Consciousness and the Moral Permissibility of Infanticide
Date of Original Version
Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2008
Abstract or Table of Contents
In this paper, we present a conditional argument for the moral permissibility of some kinds of infanticide. The argument is based on a certain view of consciousness and the claim that there is an intimate connection between consciousness and infanticide. In bare outline, the argument is this: it is impermissible to intentionally kill a creature only if the creature is conscious; it is reasonable to believe that there is some time at which human infants are not conscious; therefore, it is reasonable to believe that it is permissible to intentionally kill some human infants.