For most of human history people were content to draw the bright line between proto-personhood and personhood at drawing of the first breath, and nobody really throught it was worth arguing about. When did people get so stupid about this? Oh yeah, it was when a bunch of old men decided sex was bad and should be punished. That is the only reason we are having this argument. Got it.
As far as I can make out, there’s nothing particularly original about the article, Tooley (in particular) made an almost identical case a long time ago. But to say that Tooley’s case is “almost identical” is not to say that it is “identical”. The authors do present the argument in a different way and it’s my goal to figure out the logical structure of their reasoning.
As it turns out, this is not a particularly easy thing to do. While the article is a short easy read (just three pages), I struggled as I read it to figure out exactly where each section fit in to the central argument. I concede that my difficulties may stem from my desire to project my own understanding of what the argument should be onto the article, but I can only speak from my own perspective and from that perspective I do genuinely think the central argument is not as clearly presented as it could be. Thus, I dedicate this first post in the series to an attempt at reconstructing the central argument.
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