Thursday, April 05, 2012

On the baby without a brain turning two years of age

What can one assess about responsibility toward such a child?

Big-shot Enlightenment era philosopher, Immanuel Kant's ethical position holds that not only actual people, but even potential people have moral worth, thus why some opponents of abortion say that such an act is morally wrong:  a fetus in utero, otherwise not interfered with, will become a person.  But in this case, taking Kant's position, the baby, lacking a brain, is not even a potential person.

Now there is a counter-argument here.  One issue in all this is whether "person" is a concept defined (i) by the ability (or potential ability) to be come actual, as Kant's position holds; or (ii) by the the imputation of personhood by those in a social circle.  Regarding this second point, the family plainly imputes personhood to this child, as did one of the TV anchors, at least weakly, when he claimed that the child seemed to recognize its parents.  But such "seeming" recognition is often at issue in medical cases -- such as where someone has been in an otherwise unrecoverable coma, but the family claims to see responses of the person "in there".

Given only the brevity of this video, and the claims about the baby's medical condition, I would assert with full confidence the "seemings" position, but I know good-and-well that with time and constant exposure, I too would be psychologically unable to maintain that position, which for the same reason people so easily impart mindedness to a "Kismet" machine.[1]



[image] "Baby born without brain turns 2" YouTube, Dec 8, 2010 (Accessed April 5, 2012)

[1] "Kismet (MIT A.I. Lab)" YouTube, Sept 7, 2011 (Accessed April 5, 2012)

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