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Ethics and Experience: Moral Theory from Just War to Abortion by [Steffen, Lloyd]
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Ethics and Experience: Moral Theory from Just War to Abortion Kindle Edition

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Length: 261 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 817 KB
  • Print Length: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (July 23, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 23, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00915NVG0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,614,327 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
I read the chapter on abortion in this new book by Lloyd Steffen, who (from above) is “professor of religious studies and university chaplain at Lehigh University, where he also is the director of the Center for Dialogue, Ethics, and Spirituality.” Given Steffen’s pro-abortion stand, it was not surprising to learn that he (at the minimum) used to have ties to Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. As detailed below, Steffen--among other things--tries unsuccessfully to use just war theory to defend his stance, misleadingly describes his views as “moderate”, and depicts pro-lifers as worshippers of a “divine fetus”.

1.Steffen turns to just war doctrine to see what light it might shed on the abortion debate, but after much meandering, leaves the reader puzzled as to what his argument is. According to Steffen, just war theory permits, under tightly constrained conditions, the unintended but foreseen taking of human life. It bans directly intending the death of innocent human life. Steffen claims that just war doctrine does not involve an absolutist ethic, but never makes clear why the exceptionless ban just mentioned does not reflect a morally absolutist view. Rhetorically, this distracts the reader, whom he tries to convince (after invoking just war theory) of his non-absolutist view on abortion.
Regarding abortion, Steffen maintains that conflicts between the interests of mother and child can justify the taking of the child’s life. Apparently Steffen believes there is nothing wrong with the mother directly intending the death of her child even if the mother merely does not want her child: "a pregnant woman can experience a pregnancy she did not welcome or for some other reason may not want to continue, and when this occurs she can face a conflict.
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