The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life
Oxford University Press, Jan 3, 2002 - Philosophy - 560 pages
This magisterial work is the first comprehensive study of the ethics of killing, where the moral status of the individual killed is uncertain. Drawing on philosophical notions of personal identity and the immorality of killing, McMahan looks carefully at a host of practical issues, including abortion, infanticide, the killing of animals, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.
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abortion accept According Account actual allow animals argument assume basis become begin believe better body brain capacities cause cease child claim comparable conception condition consciousness consider considerations constitute continuing to live course death depends determine developed distinct earlier effect egoistic concern equal example exist explanation fact fetus function future give given harm human identity implies important individual individual’s infant Innocent intrinsic intuitions involving killing later least less letting live loss matter means mental merely mind misfortune moral nature necessary normal noted objection occur one’s organism Patient perhaps permissible person possible potential preference pregnant present problem psychological psychological capacities question rational reason relation relevant respect response retarded seems sense severely significant sort soul species status strong suffering sufficient suggested suppose things threat time-relative interest true unity victim well-being whole woman worse worth wrong
Page 10 - For if the identity of soul alone makes the same man, and there be nothing in the nature of matter why the same individual spirit may not be united to different bodies, it will be possible that those men living in distant ages, and of different tempers, may have been the same man: which way of speaking must be, from a very strange use of the word man, applied to an idea, out of which body and shape are excluded.