Abortion and Personhood: What the Moral Dilemma Is Really About | Glenn Cohen

source: Big Think    2016年9月17日
The reason for the cultural divide ignited by the Roe v. Wade decision is not necessarily that people have intractable opinions. Instead, the issue of abortion is a genuinely complex moral dilemma.
Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/glenn-cohe...

Transcript - In the 1970s we have the Roe v. Wade decision in the United States. It was a decision relating to a woman's right to have an abortion. It introduced the trimester framework. It basically allowed first trimester abortions, made it very difficult to have third trimester abortions. And essentially this was really met very quickly thereafter with the sort of backlash. And really the last 40/50 years of American history have more or less been a backlash against Roe v. Wade and an attempt to kind of criminalize abortion in all sorts of interesting ways without overturning the decision.
So that's kind of the legal playing field. I mean we can talk about some of the specifics, but the more interesting question I think is thinking about the morality of abortion. And I'll say that I think abortion is an extremely difficult question. So one of the first questions people have to think about is are fetuses persons? And that's a very important linguistic question, persons. I didn't say human beings. I didn't say alive. Those are three different issues. Something can be alive but not be a person. Your dog is a good example. You love your dog. It's a wonderful thing but it's not a person. Something can be human and potentially not be a person. Some people think the embryo, for example, before 14 days or stem cells being derived are members of the human species but may not be a person. So what do we mean by persons? We mean something that has a certain set of moral and/or legal rights, most important of which is a right against in viability. They can't be killed or destroyed or harmed without very good reason. And we have the attitude that we're all persons so we have an index case we're pretty clear we're persons and the question is who else is a person? Well to answer that you need to have a theory about what makes something a person. Read Full Transcript Here: https://goo.gl/Q7eemx.

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