- From the standpoint of a Christian philosopher, heeding the teaching and exhortations of Pope John Paul II and previous popes, I examine three directions in which the recent philosophical debate has developed.
- In the last seven or eight years there has been
- a renewed focus on the biological issue of when a human individual comes to be,
- new arguments for the proposition that personhood is a characteristic acquired after birth, and
- refinements of the early argument of Judith Thomson.
- Replying to these developments, I defend, on philosophical grounds, the pro-life position. I argue that
- a distinct, whole (though immature) human individual comes to be at conception,
- that he or she is a person, with full moral worth, from the moment he or she comes to be, and
- the mothers and fathers have a special responsibility to their children which entails (at least) that they ought not to choose to abort1 them.
- I conclude by briefly indicating, from the standpoint of Christian faith, why Christian philosophers should vigorously pursue this debate.
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