96

A toddler can (with a minimal amount of assistance) continue living and developing on its own. Setting aside that you underestimate the cognitive capacities of infants, an infant is a fully formed and biologically functional entity. A fetus is not; it cannot breathe, consume food, or perform any of the necessary biological functions for survival outside the ...


27

There's no one answer to your question, because this is a live debate, and different thinkers have very different moral intuitions about it. Traditional Catholic theology represents perhaps the position most to the end of one extreme, that the fetus should be treated as a full person (regardless of its actual ontological status) from the very moment of ...


19

First, a toddler is a child in the technical sense approximately between 12-36 months year old. If you're looking for a counter argument to your specific wording: Some would say you can abort a foetus because it has no sense of personal identity, it can feel no pain and its death will have a net positive effect. But could you not make this argument for a ...


10

To answer the question in the title, the matter of abortion revolves around two aspects: the killing of a developing human and the capacity to which a pregnant woman has bodily autonomy. So a moral decision on abortion must consider the dilemma of bodily autonomy and feticide. On the other hand infanticide involves only the killing of an infant. So, the ...


9

I'll offer an emphatic answer by Philip K. Dick. Wikipedia claims without corroboration that it is a response to the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade. In his chilling story "The Pre-Persons"1 Dick illustrates his opinion that there is no ethical difference between aborting fetuses and killing children. A critic noted: But even wry smiles fade ...


6

Welcome to SE Philosophy! This is what is known in philosophy as a question of identity and is related to the metaphysical discipline of ontology, or the study of what is. In essence, identity is the question of what 'is' is, and is a source of much debate. Are equality and equivalence the same thing?. Questions of identity related to personhood and the ...


5

There's some great philosophy written on this topic (see Thomson). Suffice to say, even if you assume that a fetus is a child, a pregnant person still has the right to terminate the pregnancy. The difference is in how the two bodies relate to each other, and the mechanics of how support is provided. Put simply: No one can force you to donate blood. However,...


5

Philosophy makes a distinction between the identity of material objects* (and immaterial objects if those are thought to exist) and what is called "personal identity." From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's article Personal Identity: Personal identity deals with philosophical questions that arise about ourselves by virtue of our being ...


5

where is the philosophical line here? There is no such line post-conception. Human life is initiated at conception, and only disease, injury, natural and innate responses to inviability can terminate the life from progressing and growing in utero. Voluntarily invoking such termination constitutes elective abortion. The fact that the child is dependent on ...


4

This remains a subjective debate and it is impossible to draw a clear line, due to the paradox of the heap (also known as the sorites paradox) If a heap of sand is reduced by a single grain at a time, at what exact point does it cease to be considered a heap? Similarly, if it is not morally acceptable to kill a toddler, is it acceptable to kill it when ...


3

There are two layers mixed here (see this paper for reference): Personhood Firstly, there is personhood. Personal life constitutes an almost incomparably high value: Singer holds a non-speciesist view of ethics and does not consider human life to be of absolute value, but instead teaches that what has the most value is the life of the person (p. 127) For ...


3

Short Answer Epictetus was a stoic. Stoics as a general characterization have little regard for abstract metaphysical speculation about the nature of personhood and the divine. As a student of human nature, his topics are primarily about choices humans can make for the good life. Stoics tend to characterize divinity as the source of that which cannot be ...


2

I formulate this question thus: If Elvis Presley's twin had lived, and Elvis had died at birth, or had never been born, then Elvis would never have existed, even if his twin had been named Elvis and had acted exactly as he did. Somehow, it seems that self is not reducible to biology. Someone else could have had our biology without having our awareness, the ...


2

Technically, this IS a question about biology. You see, there's a thing called genetics that is very useful in identifying not just species but individuals. I don't know much about jellyfish reproduction. Maybe they're all "identical twins," for all I know. But is they have genetic variation, then each life stage would presumably have the same genetic code. ...


2

Change of social role or change of person? None of a person's memories, plans, intentions, history, friendships, and family relationships will necessarily be other than they were before the transition, indicating that the person is the same person before and after the transition. The person is the same person in spite of the fact that the relationships may ...


1

While a great number of arguments have been advanced in an attempt to justify elective abortion (we'll lay aside the rape/incest/danger to the health of the mother cases for now since those are a minority and a somewhat distinct can of worms), none of them are particularly convincing. Many examples exist of human beings that cannot feel pain, possess no true ...


1

There seems to be a consideration that gender is just a derivative of a set of hormones, to be controlled, manipulated, done and undone hormonally and with surgery, thereby disregarding the underlying truth that gender is determined by the chromosomes, leaving what distils down to personal whim as the decider. It is a separate philosophical question to ask ...


1

Identity is always subjective. You are not you except to the extent that you experience you-ness. Societies try to find objective means of guaranteeing identity — they will keep records, issue identity cards, check signatures and fingerprints and DNA — but the fact that your identity card says (e.g.) "John Smith" with a thumbprint that's on file in some ...


1

Eternal life and youth, rejuvenation to the youthful state - all these are hot topics of the current cell biology and medicine, see, e.g. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41556-018-0206-0 especially after discovering Yamanaka factors that lead cells back into pluripotent state (fully and partially - without preserving identity and functionality and with ...


1

Welcome, gartien asimbahwe. 'Ego' is the Latin word for 'I' but its sense in modern philosophy depends very much on its context. In Descartes' 'cogito, ergo sum' (not his own phrase but a Latin translation of his French phrase, 'je pense, donc je suis', 'I think therefore I am/ exist'), the ego is merely the thinking self independent of the body. There is ...


1

Like so many terms, "person" is ambiguous as to epistemic considerations (what we can say we know of any person) and ontological ones (what exists of any person). If a white canvas has a speck of blue upon it, then some might say it is still just a white canvas, others that it has changed completely... yet in either case, it is a canvas which reflects light. ...


1

In short, if there exists anything at all attributable to you and only you, then you are you and not anyone else. Consider two molecules of water (i.e., two atoms of hydrogen bonded to an atom of oxygen): water-molecule A and water-molecule B are distinguishable if and only if A and B have distinct spacial coordinates at any given time; knowing their ...


1

It is impossible for you to be someone other than yourself - by definition! By definition, someone else is different (in some way) from you. If (somehow) you were changed to be the same as the other person, then you would no longer be yourself, you would be a copy of the other person.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible