Don Marquis's 'Why Abortion Is Immoral'

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Don Marquis establishes a philosophical argument for his view that abortion is morally impermissible in his journal, “Why Abortion is Immoral”. In this paper, I will argue that Marquis’ argument is unsound by showing that some of his supporting premises are false and that by correcting them, the argument becomes invalid because the conclusion no longer logically follows the premises. I will start off by outlining Marquis’ argument against abortion. In his first premise, he states that “Killing me (or you, reader) is prima facia seriously wrong” (Marquis 190). His second premise is “For any killing where the victim did have a valuable future like ours, having that future itself is sufficient to create the strong presumption that killing is seriously wrong” (Marquis 195). The third…show more content…
By failing to define the terms ‘fetus’ and ‘standard fetus’, he leaves open for interpretation not only the moral significance of the terms, but also their strength in relation to his argument. Marquis assumes that the fetus has a future that is just as valuable as that of an adult yet fails to grant the fetus the same moral status as an adult. This lack of consistency along with the falsity of his claims weakens his argument and leaves a large piece of the abortion question unanswered. Because many of his premises are false, I altered them to be correct which in turn resulted in an illogical sequence of evidence for Marquis’ original conclusion; rendering his argument invalid. After altering the conclusion to follow the revised premises, it only gave a suitable claim for some abortions, rather than the overwhelming majority of abortions. Due to the fact that these premises had to be revised in order to be correct, and the conclusion no longer accomplishes Marquis’ original goal, we can conclude that his argument is
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