Sunday, July 31, 2016

Normed Consequentialism

From guest blogger, Charlie.

Consequentialism is defined as the individual should do the most good they can, that it is immoral not to do so.  Proposition Q is defined that if a population has a choice that results in the same number of 
human lives, there is a moral obligation to choose the better outcome.  Simply put, in all cases that Proposition Q applies Consequentialism applies and therefore if we reject Proposition Q, doesn't this 
completely undermine Consequentialism because it is broader?

If we say yes, then all the Consequentialist arguments that we have heard up to this point are all unsound.  That any argument with a tinge of action for the greater good in whatever fashion is rejected.  That's a lot.  This includes arguments from Singer, Norcross, Southan, La Follette, Pojman, Brennan, and Allhoff. This refutation of so much work is a bit extreme, the desire to do so indicates that Consequentialism needs to be revisited.

The key issue here is that while Consequentialism asserts the existence of a moral order, it is determinable if action one is morally superior than action two, it does not assert the existence of a moral metric, that one can determine a number, call it moral degree, that corresponds 
to how good an action is.  I think if Consequentialism is to survive, then this notion of a moral metric must be defined in some manner.  If it is defined then additionally one needs to determine a constant M, the boundary of moral permissibly.  Given a set of moral actions with a maximum difference in moral degree less than M, then these actions would all be considered morally equivalent.   This metric and boundary would remove the problem of Consequential Fidelity, the notion that 
Consequentialism demands the best good action in even the most comparable cases.

To give an example, let us consider the case of holding a door for someone else or not.  Under Vanilla Consequentialism, in most cases it is morally wrong for you not to hold the door for another.  You have already expended the effort to open the door, if the other is in sufficient proximity, the total amount of effort expended is less if you hold the door than if the other has to reopen it.  Therefore the choice to hold the door is slightly better than not doing so, and is therefore the good choice, the morally obligatory choice.  On the other hand with Normed Consequentialism, it wouldn't matter.  Sure one action is slightly superior but the difference, it is assumed, would be negligible, that is less than M.  Since it is ridiculous to apply morality to such trivial actions it seems that Normed Consequentialism is better in this case and in general.

The "Wisdom" of Repugnance

From guest blogger, Michael.

Though it was only briefly mentioned in class, I'm interested in the 'Wisdom of Repugnance', less so for its moral validity, more so for its implications.

The idea is criticized for being an appeal to emotion, and thus intrinsically fallacious, which is undeniably true.  Disgust is not a good barometer for morality as shown by movements such as slavery, anti-semitism, prohibition, etc..

Yet somewhat contrarily, one has to concede that disgust is relevant not only as an evolutionary mechanic to avoid disease (fear of bugs, sores, rotting food, etc.) but also in some social norms (incest, murder... table etiquette?). These fears or anxieties usually don't merit a logical explanation because they are generally accepted as valid. 

It is when the emotion is "co-opted" morally into non-relevant phenomena such as xenophobia that it loses its validity. Consider the cavemen days where xenophobia would be contributory to survival (other tribes were generally hostile), however, and disgust suddenly seems normative, or at the very least justifiable in a primitive context.

Perhaps we simply live in a time where social change occurs faster than we can adapt our evolutionary intuitions.  But then can any deep-seated intuition really be considered normative? We operate plenty on the "pleasure over pain" idea, as well as the assumption that that warm, tingly feeling indicates moral behavior. What do you guys think?

The Ethics of Cloning

From guest blogger, Leona.

Two days ago, I came across this article on reddit saying that clones of Dolly the sheep aged healthily. They did not show premature age-related problems. The researchers still need to look into the telomere aspects of those clones of a clone, but this at least demonstrated that cloning will not necessarily led to shortened lifespan. Even though these clones might still be prone to having genetic defects and detrimental mutations due to shortened telomere, the fact that their lifespan is largely unaffected can undermine arguments that are similar to Allhoff’s (i.e. cloning is not morally permissible because the clones are expected to have a life that is shorter than the general population and are more likely to have genetic defects).

However, considering the high level of stigma against cloning, I doubt if this recent finding would make cloning more acceptable to many. Besides the Principle Q argument, the slippery slope argument, and the family ethics argument we discussed in class, there are some other interesting arguments against cloning. Two of them are very similar: one argued that cloning is immoral because the clone’s identity is compromised due to having the same genotype as someone who have already lived, thus denied his or her chance to have an open future; the other argued that by having the same genotype as someone else, the clone’s dignity is violated because he or she cannot have a unique genetic identity. One major problem with these two arguments is that they both neglect the roles of nurture, environment, and epigenetic factors. They both made the mistake of genetic essentialism, which assumed genotype is the only determinant factor of one’s identity. In addition, in the case of the second argument we should kill one of the identical twins so the living one can have a unique genetic identity. 

link to the clones of Dolly the sheep:

* On another note, there's an article that is associated with last week's topic, marriage equality, that I found very interesting. Some queer activists are criticizing the marriage equality movement because marriage has a history of being used as a tool for government control of minorities, and the movement was largely planned out by the gay 1% and reinforced the normative view of relationships. In addition, marriage equality was presented as a way to solve healthcare and immigration status issues for minority groups. The authors argued that these issues should be addressed separately in queer activism.

The Ethics of a Clone Army

May the Force Morals Be With You

From guest blogger, Lee.

(Although honestly you should've watched Star Wars by now if you haven't...)
Let me start off by saying that the production of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was an immoral act in and of itself. It's widely  argued to be the worst of the three prequel films, with a heavy emphasis on SGI for most of its scenes. One of the main reasons for this overhaul in green screen technology was the necessity to show a mass clone army, bred for the Republic (which is pretty much the government of the entire galaxy). As we talked about the morals of cloning on Earth, I couldn't help but to think of George Lucas' "galaxy far, far away".

The basic premise of the movie is this: A clone army is made to defend the galaxy and fight against the droid armies of the Confederacy (a part of the galaxy that is trying to secede from the Republic and uses mainly robots to do its fighting). The clones are far more superior than the droids because they can "think creatively" in battles. Though the clones are human, genetic engineering manipulated them to follow every command they were given by their masters, without question.  And although they can think creatively to follow carry out an order, they do not have wills of their own, and have no desire to become independent.
I got to thinking: Would it really be immoral to create a clone army if they would be barely human at all? We ourselves have wants, desires, ambition...what if the clones were programmed so that they could not hold such emotions? Heck, we could even engineer their DNA so that they don't feel pain. We would be okay with sending robots into battle, why not beings bred just for the purpose of war?
And what if the beings looked far different than us? Have you ever seen Lord of The Rings? The bad guy Saruman created the army of monstrous looking Uruk-Hai to feel no emotion other than hate and to desire only one thing: to kill. If we created a beast for war, although it'd be pretty scary and unreal to us, would it be immoral? Wouldn't it be worse if we sacrificed the lives of soldiers? Or should we just use nukes and call it a day?

Elitist Voting: Democracy collapse into Dictatorship or Slavery System

From guest blogger, Yi.

 In class, we discussed one of the suggestions on voting, which is only allowing people who know politics to vote. It is called elitist voting. I would like to divide elitist voting into two types and define different types of elitist voting. (There might be more types, but this blog will not cover.)
            The first elitist voting is positive elitist voting: elitists do the best the can to improve the society and policies. The second elitist voting is negative elitist voting: elitist’s corruption happens in this case and elitists would only vote for politicians who would benefit their own elitist groups. (It sounds like Democracy voting with small range of people)I would like to discuss how negative elitist voting could make democracy collapse into dictatorship or slavery system and what results negative elitist voting could lead.
            The huge problem for negative elitist voting is that groups of elitists might only vote for the candidate who makes the best policies for elitist groups. When political candidates realize that what they need to do for winning is just to create the best policies for elitist group, they would start making policies only to benefit these groups. Eventually there will be less politicians care about the rights and policies for the other groups cause their supporters are only from elitists. The power of elitists group will be too strong to control. The government will actually be controlled by elicits group instead. There would not be democracy anymore but just a group of elitists (dictators) to make up rules and ask other people to follow.
There might be another problem caused by negative elitist voting. There is a possibility that negative elitist voting would break the peace of the society. When elitists want to take charge of the whole society and manipulate the government, new slavery system might be formed. Politicians would set up certain rules based on elitists’ will to enslave non-elitist people in certain ways. In order to keep benefiting themselves the most, elitists group might prevent other people from learning and knowing policies. People who know politics will have privileges in the society. People who do not know politics will be forced to follow the social contracts made up by people who know politics. However, this might lead a huge disparity between elitist groups and other groups. Once people realize that the whole society is manipulated by certain group of people, they would feel unsatisfied and raise social movements. Some movement might lead to violence and wars. (These consequences only based on empirical predictions, but it is plausible if negative elitist voting really happen.)   

Gene Editing – Designer Babies

From guest blogger, Jane.

With the enhanced recognition of the importance of the biotechnology, scientists are now making possible for couples to go for made-to-order designer babies. Designer baby, one of the human genetic engineering projects, is a direct manipulation on human’s genes. Designer babies are born with certain traits and have the selected desired qualities by using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) which is also called pre-implantation genetic profiling, referring to genetic screening of embryos prior to implantation and sometimes even of oocytes prior to fertilization. The main advantage of a designer baby is to reduce the chances of being born with several serious diseases.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks of this make-to-order baby. First of all, changing a baby’s DNA is risky, and there might be unexpected and different levels of damage to the baby. Genetic engineering project itself may not work properly. Selecting a specific type of trait such as hair color may turn off a different type of gene. This problem will not manifest until the baby was born. In addition, the existence of designer babies may make this society unbalanced. In some regions and areas, couples prefer male babies to female ones. In the future, millions of males will finally die out. 

Killing vs. Letting Die

From guest blogger, Julie.

Is there a moral difference between killing and letting die? I don’t know if I buy that you can “let someone die.” When you have the power to prevent someone’s death and you don’t intervene, you’re killing them.

Killing is defined as the act of causing someone’s death, especially deliberately. When you make the decision to allow the process of someone dying to continue, you are killing them. If you have time to think through your options: save them or watch them die, and you choose to watch them die, you have deliberately decided to end their life. 

Take for example a victim of a car crash. You are the only one around. If you were to call 911, an ambulance would come and provide necessary medical care to save the victim. If you don’t call 911, the victim is sure to die a painful death. Your phone gets great service so you have complete capability to call for help. You decide you don’t want to call, are you still letting the victim die? It seems to me that you are causing the victim’s death, deliberately since you make the conscious decision to not call. That sounds a lot like killing. 

Now let’s change the scenario slightly: unfortunately, your phone doesn’t get great service. Now you can’t help by calling 911. All you can do is watch the victim die a painful death… or you could end their suffering and allow them to finish their life without grueling pain. Does “letting die” seem to be the greater moral choice in this situation? Either way their life is going to end and you could help relieve some pain if you kill them.

What do you guys think? Is there a difference between “letting someone die” and killing them? Instinctually there seems to be a difference, but I just can’t find it. And how do you think this applies to the debate over euthanasia? 

Active vs. Passive Euthanasia

From guest blogger, Wadea.

Bioethics is the study of moral values as they apply to medicine in clinical settings. Two very relevant and controversial ethical issues in medicine and science today are Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) and euthanasia.
The difference between the two is simple: PAS is the person doing the actual killing, only assisted by the doctor, whereas euthanasia is the doctor doing the killing. Two different people are physically doing the killing with the same intention behind the act in each case—to end a person’s life who has given extended consent, experiencing deep pain, without a valuable future, and will die in the near future, regardless of any treatment. The official position of the World Medical Association is: "Physicians-assisted suicide, like euthanasia, is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession. Where the assistance of the physician is intentionally and deliberately directed at enabling an individual to end his or her own life, the physician acts unethically. However, the right to decline medical treatment is a basic right of the patient and the physician does not act unethically even if respecting such a wish results in the death of the patient.” I agree with the consistency of the position—that BOTH cases are seen as morally impermissible; however, I disagree with the direction of their position. What is our reasoning, morally speaking (and for those with religious beliefs—religious reasons), for arguing that these two acts are always wrong.
Let me propose a thought experiment. Imagine you are a soldier at war, fighting for your country. You see your brother, your best friend and partner in crime, lying in the dirt, grasping for air. You notice that he has both legs chopped off, a bullet in his neck, in which it is only a matter of time before he dies, a slow, painful death. You say your goodbyes. He asks you to shoot him in a place he will instantly die in order to surpass the suffering that is inevitably already occurring and ahead. Would this be a “wrongful” act of killing? Would it be morally impermissible for you to grant his wishes? What would be the alternative? Let your brother you care so much about suffer even greater pain? Would it be justifiable if he shoots himself, making him reach over for the gun when that is the last place he wants to exert any energy left into. Or, would you use your best moral discernment at that moment, knowing killing him is probably the best option, allowing him to go to a place where there will be no more pain, no more suffering, saving him from going through the trouble of having to do it himself.
What position do the rest of you take? Is it possible to view one of these as ethical and the other as unethical?

Voting Rights

From guest blogger, Olivia.

Voting in the United States is one of the practices many Americans take pride in to voice their opinion in how the country is run. Most consider is a right. However, it we have a right to vote, its questionable whether or not we have the right not to vote. Although much has been sacrificed for the right to vote in the United States and voting makes up our democracy there are several reasons why people have the right not to vote as well.

Specifically, for minorities, the right to vote has been a more treacherous battle but it can be argued that the governmental system is still unfair and biased, which is reason why some chose not to participate in a broken system. Those who feel like there is not hope through the present system, feel like it can only maintain the current unequal system and not real change can come about by participating in it; contrarily it would have to be overturned. To require participating in what some would call corrupt would be infringing on people’s personal freedoms and autonomy. There is also a possibility that not one to vote for with aligning values so voting would be purposeless for them if the candidates they have to vote for have none of their values and defeat the whole democratic process that may require people to vote.

Stem Cells and Slippery Slopes

From guest blogger, William.

In class we talked about stem cells and the moral arguments for and against the use of them. There are two types of stem cells. The first type is Human Embryonic Stem Cells (HESC). These are harvested from embryos inside of the womb and have many medical and industrial uses. The moral arguments against using this type of stem cell are very similar to the moral arguments against abortion. The second type is Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPS). These are created from skin cells and have the same uses as HESCs. The moral argument against using IPSs is interesting to say the least. Because IPSs are created using skin cells which are readily available and slough off of our bodies constantly, the arguments that are used to paint the use of HESCs as immoral do not work. Pretty much every modern philosopher thinks that the use of IPSs is completely moral. However, some philosophers have still tried to call the use of IPSs immoral. To do so they have made use of the slippery slope fallacy.

The slippery slope fallacy is a dangerous argument to use. In my opinion, it is an extremely poor argument to use in almost any debate. The premise of this argument is that the use of IPSs for medical and industrial use would send society down a dangerous path. This argument conjures up images of clone armies and forced cell harvesting, things that are clearly immoral. The issue with this argument is that it is essentially fear-mongering. There is no evidence that the use of IPSs will lead to the consequences laid out previously. Another problem with this argument is that it does not allow for any middle ground. It implies a direct movement from the use of IPSs for medical use and product testing to clone armies. However, the world simply does not work that way. Nature and society always regress back to the mean. While extremes may happen they are extremely unlikely. Yes, unintended consequences are guaranteed from any decision. But, in this argument they are simply incomprehensible. The argument against IPS use is a futile grasp at straws.

Affirmative Action Policy

From guest blogger, Alex.

The topic that struck the most interest in me was the discussion we had on affirmative action on Monday. Going into this situation, I was not in favor. The blunt reason was that I am a white male and feel as if it is working against me. However, by diving into the objections and claims by Pojman, I believe it is wrong for different reasons. The basis of affirmative action is to create an opportunity for all people to have an equal chance, and to minimize or stop discrimination. The first idea is that affirmative action requires discrimination against another group. Sure, it can be argued that the discrimination is lesser with affirmative action. However, the problem is discrimination, and there is still discrimination. Therefore, affirmative action doesn’t provide a solution to the base problem at hand, it just creates another form.

Second, Pojman says AA encourages mediocrity and incompetence. I wouldn’t stretch as far to say this, because I don’t think it necessarily “encourages” mediocrity. It doesn’t. However, I do believe that it undermines the principle of merit, and I believe this is wrong. Basing your hires off of skin color and not value is not how I think a business should be run.

This isn’t racism. It is the opposite of racism. Skin color does not make one person more valuable or worthy for a job. In my eyes, the background of a person is significant.

A white man can grow up his entire life in a neighborhood with all black men. Everything he does is associated with the black culture. Why does it matter that his skin color is white? On the other hand, a black man can grow up in a neighborhood full of white men. If he lives there from birth to adulthood, the chances are that he will act like those of white culture. Why does it matter that his skin color is black? It doesn’t make a difference in any way other than pigment, which should not have a role in the hiring of jobs. 

Brennan and the Right to Vote

From guest blogger, Aria.

Brennan argues that we have a right to vote; a right that needs to be legally protected, but the right to vote he argues, does not entail the rightness of voting. His main argument is that we have a duty to abstain from engaging in a collectively harmful activity, when such an activity does not pose a significant personal costs to us.

It’s worth mentioning that Brennan is not arguing that we have a duty to vote well, but a duty not to vote badly. He argues that irresponsible voters that do not have adequate knowledge about majority of the policies of a candidate, have a moral duty to abstain from voting rather than voting blindly (again he is not arguing that such individuals should face legal charges, he is only arguing solely from a moral perspective)

As it was discussed in class, some found this view really elitist and voiced their concerns that such moral duty infringes on citizen’s right to vote. I however, argue that his belief, although seemingly demanding, is morally sound. I think, we would all agree that if we were to have a surgery done on our heart, we would want our surgeon to be as competent as a surgeon can possibly be.  I argue that the same moral intuition should apply to the political decisions that we make. Such decisions determine policies that are going to have lasting effects on the lives of millions of people. Thus, it seems imperative to me that the political decisions that we make, through our votes, need to reflect the policies that are not harmful to the general public and the nation as whole.

Some might argue that it is often difficult to predict the consequences of many policies, thus such a duty is not morally plausible. But, note that Brennan is arguing that as long as we are voting on the basis of strong evidence, and some basic knowledge about those policies we are not doing anything morally wrong. What constitutes bad voting is “voting without sufficient evidence for harmful or unjust policies”. Furthermore, I argue that we are usually good at predicting what counts as a good policy based on some minimal research and some basic background knowledge. For instance, it’s been known for years that trickle-down economics fails to result in economic growth. Thus we have evidence that in majority of cases when such policy has been enacted it has failed. (one example is our own state where such policies have massively failed to cause economic growth) Thus, we have sufficient evidence that such policies would be harmful.  If I vote for a politician upholding such economic policy, even unknowingly, I believe that I have failed as citizen, since such decision could potentially harm not just me but millions of other people. Consequently, I completely agree with the argument Brennan puts forth.

What do you guys think? If you disagree with him, can you come up with counterarguments to explain why  he is wrong and such a moral obligation is unjustifiable?

Genetics and Moral Issues

From guest blogger, Rachel.

As a geneticist, I find the topics of cloning and stem cells very interesting. They are controversial, and their future ethical implications are unknown. For me there is not much to consider on the stem cell debate: I have always approved of both, and now that iPS is functional to reprogram cells, the debate is small. Cloning, however, has interesting implications for the future. I don’t agree with Allhoff’s argument for the immorality of cloning but I do think it would be unethical to clone for the purposes of a child. The hard part is that the potential research is very interesting, but that can be done with stem cells. It just all still seems so futuristic, but it’s the present. With epigenetics being studied more in depth, I wonder if something from that will arise to create another reason for the immorality of cloning for children. 

Should We Have Compulsory Voting

From guest blogger, Tessa.

I’ve had a hard time deciding how I feel about compulsory voting. Voter turnout in the United States has been extremely low, around 60% in the last few years, because the likelihood that one a single vote influences the outcome of an election is negligible. See suggest that compulsory voting will increase the legitimacy of the democratic government. I don’t necessarily believe that there will be market failure if we do not implement this policy, but I do think it could be beneficial. Because there is such a low voter turnout, there would be less margin of error in counting machines (such as the event in 2000, where the error exceeded the margin of victory for Bush). See also foresees that the electorate would be more representative of all citizens, since the sample is so skewed right now (racially and socio-economically). If people were forced to vote, they would be more inclined to become more informed about the election and candidates. If they are legally required to take time out of their day to vote, they might as well support someone who shares the same ideals and morals. Additionally, this policy would help reduce the role of money in politics and would also force politicians to change their campaign methods. Finally, politicians would have to shift their focus to different sets of issues because there will be new types of voters. Overall, I think this compulsory voting policy would be beneficial, but also doubtful that it will ever be implemented.

Why Cloning Is Immoral

From guest blogger, Ming,

In Allhoff’s article, he argues that it is morally wrong to clone because of some biological consequences that telomerase shortens from duplication. He also mentions cloning is wrong according to principle Q that the number of people survive is the same either decision you make, but it is morally wrong if you choose the worst one if one group of people would live shorter.

I agree that cloning is morally wrong, but not because of principle Q. First of all, I think that reproduction of human is different from reproduction of plants, because generally human reproduction requires combination of sperm and egg. However, cloning just requires DNA from a cell from scalp tissue of one person and I don’t think cloning follows natural law because it simply extract some DNA and produce a very similar “human-alike” product.

Also, I think cloning is different from having babies without genetic testing for diseases. Some people will have pre-marital medical exam before having babies, but it is not for sure that the genetic disorder will pass to next generation. Thus, it is hard for parents to abort babies or change other mates. However, we are hundred percent sure that cloning would shorten animals’ lifetime. It is immoral to make worst choice if you have other choice available.

The Dilemma of Nuclear Power

From guest blogger, Bethany.

In this world of environmental awareness, people are becoming increasingly concerned with efficient, clean energy. Wind and solar power are renewable and clean, but they are far less reliable than fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Despite the controversy surrounding it, nuclear power is a promising and reliable source of clean energy. However, do the risks of nuclear meltdown and contamination outweigh the benefits? Do the supposed environmental risks make the employment of nuclear power plants immoral?

There are several ways in which we can view this problem.  Interestingly, if we look at the issue of nuclear power from a hard-core environmentalist perspective, we may come to different conclusions. On the one hand, an environmentalist may argue that we can best protect the environment by replacing coal-burning plants with nuclear power plants. Nuclear energy does not pollute the environment, and it is extremely safe; the only meltdowns that have occurred were due to human error. On the other hand, some environmentalists may insist that it is immoral to install nuclear power plants because the highly toxic waste from nuclear reactor cores have half-lives of tens to hundreds of thousands of years. Basically, this means that nuclear waste remains radioactive for a very long time and is detrimental to the environment if it is not stored properly. Additionally, there is always the risk of a meltdown, which would cause extreme damage to the environment.

From a Libertarian perspective, nuclear power should be completely moral because it does not infringe on anybody’s personal property rights. In contrast to popular belief, very little radiation is produced from nuclear power plants, so people who live near new plants would not have to relocate.

It is not obvious whether or not Block—who argues that there should be a personal property rights theory for environmental protection—would endorse nuclear power. When we look at the issue empirically, we see that nuclear waste is generally confined without a problem and that meltdowns are almost impossible when a plant is maintained correctly. However, if one believes that nuclear power is a terrible thing, then he or she must consider the effects of both coal and nuclear plants and ask the question, Which is the lesser of the two evils? After the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, many German nuclear power plants were shut down out of fear and replaced with coal-burning plants. Was this the moral decision? Should we be afraid of the chance of something going horribly wrong with a nuclear power plant? Or should we be more fearful of the widespread toll that coal-burning power plants take on environmental aspects such as air quality (which is ruined by burning fossil fuels and which has undoubtedly caused widespread medical issues such as lung disease).

I believe that, in this case, nuclear power plants are a far better option because they do not infringe on our collective personal property rights to breathe clean air, drink clean water, etc. Perhaps there are better options, but until science catches up, nuclear power should be more widely embraced.

Destroying Embryos for Research

From guest blogger, Alex.

We just discussed the use of stem cells for research in class, and I find it to be a very interesting topic. The potential healing benefits of HESC research provide strong grounds in favor of the research. If looked at from a consequentialist perspective, the potential health benefits from the research seem to outweigh the loss of embryos involved and whatever suffering results from that loss for people who want to protect embryos. However, most of those who oppose the research argue that the constraints against killing innocent people to promote social utility apply to human embryos. Thus, as long as we accept non-consequentialist constraints on killing persons, those supporting HESC research must respond to the claim that those constraints apply to human embryos. What do you guys think? Do human embryos have moral status? If so, why? If not, why not?
I think it helps to map out the argument that killing human embryos is immoral. From my very brief research, in its most basic form, the central argument supporting the claim that it is unethical to destroy human embryos seems to go as follows: It is morally impermissible to intentionally kill innocent human beings; the human embryo is an innocent human being; therefore it is morally impermissible to intentionally kill the human embryo. It is worth noting that this argument, if sound, would not suffice to show that all or even most HESC research is impermissible, since most researchers engaged in HESC research do not participate in the derivation of HESCs but instead use cell lines that researchers who performed the derivation have made available. It has now also been shown that embryonic cells can be derived from a human embryo without killing the fetus, so would it still be immoral to conduct HESC research? Let me know what you guys think…is it immoral to conduct stem cell research? Or do the potential health benefits make it morally permissible? Thanks.   

Is Cloning Moral?

From guest blogger, Michael.

A case against the moral permissibility of cloning, when the clones face significantly reduced lifespans, can be made on the basis that procreation through natural means will create offspring with a longer lifespan, and thus a higher quality of life.  Both sides can agree that if cloning could be done in a way that did not significantly lower the lifespan of the clones, it would be morally permissible. 

Well, a study recently released recently shows that a new set of 13 sheep clones are doing just fine.  They have yet to show any signs of premature aging, and are all around in great physical health.  So, assuming that we can now expect to someday live in a world where we can create healthy clones of ourselves, is cloning morally permissible?

Personally, I think it is, but for the sake of this blog post I will provide an argument against it.  Humans have been brought into this world in the same fashion for countless generations.  A man and woman engaging in passionate intimacy to bring new life into the world has some kind of natural value to it.  Humans are the byproduct of love, and that is how it ought to be.  To change this would be to change too fundamental a part of humanity, and cloning does just that.  It takes the grace out of the conception and makes the creation of a person no more significant the manufacturing of material goods.

My opponent may bring up the point that test tube babies have been produced in a somewhat-similar fashion for many years now.  None of the people created through such means seem to live any less dignified kind of life. But the babies conceived in test tubes are still an intimate combination of two beings.  Being nothing more than an identical copy of your parent may make your life seem less significant in some way.  The clone does not have its own sense of self.  It just a second copy.

Obligatory Voting and Morality

From guest blogger, Catherine.

One thing that has been bothering me since we talked about it in class is the idea of obligatory voting. The argument that there’s some sort of market failure when voter participation is lacking sufficiently convinces me on the presidential level, but on a local level it has less power. Like jury duty, it’s one thing to require people to be involved infrequently in government issues such as voting in one election every four years, but it’s a bit much to expect everyone to be informed and vote in every election that is in they’re the vicinity. It’s hard to say that there would be the same kind of market failure on a local level. If not everyone in a small town votes for the city council members, there isn’t going to be any significant negative outcome.  

I also agree to some degree that a voter needs to have information in order vote but the scope of that is also a problem, especially with how it relates to which elections are mandatory. Would it be better to have a voter who is well informed but only votes in the presidential election or one that isn’t informed at all but votes in all of the elections? To me the former seems like the better of the two which would show not only is informed decision actually important but that it negates the obligation to vote in minor elections.

Active and Passive Euthanasia

From guest blogger, Bryan.

In class we discussed about euthanasia which is categorized in two groups, active and passive euthanasia.  Many people including the American Medical Association, hold that active euthanasia is immoral because it involves an intention to kill other by another human. However,   I agree with James Rachels who argues that active euthanasia is morally permissible in certain situations.

We discussed a lot about a comparison between killing and letting die.  If some people think it is morally permissible to use passive euthanasia to help illness people to reduce pain, then there is no difference between active and passive euthanasia because the intention (to reduce pain) and the result will be the same. In fact, practice active euthanasia may be more preferable because it can end up illness people’ life more quickly and happily. Hence, it is to me that practicing active euthanasia is morally permissible. 

Ethics of Voting

From guest blogger, Kendra.

The topic of voting was interesting to me because I never thought of it as something to question morally. It is so relevant with this election coming up. Without support for either candidate that is running for presidency this fall, my solution was that I was not going to vote for either. After discussing in class, I have a different viewpoint.

I think that compulsory voting is moral because if everyone voted it gets us closer to a truer democracy by definition. If the U.S. is going to say they are a democracy, then there should be a moral obligation to have the policies define that and decisions define that. Like See mentions, it is part of our social contract of being part of a country that is a democracy. It is almost like lying if we don’t. It is something that should be just as important as the laws that we have.

One objection is that it would cause a lot of uninformed people to head to the polls for the first time. Since this is a government action they should provide support to help inform voters as well. They would have to put money towards the polls and having non-bias information available. Since people have to vote, they would have more motivation to take part in learning what is happening and making their decision. They could also push for it in curriculum in schools as well where there is a required class to take at the end of high school that explains voting and how to learn non-bias information and research candidates. Compulsory voting is a huge opportunity for everyone.

From this, I will probably go and vote, but the next question I have, is it better to vote for the less of two evils or write in a vote which would pretty much be throwing my vote away anyway? That seems like a whole different moral argument and much more complicated than the one here.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Principle Q and Reproduction

From guest blogger, Kara.

Principle Q can be viewed in a consequentialist paradigm with dangerous implications. If the only morally permissible option is the one with the best consequences, then Michael Phelps and Michelle Obama could be morally obligated to have the best superhuman swimmer, amazing armed babies. Assuming one is morally obligated to mate with the best gene option tiptoes the line of eugenics too close for comfort. However, the defense of Q wherein parents are only obligated to produce the best children that they are able to produce solves this issue.

But, what does “that they are able to produce” mean? That’s entirely subjective. Does it mean that the couple is able to produce? What about those looking for a sperm donor? Is one morally obligated to find the fittest sperm donor with the least gene imperfections? Is picking a sperm donor with known gene abnormalities morally impermissible? Where is the line to draw on obligation vs. ability?

Additionally, I think Q can be contrasted with the anti-abortion argument of a Future-Like-Ours. The Future-Like-Ours argument dictates that abortion is wrong because you are unjustly taking away the future of the fetus that would have entailed playing on a swingset, going for a run, eating a donut, and various other pleasures. Is cloning wrong with a Future-Like-Ours mindset because the clone will have significantly less future than a non-clone? Or-is denying the clone a life worse than giving them an opportunity for a future? 

Some Thoughts On Voting

From guest blogger, Tim.

In class we discussed two arguments related to voting. One was that voting should be mandatory, perhaps even with punishments in place for failing to vote. The other was that it is immoral to make an “uninformed” or “bad” vote.

I personally do not believe that voting should be mandatory. It is certainly possible that there is some sort of “market failure” situation where elections do not actually reflect the beliefs and desires of the public. However, I think this is more likely a result of the inherent nature of the current political system rather than a result of apathy towards voting. When citizens only have at most two viable candidates to choose from, many people’s wishes will not be adequately represented by either choice.  Additionally, a lot of votes are not cast for a candidate – they are cast against the one that is worse. As a result, I don’t see how the election structure as it is will ever not be a failure – even if participation increases, the election results won’t capture public opinion accurately. While I don’t believe mandatory voting would solve any problems, I also don’t support it because fining or imprisoning someone for failing to do something so trivial (to them at least, since they’re not voting) would be wrong.

The argument that it would be wrong to make an uninformed or bad vote wasn’t very appealing to me. I suppose that it might be possible to be doing something wrong by supporting a candidate who will do bad things, but I don’t think there is any sort of way for objectively determining what constitutes a bad candidate. The claim that it would be wrong to make an uninformed vote is stronger, though I’m still unsure what level of information a voter should have before making a decision. Some people are single-issue voters, and if they are extremely informed on that issue but not others, are they making an uninformed vote by voting? Perhaps with respect to the candidates in general, but with respect to what they care about, they are quite informed. It is also often difficult to get information. Candidates talk more about end results than particular plans. For example, we hear that Trump is going to deliver the biggest tax cut in history, create millions more jobs, fix all the bad schools, build a border wall, destroy ISIS everywhere, deport 11 million people, magically make manufacturing jobs reappear and wages increase, increase the size of the “depleted” military, and “help” students with their educational debts. These are essentially all talking points. Anyone interested in the specific policies (the “how” rather than the “what”) or how they will be funded is left hanging. I suppose proponents of this theory that uninformed voting is immoral could just tell us to “do the best we can”, but at this point in the election season, I don’t know with certainty what either of the candidates would do. Ultimately, I find the question “is it immoral to vote badly or with little information?” to be a rather useless one. If no one is going to be prohibited from voting, we should spend our energy on talking to others and informing them, rather than deciding if they are doing something wrong that we’re not willing to stop.

Laissez-Faire Economic Policy

From guest blogger, Liam.

Laissez-faire economic policy fails to address a business's damage/cost to the environment. In a free-market economy, production is determined from where marginal cost maximizes long-run profits. Almost all business's do not take environmental cost into consideration when determining marginal cost. Laissez-faire policy asserts that once the problem becomes relevant enough and costly enough then businesses will react and adjust accordingly. This policy works very well for "normal-goods" but environmental damage is not in the realm of normal goods, it is more than a good (bad) to be considered in a economic problem. Every day we do marginally more damage to the environment but these costs add up over time. If we continued this practice then nobody would have to pay until it was too late. Because of this, the government must intervene to ensure that the economy fairly determines how business production/pollution damages the environment.
Determining a per-unit cost on different pollutants over time is a difficult cost to measure but it provides the necessary incentive for businesses to minimize their environmental damage.
I don't think we can blame businesses for their past transgressions, however. In the free-market, businesses are encouraged to compete with others in their same industry. In order to succeed, most businesses neglected environmental cost. If they had considered economic cost, then their competitors would have bankrupted them by offering lower prices, or higher quality for the same price. So, we must accept that great environmental damage has already been done, and laissez-faire is the economic policy that allowed businesses to produce so carelessly.

Cloning's Implications for Genetics

From guest blogger, Hannah. 

I think it is interesting to look at the cloning case and examine its ethical implications regarding testing for genetic disorders. When discussing Allhoff's argument against current cloning cases he discovers that due to the shortening of telomerase from replications, creating a clone would be deliberately allowing that clone to live a shorter life and be subject to many of the degenerative diseases that come from old age such as various cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and others. In the case of Dolly the sheep clone, she lived for half the life of an average sheep because her cells were taken from a 7-year old sheep. Therefore, Allhoff believes that cloning is immoral and unjustified right now because of its effects on the clone.

I believe that according to these guidelines, it is immoral for parents to avoid genetic testing for diseases such as Huntington's disease, because if they abstain they did not take any preventative measures to keep that child from the pain that may come from a genetic disease. Although Allhoff disagrees with Principle Q, if you have the choice between having two children (at different times, with different people) you ought to choose the time or partner that will provide the child that is better off, he thinks that reproduction is not only aimed to maximize the child's welfare, but instead to create the best child they are able to. However, there are many tests now along with genetic engineering that would allow parents to craft the best child they are able to and therefore they may be morally required to take such genetic tests in order to create the best child that they can and ensure they will not face extreme hardships such as Huntington's disease. This may be difficult for some parents to face because it is not definite that a child will get these diseases, yet sometimes the chance is as high as 50%. If a couple discovered that their child was at higher risk for a genetic disease, the only moral choice would be to abstain from having a child. However, many parents do not want to make this discovery because they want to raise a child and many would take the risk.

Do you think it is moral for a parent to have a child when they have a risk of a genetic disease? Along those lines, do you think parents need to participate in genetic testing before they are allowed to have a child?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Brennan's Viewpoint on Voting in Our Society

From guest blogger, Rei.

Brennan argues that the power to choose the politicians in power is reserved for those who are well-educated regarding public policy and socio-economics who can make a well-informed decision. This is clearly an elitist position, but I feel it is the only way that democracy can coincide with a free market economy. For example, in the United States political system, Private funding of campaigns has allowed large corporations to influence which candidates can compete in the presidential election. While us non-CEOs may have the option to choose between candidates, the candidates who have a shot are those with enough money to campaign and craft their message. Who we choose between is ultimately decided by those CEOs and decision makers of large corporations. When there is unequal distribution of resources, it is without doubt that those with more resources have greater power. In a command economy, this is far less viable because there would be much lower disparities in wealth and education.
I feel that this view is morally permissible because it is necessary in order to have a democratic system in place, while still maintaining a free market. Command economies have a track record of failure and dysfunction, so I feel that this pseudo-democracy is a minor side-effect that we must endure for the benefits of a free market economy.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Why Civil Union Is Not Good Enough

From guest blogger, Leona.

Some argued that if civil unions can be granted the same benefits and privileges as marriage, there is not point for queer people to pursue marriage equality. In that way, the definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman will not be challenged and the government granted all citizens equal rights. I would argue that this kind of practice couldn’t be regard as equality. Marriage is a social construct that has its meaning in the word itself. Just two long-term partners taking care of each other and sharing responsibilities is not a marriage. For example, people are not necessarily married to their roommate even though they might be perfect living together and feel fondly of each other. Having/raising children or having the potential to do so is not a necessary requirement of marriage. Two elderlies can get married. It is also not required to have mutual romantic feelings. No one is testing whether two people truly love each other before they get married. Sometimes, romantic feelings diminish through years and people wouldn’t necessarily get a divorce. The power of marriage is just as the power of money. Money has no intrinsic values. 20 bucks is only a piece of paper without the meaning assigned by the society. The numbers in your account would just be numbers but a form of properties. Marriage is a commitment to keep a union. Just like by imposing an imaginary deadline, a person can be more efficient in writing; by getting married, people can be more aware of the union and their obligations in sustaining the family unit. Stable family units are valuable for a society thus should be encouraged. Most societies do not see civil union as equivalent to marriage and the union will not be given the same meaning by the society.

Singer on Animal Suffering

From guest blogger, Yi.

I do agree with Singer that human beings should stop eating meat based on ethical reasons. However, I do not think his “suffering pain” argument is applicable.
I do believe that we have our moral obligations towards animals. It is not because animals suffer, but because we are human beings. We need to make this distinction between humans and animals first. The main reason why I am not fully convinced by Peter Singer is that he only focuses on the common feelings (pain) between humans and non-humans. Based on Theory of Evolution (which I believe it is true), we are developed from animals. It is common that we share a lot of same and similar behaviors. Both humans, animals need to eat, to drink, to sleep, etc.  When we talk about ethical duties towards animals, what we should focus is why human beings ourselves have these moral duties upon animals and how these duties affect us. (instead animals suffer pains).
It is also hard for Singer to explain why we should not do animal experiment based on his argument. (Maybe he thinks it is also wrong for us to use animals to do experiment. I don’t know his attitude.) But if he thinks that it is permissible for some animals to be used for medical development, then it seems that he contradicts himself. Sometimes lab animals even suffer more tortures than factory animals. Since his theory is impartial, how we supposed to pick and sacrifice certain animals instead of others if animals suffer the same amount of pains.
However, if he denies that lab experiment is permissible, then we should not use animals for medical ways. However, by not doing animal experiments, human beings might suffer a lot of pains because we are not able to find and test new medicine. A lot of human beings will lose wellbeing and might be dead because of the physical and mental pains they suffer. How would Peter Singer make a choice between letting human beings’ suffer and permitting animals to be experimented. As a consequentialist, how would Singer calculate the loss of wellbeing of those people who might be dead because of lacking of new medicine or operations.
He might say that specisism is wrong. Instead of using animals for medical experiment, we can use humans to do medical testing. (Even though I highly doubt that he would say that, probably) We just use ourselves to get what we need. In that case, I think it would involve the discussion about human rights. (I will not discuss in this blog) however, as a consequentialist, he would face a problem that which people can be experimented and what influences would this bring?
In conclusion, I agree that we should stop eating meat but not based on Singer’s reason.

Singer on Animal Suffering

From guest blogger, Yi.

I do agree with Singer that human beings should stop eating meat based on ethical reasons. However, I do not think his “suffering pain” argument is applicable.
I do believe that we have our moral obligations towards animals. It is not because animals suffer, but because we are human beings. We need to make this distinction between humans and animals first. The main reason why I am not fully convinced by Peter Singer is that he only focuses on the common feelings (pain) between humans and non-humans. Based on Theory of Evolution (which I believe it is true), we are developed from animals. It is common that we share a lot of same and similar behaviors. Both humans, animals need to eat, to drink, to sleep, etc.  When we talk about ethical duties towards animals, what we should focus is why human beings ourselves have these moral duties upon animals and how these duties affect us. (instead animals suffer pains).
It is also hard for Singer to explain why we should not do animal experiment based on his argument. (Maybe he thinks it is also wrong for us to use animals to do experiment. I don’t know his attitude.) But if he thinks that it is permissible for some animals to be used for medical development, then it seems that he contradicts himself. Sometimes lab animals even suffer more tortures than factory animals. Since his theory is impartial, how we supposed to pick and sacrifice certain animals instead of others if animals suffer the same amount of pains.
However, if he denies that lab experiment is permissible, then we should not use animals for medical ways. However, by not doing animal experiments, human beings might suffer a lot of pains because we are not able to find and test new medicine. A lot of human beings will lose wellbeing and might be dead because of the physical and mental pains they suffer. How would Peter Singer make a choice between letting human beings’ suffer and permitting animals to be experimented. As a consequentialist, how would Singer calculate the loss of wellbeing of those people who might be dead because of lacking of new medicine or operations.
He might say that specisism is wrong. Instead of using animals for medical experiment, we can use humans to do medical testing. (Even though I highly doubt that he would say that, probably) We just use ourselves to get what we need. In that case, I think it would involve the discussion about human rights. (I will not discuss in this blog) however, as a consequentialist, he would face a problem that which people can be experimented and what influences would this bring?
In conclusion, I agree that we should stop eating meat but not based on Singer’s reason.

Transgender Bathroom Use

From guest blogger, Kendra.

One big debate today and one that we talked about in class is allowing transgender people use the bathroom they identify with instead of using organs to classify. I believe that it shouldn’t be a question to allow them to use the bathroom that they identify with because it is who they are and it really isn’t a threat to anyone not just according to the body they are stuck with. The major objection that comes from this is that the society fears men walking into women’s restrooms to do harm to them. We said in class that this is not useful because a man could do this now because there are no bathroom police, but that it has the potential to happen more often.  I want to take this a step further because I believe that this is not a valid objection to use for this case. The fear isn’t a realistic fear at all. Just because you let transgender people into a women’s bathroom isn’t going to increase the overall number of rapist and sex offenders in society and I feel that that is what this fear is alluding to. The people that are going to sexually assault other people are going to do it regardless of this issue.

We let smokers smoke anywhere they please in the streets regardless of the majority of society’s comfort level and regardless of children nearby. Now I am definitely not comparing being transgender to being a smoker, but if a smoker has the right to smoke regardless of the comfort of others around him or her, someone that is transgender should have the right to use a public bathroom regardless of others around him or her. Transgender people are not even a harm to society so in reality, they should be able to use whatever bathroom before we allow smokers to smoke on any street or parking lot if we are talking about the greater good of society. What excuse is there? Smoking has been around for hundreds of years and people are used to it so people are more accustomed to it doesn’t seem to cut it.

This issue is relatively new and I think that there is resistance to change for the sake of society not liking change. All women should go be able to use the women’s restroom regardless of the bodily situation they are stuck in against their will. Same goes for men. I don’t think should be influenced by other fears in society that have nothing to do with the issue at hand. Accepting new social norms at this one is progress towards a more equal society.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Moral Obligation and Helping Others

From guest blogger, Alex.

In class we discussed the topic of our moral obligation to others. A fundamental question to ask is, “do we have a moral obligation to help others?”, even those we may not know. If we do have such obligations, then there are also questions about the foundation, nature and extent of these obligations. If we do not have such obligations, then there is the obvious question about why there are no such obligations. I think that a good argument for the fact that we all have moral obligations to others is to use the method of reversing the situation. This is based on the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and the basic idea is that consistency requires that a person treat others as she would wish to be treated. To make the method work, a person would need to want others to act as if they had obligations to her and this would thus obligate the person to act as if she had obligations to them. For example, if I would want someone to help me if I were struck by a car and bleeding out in the street, then consistency would require that I accept the same obligation on my part. That is, if I accept that I should be helped, then consistency requires that I must accept I should help others. This approach is somewhat like that taken by Kant. He argues that because a person necessarily regards herself as an end (and not just a means to an end), then she must also regard others as ends and not merely as means.  He tries to use this to argue in favor of various obligations and duties, such as helping others in need. I can think of, unfortunately, a counter to this sort of approach. It is easy enough to imagine a person who is willing to forgo the assistance of others and as such can consistently refuse to accept obligations to others. So, for example, a person might be willing to starve rather than accept assistance from other people. While such people might seem a bit crazy, if they are sincere then they cannot be accused of inconsistency. What do you guys think? Do we have a moral obligation to help others, even if we don’t know them? If so, why? If we don’t have any obligations, why not? Thanks.

Batman vs Superman

From guest blogger, Lee.

I just watched Batman vs. Superman, which surprisingly has a hefty emphasis on moral thoughts.

For those who don't know, Superman, a.k.a. "The Man of Steel", is from another world and has only one weakness: Kryptonite. But at the beginning of this movie, no human possesses any amount of the stuff. So, Superman is basically invincible. 

The villain of the movie, Lex Luther, is determined to get his hands on some kryptonite in order to kill Superman. Not only that, but he also wants to show the world how "power cannot be all good, and good cannot be all powerful". He tries to manipulate Superman into doing bad deeds.

We seem to perhaps live on a world where it is impossible to be fully good. Even though we can choose the optimific outcome, there is still another choice with potential for good that we had to turn down. Superman can catch someone falling off a skyscraper, or he can catch someone falling off of a cliff, but if they fall at the same time, he must choose one. Although he can move at the speed of light, he can't be everywhere at once (he probably could save everyone who ever needed saving if going at the speed of light but let’s assume he can't on the belief that it would give people terrible whiplash).  

Furthermore, could it be true that God, or a God on Earth, cannot be fully good? Does the status of God give one the right to define objective moral truths? If Jesus once again rose from the dead, and switched his mantra from love and acceptance of others to hate and prejudice, would that make those new morals objectively true? Wouldn't that just be some twisted case of individualism?

P.S. If you reply to this post you MUST answer the true philosophical question here: Who is better, Batman or Superman?

Moral Status of Eating Meat

From guest blogger, Julie.

After discussing animal ethics, and whether or not we have an obligation to regard animals with the same moral standard we do humans, I couldn’t envision eating meat without struggling through an internal moral conflict. Singer’s “speciesism” resonated most with me. I find it slightly foreign to place the same moral significance on animals as humans, but logically following the concept of speciesism, I can actually place some reasoning behind it.

Our intuitions guide us to believe discrimination against a being based on non-moral components is wrong. And I think we could all agree this intuition makes sense. As Singer pointed out, we consider racism and sexism as immoral, why not include speciesism in that group. If at one point, one human thought they were “better” than another because of something as remedial as skin color or gender, than it seems as though belonging to a certain species is just as insignificant. 

Defending the consumption of meat as morally permissible because animals aren't moral agents is a common strategy. But what excludes an animal from being part of the moral community? Rationality or cognitive ability? That doesn’t hold because there are some animals that are more rational or are capable of greater cognition than human beings (i.e. coma patients, mentally ill…). So if we obliged by this principle, then we wouldn't have moral obligations to a group of human beings. Is it emotional connections? Pets allow for emotional connections. Being able to feel pain? Animals are able to feel pain. What then allows us to hold ourselves higher on the moral scale than animals?

Cutting meat out of your diet can be easy nowadays with the plethora of meat alternatives, and just as tasty. You don’t have to give up everything if this moral dilemma is causing you to lose sleep, Oreos happen to be vegan.

I couldn’t come up with a defense to allow meat eating as morally permissible, but I’d like to know if anyone else did!

Lafollette and Parental Licensing

From guest blogger, Olivia.

Lafollette suggests that people obtain some sort of license before become parent to regulate less than ideal situations in which parent are not fit to take care of a child. Examples of parents being unfit mostly because they are financially unstable or too young to successfully take care of a child. He compares a child bearing license to a driver’s license that regulates who on the road in the way that would certify that those with the permit have acquired and proven a certain level of knowledge.
His argument is criticized because if a necessary license was implemented it would unfairly disenfranchise minorities and seems like slightly mirror eugenics, especially in such a broken system like the United States. Lafollette would say that it’s still moral to have a process that would help regulate a society in which parents who are ill equipped, so that is not common.

I think there is a more compelling in argument, to say license for driving a vehicle in fundamentally different that regulating when people decide to have children. People generally attempt to earn a driver’s license purposefully, whereas people who have children when in an unstable financial situation, generally are not looking to have a child in that situation. Many children that are born in the United States are the result of an unintended pregnancy. There are also better ways to prevent pregnancies. Sex education and access to resources and contraception and perhaps a raise in the minimum wage would be more productive means to reducing the number of unfit parents that allows people to have autonomy.