The Instigator
austinlaam
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
alexnotmurfs
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Abortion: A Secular Debate

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
alexnotmurfs
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/10/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,497 times Debate No: 40272
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (34)
Votes (6)

 

austinlaam

Pro

This will be a debate for atheists. I find no true reasons for the denial of a woman to get an abortion. I WILL ARGUE PRO.

1st round: Accept and you give your initial arguments.

2nd round: My rebuttal and my argument. Your rebuttal and your argument.

3rd round: My rebuttal and my argument. Your rebuttal and your argument.

4th round: Repeat.

5th round: Repeat and Conclusion.

alexnotmurfs

Con

Thank you Pro for posting this debate. I will be happy to accept the challenge and will be arguing that elective abortion is murder and that abortion should be restricted to when needed for medical/psychiatric reasons on a case-by-case basis.

My initial arguments are:

1) Elective abortion is legal up to 25 weeks in Canada. A fetus at 25 weeks has a developed brain and responds to light and touch stimuli. It is said that the majority of nerve development happens before 20 weeks gestation.

The position that many pro-choice advocates take is that a fetus is not a person until a definitive point in development and until it reaches that point, it should not be afforded equal human rights.

I reject this reasoning and assert that a baby developing inside a woman is a live human being who, without intervention or untimely death, will be born. So when a pregnancy is terminated, a human being is being killed. I define this as murder.

2) If there is no definitive point at which a fetus becomes a live human being, then we are faced with the dilemma of discerning whether the right of the mother to control her body is equal or lesser to the right of the fetus to live.

I say that when the mother's right to control her body infringes on the right of the fetus to live, the right to life takes priority.

Thank you again for the opportunity to debate this topic, and I look forward to reading your arguments. Cheers!
Debate Round No. 1
austinlaam

Pro

Thanks for accepting this debate.


I. Countering Your Arguments.

1.
I'd rather you do not argue LAWS on abortion, but rather the morality of abortion.

2.
There is no scientific consensus when life begins. So lets stay away from this guessing game


II. My Arguments

1. "Think about all of the advertisement you see advocating “Pro-Life.” Most all of them show a fetus well into its third trimester or a baby who has already been born. Using this to their advantage, they want to dominate your emotions and persuade you to let those emotions influence your thought.

Many Pro-Life advocates use the word “murder” when talking about a fetus/embryo and the term simply does’t illustrate the concept of aborting a fetus. Abortion, keep in mind is “deliberate termination of a human pregnancy,” not “the deliberate termination of a human baby.” While most Pro-Life advocates will debate that these two are the same, this is proven wrong by the fact that a fetus cannot live outside its mother’s womb prior to 24 weeks after conception.

A baby in its first trimester is not yet a child, it is simply a fetus. The comparison is similar to comparing a glass and a mug, and coming to the conclusion that they are the same, simply because they are both containers. While they both are containers, the difference between the two is explicitly obvious. The same can be applied to the comparison of a child to a fetus; they are both human, but are they both the same? Based on pure facts, the only proven similarity is that both are stages in a human’s life. But, there are countless differences in the progression and development of the fetus in these stages; therefore, they cannot be described or perceived to be two of the same thing."

*This quote is what I will base my argument on. I wish I could find the author, but I cannot.

2. Now, lets get the definitions for the frame of this debate.

Abortion: A medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus [1]

Murder: The crime of deliberately killing a person [2]

3. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, we should now clarify whether or not a fetus is a human being or not.
What makes a human a human? According to philosopher Mary Ann Warren, these are the 5 things that make a human a human [3]:
1. A developed capacity for reasoning.
2. Self awareness
3.Consciousness and ability to feel pain
4. Self motivated activity
5. Capacity to communicate messages of an indefinite variety of types.

You may argue, "Well then according to you a baby isn't a human". The only problem with that is, a baby is obviously a human. And killing that baby is murder. That's the problem with that argument.
So, now I must find another reason to prove my point.

I will resort to the "Its a woman's choice" argument. As much as social conservatives like to argue its not a woman's choice, it is. It simply is. When dealing with rape, incest, etc. it is absolutely a woman's choice to abort a baby. In the instance a girl cannot support the baby, she should be allowed to choose whether or not she aborts it. Its her choice as a human being.




Sources
alexnotmurfs

Con

1. Countering Your Arguments.

I am certainly willing to leave law out of the rest of this debate, however "when life begins" and the definition of a live human being is really the point of contention for this debate and cannot just be dismissed.

Our difference in opinion really begins and ends with the definition of human life and whether a fetus residing inside its mother's uterus meets the requirements to be considered such, so I feel I must continue to discuss my reasoning for believing that a fetus is alive.

You provided the following definition for abortion: "A medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus". I accept this definition and I would like to point out that it states that abortion "causes the death of the fetus". If you accept that the fetus dies when aborted, then you must also accept that it was alive before the abortion.

As well, based on your definition of abortion, abortion kills the fetus. I use the following definition for kill: "to cause death or extinction; be fatal."

You also define murder as:
"The crime of deliberately killing a person". I accept this definition as well, but by using a definition of murder that describes it as a crime we are referencing law, and as this is a debate based solely on the morality of abortion, I would like to offer an alternative definition: "The act of deliberately killing a person".

So, now that we have our definitions out of the way, we can agree that abortion is the act of deliberately killing a fetus. Now I am left with the burden of proving that a fetus is in fact a person. If I do so, then we can define abortion as murder.

In response to your final argument, that it is a woman's choice to have an abortion, I absolutely agree that in many cases when a woman chooses to have an abortion, it may very well be in her best interest. Especially in cases of rape or incest. However, my position is that the life of the fetus should not be taken unless the life of the mother is at risk.

2. My Arguments

As I illustrated in my rebuttal to your arguments, this debate is really about the definition of human life, and whether a fetus meets the requirements to be considered a live human.

You referenced Mary Ann Warren's definition of a human being, but as you rightly said, we cannot rely on her definition because it doesn't include a newborn human baby.

My question to you is why do you think that a newborn baby is obviously a human being, but a fetus is not?

If your answer is that it resides inside the mother's uterus and cannot survive outside, then what do you say about newborn babies who are sickly or premature and cannot survive outside of an incubator?

If your answer is that a fetus is not a human being because it is at an earlier stage in development, is a young child any less of a human being than a grown adult?

I am arguing that a fetus is a human being, and that its right to life should be protected in equal priority to the mother's.


Thanks again, and I look forward to reading your next argument!


Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 2
austinlaam

Pro


I. Countering Con's Arguments.

1. Con's Question to Me:

A) It is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS that Con would ask this question, "My question to you is why do you think that a newborn baby is obviously a human being, but a fetus is not?"

This is equivalent to asking someone what is the difference between a seed and a tree. They are two of the same thing, in a different stage. It is a fetus, not a human being.

The con continues... "If your answer is that a fetus is not a human being because it is at an earlier stage in development, is a young child any less of a human being than a grown adult?"

This question is identically ridiculous as the first question. When I say "stage", I do not mean a stage of a human life, because a fetus is not a human. So to twist the words is, with all do respect, idiotic and ignorant of the Con to make this assumption.

The con continues... "I am arguing that a fetus is a human being, and that its right to life should be protected in equal priority to the mother's." I would like everyone to sit back and read this comment a couple times. The fetus is not of the same level as a mother. A mother is a human being, fetus, is not. I know I keep reiterating this same dogma, but it is true.

B) The con says this,"... it is a woman's choice to have an abortion, I absolutely agree that in many cases when a woman chooses to have an abortion, it may very well be in her best interest. Especially in cases of rape or incest. However, my position is that the life of the fetus should not be taken unless the life of the mother is at risk..."

The con has just completely obliterated his argument. He is agreeing with me at this point. "It is a woman's choice" he points out, " it may be VERY WELL IN HER BEST INTEREST." Now go down a couple lines later and the con says that a fetus should not be taken unless a mothers life is at risk. The con is saying he would be okay to deliberately take away the GROWN WOMAN's rights as a human. He also is saying he doesn't care if she gets raped, he doesn't care if incest has happened, and he doesn't care if the woman chooses not to have it but, just because he says so.. the woman's rights should be taken away.

II. My arguments.

I have no arguments. I would just appreciate if the con backs up his radical ideal he has presented the audience and I, because quite frankly, I cannot find any reason, evidence, and morality in the con's arguments.

I look forward to the con's responses.
alexnotmurfs

Con

1. Rebuttal

1. A) It is intellectually dishonest for my opponent to call my questions "absolutely ridiculous, ignorant, or idiotic", when Pro is fully aware that the questions are asked in the context of my position that a fetus is a live human being.

What Pro is really doing here is deflecting my questions. The audience should note that instead of explaining why in his view there is a difference between my comparison of a grown adult and a young child and the comparison of a fetus and a newborn baby, he simply reverts to claiming that a fetus is not a human being.

This is a circular argument.

Pro is saying: "A fetus is not a human being and should not be afforded human rights."

I respond: "Why do you not consider a fetus to be a human being? How is a newborn baby any more of a human being than a fetus when they are, in my opinion, just at different stages of human development, but both definitely live humans?"

Pro says: "Ridiculous! A fetus is not a human being because a fetus is not a human being."

Now, I will not say that my opponent is being "ridiculous" or "ignorant" when he claims that a fetus is not a live human being and cannot be compared to a newborn baby. I understand that this is the position that he is coming from. I would just like for him to treat my arguments with the same respect, and explain why he feels there is a difference and where he feels the difference lies. Pro's opinion may be valid, but it cannot be evaluated until he explains his reasoning satisfactorily.

B) It is a woman's choice to have an abortion. That is not being contested. What is being contested is whether it is morally right for a woman to have an abortion.

My position boils down to this. Is it morally right for a woman to kill her newborn baby if that baby came to life through a case of rape or incest? I say no, because that baby is a live human being and deserves a chance to live. I also say that a fetus is just as much of a live human being as that newborn baby, and should be afforded the same rights.

Now, Pro is claiming that just because I say so, I believe a woman's rights should be taken away. Which rights is Pro referring to? Are there any rights a mother has that are equally important to the right of a fetus to live? Absolutely. Her right to live. And that right is not being taken away by carrying a baby to term.

2. Arguments

My argument remains that a fetus is a live human being. If it would be helpful for my opponent, I can be more specific.

When I say that I believe a fetus is a live human being, I am specifically referring to baby at the fetal stage of development, not the embryonic stage of development.

The embryonic stage of development spans from conception to 8-10 weeks gestation. During this time, the embryo really is just a clump of cells dividing and multiplying, with no developed brain or nervous system (no way to experience or interpret physical or mental/emotional sensations). I do not consider an embryo to be a live human being.

By the 10th week of gestation, the fetal stage of development is in full swing. The fetus has a face, limbs, internal organs, a developing brain, a nervous system, and has begun to move independently. The fetus, in my opinion, is a live human being who can experience and interpret sensations.

Keeping the above in mind, there are two different categories of abortion: Medication Abortion, and Surgical Abortion.

Medication abortion is only effective during the embryonic stage of development. It is essentially a series of oral medications that the mother takes to induce her period, thereby flushing her uterus in the same fashion that her body naturally does each month.

Surgical abortion is necessary once the fetal stage of development has begun. This type of abortion, in my opinion, is murder, as it deliberately causes the death of the fetus, which I believe to be a live human being.

Thank you and I look forward to reading your arguments!


Sources:

http://umm.edu...

http://www.plannedparenthood.org...

Debate Round No. 3
austinlaam

Pro

Ladies and gentlemen reading this debate, this is not a pro choice versus pro life argument. This is a pro choice versus anti-choice argument.


I. Con's Arguments.

A)
Con says, "Why do you not consider a fetus to be a human being? How is a newborn baby any more of a human being than a fetus when they are, in my opinion, just at different stages of human development, but both definitely live humans?"

My opponent is confusing the term, stages of human life. Con must stop recognizing a fetus in the stages of human life. The stages of human life go from infant to elderly. Now if you say that the fetus is a part of the stages in human life, you must also say that death is a stage in human life because, a fetus is not yet a human being and death is the end of a persons life.

B) Con: "It is a woman's choice to have an abortion. That is not being contested. What is being contested is whether it is morally right for a woman to have an abortion."
HE CONTINUES: "My position boils down to this. Is it morally right for a woman to kill her newborn baby if that baby came to life through a case of rape or incest? I say no, because that baby is a live human being and deserves a chance to live. I also say that a fetus is just as much of a live human being as that newborn baby, and should be afforded the same rights."

Now, my opponent claims a fetus has the same right to live as a newborn baby. This is getting ridiculous. I'm not sure why con said anything about a newborn baby, because a newborn baby and a fetus are not one in the same. A fetus is at a completely different stage in life (Not human life).

Con also would like to disrespect all of the rape victims by saying if you are raped, he doesn't care if you're ready or not, have a baby. Even if you aren't financially stable to give the baby a good home. Even if the baby will end up dying on the streets because the mother cannot afford a home. Even if the baby's mother is 12 and she gets raped. KEEP THE BABY, con says. A completely illogical argument that requires little rebuttal.


C) Con states, "Now, Pro is claiming that just because I say so, I believe a woman's rights should be taken away. Which rights is Pro referring to? Are there any rights a mother has that are equally important to the right of a fetus to live? Absolutely. Her right to live. And that right is not being taken away by carrying a baby to term."

I'm making a educated guess that pro would like to banish abortion no matter what. Con does not have empathy for any of the people who are put in the horrible situation of having an abortion or not. Does the con honestly believe that a woman decides to have an abortion just for fun? Perhaps he does. Does the con honestly believe that it is a woman's HARDEST DECISION in their life to have an abortion? Perhaps.

Lets talk a little bit about the rape cases. Every single day a girl is raped. Let's say an 11 year old girl gets raped and is carrying a fetus in her. Do you think it is immoral for her to abort to fetus?
If anything, my friend, It is immoral to let a CHILD go through child bearing and child caring a such a young age. It is IMMORAL for our society not to give a rape victim, a chance to undo what was not her fault.





Sources:

I'm not obligated to list sources because nothing I said needed proof, it was in a sense, empirical.

alexnotmurfs

Con

1. Rebuttal

"Ladies and gentlemen reading this debate, this is not a pro choice versus pro life argument. This is a pro choice versus anti-choice argument."

This is absolutely not a pro choice versus anti-choice argument. As I mentioned in my previous argument, I am not contesting whether it is a woman's right to have an abortion. The focus of this debate is whether or not it is morally right for her to have an abortion.


"My opponent is confusing the term, stages of human life. Con must stop recognizing a fetus in the stages of human life. The stages of human life go from infant to elderly. Now if you say that the fetus is a part of the stages in human life, you must also say that death is a stage in human life because, a fetus is not yet a human being and death is the end of a persons life."

My opponent continues to offer his circular argument: a fetus is not a human being. He still has not addressed my question, which was why he thinks that this is the case. He also has not addressed my most recent arguments for the opposing position.

Also, death is absolutely not a stage of human life. It is the termination of human life. It is understood that we do not continue to live after we die. Unless my opponent is arguing that life continues after we die.


"Now, my opponent claims a fetus has the same right to live as a newborn baby. This is getting ridiculous. I'm not sure why con said anything about a newborn baby, because a newborn baby and a fetus are not one in the same. A fetus is at a completely different stage in life (Not human life)."

I will ask again, because Pro still has not provided a direct answer to the question: Why do you believe that a newborn baby is a live human, and that a fetus is not? What is the difference that you see which convinces you that this is the case? If you cannot back up your claim with your reasoning for believing it, how are we to discern the claim's accuracy? On your word? I'm afraid that just isn't enough.

When Pro states that "a fetus is at a completely different stage in life (not human life)", he seems to be agreeing that a fetus is in fact alive, but not human. If a fetus is alive but not human, what do you propose it to be?

As I have asserted and explained, I believe that a fetus is a live human being.

"Con also would like to disrespect all of the rape victims by saying if you are raped, he doesn't care if you're ready or not, have a baby. Even if you aren't financially stable to give the baby a good home. Even if the baby will end up dying on the streets because the mother cannot afford a home. Even if the baby's mother is 12 and she gets raped. KEEP THE BABY, con says. A completely illogical argument that requires little rebuttal."

Pro is putting words in my mouth here. I have not once claimed that a mother should be forced to keep her baby. I have not even claimed that a mother should be forced to carry the baby to term. I am simply arguing that it is morally wrong for her to have an abortion.

Also, there are many options for parents who are unfit to raise a child. Giving the child up for adoption being one of them. No woman should be forced to keep and raise a child whom she is unable to properly care for.

In response to the scenario Pro provided, "the baby's mother is 12", in most cases carrying a baby to term at that age would pose a serious risk to the mother's life. As I have already explained, my position is that a mother's right to life is equal to that of the fetus. At this point, the morality of the issue is a grey area and I don't believe that having an abortion in this case is either moral or immoral.

"I'm making a educated guess that pro would like to banish abortion no matter what. Con does not have empathy for any of the people who are put in the horrible situation of having an abortion or not. Does the con honestly believe that a woman decides to have an abortion just for fun? Perhaps he does. Does the con honestly believe that it is a woman's HARDEST DECISION in their life to have an abortion? Perhaps."


It is unfortunate that Pro is making these far-reaching assumptions. As I already mentioned, my position in this debate is not that abortion should be banned, but that having an abortion is morally wrong.

I absolutely empathise with the people who are put into the situation of deciding whether to make that choice. I know for a fact that it is one of the hardest decision you may have to make in your lifetime. However, the difficulty in making the choice to take an action is irrelevant to the moral validity of the action itself.

"Lets talk a little bit about the rape cases. Every single day a girl is raped. Let's say an 11 year old girl gets raped and is carrying a fetus in her. Do you think it is immoral for her to abort to fetus? If anything, my friend, It is immoral to let a CHILD go through child bearing and child caring a such a young age. It is IMMORAL for our society not to give a rape victim, a chance to undo what was not her fault. "

As I mentioned before, I do not find it immoral for a child to have an abortion, as in most cases carrying a baby to term would pose a serious risk to her life.

2. Arguments

I will stand on the arguments I have proposed thus far for this round. I look forward to Pro's response. Cheers!


Debate Round No. 4
austinlaam

Pro

I. Con's Arguments.

"This is absolutely not a pro choice versus anti-choice argument. As I mentioned in my previous argument, I am not contesting whether it is a woman's right to have an abortion. The focus of this debate is whether or not it is morally right for her to have an abortion."


Wrong. You are denying a woman's/child's right to not carry a fetus in her womb.


"My opponent continues to offer his circular argument: a fetus is not a human being. He still has not addressed my question, which was why he thinks that this is the case. He also has not addressed my most recent arguments for the opposing position."

A fetus cannot even mentally function outside of involuntary muscle movement and bodily functions.


"Also, death is absolutely not a stage of human life. It is the termination of human life. It is understood that we do not continue to live after we die. Unless my opponent is arguing that life continues after we die."

I am not disagreeing with con. I was saying that if you say that being a fetus is a stage in human life, then death is also a stage of human life. Obviously, I do not agree that a fetus, or death is a stage of human life. For the record, I do not believe in an afterlife. Hence the "Secular Date" name.


Con says this, referring to me saying that con is disrespecting rape victims: "Pro is putting words in my mouth here. I have not once claimed that a mother should be forced to keep her baby. I have not even claimed that a mother should be forced to carry the baby to term. I am simply arguing that it is morally wrong for her to have an abortion".

If you actually believe that abortion is immoral, then you would like to outlaw it. If you were to outlaw it, you would be denying women's/children's rights. That was my point.

"It is unfortunate that Pro is making these far-reaching assumptions. As I already mentioned, my position in this debate is not that abortion should be banned, but that having an abortion is morally wrong."

It is illogical for someone not wanting to outlaw something that is immoral. This is not a "far-reaching" assumption. This is an educated guess.



II. Arguments.

Extend.


III. Conclusion.

That everyone for reading and participating in this debate. I would also like to thank my opponent for his participating and responses. VOTE PRO.




No need for sources here :)




alexnotmurfs

Con

Rebuttal:

Pro is asserting that because I have the position that abortion of a fetus is immoral, I must also want to ban abortion.


I have a couple of responses to this:

1. It was agreed at the beginning of the second round of this debate, by Pro's request, that the legality of abortion would not be addressed in discussion during this debate. Also, by Pro's request, it was agreed that the focus of this debate be on the morality of abortion.

I have honoured Pro's requests and have since left legality out of my arguments, focusing instead on my reasoning for believing that it is immoral for a woman to have an abortion.

Any discussion about banning or regulating abortion is based in the legality of this issue, and for Pro to bring legality back into the discussion after we had agreed not to discuss it is bad form.

2. Believing that something is immoral and believing that it should be legally restricted or banned are two different things. For example, I may believe that it is immoral to publicly voice a negative opinion about homosexuality, but I accept that freedom of expression is necessary for our society and therefore don't think that publicly voicing a negative opinion about homosexuality should be banned.

Pro states: "A fetus cannot even mentally function outside of involuntary muscle movement and bodily functions."

Where are your sources to back up this claim? I provided a sourced description of a fetus and what it is capable of doing in my 3rd round argument that clearly proves this claim to be false.

Conclusion:

My position in this debate has been that it is immoral for a woman to have an abortion, and that the abortion of a fetus is murder.

My main point for the immorality of abortion was that a fetus is a live human being and deserves equal rights to life as the mother.

It was agreed that an abortion can be defined as "deliberately killing a fetus", and that murder can be defined as "deliberately killing a person". I went on to argue that a fetus can be defined as a human being, and therefore a person.

Please read through the previous rounds to see specific arguments. Thank you for your participation, and I hope to see votes for Con!




I would like to thank my opponent for participating in this debate! All the best!



Debate Round No. 5
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by FreddyT 3 years ago
FreddyT
I would say that Pro's argument began to fall apart right around: "This is equivalent to asking someone what is the difference between a seed and a tree. They are two of the same thing, in a different stage. It is a fetus, not a human being."

If perhaps our moral norms and laws regarding human life and trees were remotely similar, the Pro might have a valid point. It is quite rational to state that a fetus is a human by well-known biological principles. It's quite simply a verifiable scientific point of inarguable fact. Do biologists refer to human fetuses as dog fetuses? Tree fetuses? No, because a fetus in a human female's uterus is genetically human and will progress (barring early termination) to the next stage in the widely recognized biological understanding of the human life cycle. Again, we're not talking the life cycle of a plant or separate species of animal here.

Does the Pro think that the human life cycle magically begins upon exiting the birth canal? The Pro demonstrates a poor understanding of basic scientific principles, not to mention resorting to needless invective. Pro should have tried the more abstract course of "personhood" for an argument more difficult to refute.
Posted by amay 3 years ago
amay
Jacob,

The world is in a sorry state in some ways, and there are certainly people around the world who do not have the rights they deserve. But that isn't the point; the fact that they don't get their rights does not mean that unborn fetus' shouldn't get theirs either. If there was a debate on whether any other segment of the population deserved their rights, I'm sure I'd be just as much in favour as I am in this case; but here and now, the question is whether unborn fetus' deserve rights, and I believe they do, as anybody does.

Like I said, I think that in the overwhelming majority of cases, abortion should not be an option, since it was the mothers own actions that brought the child into being; I refer here mostly to the countless, thoughtless idiot young people that just don't think any more - after all, who needs to think about the consequences of our actions when we can just get an abortion. But also as I said, there are exceptions; rape, or cases where the mother's life is threatened would be prime points; in these cases, I believe abortion should be an option.

In a sense however, I suppose, I agree with you; in an ideal world, abortion would be considered a legal right to every woman, but said women would recognise the child's right to life, and so would only consider abortion in exceptional cases, like those mentioned above. Sadly, in the world today, I don't think that would happen; today, abortion as a legal right for all just seems to be a license to do what (and who) you like without thought to the consequences.
Posted by JacobAnderson 3 years ago
JacobAnderson
Amay,
What you are saying does make sense. However, I would like to question this: Why does an unborn fetus get rights when people on Earth are still struggling for their rights? Must we prioritize an unborn fetus's rights over those of people who are actually on this world? Now I know these two are not the same thing, and they may not correlate at first, but I believe that it is somewhat true to the question.
Would you rather a fetus be born into a world with restricted rights? What if the mother was going to die in labor? I do not, by any means, agree with abortion. I just agree that it needs to be a legal right to mothers.
Posted by amay 3 years ago
amay
I see what you mean Jacob. And you're right that these constitutional rights come into force when you're born.

But I think it might reasonably said that the right to life (not necessarily the legal right to life, but just... well, the moral, basic right to life) comes into force when a human first has life to have a right to. A fetus is alive undoubtedly; the point at which he becomes a fully functional human being is debatable of course, but I believe Con made a good suggestion in round 3; that is, a fetus who is beyond the embryonic stage ( please see his source in Round 3). So if at this point, the fetus is alive, and developed enough to be considered human, who are we to deny his right to live and discover his potential?

My position is that in the overwhelming majority of cases, abortion should not be an option, since it was the mothers own actions that brought the child into being; however, I do concede that there are exceptions, and feel that they should be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Posted by JacobAnderson 3 years ago
JacobAnderson
I would just like to point out that in Round 1 of this debate, the Con mentioned that abortion is more of the fetus's right to live. Although the Pro had mentioned it, I would like to put my two cents worth in. In America, we are born with Inalienable Rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. With this being known, a fetus, unborn, would not qualify for these rights, as they only come when one is born. Whether a human or not, the fetus does not have a fully developed mind or a sense of what the world is like. I do not advocate abortion, but I believe that the mother should have the choice, and if she can bear with the consequences of such actions, then who are we to stop her?
Posted by amay 3 years ago
amay
On the contrary Z4rquon,

In round 3, Con presents a source, detailing the stages of development of the fetus. He clearly states his position;

"The embryonic stage of development spans from conception to 8-10 weeks gestation. During this time, the embryo really is just a clump of cells dividing and multiplying, with no developed brain or nervous system (no way to experience or interpret physical or mental/emotional sensations). I do not consider an embryo to be a live human being.".

Now, whether this is a valid definition of the start of human life, Con can't possibly prove - it is for science to do that. But he does present a reasonable suggestion, which Pro never really refutes; Pro never gives any reason at all for his position that a fetus is not a human being.
Posted by amay 3 years ago
amay
Z4RQUON,

I don't think Neptune means to say that killing anything, plant or animal, is murder, although I understand where you are coming from.

But the statement he makes - 'even pro admits that abortion *kills* the fetus (which makes it murder of some sort, whether or not you believe that a "human" was murdered)' - needs to be taken in context with what he goes on to point out; namely, that we all agree that a fetus is a stage of human life, so by definition, killing it is terminating a human life, which is murder.
Posted by Z4RQUON 3 years ago
Z4RQUON
//"Pro is fully aware that the questions are asked in the context of my position that a fetus is a live human being...What Pro is really doing here is deflecting my questions. "//

He deflected the questions that you have made under the assumption that a fetus is a human being because you never actually established this as fact.
Posted by Z4RQUON 3 years ago
Z4RQUON
Is chopping down a tree considered "murder"?
Posted by neptune1bond 3 years ago
neptune1bond
What a good debate. Con made very good arguments. I do not find it reasonable either to say that a fetus is somehow not human and even pro admits that abortion *kills* the fetus (which makes it murder of some sort, whether or not you believe that a "human" was murdered). We all agree that fetus is a stage of *human* life, so if it isn't a *human*, then what is it supposed to be? An artichoke? Should we start saying that people born without limbs or both eyes are no longer human because they didn't fully develop? Pro gives his definition of a human and then immediately contradicts it by saying that a baby doesn't fit the criteria but is still obviously a human. Also, there are other "obvious humans" that do not fully fit the definition, like certain handicapped and disabled people. Pro never updated his definition nor gave any reason to believe that a fetus was different than a baby, but con did give reasons why he believed a fetus to be alive and human. I can't even see why people would vote against con unless they aren't treating the debate fairly simply because they are very strongly in agreement with abortion.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by superkamal26 3 years ago
superkamal26
austinlaamalexnotmurfsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Although this debate was very close in terms of who won, pro made better arguments about why abortion is moral. Con did well in this debate but not as good as pro.
Vote Placed by campbellp10 3 years ago
campbellp10
austinlaamalexnotmurfsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: If this is a true representation of the Atheist community's debate on abortion than it is a sad place indeed. Overall, there was a complete lack of DEBATE. Pro rightly identified that "the scientific community hasn't determined when life begins" but then for some reason assumes this means it isn't relevant. THE FACT THAT IT ISN'T A CONSENSUS IS WHY IT IS A DEBATE. By throwing this aside early in the debate, the rest of the debate becomes annoying repetition and tautology. "A fetus is not a human being because it isn't" isn't a real argument, I'm sorry to break it to you. Both Pro and Con are guilty of this, but I think Con at least attempts to address the heart of the issue, which is whether or not fetuses should be awarded human rights. Pro loses the conduct point for vicious ad hominem attacks as well as just poor manner overall. "That's ridiculous" also isn't an argument, which I wish went without saying. Overall crappy debate, but Con still comes out on top.
Vote Placed by 00r3d 3 years ago
00r3d
austinlaamalexnotmurfsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, well that is obvious, and argument, Con did better at explaining everything, while Pro kept returning to the idea that fetus are not human, while never elaborating
Vote Placed by TheOncomingStorm 3 years ago
TheOncomingStorm
austinlaamalexnotmurfsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: If you call your opponent or his ideas idotic then you lose the point for conduct. Also, pleading that legality not be argued then using it the rest of the debate loses you on conduct. Con made more sound argumentation than pro did. Pro never elaborated or explained his position that a fetus is not a human, and con stated that it was an earlier stage of development no different from a child becoming an adult. The pro also used red herring and ad hominem logical fallacies the ought the debate, while con remained level headed. That's why con wins the two points I gave.
Vote Placed by SloppyJoe6412 3 years ago
SloppyJoe6412
austinlaamalexnotmurfsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro lost his cool, point against him. Yet his position is basically correct. None of the debaters made any inroads in defining a cutoff age for fetus development, which is understandable since the scientific community can't agree on it either, but that should be at the basis of the debate: Con did not rebut it convincingly.
Vote Placed by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
austinlaamalexnotmurfsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: In the end, I could not decide who had stronger arguments. Both Pro and Con had equally reliable sources. I will give the spelling and grammar point to Con.