Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Thinking Personhood Through

I found a very thoughtful post by Dru of Ep1staut0logy about the question of personhood and abortion. The comments are very worth reading as well -- some of the most thoughtful I've seen as far as wrestling with the basic ethical issues.

In difficult ethical waters, it's often best to go from what you are sure of to what you're not sure of. It seems pretty clear to most of us (with the exception of the most extreme euthanasia and eugenics advocates) that all people we see around us are worthy of equal care and dignity, despite any differences in degree of function or ability. A person with Down syndrome, or autism, or indeed a three week old baby all have levels of self awareness and cognition below the 'normal', and yet we rightly (at least so I believe) recoil from the idea that they are in some sense less human. Humanity thus seems to be a function of identity rather than degree. And if that's so, then how can abortion not be deeply, deeply problematic?

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