Is the life of the mother or father more important than a baby?

When reasoning you are supposed to understand the underlying principles and not superficially or emotionally look at just the situation at hand and apply those principles consistently.

The problem is you most Pro-choicers basically use personhood to claim moral significance for things in general, then use other rules to stop non person things you want to include from being killed i.e babies, but these equally apply to animals with exactly the same or higher cognitive abilities, that you in fact allow to be killed!!!

In other words you use a rule when it suits you for a foetus, but then arbitrarily ignore it for a baby.

Ralph and others here think Pro-Lifers are monsters for choosing the life of a foetus over a mother, but what about a baby which isn't a person either?

Do the rest of you automatically prefer the life of the mother or father over the life of a baby?

I can think up a thought experiment where both a mother and baby's lives are threatened and there is only one drug or organ to spare. Now either could live while the other dies, but also there is a none zero chance both will live. I would argue both have a right to life and right to the cure, so personally unless the mother decides to lay down her life for the child, as a doctor I would let fate decide.

Any two innocent moral entities have the same right to life as each other.

But what about where the mother or father through abuse or carelessness caused a smilar situation? Wouldn't they then be the offending party and the innocent party take precidance over her?

I certainly think in an analogous situation where a assassin poisoned both himself and me and where there is only one antidote, as the innocent party I have the moral right to the antidote.

Put another way does a baby have less rights than its parents? I think you guys are on the horns of a dilemma either way.

Tags: abortion

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Yes even for a moral relativist they would have underlying principles they they should use consistently.

I disagree pragmaticsim may play a large part but often what is pramatic or easy isn't what is moral.
& While I've read some basic on egoism it would be interesting to see whether thats just another way to say my might makes right.
Who the fuck are "we"?
Pro-Choicers
So is this a pro-choice vs pro-life debate?
If so, than it's a none issue. There has to be a choice made. Even doing nothing is a choice.
For me it is a larger ethical debate about the nature of morality and moral in-group membership.

So it would be relevant to Vegans, Vegetarians, Jainists, Omnivores, etc

BTW I'm not technically Pro-Life
Ralph I'll get back to you on this soon.
A quick reply it seems I have my hands full.

I had thought that one had to allow nature to take its course but now I see in cases where the % are quite low that the only fair way would be a toss of a coin.

Lets put it this way you have two people who have an equal chance of surviving but only one full dose of medicine left. One has plently of family and friends who want that person to survive while the other is a loner with no family or friends.

Should it be the case that the strength of social ties should decide who gets the drug?

Ethically that cannot be the case, but as you have raised it would seem unfair to let nature take its course and let both die.

So as far as I can see the only choice left is fate and a toss of a coin.

I would also note that it isn't uncommon for parents to sacrifice their life for wanted children but I suppose that if you are prepared to do it for one sibling you aren't ethically required to do it for its twin. This maybe a supererogatory case.
I agree with Ralph. For many people (including ethicists) value of life is a sliding scale, not a true or false question where all lives are equal. Under the utilitarianist view of ethics the correct decision is the one that results in the greatest happiness, or the least unhappiness, among the population. If you had one organ and two identical people need it then a coin toss would be a suitable response. If, however, the people are vastly different - say one is a serial killer and the other is a brilliant cancer researcher on the verge of a great breakthrough, then saving the cancer researcher becomes a more obvious choice. Most people aren't so diametrically opposed, but if you measure the happiness that each person generates and compare the results there is a logical argument for giving the treatment to the person that will cause more happiness.
The problem is you guys [pro-choice advocates]...

Nothing quite like starting of a debate with a derisory 'you guys'. Well done!

...basically use personhood to claim moral significance for things in general,

With a quick follow on of vagueness. As a pro-choice advocate, I tend not to use personhood to claim moral significance in matters of car repair, home maintainance, choosing which restaurant I might like to go to and other things in general.

...then use other rules to stop non person things you want to include from being killed i.e. babies,

You'll have to do better than make an assertion. Cite your examples of these rules, please.

...but these equally apply to animals with exactly the same or higher cognitive abilities, that you in fact allow to be killed!!!

Which animals are these with exactly the same or higher cognitive abilities that 'we' allow to be killed? Apes? Primates? Cetaceans? Felines or canines? Bovids, perhaps? I have no idea.


In other words you use a rule when it suits you for a foetus, but then arbitrarily ignore it for a baby.

Since you haven't actually articulated what these rules are, it's rather difficult to know if your assertion is correct or not.

I can think up a thought experiment where both a mother and baby's lives are threatened and there is only one drug or organ to spare. Now either could live while the other dies, but also there is a none zero chance both will live. I would argue both have a right to life and right to the cure, so personally unless the mother decides to lay down her life for the child, as a doctor I would let fate decide.

With the clarification,

As far as the analogy goes you want everything to be equal so both mother and baby have an equal chance of surviving if the other dies but there is small but non zero chance both could survive if nothing is done.

As presented, your answer to the the thought experiment makes you seem, to me, to be rather more an automaton than human; there are other considerations than mere probabilities of survival.

Any two innocent moral entities have the same right to life as each other.

What is a moral entity? Do you mean moral agent? Agency is the usual qualification, and agent the usual status, in such discussions. And why does innocence matter? Surely the status of moral entity confers the same rights to all such entities?

I certainly think in an analogous situation where a assassin poisoned both himself and me and where there is only one antidote, as the innocent party I have the moral right to the antidote.

Analogous to what? Abortion? You've not yet established that the two situations are indeed analogous. In any case, I do not accept that you, "as the innocent party", do have a moral right to the antidote.

When reasoning you are supposed to understand the underlying principles and not superficially or emotionally look at just the situation at hand and apply those principles consistently.

Sound advice. Try to follow it yourself when presenting your position.
I completely agree that the lack of specifics and defining of terminology needs to be addressed.
Since you haven't actually articulated what these rules are, it's rather difficult to know if your assertion is correct or not.

Should I start another thread to get the basics out of the way? I've been dealing with the same peope for some time so the above was more meant for those that i've already gone over the basics with.
You provided no reference to earlier discussion. It helps, if creating a new discussion thread, to either refer (preferably with link) to an earlier discussion or start with the basics.

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