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Flashcards in Final Deck (49):

Moral Standing

A definition: X has moral standing if and only if there exists a moral agent Y such that Y has duties toward X

In other words: To say that X has moral standing is to say that X has moral rights


Cognitive Traits

X has rights (we have duties to X) if X has some morally relevant cognitive traits


Roe vs. Wade

1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court Ruling

Required legal access to abortion in the first two trimester
Rejected claims that the early fetus has legal standing
Based in part on the legal right to privacy



Floats free in the uterus
Cells are undifferentiated:
Identical twins can form during this stage
Cells can also be artificially divided for purposes of creating stem cells line for therapy


Fabric of Society Argument

The social order and in particular is suggestive of the idea that social order is mad or many "threads" that are "woven together and cohesive. Foundational system maintains the function of society.


Marry Ann Warren (1973)

“On the Moral and Legal Statue of Abortion”

The term “human being” has two distinct, but not often distinguished senses. This results in a slide of meaning, which serves to conceal the fallacy in the traditional argument that, since (1) it is wrong to kill innocent human beings, and (2) fetuses are innocent human beings, therefore (3) it is wrong to fill fetuses. For if “human being” is used in the same sense in both (1) and (2), then whichever of the two sense is meant, one of these premises is question-begging. And if it is used in different senses, then the conclusion does not follow.

Conclusion: Since fetuses do not have these capacities, they do not have moral standing, therefore, abortion is not immoral


Don Marquis

“An Argument that Abortion is Wrong”

What makes killing wrong?

Killing is not wrong because it causes pain, since it is possible to kill without pain.
What matters to us is we want to have more life, a future.
The kind of futures that matter ethically are human-like futures.



‘Future like ours’

Killing is wrong because it deprives someone of a ‘future like our’ (FLO)


Judith Jarvis Thomson

“A Defense of Abortion”

The violinist analogy: Suppose you were hooked up without your consent to a world-famous violinist, whose mysterious disease required constant blood transfusions from you (and only you) for the next nine months. If you disconnect yourself, the violinist will die.

By analogy, a woman is not obligated to carry a fetus to term even if the fetus has moral standing


Irene Pepperbeg & Alex (African Gray Parrot)

Vocabulary of over 50 items

Alex can discriminate different colors, shapes and materials.
Also can discriminate categories of items: if given a blue star and asked “what color?” Alex will say “blue” rather than “star”



Kanzi is a male bonobo & Sue Savage-Rumbaugh (1980s &1990s)
Large vocabulary (~1000 words) and simple grammatical recognition



Possess identical DNA to her mother - identical twin to mother
Created through normal sexual reproduction
The result of 277 trials, producing 29 embryos that lasted longer than six days, only one of which came to term
Died young (6 years old)
Early speculation suggested accelerated aging, but this has not been born out


Jus Ad Bellum

Justice of War
When it is legitimate to initiate war or defend one’s country?


Jus In Bello

Justice in War
What are the limits to conduct in conflict (e.g., torture of prisoners, killing of civilians)


Traditional Jus War Criteria

1) Just cause
2) Legitimate Authority
3) Right Intention
4) Proportionality
5) Reasonable Chance of Success
6) Last Resort
7) Public Declaration of War


Falklands War (1982)

Argentina &; Great Britain
Initiated by Argentine invasion of Falklands island
Nearly 1,000 British and Argentine soldiers died over island population of under 3,000


Total War

Impacts of World War I & II
Shift to total war and the link of industrial economics with war-making capability


Geneva Convention & Protocols

Series of international law agreements limiting of conduct in war
~1864: Rules for protection of prisoners of war, treatment of wounded & infirm
~1925: Geneva Protocol bans chemicals & biological weapons
~1929: 1948: Convention on the Prevention & Punishment of the Crime of Genocide


R2P (Right to Protect)

Argument for: Some crimes by states against their own people are so great that they become illegitimate. In some cases, the world community has an obligation to intervene

Argument Against: Violates traditional absolute sovereignty of states, goes back to the Treaty of Westphalia (1648). Currently contrary to international law. Issue of mixed motives: who polices the policeman?


Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (1943)

Little hope of success but also no real alternative
Issue: It can be hard to tell when success if unjustified (e.g., history of invasions of Afghanistan by UK, USSR, &; US)


Pre-Emptive Strike

Issue: If you see your opponent mobilizing for war, why wait until they attack, when you can win (& possibly save lives) by attacking first?
Problem: How can we tell when the pre-emptive strike is merely an excuse for aggressive war (slippery slope argument/fallacy)


Pluripotent Stem Cells

Can turn into any of the approx. 120 kinds of cells in the body.
Stem Cells: Cells that can still differentiate into other cells


Michael Pollan & the Natural Law Argument

Main Argument: Humans are by nature meat eaters and animal users.
Humans are also by nature sympathetic to animal suffering


Gene Therapy

An experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease. Replaces a faulty gene or adds a new gene in an attempt to cure disease or improve your body's ability to fight disease


Positive Eugenics

Improve our condition
(Genetic Engineering for enhancement)
The idea of breeding for 'desirable' traits to improve the human race


Negative Eugenics

Cure Disease
(Therapeutic Genetic Engineering)
To end certain diseases and disabilities by discouraging or preventing others from reproducing


Pete Singer

Main Argument: Ethics is based on a utilitarian calculation of greatest good for the greatest number, based on aggregate pleasure and pain or preferences.
Animals are ethical subjects because they can experience pleasure and pain.


Traditional Jus War Criteria
Just Cause

Only self-defense in case of attack constitutes a just cause


Traditional Jus War Criteria
Legitimate Authority

Only heads of state/sovereign bodies may declare war


Traditional Jus War Criteria
Right Intention

Linked to just cause: if my cause is just (=self-defense) then I have the right intention


Traditional Jus War Criteria

Basic Concept: The goods attained by the war must be proportionate to the suffering it causes


Traditional Jus War Criteria
Reasonable Chance of Success

If it is thought that the war cannot be won, it should not be fought.
Implication: wars of self-defense are not always justified


Traditional Jus War Criteria
Last Resort

Basic Concept: Because war is so horrible, all other avenues (including diplomacy) should be tried first


Traditional Jus War Criteria
Public Declaration

Linked to:
Democratic processes and public debate.
Rule of Law (both national and international)


Equal Consideration

Peter Singer
Identical interests must be given equal moral weight no matter in what type of being they occur
Equality between animals and their suffering from pain. That animal shouldn't suffer.


Descartes (in context to animal rights)

Maintained that animals cannot reason and do not feel pain; animals are living organic creatures, but they are automata, like mechanical robots. He held that only human is conscious, have minds and souls, can learn and have language and therefore only humans are deserving of compassion.
Animals have no language that means they have no reason.
Mechanics made out of meat.


Mirror Test

Developed by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. In 1970 as a method for determining whether a non-human animal has the ability of self-recognition. The MSR test, an animal is anesthetised and then marked (e.g., painted or a sticker attached) on an area of the body the animal cannot morally see. When the animal recovers from the anesthetic, it is given access to a mirror. If the animal then touches or investigates the mark, it is taken as an indication that the animal perceives the reflected image as itself, rather than of another animal


Therapeutic Cloning

The production of embryonic stem cells for use in replacing or repairing damaged tissues or organs, achieved by transferring a diploid nucleus from a body cell into an egg whose nucleus has been removed


Genetic Engineering

Direct manipulation of DNA to alter an organism's characteristics in a particular way


Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

A laboratory technique for creating an ovum with a donor nucleus. It can be used in embryonic stem cell research,



The theory that peaceful rather than violent or belligerent relations should govern human intercourse an that arbitration, surrender or migration should be used to resolve disputes


Designer Clone

Taking a cell from an adult and combining it with a human egg to make an identikit clone of the adult. This is the ultimate pedigree child with guaranteed genes.


Tom Regan

"Four normal, adult humans and a dog will all die unless one of the humans scarifies his life or one of the humans or the dog is thrown overboard. Would it be wrong to throw the dog overboard in these dire circumstances? I do not believe it would, and I argue that the rights view supports this judgement... It would be wrong to use a million dogs overbid to save the four human survivors, assuming the lifeboat case were otherwise the same. But neither would it be wrong to cast a million humans overboard to save a canine survivor, if the harm death would be for the humans was, in each case, less than the harm death would be for the dog"


Reproductive Cloning

Involves the implantation of a cloned embryo into a real or an artificial uterus. The process of embryo splitting in which a single early stage two cell embryo is manually divided into two individual cells and then grows as tow identical embryos


Beast Machine Thesis

Descartes argued that animals just are biological machines.
Just as machines lack thought and language so do animals.
Parrots mimic what we say they don't know language.


Kant's & Indirect Duties to Animals

Believed that animals were mere things it appears he did not genuinely believe we could dispose of them any way we wanted. Our duties to animals are indirect and derive from our duty to respect and foster the ends of humanity (categorical imperative)


Doctrine of Double Effect

That If doing something morally good has a morally bad side-effect it's ethically okay to do it providing the bad side-effect wasn't intended. This is true even if you foresaw that the bad effect would probably happen.


Self-Defense Analogy

Respect for autonomy of others constrained by respect for autonomy of others. One respect the moral irrationality of another by treating the irrational person as he/she deserves.


Mennonites & Pacifism

Mennonites & other Anabaptists take Jesus's saying literally: war and killing is always wrong. Members of certain Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist.Over the years, Mennonites have become known as one of the historic peace churches be chase of their commitment to pacifism.