Addendum to Abortion Post

Thus have I made as it were a small globe of the intellectual world, as truly and faithfully as I could discover. ~ Francis Bacon

If it was not clear from my previous post, there are multiple arguments driving the majority of contemporary philosophers against the pro-life position—the personhood of the fetus is just one small part of the overall case.  And I have never heard a contemporary moral philosopher advance arguments against the personhood of Native Americans, Jews, Africans, Mexicans, gypsies, or Seattle hippies. (One commenter suggested as much.) However such arguments were advanced by the Catholic Church in the 16th and 17th centuries against the people of the New World with devastatingly results. The disabilities issue is somewhat different. (Something another commentator mentioned.) If we are talking about a positive result for severe deformities after prenatal testing then yes, many philosophers would advocate abortion.

The argument that sometimes in the past people were wrong about personhood so they are probably wrong about the personhood of a 6 week old is a specious argument. (Roughly the argument of one commenter.) Of course nothing I say will change anyone’s mind, especially if their salaries depend upon believing the opposite. But the fact is that the vast majority of contemporary moral philosophers reject the anti-abortion position just as they reject the anti-homosexual position. This should give pro-lifers interested in the most rational position pause.

So many really important things to worry about—like actual people.

Again, for those interested in the philosophical consensus that the pro-life position is philosophically worthless, the literature is readily available. If one disagrees, present the opposite case and sway the philosophical majority. I’ll let any of my readers have the last word if they like without further comment. I won’t reply.

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