"To Be or Not To Be"
#2
It's late and I haven't read your essay in detail, but I'll comment on your preliminary considerations.

- The most common objection to my claim is that, given my distinction, there is no difference between the potentiality of a developing fetus and that of a sperm approaching the egg moments before conception. What these people don't know is their objection is perfectly legitimate; I oppose contraception from the natural law for the same reason as I have opposed abortion in this article. Of course, these philosophers would expect me to support contraception from the natural law.

Are you doing that just for the sake of argument? Because the actual reasons why contraception is immoral and why abortion is immoral are distinct. Contraception as such is not murder. Abortion is. It's true that both cases involve the illicit frustration of potentiality, but the potentiality is of two different sorts. . One involves the frustration of an existing life (through killing, thus halting further development). The other (contraception) involves frustrating the means by which a life comes into existence. You explain distinctions between potentiality in your essay, but I'm not sure if it can be applied to this issue here. Do you intend for objective potentiality be an umbrella concept covering both abortion and contraception in the same way? It appears so with your 'prince example'. Because the prince by definition is not actually a king, though he is by right ordered towards this end provided there is no external frustration of the mechanism of succession. So it applies to contraception (with respect to how he is not already an actual king, as sperm and egg separate are not a human being as such), and to abortion in the sense that the infant/embryo does not exhibit characteristics of a human (with respect to rationality) - likewise, the prince cannot perform functions proper to a king. However, the confusion that comes about is this: through the prince example, it seems as though you intend to say that the potentiality before conception (as in, just after the intercourse in which things are clearly moving to their 'goal'), is the same as that after conception. So either, human nature (rational animal) begins before conception; or, it is present neither before nor after, but only when rational activity is exhibited. If the latter is said, then a human being will emerge only at the 'age of reason'. If the former is correct, then every time one has an nocturnal emission, one has spontaneously aborted!

My advice: stress the difference in potentiality involved prior to conception, and after.

Secondly, Singer's rendition of an anti-abortion argument is a straw man. Expose it. No reasonable pro-lifer claims the foetus is a potential human being. Rather, it is an actual human being. And just as it is wrong to murder an innocent human being, so it is wrong to murder a foetus.

That's where singer's metaphysics comes into play and it's f*****. Just see his conclusions he draws. To answer this, basically, I can be of a certain nature without exhibiting traits of that nature. A surgeon is indeed a surgeon even when he is not operating on someone. Likewise, a human being (rational animal) is a human being even when not actively engaging in rational activity. And so, when a  nature comes into being, its substantial form being the principle by which it exists (in our case, the rational soul), so too, things essential to that nature can be predicated of that being (in our case, rationality). And so basically, from conception, the rational soul is informed, and likewise, those things essential to human nature exist in human nature from this point (even though they are latent until the age of reason). From conception, bingo, personhood.

True, modern philosophers don't wona adjust their false metaphysical underpinnings. But it is only through true metaphysical underpinnings that these problems can be addressed. Ultimately. There's only so much that can be done by arguing within a modern philosophical framework.



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Messages In This Thread
"To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-13-2010, 09:10 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-15-2010, 10:01 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Vetus Ordo - 05-15-2010, 01:11 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-16-2010, 12:42 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-16-2010, 03:59 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-16-2010, 10:06 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-16-2010, 10:20 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-16-2010, 10:47 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-17-2010, 01:38 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-17-2010, 09:01 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-17-2010, 05:09 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-18-2010, 08:34 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-20-2010, 10:46 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-23-2010, 03:45 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-23-2010, 01:36 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-23-2010, 01:37 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-23-2010, 10:19 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-24-2010, 08:31 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-24-2010, 08:03 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-27-2010, 04:08 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Historian - 05-27-2010, 05:21 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-27-2010, 05:41 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-27-2010, 05:46 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-27-2010, 05:51 PM



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