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Medical Ethics: 22 April. Wrapping Up
The end of the contraception objection
I think that Marquis's best reply to the contraception objection is to say that none of the beings whose futures might be disrupted by contraception (i.e. sperm and egg cells, in various combinations) have valuable futures. Only a person or something very much like a person could have a valuable future.
If so, Marquis's strategy doesn't offer as clear a way out of the abortion debate as we thought. It appeared that he could avoid the question of whether fetuses are persons or not: as long as they have valuable futures, it would be wrong to kill them. Now, it's not so clear.
Thomson and Marquis
There's a gap between showing that death is bad for those who die and showing that it is wrong to kill.
Of course, part of why killing is wrong is that death is bad. I'm just saying that the badness of death isn't sufficient to settle the wrongness of killing in all cases.
To see this, consider what Thomson would say about Marquis's argument. Does the violinist have a valuable future? Is it obvious that killing him is wrong or morally forbidden?
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