Saturday, March 03, 2012

Newborns aren't people?

So say some ethicists.

 “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”
Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.

Can we agree in advance that ethicists aren't really "actual" persons? If they were "actual" persons, they wouldn't be so morally obtuse.

5 comments:

Kitten said...

What is it about "ethicists" that they seem to be unable to understan the concept of ethics? Is it all of them, or just those who become important and get published?

Kitten said...

Is everything okay(ish)? Usually hear from you more often, so I'm concerned.

I don't expect you to publish this comment, just don't have another way to contact you.

John Salmon said...

Yet another illustration of the ability of intelligent, but perverse, people to believe profoundly stupid things.

miriam said...

Who says they're intelligent?

Julie Zdrojewski said...

We could ask them at what age humans become possessed of a "moral right to life." Six months? Ten months? A year and a day? Seven years?

Do ethicists have a few thousand pages of regulations stipulating exemptions, conditions, preconditions, and diagnostic flow charts? Would they care to show them to us?

Oh - and are these rules applicable to all newborns, or do the rules vary with, oh, I don't know, ethnicity, race, class, social status, membership or lack thereof in the academic world, political party, probable future voting patterns?

Or does nothing matter whatsoever beyond publication of what will advance one's academic career and bring in some grants?