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Philosophical Ethics Final Project - Research Paper Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Abortion Abortion is the deliberate expulsion of a fetus or embryo in the womb before the pregnancy period has elapsed. Two main common methods of abortion include using pills and removing the fetus surgically. The abortion subject has elicited debates in the society…
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Philosophical Ethics Final Project
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Download file to see previous pages However, the current society has witnessed high levels of abortion because moral standards have gone down. Additionally, laws that permit abortion have been enacted in several countries especially when the mother’s life is threatened. Abortion in ancient history In the ancient era, abortion practices were tolerable in Greece and Rome. Safeguarding of the unborn life was a matter of consideration only if the father was interested in the child. Children conceived outside wedlock, or bore to prostitutes or with other men other than their husbands were killed pre and post birth. Several western countries held the belief that abortion was acceptable between 18-20 weeks or before embryo movement. As a result, most women who fell in these categories procured abortions to save themselves from anguish and embarrassments. Abortions and contraception were unsafe. In pre-colonial America, there were strict laws regarding pre marital sex. Consequently, abortions were procured and the issue kept secret. Only in cases where the mother’s life was at risk was abortion legal. In 1973, the Supreme Court judgment legalized abortion in America in the case of Roe vs. Wade (BBC journal 23) Philosophical Aspects of Abortion Aristotle In order to understand Aristotle’s view on abortion, one has to understand his nature. He was a kind, hardworking and devoted man. In his quest for knowledge and information, he observed practicality and societal processes using a keen eye. Many people described him as fair and calm. Most Aristotle’s views were rooted in his belief for equality among all people and the need to follow natural law. He said that abortions performed before the onset of life and sensation are permissible. According to him, the onset of sensation and life begins forty days after conception for males and eighty days for females. He iterated that abortions procured before forty days after conception are allowed and those after are illegal and inhuman. Many scientists said that his remarks are pro life because he focused on embryo development at that time. They also argue that had he understood the scientology behind embryo development as the current society does now, he would have been against abortion. He stated that, “As to the exposure of children, let there be a law that no deformed child shall live. However, let no child be exposed because of excess population, but when couples have too many children, let abortions be procured before sense and life has begun” (Pangle 5) John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham The two renowned philosophers, Mill and Bentham justified abortion using the idea of utilitarianism. John Stuart Mill came up with the happiness principle. It states that the most desirable things are pleasurable and free from pain. Utilitarianism is based on the consequences of human actions. The philosophers advocated for actions whose consequences are good irrespective of the motive. Bentham was a principled hedonist who thought that pain is quantifiable using calculus calculations. In his calculations, the tendencies of committing an action are measured using seven different factors. For Stuart Mill, the quality of pleasure was the defining factor. He believed that the good can only be defined using the level of pleasure. Utilitarianism supports abortion and concentrates on the outcome and not action. In this approach, a woman who conceives through rape has the choice of terminating the pregnancy or keeping it to term. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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