluding the paper I will argue that Thomson's "violinist" argument supporting the idea of a mother's right to autonomy outweighing a fetus' right to life does not make abortion permissible.
In On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion, Mary Anne Warren discusses a few arguments against abortion, namely bringing into play whether the fetus is actually a person, or “not a member of the moral community”. She
In her opening statement she first starts of stating a fetus is consider to be a human being or a person from the moment of conception. They have the right to life just like any other person does. In lines 1-10 “Most opposition to abortion relies on the premise that the fetus is a human being, a person, from the moment of conception.”(“Thomson, Judith Jarvis. “A Defense of Abortion.” Judith Jarvis Thomson: A Defense of Abortion, Oct. 1991,spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm.”) Thomson is drawing a line between what we consider to be a person meaning a human being or an adult, to what makes us a human being or an adult. In her first example she talks about an acorn falling from an oak tree automatically being consider to be an oak tree or to be still labeled as an acorn. In lines 10 -14“Similar things might be said about the development of an acorn into an oak trees, and it does not follow that acorns are oak trees, or that we had better say they are.”(“Thomson, Judith Jarvis. “A Defense of Abortion.” Judith Jarvis Thomson: A Defense of
There are many common pregnancy alternatives, but most often the resulting decision is abortion because it is effortless. Abortion is endings a women’s pregnancy by removing or forcing a fetus or embryo from the mother’s womb before it is able to survive on its own. Not all abortions are purposely done some are spontaneous like when a women that has a miscarriage. Rather abortion is done purposely or naturally it is a worldwide complication as to it being wrong or right. Abortion is an ethical issue that will be analyzed according to a personal worldview and Christian worldview. Ethical thinking will be examined by value-based decisions that address abortion from the perspective of a Christian worldview and comparing it to a personal assumption by addressing ethical dilemma, core beliefs, resolution, evaluation, and comparison.
Thomson also points out a flaw in the counterargument by saying that “opponents of abortion commonly spend most of their time establishing that a fetus is a person, and hardly any time explaining the step from there to the impermissibility of abortion” (266). By including both sides of the argument, agreeing with the opposition, and pointing out a flaw in their argument, Thomson makes her argument more persuasive not only by demonstrating her vast knowledge of the issue, but also by diminishing her opponent’s
With Thomson’s violinist analogy she shows that although disconnecting him would result in death, it would not be morally incorrect. This argument can be applied to a woman’s pregnancy, suggesting that if you accept the prior statement and can find no reasonable difference between the violinist and the fetus occupying the woman’s body, then you should accept that abortion can be acceptable. Thomson
Thomson’s argument, “A Defense on Abortion,” is a piece written to point out the issues in many arguments made against abortion. She points out specific issues in arguments made, for example, about life beginning at conception and if that truly matters as an argument against abortion. Thomson uses multiple analogies when making her points against the arguments made against abortion. These analogies are used to show that the arguments made do not really make sense in saying it is immoral to have an abortion. These analogies do not work in all cases, and sometimes they only work in very atypical cases, but still make a strong argument. There are also objections made to Thomson’s argument, which she then replies to, which makes her argument even stronger. Her replies to these arguments are very strong, saying biology does not always equate responsibility, and that reasonable precaution is an important factor in the morality of abortion. There are some major issues in her responses to these objections.
The debate about abortion focuses on two issues; 1.) Whether the human fetus has the right to life, and, if so, 2.) Whether the rights of the mother override the rights of the fetus. The two ethicists who present strong arguments for their position, and who I am further going to discuss are that of Don Marquis and Judith Thomson. Marquis' "Future Like Ours" (FLO) theory represents his main argument, whereas, Thomson uses analogies to influence the reader of her point of view. Each argument contains strengths and weaknesses, and the point of this paper is to show you that Marquis presents a more sound argument against abortion than Thomson presents for it. An in depth overview of both arguments will be
The ethics of abortion have long been an issue in the world of both politics and philosophy. Abortion has surfaced many questions regarding the classification of a newly fertilized embryo and whether or not it should be considered a human being. John Noonan, in his paper, “How to Argue About Abortion,” claims that the fetus is in fact a person, from the point of conception to birth, with the right to life. Noonan argues that the main problem with recognizing fetuses as human beings is the inability of some to expand their general view of what it means to be a person (1.
In the article 'A Defense of Abortion' Judith Jarvis Thomson argues that abortion is morally permissible even if the fetus is considered a person. In this paper I will give a fairly detailed description of Thomson main arguments for abortion. In particular I will take a close look at her famous 'violinist' argument. Following will be objections to the argumentative story focused on the reasoning that one person's right to life outweighs another person's right to autonomy. Then appropriate responses to these objections. Concluding the paper I will argue that Thomson's 'violinist' argument supporting the idea of a mother's right to autonomy outweighing a fetus' right to life does not
Thomson’s main idea is to show why Pro-Life Activists are wrong in their beliefs. She also wants to show that even if the fetus inside a women’s body had the right to life (as
One argument against this analogy is the violinist and abortion has many differences. Assuming that the Thomson’s case is a large analogy, one can argue that a fetus and the mother have a biological connection together, while the violinist and the abducted person are artificially connected. Therefore, there is a major difference between the two. However, this relationship is not a sound argument to provide relevance to the moral permissibility. Moreover, one can argue the analogy used in this case is not an argument. The counterexample does not use the analogy to make the whole argument. If the analogy is not included in the counterexample, the counterexample will still be just as effective because violinist in her counterexample can be replaced with a fetus. This word swap will retain the same idea. The moral standing of this case provide sufficient proof that this counterargument was successful at disproving the target argument premise
“On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion”, an essay written by Mary Anne Warren, defend abortion in any stage of a woman’s pregnancy (pg 468). Warren argues that the potential to become a human being is not the same as being human and deserving the same right to life (pg. 468-472). This essay asserts that in order to be human, one must possess five particular traits (pg. 470). These trait are consciousness, reasoning, self-motivated activity, the ability to communicate, and awareness of oneself (pg. 470). Warren claims that since a fetus has not yet acquired all of the traits, then that fetus is not human and therefore does not have the right to life (pg. 470).
Does a women’s right to choose to have an abortion outweigh a baby’s right to be born? The controversy at hand is whether the rights of a women outweigh the rights of a baby, and whether a mother should be given the rights to pursue a procedure like an abortion. To clarify an abortion is a medical procedure that ends a pregnancy in which a doctor uses a vacuum and suction to suck out a fetus from the uterus. The issue is whether the fetus who has the potential to be a rational, productive human being has the unequivocal rights of any other human being and whether he or she should be protected from, in every sense of the word, murder. The argument made by abortionfacts.com a nonprofit Christian pro-life education organization, is that