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Essay by review  •  December 1, 2010  •  Essay  •  681 Words (3 Pages)  •  752 Views

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The argument of the legality, or more specifically the morality, of abortion is something that seems to polarize any group. The argument weighs heavy on the opinion of one's moral responsibility and right to use of ones own body versus the right to life of a human being. This argument can be further broken down into divisions of if or exactly how human an unborn child is across all stages of development. Arguments presented by both Judith Thomson and Mary Anne Warren are based more in the structure of responsibility and access to something or concerning use of your body or property.

The argument presented by Thomson is centered on an analogy generally referred to as the "Violinist Example" or "The Music Lovers Society Example". In this argument, a subject is kidnapped against their will and the bloodstream of the victim is hooked into that of a famous violinist. The violinist is unconscious and will not recover from his current state for nine months, but now must be connected to the victim at all times or he or she will perish. The victim at any time could reach around and unplug himself from the violinist, but knowing that the result would seal the fate of the violinist in immanent death Ð'- the death of an innocent which is generally considered murder.

Both Thomson and Warren agree on the conclusion that in this specific case it would not be a moral obligation stay connected, and in doing so would be going above and beyond what would be expected. This is due to the argument that the victim had no prior obligation to keep the violinist alive, setting no previous precedent for moral obligation, so why should there be one now or at a later date.

Warren argues that this analogy will only hold in the case of rape or possible death of the mother, but in no other case. To do this, Warren expands on Thomson's analogy setting a new case of connection between the violinist and the victim. It proceeds as follows. The victim is no longer kidnapped; instead he or she willingly joins a society that states that in the event that a violinist would be stricken ill, which happens quite often, that the members of the society would draw lot to see who will support the violinist. In this case because previous obligation has been set and it would be dishonest and immoral to not support your end of the deal. This is analogous to someone knowingly participating in sexual acts where prior to partaking,



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