1. Compare and contrast the positions of Noonan and Warren on the issue of abortion. How does Noonan argue against distinctions that would deny the humanity of a fetus? Why does Warren suggest that humanity isn’t’ enough? Why shouldn’t we grant personhood to a fetus even if it is a human being? How can we define the moral community? What do you think of these arguments?
On of the most heatedly discussed issues of our society is abortion. It has a very complex issue that comes up in both personal and political discussion very often. There are many different people over the past few decades that have tried to address this complex issue. One of the best known is Noonan. He looks at the humanity of the fetus. And one of the chief opponents to that argument is Warren. He tries to disprove Noonans points and creates a contrasting viewpoint of where life begins.
Noonan starts with the simplest argument against abortion, which is that abortion is killing, and killing is wrong. He presents one formulation of this basic argument in a simple syllogism that:
“If killing an innocent human is wrong
And a fetus is an innocent human
Then killing a fetus is wrong”
All of his premises make logical sense. There is very little argument against that idea that killing an innocent human being is wrong. Additionally the second premise that “a fetus is an innocent human” would also be very hard to argue against. The innocence of the fetus would be hard to disprove, it has never done anything so the fetus cannot have done anything wrong. In addition, the species of the fetus is a non-refutable point. So following these lines from the instant of conception the fetus is conceived it cannot ethically be aborted. However, people have tried to debate other points of the pregnancy other than conception that could be viewed as the start of human life.
Noonan shows that the start of human life has to be at conception and that viability, brain waves or any other...