Let me repeat, for the 108th time, that I’m not pro-Life. As I‘ve labored to make clear, I’m anti-Life. I want a world consisting of nothing but inanimate objects. But I have to admit that pro-Lifers have at least one argument going for them, were they savvy enough to deploy it. And that’s the oddity of the pro-Choicer claims according to which it’s not okay to abuse it if it’s born, but it’s perfectly okay to kill it before it is.
The way round this for the pro-Choicer is to say that, whereas the child likely has a preference not to be abused, the fetus is not the kind of thing that can have any preferences. It’s what philosophers call “the problem of the missing subject”.
But the missing-subject argument is the same argument that would allow me to be indifferent to how a loved one wants her body to be dealt with after she dies. I promised her I’d cremate her, but now I’m wondering to whom would I be breaking that promise? So the missing-subject argument can cut both ways. If I can abort the fetus because there’s no one being harmed, neither is anyone harmed by ignoring a loved one’s dying wish. And that seems, if nothing else, just a tad counterintuitive.
My advice to the pro-Choicer, then, is to steer clear of the missing-subject argument, and avail herself instead of whatever else, anything else, she might have in her quiver.
Categories: Critical Thinking