Saturday, August 10, 2013

High Five of the Day - Stand to Reason | Unstringing the Violinist

Greg Koukl wrote a very good response to the following argument supporting Abortion. 

But now let me ask you to imagine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, "Look, we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you—we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist now is plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.

Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you did, a great kindness. But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months, but nine years? Or longer still? What if the director of the hospital says, "Tough luck, I agree, but you've now got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life, and violinists are persons. Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person's right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him." I imagine you would regard this as outrageous,[2] which suggests that something really is wrong with that plausible-sounding argument I mentioned a moment ago.
The argument is designed to give people the dilemma of agreeing that in a particular circumstance it is okay to end the life of a person and that it's no different than when it comes to abortion. It's a clever argument designed to make you scratch your head and at first blush agree to it. However with a little bit of thought it is plain to see that the violinist metaphor fails on several levels. Follow the link to see Greg Koukl's answer.

Stand to Reason | Unstringing the Violinist

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