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PHL240H1 (52)
Lecture

March 1 Lecture

3 Pages
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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHL240H1
Professor
Stephen Biggs

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PHL240 March 1, 2011 Personal Identity and Ethics Lecture
10
From Personal Identity to Ethics
A.Embryos
Heres an argument against stem cell research
1.Humans come into existence at the moment of conception
2.Embryos are humans
3.Stem cell research requires destroying 2-5 day old embryos
4.Killing humans is wrong, all else being equal
5.Conducting stem cell research is wrong, all else being equal
Heres a reply to this argument
-Adam is an embryo, splits into twins, Barney and Claire
Either:
i)Adam survives as both (false)
ii)Adam survives as one of the twins but not the other (false)
iii) Adam doesnt survive (true?)
Counter Argument:
1.Humans come into existence at the moment of conception (assumption; this is a premise in the
argument)
2.Adam is a human (1)
3.Adam doesnt survive twinning
4.When a human dies, it is a tragedy that should be mourned
5.Adams death is a tragedy that should be mourned (2-4)
6.Adams death is not a tragedy that should be mourned
7.Humans dont come into existence at the moment of conception (1-6)
Counter Argument 2:
1.Humans come into existence at the moment of conception (assumption; this is a premise in the
argument)
2.Adam is a human (1)
3.Adam doesnt survive twinning
4.When a human dies, it leaves earthly remains
5.Upon twinning, Adam leaves earthly remains (2-4)
6.Upon twinning, Adam doesnt leave earthly remains
7.Human beings dont come into existence at the moment of conception (1-6)
Reply to the Argument:
iii) Adam doesnt survive
-a 4-dimensionalist (like Lewis) would hold: Adam is both Barney and Claire and so i) Adam survives as
both, is correct
B.Abortion
Here`s an argument against abortion
1.Killing any entity with a future like ours is wrong, all else equal
2.Fetuses have a future like ours
3.Killing a fetus is wrong, all else equal
Reply:
1. If an entity X has a future like ours, then it will be identical with some future entity Y, which is
like us
2. If X will be identical with some such Y, then X is mentally connected-continuous in the right way
with that Y
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Description
PHL240 March 1, 2011 Personal Identity and Ethics Lecture 10 From Personal Identity to Ethics A. Embryos Heres an argument against stem cell research 1. Humans come into existence at the moment of conception 2. Embryos are humans 3. Stem cell research requires destroying 2-5 day old embryos 4. Killing humans is wrong, all else being equal 5. Conducting stem cell research is wrong, all else being equal Heres a reply to this argument -Adam is an embryo, splits into twins, Barney and Claire Either: i) Adam survives as both (false) ii) Adam survives as one of the twins but not the other (false) iii) Adam doesnt survive (true?) Counter Argument: 1. Humans come into existence at the moment of conception (assumption; this is a premise in the argument) 2. Adam is a human (1) 3. Adam doesnt survive twinning 4. When a human dies, it is a tragedy that should be mourned 5. Adams death is a tragedy that should be mourned (2-4) 6. Adams death is not a tragedy that should be mourned 7. Humans dont come into existence at the moment of
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