Moral disagreement concerning abortion

Main Article Content

Bernard Gert

Abstract

I use the example of abortion to show that there are some unresolvable moral disagreements. I list four sources of unresolvable moral disagreement: 1) differences in the rankings of the basic evils of death, pain, disability, loss of freedom, and loss of pleasure, 2) differences in the interpretation of moral rules, 3) ideological differences in the view of human nature and human societies, and 4) differences concerning who is impartially protected by the moral rules. It is this last difference that is the source of unresolvable disagreement concerning the moral acceptability of abortion. I examine the views of Don Marquis and Mary Ann Warren who present opposing arguments concerning the moral acceptability of abortion. I show that their failure to take account of this last difference leads to flaws in their arguments that show that neither has been successful in showing that their position is the uniquely correct one.

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How to Cite
Gert, Bernard. 2010. “Moral Disagreement Concerning Abortion”. Diametros, no. 26 (December):23-43. https://doi.org/10.13153/diam.26.2010.413.
Section
Special topic – Right to life
Author Biography

Bernard Gert, Dartmouth College

Bernard Gert is Stone Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, Emeritus, Dartmouth College, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Research Professor, Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
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References

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