Moral disagreement concerning abortion

Bernard Gert, Instytut Filozofii UJ
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
more » ... 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. This paper is a revision of Chapter 3, "Moral Disagreement", of Bioethics: A Systematic Approach, Oxford University Press, 2006, by Bernard Gert, Charles M. Culver, and K. Danner Clouser, (Polish translation, stowo/obraz terytoria, 2009, Bioetyka. Ujecie systematyczne, translated by Marek Chojnacki) and of "Moral Disagreement and Abortion" Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics Volume 6, Number 1, June 2004 by Bernard Gert.
doi:10.13153/diam.26.2010.413 fatcat:zbjvardnmnhunobfbcd4vhsb44