Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wisdom ethics part 3: Applied to abortion

Wisdom ethics part 3: Applied to abortion

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Aric Clark said...

This is a good overview of your thought on the subject, but without, I think, a strong demonstration of the peculiar value of Wisdom Ethics as you have described it. You basically treat each of the three streams discretely and don't come to any conclusions as how they should influence each other.

How, in the case of abortion, does a virtue approach influence the conclusions you might get from a results approach or a rules approach? If I decide, for example, that the "rule" of protecting innocent life trumps the "rule" of preserving autonomy, then how is this conclusion influenced by a results analysis which tells me that illegalizing abortion is a tactic unlikely to succeed in achieving the ends I desire?

I felt like there was a lot of good analysis here and not enough synthesis. I know it is tough to do and you're trying to keep the article short etc... just trying to grapple with what I think is a very good idea.

Doug Hagler said...

Hmm - I felt like I answered the question you put forward, but maybe it was just implied. Part of the problem is that you have potentially 9 different one-to-one interactions, and if you add one-to-one-to-another you get 27 to consider for a single simple question. That's just hard to cover. I'm not sure how to do more with limited space, but I have a couple ideas for another post or two, and then we'll see.

Eddie Louise said...

The problem is, with the abortion issue, we keep looking for a broad spectrum political answer to an issue that is basically an individual highly subjective situation.

It has long been a joke that some people are unfit to breed - we like to make snarky comments about forced sterilization etc. In the end run, as a society we leave the choice to become a parent up to the individual. This means we have un-fit parents, but it is better than the alternative of having our government or any outside force determine when and if we are allowed to procreate.

The abortion debate, like the birth control debate before it enters these dangerous waters.

It is a fact trumpeted by the left and largely ignored by the right that making abortion illegal does not stop abortions from happening.

So what is the ethical person to do?

I have chosen the following approach: I personally believe abortion to be only the option of last resort - so firstly - I will educate my daughter and son to be responsible sexually to avoid getting into a situation where they feel an abortion to be necessary. Secondly I will create an atmosphere of support - both emotional and financial which makes abortion unnecessary. Thirdly, I will reach out to all the young women I know with the same offer of education and support.

I have the power to overcome abortion - not by law, but by kindness. It may take a generation or two or even more to remove the stigma of unwanted pregnancy - to adequately educate both girls AND boys on proper use of birth control and to create a society that spends more energy on support, love and understanding then on condemnation and hatred. When we do that we can stop abortion. Nothing else will work.