According to Marquis, killing a being with a right to life is seriously morally wrong because it robs such a being of its future
Purpose of the Article “The purpose of this essay is to undermine the general belief. This essay sets out an argument that purports to show, as well as any argument in ethics can show, that abortion is, except possibly in rare cases, seriously immoral, that it is in the same moral category as killing an innocent adult human being”
Imagine… If a mother chose to abort her unwanted child and robbed that child of his/her future, you would never know what that child would have been capable of President? CEO? Movie Star?
In the beginning of his argument he explains the typical arguments for pro- choicers and antiabortionists However, he shows that both sides show weakness and are hard to control
Antiabortionists say… Fetus’s typically contain the same features as adult humans Example life is present from the moment f conception or that fetuses look like babies or that fetuses possess a characteristic such as a genetic code that is both necessary and sufficient for being human Pro-choicers say… Fetus’s lack the features necessary for mental existence Example fetuses are not persons or that fetuses are not rational agents or that fetuses are not social beings
What is wrong with killing? When someone kills someone else it deprives that someone of everything that he or she would have valued if their life ha not been prematurely ended Among those things would be goals, achievements, completed projects, relationships, experiences, etc.
Continued… The victim values change as life goes on. Therefore, not only is he or she deprived of what they currently valued but what they will come to value in the future
Think of.. The best day of your life Your favorite vacation Your best friend Your first date These are some of the things Marquis says you would be deprived of.
Supported by 2 Considerations 1.) This theory explains why we regard killing as one of the worst crimes 2.) People with AIDS and cancer that know they are dying believe that dying is very bad for them and that the loss of a future to them, that they would have otherwise experienced, is what makes premature death a bad thing for them.
Always Immortal? Marquis points out the abortion is not always immoral If a person is extremely ill and cannot be cured and will only face a future filled with pain it is okay
Critiques Because fetuses cannot value their own futures, they are of no value to them A being can’t have a right to life unless it expressly desires it’s own existence and since fetuses do not value in such a way they cannot have a right to life
Marquis’s Response Marquis argues that just because a being does not currently value or desire something, it doesn’t mean that the thing is not valuable to or desirable to that being
Contraception Critics say if Marquis’s theory is correct than contraception must be immoral. Marquis responds by saying nothing is wrong with presumptively wrong with contraception because no determinate being is deprived of the future value.