Volume 35, Issue 2, Fall 2021
Gianluca Di Muzio
The Dawn of the Future-Like-Ours Argument Against Abortion
Although several scholars have held that the Greeks and the Romans viewed abortion as morally unproblematic, an examination of three ancient texts reveals that, starting around the first century CE, some Greek and Roman writers were willing to explore reasons for opposing abortion on ethical grounds (i.e., reasons based on the conviction that abortion is an injustice committed against the fetus). The three texts introduce a form of opposition to abortion that has come to be known in our time as the future-like-ours argument against abortion. The present paper explores the argument that emerges from the three ancient texts and compares it to the work of Don Marquis, the best-known contemporary defender of a future-like-ours argument against abortion. The comparison reveals significant similarities, which are ultimately attributable to a common set of intuitions about what makes killing wrong and premature death tragic.