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PostSubject: Questions for the 1st Writing Assignment   Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:43 pm

1. Discuss the different positions made on the issue of abortion (i.e.
pro-choice, pro-life, pro-abortion) by focusing on the various
assumptions which their proponents make and with which their
respective arguments proceed. Are the assumptions true/acceptable?
Why/ why not?

2. Take a stand on the issue of abortion by bringing into prominence
certain concepts/terms that are crucial/central in the debate. How do
you propose these concept/terms to be understood/used in the context
of abortion? Make sure to elaborate by giving examples and making

3. Identify certain inferences, deductions or assertions made on the
issue of abortion. Given the various assumptions and claims these are
based on, are those inferences/assertio ns valid/justified? Identify
some contradictions or inconsistencies, if any.
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PostSubject: to question no.1   Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:03 am

There are two basic arguments that of the pro- choice and the other pro-life, some would add another category placing pro- abortion as a whole separate identity of its own to which I personally do not agree because abortion is a choice, no woman for example has ever had to contemplate abortion unless she is a woman whose options are limited both for herself and her future baby, to define pro- abortion merely as agreeing that there should be one at any stage takes away that important precondition and to some extent demonizing abortion itself.

The “pro-life” group insists that a fetus is a person therefore it is entitled to have the same rights as normal adults do. The pro- life establishes that it is seriously wrong to kill any adult human being because in doing so, you would take away that person’s future as well. Point blank the group includes a strong religious stand that life begins at conception and that no life therefore should be taken unless it poses as a threat to another person. The problem with these arguments is that it is too broad and vague to account what makes one human. It follows a dogmatic arrogance always held that because we say so, it is so by those who consider themselves of moral authority. While it is true that a fetus might be human, it is not exactly a human being, a kangaroo’s fetus is a fetus, a cat’s fetus is a fetus, etc., to be a human being is to consider its relations and what is missing in the pro-life argument is this, the important relationship between the pregnant woman and the developing fetus. Sure it is easy to say that abortion is impermissible since it takes the future of that future baby away adding that killing a fetus would mean that it is alright to kill a baby too. Well first, one’s future is not exactly pre-ordained, life is not about just having to breathe it is about living a life with dignity that counts. There’s this one advertisement in an anti-abortion website ( and I think every other similar website) that shows the ultrasound of a baby in live 3G animation with exchanging captions saying this baby could be a doctor, a lawyer, a president etc. but we wouldn’t know because it was aborted. Looking at it I figured it was a serious attempt to humanize a fetus and clinch the undecided’s conscience by demonizing abortion and those who decides for it. I say again that it is living with dignity that counts, the Ad which is poetic at its best fails to see exactly what chance does that baby has of becoming either one of those things for example if it were born in a family of seven to a mother and father who earns a living as scavengers in some compound in Baseco? At best that child would have finished elementary until it is able to help its parents in scavenging at worst that child would end up in the streets, with a gang or a pimp and because no other information is available regarding reproductive rights, due mostly to the insistence of moral pundits, that child would risk being pregnant or impregnating someone at a young age until it has seven children or more thus repeating a life of hardship and misery. Let me be clear I am pro-choice and I am aware that some would easily negate that concrete example by sighting a person who was born in such environment but perhaps have persevered and made it and is now currently living in a mansion somewhere, which is true and I credit their achievement but that should not be a poster for anti-abortionists, the fundamental question of a woman’s right to choose remains, to allow the latter is misguiding, it is tantamount to saying that because Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg are now successful Hollywood icons the American Black community should shut up and stop pressing for more equal opportunities and rights that in fact because a fellow African American has made it there is simply no racism at all. Off course this is false.

What is lacking in the pro-life argument is that they tend to restrict the debate in a moral arena but abortion is a case under reproductive rights which is also a socio-political question. So abortion must not be confined, it is also just as much a socio-political question. Child bearing must not be a woman’s burden alone, it is society’s as well. A society that is aware of its inequalities across gender and class has the responsibility to provide access to those who need it, in this case women. Nobody ever said that making the right choice is easy. Abortion legal or not is not easy, it is however necessary. Pro-life eliminates these factors, it is blindly optimistic in the dogmas they are enforcing. This ignorance is dangerous and oftentimes contagious; especially in the guise of faith. The pro-choice stand is more acceptable to me because it is able to fuse these two points, that of the moral and the socio-political. Morally it is permissible to have an abortion, it is less painful than having to push through with a pregnancy and watching the baby starve to death or as in the previous example, repeat a cycle of misery. Socio-politically it is permissible because society must have its share too of the women’s burden especially in the effect that material objective preconditions into having that baby live a life with equal opportunities cannot be met. Socio- politically, says Judy Simmons in Abortion: A Matter of Choice, we should only be concerned of an embryo’s right to life not more than a child’s quality of life and the things that destroy it, like war, genocide, classism, racism, unemployment, lack of medical care, and to the philosophically and ideologically advance perhaps even, the feminization of poverty.

Abortion however like every other reproductive health issues is not the answer to eliminating poverty neither does having one not ensure the woman a better life and freedom from all other chains that bind her. Womanity is a struggle and it is in the struggle, fighting and standing up and speaking out, that we become free. There are no illusions that say otherwise in this article. Likewise, no congregation of people should hold themselves a bastion of moral authority and decide who among us is immoral or not when it does not take part over the consequences of such action like child rearing. It is not only unfair, it denotes an institution overbearingly deciding on an issue which they have not even questioned properly. Their mode of inquiry is greatly flawed, their authority therewith on this should be forfeited to a large extent. Though that is to say a lot; the point mainly is to look at this in a more realist sense ultimately society defines the lives brought into this world. Susan Anthony, an American woman activist said and I quote “I detest those people who know exactly what God wants them to do, I notice that it almost always coincide with their own interests” .So do I.

Last edited by comia on Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:43 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : title change)
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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 1st Writing Assignment   Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:08 am

A ‘fetus’ according to The New International Webster’s Dictionary Encyclopedic Edition, is the young in the womb of a viviparous animals in the later stages of development; specifically in the women, from the end of second month, prior to which it is called an embryo; unborn offspring. I believe, upon having this definition that a fetus is a human being, a “developing” human being. Every person has the right to grow and to develop into something and someone. But somehow, I’m bothered by the principle “only persons have the right to life”, for the word “person” itself is vague and ambiguous. Another arguable turning point of issue is the time at which a person had been said to come into existence has varied extensively.

There are plenty arguments regarding the criteria for determining what is and what is not a person. Too many to mention, but to wrap things up, some say that aside from the physical attributes- one must have the capacity to reason, do some complex communications, and a whole lot more just for him to be called a “person”. Stemming from this issue, let’s take the case of special children. They do not have that cognitive abilities like that of a “normal person” have, but we consider them human beings. Another one: the paralyzed, the deaf, the blind, and any individuals who are disabled, we all know that because of the “lack” of something in their physical package as an individual, they find it hard to communicate well, in a way that they can be best understood by others. I don’t think it is rightful to say that a fetus is not a person because he/it lacks this and that…

Opponents of abortion look anxious that if a fetus is not a developed person, then we are reasonable in considering it in any way at all. On the other hand, this does not follow. Non-persons do get some consideration in our moral code, though of course they do not have the same rights and privileges as persons have, plus having said that: it means that they don’t have moral liabilities although we cannot regard them as nothing or simply consider them in any way we want. Example: we have laws implemented for animals.

I cannot say that a fetus is a parasite and a woman has the right to defend herself simply by pulling out this innocent individual out from/of her womb. Why? First, let us take the case of the legality of abortion in the premise of lessening the birth with disorders and disability. If a woman chooses to abort a fetus because it is said to have such conditions, then it would entail a life that is easier to live for because there is this underlying belief and concept that a disabled or a child who has disorder is a burden both to the family and the society. Thus abortion will not prolong the agony of both the woman and the baby/fetus. However, this kind of action undermines the capacity of the latter to see if it could have a “future”. After abortion is done, it stops there: for the fetus. What if the defect is minimal or somewhat not disturbing? Still, it by hook or by crook depends on the case or scenario, what if the doctor predicted that the baby has the least chance of survival and the mother’s condition is in danger, by then we can say that it is somehow debatable. My point here is that: as long as the fetus, embryo, zygote or what so ever has the faculty to be born and develop and as long as chances are there, why suppress it’s right to do so? Being disabled is not being a “no-worth” individual. It may sound subjective, but each and everyone has his own purpose/s. Second, abortion is killing. The fetus is starting to take life inside the mother’s womb. Upon its withdrawal on an early stage, when it is not fully-grown, it deprives the right of that particular individual to grow. To kill is to deprive of life, life is a matter of changes and development, and to abort is to cause the death of the baby (that was supposed to advance and nurture).
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PostSubject: Reply to First Writing Assignment   Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:05 am

There are many assumptions made in constructing stands concerning the very controversial issue of abortion. And these assumptions are made or considered in such a way that it supports the given stand of a certain partisan. One example would be the assumption that life begins at conception. This assumption is used and quite abused by the conservatists; the very act of abortion is akin to murder when this assumption is considered to be true, since the life you took away during the conception stage is already a [human] life. Another example is the statement one cannot do so with one’s body if it affects other people adversely. This assumption could be used by the main rivaling parties; it only depends on how it is used in their arguments.
Thousands of propositions have already been made regarding the issue of abortion. Many have constructed their theories and arguments, and it is interesting to note how they attempted to make their stands. One such proponent was Jane English. Her method was to deconstruct the notion of what a person is since the issue of abortion and its very act concerns persons (i.e., the mother and the unborn person) and a person’s rights. She made assumptions regarding what a person is based on empirical and scientific data. Furthermore, she explored the essential characteristics of an individual in order for that individual to be considered a person. She examined other proponents’ criteria of personhood, be it derived from biological factors, psychological factors, social factors, even neurobiological factors. The, she draws her stands from the parallel case of the hypnotized man-guinea pig in order to elucidate on the notion of self-defense. One such assumption she made states that it is all right for a person to kill another person if he recognizes the threat of killing. In other words, killing or harming another individual could be justified if it was for self-defense; and inflicting harm is pardonable if its aim is for the avoidance of casualties and not retribution, even if the attacker/aggressor is innocent. In the end, she concluded that the biological basis of personhood is not sufficient in determining whether abortion is morally right or wrong, because biological development, as mentioned, is gradual. And she also concluded that regardless of the personhood of the fetus, abortion is “more” justifiable during the early pregnancy rather than during late pregnancy in a sense that during the late pregnancy the potential harm that could be inflicted is greater.
Another proponent, Don Marquis, used a somewhat deconstructive-scientific approach in determining the wrongness of abortion. He tried to weigh the standoffs between the conservatives and liberals by comparing and deconstructing their respective arguments. An assumption he used, however, states that he believes that whether or not abortion is morally permissible stands or falls on whether or not a fetus is the sort of being whose life it is seriously wrong to end. Thus, in his arguments, he tried to use the analytic approach in studying and discerning what a fetus is.
Susan Sherwin, on the other hand, constructed her arguments by using the feminist approach in dissecting the issue on abortion. She believed that bioethics has greatly obscured the feminist ethics, resulting in the more anti-feminist propositions regarding abortion as a choice. She then concluded that the moral discussions of abortion reflect a broader agenda than what is usually found in the arguments put forth by bioethicists. She furthermore concluded that only by reflecting on the meaning of ethical pronouncements on actual women’s lives and the connections that exist between judgments on abortion and the conditions of domination and subordination can we come to an adequate understanding of the moral status of a abortion in a given context.
Lastly, another interesting perspective is that of Laura Hershey, namely the disabiliphobiac perspective. Many mothers committing the act of abortion usually argues that the did so because they do not want their would-be child to experience miserable life as a disabled person. Laura Hershey just argues that in digging deeper, this argument does not only make abortion morally right, but it also presupposes the assumption that being a disable is not an option; that disabled people are a burden to society. What Laura recommends, however, is a social change that will remove all discrimination and prejudice against people or persons with disability.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 1st Writing Assignment   Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:44 am

question no.3

There were lots of varied influences, deductions and assertions made on the issue of abortion, but basically the major deductions presented on the articles can be summarized by these two statements: 1. Abortion is wrong or impermissible, which could mean that it is wrong to kill a fetus and 2. Abortion is permissible, which could entail that abortion can be justified in some cases. And this could only be one or the other.
The questions of which is more valid or justified between the 2 conclusions will be dependent on how well each case presented their assumptions. For the first conclusion that abortion is wrong, I could summarize the argument presented through this:

1. The fetus is an innocent person - True
2. It is wrong to kill an innocent person - False
Therefore IT IS WRONG TO KILL A FETUS – the conclusion follows the assumptions but it is not valid

Assuming that the fetus is a person (this part here is quite problematic because the personhood of the fetus is still ambivalent, but for the sake of this argument let us assume that the fetus is really a person). The first statement “The fetus is an innocent person” is true but the second statement saying that “It is wrong to kill an innocent person” is false, and the reason for this is because it is not always wrong to kill a person especially in the case of self defense, like when you get attacked by an innocent hypnotized killer, you have the right to kill the attacker if it’s the only way to protect your life. This part here has been explained clearly by the first article of Jane English. To cut a long story short, even if this particular conclusion follows its assumptions, the conclusion itself is still invalid because of the falseness of the second assumption.

The second major conclusion presented on the article was that abortion is permissible. The deduction presented by the article can be presented through this:

1. The fetus is an innocent person - True
2. It is not wrong to kill an innocent person if it is self defense - True
Therefore IT IS NOT WRONG TO KILL A FETUS – it follows

Still assuming that the fetus is a person, the first assumption is true. The second assumption is likewise true because of the self-defense case. I have to give emphasis on this part though that by self-defense I mean creating an injury somewhat, but not enormously greater than the injury to be avoided. Meaning the pregnant women could only kill the fetus if the continuation of pregnancy is bound to inflict serious harm or suffering to her. Lastly, the conclusion follows and so this deduction is more valid and justified compared to the first one.
From a different light if we assume that the fetus is a non-person, then are we still bound to get the same validity for the second deduction?

1. The fetus is an innocent non-person - True
2. It is not wrong to kill an innocent person if it is self defense – True
*but since we treat non-person the same way we treat persons because of our so called systems of sympathies and attitudes that makes the ethical system work
3. It is also not wrong to kill an innocent non-person if it is self-defense – True
Therefore IT IS NOT WRONG TO KILL A FETUS – it follows

Assumption 1 is true, assuming of course that the fetus is considered as a non-person. Assumption 2 is likewise true but assumptions 1 and 2 alone will not suffice for the conclusion and so I integrated a 3rd assumptions which says “It is also not wrong to kill an innocent non-person if it is self-defense” I got these assumption from the idea that ethical systems must operate based on sympathies and attitude in order to make our moral principle function. That is, even if non-person such as animals have lower moral right compared to person, we would still not allow killing on general, regardless of whether they are person or non-person or in this case, regardless if it is a fetus(non-person). Finally, the conclusion would follow, and so even is we consider the fetus as a person or a non-person, whatever the case maybe, we are bound to get the same deduction that it is not wrong to kill a fetus. That is, abortion is permissible IF AND ONLY IF (yes, I said, if and only if) it endangers the life of the pregnant woman.
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PostSubject: answer to question 1   Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:53 am

I think we’d all agree that abortion is already a gasgas issue. But no matter how much the issue is debated on, there really isn’t any final answer, a consensus, among people or scholars.
What makes it so controversial?
How come people can’t put up a concrete, black and white, answer regarding the issue?
I believe one reason for this is the different definitions people use in dealing with the issue.
“What is a fetus?” is probably the first question that comes into mind. Pro-abortion and pro-life advocates have separate definitions.
A pro-life supporter would argue that a fetus is a person, a live human being. A pro-life supporter would discuss that a fetus shares some characteristics that children possess, that adults posses.
A pro-abortion supporter would say that a fetus is not the same as a person. If we follow Mary Anne Warren’s reasoning, a fetus is not a person because it doesn’t have the five features such as self-awareness and capacities for reasoning. A pro-abortion supporter would say that a fetus does not have the same faculties a person has.
“What is a person”? would probably come to mind next. Trying to define a fetus is very tricky that we end up trying to define another term.
Person means a biological being, a part of a certain species. Person means being part of a moral community, able to distinguish right from wrong. Person means having basic rights that must be honored and protected by other persons.
A pro-life supporter would say that a fetus is a person and that killing one is immoral, in the same way that killing an adult person is immoral. A child, a teenager, or an adult, a person, has his or her own future – his or her own set of experiences, activities, interests, and aspirations. Now, if an adult were killed, he or she would be deprived of the chance to have his or her future. A pro-life advocate would then argue that since a fetus has millions of possibilities in store for him or her, its death would deprive him or her of these experiences. Don Marquis, a professor of philosophy, believes that “the loss of one’s life is one of the greatest losses one can suffer”.
But the definition of person can still be very problematic. What if one kills an innocent person, would that be justified as moral or immoral? What if one takes a life of another on the grounds of self-defense?
Pro-abortion advocates believe that if a fetus endangers the life of its mother, abortion is the answer. If a mother would opt to abort the fetus since it could possibly harm her well-being, she is doing so in self-defense. There are those who believe that killing a fetus, without any threat to the mothers life, is wrong. If the fetus’ survival would provide to be of no inconvenience to people, then its abortion would be immoral.
Finally, there are those who believe that since a fetus develops in time, there is only a specific time wherein a mother is allowed to abort her child. Some believe that abortion is justifiable only early in on the pregnancy.
At some point, assumptions of pro-abortion and pro-life advocates are acceptable. If something would pose a threat, would people not take action? If people would want to gain experiences, will there be anyone to stop them? And I guess, maybe depending on one’s morals or set of beliefs, the definitions or assumptions made by people or philosophers may or not may be acceptable to him or her.
These are just some of the terms that philosophers try to define. This also shows some of the assumptions that people make when trying to find a stand regarding this issue. But the abortion debate rages on, with people trying to come up with more and more interpretations.
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PostSubject: On third question   Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:57 am

The different positions on abortion make varying inferences which are not always justifiable considering the assumptions where they are based upon. Based on the readings provided for, below are some of those assertions and explanations whether I find them valid or inconsistent.

1. Those who are against abortion believe that to abort a fetus is to commit murder. This is based upon the assumption that a fetus, from the time of conception, is considered a human being having equal rights as adults do. This seems a valid reasoning, but as Jane English argues, "not all killings of human beings are murders." There are instances when it is permissible to kill an innocent person; in self-defense for example.

2. The pro-abortion position contends that it is always the woman's choice not to keep the baby. They are coming from the assumption that a "person" only appears on the scene at the time of birth, not at any stage of development while the fetus is in the womb. However, this overlooks the idea that the woman's freedom to choose ends where the baby's freedom to live begins. For even if the fetus, as the liberal position maintains, is not seen as a person, the fact remains that there are non-persons such as animals that are not supposed to be killed nor simply tortured. This inference seems unjustifiable.

3. Another assertion is Thomson's, that "the woman has a right only to be freed from the fetus, not a right to demand its death." This is reinforced by the self-defense model presented by English. According to her, "self-defense is for the purpose of avoiding harms rather than equalizing harms." During pregnancy, keeping the baby in the womb until it's time to give birth can sometimes cause health problems to the woman. For such cases, although the baby is innocent, the woman may justifiably opt to do an abortion to protect herself. Unfortunately, during early stages of pregnancy, there is no other way to free the woman that has a lesser harm to the fetus and with the same defensive effect as killing it. The woman's defense of herself here can only equate to killing the fetus.
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PostSubject: Question no. 2   Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:14 am

Delay Days

This is not the story of why my student number begins with “2005” but I am not graduating this summer. This is not a story of the end of innocence, wrong choices and broken dreams. This is the story of how a boy and girl learned big words like “responsibility,” “duty,” and “choice.” And like any other story worth telling, this story is all about a girl…

She was a small-town girl, born and raised in a highly conservative Christian family. She was studying to be a nurse someday, to save lives and make a difference. I just dropped out from a relatively forward-thinking boarding school. I was young and I was raring to dip my fingers in every bowl.

She loved the Beatles and listened to Elton John, Billy Joel and Michael Bublé. I loved the Rolling Stones and listened to Led Zeppelin, Skid Row and U2. She was obsessive-compulsive about hygiene, I did not know what hair conditioner was for. She was an athlete and a fitness buff, I was fourteen when I first smoked – smoked weed, that is.

A couple of months later by the grace of some irrational act of the Universe, she moved into my place. The next day, she was nagging like a hundred Mrs. Potato Heads from the Toy Story Trilogy. She nagged about the wet toilet seat, the uncapped toothpaste and the scattered heaps of paper that passes off as readings materials in the Great University of the Philippines.

Delay Day 11

“You and I, we are not exactly what you would call a ‘couple’ but we do get by. We have more than our share of fights and arguments. We are not lovers, I know. But above all else, we are friends and as friends, we have some form of responsibility to one another. Hindi tayo mga tau-tauhan lang dito. We are friends. Just so you know, I think I am pregnant.”

“It is your choice, your call. Not mine. This is a choice that you alone must make. Not mine. After all, it’s a woman’s world too, you know?”

“No, you are wrong. You are dead wrong. What I have growing inside me right now isn’t all mine – half of it is yours. Somehow, you too are tied to it. You have some form of duty to it, and by extension to me as well…”

“Assuming you make that choice.”

“And therefore, you too have a stake in it. Therefore, you have a say on how this story ends or begins...”

“Our choice.”

“Yes, OUR choice…”

Delay Day 12

“How do you feel? I mean, how do you feel about you – or us – on this…”

“I am not very sure about this. I don’t suppose life just goes on, with this in our hands. I can still take the June Board Exams. I can still finish this semester and graduate in March. I can still review. I think I can.”

“It doesn’t work that way – this changes everything. And I do mean it changes everything!”

“Don’t act like you are bearing the weight of the world on your shoulders! You are not a nurse. You do not know what pregnant women go through when they give birth. Do you know how many women die each day, giving birth?!”

“About 114 in every 1000 live births or so, at least in Southeast Asia…”

“And how many men die because of giving birth?!”

Delay Day 13

“Having a mini…”

“Having a what?!”

“I have a mini growing inside me right now. A mini-me… a beautiful mini-me growing inside me, and oh! I wish she gets my eyes! Or he could be a mini-you… a big, fat and funny mini-you growing inside me right now…”

“Or she could be a mini-us… lovely as his or her mother, strapping and charming as her father… I just wish she wouldn’t get you prissiness or your neurotic behavior.”

“If she is to be the grand woman you imagine her to be… she needs to have a good daddy beside her. You would have to take care of yourself. You would have to stop shooting up junk in your veins. You would have to quit smoking, drinking and drugs. You would have to eat better so you can live longer.”

“You have got to be kidding me! Now more than ever, I have this need to live forever. I have this sense of purpose I haven’t had in years. Oh! I want to be the bestest dad in the entire history of forever! I want to make every other father look like an idiot beside me. I want her playmates to tell her, ‘WOW!!! Ang cool naman ng daddy mo! Sana daddy ko na lang siya…”

“Still, I am not entirely happy about all this. Lose a little pride, throw away some dreams. Law school, being a columnist and writing a novel… I guess these are the things I am letting go for her, for you and for us. I would have to find a job… in a country where unemployed degree holders outnumber the unemployed non-degree holders…”

“Must we lament the end of our innocence? Must we mourn for what is lost? Shouldn’t we welcome another chapter in your story, my story – OUR story? It’s a whole new adventure for all of us!”

“Listen, our story doesn’t have to happen this way. It is still our choice, a choice we have yet to make! When you eat sunny-side eggs for breakfast, do you think of the chickens that could have been? When you eat balut – do you prefer the innocuous penoy or the ones with a whole beak and lost of feathers?! We eat because we have to – no regrets, no remorse. It is their lot to be eaten, it is their purpose. Ganyan sila nagkakaroon ng kaganapan!”

“If someone else’s story needs yours to be fully told, does it give you them the right to deny them realization? Kung kailangan ka ng isang tao para magkaroon siya nang kaganapan, ipagkakait mo ba sa ‘to sa kanya?!”

Delay Day 14

She slowly walked into the bathroom with a small white plastic contraption in her hand.
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PostSubject: Question No. 1   Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:35 am

Abortion has become a timeless controversy involving wide range of sectors in the society. The main argument is always hotly debated within the sphere of assumptions and influence existing beyond groups of pro-life, pro-choice and pro-abortion.
The Pro-life keeps on arguing of how valuable the fetus might be, stressing the possibility of a bright future that waits for the tiny sibling suppose-to-be. The confusion whether fetus would qualify being a human or not quite serve as a hitch against the antiabortion stance, although in my opinion, they are in position to dominate this dispute since it is undeniable; the fact that in formation of fetus there exists an opportunity to live. If we base the status of the fetus on technical qualifications of humanitarian category, then it may probably not pass it, but if what we are searching is the morality beyond allowing a fetus or not to be born, then it is considerable to think that if not for the stage of a fetus, we will not be here. Having the opportunity to live offers the humankind chances to direct themselves to betterment and create personal preferences. Therefore, I agree that the assumptions of pro-life are by no doubt true and acceptable.

Pro-choicer claims that it is only wrong to take a life of a person or a member of human community, which obviously excludes the fetus. Fetuses on their account are not capable of having rationale and perceptions to the world. More likely, they claim that these organisms or parasites that inhabit the womb of a woman are no difference at all to an empty void, nor as of any value as a human organ. Although pro-choicer only intend to do good on women as they take the feminist side. They are only rendering choices for women who bare unwanted and untimely pregnancies. But still, I do not think it is acceptable neither appropriate to resort to the idea of aborting these tiny organisms that can possibly be born. They make a huge point when they argue the possibility for these fetuses to become less fortunate children, handicaps and future side-street dwellers, but still the chances of nurturing them well remains. No one can precisely predict what they may become, so who are we to judge them at the very instance? People may say that it is the right of the woman to decide since fetus exists within her, and yes I might agree that there may be circumstances where abortion can be acceptable. Instances like where the life of the mother is jeopardized or the child will suffer an incurable disease or disability. Hence, pro-choice is quite acceptable in aspect of making options available to women, but the ironic part is, choices are always available, access were always denied.

In connection to this, pro-abortion may somehow be reasonable. In process of this, it becomes a dilemma when the life of the mother is also in danger. Access to safe abortion is unavailable to poor communities where occurrences of unwanted pregnancies are more likely to be higher. It is only the rich and well-off that can avail quality and safe services. Either way you view it, abortion is still killing. But it may be considerable with support of valid and humanitarian reasons. But the very idea of allowing and legalizing abortion somehow creates the main quandary and issue of immorality. If abortion is to be legalized, then women who are accountable to improper behavior and unsafe sex are relief with the idea of simply disposing their babies whenever they want. Further worse is this may put also their lives in danger. Legalization and favoring of abortion opens many doors to immorality, and thus allowing more mistakes, leaving no room for rational and moral way of life. it can also possibly tolerate sexual abuse to women. Allowing abortion does not require all pregnant women to have their babies killed, rather, like the pro choice, it just suggest of a possible remedy. And yet pro abortion is extremist in nature, for just to defend its side, it will totally stand against and take any human bit or value at all from the fetus. In conclusion, pro abortion is never acceptable, for its sole reason is just to take away the worries of bearing a child.

Wrapping all these up, the answer to question of whether abortion is morally upright or not is not that far to be unveiled. As humans the greatest gift we could ever have is life, and everybody deserves to live one and experience it.
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PostSubject: A reply to question number 1   Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:06 pm

In every debate, two opposing forces exist; the pros and the cons. Each side has its own position, has its own plan for offense and another plan for defense. The battle of ideas may result to a solution, or worse; to destruction. Some debates may be decisive over things, which may sometimes be influential, or may have a societal effect. One can debate over simple things, from a sweetness of candy for example, to complicated issues such as abortion. There are too many topics to talk about and to argue about.
When we speak of abortion, what usually pops out in mind? If I would ask people from the Church regarding the issue of abortion, then they would be hysterical after hearing it. This explains the clash of beliefs among human beings. The existence of the two opposing forces supports the progress of human there are millions of people and there are the debate on abortion has reached miles and miles of points. On every position, there are people who support the stand. The pros and cons argue for a cause; for the acceptance of their respective beliefs. In a classroom setting, it is assumed that the students have opposing responses regarding the question “Is abortion immoral?”
Philosophers tend to ask and ask to get answers. The search for answers is the trend which the people involved in a debate like this follow. An anti on abortion will state facts about the importance of life. There will be the accusation against abortion as murder, which is killing. The Christian doctrines and other religious teachings explain that killing in any form is not good, is not right. That is the stand of the antis of abortion. The idea of life itself may be perceived in different ways which may lead to another debate, to another set of arguments and discussions. The definition of a specific term is important in each battle. The opposing factions should play the same language game to be able to understand each side. But the factions really have different perceptions or definitions of terms. The pros on abortion have their own definition of killing, and the antis of abortion also have their own.
The pros on abortion believe in the fact that if the fetus will cause danger to the mother, then it deserves to be aborted. The clashing factions both defend life. The pros defend the life of the mother and other things to be affected if the fetus will be born, and the antis defend the life of the fetus, for it is believed that the fetus is a human being, hence he or she should live. The question of “What makes a human, human?” leads to a series of controversies.
In the moral aspect, the main focus is to know whether an act is right, or wrong. To kill, in a moral sense, is wrong. For Catholics, it is against the Ten Commandments. God teaches us the right things to do, and He explains what sins are. The assumption of the antis or the people against abortion can be accepted today. Among the religious people, there is a bigger chance of having a number of believers who oppose abortion. Religion plays a great role in shaping the lives of its followers. It can also influence the beliefs of a person, thus making him decide to be against abortion, for example. Christianity is global. It is assumed that the people against abortion, or the killing of the fetus inside the womb of a mother, are still increasing in number. Morality hits the trigger of thinking. There come the ideas of conscience and guilt. The beliefs of the people who are pro-abortion do not define their religion. It is still up to the mother to make her child aborted or not. Some people are pro-choice, from which the decision must come from the people involved, regardless of beliefs and other influencing factors. The choice of the mother is important because of she is the one who knows what will be the best for her and for her child. She may consider some things before deciding over herself and her child’s future. Deciding over something which involves life is very critical. Being pro-choice comes between pro-abortion and anti-abortion for the fact that it gives the mother the responsibility over her own life, and her child’s life. The choice will dictate what will happen.
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PostSubject: First Question   Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:15 pm

Abortion is an issue that grew old as time pass but the debate over it is in a standstill. Two factions present differing views on this issue and continued to garner support for their cause. These groups offered arguments and assertions to support their point of views and to discredit the other one. Much of these offered statements are regarding the personhood of the fetus and the privacy of the woman’s body.

For some people, abortion is permissible. While for others, abortion is strongly opposed. Abortion is seen by some as a motive because of the considerations thought upon by the woman with regards to her needs and her situation. On the other hand, abortion is not seen as an alternative or an event to be even considered by those having serious considerations about their pregnancy. The thing is that the woman and or her environment makes a choice with regards to her pregnancy and that view points in society influence her decision.

To resolve, or intensify, the debate issue, the groups gave consideration on the status of the fetus. The personhood is debated upon wherein the groups are giving justifications about the fetus. According to Jane English, being a ‘person’ comprises certain factors such as biological, rational, social and legal factors. Of course, being a person not necessarily mean that above mentioned factors need to be present, as some lack in several areas. For the advocates of the anti-abortion, they determined that the fetus is a person and thus its rights need to be considered. They maintain that life begins at the moment of conception. On the other hand, those who are in favor of abortion assert that life begins at birth and that fetuses are not really persons and that this gives justification to discontinue its existence. But then the views these factions have regarding the concept of a person are inconsistent. Their views tend to be narrow or too broad and that this difference leads to no compromise for the two to agree.

Being pregnant put forward many considerations to the woman conceiving. She takes into account her situation, the status of the fetus (whether or not it has disabilities) and her future. As such, these then pose as the reasons why she chooses to abort. The pro-choice posit that the woman has the right to terminate her pregnancy as she possess the right to privacy and the fetus impinges on this right. In addition, this group states that the fetus imposes on the woman and that it doesn’t have the right to live inside her, as her body is her property and not of others. Thus the woman has an option of terminating her pregnancy.

In contrast, the pro-life maintains that the fetus is a human being and killing it would discontinue and deprive it for a future that it may experience. For this group, abortion is a form of killing and is immoral. They assume that these fetus or unborn child has a right to live and not just because a fetus exhibit no consciousness, it is not a human being.

I think that an individual has the right to do what he or she wants to do, on the conditions given by society, that is. The conceiving person has a right over her own body. She is free to do what she wants –considering abortion- but she must also consider her and the fetus’s interwined relationship. As it cannot decide for its own, the woman must take great care in deliberating her thoughts for their future. Decisions are hard to make but one must take the path where there is less negativity.

I think that abortion in some cases may be acceptable. Such as in instances of the pregnancy endangering the life of the person conceiving. In this I think that one must value the life of a person who contributes more to society rather than a potential person who may be attributed by some as the one who took away the life of a productive individual (the mother). This statement may change as the author’s consciousness is expanded. But then, abortion may not be seen as an option to be thought of carelessly. Fetuses with disabilities should not be looked upon as abortion material or should I say entity. They have a chance at life, although they may face discrimination and such, but they sometimes they can measure up to normal people. Conceiving a child is hard but introducing an individual or a potential person to a life that many have enjoyed experiencing is a noble act. But then, it all falls down to choice.
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PostSubject: Answer to #2   Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:05 pm

Although initially I am against abortion, there are several instances or exceptions (example: when the fetus presents a grave threat to the mother’s life) wherein I am willing to take the other side as a last resort. However, I don’t feel strongly against those who have chosen to go through it.

Abortion is roughly synonymous to killing or taking life, based on Marquis’ discussion. The concept of abortion itself has not been thoroughly discussed in most of the literature. However, the article “Why Abortion is Immoral”, makes a certain connection between killing and abortion to arrive at a conclusion on why abortion is immoral. I believe that the fetus, since its conception, can be considered a person (or at least, can be included in the concept of a person), because of these two characteristics that I deem valuable: the presence of human life and the primary relationship of the fetus with the mother.

The concept of a person has not been clearly defined. There has been no single decisive factor that could encapsulate such a concept. However, in the article of Jane English, “Abortion and the Concept of a Person”, she does examine the concept of a person by enumerating several insights from various authors (presence of brain waves, gene structure, a concept of self, capacity for reasoning, self-awareness, complex communications). Furthermore, the concept of a person is composed of several factors namely, biological (descended from humans, having a genetic make-up, having a head, arms, eyes, capable of breathing etc.), psychological (perception, having a concept of self, etc.), rationality (the ability to reason and draw conclusions etc.), social (the ability to work in groups and respond to peer pressures etc.) and legal (being subject to law, having a name and citizenship etc.) factors. I do agree with the author’s claim that the concept of a person is “cluster of features, of which rationality, having self-concept and being conceived of humans are only a part”. Yet, I have to add the presence of human life in the concept of a person. Although some might make a claim against the concept of human life (example would be the human cancer cell culture that would make my principle too broad), I believe that the fetus belongs to a sub category of human life that has far greater value than any other thing that falls into the same category of human life (example would be a tissue, organ etc.). They would say: what difference does it make? Or how should the concept of the fetus be different than the other concepts of human life (say a cancer cell culture)? True, the fetus might seem like a mere zygote at first that would develop further, but the mere idea of it developing into a human— the fact that it will turn out to be a grown-up person someday with all the faculties that we have— adds the value and makes all the difference to me.

The concept of a person given by the authors is something that I consider “high-leveled” in the sense that the simplest criterion is considered trivial and is therefore not included in the area under discussion. The social factor should be subject to further interpretation. And the way I interpret it, there is already a certain degree of relationship that can be considered as something “social” between the fetus and the mother. Pro-abortion individuals think its okay to end the life of a fetus based on their belief that a fetus does not resemble humans or persons (a “non-person”) therefore, abortion is acceptable. The fetus, as I propose it to be interpreted or understood, is considered as an independent being (independent, because as I see it, the mother and the fetus cannot be taken as one whole entity, although most would see it that way) dependent (for nutrition etc.) on the woman who carries it. And that being the case, there is a specific relationship, no matter how early the pregnancy or how late it is, between the fetus and the mother. Because of the relationship and the “link” between these two entities (the fetus and the mother), the fetus becomes in a way, more of a person (or at least, it deserves to be included in the concept of a person).

Regarding the claim made by some that it is acceptable to end the life of the fetus if it may have possible birth defects so as to shield it away from the future hardships of life, I feel strongly against this. On a more personal level, I think the justification of ending a baby’s life just because it has “abnormalities”—that it cannot live a normal life and that it will face difficulties in life— assumes too much on what might happen. If the mother is afraid that the baby will undergo hardships as it grows up, well, to that I say, don’t we all? Yet somehow, we, and even those who have disabilities, manage to pull through.

I am against abortion, however, my stand may adjust depending on the circumstance. But if we were talking about abortion in the sense that it takes life away, then I would have to say I am truly against it. I am against it because of the simple fact that a helpless being’s life is terminated and that its future is taken away from it. The fetus was literally and figuratively deprived of life, the ability to live independently and denied the possibility to go through various human experiences. And this is something I cannot bear to live with, knowing that I refused a weak and vulnerable would-be child a stake on Earth. And although there are cases when some would justify abortion when they claim that it would be better for the baby to die than live in a world of poverty or what have you, we are never certain for sure how things will turn out to be.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 1st Writing Assignment   Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:21 pm

question 3

One exmample of deduction would be (3)Killing the fetus is always wrong, while its assertions are (1)Fetus is an innocent person and (2)Killing an innocent person is always wrong. Validity is the truth of premisses entails the truth of conclusion. Using the rule of inference, the argument is valid since the argument is in the form of hypothetical syllogism. This means that in premise (1), fetus entails/then an innocent person, while in premise (2) killing an innocent person entails/then wrong. Deducing the conclusion to killing the fetus entails/then is wrong.

Another case would be Using Thompson’s self-defense model, the woman has a right to be freed from the fetus, not a right to demand the death of the fetus. I should say this is true. Since in “Abortion and the concept of a Person” article, Thompson’s self-defense model clearly states and justifies the possibilities or instances of using abrtion. Self-defense according from the article is for the purpose of avoiding harms rather than equalizing harms.

Further is the If fetus is not a full-fledged person, then we are justified in treating it in any way at all. But according to the article, this deduction is false. Due to our moral code, we are not justified to treat fetus in any way even if it is not a full-pledge person. In my opinion, there is an inconsistency in how do we define a full-pledge person. What could be the characteristics that defines a full-pledge person. In this case, the statement possibly classify person in a biological category.

Forth, fetus is a human being. Deducing the statement into abortion is wrong. Here, I should say that there a lacking premise that will explain what a human being is. Apparently, from the iven statement, the premise is not connected to the conclusion.

Another example would be since a fetus posesses a property, the possesion of which in adult human beings is sufficient to make killing an adult human being wrong, abortion is wrong. I should say that the statement may be correct, however there is an inconsistency in how we deal with the fetus. Is the fetus a person? Does a fetus really and has the right to posess a property?

Further, most feminists believe that the women concerned are in the best position to judge whether abortion is the appropriate response to a pregnancy. According to Sherwin’s “Feminist Analyses of Women and Abortion” article, the woman has the right to choose whether or not making use of abortion, for she knows and weighs significant factrs during her pregnancy. Is should sa that thestaement is false. Because the phrase, most feminists believe.. entails its subjectivity. That is why validity is difficult to find.

The conclusion therefore, it is important to consider how proposed policies on abortion fit into general patterns of oppression for women was deduced from the premisses gender-neutral accounts of pregnancy are not available; pregnancy is explicitly a condtion associated with the female body; and because only women experience a need for abortion, policies about abortion affect women uniquely. I should say that the argument is true. But there is a lacking premise that could suffice what is special about women aside from its capacity to bear a child.

Lastly, (3) Feminists aacounts of abortion emphasize the importance of protecting womens rights to continue or to terminate pregnancies as each sees it. The soundness of the argument is accurate. For feminists, (1) A fetus is not a person, because it does not developed sufficiently in their capacity for social relationships; and (2) Persons are members of a social community that shapes and values them, and personhood through interactions and relationships with others. As clearly defined by the feminists, a fetus should interact and has a relationship eith others to able to be called a person.
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PostSubject: question2-conceptual analysis   Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:23 pm

Take a stand on the issue of abortion by bringing into prominence certain concepts and terms that are crucial/central in the abortion debate. How do you propose those concepts/terms to be understood and used in context of abortion. Make sure to elaborate by giving example and making distinctions.

I presuppose that the moral permissibility of abortion depends on the moral status of the fetus. The moral status of the fetus will be based on whether or not I can establish that a fetus is a person or a human being.
From my own point of view, killing human being or a person is wrong. A fetus is neither a person nor a human being. Therefore abortion is permissible.
The concepts and assumptions that will be discuss below were taken from the articles of J. English, D. Marquis and S. Sherwin.
On the first place what makes a human a human being? A being is one which values its future and continues to value its experiences. It is assumed that something can not be valued unless it is valued by someone. This implies that fetuses which neither have the concept of a future nor experiences to be continued, do not give value to such things. Thus fetuses fall outside the category of being a being. In addition, something is a being only after a process of development. Fetuses are microscopic and virtually indistinguishable to the unaided eye during the early stages. This implies that in the first trimester of pregnancy, all fetuses are not yet human beings. Although at later stage of pregnancy, fetuses may physically resemble that of babies with toes, heads, etc. , still fetuses have a wide range of differences, not just biologically compared to the newly born and/ or adult ones.
On the other hand, what constitutes a “person”? I assumed that the concept of a person can be captured in a necessary and or sufficient condition. We define person with a condition of being a social category. Persons can interact and establish relationship with others. Persons belong to social community where that community shapes and values them. Fetuses are not persons because they have not developed sufficiently their capacity for social relationships. Fetuses may have established a certain undefined relationship to its mother. However, such relationship is distinct from an interpersonal relationship which is the basis of being a social category of a person. While, compared to newly born infants who can interact and has the capacity to establish a relationship with the people and the environment around him/her.
Based on the concepts we established above, fetuses are neither considered persons nor beings.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 1st Writing Assignment   Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:45 pm

Abortion is one of the moral issues that serve as a hot topic for public debate. Different positions were created in the issue of abortion. The pro-life group considers two assumptions in claiming that abortion is not justified. First, assuming that a fetus is a person, pro-life supporters just like Judith Jarvis Thomson in her article “A Defense of Abortion”, believes that a fetus is an innocent person and the conclusion that killing it is always wrong. In this claim, the pro-life group considers the fetus as a person. So what does person really mean? At this point, it is important to know the definition of a “person”. Philosophers normally use the term “person” as a moral and normative term. It refers to those who are members of our moral community, those who have certain basic rights that must be honored and protected. Typically, the concept of a person that can be found in Jane English’s article entitled “Abortion and the Concept of a Person” includes certain biological, psychological, rationality, social and legal factors. Being innocent and having the rights of a person, pro-life group insists that abortion is a crime. It is almost equivalent to murder. Moreover, they believe that abortion is like destroying the fetus’ chance of having a good future. Then, assuming that a fetus is not a person, pro-abortion might say that abortion is permissible since the fetus does not belong to the community or to the society, however, for the pro-life group, considering the assumption that a fetus is not a person and it has no rights equal to a person, it does not follow that killing non-persons is morally right because non-persons, based on English’s article, do get some consideration in our moral code. I also agree with Wittgenstein that the best picture of the human soul is the human body and even after death, we still observe elaborate customs of respect for the human body. So it is appropriate that we show respect to the fetus as the body continuous with the body of a person. For me, this assumption is acceptable since fetus, as an innocent person, should really get the chance of living. Also, I agree with Don Marquis in his article entitled “Why Abortion is Immoral?” that abortions, with few exceptions, are immoral. Marquis also argues that fetuses have the same moral status or moral standing as do adult persons. Furthermore, Marquis’ assumption that the loss of one’s life is one of the greatest losses one can suffer is no doubt true. The loss of one’s life deprives one of all the experiences, activities, projects and enjoyments that would otherwise have constituted one’s future. Therefore, killing someone is wrong primarily because the killing inflicts (one of) the greatest possible losses on the victim.

However, there are times that killing innocent people is permissible just like the case of self-defense. In this case, I think self-defense is just right if a person really wants to avoid the harm rather than equalizing it. Moreover, in the case of abortion, there are times that the fetus will impose danger to the pregnant woman. At this point, I think abortion is somehow permissible if and only if the choice of the mother is whether she would like to save her own life or she would like to give the fetus a chance of living.

Another position on the issue of abortion is pro-choice. Pro-choice group believes that the pregnant woman has the choice on whether she wants the fetus to live or not. This group also believes that abortion is not morally wrong because they do not consider the fetus as a person. Not being a person, the fetus has no idea of what the world really is. Fetus, for them, does not belong to the society, thus, it has no basic rights to consider. The loss of a fetus will not result to a great impact especially when the life of the pregnant woman is at risk.

For me, the assumption of the pro-choice group is acceptable in just few cases. If the life of the mother is at risk, then the mother has the right to choose whether she allows the fetus to live or not. However, if the fetus does not impose any threat or danger to the pregnant woman, then I think the assumption of the pro-choice group is not sufficient to justify abortion.
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PostSubject: Questions for the 1st Writing Assignment   Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:22 pm

The ethics of abortion has been one of the much debated topics in the society. Different positions have been made with regard to this controversial issue. Different arguments and ideas have also been tried to define to possibly elucidate the moral issue of abortion.

One argument that has been debated is the Fetus being a person. To define what a person is, is not so simple. Though there are some factors that entail what a person is. These include biological factors, psychological factors, rationality, social factors and legal factors. Some factors may be present yet cannot be considered as a person. On other cases, some factors maybe absent but can still be considered a person. That is why these are only, more or less, features of what constitute a person.

1. Suppose a fetus is considered a person, is abortion permissible?

Take a look at this argument:

Fetus is an innocent person.
Killing an innocent person is always wrong.
Therefore, killing a fetus is always wrong.

The validity of this argument lies on the situation in which the killing may take place. Fetus is considered to be an innocent person. Killing an innocent person is always wrong but it is not always the case. There are cases that an innocent person can do harm to others like the cases presented in Jane English’ article. As Jane equated these cases to the pregnancy of a woman, this follows that the killing of fetus is not always wrong. Conservatives have overlooked these possibilities. For them, abortion is considered murder. In some cases, abortion is justified depending on the severity of the threat that the fetus may inflict to the mother. Therefore, if the fetus will pose serious threat to the pregnant women’s well being, life, health or mental or physical, then the mother is justified in doing so.

2. Suppose a fetus is not considered a person, is abortion permissible?
The parallel set between a fetus, being a non-person, and animals, also being non-persons can justify the impermissibility of killing. As what the liberals have argued, women are free to do whatever they want in their body. Another argument is that the view of some that, a fetus, not being a person, is subject to treatment in anyway. But this line of argument seems to be invalid. You cannot just kill or torture animals or fetus, in that case, if it will unfavorably affect other people. Killing or torturing non-persons like the animals is no reason at all wrong. These cases are true in the assertion that we operate in a set of sympathies and attitudes towards others.
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PostSubject: answer to question #1   Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:42 pm

Abortion has always been a very controversial issue especially when it comes to moral and legal concerns. People have various views, which is highly influenced and affected by one’s culture, society, family or religion, on how they would perceive and understand it. For abortion is the termination of pregnancy, this brought about debates whether it is moral or immoral.

Jane English, a philosophy teacher at University of North Carolina, argues that the personhood status is not enough to solve the problem regarding the issue on abortion. If the fetus is considered a person, it does not automatically mean that abortion is wrong. On the other hand, if the fetus is not a person, it does not necessarily mean that abortion is acceptable. She, English, is on the moderate position wherein there are cases to be considered, there are cases to be thought hard that may give justice, on an ethical and legal bases, to an action, whether there is life involved or not. English is in the position wherein her view is focused on the mother’s perspective, permitting her to choose her life and protect herself by having an abortion. She is in the position wherein the mother has the right to choose what she thinks is best for her. Personal factors which are valid play a big role on the decision-making of the mother involved.

Another position on abortion is that of Don Marquis. He gave special attention on the wrongness of killing. On the first part of his article, he tried to distinguish the anti-abortionists from the pro-choicers. This lead to his conclusion that the anti-abortionists’ principle are too broad and the pro-choicers’ claims are too narrow. Marquis has a very strong claim that abortion is immoral because the fetus, on the process of development, even it is not considered as a human being on its early stages, has a right to live and experience the future like what people have. He claims that by having abortion, that valuable future-like-ours is deprived from him, which is considered wrong.

Susan Sherwin viewed abortion on the feminist’s perspective. She believes that the decision to be made is dependent on the decision made by the pregnant woman for she is the only one who knows what would be good for her. Women have their own freedom to choose whether or not she wants to abort the child. Sherwin had attached the women’s subordination , for when in any case, abortion is not made, the women would be left of all the responsibilities including the emotional and financial aspects. Also, economic opportunities for women would decrease which also adds to the subordination status of women. Sherwin also pointed out how the feminists view the fetus. It is important to really highlight that fetal development happens inside the woman’s body. For the fetus lives in the womb of the woman, the mother and the fetus have a social relationship, but the mother has more control on the relationship because the fetus is completely dependent on the mother. This makes the fetus to be not completely significant.

From these three different perspectives, I, from what I understand, support the claim made by Jane English. Not that I consider Marquis’ and Sherwin’s points of view as not correct but English had argued the better reasoning on the legal and moral aspects. I totally agree that abortion may be done if the reasons for abortion are completely valid, example would include harm on the mother. Just like the self-defense model, action can be performed based on the consequences it may bring to the life of the mother. If the benefits would prevail over the risks, then the action can be considered right.
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PostSubject: questions for 1st writing assignment question #2   Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:29 pm

I may not have the necessary justification to support my stand on the issue of abortion. I am simply against abortion. Yes, we all have our choices, choices we make that we think produce results which are best for our well-being. Some people say that is is justifyable for a pregnant woman to opt for an abortion only a on selected cases. Like for instance, a pregnant disabled woman chooses abortion after having known that the fetus she is carrying is deformed, not wanting her child to experience cruelty and limitations the world has to offer for being disabled; a pregnant teenager suffering from an unwanted pregnancy making her not yet ready to face the consequences; a married carreer woman who thinks that with her busy and modern life, 'there is no room for a baby'; a pregnant woman who thinks that the fetus she is carryingis a 'parasite' living in her womb, consuming all the nutrients within her body for nourishment; someone who thinks that since it is your body, you have the right to do everything you wish to do with your own body; or a person who believes in the so-called pro-choice who believes in the freedom to make choices necessary for a person's well-being.

Moreover, there are a lot of cases promoting the practice of abortion. Some would even say that since the fetus is just a 'mass of cells and tissues smaller than a finger nail', it does not yet satisfies the characersistics of a person or a thing possessing 'life'; a fetus cannot be considered a life, and therefore it is not yet a person. Now here comes the question of who and what is a person. Does a thing having life, may be considered a 'person'? Here also comes the issue of discussing the fine line between a fetus and a person. Some would even compare persons with animals; why is it that animals like dogs are prohibitted to be killed? Yet, is it okay to kill a person? an innocent person? or Is it okay to kill a fetus?

As an individual, I say that abortion is immoral. In the first place, the fetus did not have a choice to be inside a woman's womb. It is true however, that a fetus begins at a single mass of cells smaller than a fingernail. But the momment that it appears inside the woman's womb, while it i still a single mass of tissue, it signals the arrival of a new life. From the time that it is just a mass of cells and tissues, it is already a 'living' thing. So I do not believe with the contention that since it is a mass of cells thriving inside the woman's womb, it is not yet a life. In essence, we all know that a cell is a basic unit of life. Hence, from the moment that a single mass of cells and tissues developing into a fetus, there is already a life. And I believe that taking one's life (I am referring to persons and/or human beings) is immoral and is considered a crime. We all have our choices, we all have our rights, we all have the right to live, we don't have the right to take one's life as well. As quoted from one of the philosophers, “my right ends where your right begins.”

Distinguishing a fetus from a human being, or from a person, It is impossible to draw the line unless we can really define the meaning of what is really a person and a human being. The usual conception of people toward a person is someone who has the abitlities to resaon, think, act, live and judge what is moral from immoral, ethical from unethical. Usually, people believe that it is immoral to take a person's life. What about a fetus? Can you consider a fetus a person? Moreover, we cannot draw the line between a fetus and a person, but still it is not justifyable to kill a fetus, for a fetus will develop into what you call a 'person' or a 'human being', who can later reason, act, judge, think, and live only if you give him/her the chance. One more thing, it is not the choice of the fetus to be a single mass of cells thriving in a woman's body; it is not the choice of the fetus to appear just as that inside the woman's body. The fetus do have the right to be born, even though that in the first place, the fetus do not have the choice to be born. -de guzman
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PostSubject: question number two   Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:02 pm

Abortion has remained one of the timeless issues in different societies due to its degree of moral permissibility. I concur on Don Marquis’ proposition that abortion is “morally impermissible”. With this connotation, I would like to point out several concepts and explanations in order to support my stand on the issue per se.
Let us first define what morality is. Morality is always connected with actions wherein one can define the measurement of its rightness or wrongfulness. My understanding of a moral act is when a person does not obstruct or disrupt not only his own rights and welfare but others as well. With this connotation, I believe that two or more people are always involved in terms of any moral act and hence it begins and ends not only with the self but also others’ wellbeing should be recognized. Abortion is immoral in the sense that the act alone suppresses the relationship of the mother and the baby. With abortion the mother defies the basic rights of the “living individual” to freedom, dignity and more importantly, life. Some say that a fetus is not considered a “living individual”. With that argument, let us all understand that different cultures of different societies have their own understanding of the concept of “where life really starts”. Some say that it starts from the very first day, some may argue that life starts in the 40th day and the like. But what is important is the fact that life is possible to start and with that proposition one may ask the question, “is the fetus a sort of being one can end and not be labeled as a wrong act”.
Another typical pro-choice stand would argue that even though abortion is labeled as an act of killing, it does not follow that it is immoral. Self-defense can be a gargantuan argument for pro-choice individuals. Self-defense is the act wherein one would defend one’s self to a certain degree whenever the person’s welfare is at stake. Self-defense is a right wherein everyone is entitled to. But the concept of self-defense is not inter-changeable to killing. Self-defense does not follow that one would take another’s life in an instant. Self-defense may involve inflicting pain to the person who tries to disrupt your welfare but it does not follow that you in the end planned to take his/her life. Self-defense generally does not purport killing all the time. With that explanation it follows that abortion is not an act of self-defense since there is no degree in which a mother can control to defend herself without basically killing the baby (or whatever you want to label it).
Abortion is an act that will always be morally impermissible. Not only does it promote killing, it involves the hindrance of the rights of every living individual to be free, to have dignity and to live. The mother should not only consider her own welfare but also the well being of the living individual inside her. The living individual has no reason to die since s/he has not made any mistake or whatsoever and with that supposition abortion is a means of escape for the mother and will never be justified as a moral act such as self-defense and the like.
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PostSubject: #1 Question   Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:49 pm

Abortion is a very sensitive and critical issue that arise out of human relations and interactions. It has been responsible for dividing views and opinions and for arousing the consciousness of people regarding abortion. In the book, different approaches and perspectives were presented to provide an in depth understanding of the issue which will then help us decide the position that we are going to pursue. Specifically, the positions were the pro-choice, pro- life, pro- abortion. Pro- choice believes that a woman has the autonomy to control her body and that having an abortion is subject to the wishes of the woman. On the other hand, pro-life would automatically label abortion as murder because the fetus has the same rights as a full-blown human being. They believe that killing it is tantamount to murder. Lastly, pro-abortion believes that life begins at birth and that the fetus can’t be considered as a human being. Therefore, it is not wrong to kill it since it is not yet a human.
Jane English, a philosophy professor in North Carolina, argues that “the abortion issue can’t be decided simply by examining the personhood status of the fetus because our concept of a person is not sharp enough to bear the weight of the entire moral debate over abortion.” Her argument assumes that the main contention of pro and anti abortion is whether or not the fetus is a person. Using conceptual analysis, defining and clarifying the meaning of a person is important. Many people have tried to define what a person is. Among the characteristics they have given are: persons are rational, self- aware, ability to communicate, to relate to other people. However, by defining what a person is, it is inevitable to either oversimplify it or to broaden its concept. Whether or not the fetus is a person or not entails a lot of implications. Let’s say that a fetus is a person. Pro-choice would vehemently oppose abortion because life begins after conception and that the fetus shares the same characteristics as a full blown human being. On the other hand, pro-abortion would argue that it is not always wrong to kill a person when the purpose for killing it is to defend one’s life from future harm and inconvenience. For example, teenage pregnancy would have a negative impact to the life of the mother since it would subject the mother to the early responsibility of caring for and supporting a baby.
Don Marquis also made a similar inquiry on the abortion issue. He argues that abortion is immoral except in some serious cases. Its major assumption is that a fetus is the “sort of being that its life is seriously wrong to end. Secondly, it assumes that ending the life of a fetus is equivalent killing an innocent adult human being. Thirdly, it assumes that killing is wrong. Lastly, it assumes that to inflict pain on other person is wrong. Using conceptual analysis in examining these claims, we should clarify the meaning of a “human being” which is quite ambiguous to define. If we are to categorize a human being as biologically composed of a myriad of cells, anti-abortion would have to prove that it is wrong to kill a human being and pro- abortion would have to prove that these biological characteristics of the fetus is not the same thing as the biological characteristics of an adult human being. Moreover, the assumption that killing is wrong would support the claims of anti-abortion. They would argue that the loss of one’s life is one of the greatest losses one could ever experience. Also, to kill someone is to deprive the person of experiencing how it is to feel alive, it also deprives the person of his/her future. On the other hand, pro-abortion would argue that it is not wrong to kill a fetus because it is not a human after all. However, the problem with this argument is that on some cases it is wrong to kill something even if it is not a human being i.e., pets and animals. I think that the assumptions presented by Don Marquis is agrees with my own opinion on the issue. I believe that to kill a fetus even if its personhood is not well established is a crime and shouldn’t be supported. But there are some cases wherein abortion is permissible i.e. when it poses a threat to a woman’s health.
Susan Sherwin authored the article “Feminist Analyses of Women and Abortion” presented the issue of abortion using feminist approach. Much of the literature on abortion focused on the fetus status as a person, for this reason the welfare and the rights of a woman are not given much emphasis. Sherwin argues that “the women concerned are in the best position to judge whether or not abortion is the appropriate response to a pregnancy.” It assumes that although women make mistakes in deciding matters regarding the issue, it is them who have the sole authority to evaluate and make judgments. Because pregnancy takes place in a woman’s body, it therefore entails a lot of important changes in a woman’s life therefore, it is only rightful to hand them the full accountability of their chosen decision. It also assumes that it is not only the fetus’ welfare involve on the issue but also the welfare of the woman. Unwanted and untimely pregnancies as a result of rape, of unprotected sex etc. pose difficulties and health risks on the part of the woman since she would be caring it in her womb for a long time. Nowadays, abortion seems to be the standard in saying that women have much freedom and power than ever before. According to Sherwin, “ an ethics that cares about women would recognize that abortion is often the only acceptable recourse for them. “ What then is the implication of this argument? One implication is that women wanting to have an abortion should have an access to legal and safe abortion procedure. Also, women who just have an abortion should not be subjected to the critical eyes of anti-abortion and shouldn’t be condemned for doing so. I think that the feminist approach is acceptable on some part because it recognizes the role and responsibility women played on the issue. It opposes the conventional patriarchal dominance in the society and aims to bring about changes to the way women are treated. However, I think that it is quite selfish for the part of the feminist to not recognize its responsibility in procreation. Equivalent weight should be given to both the female and the fetus.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 1st Writing Assignment   Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:17 pm

Reading through the articles, I came across several inferences which some I will try to discuss here. However, before doing so, let us first define what an inference is and explain how checking its validity is done.
The first inference that we would be dealing with is from Don Marquis’ article which says,
If fetuses were deemed to be persons from the time of conception, fertilization, and/or implantation, then abortion would be permissible.
Fetuses were deemed to be persons from the time of conception, fertilization, and/or implantation. Therefore, abortion would be permissible.
For this specific inference, it is very clear that this one is valid by MODUS PONENS considering the rules of inference.

The second inference that we will be discussing is the claim that abortion is impermissible stemming from premises which say that (1) Abortion is killing and (2) Killing is impermissible. Analyzing the inference itself, we can see that it is valid through HYPOTHETICAL SYLLOGISM. In order to see its validity more clearly, we can change it into this form:
Abortion is killing.
Killing is impermissible
Therefore, abortion is impermissible.

Another inference that we can consider is the one which says that a fetus is a human being having premises that say (1) A human being develops gradually and (2) A fetus develops gradually. Both premises seemed to be true, thus leading to a true conclusion. However, it does not satisfy any rule of inference that is why this inference remains to be invalid.

Also we can consider the inference made by the liberals which states that since a fetus does not become a person until birth, a woman may do whatever she pleases in and to her own body. This inference is said to be invalid for the reason that it is true that one can do anything to his/her own self; however, if it affects people adversely, it is not permissible. In addition, it is noteworthy that even if the liberals consider a fetus to be a non-person, it does not imply that you can do to it anything you wish. Let’s take for an example animals, they are non-persons, but killing them or torturing them is wrong.

Another inference that we can consider here is the one which concerns the killing of innocent persons. English say that a fetus is an innocent person and killing it is always wrong. Having that kind of inference, we can say that it is inconsistent for that should also include the premise which states that killing of innocent persons is always wrong. Moreover, it is inconsistent for the fact killing an innocent person is not always wrong just like in self-defense. However, the inconsistency does not stop there. It is for the reason that you can defend yourself to the point of killing an innocent person only if he will actually kill you, but not if he will only injure you.

These are just some of the inferences that we can see from the articles provided. Having read all the articles, the issue of abortion still remains to be a puzzle for me for the reason that neither side can really claim that the one their fighting for is the right one. For me, the issue of whether or not abortion should be permitted is a case-to-case basis. Moreover, in my opinion, the people who are concerned with the issue, mainly the pregnant woman, should have the right to decide for herself responsibly.
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PostSubject: isturis, roan question #2   Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:25 am

ISTURIS, R.D.S. 2005-53691
Philo 171 Jimenez 1st writing assignment abortion Question # 2

First words for this paper are: the arguments stated do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the writer.

In the first place, what makes abortion a moral issue? By definition, a moral issue arises when the choices that people make will affect the well- being of others by either increasing or decreasing it, causing either harm or benefit. So it is the premise that “others” well being will be affected that makes abortion a moral issue. As long as someone will be affected positively or negatively, it is a moral issue.

Pregnant women think of having an abortion for such reasons as, danger of the pregnancy to the mother (anyone with a zygote inside her body), unwanted pregnancy (e.g. Rape victims), simply not wanting a child, not wanting to undergo pregnancy/birthing process, lack of ability or resources to sufficiently care for child, etc. From the above reasons, a common factor is that someone’s (mostly the mother’s) well being will be affected, positively or negatively by the continuation of pregnancy. That settles it, abortion is amoral issue.

Moving on, another concept that people look at and say that abortion is a moral issue is the concept of “killing” the young. Are we really “killing” in abortion? Marquis defined “killing” as the “deprivation of a valuable future” that makes killing immoral or a moral issue at least. So it follows that if abortion turns out to be a “killing” then it is immoral, but if it turns out that nothing is killed during abortion then abortion is not immoral. Back to the question, are we really killing during abortion? Killing entails that for something to be killed, it should be alive. Alive in the biological sense entails the capability and/or exhibition of dividing cells. So we can consider stem cells as “alive”. Notice that “and/or” is used, meaning that “alive” entails one or both of the characteristics given. But this premise gives us the problem of scope. The scope of this premise is too big and vague. It will mean that when a stem cell scientist disposes (removing from favorable conditions) a Petri dish containing actively dividing stem cells (“alive”), then it can be said that the scientist “killed” the stem cells and has executed an immoral act.

Let us take a narrower point of view regarding “alive” since it is asked that we focus on the context of abortion. In the medical world, the obvious sign of death is when the heart stops beating. From this, it is the beating of the heart that separates life and death or alive and dead. So a beating heart is to being alive. Notice that “beating” and “being” is used. It denotes an ongoing phenomenon, the exhibition of a beating heart. We cannot ascribe a simple heartbeat to being alive. Take the case of a dying patient in an ICU, it heart stopped beating, the doctor was alerted, and performed CPR or used a reviving apparatus; the heart gave a faint beat, one beat and then no more. From the case we cannot say that the patient is alive just because it exhibited a heartbeat. The heartbeat must be continuous, ongoing.

So abortion is a moral issue because of its effect on someone, and it is the “killing” (deprivation of valuable future) that will make it immoral, and killing entails a beating heart, it follows that without a beating heart, abortion is moral or permissible at least.

We must first find out what abortion is. Quoting Webster (2003), abortion is the expulsion of a fetus prematurely, when non viable, and/or miscarriage produced artificially and/or the partial or complete arrest of development as of an embryo. The expulsion of an embryo or fetus. When fertilization starts up to two months (56 days), the resulting congealed mass in the woman’s womb is called an embryo. After which, it is then called a fetus. The heart starts to beat on the 24th day from the moment of fertilization. So aborting an embryo within the 23days from fertilization is not killing and therefore permissible, since the embryo’s heart has not yet started beating. And aborting a 24-day old embryo and fetus is immoral. That is settled.

Moving on, another salient concept from the articles is the concept of “person”. The authors’ arguments say that a person is one with “valuable future”. This premise asks the question, valuable to whom? There must be someone to value it or it is not valuable at all. If my future turns out to be that I become a computer whiz which turns out to be very valuable to the country’s military service but not valuable to me on my own standards since I don’t get to go out but stay indoors working on computers, will it be ok if I wished that my mother aborted me? If the military, me and my mother knew my future and could turn time back to when I was just a fetus and I so wantonly wished that I be aborted knowing of my future, and considering it invaluable according to my standards, will my wish be granted to me? Who is to define what valuable future is? Whose standard of valuing (the military service, my mother or mine) is to be considered? This is a rather tedious mental task and not everyone possesses Solomon like wisdom, so let us take what is currently being done on these situations. On normal circumstances and more often than not, it will be the military or the mother’s standards of valuing that is used since “me” is just a fetus connected by a cord to my mother and is not yet capable of making autonomous decision. This leads us to the issue of autonomy.

Generally, feminists uphold the pro choice movement. Feminism states that people, specifically women have a right to property one of which is the woman’s body. So does pregnant woman have a right to do anything to that thing in her womb connected by a cord to her including abortion? Is that thing in her womb a separate body from her, one to which she does not have any right? Or by virtue that it is inside her and connected to her, is it her’s and therefore she has a right to it? When does it become a separate body? We can see that it is the relation of the mother and that thing in her womb which is crucial in this issue. If that thing in her womb is a separate body then it is immoral for the mother and anyone else to abort it. But if that thing in her womb is part of her body therefore her’s to which she has a right then aborting it would be permissible. Again, whose point of view is to be used? What is to be considered a separate body, autonomous? If I have a lice clinging to a strand of my hair, is it immoral if I pinch it between my nails thereby killing it? A fetus is virtually like lice on the woman carrying it; it gets nourishment form the woman and is connected to the woman’s body. that thing inside the woman’s womb is actually autonomous in that nobody is telling it to grow, nobody can order it into following directions. A louse is ok to kill because it causes itching, discomfort and an eyesore, right? What if the pregnant woman thinks the same of that thing growing inside her womb? Is it ok to abort it just for that reason?

The articles say that it is when a threat to the mother’s well being is present that abortion may be permissible. What exactly can be considered a threat? When the mother’s life is at stake? Can gross disfigurement of the mother as a result of continuing the pregnancy be considered a threat; threat that her husband will look for another woman because she is no longer physically desirable? From my point of view, I chose to understand “threat” for use in the context of abortion as the situation when the mother’s life is at stake. The worst case scenario is used to ascribe what is “threat” to minimize the problem of vagueness and umbrella scope. Outside abortion this understanding can also be used. Take the case of a war stricken area. A family with a new born baby is hiding with war soldiers pursuing them and then the baby starts to cry uncontrollably posing the danger that the soldiers will hear the cries, find the family and kill all of them. Will it be permissible for the baby to be killed to save the lives of the other family members? it is evident that abortion or from the just stated case, the killing of the baby, can be permissible if the threat outweighs the gain to be gained by continuing the pregnancy.

No position is taken in this paper but personally I am pro choice; the issue in not on abortion itself but on who makes the decisions, what perspectives are used, who decides if the decision to abort rests on the parents of the fetus or the doctor. With so many perspectives in the world, the morality or morality, rather whether abortion is permissible or impermissible is really by case to case basis. Like the morality or immorality of female circumcision, what perspective is to be used, etic or emic? But let us not start on that.
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PostSubject: answer to question no. 3   Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:16 am

Santiago, L.N.

There are five salient assumptions that will be identified in this paper. It will be followed by the inferences made by the authors of the essays and the analysis of whether these inferences are valid or justified.

On the assumption that a fetus does not constitute a person, whereby a “person” is defined as someone who has certain basic rights that must be honored and protected. According to Jane English, there is “no single criterion that can capture the concept of a person and no sharp line can be drawn”. A person has more than one facet, each as important as the other, wherein their sum total constitutes a typical person. To Jane English, these are the biological, psychological, social and rationality factors. There are, however, persons who may lack one or two of these, but this may not readily reduce them to nonpersons. It is simply that they lack what is typical of persons but still maintain the essence of being a person. In the same way, nonpersons having most of the characteristics typical of a person does not immediately equate it to a person (as it is stated by English, a robot). It is certainly true that no single criterion can encompass the concept of a person and since English laid down the typical features of a typical person, so it naturally follows that a person can differ from another person. By this, the concept of what makes someone a person varies in certain aspects. He/she may be lacking in some of the factors (e.g. mentally retarded, crippled, etc) that makes a typical person, but still possess the necessary characteristics that make him/her a person. It is reasonable to assert that a person is not only someone who possesses certain rights and that only those considered as persons should have or be given rights. In any way you look, a person is a complex being, an entity that possesses life and a potential to shape a personality, have feelings, problems, gain experiences and so on. He/she, being a member of the society, will gain rights—something which is also part and parcel of being a person. A person is not just someone who possesses certain rights. By saying that the rights given to them is what make a person is tantamount to saying that individuals who had not been given rights (during the African slavery) are or should be considered nonhumans, then the argument will lead to a deeper argument about racism. So it is insufficient to say that a person is one that has basic rights; thus, making it necessary to include other typical features of a person.

On the assumption that a fetus is a person, English infers that “abortion is justifiable as a means of self-defense”. If it threatens the mother’s life (health, future prospects, relationships, etc.) then it is reasonable to undertake abortion because it is only self-defense. Self-defense, in the context of abortion, is seen as a means of avoiding harm or death; thus, saving the mother’s life. The threat that the fetus may pose may come in different forms, as mentioned earlier, and may be serious enough to affect the mother’s well being, or worse, cause death. If it is reasonable to defend one’s country or loved ones, then it is also reasonable to defend oneself from inevitable danger. However, there are kinds of dangers that a loving mother would face or risk her life just to save her child from abortion. It may be justifiable, but then a mother’s love can transcend standards—i.e. sacrificing her life/future to save the child. Almost everyday, mothers and young women choose between keeping the baby or having an abortion for reasons that may involve preserving one’s status (from staying childless to avoid conflicts with work, family, etc to staying alive and healthy). For the mother to continue living her life, it is necessary and important for her to make her own choice—a choice that may (or may not) entail ending the life of the child to prevent him/her from thwarting the mother’s chances of having a future.

On the assumption that a fetus is a nonperson, English asserts that “abortion is justifiable in the early stages of pregnancy, and only seldom justifiable late in pregnancy”. Whether or not a fetus resembles an adult human being does not deny it as being human, neither is it justifiable to allow abortion in the early stages and only seldom allow it in the late stages only because of the characteristic resemblance. Be it in the first few weeks or in its ninth month, a fetus remains a fetus until it is born. There should be no necessary prejudice given if a fetus is at its early stage or not if it is to be aborted, unless it poses a threat to the mother. It is believable to say that we find compassion or liking towards those that look like us and indifference to people or animals (or nonhumans) dissimilar from us (mostly on the physical aspect). So it follows that if we are less or not attached to nonhumans that do not share with us “coherence of attitudes”, then it would be likely for us to treat them with less consideration. It is a form of injustice to justify abortion only in the early stages and only seldom the late stages of pregnancy on the basis of its physical features. Accepting this inference is parallel to the agreement to genocide.

On the assumption that it is wrong to kill us, and why is it wrong? Don Marquis asserts that, “loss of one’s life deprives one of all experiences, activities, projects, and enjoyments that would otherwise have constituted one’s future”. Logically, if one is killed, he/she cannot pursue whatever potential plans or aspiration he/she might have. The would-have-been fruitful future would only remain a figment of a “dead fetus’ imagination”. Whatever potential value the child or fetus’ future might have would be taken from him, in other words, the “plan” to continue his existence will be aborted and so will his prospective gains or losses. Since the fetus is a human’s child, it is logical to assume that he/she is also a human. Therefore, it is wrong to deprive an individual of something that would contribute to his well-being and make him/her an asset to his/her society. By killing the child or fetus, we not only deny the child of a future but also the society of a prospective catalyst for change. A fetus is a human, in its early development. Therefore, it has every right to live a life full of experience and activities and see what the future holds for him/her. Also, a fetus possesses a natural property, a property endowed at the moment of fertilization—life. A fetus possesses life and thereby, owns it. But it is also something that can be stolen from him/her (and that can cause his/her death) at abortion. If the child is aborted, the person responsible for the act is guilty of larceny, treachery, and murder.

On the assumption that inflicting pain on me is wrong, Marquis infers “the wrongness of the wanton inflicting of pain on animals”. According to Marquis it is wrong to inflict pain simply because it causes suffering. More so is the wanton infliction of pain. Many debates have been waged on the right of a criminal with a death sentence to die painlessly. With the advent of lethal injection, the right to have a painless death prevailed. If a criminal, someone who has given so much suffering to other people deserves to die painlessly, then it makes it abominable to inflict pain on a fetus who did not choose to be a cause of her mother’s suffering. Apparently, abortion is not painless. Therefore, it is a wanton act of inflicting pain since it makes the fetus suffer so much than what its tiny body can handle. Whatever method of abortion is used, the child will experience the pain of the process. Until, eventually, life escapes his/her body.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 1st Writing Assignment   Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:20 am

rivera wrote:
However, before doing so, let us first define what an inference is and explain how checking its validity is done.

Inference is the act or process of deriving a conclusion based solely on what one knows. Basically, it is categorized into two kinds, the inductive inference and deductive inference. Inductive inference refers to the process by which a conclusion is inferred from multiple observations is called inductive reasoning. The conclusion may be correct or incorrect, or partially correct, or correct to within a certain degree of accuracy, or correct in certain situations. Conclusions inferred from multiple observations may be tested by additional observations. On the other hand, deductive inference refers to the process by which a conclusion is logically inferred from certain premises is called deductive reasoning. Deductive inference is the method of mathematics. Certain definitions and axioms are taken as a starting point, and from these certain theorems are deduced using pure reasoning. The idea for a theorem may have many sources: analogy, pattern recognition, and experiment are examples of where the inspiration for a theorem comes from.

An inference is valid if and only if it is either deductively valid or inductively valid. A deductive argument is said to be valid when the inference from premises to conclusion is perfect. Here are two equivalent ways of stating that standard:

* If the premises of a valid argument are true, then its conclusion must also be true.
* It is impossible for the conclusion of a valid argument to be false while its premises are true.

Any deductive argument that is not valid is invalid: it is possible for its conclusion to be false while its premises are true, so even if the premises are true, the conclusion may turn out to be either true or false. Alternatively, the standard of correctness for inductive reasoning is much more flexible than that for deduction. An inductive argument succeeds whenever its premises provide some legitimate evidence or support for the truth of its conclusion. Although it is therefore reasonable to accept the truth of that conclusion on these grounds, it would not be completely inconsistent to withhold judgment or even to deny it outright.
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PostSubject: reply to questions fir the 1st writing assignment (question #2)   Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:17 am

Upon being asked to take a stand on the issue of abortion, one is facing a decision that would concern the concept of morality. Abortion being one of the fossilized areas for debate for the subject matter is also one that has yet to have been concluded. By concluded I mean that there has actually never been a dominant agreement on whether which side society will take.
Having read Jane English’s article which is entitled Abortion and the Concept of a Person, where she began with stating the arguments and of the two opposing sides – conservative and liberals – and later on also state the counter-arguments of both, has helped me understand deeper on why the talks on the particular issue seem to continue. As far as morality is concerned, the title itself has made mention of a main area for discussion and that is the concept of a person.
The article was successful in the sense that it was emotionally appealing but at the same time it is still based on facts. Because the discussion mainly revolves around whether or not a fetus is person, English greatly emphasized on the arguments and the examples cited were very sufficient. But I would not linger on her discussion of the examples.
What I find more interesting is the approach used. English’s approach gives the reader the idea of both sides and therefore equips one better on taking a stand. But the different stands shown were mainly descriptive so the decision-making still lies with the reader. On one part, quoting from her article where she said “..a fetus lies in the penumbra region where our concept of a person is not so simple. For this reason I think a conclusive answer to the question whether a fetus is a person is unattainable.” In these two sentences she has fully given the task of making a stand to the reader.
Given clearly demarcated choices between an anti, a pro, or a pro-choicer, I would have to go for pro-choice. In a post-modern society where one exists along with the so-called MTV culture, the choice on whether or not a person decides to have an abortion is something that society should not interfere with. My argument not being contained in such cases where it would put the mother’s life in danger or other personal issues, but rather it is based on a larger scale, on the scale of society. Let me cite an extreme then cite a normal case for this matter. For the part of the extreme, take for example a pregnant woman who is living in the level of subsistence. An anti-abortionist would claim that the right of the child to live should not be denied. However upon that child’s entry to the world, would the other human rights be satisfied? Or even would his or her basic needs be met? If not, then I believe that it is also immoral in the sense that it is also a violation of that child’s human rights. For the normal case let me take for example the case of a teen pregnancy. Cases like these are most likely unplanned or –if I may – unwanted. There is a great possibility that this child will grow up without a father or be irresponsibly raised. This again could result to the child’s, the mother, and to society’s detriment. We all say that the family is the basic unit of society, well then imagine a considerable part of the new population to be born under such circumstances then it would most likely have an evident unpleasant effect on the society as a whole. For both of my examples, I would just like to clarify that I am speaking of possibilities. There are no claims but mere suggestions. This would seem like contradicting myself, but in all truthfulness I believe that ideally there is no reason for abortion to continue to be practiced in the world. However, reality is different from our ideals. And this is why such debates continue to exist.
In conclusion, I believe that being pro-choice is what is most ethical, moral, and most importantly practical in the present times that we exist in.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions for the 1st Writing Assignment   

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Ethics :: Philo 171 B :: 1st Writing Assignment-
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