Purdy's Argument

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Purdy’s argument follows a simple Modus Ponens style of an argument. Purdy’s argument starts off by stating her first premise, which is that if someone is subjected to going through serious suffering without being able to consent that it is morally wrong. Her second premise is that some serious diseases have a high risk of being transmitted where these diseases then cause serious suffering. Purdy’s third premise states that if these serious diseases have a high risk of being transmitted, and end up causing serious suffering, then it is morally wrong to reproduce when people know there is a risk of transmission. It would then be their moral obligation to get genetically tested before trying to conceive. Purdy would consider trying to conceive…show more content…
I believe that her first two premises would be hard to argue against and would say they are true. You would not want to see people suffer. It is also true that some diseases are at a higher risk of being transmitted. For example, a disease that is caused by a dominant gene is more likely to be transmitted than a disease that is caused by a recessive gene. Her third premise, which is talking about serious diseases that are likely to be transmitted and lead to serious suffering cause the people who have the risk of transmitting to morally not reproduce. I would find this one the most reasonable to argue against because Purdy does not specify what a serious disease is and what serious suffering means. Purdy states in her article that “there are cases ranging from low risk of mild disease or disability to high risk of serious disease or disability” (Purdy 106). So, how do we identify a serious disease is from a mild disease if she cannot even specify it. Does serious suffering mean that your life is over and cut short or that you are just different from everyone else? A serious disease could range from being deaf to Huntington’s Disease. Huntington’s Disease, “is an autosomal dominant disease, meaning it is caused by a single defective gene located on a non-sex chromosome” (Purdy 107). Huntington’s Disease is “passed from one generation to the next via affected individuals. Each child of such an affected person has a 50 percent risk of inheriting the gene and thus of eventually developing the disease” (Purdy 107). Huntington’s Disease is a lot more severe than someone being born deaf. Being deaf is a problem, but will not lead to your life being cut short like Huntington’s Disease. So, if she would not consider deafness a serious disease then would her third premise hold true? There is no way we can tell what she means. Purdy is too vague on what could be considered serious or
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