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A/S RE Revision

Revision tool for Ethics A/S RE Module covering all 4 topics - Abortion, Euthanasia, Utilitarianism & Utilitarianism

Chris Hawes

on 12 December 2012

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Transcript of A/S RE Revision

Risk of injury to the physical or mental health of existing (ie. born) children A/S RE -Utilitarianism English Lawyer & Economist
Wrote 'The Principles and morals of legislation
'Humans are motivated by pleasure
Pleasure - Ultimate Good
Pain - Sole Evil Jeremy Bentham Bentham Background Negatives Positives Focus on majority
Clear System
Undiscriminating - equal Incalculable
Cannot measure happiness
Open to interpretation
Ignores minority - Sadist Guards Greatest Happiness Principle
GHP Key Words Hedonism - Humans should strive for the greatest pleasure in their lives
Consequentialism - The idea moral decisions should be decided on potential consequences
Utilis - Greek for 'Greatest Good'
Eudaimonism - Ethical belief with key idea that we should strive for the greatest well being
Utility Principle - The principle that an act is right or acceptable if it promotes happiness John Stuart Mill 'It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied'
Different Kind Of Pleasure :
Higher Pleasure - Of the mind (Listening to classical music)
Lower Pleasure - Of the Body (Eating)
Eaudaimonistic (Well Being) Mill's Utilitarianism Advantages Clear right & Wrong Disadvantages Comes across as bias - upper/middle class view represented
Too simplistic - single factor
Eliminates individual thinking Hedonic Calculus Key Points
- General rules are assessed for the happiness-making properties rather than individual decisions
- Uses guidance from what has worked in the past
- Focuses on general rules that everyone should follow in order to bring the greatest good for the
- Consider the consequences that result from following a rule of conduct. Rule Utilitarianism Act Utilitarianism Key Points
- Individual acts are calculated by the amount of happiness/potential happiness resulting from these acts.
- Looks at each situation on its merits
- Circumstances taken into account
- Greatest happiness to greatest number BUT...
- Can morally justify extreme situations which many people would be against
- Sadist guards for example - their collective pleasure is greater than the singular persons pain therefore justifiable under act utilitarianism Remoteness
Duration Positives Negatives Abortion & Euthanasia Abortion Euthanasia Legislation Abortion Groups Pro-Choice Background Conception Reasons life begins at conception - Complete set of unique genetic information
- Has potential 'There are no "potential" human beings. Only human beings, with the potential to grow and change and come closer every day to being the person God created them to be.' Bill O'Reilly'
- The beginning point - 'conception is the magic moment' John Grigg Reasons life DOESN'T begin at conception - 42% of fertilisations have a natural miscarriage
- Bears no resemblance to a human - no similar characteristics
- 'An acorn is not an oak tree' Judith Jarvis Thompson
- Within 14 days it can duplicate, how can you call it a human if you don't know it is 1 or multiple beings? Background - Point at which the sperm fertilises the egg
- Two sets of 23 chromoses fuse and create the genetic material needed for development to a feotus and beyond
- Zygote immediately begins to divide and replicate causing growth Primitive Streak Birth Viability Stages of pregnancy Situation Ethics Background Reasons life DOES begin at this point Reasons life DOESN'T begin at this point - There is no heartbeat
- 'An acorn is not an oak tree' Judith Jarvis Thompson
- Still no consciousness - Differential of cells has occurred - you can tell the difference between embryonic cells & placental cells
- By this point you can tell if it is 1 zygote or multiple zygotes (twins, triplets etc.)
- First sign of brain activity
- Formation of the main structure of the backbone - Occurs 2 weeks into pregnancy
- Backbone is formed Background Reasons life DOES begin at this point Can survive independent of the womb and therefore from this point it is only growth which can be completed without the mother Background Point of viability - 24 weeks legally (linked to abortion)
- 20 weeks scientifically (earliest surviving point)
- Point at which the foetus can live independent of the womb with help from science
- By this point we can measure brain waves.
- By this point they can begin to move his arms and legs.
- By this point the heart begins to beat. - Not yet born (no birth date to define age)
- Can we say that it is alive when it is dependent on quality of medical science (contextual to area, facilities & wealth) Shouldn't it be something inherent
- Medical science is (developing) and viability is decreasing so how can alive be a point which is changing? Reason life DOESN'T begin at this point The Issue Definitions The key disagreement 1) The key disagreement is that of what is a human person and when does a non-human person become a person. Taken literally a human person is a human life that is also considered a person. Society generally accepts that a newborn child is a human person but the real issue is between those that don't. People disagree about whether a zygote, embryo or foetus is a person and this is the core disagreement that drives the abortion debate because rights come with being a person - the right to life and protection being the most relevant in this case Human Life Any living entity that has DNA from the species homo sapiens which includes ovum, zygote, embryo & foetus 2) What -if any- rights does the mother morally have concerning the right to terminate a pregnancy? Abortion The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy. Major Premise

Minor Premise

Conclusion Killing people is wrong

A baby is a person

Killing babies is wrong so abortion is wrong Pretty self-explanatory - the point, usually 9 months into the pregnancy that the foetus is given birth to
Point at which date is recorded as birth date and name is given Reasons life DOES begin at this point - Culturally accepted as point as which you are alive & become a person
- Age dated are entirely based on your birth (not conception or any other point)
- It is a physical actual. You can physically see it.
- 'Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man's nostrils, and the man became a living person' Genesis 2:7
- 'Birth rather than any other point marks the beginning of true moral status' Mary Ann Warren. Her argument is that birth as a point in time is crucial and previous to that is irrelevant unless the birth point is there Reasons life DOESN'T begin at this point - The only difference between viability & birth is growth - the baby is bigger
- The cells are always present throughout the growth
- Birth is just a process, the development is no different between a premature baby or a late foetus Pro-Life Mother's Life VS Child's Life Potential vs Real Life http://www.spuc.org.uk/ Why it is the Mothers rights Why it is the child's rights In extreme cases such as rape (responsible for <1% of abortions in the UK) the baby could represent to the mother the pain that they encountered in relation to the rape
This could lead to an unwanted, unloved child which would leave the child feel rejected Woman's body so woman's choice Neglect of other children
If another child would potentially lead to financial insecurity & a worse standard of life for a sibling/s then it would be favourable to prioritise the current child & existing family If the time in the career is not suited to having a child
Beverley Harrison 'The wellbeing of the woman and the value of her life plan should always be recognised as of intrinsic value. A good society is one that assures the existence of basic conditions needed to pursue an individual's own life plan Pro-Choice advocates argue that the mother has rights over:
- Her body
- Her Life (it's going to affect her life for at the very least 18 years and beyond)
- The choices she makes about her future
- The effect her choices have on others (hormonal, emotional effects) Handicap of child (strain physically,mentally & financially) and also a supposed reduced quality of life Pro Life advocates would argue the foetus has a right to:
- Fulfil the potential it has to life
- Life it already possesses
- Not be killed
- Be fairly represented
- its life to be considered valuable Current legislation makes abortion legal usually up until 24 weeks as long as certain criteria are met There a certain circumstances where abortion is allowed after 24 weeks If it is necessary to save the woman's life To prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman If there is substantial risk that if the child were born, s/he would have physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped Risk to the life of the mother To prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the mother Risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the mother greater than if the pregnancy were terminated Substantial risk of the child being born seriously handicapped Potential Life argument Actual Life Argument 'Not all acorns will become oak trees' Judith Jarvis Thompson
Not all embryos will be born Essentially saying that potential doesn't necessarily make something actual until it has grown into that. An acorn and an oak tree are two different things - an acorn has the potential to become an oak tree but is not one. This is the same concept as pregnancy - the foetus has the building blocks to become a human but until it has completed that growth it isn't one. We discriminate between potential & actual rights in general life so why should this change when we are considering the potential life of a foetus
So, for example, a 10-year-old is a potential voter, and has the potential right to vote, but he or she doesn't get the actual right to vote until he or she reaches her or his 18th birthday and becomes eligible to vote. All
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