Saturday, 8 September 2012

Two "Liberal" Stances: Abortion and Obligations to Future Generations

I've recently been musing about the relationship between the ethics of abortion and our obligations to future generations.

It's often supposed that our responsibility to look after the environment comes from our duties towards future generations. However, according to liberal stances on abortion, we don't have obligations to a fetus that (who) is not yet a person; the person simply doesn't exist at that stage, so there is no question of them having a right to life or any such thing.

So, can we have duties towards people who don't exist (yet)? If not, is there some other way to understand environmental ethics? If so, can we really justify abortion on the grounds that the relevant person simply doesn't (yet) exist?

I can see various ways in which the tension here can be reduced, but I'm not convinced it can be eliminated without serious revision of one of the two stances.


  1. Haha liberals think that having children is extremely draining on the earth's resources and would say that the concept of 'intergenerational equity' demands that we have more abortions so as to reduce our carbon footprint and 'save the earth for our future generations'. So kill more babies to save the environment for the babies. What utter rubbish! They want trees and plants to have rights and yet deny them to human beings.

    Good job on the blog by the way. Children do ask many tough questions. In a fatherless generation, I salute you sir for taking an interest in your daughter's education and bringing up her up in the way she should go. May you have the wisdom to continue to protect her from the evils of this world.

  2. More Disqus Testing

  3. Still testing Disqus comments


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