The Personalist Project

Comments (5)

Gregory Borse

#1, Mar 1, 2012 12:47am

Here's the original article: http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/02/22/medethics-2011-100411.full

Gregory Borse

#2, Mar 1, 2012 1:00am

Here's some clarity:  They were people all along. The one you killed was not a potential person (there is not such thing).  It's either a person or not a person. Since we are talking exclusively about people, I cannot entertain your not talking about people--especially since your last artice finally admits that it's all people.

Jules van Schaijik

#3, Mar 1, 2012 7:45am

It's unbelievable isn't it? How is it possible that we got here so soon after the Nüremberg Trials?

In the interest of clarity, though, I think the wording of your post could be improved. The spurious distinction at the heart of their argument is the one between "humans" and "persons". They claim that it is possible to be human but not a person:

Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.

Note that, in this view, not only are there many humans that have no right to life, but there are also many animals that do!

Gregory Borse

#4, Mar 1, 2012 10:35am

I agree--and I struggled to edit the post last night but could not make the edit "take" for some reason--so I had to leave my sloppy thinking/typing stand.  Thanks for nicely clearing it up for me.  It is the line I was aiming at . . .

Jules van Schaijik

#5, Mar 1, 2012 12:43pm

Gregory Borse, Mar. 1 at 10:35am

I struggled to edit the post last night but could not make the edit "take" for some reason 

Hmm. Sounds like a technical issue I need to deal with. I'll send you an email soon.

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