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Utilitarianism is the most helpful ethical approach when discussing the issues around abortion' Discuss.

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Introduction

T.Healy L6G ?Utilitarianism is the most helpful ethical approach when discussing the issues around abortion' Utilitarianism does not have one blanket answer to the question of abortion, but looks at the merits of each situation. It does not accept the principle that human life has absolute value and aims to promote the greatest happiness for those concerned. However Utilitarianism has many problems and therefore is not the most helpful, ethical approach when discussing the issues around abortion. Murder is sometimes defended on utilitarian grounds, for example, in the case of war. To wage war is to bring about the death of innocent people intentionally; these deaths are effectively unavoidable as a practical matter. ...read more.

Middle

Most utilitarian defenses of abortion seem also to work as defenses of killing infants: both might reduce the number of unwanted children and any other social problems that may result from this, and increase the freedom and autonomy of women by reducing their responsibilities. A utilitarian approach requires that competing outcomes be valued in order to compare them, and that valuing seems subjective when the competing outcomes are of different types. For example, in war, you could weigh the number of murders that will result if no war is waged against the number of murders that will result from waging war; the value assigned to murder isn't an issue in such a comparison as long as it is logical. ...read more.

Conclusion

Now while this may seem an immoral thing to do, from a Utilitarian perspective it is not ? 300 million more babies would have been born without the one child policy. If that had happened then millions of Chinese people would be living in extreme poverty due to the population constrictions that still affect it today. In summary, using utilitarianism to defend against the charge that abortion is murder is probably a mistake and certainly problematic. It seems to require that a life be valued less than personal convenience, or that abortion be no different morally from killing an infant. It also seems to involve a complex and subjective weighting of outcomes. Utilitarianism itself is controversial and rejected by many, although it seems necessary in some form to justify issues such as wars. ...read more.

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