Essay on Against The Golden Rule Argument Against Abortion

Essay on Against The Golden Rule Argument Against Abortion

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Golden Rule and Abortion
In his essay “Against the Golden Rule Argument Against Abortion,” David Boonin-Vail argues against R. M. Hare and Harry J. Gensler. He states both versions of the golden rule should be rejected. The golden rule is a biblical rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12). Boonin-Vail maintains that both Hare’s and Gensler’s interpretations are not adequate enough in stating that the golden rule shows abortion to be immoral for various reasons.
I will not be arguing that the golden rule argument is sound. I agree with Boonin-Vail’s reasoning. However, I believe that his argument falls short when criticizing the implication of contraception for the same reason as abortion.
To better understand Boonin-Vail’s argument I will reformulate it and later on further explain each premise:
P1: Both versions of the golden rule argument are objectionable,
P2: Both versions are unable to avoid the implication of contraception,
P3: Both versions are unable to support satisfactorily modified conclusions,
P4: Arguments that avoid future implications (such as contraception), are objectionable and unable to support satisfactorily modified conclusions should be rejected
C: Therefore, both versions of the golden rule should be rejected.
I agree with all of Boonin-Vail’s reasoning except for premise two. I will explain my reasoning on why I agree with him for the most part and what can be done in the attempt to modify the second premise. The first premise states that each of their arguments rests on a version of the golden rule which is objectionable on independent grounds. I will very briefly summarize a portion of what Boonin-Vail says and why both examples are indeed objectionable. In Hare’...


... middle of paper ...


...have a much stronger argument if he simply does not include the second premise, and if he slightly modifies the original fourth promise. Simply having the argument look like this:
P1: Both versions of the golden rule argument are objectionable,
P2: Both versions are unable to support satisfactorily modified conclusions,
P3: Arguments that are objectionable and unable to support satisfactorily modified conclusions should be rejected
C: Therefore, both versions of the golden rule should be rejected.
To reemphasize, applying the golden rule to abortion does not make for a sound argument. However, Boonin-Vail’s criticism of Hare and Genseler’s philosophies pertaining to this application, is not completely unflawed either. Boonin-Vail would make for a stronger argument if he does not address his second premise, not allowing for future objections to his main thesis.


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