The Instigator
rugbypro5
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Dookieman
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Abortion Is Wrong

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Dookieman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,084 times Debate No: 66294
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

rugbypro5

Pro

I am taking the stance that abortion is wrong in all cases, including rape and incest, but excluding instances when the mother's life is in danger. This debate is acceptable only for people who have 10 debates or more, because I'm tired of debating people who don't care about their ranking and will forfeit. Let's tackle the issue and try to find out if it's right or wrong. Thanks in advance, and feel free to post your first argument. Good luck.
Dookieman

Con

Thanks Pro for allowing me to take part in this debate.

Definitions

abortion:
"a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus."

morally wrong:
that which is immoral

morally permissible:
permitted; allowed

Introduction

In this debate I will be putting forth two main arguments to justify the moral permissibility of abortion. I also want to point out that Pro bares the BOP since, by the title of the debate, he is the one claiming that abortion is morally wrong. With that said, let me begin.

The Desire View of Rights
Before I can discuss the issue of rights, and what sort of beings can have them, I first need to define what a right is. A right is simply an entitlement to protection from certain acts. If I have a right to life or a right to liberty, then others are under a moral obligation not to kill or enslave me, since that would violate my rights. In this debate I will be defending a desire view of rights. Under this view, only things that have conscious desires now, or who have had them at some time in the past, can have rights. By conscious desires, I mean desires that only conscious beings can have. In order for a being to have a desire for something, he must wish that a certain proposition be true. The desires that someone can have are limited by the concepts it possess. [1] This means that the rights someone can have are dependent on what desires it has. Now that I have explained this view of rights, I now want to move on to the question of what kind of being can have a right to life.

The Desire View and The Right to Life
Under the desire view of rights, only a living thing that has a desire to continuing living can have a right to life. One can have a desire to continuing living only if one possess the concept of a self as a continuing subject of experiences and other mental states, and believes that it is itself such a continuing entity. [2] This kind of awareness is only seen in rational and self-conscious beings and a fetus, being underdeveloped and unconscious, cannot have this concept I have outlined. Finally, I will now put forth my first argument for the moral permissibility of abortion.

P1) Only a being who has a desire to continue living can have a right to life.

P2) One can have a desire for continued existence only if one possesses the concept of a self as a continuing subject of experiences, or has at least at one time had that concept.

P3) A fetus has never had this concept.

C) Therefore, a fetus does not have a right to life.

At first this view seems plausible, but it's open to clear counter examples once critically examined. Here I will now list a couple of them.

1. Consider someone who is asleep or temporarily unconscious. When someone is in this state they are not presently desiring to continue living. Is it permissible to kill them while they are like that?

2. Consider a teenager who is suicidal and has no desire to continue living. Is it permissible to kill him while he is suicidal?

Dispositional Desires
In regards to these counter examples, I will turn to the philosopher David Boonin who I think successfully solves these problems. In his book "A Defense of Abortion," Boonin points out in the case of the asleep or temporarily unconscious individuals that:

"When I wake up in the morning I do not have to learn everything that I believed the day before. I seem to have almost all the same beliefs, concepts and desires I had yesterday. This suggest that these mental items were retained in some form or other while I was asleep. Accordingly, when I was asleep I possessed in some way the concept of myself as a continuing subject of experience. And when I was asleep in some clear sense I desire to live." [3]

So as we can see, the desire account of the wrongness of killing can still explain why it would be wrong to kill people who are asleep or temporarily unconscious.

Actual and Ideal Desires
In the situation of the suicidal person, I will again turn to David Boonin and his book "A defense of Abortion" who responds to this objection through an analogy.

"Imagine that a hiker is at a fork in the road and must choose to go right or left. In this situation, the hiker ends up choosing to go left because the left path is more scenic. But little does the hiker know there is a landmine on the left trail which will kill the hiker if he takes that path. The hiker's "actual" desire was to go left, but his "ideal" desire was to go right and not hit the landmine. If this particular hiker knew about the landmine, he would certainly have gone right. Likewise, the suicidal person might have an "actual" desire to not go on living, but if this person was in a situation with better circumstances, his "ideal" desire would be to live." [4] Thus, as Boonin argues, it is a person's "ideal" desires that more accurately establish their right to life.


Finally, I will be using Judith Jarvis Thomson's Violinist thought experiment to argue for a woman's right to choose.

The Violinist
Imagine that you wake up in a hospital bed connected through a series of medical tubes to an unconscious famous violinist. The violinist is dying from a kidney disease, and the Society of Music Lovers has found that you alone have the right blood type to save his life. So last night, in your sleep, they kidnapped you and plugged you into him. If you disconnect yourself from him now, the violinist will die. But if you disconnect yourself from him in 9 months, he will live and go onto play beautiful music.

Now, the question is, are you within your rights to disconnect yourself from the violinist to let him die? I would argue yes, you do have the right. This is because you are a sovereign over your own body, and nobody should have the right to use your body against your will. So if you agree that the kidnapped person in this thought experiment has the right to unhook himself from the violinist, then you should also agree that a pregnant woman should have the right to unhook herself from the fetus.

Conclusion
In this debate I have presented two arguments to justify the moral permissibility of abortion. My arguments, I think, have been persuasive and shown why abortion is not morally wrong contrary to what the debate title claims. Therefore, we ought to reject the resolution.

Sources
Abortion and Infanticide by Michael Tooley
Boonin, David. A Defense of Abortion. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
http://spot.colorado.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
rugbypro5

Pro

Thank you, Con for accepting; and from the looks of it, we're going to have a good debate.

I'd like to start with an introduction and a presentation of my basic arguments for the pro-life movement before I begin to counter your points.

Abortion, I believe, is completely permissible. A woman should have a right to choose what to do with the fetus since it's inside and attached to her body. There's no point in me, or anyone on the pro-life side of things, to argue about this- it should be simply assumed. If. If what? If the unborn are 1) not alive, and 2) not human. If the unborn aren't human and they aren't alive, why shouldn't we be able to do with them whatever we like? Why would we treat them any differently than a headache or anything else that could hinder our personal happiness? But, if the unborn are human and alive, why should we treat them any differently, or give them any less value than you or me? I believe there are good scientific and philisophical reasons to believe the unborn match both criteria of being alive and human.

First: Are the unborn alive?

Oxford dictionary defines 'life' as the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.So let's take a look at a fetus and see if it fits the definition.

A fetus, according to the definition, must have "...the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change..." Out of all of the requirements to be alive, the fetus is already doing three in the womb. Not only does it have the capacity for growth, functional activity, and continual change, the fetus is currently doing all three of them from the moment of conception. It's not reproducing, but, fulfilling the requirement, it has the capacity to reproduce. So we know that a fetus is alive.

Second: Are the unborn human?

From the moment of conception, the fetus is, according to Jan Langman in Medical Embryology, "The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote."

Furthermore, in the textbook, Human Embryology& Teratology, it says, "Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed..."

At fertilization, a distinct, living and whole human being exists. Yes, it is immature and still developing, but it is a human nonetheless.

So, we see that the unborn are human and alive, and we need to treat them as such. They should have the same value you and I have, and they should be given the rights all men have: the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Chiefly, the right that provides the gateway to all others: the right to life.

Rebuttals

You may have agreed with all that I mentioned above, seeing as your arguments weren't contingent on the fetus' life or humanity, but I wanted to lay my foundation.

In response to your first argument: A person needs the desire to live in order to have a right to life. Very well. What action then, do we take when a 1-year old, who has no more desire to live than does the fetus- neither are even self aware- has suddenly become a nuissance to the mother? Does she have the right to kill it simply because it has no desire to live? If you're going to hold to this stance, you're going to have to condone abortion until the age of 2, when an average child gains the ability of self-awareness, and with it the desire to preserve that self. Afterall, how can you desire for yourself to live, if you don't know you exist. So, if you insist on not giving the right to life to those without a desire to live will mean that any parent should legally be allowed to kill their child until the age of 2. And I believe, if I'm not thinking of another pro-choice advocate, Michael Tooley, the one you quoted, does in fact hold this position. Is this the position you hold?

I'd like to address your next argument, the violinist analogy, first by noting that your analogy doesn't fit very well with pregnancy. The vast majority of pregnancies are with women who consented to have sex. So, the whole kidnapping thing doesn't work. Now pleas look at this sister analogy: You're at a shooting range, and you're aimed at a target when someone comes and stands in front of the barrel of your gun. In response you lower your gun so as not to shoot him. Now like you said, "you are a sovereign over your own body..." so, now if he wouldn't have stepped in front of your barrell, in another second you would've practiced your sovereignity over your own body and pulled the trigger. So why should the person change your action to pull the trigger when you are sovereign of whether you flex your finger muscles or not? There should be no reason, according to your logic that you don't go and pull the trigger just like you'd planned to and kill him. Then look all around you, if everyone is sovereign over their own body (which I believe they are) and have no responsibility to other humans (which like I pointed out a fetus is) why can't anyone go and kill anyone they please, or anyone that annoys them? After all, aren't they just excercizing their sovereignty when they pull the trigger? You see, you look over an essential part of humanity: The fact that we have a moral responsibility to help and preserve the lives of others. So I would absolutely say that the person should remain hooked up to the person whether he was a famous violinist or a homeless bum, one person's life is astronomically much more important than your own personal 9 months of independency.

So, I find your arguments to be flawed and insufficient to provide good reason to kill the lives of the unborn. Therefore, seeing that the unborn are both alive and human, and it would be wrong not to give them every right you and I have, meaning, abortion would be wrong.





Sources:

Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]


[O'Rahilly, Ronan and MA533;ller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29. This textbook lists "pre-embryo" among "discarded and replaced terms" in modern embryology, describing it as "ill-defined and inaccurate" (p. 12}

(http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...)
Dookieman

Con

Thank you Pro for your first round of arguments.

Introduction

Firstly, I will begin by attacking my opponent's arguments for the impermissibility of abortion. Secondly, I will be defending my original arguments for the moral permissibility of abortion. With that said, let me begin.

Definitions

Homo sapien:
"The modern species of humans." [1]

Speciesism:
"a prejudice or attitude of bias in favour of the interests of members of one's own species and against those of members of other species." [2]

Permanent coma:
"a profound state of unconsciousness caused by disease, injury, poison, or other means, and for which it has been determined that there exists no reasonable expectation of regaining consciousness." [3]

Speciesism
Pro's argument is that a fetus is alive and a member of the species homo sapien, and because of that, it should have a right to life. This argument is speciesist, because it claims that a fetus has a right to life only because it is human. This line of argument advanced by my opponent is no different than a racist saying that white people have rights in virtue of them being white, or a sexist saying that men have rights in virtue of them being men. Race, sex, or species in of itself and irrespective of other characteristics and capacities, should not determine moral value. Moreover, this argument by him leads to absurd conclusions. To demonstrate this, let me provide an example.

The Permanently Comatose
Lets go back to my opponent's original argument. If you remember correctly he claims that a fetus has a right to life because 1) it's human, and 2) it's alive. Therefore, because it's both alive and human, it must have a right to life. If we are to accept this argument, then we must also accept that it would be morally wrong to end the life of someone who is permanently comatose. This is because 1) the permanently comatose are human, and 2) they are, technically speaking, alive. However, it's obviously silly to believe that someone who is permanently unconscious could have a right to life. It would mean that a family who decided to let their love one die because he was in this kind of state murderers. After all, the permanently unconscious meet the criteria that my opponent has outlined. Namely, being alive and human.

I will now respond to the objections raised by Pro to my original arguments.

Pro states that my desire view on the right to life implies that it would not be morally wrong to kill a one year old, because it is not self aware and thus cannot have a desire to continue living.

I think we can be certain that a fetus does not have a desire to live, given the fact that it's not even conscious. However, it's harder to say whether or not a one year old can desire to live. Here, I think, we approach a grey area. Therefore, because we cannot be as confident in this kind of situation, we should err on the side of caution. Moreover, I think that when it comes to taking life one should make decisions in life as early as possible, and not wait a long time at all. This is because there is the fact of human attachment. Also, Pro asked me if it should be allowed for a mother to kill her one year old because it is a nuisance to her. My answer would be absolutely not. In that kind of case the woman has already assumed guardianship over the child, consented to take care of it, taken it home from the hospital, and has fed and clothed it. This woman has gone through extraordinary means to take care of this child, and so to kill it would be wrong.

So in summary, killing the one year old would be wrong because it's possible that it could desire to live. Given the fact that a one year old is conscious, has been exposed to the world around him, can have experiences, can have concepts and desires for food, water, and comfort from a parent. These are all things that increase the likelihood of it having a desire to live. Whereas we cannot say it in terms of the unconscious fetus.

Finally, I will respond to Pro's criticism of the violinist analogy. Pro
states that this analogy does not fit very well with pregnancy, since most women become pregnant through consensual sex, not rape. So the kidnapping in this thought experiment, it is said, doesn't work. There are two things I would like to say to this. The first is that it doesn't matter if the woman was raped or not. This is because the fetus is still using the woman's body against her will, which is a violation of her right to autonomy. So again, rape or not, the fetus does not have the right to use the woman's body against her will. The second thing I would like to say is that if you noticed at the beginning of the debate my opponent said this in the first round:

"I am taking the stance that abortion is wrong in all cases, including rape and incest, but excluding instances when the mother's life is in danger."

This means abortion, in his eyes, is only morally justified when the mother's life is in danger. So, I find it strange that my opponent took the time to point out earlier that my violinist analogy was not like pregnancy. Because from the looks of it, the violinist analogy seems to morally justify abortion in the case of rape since, in that particular kind of case, it's more like a kidnapping because the woman does not engage in consensual sex. The purpose of me pointing this out is this. My opponent has the burden of proof to show that abortion is morally wrong in the case of rape and incest. So if I can point to a case where abortion could be morally justified in the case of rape, he loses. Since he will then not have filled his BOP. And I believe through the violinist analogy I have shown abortion to be permissible in that kind of case.

Later on Pro makes what I think is a false counter analogy to my violinist thought experiment. In my opponent's analogy the person who has stepped in front of his gun is not using his body against his will. He has not kidnapped you and hooked you up to him to sustain his own life. So, because of that, I must reject your counter analogy to mine.

The last thing Pro says in response to my violinist analogy is:

"So I would absolutely say that the person should remain hooked up to the person whether he was a famous violinist or a homeless bum, one person's life is astronomically much more important than your own personal 9 months of independency."

You might think that the kidnapped person should remain hooked up to the violinist in order to save his life. However, while it would be very kind of you to stay hooked up to him, you nevertheless cannot be considered immoral for unhooking yourself from him. Others should not have the right to take you away against your will to sustain the life of another. That would be crazy. If I have a kidney disease, and I need someone to be hooked up to me in order for my life to be preserved, I don't then have the right to kidnap someone against their will and hook them up to me. Such an action by me would be wrong, and I shouldn't have the right to do that.

Conclusion
Pro has failed to argue successfully why abortion is morally wrong, and his objections to my arguments have no merit.

Sources:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
http://wiki.lawdepot.com...
Debate Round No. 2
rugbypro5

Pro

Yes, I am being very speciest. If speciesism was a real thing, then we should all be in jail- if you took a shower today and washed your hair, then you commited mass murder against tens of thousands hair mites. Shampoo is absorbed into the bodies of the dust mites until they explode. Are you telling me that we need to treat dust mites and humans equally so as not to be 'speciest'? Of course not! Speciesm does not exist! You might say that because human are more intelligent than they are we are therefore more valuable, but what would that mean with just humans? Is someone more intelligent more valuable than one that's less intelligent? So again: Speciesm is not a real thing. Who should be the first we kill if humans have no intrinsic value?


Next, you said that we approach a grey area when we look at a one-year old's desire to live, and, because what you assert the thing that gives us the right to live is our desire for it, you really say that killing a one-year old is a grey area. Do you really mean that? And is that what you want everyone to believe? That when a mother drowns her one-year-old child in the bathtub, a court should have a hard time deciding whether what she did was wrong? This is your exchange for my "absurd conclusions"?

I want to bring up a very important point. You say that it's the desire to live that gives humans a right to life. Why? You simply assert this like it's fact.

Suppose I'm in a terrible car wreck in which I'm placed in a coma for 9 months. The doctors tell me none of my memories will be retained, I will have to touch a hot stove to know not to do that anymore, I won't know who my mother and father are, I'll have to relearn my motor skills, how to walk, how to talk, how to speak English etc. I am now in the same psychological position the fetus is in, right? So am I now allowed to be killed, due to my lack of desire to live? Michael Boonin, from whom it seems you grabbed some of your analogies and arguments would say be forced to say yes. And if you or he said no, what grounds would you have to stand on? It can't be my past experiences like you quoted, rather, it must be my human nature that stays your hands. I have a hypothesis of why our human nature is important to us, but it is from my religous views. So as not to turn this into a religious debate, I will refrain from explaining. I think it's self-evident that we do have this thing called 'human nature' however. Like I explained before, why, if all species are of equal value, would you eat? Eat anything. All animals are animals so they all deserve equal rights, correct? So maybe you're a vegetarian. But are not plants species as well, and aren't they living? So why are you condoning the killing of plants if you don't want to be speciesist? What I'm trying to prove is that why we would rather eat a head of lettuce instead of a head of a girl is because we all have a human nature within us, that absent of a desire to live, gives us the right to life.

You said something later on about wanting to kill someone earlier rather than later because later, there will be human attachment. This is also an agrument that can't hold water. You don't have the moral justification to kill a hermit that walks into town from the mountains just because no one knows or cares about him. You can't convince a jury with that. And using that same logic, someone with 6 people showing up to their funeral was more valuable and had more of a right to life than someone with only 5 people. And it'd be better to kill someone who wasn't going to have anyone show up to the fueral than it would be to kill someone with one person coming.

Lastly you say that it would be wrong to kill a one-year old because, "it's possible that it could desire to live." So can a fetus! Being conscious, being exposed to the world, having experience, and having concepts and desires for food and water are all things the unborn could possibly desire in the future! So according to your own logic, a fetus would have every right to life a one-year old would have. (I'd also like to point out that in the beginning of the round you said killing a one-year old was a grey area. Now you say it's wrong. What exactly do you believe?)


Now the violinist analogy. Stephen Schwarz says, "The very thing that makes it possible to say that the person in bed with the violinist has no duty to sustain him; namely, that he is a stranger unnaturally hooked up to him, is precisely what is absent in the case of the mother and her child.” What if the woman woke up connected to her own two-year old? What kind of mother would willingly cut the life-line to her own child? And what would we think of her if she did? The analogy you make assumes a mother has no more duty to her own offspring than she does a total stranger. Secondly, the child isn't an intruder. If the child doesn't belong in the womb, where does it belong? Schwarz then says, "That a woman looks upon her child as a burglar or an intruder is already an evil, even if she refreains from killing her." Third, your analogy says abortion is the same as withholding support of the child, when really, it is an extremely violent, proactive murder. It is one thing to withhold support from someone, but it's an entirely different thing to poison, crush, or dismember them. Francis J. Beckwith says, "Euphemistically calling abortion the 'witholding of support' makes about as much sense as calling suffocating someone with a pillow the withdrawing of oxygen." "If the only way you can exercise your right to withhold support is to kill another human being, I may not do it," says Scott Klusendorf. Lastly, barring cases of rape, a woman can't claim she has no responsibility for the child. When a man and woman engage in sex, they engage in the only natural way to create another human being. Hence, she can't be compared to the woman plugged in against her will.

In a debate against Dr. Meredith Williams, Scott Klusendorf asked her this, and I'd like to know how you'd respond, since this deals with women having absolute right to bodily autonomy: "Let’s say a woman has intractable nausea and vomiting and insists on taking thalidomide to help her symptoms. After having explained the horrific risks of birth defects that have arisen due to this medication, she still insists on taking it based on the fact that the fetus has no right to her body anyway. After being refused thalidomide from her physician, she acquires some and takes it, resulting in her child developing no arms. Do you believe that she did anything wrong? Would you excuse her actions based on her right to bodily autonomy? The fetus after all is an uninvited guest, and has no right even to life,let alone an environment free from pathogens."

Please know that I'm not trying to influence anyone with merely quoting someone, I'm only wanting to give him the credit with the question because it wasn't me who came up with it.

The reason I say abortion is permissible if the mother's life is in danger, is based only on a factual point of view. Paramedics, firefighters, police, all are trained, in dire situations like a family in a car going over a bridge, to save the most viable first. That means they would try and save the strongest, healthiest looking man before they'd take the woman or child. Why? It's due only on the fact that men are proven to survive more often than women or children, and so to save the most lives, they should make men their first priority. I use the same logic here: the mother has a much higher chance of surviving the pregnancy than the baby does, so measures should be taken to save the mother's life first, but only after all other options are exhausted to save both. I'm not claiming one is more valuable than the other, just that one is more likely to survive. And this would be my same response to the argument of two burning buildings, one with a child, the other with 2 fetuses. The child is statistically more viable.

Lastly, when you talk about killing people in permanent comas, please note that first, it's highly controversial. Using an unknown variable to prove the validity of another unknown variable is illogical. Second, note that the fetus has a future to do all the things we value in life, while the person in the permanent coma has used up all of his, and all he has now is sleep, which we know none of us want to live in, and therefore you could argue we're doing him a favor. The comatose person has nothing to look forward to but death, the child has everything to look forward to in life.

In conclusion, I have shown the flaws in the violinist analogy and shown that it does not successfully show that abortion is morally permissible, and I have shown that because the fetus is alive and human, it has a right to life becuase of it's human nature.
Dookieman

Con

Thank you Pro for your second round of arguments.

Introduction

Firstly, I will begin by attacking my opponent's arguments for the impermissibility of abortion. Secondly, I will be defending my original arguments for the moral permissibility of abortion. With that said, let me begin.

Definition

Straw man fallacy:
"The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position." [1]

Pro states that the killing of the human in the permanent coma is different than the killing of the fetus. In the first case, the human in the permanent coma will never regain consciousness, and thus will spend the rest of his life in a deep sleep. While the fetus, on the other hand, will have consciousness one day, and have valuable experiences like us. As Pro puts it:

"The comatose person has nothing to look forward to but death, the child has everything to look forward to in life."

This is why we can be against the killing of the fetus, but not the permanently comatose. However, my opponent is now appealing to something other than species membership in order to have a right to life. And is instead pointing to the capacity of the fetus to have a future of value. He is essentially taking my stance now. Namely, what matters is the characteristics and capacities a being has, not the species it is a member of. The reason why I criticized my opponent's criteria of having to life earlier is precisely because it leads to silly conclusions. Example: the permanently comatose having a right to life because they are human. Let's now look at his new reason for why killing the fetus through abortion is wrong.

A Future of Value
This view on the wrongness of killing that my opponent has adopted comes from the philosopher Don Marquis. In short this view says killing individuals is morally wrong, because it deprives them of a valuable future. Therefore, since a fetus could have a valuable future it would be wrong to kill them. This view seems plausible at first, but once one looks at it critically, I believe it falls apart. Allow me to demonstrate.

The Horny Teenager Objection
It seems that if the future of value argument is true, it would be murder for a teenage boy were to masturbate since the sperm he ejaculated could have been used to develop into individuals that would have lived out valuable futures. However, even those that think masturbation is wrong, would not think that it is like murder. Therefore, Marquis' argument must be false. Now, it may be objected by my opponent that a sperm in and of itself will never live out a valuable future. While this is true it's also worth pointing out that an embryo in and of itself without 9 months in womb will also not live out a valuable future. So if we agree that the sperm itself does not have a future of value, then we must also accept that the embryo itself does not have one either.

A Personal Identity Objection
The future of value argument is based on the somatic approach of personal identity, a view that has not been defended by my opponent. If he wants us to believe that the future of value argument applies to the fetus, he must convince us of the somatic approach to personal identity.

Defending My Original Arguments
Here Pro commits the straw man fallacy, because he misrepresents what speciesism is. If one is anti-speciesist, like one should be, one is not committed to the idea that nonhuman animals and human animals are equal. By equal I mean having the exact same rights like the right to vote, and the right to run for office. Rather, what it means is where human desires and animal desires are similar, one ought to give equal weight to those desires. Let me provide an example for why one cannot maintain a speciesist view that only members of the human species can have a right to life. Imagine that one day in the future we come across other life forms on another planet. The beings on this planet are exactly like us. They are rational, self-conscious and have a developed language and system of mathematics like us. Yet, they are not members of the human species. However, don't all of us want to say that these beings have a right to life? I believe we do. Even Francis Beckwith an anti-abortion apologist who my opponent quoted earlier, agrees with this. He says:

"if we were to come across in our space travel an alien race of "persons" (e.g., Klingons or Romulans of Star Trek lore) that are not human beings, we would have to rethink and amend the meaning of our prohibition of killing persons with-out justification (a considered judgment) to include more than just human beings but the members of this alien race as well, for such beings would have the moral properties that make human beings valuable (another considered judgment)." [2]

So as we can see, Pro's arguments against killing are speciesist, and should therefore be rejected.

Pro asked me if I thought it would be wrong if a mother drowned her one year old in the bathtub. Obviously, I do think that would be wrong. The mother has assumed guardianship over the child, consented to take care of it, taken it home from the hospital, and has fed and clothed it. So she has a duty to ensure its well-being. She also caused her child to suffer greatly, due to the fact that she drowned it. And under my desire view of rights, she will have violated that child's right not to feel pain. This, I think, was an extremely silly question Pro asked me. I am not for mothers drowning their one year olds. Pro also wants to know why it's the desire to live that gives us the right to life. I would answer this question by saying that I think it provides the best reason for why we think killing other individuals is wrong. We enjoy our lives, and therefore desire for them to continue.

Pro asked me to imagine a situation where he gets in a terrible car wreck in which he is placed in a coma for 9 months. This wreck was so severe that all his mental states have been wiped clean. Is it permissible to kill him? No. Under my desire view of rights, only things that have conscious desires now, or who have had them at some time in the past, can have rights. So given the fact that you had a conscious desire to continue living in the past, we ought to respect that desire you had by giving you the right to life.

Defending The Violinist
Pro puts forth 3 objections to the violinist analogy. They are the stranger versus offspring objection, the killing versus letting die objection, and the responsibility objection.

In regards to the first objection, there are two things I would like to say to this. The first is that I could simply change the violinist thought experiment around to fit this objection. Let’s say you're about to unhook yourself, and the doctors rush into your room to say "don't unplug! We just found out that the violinist is your long lost son!" Are you now obliged to stay hooked up, even though you weren't before? I would still say that you are not obliged. Yes, it's true that you are biologically related to this person, but you haven't assumed guardianship and consented to take care of them. The second thing I would like to say is that there are some cases where a woman is NOT biologically related to the fetus. For example, a woman at a fertility clinic in Japan found out that an egg inserted into her uterus was not her own, nor was it fertilized by her husband's sperm. In this accidental case, it seems like Pro would have no objections to this woman getting an abortion, since the fetus is not biologically her offspring. However, it looks inconsistent to say that abortion is immoral when there is a biological relationship, but not immoral when there is no biological relationship.

In regards to the second objection, this still doesn't defeat the violinist. This is because there are abortions where the fetus is not poisoned, crushed, or dismembered at all, and is instead removed from the womb and placed on a table to die. In those kinds of abortions, it really is like the withdrawal of life support.

In regards to the last objection I, technically speaking, don't even have respond to this objection. This is because the responsibility objection only applies to cases when the woman had consensual sex, and rape cases are excluded. However, if you remember correctly, my opponent took the stance that abortion even in the case of rape is morally wrong. So, that means if there are times when abortion can be shown not to be wrong in the case of rape, he loses. Given the fact that he will not have filled his burden of proof. However, even though I don't have to, I will still respond to this objection by him. First of all, I want to acknowledge that there are cases when doing a particular action means you have a responsibility to sustain the life of another person who is needy. One example of this would be when you poison my food, and make me needy. In that kind of case I would say that you have a responsibility to take care of me because 1) you harmed me, and 2) you made me worse off. However, I don't think this kind of responsibility occurs in the case of pregnancy. While it may be true that a woman who engages in voluntary sex causes the fetus to be needy, it is not a needy that is bad. This because 1) by bringing the fetus into existence she has not harmed it, and 2) by bringing the fetus into existence she has not made it worse off. Therefore, I would say, in the first case you have a responsibility to take care of me, while in the pregnancy case you do not. Lastly, I will respond to this question of thalidomide. I don’t think this is a good objection to the violinist. This is because the violinist analogy does not say one can do whatever they want with their own body. Rather, what it really says, is that one cannot force another to use your body against your will. This is very different than the claim you can do whatever you want.

Sources in comments
Debate Round No. 3
rugbypro5

Pro

rugbypro5 forfeited this round.
Dookieman

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeited the last round of our debate. Thus, I will spend this last round explaining why the voters should not for Pro. I think it's safe to say that Pro did not meet his burden of proof. He didn't put forth a successful argument demonstrating the immorality of abortion. So, even if one was not convinced by my arguments I defended in this debate, one is still committed to vote for me since Pro failed to meet his burden of proof. With that said, I would like to thank Pro for allowing me to take part in this debate. I admire his passion and willfulness to defend the lives of unborn children. I wish him the best, and hope he has a merry Christmas! (:

Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Dookieman 2 years ago
Dookieman
Sources:
http://www.nizkor.org...

Defending Abortion Philosophically: A Review of David Boonin A Defense of Abortion by Francis Beckwith

http://www.slate.com...
Posted by Dookieman 2 years ago
Dookieman
I will accept this debate tomorrow. I have some school stuff that I have to finish up at the moment. Keep this debate challenge to me open. (:
Posted by rugbypro5 2 years ago
rugbypro5
HalfAnchronism: Are you challenging me to a debate? If so the make a debate and challenge me. If not, quit ranting.

Dookieman: Give me a dollar and I'll let you. Just kidding. I guess that's close enough.
Posted by Dookieman 2 years ago
Dookieman
Let me debate you. I will not forfeit. I have done 8 debates which is close enough to 10 for you to accept me.
Posted by HalfAnachronism 2 years ago
HalfAnachronism
Frankly, women should have the right to choose because it's their body. Science has proven that the fetus is not alive and therefore not a human being until a certain time during the pregnancy, so if you have an abortion before the fetus becomes an actual baby, it's not murder. It's the woman's body, and the woman's choice whether or not she wants a fetus growing inside of her. Also, it's unfair that a woman should have to face all of the consequences of pregnancy, after all it wasn't only her fault, there was a man involved, and if the man has the right to walk out and never have anything to do with the woman ever again, then the woman should have a right to not be pregnant. Having more options allows the woman to be on an equal level with the man. Also, it's better that the child is not born at all rather than being born to a mother who did not want the child and has no means of taking care of it.

I personally believe that it's not wrong (until after it becomes an actual baby that could be birthed at any time) but whether or not you think it's okay, it should still be legal. Why? Because no matter your opinion on it, there are going to be abortions anyway. There are many home methods for abortion, all of which are dangerous, and if a woman really wants an abortion, she's going to get one, and it's best that she does it in a safe place by professionals so that she doesn't get hurt.

Also, as Florynce Kennedy said, "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."
Posted by rugbypro5 2 years ago
rugbypro5
First arg.
Posted by Valkrin 2 years ago
Valkrin
Is R1 acceptance or opening args?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by awr700 2 years ago
awr700
rugbypro5DookiemanTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had very clever reasoning :)
Vote Placed by LostintheEcho1498 2 years ago
LostintheEcho1498
rugbypro5DookiemanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession. Excellent debate, regardless.
Vote Placed by TheBlueWizard 2 years ago
TheBlueWizard
rugbypro5DookiemanTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The cons last statement says it all.