Don Marquis question

Topics: Abortion, Pregnancy, Human Pages: 4 (1453 words) Published: May 25, 2015
If, as Marquis argues, it is wrong to kill a potential person because doing so deprives it of a future like ours, is it wrong to practice contraception and deprive a potential person of a future like ours? There are various views regarding abortion and whether it should be accepted. Applying the Doctrine of Sanctity of life is a conservative view against abortion. An observation made by Don Marquis believes that abortion is wrong because it deprives a being of a future like ours and it is morally analogous to killing a healthy adult. Therefore the argument of abortion being impermissible will lead to whether it is wrong to practice contraception and deprive a potential person of a future like ours. The response to Marquis’s theory by Alistair Norcross will be discussed in depth for the purposes of this essay. In the journal of philosophy1, Don Marquis argues that a foetus will have a ‘future like ours’ and therefore killing a foetus should be forbidden. His argument is articulated from a healthy adult’s point of view, where the deprivation of an adult’s future desires and experiences symbolize a great loss when the life comes to an end. Marquis makes a strong point that it is in fact this deprivation of future experiences that makes it wrong to kill a foetus more than any other reason. Marquis concludes that the killing of a fellow human is totally wrong because it deprives the individual of future experiences and desires and thus the same is to apply to a foetus. The foetus and a human is seen to have the same rights to life when it comes to the act of killing as the amount of potential future desires and experiences is the same for both beings. To simplify Marquis’s argument:

P1. An act of killing is wrong if it causes the victim to lose a future that is qualitatively and quantitatively similar to that enjoyed by normal adult human beings – call this ‘a future like ours.’ P2. Abortion is an act of killing which causes the victim (the foetus) to lose...
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