Responding to Secular Views of the Human Person
Watch Josh Brahm’s speech at Fresno Pacific University’s Evidence 2014 conference.
Josh explains the Equal Rights Argument and the three different ways you can make a positive case for fetal personhood: Imago Dei, the Rational Nature Argument, and Don Marquis’ Future of Value Argument.
22:31 “I think if your view, if correctly understood, entails that infanticide would not be that morally problematic, I think that is at least a huge weakness in your view, if not a defeater of your view.”
Probably when you say “weakness/defeater,” you mean not only that the view seems incorrect to you, but also that you would expect it to seem incorrect to almost everyone.
I would also expect that it would.
Assuming that we’re both right, where do you think that moral intuition in everyone comes from? And suppose your own preferred answer to this question is a religious one, but the person you’re talking with asks the same question and would not accept a religious answer, would you have any answer?
(For this question, many examples of moral intuitions could have been used, of course, not only this zoo/infanticide example. My question is not about the example, but about where moral intuitions in general come from.)
Great question. Much can be said about this that I expect Tim and I to get into more thoroughly in the future, but this may add a little clarity.
From an epistemic level, I am taking a clear Particularist approach in that part of the speech.
In short, I am claiming that “infanticide is seriously morally wrong” is a properly basic belief, and while it can be defended in multiple ways, I’m not convinced it needs to be defended. I don’t think there are very many beliefs that fall in the “properly basic” category, but right now I am comfortable with putting “infanticide is seriously morally wrong” in that category. Some of my philosophical friends who ascribe to Methodism would obviously reject this move.
Read Chisholm’s defense of “Particularism” vs. “Methodism” here: http://www.oswego.edu/~dhoracek/220/Chisholm-criterion.pdf