Marquis avoids assigning a personality to a fetus and instead uses the “future-like-ours” (FLO) theory or strategy to support the argument that abortion is morally wrong. He argues that the main reason why abortion is immoral is that it denies victims the experiences and activities of their future. According to Marquis, a fetus develops into a human being and enjoys the activities and experiences that adult human beings enjoy. Human beings undertake activities and projects that form the main reason for living. He compares the future of fetuses and babies to that of adult human beings. Every individual should get an opportunity to enjoy his or her future. Marquis argues that killing infants and young children denies them the privilege of enjoying the value of their future.
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To support his argument, he states that the aspect that makes abortion immoral is not its effect on an individual’s relatives or family but its effect on the victim. A fetus is a human being that is in the early stages of development. Therefore, its future is laden with experiences, projects, and activities that are characteristic of the lives of adult human beings. According to Marquis, fetuses, infants, and young children, as well as adult human beings, have a right to enjoy their future. For that reason, any factor that renders the killing of adult human beings immoral also renders the killing of fetuses and infants morally wrong. Marquis argues that abortion is rendered immoral not by the fact that fetuses are persons but because they have a future similar to that of human beings. Killing affects the victim by denying the opportunity to experience the goodness and value of their future.
In his essay, Marquis defends the argument that abortion is immoral based on the “future-like-ours” theory. If someone claimed that this theory validates the killing of children in the third world or war-torn countries, Marquis would give a counterargument based on the immoral aspect of various factors that deprive children of their future. It can be deduced from his argument that any action that deprives an individual of a valuable future is morally wrong. He would argue that poverty, war, and diseases are morally wrong states that should not be used as reasons to kill children. Marquis would compare the killing of children to the killing of a person living with AIDS. In the article, he argues that the worst that can happen to an AIDS patient is sudden death. Children living in war-torn and third world countries are not destined for a dreadful future. It is impossible to determine whether the future of these children will be miserable. Therefore, there is no justification to kill them. The present does not define the future. Marquis would add that the future does not possess natural characteristics that could be used to define it. The future is indeterminate and vague.
On the other hand, he would argue that every person’s future has unpleasant moments and experiences. For that reason, the experiences of children in the third world and war-torn countries are part of the negative aspects that are characteristic of human life. Marquis would support this statement by reiterating the argument that the future could be valuable to an individual even though they fail to ascribe any significance to it based on their current circumstances and situation.