While Zuckerman recognizes that the unborn are living human organisms, he argues that they aren't "persons" and it's okay to kill unborn human beings in the first trimester because they aren't aware of what is happening to them.
During the first trimester, a fetus has no idea what is happening, as its brain is not developed enough for such advanced forms of awareness, thought and emotion. In the first trimester, a growing fetus cannot possibly understand what life is. It does not understand that it is being deprived of anything when an abortion is taking place. If my parents aborted my birth, I would not have been upset, as I could not have experienced any emotions during those early weeks of life.
Where to start?
First, a newborn child isn't self-aware and wouldn't know what was happening if someone pointed a gun at her and pulled the trigger. Does that mean it's okay to kill newborn children? Individuals who are under anaesthesia and severely cognitively disabled adults have no idea what's happening to them. Can we kill them?
Second, why is self-awareness the proper criteria to decide whether we can kill something or not?
Zuckerman then proposes this absurd idea:
Aside: If, for example, a wife cheats on her husband, but the husband never becomes aware of the affair, I would argue that this duplicity is not bad for the husband.That's idiocy, folks. In Zuckerman's insane world of ethics, if you found out your buddy's wife was cheating on him and you told him, you'd be hurting your buddy, not his wife.
Or to cite another example borrowed from Serge at the Life Training Institute, if you saw a doctor sexually violating a patient while she was under anaesthesia you'd be morally obliged not to tell her because since she wasn't aware of the sexual violation she hasn't been hurt and you telling her would likely bring her pain and emotional suffering.
If the wife is still loving and the husband is still happy, and if no one that knows about this affair negatively alters their behavior toward this man, he is unaffected. Yes, those aware of this affair would say that their relationship is not as strong because of this lie, but the man is still happily oblivious to it all. According to this train of thought, a fetus early in development, oblivious to everything, surely cannot emotionally suffer from an abortion.And your point is? What? That if an organism can't emotionally suffer from being harmed or killed, then there's nothing morally wrong with hurting or killing them. I guess it's open season on newborns, individuals in comas, people who are unconscious, etc. etc.
And even if I was aware of what was happening, I do not think I would want to exist if my life was a mistake. I would not want to be a burden on a young woman still in high school. I would not want to limit the freedom of a young couple, one that may not want a child yet and may be financially unstable. And I would certainly not want to be the resulting reward of rape.Well, that's certainly much easier to boldly assert when your life isn't on the line.