John Tooley's Right To Life Vs. Abortion

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Prompt #1: Right to Life vs Abortion Tooley argues, through the use of examples and refutation of objections, that the right to life is dependent on holding the concept of one’s self as a continuing entity and subject of experiences and other mental states, something which fetuses lack. In Tooley’s view, this makes abortion permissible. While I will not argue that abortion is impermissible, I will argue that the premises Tooley relies on are inconsistent. The argument Tooley presents focuses on what basic moral properties are necessary for a thing to have the right to life. Tooley believes that to specify a certain point in the timeline of development after which it is immoral to destroy a human being, there must exist a morally relevant…show more content…
These distinctions are important to his argument because they allow us to have a clear picture of what the properties for right to life might encompass. According to Tooley, the state of ‘being a person’ entails the state of ‘having a serious moral right to life.’ However, Tooley believes being a person is not synonymous with being a human being, as the interchangeable use of the terms can assume fetuses and newborns automatically have a serious right to life, which Tooley does not agree with, as well as make the disagreement about whether or not it is a fact that fetuses and newborns qualify as humans rather than the moral principles this would entail. The separation between right to life and other rights is one of these principles, and Tooley claims that having a right to something can also be stated in its most basic form as “If A desires x, then others are under a prima facie obligation to refrain from actions that would deprive him of it.” When expanded to clarify applicable circumstances and avoid objections, this statement comprises Tooley’s main argument, the self-consciousness
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