27Jan

A Quick Argument Against Abortion

If a fetus does not have a right to life, then when does it gain a right to life? After it comes out of the womb? This implies that changing location suddenly gives a human a right to life. That’s obviously ridiculous. What about consciousness? Well we’re technically unconscious when we sleep or get knocked out, so do we temporarily lose our right to life? Surely not. Even six week old fetuses have some level of consciousness (http://www.ehd.org/dev_article_unit7.php).

Perhaps a certain level of consciousness gives a right to life, but that’s arbitrary. Why does that level of consciousness give a right to life? Suppose a person went into a coma but had a 100% chance of recovering. Surely it’s not moral to kill them during a coma. Furthermore, this implies that people with greater levels of consciousness are more valuable than others, which is clearly false. So a right to life must not come from the level of consciousness.

In fact, rights cannot come in degrees like consciousness does as the above example shows. This leave us with the best answer: We have a right to life because we are of a certain *kind* of being at the very moment of conception: a rational animal (aka being human). Kind, not degrees of consciousness, are what give humans the right to life. Since fetuses are humans, abortion is wrong.

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One comment

  1. A fetus being born is not just as trivial as a change of location. Up until and for a small time after birth the child is attached to its mother via the umbilical cord and could even be classified as a parasite up until it is able to subsist on its own (breath through its own lungs, handle its own waste management etc). If not a parasite then one could make the argument that it is still part of the mother’s body up until the cord cutting and, as she or her proxy have control over her body, then she should have control over what happens to the fetus.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming that this is a good pro-abortion argument but rather am showing how your anti-abortion argument is dumb. Really, this problem of determining when/if to yank a fetus is a form of Sorites paradox and thus the logical tools for dealing with these paradoxes should be implemented eg. fuzzy logic or practical cut-off.

    Personally, I think that the mother should be allowed to terminate up until the umbilical cord has been severed and the child gets a birth certificate; the more chances to undermine the disastrous overgrowth of the human population the better.

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