Must We Have Full Moral Status Throughout Our Existence? A Reply to Alfonso Gomez-Lobo
De Grazia, David
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 2007 December; 17(4): 297-310
Those who are morally opposed to abortion generally make several pivotal assumptions. This paper focuses on the assumption that we have full moral status throughout our existence. Coupled with the assumption that we come into existence at conception, the assumption about moral status entails that all human fetuses have full moral status, including a right to life. Is the assumption about moral status correct? In addressing this question, I respond to several arguments advanced, in this journal and other venues, by Alfonso Gómez-Lobo. Gómez-Lobo's reasoning resolves into two basic arguments: (1) an appeal to the practical necessity of early moral protection and (2) an appeal to our kind membership and potentiality. I respond to these in turn before offering further reflections.
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Gomez-Lobo, Alfonso (2005)In order to understand the nature of human embryos I first distinguish between active and passive potentiality, and then argue that the former is found in human gametes and embryos (even in embryos in vitro that may fail ...
Gomez-Lobo, Alfonso (2004-03)This response to Nikolaus Knoepffler's paper in the same issue of the Journal agrees that if the arguments supporting the first two of the eight human embryonic stem cell research policy options discussed are unsound, as ...