[FoRK] thinking about responsibility

Russell Turpin deafbox
Mon Oct 24 12:26:24 PDT 2005

Kevin Elliott <k-elliott at wiu.edu>:
>Because potential people matter. ..

Yes. And?

"Potential" applies much further than many
people realize. Every time a fertile couple
uses a contraceptive during sex, potential
people are lost. Every time a fertile couple
*refrains* from sex, potential people are
lost. It is precisely because of the first that
the Church prohibits contraception, and
because of the second that the Church
mandates the consummation of marriage.

>If you boil it down enough all of these arguments reduce to the level of 
>worth given to "people" and by extension the precursor to a "person".  ..

I don't understand the extension of moral
concern to precursors. Keep in mind that
as technology advances, there will be
more and more ways of making people,
and an ever broader variety of things
become precursors to people.

>do you think the ethical question is the same at 6 months vs. 1 month?

No, I don't. I think the greater brain
development of the 6 month fetus has

I also think that that difference is
largely irrelevant in the US today. The
abortion debate should be centered
around the issue of balancing the woman's
autonomy against the developing fetus's
neurological state. Actual state, not
potential state. That discussion is
drowned out by the nonsensical din
from the religious right.

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