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PHIL 108 Philosophy Assignment

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PHIL 108 Philosophy Assignment

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Course Code: PHIL 108
University: University Of Massachusetts Boston

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Country: United States

Question:
We don’t do this in a vacuum, but rather within a social and historical context where positions have already been staked out and expressed and the debate is already in progress. The first part of the paper is therefore 1) an introduction, which contains some acknowledgement of the history of the debate and identifies the basic issue being addressed and states the problem. The second part should be 2) to give an account of the main arguments both pro and con. This should not be a mere list but also contain some analyses and evaluation of each one. It can also include identifying which side appears to have the burden of proof in general or on one of the points on which the arguments on the various sides conflict. The next part is 3) to state one’s own considered point of view and then, 4) the reasons why one holds it to be correct.But what counts as a good reason? First it should be the kind of reason which has a good chance of persuading a reader, who doesn’t necessarily share one’s own background or prejudices, to accept your view. That means that one should seek a common ground and give arguments, which potentially have universal appeal. One should thus avoid appeals to authority, which aren’t respected by everyone. ( eg. “the Bible says so”or “the founding fathers held”) and one should avoid personal experiences or biographical details ( eg. “I was raised Catholic, so…” or “in my experience such and such is the case”) which explain perhaps why one personally holds a view, but fails to justify it, unless one goes on to make the point that this exemplifies the typical or universal. Otherwise, these appeals to authority or the particular case will have no good chance of persuading someone, who already doesn’t share your background, experiences, or prejudices, to change their mind. Ethical dialogue should ideally take place on the plane of the universal where in principle a good reason should be able to gain universal assent because people can think for themselves by rising above their prejudices or narrow background or particular experiences. They can transcend their particularity because they are being addressed as rational beings, who have the capacity to evaluate things on the basis of universal considerations such as correct generalizations or general moral principles based upon mutual respect for each other as persons with rights.These last two steps are an open admission that one’s own position is not unassailable and that one is open to further debate. There is no claim to being in the possession of the absolute truth, but rather a willingness to keep on testing one’s own best insights against the best arguments your opponents can muster. The process here is more important than the tentative result, in that the rational discussion is an on-going invitation to oneself and others to broaden and deepen mutual understanding and to approach the truth without ever claiming that one is already in possession of it. Rational assent is the acknowledgement of what one’s own reason must accept in the light of what one currently understands after weighing the arguments pro and con and attempting to overcome bias through being open to universal considerations. But there is still always the possibility that upon further reflection and discussion, one might be forced by the better argument to change one’s mind. It is this possibility, which keeps rational debate from ending in a new absolutism. And it is the willingness to debate seriously with others to get at the truth, which distinguishes the process of rational debate from a relativism , which would make such a process seem nonsensical.
Answer:
Introduction:

The human beings by their nature always try to follow a moral as well as ethical path and it is a reflection of this particular fact that they always try to make to decisions which are totally moral as well as ethical (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263). However, the moral as well as ethical field is a very wider one and it is often seen that a decision or a particular action which is ethical as well as moral as per the perspective one individual can be immoral or ethical for that matter as per the opinion or the perspective of another (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263). It is precisely that the concept of moral as well as ethical dilemma since this is a very wider canvas and the rightness or the wrongness of a particular idea or a concept depends on various factors like the scenario in which it is being used, the context, the upbringing of the individual and others (Shapiro 29: 483-494). A pertinent example of this is the process of abortion which some people consider to be totally justified whereas there are others who consider the process to be completely unethical and at the same time totally unjustified (Shapiro 29: 483-494). This paper will deal with the concept of abortion and at the same time try to explore whether this particular action of the individual can be said to be justified or not.
The concept or the process of abortion is a recent construct and can be said to be the end result of the various developments in the field of feministic theories (Schmitz 38: 399-402). It is significant to note that since the traditional times pregnancy had been considered to be a very sacred thing and even the Bible states that life is a gift from the God and therefore it should not be destroyed and no individual for that matter has the right to take away the life of the other individuals (Schmitz 38: 399-402). Therefore, since the traditional times it is seen that the concept of abortion has been seen as a kind of taboo and the women who usually take the help of this particular process are often stigmatized and seen through suspicious eyes (Savulescu 257-259). Furthermore, the lack of freedom which the women fraternity had received since the traditional times is another factor which has contributed to the less use of this particular concept by the various women (Savulescu 257-259). It is only in the 20th century with the empowerment of the women fraternity as well as the development of various kinds of feministic theories that the women became aware of the rights which they have and started to take the help of this particular concept (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263). It is a reflection of this particular fact that in the present times abortion has become a common part of the world and for the time period of 2010-2014 an estimated number of 56 million women from the different parts of the world underwent this particular process (Guttmacher Institute). Therefore, in a way it can be said that the concept of abortion has become the norm of the society and the various women are increasingly turning towards this particular process to assert their freedom of choice in the traditionally male dominated world (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263).
The concept of abortion has certain advantages as well as disadvantages attached with it not only for the woman who is involved in the process for also for the other individuals as well (Kaczor). It is often seen that the process of pregnancy poses a serious threat to the health of the various women and their body is also not suited to bear a child or the women is suffering from some disease because of which bearing a child would not be idea for her (Overall). The process of abortion under such situation comes as a boon for the women. Furthermore, many a times it is seen that the women who take the help of the process are the victims of rape and other kinds of un-consenting acts of sexual interchange and under such situations as well the process of abortion is very beneficial for the woman who is involved in the process (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263). Moreover, it is often seen that the woman or the family of the woman is not financially stable and is not ready to bear the burden of a child and under such situation the woman and her family members can opt for the process of abortion. However, on the other hand, there are individuals who consider the process of abortion to be completely unethical as well as immoral (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263). The primary argument which these people use against the concept of abortion is that life is a gift from God and therefore it should be treasured and not destroyed (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263). Furthermore, they are of the opinion that abortion is the act of killing a child which had not even taken birth and the act of killing a particular individual can never be completely justified no matter the context in which the act is being committed (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263). Moreover, it is often seen that if a woman is undergoing the process of abortion a repeated number of times then that might affect her ability to bear children in the future (Shapiro 29: 483-494). In addition to this, it is seen that the majority of the population of the world is on the wrong side of the age and therefore it becomes very important for the able bodied people to procreate so that the status quo of the world is stable (Shapiro 29: 483-494). These in short are some of the advantages as well as the disadvantages of the process of abortion.
I personally believe that the decision whether a woman should opt for the process of abortion or not be the decision of the woman who is bearing the child. It is true that the man involved in the process also has a certain right over the child which is in the womb of the woman but the decision that whether the woman should terminate the pregnancy or nor should be the sole one of the woman (Schmitz 38: 399-402). Furthermore, I would also like to add here that it is the woman who had to bear the child inside her womb for the duration of nine and undergo all the complications which the process entails with itself in addition to enduring the pain of child birth. Therefore, the decision of the woman involved in the process should be given priority.
The concept of abortion though in the opinion of many people is a completely unethical one however in a way it can be said that it is important in the present day context (Vanderwalker 19:1). The population of the world at the current point of time is increasing at an alarming and according to an estimate within the next few decades the population of the world is going to double itself (Vanderwalker 19:1). Furthermore, it is generally that not all the wealth of the world is equally distributed among all the individuals of the world and therefore many people had to live below the poverty line (Coleman). Therefore, in a way it can be said that the concept of abortion is totally relevant in the present day context and to some extent the world requires this particular process in a bid to control the alarming rate of population growth (Shrage).
In the opinion of many scholars the concept of abortion is totally unethical and the majority of these people like to base their agreement on the precepts of the theory of Utilitarianism which seeks to “bring the maximum amount of benefit or utility to the maximum number of people” (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263). Therefore, these people are of the opinion that the process of abortion entails with itself the act of killing an innocent child which had not yet taken birth and thus it is a gross violation of the rights of the child yet to be born, namely, the right to live (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263). Furthermore, there are others who like to take the help of Bible to justify the fact the process of abortion is completely unethical (Waller). Moreover, there are still other people who are of the opinion that the act of abortion is likely to upset the natural order of procreation which is a biological requirement of the world (Pence).
The concept of abortion can be totally justified as per the various precepts of the theory of Kantianism which believes that “the end justifies the means” and therefore if the pregnancy is terminated by a woman on logical grounds then this cannot be seen as an unethical action (Shapiro 29: 483-494). Furthermore, the alarmingly increasing rate of the world population as well as the economic and the other factors have made it all the more important not only for the national governments of the various nations but also the various individuals to control the rate of birth (Shapiro 29: 483-494). It is a reflection of this particular fact that the government of China has implemented the “one child per family” policy (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263). Furthermore, many people are of the opinion that the body of a woman is her sole property and if she does not wants to have a child no one should force her to have one. Moreover, even the various legislations of the diverse nations of the world give the provision to the various rape victims and other forms of un-consented sexual intercourse victims to undergo the process of abortion (Giubilini and Minerva 39: 261-263).
To conclude, the question of the ethicality of the process of abortion has received a considerable amount of importance in the present times and it is a reflection of this particular fact that the various scholars try to use various theories as well as concepts to argue about the case. However, in the context of the present day world it can be said that the concept of abortion has become a requirement of the present day society on the score of various factors and when the process of abortion is seen through these theories as well as state of the world it becomes totally justified. It is true that the act of taking the life of a child which has yet not taken birth but there are other factors as well which needs to be taken into consideration.
References
“Abortion Worldwide 2017: Uneven Progress And Unequal Access”. Guttmacher Institute, 2018, https://www.guttmacher.org/report/abortion-worldwide-2017. Accessed 16 May 2018.
Coleman, Stephen. The ethics of artificial uteruses: Implications for reproduction and abortion. Routledge, 2017.
Giubilini, Alberto, and Francesca Minerva. “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?.” Journal of medical ethics39.5 (2013): 261-263.
Kaczor, Christopher. The ethics of abortion: Women’s rights, human life, and the question of justice. Routledge, 2014.
Overall, Christine. Ethics and Human Reproduction (RLE Feminist Theory): A Feminist Analysis. Routledge, 2013.
Pence, Gregory E. Medical ethics: Accounts of ground-breaking cases. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Savulescu, Julian. “Abortion, infanticide and allowing babies to die, 40 years on.” (2013): 257-259.
Schmitz, Dagmar. “Terminating pregnancy after prenatal diagnosis—with a little help of professional ethics?.” Journal of medical ethics 38.7 (2012): 399-402.
Shapiro, Gilla K. “Abortion law in Muslim-majority countries: an overview of the Islamic discourse with policy implications.” Health policy and planning 29.4 (2013): 483-494.
Shrage, Laurie. Moral dilemmas of feminism: Prostitution, adultery, and abortion. Routledge, 2013.
Vanderwalker, Ian. “Abortion and informed consent: How biased counseling laws mandate violations of medical ethics.” Mich. J. Gender & L. 19 (2012): 1.
Vaughn, Lewis. Doing ethics: Moral reasoning and contemporary issues. WW Norton & Company, 2015.
Waller, Bruce N. Consider Ethics: Pearson New International Edition: Theory, Readings, and Contemporary Issues. Pearson Higher Ed, 2013.

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