Friday, March 31, 2006

A reformed argument awaiting refutation...

By: Ed

Ok, after much thought the previous argument presented was erronous on several fronts.
1. It failed to use precise language (personhood is too ambiguous and defining it as I did did not capture the fullness of the word and also created confusion. Besides, using it necessitates my defining it. I would rather force others to do the work while keeping the same type of conclusion. As Dr. Hoffman put it, "why obligate yourself to extra premises when you don't have to?"

2. Premise 1 is faulty. What it should say is the if one can't differentate between two things then they must share the same property. Furthermore, it would require what "differentiate" entails.

So, without further eloquence I come to the reformed argument that I belief rectifies these difficulties. Remember please to criticise the argument. We can discuss the consequenses of the conclusion later, but of immediate importance is whether or not the premises are true and the conclusion follows from them.

P1 However one chooses to distinguish between a human organism, A, with the right to life and a human organism, B, without the right to life (and without B having made a choice to forfeit those rights by B's actions ie: Murderers who are constant threats to others) then one will always find a possible human, C, without the right to life under the deffinition one uses to differentiate between A and B but who in fact has the right to life under the current justice system.

P2 It is illogical, immoral and illegal to distinguish between a human organism, A, with the right to life and human organism, B, without the right to life without 1) Just Cause and 2)being consistent in the deffinition under the law.

In the current system of law, one cannot distinguish between a human organism, A, with the right to life and a human organism, B, without the right to life legally, morally or logically.

Just Cause is defined as:

1) Demonstrating a clear intrinisic difference/change between what one considers human organism A (with the right to life) and human organism B (without the right to life) that provides sufficient reason to deny the right to life to organism B.

2. The argument demonstrating this change must be sound. That is, All mammals are warm blooded means that human organism under 2 can be legally killed is not a sound argument. The conclusion does not follow from the premises.

Just Cause is an integral part of this argument. We easily say that I or whomever is reading this argument has the right to life. Therfore, intuitively we see this need in humanity. Part of the support for this idea of humanities intuitive support for life comes from the fact that humans, for the most part, promote killing another human, x, only when x tries to divert from the aforementioned intuition by either 1) killing another human 2) Threatening to kill another human or 3) Removing another humans quality of life in such a way that a perceived death occurs for other humans. It could also be argued that we have this same intuition (provided someone is not seriously disturbed) for all life. We hesitate to kill without sufficient reason. This is compounded when the killing is of other human organisms. Therfore, I would say that it must be demonstrated why the right to life must be taken from another living thing, especially a human organism. For animals, this can be done a bit more easily. We need them to live. We eat them. It could perhaps be that in more advanced countries this is not so, but in general eating some meat allows at least a healthier life.

Furthermore, the fact that someone must demonstrate sufficient reason to deny the right to life protects racial, gender, religious, ect discriminations from becoming a genocide. Thus the argument puts the burden for defining the difference between organism A and organism B on someone else, while protecting against unjust discrimination.

For example, consider the premise that:
1) All human organisms under 28 weeks old do not have the right to life

This cannot follow. One reason is that time is not an intrinsic change. If it were, I could say the all people over age 90 do not have the right to life. The only way then to differentiate between organism A and organism B is to use a developmental deffinition which I believe, in any possible instance, can fall into premise 1 of the initial argument and then not satisfy condition 2 of premise 2 (consistency).

Furthemore, the current differentiation between organism A and organism B used in the Supreme Court is thrown out by this argument. It is concievable that a possible person C can be at conception put into a machine that simulates the womb. Thus, the human organism is viable. Therfore, the viability argument does not demonstrate intrinsic change in the organism since the womb is just another way for the human organism to recieve nurishment.

It could be argued though that there is a difference between the womb and a machine simulating the womb. This is the argument that the mother does not wish to be used as an environment for the human organism created within her. This is the heart of the pro abortion argument. However, premise 1 comes to the rescue with the idea of possible human organisms currently protected under the law. Let us suppose that siamese twins are born with one twin having all the vital organs necessary to live and the other lacking, say, a heart. The twin with all of the organs necessary for life may not want to be used to keep another alive, but nonetheless they are in that position and the second twin without the heart is protected under the law.

I really think this argument works. Let me know and thanks for the input,