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University of Toronto St. George
Donald Ainslie

Charter #7 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. Example: one sperm donor: 150 offspring - Due they morally owe anything to the offspring? - Any legal obligations What is bioethics - what are the morals towards death - I.e. Global mail - “make the right to die legal with protections”? Different Questions raised - what issue we are proposed with? - how we as individuals can make sense of these new tech that are imposed to us: - How should it matter to us if we have (many) unknown children? Siblings? Is there a moral obligation to know them these offspring of sperm donor - How should the law/social policy regulate this policy (should 1 donor have 150 kids bc there could be incest) -- when should law dawn into our personal freedom? This is a bioethical question - whether and how u donate your sperm - What the health professionals should do? What regulations they should follow? Do the the HP have to tell these clinics that this guys has already had 150 kids, are all these kids healthy or have diseases that harm etc 3 kinds of bioethical questions: when they arise, how they arise, how we resolve them 1. How should we understand what is it to be a moral human being 2. What should the state allow us to do with our bodies and what should the state enable us to do i.e. Health care professionals What is bioethics - the exploitation of the moral question that arise 1. Moral questions - How should be behave is the general form of moral ?‟s - “Should” i.e. The credentials, given your goals what is the best way to achieve them - Not a question about self interest - Not a questions about how we actually DO behave, some ppl do good and bad things -- we dont study or do polls about ppls behavior but we are interested in what they SHOULD BE DOING, not what they are doing or what they should do in their self interest - Instead we appeal to VALUES - right/wrong, virtuous/vicious (find moral significance in peoples behavior), obligated (what we are required to do i.e. Pay taxes)/ forbidden - We are asking moral questions by appealing to the moral terms above and more … hwo they appeal in terms of the biological realm Different kind of moral values. - ppl think its in appeal to the rlg traditions that is the moral values - in to ref trad - Religion: - The blessed, divine, sacred, pious - When things are sacred, what does that mean? - I.e. Pope john paul reading: he thinks his arguments are will appeal to all ppl with good will -- but how does ppl who dont by into that world view call something sacred? - Non religious values: - Values like human well being, human integrity, rationality - Ppl share without buying to rlg views Type1 question about individual belief: the bioethics of everyday life - when answering these, individually, bc we all want answers, doesn't mean we dont criticize for the answer, if we didn't criticize we would be relativists - we think it does matter and we can be wrong - for a relativists thinks about morality like how we think about ice cream what we think is the best, someone can disagree, bc there is nothing to appeal to to criticize, when it comes the morals of life there are reasons to challenge one another bc we share commitments to value - there is space to argue, doesnt mean we will all agree - bioethics of everyday like the problem is that we all have reasonable disagreements, we cant resolve it but we can recognize where we are all coming from. Type 2: How society should b structured and what law should we have - whos views should be social policy - Answer is that we tolerate one another on these views, we agree to do our on things with counteracting one another Type4: questions about professional ethics - health care practitioners rules should follow when ppl disagree on their ideas of morality in a pluralist society - They should enable patients to live be their own (reasonable) values 2. “Exploitation” - explore in a phil exploitation, not empirical, not rlg, not, economic etc - Argument and counter argument - Give reason for our positions - Intelligent, informed reflections - not just one personal thoughts, come to find a way to approach a question by appeal to tech and concepts that will have power to understand it better 3. “Our Biological Nature” - we are “of women born” - Look at abortion as the way we reflect on how we come into this world - Reproduce sexually - 9 months gestation - Many years of helplessness in infancy and childhood - … - Susceptibility to diease and disability - Genetic variability Mortal and with an indefinite future - how to make sense that our life has a stoping point some time in the future LECTURE 2 - The Sancitiy of Life (Sept 14) „Bioethics of Everyday Life‟ - exploration of the moral questions that wachof us faces in light of our biological nature - how should each of us make sense of the kinds of questions that we face just from being human and the kinds of things that we are Reproduction 1. Conception 2. Zygote a. 40% fail to implant b. 20% more miscarry 3. Embryo 4. Fetus Reasons for abortion? - How these reasons may change the substantial arguments faced - Cant understand morally until it is known actually How does it happen? 1st trimester - suction and evacuation - D&C 2nd Trim - saline injection an amniotic fluid followed by induced delivery 3rd trim - IDX: intact dilation extraction - Fetus‟s head if evacuated so as to allow for induced delivery PJPII & the Catholic View - says that he is writing this not only for catholics but for all people of good will - When ppl say its bc of faith - reason has given out and just relying on text - Both a religious text and an attempt at a phil text - Passage from the bible in the text - For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another (Romans 2:14-­15) - From this you can appeal to the laws of the cath church or you can look to your own law as well all have a moral inside law with in us First arguments - makes 2 different ones: 1. Abortion is a form of murder from the moment of conception - we all have a soul from conception and we should not kill any creators which have a soul - What matters is having a soul or not -- that is what is morally significant -- and what ultimately matters Problems with his argument: - What is a SOUL? How do we know its there? - Falsifies our experiences 2. The presence of the soul entails a fetus to the same right life as anyone else - the pope is taking on something to defend a world view LECTURE 3 - Thompson Part I (Sept 19) Thompson on the Right to Bodily Integrity - was a famous philer - Dips into our intuitions - Develop what the core of his article is - how we should make of this as a feature of our nature - abortion Popes Argument: - the core thought is that fetus are best understood using the more concepts we us when thinkinga about one another - killing one and other is just as wrong as killing fetus‘ (first argument) - 2 arguments that run together and need to be disentangled - 1. Fetuses are (innocent) persons - 2. Therefore it is wrong to kill fetus‘ On the notions of the sanctity of life, its an attack on god as he is the source of life - there are 2 ways to attack an argument - Are the premises true? - Attacking its reasoning? Weather or not they are true, it doesnt follow the conclusion This is why Thompson is doing, he says, he accepts his opponents premise, she doesn't think its true, but none the less she accepts it, but it none the less follows that sometimes abortion is promenade - killing means 2 things - The intentional killing - The causing of the death of something, and unwanted side effect of death of -- i.e. Abortion is sometimes permissible - She is accepting both premises and what premise 1 amounts too -- what it means to kill Defensible Killings: - self-defense: - There has to be proportion in self dense , when its my life or yours - The goal isnt to kill but to stop the attack and the only way to stop the attack is to kill and its an unfortunate side effect - unfortunate but legitimate - War: - It can be understood as a just killing - you are on side of the govt, may not be just but what can u do .. - Captital Punishment: - If you have done an un defendable crime then you should give your like - There is the question of the innocence of people - Intuitional threats: - Have to kill even if the person u are killing is not even at fault for being in that situation - Ie someone kidnaped and has a bomb strapped to him and will be shot if doenst go into the school and kill everyone else - The goal is to cause the death to avoid the threat - The only way to stop them is to kill them Thompson Violinist thought experiment - get clear on our intuitions - You are kidnapped by the Society of Music Lovers so that your body can be used to support the medical needs of the violinist for a period of time (9 months, 9 years, forever, one hour, one minute). - Would it be okay to remove the tubs and detach ??? How is the kidnapped person relation to the violinist like the or unlike a pregnant womans relation to the fetus? - the dependency of you for both - The vio is a stanger where as the fetus is a person like you for me (but this misses out on the idea that the fetus is the coming into being) - Vio after 9 months nothing to do with u -- preg after 9 months you have a child for the rest of your life 4 stages in the argument 1. The permissibility of abortion when the preg would cause the death of the mom - the vio cause, you wont survive this 9 month and the vio will continue on 2. Permissibility of abolition in the cause of rape - someone who takes your body against your will to sustain a life in the cause of the vio 3. Permissibly of abortion is cases of the contraceptive failure 4. Permissibility of abortion in other cases? Stage 1: Her life OR the fetus - new analogy: the rapidly growing infant in the house and its going to crush you to death if you dont do something, if you dont kill it you will die - Is it legit to kill the infant in this case? - What the intuition of this? - The justified killing the infant in this situation - 2 innocent parities - The life of one inquires the death of the other - JJT says each is permited to defend herself - As a bystander cant choose btw them...can we choose? Are we entitled to intervene - We arent directly threatened so no? - There is no guarantee that the mother or the fetus will live or die Abortion vs the women and the fetus in the house - Abortion is different in that it 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 bc she is identical with it). Mother has a ―right to her body against the fetus.‖ - They are both dependent on the mother - Abortion: the dis-analogy , the women has a right to her body against the fetus - And this means that others are permitted to help - The house: - Others were not permitted to make claim to what was going on - The women owned the house, it would destroy the house and and kill her - Others are permitted to help but are not required to help - No oneis required to help her, except perhaps someone in the authority (i.e. Delegated by society to protect critcizen rights) - Human rights: started as god and then we needed a state that had the appropriate powers to protect us - This is an sensitive spot: - Where she misses our on for her arguments ……? What is a right? - what we are talking about when we use these phrases - For JJT we need to clarify what she uses ; she is using property rights as model - Ie your jacket, you cant take it bc its mine - Someone who owns something has a right to do with it what she or he wishes (within limits) - The logic that JJT uses in her discussion of right ; ―P has a right to X against Q‖ - P can claim X from Q as he due -- i.e. Leave your jacket and someone pick it up and bring it to me that a due - Suppose someone see‘s that your wearing my jacket it is permissible for others to hekp secure the right as long as they are not acting injustly to secure your rights - P does not (usually) have a right to the help of others against them, so it is PERMISSIBLE for them not to help P get X from Q - SOCIETY (which has to take care of us and make sure our property rights are not violated) owes it to P to help her or him get X from Q (while respecting others‘ rights), say via police force JJT strategy … 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 right to X against Q if P was Given permission to have X by the prior rightful owner of X 3. NEXT WEEK 4. NEXT WEEK Fundamental Assumption: - we find our selfves in relationshops without that explicitly permission - She hold behind her argument Stage 2: Preg from rape - does a fetus right to life trump a womans right to control her body - What is the right to life - There is no self defense in one life other the other What is the right to life? A. The right not to be killed? - Follows from the original right: our right against everyone to our body. Generally, no one can put a bullet or a knife in it - A fetus has a right to life like this -- the women cant kill it, but doesnt say that she cant cause its death by removing it from her womb -- right to life at that point would be cau - Abortion causes the death inadveritly as the women is preserving the right to her womb B. The right to what you need in order to stay alive - against whom? other members of society? when did they permit you to have a right to something of theirs (e.g. their money, or food, or shelter)? - Henry Fonda example if u needed his touch to help you live its not his right to come touch u, not a right against him but perhaps society LECTURE 4 - Thomson on the Right to Bodily Integrity Part II (Sept 21) - she starts by accepting her opponents premise that a fetus is a human - 1st argument that we are creatures with rights - There is something right in this positions but the term rights is not the right vocab for this -- rights doesn't being in the bioethics of everyday life The 4 stage arguments 1st - In this cases it acceptable to kill the fetus be them the mother has the right to her body against the fetus - property right of the body argument - own it and have the right to do what u want with it She makes an assumption-we only get these resp i.e. Of a child when we want that resp and accept it STAGE 2: PREG FROM RAPE - its not the case that someone has to die, the women has been violated but is its not their fault - In this case no one has to die, the fetus has the rigtht to life and mother has the rught to her body but the life trumps the right to control her body What is the right to life? a. The right not to be killed • followed form our original rights: our right against everyone to our body. Generally, no one can put a bullet or a knife in it • But abortion involves causing the death of fetus inadvertly (in removing it from womb), • Its not clear that this rules out abortion - the killing and the removing of it from the womb which inadvertly kills its • The violinists idea: you can turn and shot the vio but u can remove yourself from it and if it dies or lives u cant deal with it anymore • If the fetuas after the abortion is still alive you cant kill it • If the only way to remove the vio form u would be to cut them up into little pieces then you would be intitled to do that not as a means to the vio end but in means to control of your body • On this argument then it moves into the arguments in relations to methods of abortion • But because she doesnt hold this premise, then it doesnt hold on her final view that killing the fetus is wrong -- she is only holding giving the opponents their strongest premise b. 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, or food, or shelter)? • Henry Fonda example-- what society owes other citizens c. 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?) • What if you are dying involves u violating someone elses rights d. 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 • a right not to be killed still obtains, but sometimes someone might be entitled to cause your death in order to secure rights of others • Does this say that we should respect others rights as a mass then a single life ????? 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 the fetus a right against the mother to use her body - Original rights & rights by permission(then entitled) 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 3: FAILURE OF CONTRACEPTION - cont is a way of announcing to the fetus ―do not enter‖ - Its a declaration that the fetus is not wanted therefore if it breaks in, then the women is legit is saying I never gave permission to be here and allowed to have the abortion - The idea that the fetus is a human from the moment of conception is not stong enought therefore non of the other premises work State (IV): Other cases of Mistakes Pregnancy? • If use of contraception indicates a refusal of fetal presence, does lack of use indicate permission? • If the women should refuse entry of the fetus Genetic Testing • can a woman set terms for fetal use of 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 the 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 mother ―[I]n 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 to the Argument: ―the decent‖ Lecture 5 - Harris on Father and Reproduction (Sept 26) (address the question of bioethics of everyday life) The Pope: The fetus has the same fundamental rights as you or me, especially the right to life. Then is challenged by …… 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. - doesnt mean that causingi tsp death is always wrong and the women has a right to her body - Her view - a fetus and the womb are debating on a contract to rent the womb for 9 months - her ideas become more and more bazar - She thinks the relationship should be like a landlord and a tenant - find a dif moral vocab to understand the relationship? - The mother cause the fetus to come into being so cant be a landlord and tenant Today: Fetus not understood as a rights-bearer but as (analogous to) a piece of property that belongs to its mother and father. - Harris uses a right frame work like thomp, but instread the fetus is piece of property that belongs to both the mother and father as they both make it and thus they both have a stake in the fetus - Therefore we need to extend the lockian rights that thomp has already given us further … Thomson‘s Lockian Theory of 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 rightful owner of x. Thus far: We can only trade the use of our bodies with one another Need to extent her her ideas …. Additions to Thomson’s Lockian Schema 3. By production: Each person, P, has a right to a product of her or his labour, x, against every other person, so long as P had a prior right to the raw materials for x. - rights to things that you have made i.e. Case of the Pie - your make this pie and therefore its yours, but you didnt own the ingredients but you made -- then both have a stake in the pie. - property 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. - how do we get things in the first place? I.e. The apples for the pie, you pick it up, you are able to pick things up that are not owned by someone and make them yours Once expanded the lockian scheme them able to …. - if you own all the ingredients and someone owns the apples and then come together and make it together… = joint action - Or charge him for the right to use my ingredients to make the pie and negotiate Joint Actions - 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 - this creates moral lang and concepts to see these joint actions - Is this moral lang adequate for making a pie also adequate for having a baby??? - the prob with repro is that there is ….. Asymmetries in Reproductive Roles • Father necessary for conception … then doesnt have much to do after • Mother carries fetus for 9 months, with great physical cost • 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 - now how does this play out when you apply expanded right to the fetus … - If the fetus is what thomp opposes as a fetus as being you or me, owner ship is wrong you cant own people Mother‟s rights over fetus? • Thomson treats fetus as person like you or me: given our 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 • But we are products of our parents, and we don‘t actualize our personhood until sometime past infancy • 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 -- when someone comes along and takes it they have wronged you and have taken something that is yours • What of an obligation to care for the child? - when u have a child, morally speaking owes to take care of it or that someone take care of it - this is the limit of the anagoly of the fetus to a property • only until child grows into a full person - the owner ship is a finite term and develope to have their own rights • surrogacy difficult because (sometimes) woman who carries child is not rightful ‗owner‘ of the raw material -- this is difficult becomes sometimes its a donor egg, and there are more ppl who becomes involved in this situation 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? - ways in which the mother to the fetus is a owner ship relationship, something like it cause there are boudaries - But what about the dad and this contribution of the raw material -- can he over ride her decision for abortion - Its a causal role that was sufficient to make this moral role - harris is talking about this - His analysis suffers bc this terms are indecisive Harris analyzes male role in reproduction by considering what he is owed as an autonomous moral agent. • ‗autonomy‘ is an ambiguous term and not terribly well-used by Harris • compare Kant‟s use (mid-Oct.) terms as Harris says that is kantian but hes not bc kant says - you do what morality requires for its own sake, not just interaction with others but demands you behave a certain way • compare G. Dworkin‟s use (Nov.) - autonomy: describe a capacity we have to run our lives how we want • compare R. Dworkin‘s use (Dec.) - autonomy: a right to autonomy, we all have this capacity we dont have a right to it, its built in us- uses it in a moral sense • instead, we‘ll use the Lockian model of rights to address Harris‘s examples and make sense of them although he says its Kantian - if you make something that you had a prior right to its yours - If you take something that isnt yours and make something then you make it yours - What about the sperm? It belongs to the man and the women takes it …. - What is the man leaves the sperm and abandons its, she can make something that she wants with it and its hers - He cant appropriator her womb in the same way How did woman acquire man‘s sperm? (above) - 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 does not give him a right to the fetus against the woman, even if he later expresses concern for it - 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/$ - The fact that its biologically his doesn't give him a right to the fetus Problems? - usually not clear 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 a lack of concern sufficient to free him from responsibility for consequences of his actions? • 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? Adoption? - woman can put it up for adoption (supposing such a mechanism exists) - what if it doesn‘t? - who must care for child? - can man ‗put child up for adoption‘ insofar as child relates to him, i.e. leaving open possibility that mother might take over full responsibility for child? Cases where man permits use ofsperm • Clause 2 in Lockian scheme • He can put conditions on this use • 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 • Birth control counts as an abandonment of sperm Case 4: Michelle and Steve • Harris: M. wrongfully harms S. due to her deceit, and S. has right against M. to her carrying the fetus to term • deceit in this case is a moral failing by M • 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: A. wrongfully harms M. due to her malicious deceit, and M. has a right against her to the carrying of child to term • Does A. have a right to the child once it is born? Sperm banks - clause 2 in the Lockian Scheme - He can put conditions on this ise - Sperm banks: $ (without parental obligations) - Man who wants to be a parent might Case 3: Susan and Charles - Harris: Susan wrongly harms charles in her negligent failure to inform him of her ambivalence - In this ex susan and chrles are using birth control, as much as charles says he wants but she doesnt therefore she uses birth control therefore he abandons his sperm? Case 4: Michelle and Steve - hope to convince him to give up on her long chairsed desire to become to a father - The deceat is a kind of moral failing on micelles part: therefore is she obliged to keep the fetus - But this case it is not clear that they are using birth control or not • Harris: M. wrongfully harms S. due to her deceit, and S. has right against M. to her carrying the fetus to term • deceit in this case is a moral failing by M • 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 - she wants to get back at all men and she marries and pretends she want family gets preg and … - Wrongful on mark bc of her malicious action LECTURE 6 - Hursthouse and Virtue Ethics (Sept 28) TUTORIAL 2 Essay: dont use outside sources, use reading in class and develop a clear logical argument Thompson Paper Continued … - She is developing these kinds ideas about rights - Property rights: - Original rights to her own body the women - a right to the mothers body as well - Rights by permission: meaning that the women would allow the fetus to habitat in her body, she gives this right by permission implicitly or explicitly - Landlord and tenant argument, only good perhaps if thinking if your thoughts are pro life --> because in that case you allow this tenant to come in and give them this 9 month contract and they have a right to 9 months but if they tenant is destroying the housing you give it do you have a right to abort them i.e. When a baby is growing and could possibly kill the mother then can you abort it ? - Permission - Production: drawing on the lockian scheme : we have right to something if we have done labour to acquire it or have the raw materials, the reading shows that both the women and the man have put in the raw materials and therefore both have a stake at the object …. Is this fair? In the a symmetries of reproduction, the preg and child birth are more taxing then on the women then the man, therefore does she have more say as to what the outcome is? Yes … ? Men can choose to be impregnate therefore YES - This draws on the 4th Right: - Rights by apposition (the object that is abandoned) - Can we think about sperm, mans reproductive object, as something that can actually be abandoned - What does it take to actually abandon something? A sexual act with no INTENTION to finish and create something preg - Sperm abandonment cant happen i.e. In relation to nuclear waste there are procedures to be done before you ―abandon‖ it Harris Paper: - Procreation & autonomy - Harris argument: everyone has these kinds of rights/interests to autonomy and to up hold them it is possible that the father could be harmed if the father interests in autonomy is harmed - Developed this idea into a rights frame work …. - Harris is an arguing that there are these interests in autonomy and in procreation ; both men and women have these and can be - Jack and Jane example: - There was no intent to become preg, it was a causal sexual relation - She wanted an abortion he wanted to marry and raise the child be was born and raised catholic - They never talked about preg before therefore is this as case of sperm abandonment - Is abandon the right word … you can just leave something some where and abandonment and have no reprocustion from it but there are reproductions when you ‗abandon‘ sperm in a women - If there is not such thing as abandonment because when sexual relations take place there is always an intent to get/not get pregnant - No intention to get preg does that mean abandonment - Intention or no intention there is always possibility in that sense there can never be a clear sort of abandonment ***** LECTURE Problems with rights-based approaches and vocab • treats all relationships as commercial in form: degrading what matters most in life • Its applying material in a domain of human relationships • Then maybe the rights talk isn't good enough • Doesn't speak to how we should understand our human actions • Treating it as commercial form DEGREATS and falsifies then, taking what is most important in life to relation with the a stranger or a material object • There is something impossible of what the rights from work asks of us - saying we are always interacting with one another in explicit way, we are always making deals, i.e. We cant always spell out and expect the exact terms we oblige for ; we have to always presuppose the reactions we get when we take actions … • 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 • We can be doing something we have a right to but can sometimes be morally exemperlay • That means that there is space left over to after we do what is in our rights what is morally acceptable • Rights are a narrow way of analyzing things there is a richer aspect to it all • Once we clarify our moral world view we see sometime that our intuitions were flawed • Sometimes we see that actions are counter intuitive -- so then the next time it comes around we reject it? • The rights frame work makes more sense when it is applied to the political frame work • Once we recognize the ‗weirdness‘ of the rights frame work we try and see something else = this is what hursthouse wants to do using virtue • insisting on rights in context of intimate relationship undermines it • rights not sufficient for understanding moral place of dependants Rights primarily play a role in setting terms for interaction of strangers, with the state as referee. • In Thompson, when rights are violated, there are other individuals who can inforce your protection, there is a place in society, an insitition that will protect your right Rights and institution to enforce them = terms of political philosophy • Appeal to rights in the ethics of abortion confuses different kinds of questions • bioethics of everyday life (type 1) • legal and policy issues of bioethics (type 2) = the rights based approach, - Recall Thomson‟s discussion of the ―decency‖ of various abortion decisions at the end of her article. - At the end of her discussion, even if the women has the right to abortion it would be INDECENT of her to abort the child, even if it was in her right - Hursthouse generalizes to a ―virtue ethics‖ treatment. - She then generalizes that thought that there is more and a richer frame work to think when you are acting in your rights what is morally decent of of = virtue ethics Virtue Ethics (instead of using the vocab of rights) • modeled on Aristotle‘s moral view • what matters most in a person‟s life is her eudaimonia: happiness (but not in psychological sense of happiness, not talking about feeling good in your life), flourishing, well-being, meaningfulness of her life Eudaimonia --> (not their life at the moment but their life as whole, their whole life exemplifies happiness; arisitotle thinks “be all you can be” ) 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 • might have a bad day but still have a happy life, you dont know if your life is going well until after your death, i.e. You may think that what you have worked for your entire life was corrupt i.e. The communist institutions was not just to help the working class but for power • We might be mistaken to what we are doing, then theere is some objectivity in this domain. If we have anxiety if we are doing the right thing in our life • Putting the point of objectivity: think your life if going good but actual bad • someone who doesn‘t think she‟s doing well can‟t be, in that positive self-assessment is one constituent of happiness • Putting the point of objectify: think life if going bad but it isnt i.e. This doesnt happen because life goes well be we think we are doing something that matters ; Virtue traits of character that are conducive to or constitutive of happiness Patterns of behaviour, motivation, feeling, reaction, thinking prudence, courage, honesty, kindness, generosity, etc. all are ―essentially contestable‖ concepts No decision procedure Require judgement for correct use - vice meaning and neg quality someone has at the everyday life - The rights based view is just concerned with stuff but doesnt relate enough to what is going on in your head i.e. Give someone the last cookie but in your mind you are mad you did it - Rights based view doesn't care if you are doing something resentful but Virtue view: how you think matters as much as what you do … • traits of character that are conducive to or constitutive of happiness • Patterns of behavior, motivation, feeling, reaction, thinking • prudence, courage, honesty, kindness, generosity, etc. Are virtue concepts • all are ―essentially contestable‖ concepts • No decision procedure • Virtue and vice concepts are dif to apply bc they are palpable • Concepts that are not contestable are those that both people agree, contestable = non agreement • Require judgement for correct use • Generosity can be dont in the WRONG spirt but the behavior is still • Therefore you need judgment to see the reality behind it • Find someone with practical wisdom as aristotle says, seek out someone you respect for advice 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 • Might be the right thing to do once not always ; need to know the fact before u make a judgement i.e. Shovel drive way for someone once and they dont do anything back and you keep doing it then you should stop Virtue concepts are those we use to make moral assessments of one another in everyday life. • used when deciding among those courses of action that are within our rights - even in deciding what to do • tendency to stay within one‘s rights exemplifies virtue of justice Abortion and the Virtues • When it coms to abortion its not to think about weird scientific cases i.e. The violinists case -- the right what is to start with it as reality knows it. • Start with natural facts about human reproduction - stick to the facts as we know them, i.e. There are no violinists plugging into our back, therefore using this falsifies it, and we should start with the facts that we know through reality of what reproduction is like • 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 (if done well). • parenthood neither necessary or sufficient for meaningful/happy life • There are obv to have a meaningful life and parenthood way is too if you do it the right way • Hursthouse Thinks: - An abortion decision is always weighty never a trivial one, there is always something significant at stake. If you dont see that you are failing to understand life and its a vice of ignorance - 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. If it were that easily resolvable then one doesnt understand the meaning of life • Need all the facts. • How did the pregnancy arise? --- suppose, it came up like the case of jack and jane; they each display this kind of vice i.e. Bc they are having sex not recognizing that something significant at stake and jack being a christian of all ppl should not have been in this friends with benefits sate • Why is it unwanted? • applies to men as well as women. Problems: • No determinate view of abortion as such • Difficulty of making sense of eudaimonia (of happiness flourishing); is there even an object notion of making a meaningful and happy life? • Conflicting conceptions of eudaimonia might seem to threaten objectivity (―virtuous for me‖, ―vicious for you‖ instead of virtuous tout court) • Once we give up on that fashion nature on teleology (each thing in nature has an end in which it is tryin to achieve) then holding onto Eudiamonia is meaningless??? • But in so far as there is disagreement, there must be a shared commitment to objectivity of virtue judgement *LECTURE 7 MISSING * LECTURE 8 - Dworkin: The Sanctity of Life (Again) (Oct 5) TUTORIAL 3 Office hours Oct 11 2 Jackman Humanities Oct 12 - 1-2:30 522 What your argument is and how you will argue it Paragraphic - the argument of the philers - how you would argue it - how would you respond to the argument with a counter argument Essay #1 - unwilling or unable - difference in how they think of the value of the fetus ? Essay #2 Virtue Ethics - the pursuit of Eudaimonia is objective - there is a necessary not sufficient destination in it - Its not subjective yet its controversial - Eudaimonia - It has more of an intuitively matter to it because it touches upon situations that occur with differential variables involved in it VS rights based approach - It creates a more reality based argument Dworkin Terms he lists and defines - Instrumental; Money (something that leads to another value and betters your own life) - Incremental; knowledge ( - Intrinsic; sport (you dont need more of it; its objective value + final value, to have it it has to be objectively good and final good (good within it self)) - Subjective; favorite ice cream (something you like not everyone) - Objective; human value, knowledge, friendship (could be all categories) (something everyone agers on) - Inviolable; work of art (would be tragic if it was gone, something you can replace but wouldn't miss it if it wasn't there - Final; knowledge (something that is good in itself, not of a means to anything else -- intrinsic and inviolable -- its not getting you to anything else but ) - Sacred; religious object, animal species (intrinsic (good for its own sake) + inviolable , lossing it would be a tragedy) LECTURE Hursthouse‘s Virtue Bioethics - Her virtue approach to bioethics ―embodies‖ a ―belief in the sanctity of life‖ (240)********* - Somthing significant is at stake - she is commitng herself to the view that life has some special status in human reproduction Recall Pope John Paul II‘s arguments • Official argument invoked the right to life • We noted a second argument Pope‟s Second Argument • Abortion is worse than murder: ―an unspeakable crime ... against life‖ (§58). • Not 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 not share the theistic assumptions, the pope in his writing says that he is not only addressing cath but all those of good will Its an unspeakable crime and an attack on life itself • Can virtue bioethics invoke a conception of the sanctity of life without taking theism on board? Hurst - says the Pope - Dworkin’s suggestion - helps is to address this challenge that Hursthouse virtue bio ethics faces - D says that the prob is that we have been using wrong lang to discuss • 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 -- you cant have it both ways, the idea that you can be pro life and killing a fetus is murder and preg from rape = is okay -- then prob using the wrong lang to describe their deepest moral view • 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; some people who suport abortion, then they have to say that women should not feel regret over abortion, no one actually behaves that ways • 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) There is a general recognition of the general moral status of the fetus • • Polemicists for and against abortion, in using the vocabulary of rights, have misinterpreted the moral issues at stake in the debate - have miss interpreted the moral issue • 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, that the deeper moral concepts are when ppl disagree in the way they do. • elsewhere RD argues that, once the disagreement is properly understood, a liberal legal position on abortion follows • He allows us to see that there is a coherence in being pro life and saying abortion in the case of rape is okay • this political issue (a type-2 bioethical question) is not our concern at this point He owes us Kinds of Value (8) Subjective values reflect a person‘s preferences and desires: they are not compelling to others • • e.g. dark chocolate tastes good to me; competitive swimming is fun for me • Deeps on your place as someone who as values and desires • Does a life have subjective value? Yes in a sense… • To the people that u matter to and for yourself you have subjective value Objective values • do not depend on individual preferences and desires and thus should be recognized by others • e.g. knowledge, great art, other achievements • They dont depend on the desires and values of the individuals -- there is something there to be valued and you are missing out if you dont. • Does life have objective value? • Th. Existence of life in it self should have some value • The value is there to be recognized only if you can see it bc the value is an intangible thing • D says leave these ? Of metaehtics and say that yes we do have human life value Instrumental value • accrues to things that promote other kinds of value • e.g. cash, health, training in music • if its good at getting you something else that you value I.e. Money, it allows you to buy somehitng you want • Final value • is embodied by things that are good in themselves, not as a means to anything else • Human life? Is wrong to value ppl as ONLY a means to an end but its okay to thinking that personally as a single example has final value • e.g. pleasure, eudaimonia, knowledge Something that it has values in itself and you dont need something • • Eudimonia is good in itself • Doesnt depend on it promoting a value to anything Intrinsic Value • Something with objective, final value has intrinsic value meaning that the value is impacted in itself on its own • Human life? The more the better? The fewer the better? Its neutral, in some cases it would be better to have more and in some cases it would be better to have less Incremental Value • Some things with intrinsic value have incremental value: the more the better • e.g. Knowledge; Human life? Yes bc you cant replace someone therefore the loss and or destruction of it is • always a bad thing Inviolable Value • Other things with intrinsic value are inviolable, in that once they exist, it would be a tragic loss were it to perish; but there is no requirement that more things of that kind would be better • Its not about getting more of them that matters but its you lose it it cant be replaced. Its tragic if we lose it but not always mean that we want more of it. • • e.g. animal species; its not better to have more of them out there, but when something goes extint its irreplaceable Sacred Value • Something is sacred if and only if it has an intrinsic in an inviolable value way • D isolates this idea … • Loss or destruction of something sacred is a bad thing even it if isn‘t bad for anyone • Something irreplaceable would be lost • I.e. A work of art i.e. The mona lisa, if distroyed never been another one life it • Its one kind of source of sanctity Sources of Sanctity • God: designation, association, or creation • human creativity at its best (art) • natural creativity: • an ―achievement of evolution‖ • this one other source of the sanctity of something and that is natural Ie an animal species • this is a special reverence e for nature itself in our moral intuition • I.e. Mosquitos we subjectively dont like them but it would be an inviolable lose without them • Evolution (not god) have us it and is still sacred • This is what is key, even thought its not from the sancity of god is strill sacred • more generally: sanctity results from a valued process The Sanctity of Life • Human life is both a process and an out come 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. - life is sacred in this special way, each human life is irreplaceable, once gone, you cant have a second one of that person -- how significant of a loss it is?? Can it be replaced with something else or not. ** - And thinks the sanctity of life has that value no matter where in its biological state that it is. What kind of value does life has? • Subjective • Instrumental Final • • Non-incremental What Makes a Life Sacred? Two sources for life‘s sanctity: • Nature/Divine: • Divine bc we are each in the image of god Human creativity • • Life as the outcome as human creativity; we all try to make a life and something of it; giving it a direction and a shape for ourself and for that we MAKE our lives sacred along with the other people who care for us • We get out sacredness from these 2 sources The sanctity of life is thus not necessarily a religious value. • Possible problem here: Is this kind of value coherent? • So if you dont believe in god, then • Possibility of mere sentimentality Death is always a shame, but not always equally a shame. Compare: (a) 4-year-old girl (b)85-year-old man (c) unimplanted embryo (d)8-week fetus (e) 20-year-old college student Use the standard development of human life as a guide: • How much has nature/humanity put into the development of the life? • How much of that investment has been redeemed? Qualitative Distinctions • Mother Theresa • Einstein • A serial 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. - both sides agree that every life is sacred but disagree of the sourses of how you obtain the value of it Traditional Christian Views • Our contribution to our lives is as nothing compared to the divine contribution. • Abortion is always wrong (except perhaps when life of mother is threatened) - there is not just gods invest of both lives but she has put value into her life Rape exception: a perversion of the natural means to reproduction - if you are pro life, then • it doesnt make sense to agree with it 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 he 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 to balance two valuable lives • In abortion, it is still a shame that a life (irreplaceable natural entity) is lost Hursthouse Again…. What conception of the sanctity of life is at the centre of Hursthouse‘s virtue bioethics? • Abortion need not manifest vice if the physical challenge of pregnancy will be too severe • Even selective abortion or infanticide might be acceptable in certain social circumstances • Woman‘s investment in her life can outweigh the merely biological investment of an early pregnancy • the human contribution to life is as important as (or more important than) the natural contribution. • selfish or ignorant to think that you can control everything in your life, including your reproductive life • sexual activity is always serious, given its link to reproduction (even non-reproductive sex?) • our creative invention of our lives should take the biological seriously LECTURE 9 - DEATH (Oct 12) TUTORIAL 4 - support your arguments with arguments ! Make a claim and take it further is saying what is behind then ! Dworkin - why do we think things are scared? - The sanctity of life based on something that isn't divine but also can be and it have a natural value attached to it. - He does this by looking at how things become sacred.. - 1. Natural „Potentially Divine‟ Biological: can come from evolution, from something divine - 2. Designation (designate a flag as sacred, in human life - he draw s on this natural/ biological investment) - Human creativity: ‗investment‘- into ourselves and other, we cultivate and make ourselves up as human beings ==> it isn't the creative object in which we produce but it is what we make of our lives and our investments into what is associated with our lives, careers, friendships etc . - His distinction btw human and non human … Ie. if mosquito were gone, even though we dont care for them as an individual living things ==> we value the SPECIES, as they are a symbol of this divine process, and if we were to loose 1 animal we wouldn't feel the loss as if we lost the whole species ==> we would feel shame if a whole species was lost - Lose one human = tragedy LIFE? - What do we value about our on lives? … is his typology a good distinction? How we value life in terms of abortion valuing human creativity: 2 views: 1. Liberal - Human life/creativity: if it impedes in the investments on the parents, if we are valuing the human creativity the 35 parent would have more invested in the human creative side as they have creative a life and therefore take that as primary and if the fetus will impede on what they want with their life then a abortion is acceptable in this case - 2. Conservative - ―Frustration‖ - Valuing the natural side: is an investment that is in the miracle of life and bc we dont want to interrupt these natural miracles of the world therefore they see themselves as not wanting to interrupt and FRUSTRATE these processes - He wants to shows a balance btw these views - D position DOES not rly on a good - Both sides are valuing the same thing but weighing them differently -- it allows for a gradience of opinion, you can be somewhere in btw, its a spectrum of different ways of weighing these ideas - Idea of the Genetic Defect: - A couple and they want to have a child and go for pre-Nadle genetic testing and found out that their child has tested positive of Taisacs disease, life expectancy of 2 yrs. And painful - Lib --> is it worth it for a parent to invest into a life that wont last long - Once you have invested more its hard to part ways, so investing emotionally will impede on you when it dies - What does the lib do: doesn't tell u what to do but allows a guideline in how to weigh their value of their lives and how a fetus like this would impede on it - Con==> procreation is sacred and even though it has it it should be allow to live and try to reach its potential - Interpret and explain what we view and value the lives of fetus and human life ==> HIS objection of his papers Death … - When life comes to and end he see;s it as a frustration as these potential ways of valuing life - Luthcretious view on Death: - Death is just not being born and it is nothing to us, once dead we do not experience anything and is nothing to us - And bc of this we should not fear it and anticipate and it is just something that happens at the end of a life and there is nothing too it - We dont fear and anticipate are prenadel selves so WHY fear our after death selves - A course of a life: - Before life; we dont fear or think about it, it was nothing - End life; there is a again a fuzziness, as pre, but bc we dont value it we should not value this thing at the end of life either. - Is this true? - Our death is nothing to use but is something to other people - When we are dead we do not exist bc we do not exist and you cant experience something when you dont exist Nagel: - We should be concerned about death bc its not nothing it is something. - We should care about it something that is being taken away from you - During life u build your life and death means the sensation of those things will deprive us of these things LECTURE The Meaning of Death - Dworkin: each of us should understand our own moral attuides -- each life is irreplaceable therefore it is a shame when a life is started is ended pre maturally, the investment that nature has put into it has needed - 1. The natural biological life - 2. The social process: the family commits and the person makes her or his own life irreplaceable - This is the model to understand the sanctity of life Death • Abortion discussion was also about death in a way: the death of the fetus • Because fetus is not yet the subject of experiences, we did not focus on the inner world of the one dying • As we mature, we come to recognize our mortality • What should we make of it for ourselves? Does the death of the person harm or benefit us? (Dworkin calls this the ―personal value‖ • [73] of a life) • We were always looking at the fetus as an outside, looked at the lose of the fetus for the universe and not the value of the person as is • Here we are starting to look at the person specifically as is. • We all know we will die so how do we live our lives in well being • What should me make of the possibility of dying for ourselves not for the lose of the universe Some Cases if it were a harm or benefit for that person: (1) Someone in severe pain which cannot be lessened, or can only be lessened in such a way that she is left in a stupor. - does it matter what she thinks in this if she wants to go on living -- is it a benefit to her to live then; what her attitude is towards it what makes the difference (2) A university student who has just set out, in life. (3) A 90-year old, who has had a family and/or a career, and has been a success at both; but she‗s ready to die. (4) A university student who has been dumped by his girlfriend, leaving him ready to die. (5) A 90-year old man, who has just married for the first time (say, a 25-year-old woman) and has just started to build a family, after devoting many years to his career. (6) A 50-year old, former television executive, who has had a severe accident which has left her with the mind of a 3-year-old. She‘s happy — as a three-year-old, though. (7) A woman has a fairly normal life — a family, a career, etc. — but while her husband, and eventually her children, grow old and die around her, she just continues to get older, up to age 110 and beyond. Lucretius • Roman philosopher, c. 98-55 BC • Famous philosophical poem, de Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) • Follower of Epicurus, c. 341-271 BC • Holds that ―death is nothing to us‖ • Neither a harm or a benefit bc it is nothing they would say - a counter intuitive postion • Slogan of them ==>―When you are, death isn‗t; when death is, you aren‗t‖ death never happens to you bc u are not there fore it to happen to you anymore • • Death is neither good nor bad for you • You shouldn‘t fear or welcome death • Sometimes we fear death and it therefore distors our live therefore if we think nothing of it we will have a happier life Lucretius‗s Main Argument: (i)Only things that you experience can harm or benefit you. - we dont exist when death happens, therefore u can only be harmed or benefited but something u dont experience - If arguing this, think then what is the major harm or benefit? (ii)You can only experience something when you exist. - you only experience things when u exist (iii) You do not exist when you are dead. -- this could be argued bc some ppl think there is life after death, if we believe this then we should start to think about death differently, wy are we all not rushing off to die (iv) Therefore, Death does not harm or benefit you. Lucretius‗s Subsidiary Argument - think about the time of your life, you are not harmed by not living before u were alive so then out posthumous should not effect us (a) Your pre-natal non-existence neither harms nor benefits you. (b) There is no difference in kind between pre- natal and posthumous non-existence. (c) Your posthumous non-existence – your death – neither harms nor benefits you. So: fear or welcoming of death results merely from the confused supposition of an afterlife, or of continued experience when one is a corpse. Problems? • Overlooks directionality of time • Can welcome or fear the cessation of a bad or good experience as well as the occurrence of it • Maybe people fear dying, not death • Religious commitments to life after death • We can fear or we;come experience or the sensation of that i.e. At the dentist and drilling tooth • Then maybe life itself is a process and the fear itself is living and not death as an event that will happen to you Thomas Nagel Argues against the Epicureans that death is always a harm to the one who suffers it. - even in this immortal cause (7) - His view is just as counter intuitve as Luth Epicurean Challenges (1) Can you be harmed by something you don‗t experience? (2) Who is harmed by death, given that you no longer exist to be harmed? When are you harmed? (3) If our posthumous non-existence harms us, why does our pre-natal non-existence not also harm us? Some Examples • A woman‗s partner has been having an affair while she is under the impression that they are monogamous. She never finds out about it. • A university student gets taken in by a cult and becomes a true believer. • Your creative work is laughed at behind your back, while complimented to your face. • A man wastes his life by spending it rolling a marble across the floor with his nose. The Aristotelian Point He thinks that we are concerned not only about what experiences we have, but whether our lives have meaning. • we lead our lives, striving for meaning; we don‘t simply experience them • What we take to be being not to be meaningful and that itself can constitute a harm to us • We are only concerned about the happiness in our lives Two Kinds of Harms • Meaningfulness harms and experiential harms. • Something can be both a m-harm and an e-harm: ongoing pain. • m-harms can occur even after you‘re dead • You raised kids well and then die and the kids become bad ppl, then the failure after your death eco back and make your a failure • m-harms affect your life as a whole, not just at a time (see challenge 2) • It is something that echos in and makes a difference to your life as a whole, something that impacts the overall success of your life , the impact isnt just at that day but to your life overall Dworkin see‘s our life as having two Sides of our Nature: Active: leading our lives in attempts to find meaning. Passive: subjects to experience, accidents, fortune, biology. LECTURE 10 - The Meaning of Life (cont’d) (Oct 17) Epicureans: - Death is nothing to us because we do not experience it. - Death is nothing to us bc when it happens we are not around to experience and when we are around to experience things we are not dead - ** the only things that should matter to us are what we EXPERIENCE - We should care about the possibility that a bus might hit us on the way home bc it wont matter once you are dead - Just care about what you are experiencing in the now because it is the only thing that matter Responses to the Epicureans: 1. But we think that some deaths harm them bc its a sensation of something e.g. that of a person in irremediable pain, do not harm them (case [1] last day) - death in that cases benefited the person -- therefore that person shouldn't welcome death - Death thought should be nothing to her 2. Challenge: Can we be harmed or benefitted by things we don‗t experience? - in these cases we talked about last time how can we make sense of these situations of they say that the only things that can benefit or harm you are the things you experience 3. Dworkin and Nagel: Yes. - there is a sense that you can be harmed or benefited by the things that you dont experience - How to make sense of that … explain what it means to be a human being and understand and make of how human beings can be harmed or benefited …. Two Kinds of Harms 1. Meaningfulness harms • Things that impacted you and undermine your attempt to have a meaningful life, not just experience things in life but we want to experience to add up to something , we want our life to have meaning to not be empty, set our life to all we have are good experiences Ie scientist give you all the drugs you need to have a good life but that might be a wasted life -- its important that our life not be wasted • Calling on the Eudimonia idea that there is something more to life then the experiences we have but how they add up to something overall • Things that impact our attemp to have a meaningful life 2. Experiential harms • Pain and pleasure and the most experiential harms that we can experience • Dworkin‗s 2 types of interests and individual has: • Distinguished btw two kinds go interests Experiential interests: things we experience we have • • Critical interest: how are life goes over all (prof calls this the meaningful interests -- he says critical because we are judging on if our life is going well Then that leaves us with 2 kinds of benefits the meaningfulness-harm and an experiential-harm: both are not exclusive i.e. … a harm like ongoing pain can be a m-harm, supposed u are in constant pain harm your attempt to have a meaningful life bc all you are able to do is manage the pain - What crucial for solving the eruption dilemma is that meaningfulness harms are things that can effect you even after you death - You are helping a corrupt organization and dont know it i.e. You are working for the communist govt thinking that you are doing things in good faith and you then dedicate your life to it and you die before they come to power and you could realize how corrupt they are -- ** the fact this this cause has taken a neg turn after your death HARM you retroactively and that implicates how successful as a whole your life was even AFTER your death • m-harms can occur even after you‘re dead • m-harms affect your life as a whole, not just at a time - e and m harms gives us the idea that it is possible for us to waste our life - It allows to think about our life and think if what we are doing is really meaningful - If you are even starting to think that you may have mis-commited tour life is what D wants bc he wants us to start to make this distinction btw e and c interests or prof version e and m - The idea that these harms can occur even after your death .. Aristotle .. The [erson whose lider after the fact has been harmed from the miss deeds from your children - Have you wasted your life bc you spent your whole life trying to raise good kids - What u were commiting your life too wasnt as successfull = the contingencies that happen after your life … that you have no control over can effect your life and you not even know it - These m harms (the challenge that the epicureans raised) … for experience for benefit they have to happen at a certain time to experience the harm or benefit.. And rhey just happen to your life over all … transgenerally … d quote in the idea of critical interest: We have a ―fundamental conviction ... that a person„s thinking a given choice right for him does not make it so, that the sometimes agonized process of decision is a process of judgment, not just choice, that it may go wrong, that one may be mistaken about what is really important in life. That belief is indispensable to the basic distinction between [meaningfulness] and experiential interests, and to the challenge and tragedy most people feel. It is at the very foundation of our ethical lives‖ (Dworkin, 206). - help you to see the force of this distinction and the agony of it if you think that the characterization of human life is correct then he I given you a way to understand that characterization. Scepticism? - If you think this is BS then you are introducing skepticism to it all - you can be a S if you say there is no such thing as an objectively wasted life - that would mean there would be out there universe standards that we can build are objectives and values that would come from the fabrics of the universe there are scientists who study this and say there do not exists in the universe and if they dont exist in the universe then where do they come from - Ojective values are quire identities, they dont actually exist but have these identities that nothing else could have so we should rehect them and not think that they exist at all bc we cant prove them = this is a sort of philosophically induced idea about the presupposition of this idea do e and c interests - D calls this external skepticism but he isnt worried about it bc nothing really a philer says matters - Internal skepticism - is not a philosophically induced skepticism -- in searchin for critical interests you start to think that there is nothing that guides you internal skepticism of the soul D resp to that , when it comes down to it we do live our lives and care about things and brings us back to the sense that there are things that matter Understand Human Nature to make sense of our death: - D account of the sanctity of life appeals to the 2 sides of nature… Two Sides of our Nature Active: leading our lives in attempts to find meaning. - we are deciding what to do, directing our lives accordingly to what we think is worth while in our lives Passive: subjects to experience, accidents, fortune, biology. - things happen to us and experiences happen to us where accidents befall us, our bio gets the better of us - D uses these 2 to explain the different ways we can think life is sacred - We can think of life as: 1. A creative product: we can use our creative capacities to make.. 2. Natural process: that perhaps is divine Dworkin Two processes: - divine/natural and human/cultural - that yield intrinsically valuable products. Our attitudes towards our lives are structured by these du processes. - when looking at the sanctity of life from the outside … is it a loss and how it is a loss - Thinking of how we should make sense of our 2 sides of nature • Subjective value of our lives – their ―personalvalue‖ – depend on these attitudes: the value that our lives have for us • Seeing the value that our life has for 2 natures and how they worrk • 1. Giving us experiences and capacities that we can develop to make sense of our lives Our biological nature yields our experiences, and the capacities – including our susceptibility to pain and pleasure – that allow us to create meaning in our lives. Nagel and epicurians: value one side of our nature in neglect for the other Nagel: Death is a m-harm no matter when it happens. • Cessation of life means no more chance to put meaning into your life. • Pre-natal non-existence not a m-harm, in that you do not exist yet. • Death is a meaningfulness harm not matter where it happens • Bc when this natural process comes to an end, the ability to put manfulness into our lives is no longer there = he thinks that with death you are robbed of something • Its the passive side of our nature of our beings • If we think about things this way we can make sense of the other half of the Epicurean challenge • 1. Can only be harmed by something you can experience • 2. Pre nadel existence doenst harm you so why should cognitive non existence harm you • Nagel would say that 2. Pre wouldn't involve missing out on the change of putting meaning in your life -- cog non-ex missing out on the change that if you were still alive you could have had the opportunity of putting more meaning in your life • What about things that happen after you life that not harm but actually benefit you. Ie the buy whos work was published after he died and benefited the many after he was already dead wins awards but he wasn't even there -- and in this case it is clear that he would be benefited to have experienced it when he was alive = death is a harm 2 sides of our nature and our seach for meaning - our active search for meaning - Our passive occurrence of disaease the biological etc -strart as infant etc etc get old .. We all know we will die and its coming; when we are seaching for meaning in life we use this STANDARD OF DEVELOPED to making meaning out of our lives - we do certain things at cretin times bc that is where you are situated and where its the time for u to situate - Ie change your career from a prof to a high jumper at the age of 45 … bc it wouldn't be reasonable esp if you are not athletic … we do things to our capacities bc we know what we have in us - We shape our life accordingly to our capacities … we use our knowledge about what a human life is about to structure our meaning in life Nagel: wanted to have the search life as the merrily biological happenings in our life, making sende of the cases where we might think death is harm to someone if we start to think how death happens in relation to their search for meaning in life, when they know they are going to die and shape their life according to that perspective of death - perusing meaning in life in an age appropriate way can itself constitute a M harm - The boy in england that turned was a father at 11 - Case 5: the 90 year old who marries the 20 year old - something wrong about that starting to hve a family at 90 when u wont be there to participate in the life of your children Consider case (3) from last day: A 90-year old, who has had a family and/or a career, and has been a success at both; but she‗s ready to die. - harmed or benefited - Nagel would say that she is harmed bc is doe The Standard Shape of our Lives • helpless infancy • ongoing growth and skills development through childhood • adulthood: career, family life, creative life, etc. • old age: enjoyment of investments in career, family life, etc. • preparation for death? Dworkin used the standard shape of human life to develop a ―metric‖ to measure the amount of loss connected with a death. But we each use the standard shape to structure our search for meaning in life. Pursing meaning in an age-inappropriate way can be a m-harm: • the 11-year-old father • the 90-year-old who aspires to be an Olympic volleyball player • the 90-year-old who marries a 25-year-old? (case 5) 2 sides of our nature and our seach for meaning - our active search for meaning - Our passive occurrence of disaease the biological etc -strart as infant etc etc get old .. We all know we will die and its coming; when we are seaching for meaning in life we use this STANDARD OF DEVELOPED to making meaning out of our lives - we do certain things at cretin times bc that is where you are situated and where its the time for u to situate - Ie change your career from a prof to a high jumper at the age of 45 … bc it wouldn't be reasonable esp if you are not athletic … we do things to our capacities bc we know what we have in us - We shape our life accordingly to our capacities … we use our knowledge about what a human life is about to structure our meaning in life Nagel: wanted to have the search life as the merrily biological happenings in our life, making sende of the cases where we might think death is harm to someone if we start to think how death happens in relation to their search for meaning in life, when they know they are going to die and shape their life according to that perspective of death - perusing meaning in life in an age appropriate way can itself constitute a M harm - The boy in england that turned was a father at 11 - Case 5: the 90 year old who marries the 20 year old - something wrong about that starting to hve a family at 90 when u wont be there to participate in the life of your children Consider cases (1), (2), (4), (6) from first death lecture. (1) Someone in severe pain which cannot be lessened, or can only be lessened in such a way that she is left in a stupor. - nagel would say death is a harm -- but benefit? Why? Cause the experiential side, the pain, the active search for meaning has been underminded by the pain therefore her capacity of the search for meaning has been stolen from her, so putting an end to her life is benefit bc more life for her would mean more pain and would distort her ability for a meaning in life - the person benefited by dying - Does she want to die thought, would it be permissible (issue more in suicide thought) to end it? - A traditional christian view is that suffering isnt the worst thing bc suffering is a good thing it means you are experience the pain like jesus, mother theresa didnt beliebe in giving pain killers bc she thought that people were benefited in participating in the passion of christ, in suffering when u have the proper understand of it, and is a way of understanding in life, she has this attitude and would not think that her search for meaning would be lessened by this pain yet it would be a another enhanced gain for her, chance to experience this quasi mystical experience of the divine (2) A university student who has just set out‗ in life. (4) A university student who has been dumped‗ by his girlfriend, leaving him ready to die. (6) A 50-year old, former television executive, who has had a severe accident which has left her with the mind of a 3-year-old. She‗s happy — as a three-year-old, though. Death is not a m-harm when: 1. it ends great and irremediable suffering; OR all of the following are true: 2. it ends a complete life; 3. the one dying is ready for death; 4. she thinks she has had a meaningful life; 5. her self-assessment is correct. Does a death satisfying (1) or (2)-(5) count as an m-benefit? Case (7): Immortality Nagel: We should welcome it. Bernard Williams: The ―tedium of immortality Lecture 11 - Two Philosophers against Suicide (OCTOBER 19) Two Sides of our Nature • Active: we lead our lives, searching for meaning • Passive: our lives happen to us, in virtue of biology, human nature, luck, etc. • A moral theory must balance these two sides of our nature. • Kant - there is a categorial prohibited to resp yourself as a rational agent • Aquinas - 2 sides do natures - 1. Natural side - gives us expeiernces we - 2. Active - Suicide imposes our natural capacities but using out active capacities What are the limits in the search for meaning? Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant argue that there are duties that must not be violated in our active search for meaning. One such duty prohibits our committing suicide. Suicide Intentional use of the active side of our nature to destroy the passive side (and the activity it supports). Reasons for suicide? Immanuel Kant Prussian philosopher (1724-1804) • Foremost deontological ethical theorist • Reason alone requires that we follow certain duties Important moral works: Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Critique of Practical Reason, Doctrine of Virtue We‘re reading from his Lectures on Ethics, compiled from his students‘ notes Moral Worth: Duty for Duty‘s Sake (1) Rajiv cheats his blind customer. Action contrary to duty. (2) Rajiv treats his blind customer fairly out of a concern for his reputation. Action in accordance with duty on the basis of self-interest. (3) Rajiv sees a blind woman in need crossing the street and sympathy moves him to help her. (4) • Action in accordance with duty, but on the basis of inclination (feeling). Rajiv sees the blind woman, but decides to help her, even though he desires to spend the afternoon with his girlfriend. • Action done for the sake of duty: has moral worth Morality requires us to do our duty for duty‘s sake, not because we feel like it. We must abstract from our inclinations when determining what morality requires. • Must rise above our passive nature and the contingency of inclination when searching for meaning • Otherwise we‘d be doing what we feel like, for good or ill What can Kant appeal to determine our duties if we cannot appeal to our inclinations? • Our active capacity to search for meaning in life • Our humanity, our capacity for rational agency (―autonomy‖) Kant‘s Categorical Imperative Always treat humanity, in yourself or others, as an end-in-itself (something to be respected), not merely as a means-to-an-end (something that can be used to support some other goal). • Essential limit to your pursuit of meaning is that you must allow yourself and others to engage in such a pursuit. The CI prohibits suicide Being alive -- the passive side of your nature -- is a necessary condition for the pursuit of meaning. • Life is the condition of all your other duties. • Life is valuable as a means for your humanity, but can be sacrificed for the sake of morality Suicide involves giving your comfort priority over your capacity to create a meaningful life. • using freedom to sacrifice freedom • suggests willingness to take others‘ lives as a means to your comfort • degrades humanity • to be looked upon with horror Problems? Might suicide not be the best way to respect our humanity? • Alzheimer‘s? • Crippling pain? Is Kant‘s account of the categorical imperative valid? Or is it an ―empty formalism‖ Thomas Aquinas • 13th-century Catholic philosopher • Our nature directs how we should search for meaning: ―natural law‖ • Natural instinct for life means that we should not kill ourselves (unless God directly instructs us, e.g. Samson) First Argument Everything ―naturally loves itself‖ and thus we should not kill ourselves. But what is nature? • Not merely our passive side, in that some people are inclined to suicide. Instead, our nature as it is meant to operate. God as source of our nature. • It cant be nature in the way that kant says - he has to be talking about nature as the way it is meant to operare, love our selves and if we dont we need to rise above our disfunction in nature and love ourselves in that away in which god intended • God has intended goals in which god has imposed for us and one we can live up to Second Argument (hume) - We are part of communities, and we would harm them were we to kill ourselves and therefore we shouldn't kill ourselves - Moral intuition here develops (what is best for society overall is what should guide us in our actions with is utilitarianism) into utilitarianism: we should act to create the greatest happiness for the greatest number (J. S. Mill). - The institution he is getting to, if its taking by itself is developed into ultiitarism - But if u think in this way then sometimes it might be best to kill yourself - trade off whts good for u for whats good as a society as a whole - I.e. One person can provide organs for 10 ppl and u arent going to do much for society and thus rise the overall benefit of society over - His ideas sometimes generate the idea to die is a duty to make society better • but suicide might benefit the community a duty to die? Third Argument (Aquinas) • Life is a gift from God, and it is not up to us to decide when to dispose of it. • We have been put in a particular position in society, Ie to make it work, therefore it is wrong to abandon the place that god has given you But most gifts are ours to do with as we please. • • Take a gift and do what u want with it • I.e. Regift it, not always wrong but not nice, if u cant rly use it and someone else use it more restfully • It would disrespect God to throw it away life like this Or to throw it away lightly (with a sense of regret but is still the right thing to do) • What if the suicide is done for serious reasons? LECTURE 12 - Hume and the Permissibility of Suicide (Oct 24) The Permissibility of Suicide: David Hume October 24, 2011 David Hume 18th-century Scottish philosopher • • This is one of the most famous defenses on this topic • Leading empiricist (someone who in epistemology in phil of knowledge who think we gain experiences and knowledge through sensory experiences) : all of our fundamental concepts ultimately depend on experience • Naturalist: must account for mental capacities using scientific methods - studying morality is not much different from studying anything else • Sceptic: philosophy cannot vindicate our tendencies to believe, including those used in science - someone who things we cant ultimately give a vindication of what our senses tell us to believe- not to say to stop believing, we cant give a phil vindication of our beliefs, there is a contingencies in our fundamental ways of knowing, we have to trust that our human nature gives us what we need to get on in life • Atheist (downplayed in suicide essay) - • ―Sentimentalist‖ (feelings) in ethics: value depends on our common human ways of feeling the sentiments of approval and disapproval - morality is guided and stained on the natural world • How does value fit into the universe? • Hume - fit in bc human beings have the kinds of feelings that we have • Kant - bc we are rational creatures recognizing our rationalization • Hume -
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