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Ethical Reasoning When we are answering questions about what is the right or wrong thing to do, we are attempting to give reasons that any reasonable.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethical Reasoning When we are answering questions about what is the right or wrong thing to do, we are attempting to give reasons that any reasonable."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Ethical Reasoning When we are answering questions about what is the right or wrong thing to do, we are attempting to give reasons that any reasonable person can accept as reasons. –Unacceptable reasons: »Arbitrary reasons »Prejudicial reasons (irrelevant, based on personal opinions) »Appeals to questionable authority (God, society, leaders) – Acceptable reasons: »Based on the kinds of considerations that reasonable persons can accept »Reasons that we can discuss and debate »Reasons that can be supported by larger ethical arguments or frameworks That we don’t currently have agreements doesn’t mean reasoning ethically is hopeless.

3 Ethical Frameworks for Resolving Conflicts Deontological Theories -- appeals to a certain rule or set of rules (e.g. Always respect persons, never use people as means to some end) Consequentialist Theories -- determine what to do by weighing the positive vs. negative values and taking that course of action that all things considered leads to the best outcome. Virtue Theories -- act in ways that a person with a good character would (e.g. compassion, courage, loyalty, etc.)

4 Life: the use of energy to maintain structure and order An organism that reproduces and evolves Cells Bacteria Plants Rivers Mammals Human: belonging to the species homo sapien Us Fetuses Future Generations Persons : rational, self- conscious beings ? What is life? What is human life? Personhood concept

5 The Moral status of the fetus The Debate between permissibles and impermissibles often appears to rest on the moral status of the fetus, whether or not the fetus is a person. Person only with Consciousness/Sentience-pleasure and pain Those who think that abortion is impermissible think personhood is the same as life and thus begins at conception. Those who think that abortion is permissible think that not all life has moral status and that this status begins at some point after conception. Person Subject-of-a-life Birth ViabilityFetus Heart beatEpiblast Egg Fertilization Implantation Brain and CNS developing Pregnancy begins 13 days 4 wks 3-8 wks9 wks weeks wks 38 wks 3 months?3 years? QUICKENINGQUICKENING

6 Different views on when personhood/human life begins Historical, Aristotle Jewish Christian to Catholic Eastern and Islam

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9 Scientific arguments: a specific human life begins pre-embryo-embryo-fetus Fertilization-unique genome Gastrulation-no more extraembryonic, twinning over-14 days EEG-brain activity, when death occurs- 24 weeks Birth-independent, breathing

10 Fate of a fertilized egg An argument against Human life beginning at conception

11 Monozygotic twins

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15 Second and Third Stages of Childbirth

16 The Moral status of the fetus The Debate between permissibles and impermissibles often appears to rest on the moral status of the fetus, whether or not the fetus is a person. Those who think that abortion is impermissible think personhood is the same as life and thus begins at conception. Those who think that abortion is permissible think that not all life has moral status and that this status begins at some point after conception. Person Subject-of-a-life Birth ViabilityFetus Heart beatEpiblast Egg Fertilization Implantation Brain and CNS developing Pregnancy begins 13 days 4 wks 3-8 wks9 wks weeks wks 38 wks 3 months?3 years? QUICKENINGQUICKENING

17 From Lee Silver, borrow an argument from evolution

18 From Lee Silver

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