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University of Toronto St. George

Bioethics Prof. DonaldAinslie Lecture — Monday and Wednesday 11am-12pm Tutorial — Monday 3pm-4pm with Steven Coyne Text — Ronald Dworkin: Life’s Dominion:AnArgument aboutAbortion and Euthanasia ▯ Lecture 1 Mon. 7 Jan Introduction ▯ Bioethical questions — - abortion - Patient death - Fetal stem cell research - would it be ethical to use artificially created zygotes for saving lives ▯ One sperm donor 533 offspring — Starbuck ▯ More questions — how should it matter to us if we have (many) unknown children? Siblings If it is legal, should health professionals disclose the number of children a donor has fathered before providing sperm to recipients? Should recipients be able to demand this information? ▯ 3 kinds of bioethical questions 1. How should we each make sense of the significance of our biological capacities and incapacities? 2. What should the state allow us to do with and to our bodies? What should the state enable us to do? (what would justice allow) 3. How should health care professionals behave? ▯ What is bioethics? The exploration of the moral questions that arise given our biological nature. ▯ 1. Moral questions ▯ How should we behave? Not a question about self-interest Not a question about how we do behave Instead, an appeal to values: Right/wrong Virtuous/vicious Obliged/forbidden ▯ Different kinds of values Religious values — blessed, divine, sacred, pious Non-religious values — human well-being, human integrity, rationality ▯ Type 1 questions about individual belief: the bioethics of everyday life Not relativism — we want to be right in our beliefs ▯ Problem — we have reasonable disagreements about what the moral values are and how they can be balanced with one another ▯ Type 2 questions about society — how should we live together when we disagree about the highest values? Mutual tolerance (just society allows people to live by their core values) Type 3 questions about professional ethics: What rules should health care professionals (HCPs) follow in a pluralistic society Let patients live by their own reasonable values ▯ 2. Exploration ▯ Philosophical exploration, not empirical, not religions, not economic Argument and counter-argument Intelligent, informed reflection by appeal to philosophical theories, tradition ▯ 3. Our biological nature ▯ - we’re “of woman born” - Reproduce sexually - 9 mo gestation - Many years of helplessness in infancy and childhood - Susceptibility to disease/disability - Genetic variability - Mortal and with an indefinite future ▯ The syllabus MW 10-11 — office hours Part 1 — birth and the beginning of life (bioethics of everyday life) Part 2 — death and the end of life (still bioethics of everyday life) Part 3 — legal and professional issues (how should the state and hcps make sense of some of these issues) ▯ First assignment — short paper Second assignment — rewrite and build ▯ Part 1 — birth and the beginning of life: ▯ Lecture 2 Wed. 9 Jan The Sanctity of Life ▯ The Bioethics of everyday life Exploration of the moral questions that each of us faces in light of our biological natures: type 1 ▯ Reproduction 1. Conception — mostly through sexual intercourse, can be implantation 2. Zygote 40% fertilized eggs fail to implant, 20% more miscarry 3. Embryo 4. Fetus a. 8 weeks, 25 mm, human form b. 22 weeks (end of second trimester): sentience (ability to feel things; measure brain waves), beginning of viability c. 30 weeks: brain activity associated with sleeping/walking 5. Third trimester — primarily increase in size rather than new internal development; nb: fetus often used in abortion debate as a term for any stage in prenatal development ▯ Reasons forAbortion? - rape, health risk for mother (last 60-70 years, pregnancy is dangerous women have died from childbirth for many years; modern medicine prevents), incest, health of the fetus (severe birth defects), emotional capability of mother ▯ First Trimester - suction evacuation - D&C dilation and curation ▯ Second trimester - saline injection in amniotic fluid followed by induced delivery ▯ Third trimester - IDX: intact dilation extraction fetus’s head is evacuated so as to allow for induced delivery - Fetus’s head (more accurately, the brain) is evacuated so as to allow for induced delivery ▯ Abortion Rates - Canada: over 1 of 5 known pregnancies - 20% of women younger than 20; usually within 10 weeks of conception ▯ Pope John Paul II and the Catholic View - both a religious text and an attempt at a philosophical text - Addressed to, inter alia, all the people of good will - Romans 2:14-15 even if you are not a Christian the moral law applies to you - Insofar as we all have a conscience we buy into having morality - Pope — particular notion of morality - First argument - Abortion is a form of murder from the moment of conception (fetus has the same moral status as you or me and so taking it’s life is a murder) — He says it’s murder from the moment of conception - The presence of the soul entitles a fetus the same right to life as anyone else — from the moment of conception a soul is present and so taking the life of a fetus is the same as you taking my life Problems? - falsifies our experiences - What is a soul? How do we know anything about it? — psychology literal study of the soul (study the mind) - If both have equal status who should die (mother health) ▯ General anti-abortion argument 1. Fetus has the same moral status as other human beings 2. It’s wrong to kill human beings 3. Therefore it’s wrong to kill fetuses via abortion ▯ Are the premises true and second whether those premises are good reasoning (responding to argument) ▯ Possible responses A. Reject premise 1: show that fetus has different moral status B. Reject premise 2: allow for some killings (self defense) C. Reject inference to 3. ▯ SecondArgument: Abortion is worse than murder - an unspeakable crime … against life - an attack on life in general, rather than a particular life - An attack on God as the source of life - The sanctity of life ▯ Problems? How can we attack life itself With development of biology, why should we think of life as a miracle? ▯ Lecture 3 Mon. 14 Jan Bodily Integrity ▯ Thomson on the Right to Bodily Integrity ▯ Recap: - How to understand the earliest stages of human existence (from conception to birth) within the bioethics of everyday life? - Pope’s suggestion: use the same moral concepts we use for post-natal humanity so that killing counts as murder (normally); right to life; worse than murder - Some problems ▯ The Pope’sArgument — refined 1. It is wrong to kill (innocent) persons 2. Fetuses are (innocent) persons 3. Therefore: it is wrong to kill fetuses (abort them) ▯ - One way of criticizing the premises - Asecond way — accept the premises, but it doesn’t follow that the conclusion holds ▯ Thomson’s strategy: Accept premises 1 and 2 for the purposes of argument Draw on intuitions about a series of cases to show that, even if killing is (usually) prohibited, causing the death of an innocent person is sometimes allowed; so abortion is permissible in some cases, even if the fetus has the same moral status as you or I; killing versus causing the death of are different according to Thomson ▯ Defensible Takings of Life: - Self-defense; if someone is trying to kill you, you are surely entitled to defend yourself, but if the only way to stop the person is to kill them, then it could be acceptable, but there are cases where you might be able to get away with shooting them in the leg and/or running away but still kill them, this is then murder - War; combatants rather than innocent civilians - Capital punishment? Some reject this, including the Pope - Unintentional threats? Suppose the innocent person has a bomb strapped to them and the only way to diffuse the bomb would be to kill the person, if we don’t kill the person then we will all die and the person who is in the situation is not at any fault; when it comes to abortion the fetus is not an aggressor like in war/self defense and so if a threat at all a fetus is an unintentional threat ▯ Thomson’s Violinist You are kidnapped by the Society of Music Lovers so that your body can be used to support the medical needs of the violinist, 9 years, forever, one hour, one minute); you are not obliged, surely you could just reach over and unplug yourself and say sorry, but you can’t do it, because there are other things that need to be done in the next 9 months, you can’t hijack my body for 9 months - Meant to be analogous to a case of rape - It is not the fault of the fetus that the father is evil and so if you think that the fetus has the right to life just like you or me then rape cannot be an official exception ▯ - So, is it ok in this situation would it be ok to let the violinist die? ▯ How is the kidnapped person’s relation to the violinist like (unlike) a pregnant woman’s relation to the fetus? - With a fetus, you might have to put in a lot more effort with taking care of him/her after birth ▯ Four Stages of Thomson’sArgument I. Permissibility of abortion when continued pregnancy would cause the death of the mother; this is a particularly difficult case, because someone is going to die and so the fetus is an innocent threat; Thomson says that in this circumstance the woman has the right to abort II. Permissibility of abortion when it is the result of rape III. Permissibility of abortion is cases of contraceptive failure IV. Permissibility of abortion in other cases? ▯ Stage (I): Threat to Mother’s Life - NewAnalogy: the rapidly growing infant in the house;Alice in Wonderland situation - You can’t get out of the house in time because the infant is growing so rapidly; can you kill the infant to save your life? ▯ - Two innocent parties, continued life for one of which requires death of the other - Thomson: each is permitted/entitled to defend herself; but infant doesn’t have the capacity to kill you on purpose, but it can kill you by accident - Bystander can’t choose between them; it’s a terrible tragic situation, but it’s not for us to decide ▯ Abortion is different in that is is the mother’s body that each needs in order to continue living (the fetus needs her womb as a vehicle; the mother needs her body because she is identical with it); Thomson says that the mother has a “right to her body against the fetus”; the mother owns her body and her body is being hijacked by the fetus ▯ What is a right to something against someone else? Thomson appeals to intuitions ▯ - Others are permitted to help her; this is because the mother has a right to her body against the fetus - No one is required to help her, except perhaps someone in authority — official rights protectors police, legal system (i.e. Delegated by society to protect citizens’rights) ▯ What is a right? - Thomson uses property rights as a model; main tool; only one coat, who gets the coat? Well if it’s one person’s coat and he owns it, he then has the right to it; if the two boys with a box to chocolates share it they each have a right to half of it - Someone who owns something has a right to do with it what she or he wishes (within limits) ▯ P has a right to x against Q - P can claim x from Q as his due; P is entitled to have it - Q wrongs P by taking x; Q walks off with something else - It is permissible for others to help P get x from Q, so long as it does not require them to act unjustly (violate others’ rights); third party can support the person who owns something by helping them secure their rights - P does not (usually) have a right against anyone for help, so is is permissible for them not to help P get x from Q ▯ Society’s Role - Society owes it to P to help her or him get x from Q (while respecting others’rights) say via a police force - P. 54 “Justice seems to require that someone...lay hands” on those depriving a person of her rights; “in particular...anyone in a position of authority, with the job of securing people’s rights, both can and should” ▯ How do we get rights? 1. Original rights: each person has a right to her or his own body against every other person 2. By permission: P has a right to x against Q if P was given permission to have x by the prior right owner of x; if you own something you can sell/trade it or it can be lent 3. Next week 4. Next week ▯ FundamentalAssumption “We do not have…‘special responsibility’for a person unless we have assumed it, explicitly or implicitly” (65) ▯ Stage II: Pregnancy from Rape Does a fetus’s right to life trump a woman’s right to control her body? What is the right to life? ▯ T.A. - Steven Coyne ▯ [email protected] ▯ Lecture 4 Wed. 16 Jan Bodily Integrity continued ▯ What is the right to life? - The right not to be killed? - Follows from our original rights: our right against everyone to our body; generally no one can put a bullet or knife in it - But abortion involved causing the death of fetus inadvertently (in removing it from womb), not the direct killing of it - Might put limits on abortion methods (e.g. Consider if it were possible to remove fetus without its dying) - The right to what you need to continue living? - Against whom? Other members of society? When did they permit you to have a right to something of theirs (e.g. Their money, food, or shelter) - Henry Fonda - The right against everyone else that they not cause your death - They need not provide you with anything you need, but they cannot, say, poison your food or infect you with a terrible virus - What if your not dying involves your violating someone else’s rights (e.g. You are homeless and break into someone’s house on a freezing February night) - Right against everyone that they not cause your death unless the prevention of your death would infringe on the rights of others - People’s respecting others’rights is more important than their not causing your death - Aright not to be killed still obtains, but sometimes someone might be entitled to cause your death in order to secure rights of others ▯ Fetus’s right to life does not give it a right to be in a woman’s body; abortion would cause its death, but preventing this death would infringe on the mother’s original rights ▯ What would give a fetus a right against the woman to the use of her body? - Her permission - Permissibility of abortion in case of rape ▯ Stage III: Failure of contraception Use of contraception indicates refusal of fetal use to a woman’s body, even when contraceptive failure is recognized as a possibility ▯ Stage IV: Other cases of pregnancy? Mistakes - If use of contraception indicated a refusal of fetal presence, does lack of use indicate permission? Genetic Testing - Can a woman set terms for fetal use of the body (e.g. No Huntington’s disease allowed) Change of mind? - Can we ever give to someone an irrevocable right to our bodies against us? - Even so: usually respond to broken contracts by giving offended party recompense, not by requiring that the contract be carried out - Perhaps fetal use of body is best thought of not as a lease, but as a temporary loan, revocable at whim of the mother ▯ “In what pregnancy could it be supposed that the mother has given the unborn person...a right [to the use of her body]” (57)? ▯ In what pregnancy could it be supposed that the fetus has given the mother permission to have it? ▯ Final twist - the decent ▯ Lecture 5 Mon. 21 Jan Fathers ▯ Harris on Fathers and Reproduction ▯ The Pope: the fetus has the same fundamental rights as you or me, especially the right to life; we’re rights-barers; addressed argument to everyone of goodwill Thomson: rights are best understood as property rights. The right to life does not entitle someone to the use of another’s body unless he or she has been given permission. Fetus does not have right against the mother for use of her body, unless she has given it permission; let’s be clear on what rights really are; just because you have a right to life, it doesn’t entitle you to use another’s body; if the fetus is a person like you or me it can’t use the mother’s body unless it has permission; it doesn’t follow that the mother can kill the fetus, all she can do is remove the fetus (causing the death of - inadvertently; yields an odd way of viewing, as if it’s two people contracting a lease; starts to raise a question about the concepts used to think about the early stages of human existence); one element that we noticed in the discussion of Thomson was the guys views were not taken into account - the mother and fetus only and the father is looked at as a bystander Today we will talk about: fetus not understood as a rights bearer but as (analogous to) a piece of property that belongs to its mother and father; role of the father is taken more seriously here; deploys the language of rights in a different way; instead of seeing the fetus as akin to a rights barer he sees the fetus as a property; Harris sees the father’s and the mother’s stake in the fetus as akin to rights of a property they both own ▯ Thomson’s Lockian Theory of Property Rights: 1. Original rights: each person, O, has the right to her/his body against every other person; our body is ours against everyone else 2. Rights by permission: P has a right to x against Q if P was given permission to have x by the prior rightful owner of x Thus far: we can only trade the use of our bodies with one another ▯ Additions to Thomson’s Lockian Schema 3. By production: each person, P, has a right to a product of her/his labour, x, against every other person, so long as P had a prior right to the raw materials for x; suggestion is that if you make something then your making it entitles you to own it (this is how it works in intellectual property; writing a book the author owns the rights to the ideas - someone makes a cake with ingredients you bought so it’s your work and thus it’s yours so you own it); how do you get the raw materials? Trade for them using the second clause 4. By acquisition: if no one yet has a right to x against anyone, then a person, P, can establish such a right against others by appropriating it; you can trade something that’s yours (you can have my cake if you give me 30 bucks); you can gain a right to something by appropriating it ▯ Joint actions: - Two people together decide to make something; I have some of the ingredients and you have some so let’s do it together you give me some of the raw materials and I have some of the raw materials so the outcome is shared - Two people agree on terms that will allow them both to get what they want, given what they have to contribute to the project - I have some ingredients and you have know-how as well as other needed ingredients, and so we agree to pool resources so that you can make a cake that we both will share ▯ Asymmetries in Reproductive Roles; think of reproduction as a joint action - in the background of Harris’s account he uses this idea that the fetus is a property; the bun is in the oven - Father necessary for conception; his contribution doesn’t take too long - Mother carries fetus for 9 months, with great physical cost; they don’t call it labour or nothing - Easier for women than men to pursue reproduction on their own - Easier for men to abandon fetus - Harder for men to know that a fetus is theirs ▯ Mother’s rights over fetus? - Thomson treats fetus as person like you or me: given out original rights to our bodies, we can’t be owned - Her egg and her labour in carrying child during pregnancy and giving birth to it; look at it has “her child” - But we are products of our parents, and we don’t actualize our personhood until sometime past infancy; process of becoming persons - Mother has right to raise the child that fetus becomes given that she provided part of its raw material, and allowed it to use her womb; the default is that if you make it you care for it; there is an expectation that you do something so that a child you may have - What of an obligation to care for the child? - Only until child grows into a full person - Surrogacy difficulty because (sometimes) woman who carries child is not rightful ‘owner’of the raw material ▯ Does father’s prior right to the raw materials needed to create a child give him rights to it? Does it give him rights against the mother to the fetus in such a way that he can legitimately override her choice for an abortion? - Does the father’s role give him a stake? ▯ Harris analyzes male role in reproduction by considering what he is owe as an autonomous moral agent; autonomy is a really messy word in philosophy, more often than not the word autonomy is used in different senses; Harris seems to use it as the right to do what you want to do so long as you are not violating other’s rights - Autonomy is an ambiguous term and not terribly well-used by Harris - Basically right to do what you want so long as you don’t violate another’s rights; you’re autonomous if you can pursue your legitimate interest (morally legitimate) - Compare Kant’s use (Feb) given that you are autonomous you are prohibited to kill yourself; Harris - you have the right to do with your body what you want - Compare G. Dworkin’s use (Mar) - Compare R. Dworkin’s use (late Mar) - Instead, we’ll use the Lockian model of rights to address Harris’s examples ▯ Harris’s terms: - x is a harm to P=x is not in P’s interest - x is a wrongful harm to P=x is not in P’s interest and P has a right against others that x not happen - x is an impermissible wrongful harm = x is a wrongful harm and no other right outweighs P’s right against others that x not happen ▯ How did woman acquire man’s sperm? - If he abandoned it (showed no concern for what happens to it), she can appropriate it (clause 4) - Asymmetry in reproduction means that he can’t appropriate her ova/womb - He has no further right to what gets done with abandoned sperm ▯ Harris’s case 2: Jack and Jane - Fact that child would be biologically his doesn’t give him a right to the fetus against the woman, even if he later expresses concern for it; he doesn’t have a moral claim - Does she have a right against him for help with raising a child, even when he has abandoned his sperm - Harris (and Thomson) seem required to say no in that mother has no right against the father for his time or money ▯ Problems: - Usually unclear what father’s and mother’s attitudes are towards potential offspring when they engage in sex, and why should she be left to deal with it on her own? - Is it possible for a man to abandon sperm when having sex? I.e. Is lack of concern sufficient to free him from responsibility for consequences of his actions? There is some property that you can’t abandon; can’t just say I have nothing to do with it; not my problem - Woman can get an abortion in order to free herself of fetal presence in body (causing its death) - Perhaps the woman has a right against man for help in procuring abortion? - why, what right does she have ▯ Adoption? - Woman can put it up for adoption (supposing such a mechanism exists) - What if it doesn’t? - Who must care for the child? - Can man ‘put child up for adoption’insofar as child relates to him, i.e. Leaving open responsibility that mother might take over full responsibility for child? ▯ Cases where man permits use of sperm - Clause 2 in Lockian scheme - limits on how it’s used - He can put conditions on this: - Sperm banks - $ without parental obligations - Man who wants to be a parent might allow use of sperm conditional on woman’s carrying fetus to term and sharing parental duties - Harris: Does it give father a right against the woman that she carry the fetus to term? ▯ Case 3: Susan and Charles - Harris: Susan wrongfully harms Charles in her negligent failure to inform him of her ambivalence - But this wrongful harm is not sufficient for Charles to have a right against Susan that she carry the child to term - Her right to bodily integrity outweighs his right to the fetus - Does birth control count as an abandonment of sperm? ▯ Case 4: Michele and Steve - Harris: M wrongfully harms S, due to her deceit S has right against M to her carrying the fetus to term - Deceit in this case is a moral failing by Michelle - Is she really obliged to continue pregnancy - Birth control? - State of mind? - Even if she is, failure to meet obligation would not entail right to compel continued pregnancy - Broken contracts yield penalties, not enforcement ▯ Case 5:Anne and Mark - Harris:Awrongfully harms Mark due to her malicious deceit and Mark has a right against her to the carrying of child to term - DoesAnne have a right to the child once it’s born? ▯ Lecture 6 Wed. 23 Jan Virtuous Reproduction ▯ Hursthouse and Virtue Bioethics ▯ Problems with rights-based approaches - Treats all relationships as commercial in form: degrading what matters most in life - Rights presuppose equal adults engaged in explicit negotiation: impossible to live like that - Presupposes a larger moral framework in which we relate to one another without negotiation ▯ - Significant evaluations of actions taken even when they are within a person’s rights - Insisting on rights in context of intimate relationship undermines it - Rights not sufficient for understanding moral place of non-adults ▯ Rights primarily play a role in setting terms for interaction of strangers, with the state as referee Appeal to rights int eh ethics of abortion confuses different kinds of questions - Bioethics of every day life (type 1) - we’re still in type 1 - Legal and policy issues (type 2) ▯ Recall Thomson’s discussion of the ‘decency’of various abortion decisions at the end of her article ▯ Hursthouse generalizes to a “virtue ethics” treatment ▯ Virtue Ethics - Modeled onAristotle’s moral view - What matters most in a person’s life is her eudaimonia: happiness (but not in psychological sense), flourishing, well- being, meaningfulness of her life - being all you can be ▯ Eudaimonia is to be considered in light of a whole life, and it is to be taken objectively - Someone can think she’s doing well, and not be - Someone who doesn’t think she’s doing well can’t be, in that positive self-assessment is one constituent of happiness ▯ Virtue - Traits of characters that are conducive to or constitutive of happiness - Patterns of behavior, motivation, feeling, reaction, thinking - Prudence, courage, honesty, kindness, generosity, etc. - All are “essentially contestable” concepts - No decision procedure - Require judgement for correct use ▯ Context is all: facts about the situation and about the agent are relevant - Whether an action is virtuous or vicious is not subjective, just controversial ▯ Virtue concepts are those we use to make moral assessments of one another in everyday life - Used when deciding among those course of actions that are within our rights - Tendency to stay within one’s rights exemplifies virtue of justice ▯ Abortion and the Virtues - Start with natural facts about human reproduction - Pregnancy is emotionally charged, physically dangerous to women, etc. - Parenthood is one of the worthwhile ways (there are many others) to spend one’s life (id done well) - Parenthood neither necessary or sufficient for meaningful/happy life ▯ Hursthouse:An abortion decision is always weighty; it is never akin to a decision about hairstyle; treating it lightly is a failure to understand what matters in life ▯ An unwanted pregnancy - Would abortion exemplify virtue or vice in this particular context? - No easy resolution - Need all the facts (about the people involved) - How did the pregnancy arise? - Why is it unwanted? - Applies to men as well as women ▯ Problems - No determinate view of abortion as such - Difficulty making sense of eudaimonia - Conflicting conceptions of eudaimonia might seem to threaten objectivity (virtuous for me, vicious for you instead of virtuous tout court) - But in so far as there is disagreement, there must be a shared commitment to objectivity of virtue judgement ▯ Lecture 7 and 8 Mon. 28 Jan and Wed. 30 Jan The Sanctity of Life (again) ▯ Dworkin: The Sanctity of Life (Again) ▯ Hursthouse’s Virtue Bioethics - Virtue approach to bioethics “embodies” a “belief in the sanctity of life” (240) - Recall Pope John Paul II’s arguments - Official argument invoked the right to life - We noted a second argument ▯ Pope’s SecondArgument - Abortion is worse than murder: “an unspeakable crime…against life” (58). - Not simply an attack on a particular life as such, but an attack on what it embodies: - God’s creative powers - Problem! - Argument seems parochial and unpersuasive to those who do nor share the theistic assumptions ▯ Can virtue bioethics invoke a conception of the sanctity of life without taking theism on board? ▯ Dworkin’s suggestion - The sanctity of life is the core value animating the abortion debate.Arguments about the personhood and rights of the fetus are mostly beside the point, given that an early-term fetus can’t have rights because it has no interests - Opponents of abortion can’t really be relying on claims about rights of the fetus if they allow (as almost all do) exceptions for pregnancies that threaten the life of the mother or that are the result of rape - Barring their knowledge of and acceptance of Thomson - Almost no one actually treats early-term fetuses as persons - Almost no one actually treats the death of early-term fetuses as if they were trivial - Our practices show a general recognition of the special moral status of the fetus even if that status isn’t personhood (as a rights-holder) - Polemicists for and against abortion, in using the vocabulary of rights, have misinterpreted the moral issues at stake in the debate - We need to change the language we use to talk about abortion, in that current rights-focused talk distorts the convictions actually informing our practices and feelings ▯ AIM: not to stake out a position on the morality of abortion, but to explain what stands behind disagreements on this question - Elsewhere RD argues that, once the disagreement is properly understood, a liberal legal position on abortion follows - This political issue (a type 2 bioethical question) is not our concern at this point ▯ Kinds of Value - Subjective values reflect a person’s preferences and desires - Not, as such, compelling to others - E.g. Dark chocolate tastes good to me; competitive swimming is fun for me - Objective values do not depend on individual preferences and desires - Should be recognized by others - E.g. Knowledge, great art, other achievements ▯ ADifferent Distinction - Instrumental value accrues to things that promote other kinds of value - E.g. Cash, health, training in music - Final value is embodied by things that are good in themselves, not as a means to anything else - E.g. Pleasure, eudaimonia, knowledge Intrinsic Value - Objective, final value - Some things with intrinsic value have incremental value: the more the better - E.g. Knowledge - Some things with intrinsic value are irreplaceable, in that once they exist, it would be a tragic loss were they to perish; but there is no requirement that more things of that kind would be better - E.g.Animal species ▯ The Sacred - Something is sacred if and only if it has intrinsic, irreplaceable value - Loss or destruction of something sacred is a bad thing even if it isn’t bad for anyone - The world has been diminished - Dworkin’s use of the word, ‘inviolable’, is misplaced; sometimes destruction of the sacred can be mandated for protection of the sacred ▯ Sources of Sanctity - God: designation, association, or creation - Human creativity at its best (art) - Natural creativity: an “achievement of evolution” (species) - More generally: sanctity results form a valued process - Reciprocal value of process and product ▯ The Sanctity of Life - Life is both a process and an outcome: we live our lives - Aristotle’s suggestion: we live them with eudaimonia as an end, and virtuous activities constitute the best life ▯ The Value of a Life? - Subjective - Instrumental - Final - Non-incremental - Sanctity ▯ What makes a life sacred? - Two sources for life’s sanctity? - Nature of Divine - Human activity - The sanctity of life is thus not necessarily a religious value - But is this kind of value coherent - Mere sentimentality? - Speciesism? ▯ Death is always a shame, but not always equally a shame ▯ Compare (a) 4-year-old girl (b)85-year-old man (c) Un-implanted embryo (d)8-week fetus (e) 20-year-old college student Use the standard development of human life as a guide - How much as nature/humanity put into (“invested in”) the development of life? - How much of that investment has been redeemed? ▯ Qualitative Distinctions - Mother Theresa - Einstein - Aserial killer - Stalin - My great-aunt Mary ▯ Each life is sacred as a natural product, but we can evaluate how they lived, while respecting it as irreplaceable ▯ Traditional Christian Values - Our contribution to our lives is as nothing compared to the divine contribution - Abortion is always wrong (except perhaps when the life of mother is threatened) - Rape exception: a perversion of the natural means to reproduction ▯ More liberal views - The human contribution to life is as important as (or more important than) the natural contribution - Child could have a frustrated life (disease or social conditions), undermining the investments her or she (and others) put into its life - Woman’s life is sacred too: her creative activity in making a life can be frustrated by an unwanted child - Need
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