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Keywords:

  • moral neutrality;
  • anencephalic fetuses;
  • Nietzsche;
  • Brazil

ABSTRACT

Those who favor and those who oppose the interruption of pregnancy with anencephalic fetuses answer the question ‘what is the right to life?’ differently. Those in favor argue that life exists only when it is ‘viable’; that is to say, when cerebral activities occur or may occur. Those who oppose it argue that it is not possible to describe ‘life’ as residing in a particular quality, since life ‘exists from conception’. In fact, in both cases, the noun ‘life’ is being defined by a particular quality, either as ‘viable’ or as ‘existing from the time of conception’. Also, simply saying that ‘there is life’ cannot count as a neutral answer since those who utter such a sentence employ an unspecified criterion to establish if there is life or not. There are two possible ways to investigate this controversial matter: either we look for a definition of ‘life’ which is neutral and objective and does not reside in a particular quality or we try to establish whether or not the search for a neutral point of view can lead to a satisfactory answer. In this article we explore the argument against the interruption of pregnancy – as defined above – in order to show 1) the impossibility of establishing a neutral point of view regarding knowledge; 2) the existence of a psychological motivation which justifies the longing for an absolute criterion for the evaluation of human actions. This psychological motivation is analyzed from a Nietzschean perspective.