In Marquis's recent paper he has not satisfactorily shown that killing does not adversely affect the victim's present self-represented desires for their future. Marquis is correct in believing life and death are distinct, but living and dying are not. In fact, to use a well-known saying, “the second we are born we start to die”. During the process of dying, whether it be long as in over our lifetime or short as in as we are being killed, there comes a point when the present realistic desires we have we know will never be satisfied. This is why killing can be wrong. This would imply killing an unconscious person, infant, or fetus cannot be wrong. But such killing can be wrong, despite the person killed not experiencing the desire not to be killed as he was dying. Killing can be wrong because others can have a present self-represented desire for that person not to be killed to have been killed. If this line of reasoning is correct, then the “best interests” principle often applied to life and death considerations regarding unconscious persons, infants, and fetuses, is invalid, as such human beings do not have present desires. All that matters is what relevant others rationally desire, after being informed of the facts and the consequences, for that unconscious person, infant or fetus.
- Self-represented futures
- wrongness of killing
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