Abortion and drug war
Table of Contents
What is a valuable future (or “future of value”) according to Marquis? What role does this concept play in Marquis’ argument that abortion is morally wrong?
The future of value argument equally and expressively supports the notion that abortion is morally wrong because to a greater extent, it denies or deprives one of the things which could have been done in future. In essence, the prima facie principle holds in this case because when the action is regarded from the perspective of killing a person, then he or she has been deprived from enjoying a valuable future (Steinbock 475). In essence, loss to a person’s life, as Marquis indicates, is the worst loss that can be suffered. In this case, the worthwhile future is denied because activities, experiences, projects, as well as enjoyments that could have contributed to the future are denied. Hence, abortion is morally wrong because it constitutes the act of killing a person; there is a greater extent of harm or loss inflicted on the victim. However, such an argument holds premise when the principle of interest or sentient being is not considered.
On the other hand, the limitation of the argument in supporting the notion that it is unethical to kill a person and deprive him or her of a valuable future is based on the conception that an individual under persistent vegetable state can just be killed. The implication is that this person does not hold any future, consciousness, and interests (Steinbock 475). From the sentient approach, it can equally be attributed to the fetus, which is on the vegetable state, whose fate has not been known as regards to the possible future activities, enjoyments and as such, “valuable future” (Steinbock 475). Therefore, the argument could be limited in explaining the morality or ethics behind abortion.
In addition, Marquis’s argument is rather based on potentiality principle of which depriving life is attributed to anything that has the potential of having valuable future. Fundamentally, the argument he presents is not clear because it suggests that killing the fetus deprives it of its potential, which is defined within the current state and not the potential of becoming a human. Hence, Marquis’s argument on value does not clearly state the basis by which a fetus is regarded as having potential for becoming a human, but rather, its potential at the present state (Steinbock 475).
Can Marquis’ account of the wrongness of abortion consistently allow for exceptions to a moral sanction against the act of terminating pregnancy? Why or why not?
One of the exceptions that Marquis allows for the moral sanctions against pregnancy termination is whether the fertilized egg has been implanted into the body. In this case, he proposes that life begins at conception; the point of fertilization is when life begins by forming in the womb (Steinbock 476). However, those arguing against the potentiality theory insist that the same proposition would mean that using morning after-pills or contraceptives would be regarded as immoral. Therefore, given his premise on this topic, there seems to be exceptions where terminating pregnancy is possible.
However, his argument has profound limitations. For one, there are the objections that fetuses have no ability of valuing the future and as such, the future cannot be valuable. Life is also subject to the desire by the subject. Hence, for the exceptions, his argument is limited by the fact that the fetus does not have or possess the ability of valuing this element of continued existence (Steinbock 477). Accordingly, the arguments are also limited by the use of contraceptives, which holds the termination of abortion as expressively immoral.
Conversely, for Marquis’s position, there are challenges with concluded that he has directed provided conditions or exceptions whereby it is possible to terminate abortion. His argument confers life to the unborn fetus and regards that the potentiality begins or applies at conception (Steinbock 476). In this case, for Marquis, the arguments on the morality of securing abortion do not find place in his model and as such, still no specific justifications indicating that he has recommended specific exceptions which the pro-abortion camp would buy into.
According to Steinbock, an early term fetus is not sentient. Explain why Steinbock makes this claim, and then how she uses this claim to argue that most abortions are not seriously morally wrong. Make sure to discuss how the interests view relates to this argument.
The moral status of the embryo and fetus and the burden placed on the woman. From the interest view, there is a limitation imposed on the moral status to the beings that have interests and as such, puts a restriction to the possession of the interests to the tenets of consciousness, sentient beings. In this case, the premise maintained that abortion is not morally wrong it is not immoral or unethical killing non-conscious as well as non-sentient fetus when there are reasons or even justified reasons for taking such action, for instance, a woman not wanting to be pregnant. The sentient being is compared to the conscious woman who has to bear the burden of pregnancy and childbirth. The debate on the morality of abortion is equally attributed to the comparison between the new-born baby and the fetus. For the new-born, it has the ability to perceive, react, and cry (Steinbock, 472). For instance, the baby will cry when feeling hungry, or when stuck with needles, which changes as the baby grows and even cries because of boredom. On the contrary, the fetus, especially in the first-trimester, has no ability to cry, feel, or even perceive anything. Certainly, the fetus could alive human but there are no feelings, no interests and as such, unaware of the surrounding or anything. Sentient implies the ability of feeling pain and pleasure. The central premise in this case, is that non-sentient things, as she compares to cars or rocks, have no interests or self-interests. In this regard, the non-sentient things cannot be considered as things that embody interests which is necessary to consider when arguing about the morality or the unethical element of abortion (Steinbock 475). Therefore, for the non-sentient things, they are not accorded any moral status, which to a greater extent, considered as the interest view to assessing the morality of a course of action, especially as regards to abortion.
From the interest view or perspective, she argues that the concern is not on whether it is right to kill fetus because it lacks the moral status but rather, it is necessary for the women to bear the burden of carrying pre-sentient fetus when they choose not to terminate the pregnancy (Steinbock 478).
Explain why Huemer thinks America’s drug war is seriously unjust
From Huemer’s argument, one of the serious challenges that he finds from the drug is that the decision or reasons are based on the notion that drugs are harmful to individuals. People have liberty to do anything they wish with their lives and arguing on the basis that drugs are expressively harmful to the users is morally unjust. It is also ridiculous that people are being imprisoned for harming their health, failing to meet societal expectations like the American dream and even being poor learners. The war on drugs is also unbalanced as the government is failing to recognize that there are other things that harm people the most, including smoking tobacco (causing about 440, 000 deaths annually in comparison to 180, 000 deaths from drugs) (Humer 2), eating too much, alcohol consumption of which no legal action has been directed towards addressing these concerns (Humer 1). Therefore, if things that are harming people more than drugs are not made illegal, then the war on drugs is purely unjust.
Another reason that Huemer puts across is that those advocating prohibiting drugs fail to provide or present justified reasons challenging the right that individuals have in using or consuming drugs. Intrinsically, much focus on the notion that for the effects of the drugs on the users, they are in no position to control how the drugs are working on their body. Furthermore, for the harm that drugs cause to society or people, it does not hold the reason for imprisoning people because the user equally has a right over his or her body. Conversely, the drug users are never in the position of controlling their behavior and body. The individuals barely know or understand what they are doing which leads to serious issue surrounding the government’s war on drugs. In essence give the action of drugs on the body; users do not deserve the current punishment. Huemer provides the example of Howard and how it is ridiculous that the government drug control agency would arrest him for harming people around him “voluntarily” (Huemer 6).
Finally, the injustice behind drug war is because the state is punishing people without a proper reason. Husak’s argument is cited in this case whereby various proposed rationale for prohibiting drugs have always hit dead-end (Huemer 7). Therefore, with nothing better coming out of these measures, then the major inference is that there are no justified reasons for punishing drug addicts. Accordingly, exposing people to untold suffering is equivalent to slavery, because their basic liberties are compromised and as such, being subjected to sever hardship for no apparent reason.
- Huemer, Michael. America’s unjust drug war. 2004.
- Steinbock, Bonnie. Why most abortions are not wrong.
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