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Bad Pro-Life arguments

Dookieman
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9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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9/28/2015 4:21:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Don't forget
"Everyone in favor of abortion has already been born"
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Dookieman
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9/28/2015 4:36:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 4:21:55 PM, Fkkize wrote:
Don't forget
"Everyone in favor of abortion has already been born"

Yea, that's more of a statement of fact rather than an argument.
Fkkize
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9/28/2015 4:38:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 4:36:25 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:21:55 PM, Fkkize wrote:
Don't forget
"Everyone in favor of abortion has already been born"

Yea, that's more of a statement of fact rather than an argument.
True, but as far as I can tell, it is meant to be one.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Dookieman
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9/28/2015 4:40:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 4:38:31 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:36:25 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:21:55 PM, Fkkize wrote:
Don't forget
"Everyone in favor of abortion has already been born"

Yea, that's more of a statement of fact rather than an argument.
True, but as far as I can tell, it is meant to be one.

I suspect that Ronald Reagan didn't know how to make arguments, though.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,227
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9/30/2015 4:58:30 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

Actually it is a good argument, it just needs a little bit of expansion in the context of people who are more knowledgeable in the topic.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

That really gets us back to morality in general - at which point it becomes about objective or subjective morality. This is also why there are very few pro-life atheists.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

And as for the Ronald Reagan quote - it is an effective bit of rhetoric which illustrates that this is about the powerful oppressing the weak. One could make similar arguments about slavery.

As for bad arguments:

"Well she should have thought of that before spreading her legs."

Well obviously one should think of the outcomes of one's actions. However, the woman's thought process (or lack thereof) really has nothing to do with whether she should or shouldn't be able to obtain an abortion.

"Abortion stops a beating heart"
While the sentiment is good, it leaves an impression that there is a particular stage of development where abortion is okay.

"If Mary was Pro-Choice there would be no Christmas"
Ugh... You're only preaching to the choir...

"Women deserve better than Abortion"
And its true. Many women abort out of a sense of desperation. And it is also true that the poor in the 3rd world deserve better than their lot in life. However, this just makes abortion a means test, or a psychological evaluation of the mother.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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10/5/2015 11:03:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

The only one I would quibble with is the first, at least in a slightly different form. Something like a substance view of persons argument seems somewhat plausible, and it's not a million miles away from what you said.

That being said, I'm not sure if it works. I've changed my mind a few times over it.

I'd add the potentiality argument as a really bad argument:

"The fetus is a potential person, therefore it deserves to have the same rights (e.g. the right to life)."

Bad for obvious reasons(potential presidents don't have executive privilege and so forth). Not to be confused with the FLO argument though.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,079
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10/6/2015 3:08:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect.

This is just a really really bad fallacy on your part of denying the antecedant. The argument you stated goes something like:

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it.
A fetus is a human being
It is wrong to kill a fetus

And you're going...

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it
ET is not a human being
Therefore, it is ok to kill ET.

And then you're jumping up and down going: See! I refuted the first premise! When in reality, all you've done is made an error in basic reasoning by taking a very weakly formulated straw man argument, ignoring the important aspects of it, and then claiming you've refuted the premise by faulty reasoning, when the premise itself was a bastadization of the argument to begin with.

The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.


Again, this is an over-simplification of the argument.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."


I agree that this is a bad argument. On the other hand, I think arguing from the intrinsic value of human life is a good argument, and this is usually what the person is trying to get at, even if they present it in an embarrassing manner.

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,079
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10/6/2015 3:09:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

How would you make a distinction between the morality of killing a fetus and killing a person? Is it consciousness that makes some organism valuable? Genuinely interested to hear your opinion.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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10/6/2015 4:23:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/6/2015 3:08:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect.

This is just a really really bad fallacy on your part of denying the antecedant. The argument you stated goes something like:

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it.
A fetus is a human being
It is wrong to kill a fetus

And you're going...

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it
ET is not a human being
Therefore, it is ok to kill ET.

And then you're jumping up and down going: See! I refuted the first premise! When in reality, all you've done is made an error in basic reasoning by taking a very weakly formulated straw man argument, ignoring the important aspects of it, and then claiming you've refuted the premise by faulty reasoning, when the premise itself was a bastadization of the argument to begin with.

I guess what I was trying to get across in response to this argument is that a satisfactory account of the wrongness of killing must be free of species membership. Otherwise, there is no way to account for why it would be seriously wrong to destroy beings of other species that uncontroversially have a right to life.

The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.


Again, this is an over-simplification of the argument.

I disagree. The human being in an irreversible coma would meet the criteria for having a right to life according to the argument mentioned above since he is human. This is known as the overcommitment objection in the literature.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."


I agree that this is a bad argument. On the other hand, I think arguing from the intrinsic value of human life is a good argument, and this is usually what the person is trying to get at, even if they present it in an embarrassing manner.

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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10/6/2015 4:37:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/6/2015 3:09:02 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

How would you make a distinction between the morality of killing a fetus and killing a person? Is it consciousness that makes some organism valuable? Genuinely interested to hear your opinion.

I don't know what makes something a person. I used to have a criteria, but I have started to have doubts about it. I guess what makes something valuable is sentience, or more specifically, having desires. This is because beings that have desires can care about what happens to them.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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10/6/2015 6:56:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/6/2015 4:37:03 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:09:02 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

How would you make a distinction between the morality of killing a fetus and killing a person? Is it consciousness that makes some organism valuable? Genuinely interested to hear your opinion.

I don't know what makes something a person. I used to have a criteria, but I have started to have doubts about it. I guess what makes something valuable is sentience, or more specifically, having desires. This is because beings that have desires can care about what happens to them.

One objection to this from Kaczor would be desire-free agents which still (plausibly) have the right to life (e.g. a fully enlightened Buddhist, or some Spock-like alien agent). Not sure how infants would fit into this picture as well, unless you're appealing to something like an ideal desire account, which Boonin proposes against FLO.
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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10/6/2015 9:16:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/6/2015 6:56:36 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/6/2015 4:37:03 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:09:02 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

How would you make a distinction between the morality of killing a fetus and killing a person? Is it consciousness that makes some organism valuable? Genuinely interested to hear your opinion.

I don't know what makes something a person. I used to have a criteria, but I have started to have doubts about it. I guess what makes something valuable is sentience, or more specifically, having desires. This is because beings that have desires can care about what happens to them.

One objection to this from Kaczor would be desire-free agents which still (plausibly) have the right to life (e.g. a fully enlightened Buddhist, or some Spock-like alien agent). Not sure how infants would fit into this picture as well, unless you're appealing to something like an ideal desire account, which Boonin proposes against FLO.

Right. I've read Kaczor as well so I was already aware of those counterexamples. I guess my problem with the objection is that I'm not convinced that the Buddhist master could have moral status if he doesn't care about anything at all. He's more like a plant or inanimate object if he has no desires.

Also, I don't accept Boonin's modified version of the FLO argument, because I don't think one needs a desire to continuing living in order to have a right to life. I also think Boonin's claim that newborn infants have a dispositional ideal desire to live is mistaken. There is a good paper on this that you might be interested in reading:
http://pedrogalvao.weebly.com...
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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10/7/2015 9:00:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/6/2015 9:16:58 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 6:56:36 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/6/2015 4:37:03 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:09:02 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

How would you make a distinction between the morality of killing a fetus and killing a person? Is it consciousness that makes some organism valuable? Genuinely interested to hear your opinion.

I don't know what makes something a person. I used to have a criteria, but I have started to have doubts about it. I guess what makes something valuable is sentience, or more specifically, having desires. This is because beings that have desires can care about what happens to them.

One objection to this from Kaczor would be desire-free agents which still (plausibly) have the right to life (e.g. a fully enlightened Buddhist, or some Spock-like alien agent). Not sure how infants would fit into this picture as well, unless you're appealing to something like an ideal desire account, which Boonin proposes against FLO.

Right. I've read Kaczor as well so I was already aware of those counterexamples. I guess my problem with the objection is that I'm not convinced that the Buddhist master could have moral status if he doesn't care about anything at all. He's more like a plant or inanimate object if he has no desires.

I take it you'd bite the bullet with an alien race who didn't function in terms of desires and so forth? What about someone who takes a nirvana pill, say? Would it be permissible to kill them as long as they were under the influence (and thus had no desires)?

Also, I don't accept Boonin's modified version of the FLO argument, because I don't think one needs a desire to continuing living in order to have a right to life. I also think Boonin's claim that newborn infants have a dispositional ideal desire to live is mistaken. There is a good paper on this that you might be interested in reading:
http://pedrogalvao.weebly.com...

I'll definitely give it a read. Cheers.
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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10/8/2015 12:30:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/7/2015 9:00:10 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/6/2015 9:16:58 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 6:56:36 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/6/2015 4:37:03 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:09:02 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

How would you make a distinction between the morality of killing a fetus and killing a person? Is it consciousness that makes some organism valuable? Genuinely interested to hear your opinion.

I don't know what makes something a person. I used to have a criteria, but I have started to have doubts about it. I guess what makes something valuable is sentience, or more specifically, having desires. This is because beings that have desires can care about what happens to them.

One objection to this from Kaczor would be desire-free agents which still (plausibly) have the right to life (e.g. a fully enlightened Buddhist, or some Spock-like alien agent). Not sure how infants would fit into this picture as well, unless you're appealing to something like an ideal desire account, which Boonin proposes against FLO.

Right. I've read Kaczor as well so I was already aware of those counterexamples. I guess my problem with the objection is that I'm not convinced that the Buddhist master could have moral status if he doesn't care about anything at all. He's more like a plant or inanimate object if he has no desires.

I take it you'd bite the bullet with an alien race who didn't function in terms of desires and so forth? What about someone who takes a nirvana pill, say? Would it be permissible to kill them as long as they were under the influence (and thus had no desires)?

That's an excellent example. I remember Kaczor giving that example in his book. Michael Tooley gave a similar scenario in Abortion and Infanticide but it involved a disease. Suppose a normally functioning adult human being catches a disease that temporally wipes out all his desires, and then we ask would it be morally permissible to destroy this human being while they are like this? Tooley claims it would not be because it's in this neo-lockean person's interest to continue to exist.

Tooley actually abandoned basing rights on desires in his book and now bases it on interest, which is simpler and more plausible in my opinion.

I guess the desire view of personhood really is outdated now and should probably be rejected.

Also, I don't accept Boonin's modified version of the FLO argument, because I don't think one needs a desire to continuing living in order to have a right to life. I also think Boonin's claim that newborn infants have a dispositional ideal desire to live is mistaken. There is a good paper on this that you might be interested in reading:
http://pedrogalvao.weebly.com...

I'll definitely give it a read. Cheers.
zmikecuber
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10/8/2015 1:05:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/6/2015 4:23:11 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:08:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect.

This is just a really really bad fallacy on your part of denying the antecedant. The argument you stated goes something like:

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it.
A fetus is a human being
It is wrong to kill a fetus

And you're going...

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it
ET is not a human being
Therefore, it is ok to kill ET.

And then you're jumping up and down going: See! I refuted the first premise! When in reality, all you've done is made an error in basic reasoning by taking a very weakly formulated straw man argument, ignoring the important aspects of it, and then claiming you've refuted the premise by faulty reasoning, when the premise itself was a bastadization of the argument to begin with.

I guess what I was trying to get across in response to this argument is that a satisfactory account of the wrongness of killing must be free of species membership. Otherwise, there is no way to account for why it would be seriously wrong to destroy beings of other species that uncontroversially have a right to life.

I guess it really depends on what you mean by "species." If you mean species in a biological sense, then yes, I agree with you.


The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.


Again, this is an over-simplification of the argument.

I disagree. The human being in an irreversible coma would meet the criteria for having a right to life according to the argument mentioned above since he is human. This is known as the overcommitment objection in the literature.

I have no problems with saying a person in an irreversible coma has the right to life and ought to be kept alive. If they aren't dead, and are in a vegetative state I think that it is still murder to kill them.


"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."


I agree that this is a bad argument. On the other hand, I think arguing from the intrinsic value of human life is a good argument, and this is usually what the person is trying to get at, even if they present it in an embarrassing manner.

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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10/8/2015 4:47:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 12:30:21 AM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/7/2015 9:00:10 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/6/2015 9:16:58 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 6:56:36 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/6/2015 4:37:03 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:09:02 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

How would you make a distinction between the morality of killing a fetus and killing a person? Is it consciousness that makes some organism valuable? Genuinely interested to hear your opinion.

I don't know what makes something a person. I used to have a criteria, but I have started to have doubts about it. I guess what makes something valuable is sentience, or more specifically, having desires. This is because beings that have desires can care about what happens to them.

One objection to this from Kaczor would be desire-free agents which still (plausibly) have the right to life (e.g. a fully enlightened Buddhist, or some Spock-like alien agent). Not sure how infants would fit into this picture as well, unless you're appealing to something like an ideal desire account, which Boonin proposes against FLO.

Right. I've read Kaczor as well so I was already aware of those counterexamples. I guess my problem with the objection is that I'm not convinced that the Buddhist master could have moral status if he doesn't care about anything at all. He's more like a plant or inanimate object if he has no desires.

I take it you'd bite the bullet with an alien race who didn't function in terms of desires and so forth? What about someone who takes a nirvana pill, say? Would it be permissible to kill them as long as they were under the influence (and thus had no desires)?

That's an excellent example. I remember Kaczor giving that example in his book. Michael Tooley gave a similar scenario in Abortion and Infanticide but it involved a disease. Suppose a normally functioning adult human being catches a disease that temporally wipes out all his desires, and then we ask would it be morally permissible to destroy this human being while they are like this? Tooley claims it would not be because it's in this neo-lockean person's interest to continue to exist.

Tooley actually abandoned basing rights on desires in his book and now bases it on interest, which is simpler and more plausible in my opinion.

I guess the desire view of personhood really is outdated now and should probably be rejected.

Interests is an interesting point of view. I've not really looked into it properly, but it seems to obvious that it's going to have to be much more inclusive than the typical pro-life view (it's going to include animals, for example).

I'm not sure how you could flesh it out though to include newborns AND provide a non-contrived way of excluding the unborn. One of the other problems I foresee (although I could be wrong) would be in how one defines "interest". If one defines it subjectively (i.e. one's interest are what an agent has determined them to be) then things like Marquis suicidal lovestruck teen would seen to be a pretty compelling counter-example. If one defines interests more objectively (things which makes human beings flourish, or some such statement), then the unborn would certainly seem to have an interest (or an ideal interest) as much as a newborn if, again, one is to seek to include infants.


Also, I don't accept Boonin's modified version of the FLO argument, because I don't think one needs a desire to continuing living in order to have a right to life. I also think Boonin's claim that newborn infants have a dispositional ideal desire to live is mistaken. There is a good paper on this that you might be interested in reading:
http://pedrogalvao.weebly.com...

I'll definitely give it a read. Cheers.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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10/8/2015 4:57:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 1:05:48 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 10/6/2015 4:23:11 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:08:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect.

This is just a really really bad fallacy on your part of denying the antecedant. The argument you stated goes something like:

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it.
A fetus is a human being
It is wrong to kill a fetus

And you're going...

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it
ET is not a human being
Therefore, it is ok to kill ET.

And then you're jumping up and down going: See! I refuted the first premise! When in reality, all you've done is made an error in basic reasoning by taking a very weakly formulated straw man argument, ignoring the important aspects of it, and then claiming you've refuted the premise by faulty reasoning, when the premise itself was a bastadization of the argument to begin with.

I guess what I was trying to get across in response to this argument is that a satisfactory account of the wrongness of killing must be free of species membership. Otherwise, there is no way to account for why it would be seriously wrong to destroy beings of other species that uncontroversially have a right to life.

I guess it really depends on what you mean by "species." If you mean species in a biological sense, then yes, I agree with you.


The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.


Again, this is an over-simplification of the argument.

I disagree. The human being in an irreversible coma would meet the criteria for having a right to life according to the argument mentioned above since he is human. This is known as the overcommitment objection in the literature.

I have no problems with saying a person in an irreversible coma has the right to life and ought to be kept alive. If they aren't dead, and are in a vegetative state I think that it is still murder to kill them.

Why, though? A brain-dead, irreversibly comatose patient, it seems to me, is already dead, in every important sense.

What about cases where pregnancies where the unborn has zero chance of survival (e.g. ancephaly), but pose a grave threat to the mother?


"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."


I agree that this is a bad argument. On the other hand, I think arguing from the intrinsic value of human life is a good argument, and this is usually what the person is trying to get at, even if they present it in an embarrassing manner.

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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10/8/2015 6:11:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 4:47:21 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/8/2015 12:30:21 AM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/7/2015 9:00:10 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/6/2015 9:16:58 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 6:56:36 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/6/2015 4:37:03 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:09:02 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

How would you make a distinction between the morality of killing a fetus and killing a person? Is it consciousness that makes some organism valuable? Genuinely interested to hear your opinion.

I don't know what makes something a person. I used to have a criteria, but I have started to have doubts about it. I guess what makes something valuable is sentience, or more specifically, having desires. This is because beings that have desires can care about what happens to them.

One objection to this from Kaczor would be desire-free agents which still (plausibly) have the right to life (e.g. a fully enlightened Buddhist, or some Spock-like alien agent). Not sure how infants would fit into this picture as well, unless you're appealing to something like an ideal desire account, which Boonin proposes against FLO.

Right. I've read Kaczor as well so I was already aware of those counterexamples. I guess my problem with the objection is that I'm not convinced that the Buddhist master could have moral status if he doesn't care about anything at all. He's more like a plant or inanimate object if he has no desires.

I take it you'd bite the bullet with an alien race who didn't function in terms of desires and so forth? What about someone who takes a nirvana pill, say? Would it be permissible to kill them as long as they were under the influence (and thus had no desires)?

That's an excellent example. I remember Kaczor giving that example in his book. Michael Tooley gave a similar scenario in Abortion and Infanticide but it involved a disease. Suppose a normally functioning adult human being catches a disease that temporally wipes out all his desires, and then we ask would it be morally permissible to destroy this human being while they are like this? Tooley claims it would not be because it's in this neo-lockean person's interest to continue to exist.

Tooley actually abandoned basing rights on desires in his book and now bases it on interest, which is simpler and more plausible in my opinion.

I guess the desire view of personhood really is outdated now and should probably be rejected.

Interests is an interesting point of view. I've not really looked into it properly, but it seems to obvious that it's going to have to be much more inclusive than the typical pro-life view (it's going to include animals, for example).

I'm not sure how you could flesh it out though to include newborns AND provide a non-contrived way of excluding the unborn. One of the other problems I foresee (although I could be wrong) would be in how one defines "interest". If one defines it subjectively (i.e. one's interest are what an agent has determined them to be) then things like Marquis suicidal lovestruck teen would seen to be a pretty compelling counter-example. If one defines interests more objectively (things which makes human beings flourish, or some such statement), then the unborn would certainly seem to have an interest (or an ideal interest) as much as a newborn if, again, one is to seek to include infants.

When Tooley speaks of interest he is referring to it in the objective way. When I saw him adopt this new view in his book I was puzzled because it definitely seems like fetuses and infants would have an interest in continuing to live. But Tooley claimed this belief is mistaken, because the fetus and infant are not one and the same subject of consciousness as the neo-lockean person that will later result.

Also, I don't accept Boonin's modified version of the FLO argument, because I don't think one needs a desire to continuing living in order to have a right to life. I also think Boonin's claim that newborn infants have a dispositional ideal desire to live is mistaken. There is a good paper on this that you might be interested in reading:
http://pedrogalvao.weebly.com...

I'll definitely give it a read. Cheers.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,079
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10/8/2015 7:20:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 4:57:17 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/8/2015 1:05:48 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 10/6/2015 4:23:11 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:08:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect.

This is just a really really bad fallacy on your part of denying the antecedant. The argument you stated goes something like:

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it.
A fetus is a human being
It is wrong to kill a fetus

And you're going...

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it
ET is not a human being
Therefore, it is ok to kill ET.

And then you're jumping up and down going: See! I refuted the first premise! When in reality, all you've done is made an error in basic reasoning by taking a very weakly formulated straw man argument, ignoring the important aspects of it, and then claiming you've refuted the premise by faulty reasoning, when the premise itself was a bastadization of the argument to begin with.

I guess what I was trying to get across in response to this argument is that a satisfactory account of the wrongness of killing must be free of species membership. Otherwise, there is no way to account for why it would be seriously wrong to destroy beings of other species that uncontroversially have a right to life.

I guess it really depends on what you mean by "species." If you mean species in a biological sense, then yes, I agree with you.


The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.


Again, this is an over-simplification of the argument.

I disagree. The human being in an irreversible coma would meet the criteria for having a right to life according to the argument mentioned above since he is human. This is known as the overcommitment objection in the literature.

I have no problems with saying a person in an irreversible coma has the right to life and ought to be kept alive. If they aren't dead, and are in a vegetative state I think that it is still murder to kill them.

Why, though? A brain-dead, irreversibly comatose patient, it seems to me, is already dead, in every important sense.


I believe there's a difference between a persistent vegetative state and being brain dead.

What about cases where pregnancies where the unborn has zero chance of survival (e.g. ancephaly), but pose a grave threat to the mother?


In my view it's immoral to directly kill the fetus, regardless of whether or not the mother will live.


"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."


I agree that this is a bad argument. On the other hand, I think arguing from the intrinsic value of human life is a good argument, and this is usually what the person is trying to get at, even if they present it in an embarrassing manner.

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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10/8/2015 9:31:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 6:11:41 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:47:21 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/8/2015 12:30:21 AM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/7/2015 9:00:10 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/6/2015 9:16:58 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 6:56:36 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/6/2015 4:37:03 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:09:02 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect. The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.

"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.

How would you make a distinction between the morality of killing a fetus and killing a person? Is it consciousness that makes some organism valuable? Genuinely interested to hear your opinion.

I don't know what makes something a person. I used to have a criteria, but I have started to have doubts about it. I guess what makes something valuable is sentience, or more specifically, having desires. This is because beings that have desires can care about what happens to them.

One objection to this from Kaczor would be desire-free agents which still (plausibly) have the right to life (e.g. a fully enlightened Buddhist, or some Spock-like alien agent). Not sure how infants would fit into this picture as well, unless you're appealing to something like an ideal desire account, which Boonin proposes against FLO.

Right. I've read Kaczor as well so I was already aware of those counterexamples. I guess my problem with the objection is that I'm not convinced that the Buddhist master could have moral status if he doesn't care about anything at all. He's more like a plant or inanimate object if he has no desires.

I take it you'd bite the bullet with an alien race who didn't function in terms of desires and so forth? What about someone who takes a nirvana pill, say? Would it be permissible to kill them as long as they were under the influence (and thus had no desires)?

That's an excellent example. I remember Kaczor giving that example in his book. Michael Tooley gave a similar scenario in Abortion and Infanticide but it involved a disease. Suppose a normally functioning adult human being catches a disease that temporally wipes out all his desires, and then we ask would it be morally permissible to destroy this human being while they are like this? Tooley claims it would not be because it's in this neo-lockean person's interest to continue to exist.

Tooley actually abandoned basing rights on desires in his book and now bases it on interest, which is simpler and more plausible in my opinion.

I guess the desire view of personhood really is outdated now and should probably be rejected.

Interests is an interesting point of view. I've not really looked into it properly, but it seems to obvious that it's going to have to be much more inclusive than the typical pro-life view (it's going to include animals, for example).

I'm not sure how you could flesh it out though to include newborns AND provide a non-contrived way of excluding the unborn. One of the other problems I foresee (although I could be wrong) would be in how one defines "interest". If one defines it subjectively (i.e. one's interest are what an agent has determined them to be) then things like Marquis suicidal lovestruck teen would seen to be a pretty compelling counter-example. If one defines interests more objectively (things which makes human beings flourish, or some such statement), then the unborn would certainly seem to have an interest (or an ideal interest) as much as a newborn if, again, one is to seek to include infants.

When Tooley speaks of interest he is referring to it in the objective way. When I saw him adopt this new view in his book I was puzzled because it definitely seems like fetuses and infants would have an interest in continuing to live. But Tooley claimed this belief is mistaken, because the fetus and infant are not one and the same subject of consciousness as the neo-lockean person that will later result.

So, the view is essentially that infanticide again would be morally permissible, I assume, given that an infant would not have an interest? It seems puzzling to me as well (although this could be because I haven't read Tooley's book yet) why it is infants/fetus wouldn't have an interest just because they're not a neo-lockian person yet, if it is objective. It seems to me all humans (regardless of personhood) have an objective interest not to be killed, all else being equal?

Also, I don't accept Boonin's modified version of the FLO argument, because I don't think one needs a desire to continuing living in order to have a right to life. I also think Boonin's claim that newborn infants have a dispositional ideal desire to live is mistaken. There is a good paper on this that you might be interested in reading:
http://pedrogalvao.weebly.com...

I'll definitely give it a read. Cheers.
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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10/8/2015 9:39:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/8/2015 7:20:15 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 10/8/2015 4:57:17 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 10/8/2015 1:05:48 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 10/6/2015 4:23:11 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 10/6/2015 3:08:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 9/28/2015 4:18:21 PM, Dookieman wrote:
Here are some common Pro-Life arguments I hear lay people make all the time on the internet and in public.

"The fetus is a human being, therefore abortion is wrong."

This argument fails because it's speciesist and leads to unacceptable consequences. Being a member of the species homo sapiens is not morally relevant since one can imagine beings that have moral status that are not human, e.g. the Extra-Terrestrial E.T., angels, God ect.

This is just a really really bad fallacy on your part of denying the antecedant. The argument you stated goes something like:

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it.
A fetus is a human being
It is wrong to kill a fetus

And you're going...

If something is a human being, then it is wrong to kill it
ET is not a human being
Therefore, it is ok to kill ET.

And then you're jumping up and down going: See! I refuted the first premise! When in reality, all you've done is made an error in basic reasoning by taking a very weakly formulated straw man argument, ignoring the important aspects of it, and then claiming you've refuted the premise by faulty reasoning, when the premise itself was a bastadization of the argument to begin with.

I guess what I was trying to get across in response to this argument is that a satisfactory account of the wrongness of killing must be free of species membership. Otherwise, there is no way to account for why it would be seriously wrong to destroy beings of other species that uncontroversially have a right to life.

I guess it really depends on what you mean by "species." If you mean species in a biological sense, then yes, I agree with you.


The argument in question would also entail that human beings in an irreversible coma have the same right to life as you or I. This is absurd, because the individual in the irreversible coma would have no more conscious life ahead of him.


Again, this is an over-simplification of the argument.

I disagree. The human being in an irreversible coma would meet the criteria for having a right to life according to the argument mentioned above since he is human. This is known as the overcommitment objection in the literature.

I have no problems with saying a person in an irreversible coma has the right to life and ought to be kept alive. If they aren't dead, and are in a vegetative state I think that it is still murder to kill them.

Why, though? A brain-dead, irreversibly comatose patient, it seems to me, is already dead, in every important sense.


I believe there's a difference between a persistent vegetative state and being brain dead.

PSV patients have no higher brain function and are kept alive (in the most limited sense) by machines. It seems to me, in those cases, the person is essentially dead.

What about cases where pregnancies where the unborn has zero chance of survival (e.g. ancephaly), but pose a grave threat to the mother?


In my view it's immoral to directly kill the fetus, regardless of whether or not the mother will live.

Even if the prognosis is certain death (within days in extremely positive cases) for the anencephalic fetus? In such cases, surely it is morally permissible, perhaps even morally obligatory, for, say, a mother of other children, to end the threat to her own life, by aborting a tragically doomed pregnancy?


"Abortion is wrong because it kills someone that could have went on to cure cancer or do something wonderful for humanity."

This argument is unsuccessful because it's easily reversible. Observe:

"Abortion is right because it kills someone that could have went on to become a serial killer or do something terrible to humanity."


I agree that this is a bad argument. On the other hand, I think arguing from the intrinsic value of human life is a good argument, and this is usually what the person is trying to get at, even if they present it in an embarrassing manner.

"Abortion is wrong, because the fetus is made in the image of God."

This argument should be rejected because it begs the question since it assumes that God exist.

There are other bad arguments, but these are the most common I hear lay people make.