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Philosophia Christi

Volume 12, Issue 1, 2010

Stephen Kershnar
Pages 80-101

Hell, Threshold Deontology, and Abortion

In this paper, I argue that Threshold-Hell Christianity conflicts with the pro-life position on abortion. The specific type of Christianity is that which also accepts threshold deontology and the existence of hell. Threshold deontology is the view that ordinarily moral duties consist of nonconsequentialist side-constraints on the pursuit of the good but that in some cases these side-constraints are overridden. My strategy is to establish that a person who brings about an abortion guarantees that the aborted individual goes to heaven and that it is morally permissible to guarantee someone goes to heaven. It follows that if Threshold-Hell Christianity is true, then abortion is morally permissible.

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