So the right to life will not serve the opponents of abortion in the very simple and clear way in which they seem to have thought it would.
If everybody is to refrain from killing that violinist, then everybody must refrain from doing a great many different sorts of things.
And then there are a variety of ways in which this might be continued. The violinist[ edit ] In "A Defense of Abortion", Thomson grants for the sake of argument that the fetus has a right to lifebut defends the permissibility of abortion by appeal to a thought experiment: If everybody is to refrain from killing that violinist, then everybody must refrain from doing a great many different sorts of things.
You have your own life to lead. Judith jarvis thomson our attention might be drawn to the fact that men and women both are compelled by law to provide support for their children I have in effect dealt briefly with this argument in section 4 above; but a still briefer recapitulation now may be in order.
Again, if it did, then there would be a very short argument to prohibiting abortion except perhaps in cases where the fetus's life threatened the mother's life. His relationship with his wife, which began at socialist summer camp, was a source of tension for both their families. She went on to receive a B.
If we grant that a fetus has a right to life, does that make voluntary abortion immoral? But certainly the violinist has no right against you that you shall allow him to continue to use your kidneys. As can happen, however, and Judith jarvis thomson very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective, and a seed drifts in and takes root.
If directly killing an innocent person is murder, and thus is impermissible, then the mother's directly killing the innocent person inside her is murder, and thus is impermissible.
But the person threatened can. There is another way to bring out the difficulty. Some opponents of abortion are inclined to regard this as beneath contempt--thereby showing insensitivity to what is surely a powerful source of despair.
What if the director of the hospital says.
Perhaps he was urging people to do more than is morally required of them. I should have thought that--in light of his having no right to the use of your body--it was obvious that we do not have to accede to your being forced to give up so much.
It is wrong to criminalize all "third party" support for abortion. As Thomson reminds, the house belongs to the mother; similarly, the body which holds a fetus also belongs to the mother. Someone may argue that you are responsible for its rooting, that it does have a right to your house, because after all you could have lived out your life with bare floors and furniture, or with sealed windows and doors.
For it seems to me to be of great interest to ask what happens if, for the sake of argument, we allow the premise. The woman does not want a people-seed to root itself in her house, and so she even takes the measure to protect herself with the best mesh screens, and then voluntarily opens the windows.
Your own right to life gives you the moral right to unplug yourself if your life is threatened. My argument will be found unsatisfactory on two counts by many of those who want to regard abortion as morally permissible. What we should ask is not whether anybody should be compelled by law to be a Good Samaritan, but whether we must accede to a situation in which somebody is being compelled--by nature, perhaps--to be a Good Samaritan.
I should perhaps stop to say explicitly that I am not claiming that people have a right to do anything whatever to save their lives. Surely the question of whether you have a right to life at all, or how much of it you have, shouldn't turn on the question of whether or not you are a product of a rape.
It seems to me plain that there are cases in which we can, cases in which a Good Samaritan would extricate him. At all events it seems plain that it was not morally required of any of the thirty-eight that he rush out to give direct assistance at the risk of his own life, and that it is not morally required of anyone that he give long stretches of his life--nine years or nine months--to sustaining the life of a person who has no special right we were leaving open the possibility of this to demand it.
Thomson suggests that this is the most important question in the abortion debate. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
A Good Samaritan would have rushed out to give direct assistance against the murderer. But of course there are arguments and arguments, and it may be said that I have simply fastened on the wrong one. But then so would a Good Samaritan assume responsibility for that violinist; so would Henry Fonda, if he is a Good Samaritan, fly in from the West Coast and assume responsibility for me.
Certainly he had no right against the Society of Music Lovers that they should plug him into you in the first place. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist.
Opponents of abortion have been so concerned to make out the independence of the fetus, in order to establish that it has a right to life, just as its mother does, that they have tended to overlook the possible support they might gain from making out that the fetus is dependent on the mother, in order to establish that she has a special kind of responsibility for it, a responsibility that gives it rights against her which are not possessed by any independent person--such as an ailing violinist who is a stranger to her.
But suppose that, having learned that otherwise it means nine years in bed with that violinist, you unplug yourself from him.
Judith Jarvis Thomson has published countless philosophical articles, a number of which were collected into her well-respected anthology Rights, Restitution, and Risk.
She went on to receive a B."A Defense of Abortion" is a moral philosophy paper by Judith Jarvis Thomson first published in Granting for the sake of argument that the fetus has a right to life. Free Essay: Judith Jarvis Thomson: A Defense of Abortion – CRITICAL EXPOSITION The goal of Judith Jarvis Thomson in her defense of abortion is to sway the.
Judith Jarvis Thomson on the Morality of Abortion. Main Issue: If we grant that a fetus has a right to life, does that make voluntary abortion immoral?
Thomson's strategy is to get us to think about cases that do not involve abortion, in order to force us to articulate our basic moral assumptions.
Some of these cases are pretty silly, but that is. Defense of Abortion Judith Jarvis Thomson Learn with flashcards, games, and more — for free. “A Defense of Abortion” – JUDITH JARVIS THOMSON. Thomson’s (T) imaginative examples and controversial conclusions have made “A Defense of Abortion“ perhaps “the most widely reprinted essay in all of contemporary philosophy.”.
T does not think the conceptus (a neutral way of referring to the fetus) is a person from the moment of conception, anymore than an acorn is an oak tree.
The initial trolley problem also supports comparison to other, related, dilemmas, One such is offered by Judith Jarvis Thomson, As before. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, as it happens, there is a very fat man next to you – your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five.Download