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A Life Worth Living

Marly729's picture

Doing the reading for this week a couple of quotes stuck out to me. Particularly I keep thinking of Singer's comment that "Disability makes a person 'worse off.'" What exactly does he mean by worse off? How could one decide at the moment that a child is born that their life in not worth living. What makes a life worth living? Are the able to walk on their own, live without the day-to-day assistance of other, or not pose a 'burden' to their families? In Singer's point of view the presence or absence of a disability dictates the quality of life that they and their family will live. But how can he know at that moment that the life will not be worth living? Chris Gabbard lives a life where his son was born with disabiltiy and regardless of the time and financial adjustments that he has to me, he would not say that his son's life is not worth living or that if he could go back in time he would decide on infanticide. I cannot completely wrap my mind around Singer and his feelings of infanticide and the quality of one's life based on whether or not they have a disability? How does this change for someone who acquires a disability? If someone acquires a disability, does their life lose all worth and would be doing others a favors by considering death, i.e. assisted suicide?


aaxinn's picture

I think that one of the most problamatic components of Singer's argument is his generalizatiion of  human conditions. He simplifies life, stating that it can either be worth living or not worth living and uses disability to justify the divide. He assign worth to all able-bodied lives while he take away worth from all the lives of people with disabilities. My question is how can one apply one strain of logic to all people? He ignores all other characteristics of life (like race, class, family life) that would arguably play a greater role in determining the quality of life. To answer your question, I believe that acquiring a disability does not make life lose all worth because all individuals are different. In my opinon, family context and environment play a larger role in life quality than disability.