The Morality of Selling Your Body
Webcast Q&A: 2 October 2011, Question 4
I answered a question on the morality of selling your body on 2 October 2011. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
Is it moral to sell your body? Selling our bodies or certain parts of them are perfectly acceptable in our society, such as being an egg or sperm donor, being a pregnancy surrogate, or selling hair. But others are condemned, such as prostitution or selling organs. Where should the line be drawn? When is it moral to sell a part of oneself – and why?
My Answer, In Brief: There's nothing wrong with "selling your body" per se, since all productive work involves the body. The moral questions with any and all work are primarily (1) Does it violate anyone's rights? and (2) Will I be damaging or sacrificing myself, physically or psychologically, in the long term?
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.
From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.
My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.
I can be reached via e-mail to email@example.com.