The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

Is abortion wrong?

Discuss morality and ethics in this message board.
Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
Post Reply
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3409
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by LuckyR » December 23rd, 2018, 3:49 am

cavacava wrote:
December 22nd, 2018, 9:23 am
I don't know what you mean by "ought" but currently parents are not necessarily responsible for their progeny. We are all familiar with the practice of adoption.
By 'ought' I mean the ethical duty that one feels to act in a certain manner. I'am not sure I understand what you mean by "...parents are not necessarly responsible for their progeny..." The discussion is about abortion, two people had sex, and the woman got pregnant, how are they not responsible? I think that if they had consensual sex then they are ethical bound (freedom entails responsibility) to see the pregnancy though, even if they decide afterwards to give the child up for abortion. If the sex was non-consensual as in rape, or incest or if the mother's life becomes threatened or perhaps if their best prophylactic efforts fail then the woman's right over her body trumps the fetus's right and she is not ethically obligated to carry the pregnancy to term.
A nice list of personal opinions, which are a minority opinion in the US right now. Thus while perfectly moral, do not represent the overall ethics in America and the West.

As to my quote, what I meant is that since everyone agrees that adoption is a perfectly reasonable option, parents are not, in fact necessarily responsable for their products of conception, ie they can decide, with society's blessing, to not be personally responsible for live children, let alone the lesser responsibility to nonviable fetuses.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
cavacava
Posts: 55
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 11:10 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » December 23rd, 2018, 3:14 pm

A nice list of personal opinions, which are a minority opinion in the US right now. Thus while perfectly moral, do not represent the overall ethics in America and the West.
You appear to be conflating Law with Ethics. Law is a system of rules which a society enforces, Ethics are principles that aim at the good for individuals and society.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3409
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by LuckyR » December 24th, 2018, 3:58 am

cavacava wrote:
December 23rd, 2018, 3:14 pm
A nice list of personal opinions, which are a minority opinion in the US right now. Thus while perfectly moral, do not represent the overall ethics in America and the West.
You appear to be conflating Law with Ethics. Law is a system of rules which a society enforces, Ethics are principles that aim at the good for individuals and society.
Your description of ethics is a bunch of words providing little insight. Ethics (as opposed to morals) are specifically codes of conduct of a group, be it a religion, community or whathaveyou. Whereas your "definition" is vague enough that one could contort it to apply to morals and ethics.
"As usual... it depends."

Steve3007
Posts: 5750
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Eratosthenes
Location: UK

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Steve3007 » December 24th, 2018, 5:48 am

cavacava wrote: I think that if they had consensual sex then they are ethical bound (freedom entails responsibility) to see the pregnancy though, even if they decide afterwards to give the child up for abortion. If the sex was non-consensual as in rape, or incest or if the mother's life becomes threatened or perhaps if their best prophylactic efforts fail then the woman's right over her body trumps the fetus's right and she is not ethically obligated to carry the pregnancy to term.
I assume you mean "give the child up for adoption" not "give the child up for abortion"!

It's interesting that you appear to think that there should be an absolute ban on abortion if no contraception was used but that abortion should be allowed if contraception was used but failed. Apart from anything else, how would you enforce this? How would a couple go about demonstrating beyond reasonable doubt that they attempted to use some form of contraception? Would this include all forms of contraception?

User avatar
cavacava
Posts: 55
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 11:10 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » December 24th, 2018, 6:36 am

Steve3007 wrote:
December 24th, 2018, 5:48 am
cavacava wrote: I think that if they had consensual sex then they are ethical bound (freedom entails responsibility) to see the pregnancy though, even if they decide afterwards to give the child up for abortion. If the sex was non-consensual as in rape, or incest or if the mother's life becomes threatened or perhaps if their best prophylactic efforts fail then the woman's right over her body trumps the fetus's right and she is not ethically obligated to carry the pregnancy to term.
I assume you mean "give the child up for adoption" not "give the child up for abortion"!
Lt's interesting that you appear to think that there should be an absolute ban on abortion if no contraception was used but that abortion should be allowed if contraception was used but failed. Apart from anything else, how would you enforce this? How would a couple go about demonstrating beyond reasonable doubt that they attempted to use some form of contraception? Would this include all forms of contraception?
Thank you for the correction.

The question is..."Is abortion wrong?" It is not...'Is Abortion Legal? ' How one ought to act, not what is or is not permitted by law, abortion is legal in USA.

User avatar
cavacava
Posts: 55
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 11:10 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » December 24th, 2018, 6:41 am

LuckyR wrote:
December 24th, 2018, 3:58 am



You appear to be conflating Law with Ethics. Law is a system of rules which a society enforces, Ethics are principles that aim at the good for individuals and society.
Your description of ethics is a bunch of words providing little insight. Ethics (as opposed to morals) are specifically codes of conduct of a group, be it a religion, community or whathaveyou. Whereas your "definition" is vague enough that one could contort it to apply to morals and ethics.
[/quote]

The following from The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
The field of ethics (or moral philosophy) involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior.
Try addressing the argument.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3409
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by LuckyR » December 26th, 2018, 3:59 am

cavacava wrote:
December 24th, 2018, 6:41 am
LuckyR wrote:
December 24th, 2018, 3:58 am


Your description of ethics is a bunch of words providing little insight. Ethics (as opposed to morals) are specifically codes of conduct of a group, be it a religion, community or whathaveyou. Whereas your "definition" is vague enough that one could contort it to apply to morals and ethics.
The following from The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
The field of ethics (or moral philosophy) involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior.
Try addressing the argument.
Well considering you conveniently dodged my evidence that parents in the modern West are not necessarily held to being "responsible" for their products of conception, which seemed to be the cornerstone of your opinion/argument, I would say the ball is actually in your court.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
cavacava
Posts: 55
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 11:10 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » December 26th, 2018, 10:36 pm

LuckyR wrote:
December 26th, 2018, 3:59 am
cavacava wrote:
December 24th, 2018, 6:41 am


The following from The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:



Try addressing the argument.
Well considering you conveniently dodged my evidence that parents in the modern West are not necessarily held to being "responsible" for their products of conception, which seemed to be the cornerstone of your opinion/argument, I would say the ball is actually in your court.
I responded to your 'evidence' by stating that I thought that you are conflating Law/Legality with Ethics/Morality'. While both involve the actions of free agents they are different. Laws are (external) agreed upon in a society, written down and enforced, ethical actions are (internal) based on what we believe to be right. A person's action can be: legal yet immoral; unlawfully yet ethical.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3409
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by LuckyR » December 27th, 2018, 1:09 pm

cavacava wrote:
December 26th, 2018, 10:36 pm
LuckyR wrote:
December 26th, 2018, 3:59 am


Well considering you conveniently dodged my evidence that parents in the modern West are not necessarily held to being "responsible" for their products of conception, which seemed to be the cornerstone of your opinion/argument, I would say the ball is actually in your court.
I responded to your 'evidence' by stating that I thought that you are conflating Law/Legality with Ethics/Morality'. While both involve the actions of free agents they are different. Laws are (external) agreed upon in a society, written down and enforced, ethical actions are (internal) based on what we believe to be right. A person's action can be: legal yet immoral; unlawfully yet ethical.
A couple of things, firstly personal or internal beliefs are morals not ethics, whereas societal standards are ethics, not morals.

Regardless, either you feel adoption is immoral (which is your right, but puts you way, way off the mainstream and your musings would and should be taken in that context), or if you are OK with the concept of adoption, then you admit that your premise (that parents are obligated to be responsible for their products of conception) is at best partial or subject to exceptions, or worst case: disproven.

Which is it?
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
cavacava
Posts: 55
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 11:10 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » December 27th, 2018, 4:23 pm

LuckyR wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 1:09 pm
cavacava wrote:
December 26th, 2018, 10:36 pm


I responded to your 'evidence' by stating that I thought that you are conflating Law/Legality with Ethics/Morality'. While both involve the actions of free agents they are different. Laws are (external) agreed upon in a society, written down and enforced, ethical actions are (internal) based on what we believe to be right. A person's action can be: legal yet immoral; unlawfully yet ethical.
A couple of things, firstly personal or internal beliefs are morals not ethics, whereas societal standards are ethics, not morals.

Regardless, either you feel adoption is immoral (which is your right, but puts you way, way off the mainstream and your musings would and should be taken in that context), or if you are OK with the concept of adoption, then you admit that your premise (that parents are obligated to be responsible for their products of conception) is at best partial or subject to exceptions, or worst case: disproven.

Which is it?
My initial point was that it depends on the circumstances. A pregnancy that is caused by rape, or incest, or in the case where a mothers' life is in danger or in the case of failed contraception, I think provide a moral basis for having an abortion. I don't think that a pregnancy caused by casual sex provides any moral basis for having an abortion because while the mother's right over her body trumps the rights of the fetus, the mother who has consensual sex, is responsible for the consequences of her action. The fact that abortion is legal or not has nothing to do with a person's moral decision.

User avatar
Count Lucanor
Posts: 439
Joined: May 6th, 2017, 5:08 pm

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Count Lucanor » December 27th, 2018, 6:10 pm

cavacava wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 4:23 pm

My initial point was that it depends on the circumstances. A pregnancy that is caused by rape, or incest, or in the case where a mothers' life is in danger or in the case of failed contraception, I think provide a moral basis for having an abortion. I don't think that a pregnancy caused by casual sex provides any moral basis for having an abortion because while the mother's right over her body trumps the rights of the fetus, the mother who has consensual sex, is responsible for the consequences of her action.
But the mother having an abortion is perfectly consistent with being responsible for the consequences of her action. She is taking the decision by herself, she is taking the risks of medical procedures, she will live with the weight of her decision, etc. It is not about her doing a felony and having to receive punishment. The moral basis is not how she got pregnant; that would be alleviating or aggravating circumstances if it was already decided that abortion is wrong, but that's precisely what this thread is debating. The moral basis lies in whether terminating the life of a fetus carries or not the same implications than terminating the life of a born human being. That is not absolute either, but context-driven.

User avatar
cavacava
Posts: 55
Joined: October 12th, 2018, 11:10 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by cavacava » December 27th, 2018, 6:32 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 6:10 pm
cavacava wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 4:23 pm

My initial point was that it depends on the circumstances. A pregnancy that is caused by rape, or incest, or in the case where a mothers' life is in danger or in the case of failed contraception, I think provide a moral basis for having an abortion. I don't think that a pregnancy caused by casual sex provides any moral basis for having an abortion because while the mother's right over her body trumps the rights of the fetus, the mother who has consensual sex, is responsible for the consequences of her action.
But the mother having an abortion is perfectly consistent with being responsible for the consequences of her action. She is taking the decision by herself, she is taking the risks of medical procedures, she will live with the weight of her decision, etc. It is not about her doing a felony and having to receive punishment. The moral basis is not how she got pregnant; that would be alleviating or aggravating circumstances if it was already decided that abortion is wrong, but that's precisely what this thread is debating. The moral basis lies in whether terminating the life of a fetus carries or not the same implications than terminating the life of a born human being. That is not absolute either, but context-driven.
I am saying that abortion is wrong in the case of a pregnancy where the fetus is the result of consensual sex between willing partners. Their act has consequences and I think the women in this case is responsible for seeing the pregnancy through to birth. An abortion is a killing, a taking of a life, and I think the only feasible justification for such a killing is that it is justified, and there are justifications as I have indicated, but consensual sex is not one of them.

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7735
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Greta » December 27th, 2018, 9:06 pm

cavacava wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 6:32 pm
Count Lucanor wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 6:10 pm

But the mother having an abortion is perfectly consistent with being responsible for the consequences of her action. She is taking the decision by herself, she is taking the risks of medical procedures, she will live with the weight of her decision, etc. It is not about her doing a felony and having to receive punishment. The moral basis is not how she got pregnant; that would be alleviating or aggravating circumstances if it was already decided that abortion is wrong, but that's precisely what this thread is debating. The moral basis lies in whether terminating the life of a fetus carries or not the same implications than terminating the life of a born human being. That is not absolute either, but context-driven.
I am saying that abortion is wrong in the case of a pregnancy where the fetus is the result of consensual sex between willing partners. Their act has consequences and I think the women in this case is responsible for seeing the pregnancy through to birth. An abortion is a killing, a taking of a life, and I think the only feasible justification for such a killing is that it is justified, and there are justifications as I have indicated, but consensual sex is not one of them.
Yet we eat far more complex and sentient beings than foetuses every day. Our food animals are far more sensitive to pain, far more capable of suffering than any foetus. The animals are intelligent and sensitive, forming bonds with their young and herd mates. Yet we happily slaughter them to eat. We don't even do it with regret. In fact we thinking nothing of it. It's as if they are no more than rocks.

Meanwhile an adult woman with established rather than theoretical potential is expected to surrender control of her body for a mistake or bad luck (while the man gets off scot free) - for the sake of an entity with less sentience than the food people eat daily.

If abortion is wrong, then eating pigs, cattle and sheep is infinitely more wrong (I actually don't think any of it is wrong as such, if conducted properly). We need to get real about the fact that we kill all of the time, day after day, and not just animals. The sanctity of life is largely a self-aggrandising myth, the notion seemingly only embraced by vegetarian biologists, environmentalists and humanitarians.

We are predators and we kill. We kill everything and we kill them all of the time, including humans - and there is largely zero care as millions of fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, lovers and longtime friends are pointlessly killed for political ends. The irony is that the political parties most likely to kill teenagers and young adults are the ones that moralise most about abortion.

User avatar
Count Lucanor
Posts: 439
Joined: May 6th, 2017, 5:08 pm

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by Count Lucanor » December 27th, 2018, 11:00 pm

cavacava wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 6:32 pm
Count Lucanor wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 6:10 pm

But the mother having an abortion is perfectly consistent with being responsible for the consequences of her action. She is taking the decision by herself, she is taking the risks of medical procedures, she will live with the weight of her decision, etc. It is not about her doing a felony and having to receive punishment. The moral basis is not how she got pregnant; that would be alleviating or aggravating circumstances if it was already decided that abortion is wrong, but that's precisely what this thread is debating. The moral basis lies in whether terminating the life of a fetus carries or not the same implications than terminating the life of a born human being. That is not absolute either, but context-driven.
I am saying that abortion is wrong in the case of a pregnancy where the fetus is the result of consensual sex between willing partners. Their act has consequences ...
Consequences which in the case of abortion, are dealt with.
cavacava wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 6:32 pm
...and I think the women in this case is responsible for seeing the pregnancy through to birth.
And why stop at birth? You could as well say that she is responsible (actually you mean obliged) for taking care of the child she didn't want until adulthood. Even adoption could be excluded from her possibilities.
cavacava wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 6:32 pm
An abortion is a killing, a taking of a life,
You obviously mean the killing of human life, of a person, since killing almost every other form of life is pretty much morally acceptable in human societies (not to mention killing grown up humans themselves). But a fetus is not yet a person in the early stages of development. It is at later stages and I would agree then that it is an immoral act of killing a person, considering the methods.
cavacava wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 6:32 pm
and I think the only feasible justification for such a killing is that it is justified,
Circular argument.
cavacava wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 6:32 pm
and there are justifications as I have indicated, but consensual sex is not one of them.
Consensual sex is not given as moral justification for abortion. The moral justification is that the mother has a practical justification for her own and the child's future, to which she is entitled to, and doesn't want to have it. Along with it, she has the option to stop the pregnancy while the product is not yet a person.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3409
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Is abortion wrong?

Post by LuckyR » December 28th, 2018, 3:14 am

cavacava wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 4:23 pm
LuckyR wrote:
December 27th, 2018, 1:09 pm


A couple of things, firstly personal or internal beliefs are morals not ethics, whereas societal standards are ethics, not morals.

Regardless, either you feel adoption is immoral (which is your right, but puts you way, way off the mainstream and your musings would and should be taken in that context), or if you are OK with the concept of adoption, then you admit that your premise (that parents are obligated to be responsible for their products of conception) is at best partial or subject to exceptions, or worst case: disproven.

Which is it?
My initial point was that it depends on the circumstances. A pregnancy that is caused by rape, or incest, or in the case where a mothers' life is in danger or in the case of failed contraception, I think provide a moral basis for having an abortion. I don't think that a pregnancy caused by casual sex provides any moral basis for having an abortion because while the mother's right over her body trumps the rights of the fetus, the mother who has consensual sex, is responsible for the consequences of her action. The fact that abortion is legal or not has nothing to do with a person's moral decision.
I do not disagree that your way of looking at this issue is completely reasonable. It is therefore morally sound.

However, it would be a gross error to therefore extrapolate that it's anywhere near the only or best set of morally sound opinions. For many, if not most, it breaks down to competing interests, plain and simple. And it's a very common morally logical conclusion that competent adult autonomy trumps fetal interests (regardless of the route conception happened to take).

I have never addressed legal issues with you in this thread, rather common opinions that happen to be reflected in existing laws.
"As usual... it depends."

Post Reply