UCI The Moral Status of The Fetus and The Ethics of Abortion Essay

UCI The Moral Status of The Fetus and The Ethics of Abortion Essay

The Moral Status of The Fetus and The Ethics of Abortion Essay



  1. Directions


Choose ONE of the following essay topics and write a 3-4 page essay. Make sure to follow the instructions specified in the “Essay” section of the syllabus (regarding writer/editor instructions, etc.). Also, take a look at the “Writing Philosophy Essays” and the “Essay Style Guide” posted on Canvas before you begin. Deadlines for outline, rough draft, and final draft can be found on the syllabus course schedule.


  1. Some Notes


  1. Style Guide & Writing Philosophy Essays—Before you begin writing your rough draft, please consult the Style Guide as well as the Writing Philosophy Essays documents. It is MANDATORY that you follow the guidelines. Failure to do so will result in point deductions from the overall essay grade.


  1. Late Outline or Rough Draft—Unless there is a verifiable emergency, late submissions will result in 5% off the total grade for the paper.


  1. Late Final Draft — Unless there is a verifiable emergency, papers received after the due date will not be accepted and will not receive any credit for the assignment. This means that your essay grade will be a 0, not a 50% (or an F). If you are submitting the final draft at 11:50pm to turnitin.com on the due date and there is a problem with uploading the document, the submission will be considered late. Please take a picture of the submission receipt after you submit the final draft; “I swear I turned it in on time” is not sufficient proof of an on-time submission.


  1. Editors: (1) The writer should send you the outline and then the rough draft for review no less then 24 hrs before the deadline; (2) editors should make notes directly on the document in either bold or italics and send it back to the writer for submission; (3) the writer will then submit the document (marks and all) to turnitin.com.


  1. Writers: (1) please be considerate of your editor’s time. If you send the document less than 24 hrs before the deadline, then the editor has the right to refuse to review the document. They might do so if they wish, but they are not required to do so; (2) if a writer sends the outline or rough draft and the editor is unresponsive, the writer should make a note of this on the submission.


III. Prompts



  1. The Moral Status of the Fetus & the Ethics of Abortion


In “A Defense of Abortion,” Thomson argues that even if one grants, for the sake of argument, the pro-life contention that the fetus is a person, abortion is still morally permissible. She defends her position with the Violinist, the People-Seed, and the Burglar analogies. In The Ethics of Abortion: Woman’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice, Kaczor rejects each of these analogies, arguing that each of them is either misleading or deceptive. Are these good critiques of Thomson’s analogies? If so, does this entail that abortion is morally prohibited? If no, does this entail that abortion is morally permissible? Is abortion never permissible, sometimes permissible, or always permissible? Why? Make sure to consider two objections to your argument and reply.



  1. Abortion and Third-Party Interests & Rights


Many times a mother and father disagree over abortion: sometimes a woman wishes to have an abortion, while the father objects; sometimes a woman wishes to carry a child to term, while the father wishes for her to have an abortion. According to abortion law in the United States, in such cases, it is the mother’s decision that should count, not the father’s. In “Fathers and Fetuses,” Harris observes that most arguments about abortion completely ignore third-party interests and rights, such as the rights and interests of the father. Harris argues that there are times when it would be morally wrong to have an abortion because it wrongs the father. What is Harris’ argument? Do you think it is possible to wrong a father by aborting a fetus? Why or why not? In your discussion, you must consider two additional cases and analyze each as well as a reasonable objection to your view.



  1. Free Speech on Campus


Recently, a student group at the University of Berkeley, California invited controversial Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos to give a speech about current social and political issues. Hours before the event was scheduled to take place, more than 1,500 protestors, comprised of both students and activists, gathered in protest, chanting “No safe space for racists” and “This is war.” Eventually, violent protestors set fires and smashed windows, which led to the event being cancelled. After he was escorted from the campus by campus police, Milo condemned the protest on his Facebook page, writing “One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.” Yvette Felarca, a spokeswoman for one of the groups that participated in the protest, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), defended the protests, arguing that it was a successful “militant protest,” on behalf of those who are “targeted” by those who spread “hate” by Milo and others like him.


According to John Stuart Mill, why is free speech valuable? When does he think speech should be limited? Does the Berkeley case meet Mill’s criteria? Are there instances in which you think free speech should be limited? Why or why not? Make sure to note any factors that might make a difference (private vs. public institutions, etc.).


After discussing the Berkeley case, discuss another recent free speech on campus controversy. Should the speaker be allowed to speak on campus? Why or why not? Is this second case different from the Berkeley case? Explain. Make sure to consider two reasonable objections and reply to them.



  1. Free Speech on the internet


On January 30, after 200 deaths and 9800 new cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a Global Health Emergency regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), a highly infectious disease “in the same family of viruses as the common cold and SARS.” On March 11, the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic; two days later, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in the United States. A week later, California issued a stay-at-home order, to all citizens, except those who perform essential jobs. Many states followed suit, basing their decision on research that suggests that long-term social distancing would be the best way to “flatten the curve” of infection.


Some, however, began to challenge the stay-at-home orders and social distancing mandates. In Bakersfield, California, for example, two physicians held a press conference with a local news channel to report their clinic’s treatment of infected patients, and to argue two points: (1) the public data was unreliable; and (2) the available facts at that time do not support the social distancing mandates. The local news channel shared the press conference on YouTube, and the video-sharing platform administrators promptly removed the video, citing YouTube’s following policy on misinformation:

YouTube doesn’t allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19. This is limited to content that contradicts WHO or local health authorities’ guidance on:

  • Treatment
  • Prevention
  • Diagnostic
  • Transmission
  • Social distancing and self-isolation guidelines
  • The existence of COVID-19

Is YouTube’s decision to remove the content from their website for these reasons right or wrong? What would Mill say? Is Mill’s argument right or wrong? Defend a position that either defends or opposes YouTube’s policy surrounding speech about an ongoing public health emergency. Then, consider two reasonable objections to your position and reply to each.



  1. Property rights, taxation, and the greater good


Ronald Goldman argues that Nozick’s entitlement theory overlooks the question of whether people deserve the things that they own. This question is important, he argues, because redistributing undeserved property or wealth is an essential moral duty of those within a political community and does not violate the fictitious “natural rights,” since the rules of property are the creation of the state.


Nozick, however, argues that redistributive taxation violates property rights, treats others as a means to an end, and suppresses the liberty by constant government interference in the free market.


Which philosopher is right? Are property rights only justified by what a person deserves (a la Goldman) or are property rights justified by Nozick’s three principles of justice? Argue in favor of Nozick or Goldman using an example from a movie, novel, or current events. Make sure to introduce and respond to two reasonable objections to your argument.

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