Personhood Starts at the Point of Self-consciousness

  • In "Defense of Abortion and Infanticide," Michael Tooley claims that individuals have a right to life only at the point of self-consciousness and an interest in their own continued existence

  • Tooley concludes, therefore, that infanticide is morally acceptable

  • If the individual will, in the future develop such interest, is it permissible to kill the individual before such interests develop? Can fetuses be excluded from allowing such development to occur?

Next Last Abortion: Life? Choice? Right? Home
First | Previous | Next | Last |        | Index | Home

Slide 45 of 49


Defining personhood on the basis of self-consciousness and an interest in one's own continued existence allows for infanticide, which is exactly what Michael Tooley argues for. However, most people are unwilling to accept such a definition of personhood, since they are able to see exactly what is being killed when the individual is a newborn. What most people don't know is that the fetus looks markedly like a newborn, only smaller, after the first three months of gestation.

http://godandscience.org/abortion/sld045.html
Last Modified June 14, 2008

 

Rich's Blog