The Instigator
logicnreson
Con (against)
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0 Points
The Contender
Rational_Thinker9119
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points

Abortion - Is abortion ethical?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,195 times Debate No: 21683
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

logicnreson

Con

Abortion - Is abortion ethical?
===================================================
Round 1 - a) Presentation of Pro's Argument
b) Acceptance by Con
c) Con's Argument for abortion and supporting points
Round 2 - Rebuttal against opponent
Round 3 - Cross-examination
Round 4 - Cross-examination answers
Round 5 - Closing Argument
===================================================
I want to thank my opponent for accepting the debate.
My position is against abortion.

1. Life is a human right.
2. The developing fetus is a human being.
3. Therefore, abortion is NOT ethical.

1. Life is a human right.

a) The *declaration of human rights recognizes the intrinsic value of human beings. (This would imply that IF a developing fetus is a human being, then the fetus has intrinsic moral value, including the right to life.)

*Declaration of human rights - http://www.un.org... )

b) Human beings possess *intrinsic value.

* An object with intrinsic value may be regarded as an end or end-in-itself. (http://en.wikipedia.org...(ethics) )

2. The developing fetus is a human being.

a) Scientifically and medically the fetus at every stage of development is a human being. The fetus is human DNA, once combined (egg and sperm), at conception, all the traits of a human being are determined. I clarify, an embryo is not a baby, but it is a human being at a different stage.

b) Most know that abortions are not performed on embryos. Women usually come to know that they are pregnant after two months, so abortion takes place at about 12 weeks or more. Considering this, two months in, the embryo is already a fetus. From two months on we are not dealing with just cells; organs are present, arms, feet, circulatory systems are present, and developing. It may hard to say it, but a BABY, is present.

c) Another thing to think about is that from conception to old age we are in different stages of development. To say the least *medicine/science verifies that a fetus is a human being in one of the developing stages.

*Medicine/Science, resources:
- Moore and Persaud's The Developing Human
- Larsen's Human Embryology
- Carlson's Human Embryology
- O'Rahilly and Mueller's Human Embryology & Teratology

d) A couple of quotes from Pro-abortion advocates:

- "There is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and egg is a human being."(Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 2008), 85-86.)*

> Side note - Peter Singer also defends full-blown infanticide. So, when is a human being worthy of having the right to life in his eyes? <

- Mary Calderone - Planned Parenthood's former medical director, "Fertilization, then, has taken place. A baby has been conceived." (The Zero People: Essays on Life" by Jeffrey Hensley, Servant Publications (March 1983) p 9)

- "a facet that makes the obstetrician's burden unique in the whole field of medicine is his double obligation; he simultaneously cares for two patients, the mother and the infant… The essential step in the initiation of life is by fertilization, the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and the fusion of the two cells into a single cell." (Dr. Alan Guttmacher, Pregnancy and Birth: A Book for Expectant Parents New American Library; Revised Ed edition (January 1, 1962)

- Faye Wattleton, former president of Planned Parenthood, 14 years (1978–1992), "…we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don't know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus." (Faye Wattleton, "Speaking Frankly," Ms. Magazine, May / June 1997, Volume VII, Number 6, 67.)

3. Therefore, abortion is NOT ethical.
a) Abortion according to medicine and science should be considered a destruction of an innocent human life; therefore we should consider it to be un-ethical.
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I thank my opponent for being willing to debate me on this very important issue which hits home for alot of people.


Since the first round is just to present our cases, I will not rebut my opponent's premises, but rather come up with my own in favor of abortion not being unethical.


Argument in favor of Abortion not being unethical


P1: Human life begins when consciousness is obtained.
P2: A first trimester fetus is not conscious (about as conscious as a kidney), and can feeel no pain.
P3: Most abortions (88%) are obtained in the first trimester of pregnancy
P4: Abortion is not unethical


Regarding Premise 1:

Human life's value begins when consciousness begins is more than a fair statement, It's only logical to assume that human life's value is based on the actions and feelings of conscious beings.

Regarding Premise 2:

Abortions carried out in the first trimester have absolutely no moral implications once so ever, due to the fact that a first trimester embryo is not conscious [1]. Also, a first trimester embryo can feel absolutely no pain once so ever because pain recepters are required for this. Pain recepters need a neotox which is not formed until the thrid trimester [2].

Regarding Premise 3

Over 88% of all abortions are actually done within the first trimester [3]. Some sources even claim that the number is more around 88-92% [4].

Regarding Premise 4

Since first trimester embryos have no consiousness and cannot feel pain, and 88-92% of abortions are carried out in the first trimeser, then the majority of abortions don't really imply any genuine negative moral implications (and therefore, should not be considered unethical).


Abortions not carried out in the first trimester:



Second trimester abortions and their moral implications

"About 140,000 second trimester abortions are performed yearly. They represent 9% of the total" [5].

So if you take my statement from Regarding Premise 2, which was "Pain recepters require a neotox which is not formed until the thrid trimester" and apply it to second trimester abortions, it's clear that these abortions involve no pain due to the neotox not being developed yet.

Third Trimester abortions and their moral implications

"Medical intervention to terminate pregnancies during the third trimester is quite rare. The Alan Guttmacher Institute estimates that 1% of all medical terminations of pregnancies are done at or after 21 weeks - (1994 data)" [5].

Pain receptors form early on in the third trimester, and this is why abortions done in this state are usually debated on. However, there is no evidence that they feel pain the way we would, because there is no evidence they have developed a consciousness yet at this point.



Banning abortion would not be ethical:

The Case can be made that abortion is the only ethical option when it comes to things such as rape for example. It would be completely unethical to force a girl who was raped to keep the baby of her ruthless attacker and take care of the child even if she doesn't have the means or the will. So, not only are abortions not unethical, but in some cases they are the only ethical option.



Re-Cap

1) 88-92% of abortions are within the first trimester, 9% are within the second, but they both take place when there is no consciousness or pain receptors.

2) Since only a small 1% of abortions are carried out in the thrid trimester (when the fetus could theoritically feel "pain"), then it's not logical to seem 100% of something unethical.

Example

Only a small percentage of religious people do religion in an truly unethical manner (suicide bombers for example), does this mean it's rational to deem all of religion unethical? Of course not, in the same sense only a small percentage of abortions are done in a controversial manner, this does not mean that it's logical to deem abortion as a whole as unethical.

3) There are situations where abortion can be considered the only ethical option (rape for example)


Conclusion:

Abortion as a whole, cannot not logically be deemed as being unethical or having negative moral implications.


Sources

[1] http://civilliberty.about.com...
[2] http://civilliberty.about.com...;
[3] http://contraception.about.com...;
[4] http://www.abort73.com...
[5] http://www.religioustolerance.org...;

Debate Round No. 1
logicnreson

Con

logicnreson forfeited this round.
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Rebutting My Opponent's Arguments:

My opponent has seemed to have forfeited his rebuttle round, regardless I will use this round to rebut his arguments made in the first round.

"1. Life is a human right.

a) The *declaration of human rights recognizes the intrinsic value of human beings. (This would imply that IF a developing fetus is a human being, then the fetus has intrinsic moral value, including the right to life.)

*Declaration of human rights - http://www.un.org...... )"

1) Labels aren't relevent. The issue should be based around whether the subject has consciousness, self-awareness, and/or pain receptors.

2) The link you included actually rejects your contentions:


"Article 1.







          • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."







The own link you provided implies that humans have to be born before these freedoms and and equal rights apply to them, this would contradict your premise that they have these rights and freedoms before birth.

"b) Human beings possess *intrinsic value.

* An object with intrinsic value may be regarded as an end or end-in-itself. (http://en.wikipedia.org......(ethics) )"

I already addressed this issue by making the argument that consciousness is what gives humans our value. Since 88-92% + 9% of abortions take place when there is definitely no conscious or pain receptors, and only 1% of abortions are controversial, it's not logical to deem abortion as a whole as unethical (just likes it's not logical to deem religion as unethical simply because of suicide bombers).

"2. The developing fetus is a human being.

a) Scientifically and medically the fetus at every stage of development is a human being. The fetus is human DNA, once combined (egg and sperm), at conception, all the traits of a human being are determined. I clarify, an embryo is not a baby, but it is a human being at a different stage."

Claiming that scientifically and medically a fetus at every stage is a human being, is misleading at best. Also, your argument is like saying that the first peice of plastic that was connected to wires is can be classified as a TV already, simply because it was determined. Once more, labels shouldn't be an important factor regarding the issue at hand.

The fallacies can be spotted from miles away, unfortunately for my opponent.

"b) Most know that abortions are not performed on embryos. Women usually come to know that they are pregnant after two months, so abortion takes place at about 12 weeks or more. Considering this, two months in, the embryo is already a fetus. From two months on we are not dealing with just cells; organs are present, arms, feet, circulatory systems are present, and developing. It may hard to say it, but a BABY, is present."

Arguments revolving around words like "embryo" or "fetus" are irrelevant. The point is, whatever you call it, it does not have consciousness yet and pain receptors don't come into play until the third trimester.

c) Another thing to think about is that from conception to old age we are in different stages of development. To say the least *medicine/science verifies that a fetus is a human being in one of the developing stages.

*Medicine/Science, resources:
- Moore and Persaud's The Developing Human
- Larsen's Human Embryology
- Carlson's Human Embryology
- O'Rahilly and Mueller's Human Embryology & Teratology

Once more (I know I have exhausted this point), arguments revolving words like "embryo", "fetus", or "human" being are irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The question is whether or not the fetus/ human has a consciousness or can feel pain...If he/she cannot feel pain and has no conscious awareness then abortions carry no negative moral implications.

"d) A couple of quotes from Pro-abortion advocates:

- "There is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and egg is a human being."(Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 2008), 85-86.)*

> Side note - Peter Singer also defends full-blown infanticide. So, when is a human being worthy of having the right to life in his eyes? <

- Mary Calderone - Planned Parenthood's former medical director, "Fertilization, then, has taken place. A baby has been conceived." (The Zero People: Essays on Life" by Jeffrey Hensley, Servant Publications (March 1983) p 9)

- "a facet that makes the obstetrician's burden unique in the whole field of medicine is his double obligation; he simultaneously cares for two patients, the mother and the infant… The essential step in the initiation of life is by fertilization, the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and the fusion of the two cells into a single cell." (Dr. Alan Guttmacher, Pregnancy and Birth: A Book for Expectant Parents New American Library; Revised Ed edition (January 1, 1962)

- Faye Wattleton, former president of Planned Parenthood, 14 years (1978–1992), "…we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don't know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus." (Faye Wattleton, "Speaking Frankly," Ms. Magazine, May / June 1997, Volume VII, Number 6, 67.)"

As I have already stated (and will once more, for the last time), the label applied is not relevant. The question should be based around whether the subject in question is conscious, self-aware, and/ or can feel pain, if the answer is no, then there is no negative moral implications.

"3. Therefore, abortion is NOT ethical.
a) Abortion according to medicine and science should be considered a destruction of an innocent human life; therefore we should consider it to be un-ethical."

I have already tore down your premeses which your conclusion is based on, therefore, your conclusion is not logically sound.

Conclusion:

1) My opponent has not met his burden of proof regarding abortions as a whole being unethical.

2) I have shown that it is not logical to deem all abortions unethical, because around 99% of abortions take place when there is surely no consciousness, self-awareness, or pain receptors.


Source(s):

http://www.abortionaccess.info...
Debate Round No. 2
logicnreson

Con

My apologies for not offering a rebuttal, my time management was awful that day.
====================================================================
Cross-examination -

My opponent Premise1:

"P1: Human life begins when consciousness is obtained.

Regarding Premise 1:
Human life's value begins when consciousness begins is more than a fair statement, It's only logical to assume that human life's value is based on the actions and feelings of conscious beings."
=================================================================================
Following Premise 1 you qualify a human being as having "life" only when consciousness becomes present.

An article of the Scientific American says the following:

"Mothers will want to crucify me for this seemingly cruel question, but it needs to be posed: How do we know that a newly born and healthy infant is conscious? There is no question that the baby is awake. Its eyes are wide open, it wriggles and grimaces, and, most important, it cries. But all that is not the same as being conscious, of experiencing pain, seeing red or smelling Mom's milk."

"It is well recognized that infants have no awareness of their own state, emotions and motivations. Even older children who can speak have very limited insight into their own actions."
(http://www.scientificamerican.com... )

1) Since you qualify "life" based on the state of *consciousness then, at what state of consciousness itself would you say is best for is a human being to be allowed to exercise his potential for life?

2) Considering the information on the article above, if we were to apply your Premise 1 to consider when a human being qualifies as having "life," even after the baby is out of the womb would you consider the infant as not having "lifes" based on "consciousness"?

* Consciousness - a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind. (http://en.wikipedia.org... )
================================================================================

My opponent Premise 2:
"P2: A first trimester fetus is not conscious (about as conscious as a kidney), and can feeel no pain.

Regarding Premise 2:
Abortions carried out in the first trimester have absolutely no moral implications once so ever, due to the fact that a first trimester embryo is not conscious [1]. Also, a first trimester embryo can feel absolutely no pain once so ever because pain recepters are required for this. Pain recepters need a neotox which is not formed until the thrid trimester [2]."
To me premise 2 seems circular to premise 1.

Now it seems like in addition to consciousness the ability to feel pain, is what qualifies a human being as having "life."

3) Then would you say that those who have or develop*HSAN (unable to feel pain) do not have "life" because they are not able to "feel pain" or are "conscious" of it?

*HSAN - (http://en.wikipedia.org... )
==============================================================================
My opponent Premise 3:
"P3: Most abortions (88%) are obtained in the first trimester of pregnancy

Regarding Premise 3
Over 88% of all abortions are actually done within the first trimester [3]. Some sources even claim that the number is more around 88-92% [4]."
============================================================
"Week 28: Baby's eyes open
Twenty-eight weeks into your pregnancy, or 26 weeks after conception, your baby's eyelids are partially open and eyelashes have formed. Your baby is gaining weight, which is smoothing out many of the wrinkles in his or her skin.
By now your baby might be nearly 10 inches (250 millimeters) long from crown to rump and weigh nearly 2 1/4 pounds (1,000 grams). Otherwise healthy babies born this week have a 90 percent chance of survival without physical or neurological impairment — and the odds improve with each passing week." (http://www.mayoclinic.com... )
4) Given the information above (the baby has a 90% to survive if it exist the womb at this time), Why would you say is ok to terminate the potential of life of a human being during one of its developing stages?
========================================================================
My opponent stated the following.

"Since only a small 1% of abortions are carried out in the thrid trimester (when the fetus could theoritically feel "pain"), then it's not logical to seem 100% of something unethical."

5) Are you saying that terminating a human beings potential to life is acceptable because is only 1%?
==================================================================
My opponent's illustration

"Example
Only a small percentage of religious people do religion in an truly unethical manner (suicide bombers for example), does this mean it's rational to deem all of religion unethical? Of course not, in the same sense only a small percentage of abortions are done in a controversial manner, this does not mean that it's logical to deem abortion as a whole as unethical.
6) Your illustration is irrelevant as support for your argument; it seems to be a straw man. For the issue is not how great or small number of abortions that are committed that would make abortion unethical.
=====================================================================================
My opponent said

"There are situations where abortion can be considered the only ethical option (rape for example)"
I would like to say that as emotional as this one is, we are thinking through the issue and must put our emotions aside, as difficult as it may be. I am not saying that I condone rape or that I am insensitive about the issue, but there are two living human beings that must be taken into account, the victim, and the victim to be baby.

Please note that the situation that caused the pregnancy is morally irrelevant.

"[In] the largest study ever done of women who had pregnancies resulting from rape … 89% of those who aborted a pregnancy resulting from sexual assault explicitly stated that they regretted having their abortions. They often described their abortions as more traumatic and difficult to deal with than the sexual assault. … Conversely, among the sexual assault victims who carried to term, in retrospect they all believed they made the right decision in giving birth. None regretted not having an abortion." (Burke, Forbidden Grief, 164–65)

"A new Elliot Institute study has found women who have had abortions are more likely to commit suicide than those who have given birth." (http://www.physiciansforlife.org... )

8) Now even if the study above per say was only 1% (by the way the number is much higher). Would you say that suicide is not important for the family of the victim due to it only affects a small percentage of women?

9) Is the woman truly being protected if psychologically the woman is prone to suicide at a higher rate due to an abortion?

Thanks for your time and once again my apologies for round 2.
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

"Following Premise 1 you qualify a human being as having "life" only when consciousness becomes present."

This is a straw man.

I said human life begins when consciousness is obtained, not life in general. An ant or a one celled organism most likely has no consciousness for example, I was strictly speaking about human life.

"1) Since you qualify "life" based on the state of *consciousness then, at what state of consciousness itself would you say is best for is a human being to be allowed to exercise his potential for life?"

I never qualified life as something based on a state of consciousness, I said that human life could be based on a state of conscioiusness.

Also I may have clumsily worded my first premise, my point was what gives human life it's value is it's consciousness. I do not believe that labels matter in the context of the debate.

To answer your question though, I would probably agree with the quote from a source you posted that said:


"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights"


Once a human is born they have rights, however I do feel that it's controversial to abort a baby very late in the pregnancy. This does not mean that abortion as a whole in unethical.

It's not unethical to drive, but if you wait too long it's unethical to drive because the light turns red. The same thing can be applied here, abortion is not unethical but if you wait to long (when pain receptors develop and function) then it is.


"2) Considering the information on the article above, if we were to apply your Premise 1 to consider when a human being qualifies as having "life," even after the baby is out of the womb would you consider the infant as not having "lifes" based on "consciousness"?"

Once more, I said human life begins when consciousness is obtained (I also admitted that it was clumsily worded) not life in general (bacteria is life and has no consciousness for example).

To answer your question though, yes the baby out of the womb would still be considered "human life". My first premise was clumsily worded, regardless nothing being presented by you has shown abortion to be unethical.


"3) Then would you say that those who have or develop*HSAN (unable to feel pain) do not have "life" because they are not able to "feel pain" or are "conscious" of it?"

Those people would have life, however it would be unethical to terminate this mans life because he has already developed relationships with people, he was already born, and has the ability to think the thought "I don't want to die" meaning it may be against his will to terminate his life, we simply don't know so it would be unethical to kill him.

On the other hand, terminating a first or second trimester fetus is 100% not unethical. This fetus has not developed any relationships with anybody, is not born, and does not have the abililty to have a will to live, has no consciousness, and no pain receptors.


"4) Given the information above (the baby has a 90% to survive if it exist the womb at this time), Why would you say is ok to terminate the potential of life of a human being during one of its developing stages?"

You provided an example from 28 weeks, the first and second trimester (the type of abortions which I am arguing for being 100% ethical) cover only the first 24. Since 99% of abortions take place within 24 weeks, then abortions as a whole are not unethical.
To answer your question though, if it is the third trimester then it is debatable/ controversial. However, I see no controvery in carrying out an abortion surring the first or second trimester.

"5) Are you saying that terminating a human beings potential to life is acceptable because is only 1%?"

Every time I masterbate I terminate millions of human being potential to life, every time I have sex with a condomn I terminate millions of human beings potential to life, this is acceptable.

What's not acceptable is ending a developing child's life who can feel pain, has consciousness, has the ability to have a will to live, shows signs of emotion ect.

To answer your question, third trimester abortions are controversial. This does not mean that abortion as a whole can logically be deemed unethical.


"6) Your illustration is irrelevant as support for your argument; it seems to be a straw man. For the issue is not how great or small number of abortions that are committed that would make abortion unethical."


I already illustrated another example previously if you don't like that one. Sometimes doing something too late is unethical, but the thing as a whole is not unethical. Abortion as a whole is not unethical, but waiting too long may be considered unethical.

"8) Now even if the study above per say was only 1% (by the way the number is much higher). Would you say that suicide is not important for the family of the victim due to it only affects a small percentage of women?"

I believe a woman has a right to do with her own body as she pleases. If she commits suicide after an abortion that she chose to engage in, then that would be tragic. That doesn't mean the woman didn't have the right to do it or it was unethical. What is unethical is resticting someone's right to chose what they want to do with their own body, especially when we are dealing with something that isn't even aware it exists and can feel no pain.

"9) Is the woman truly being protected if psychologically the woman is prone to suicide at a higher rate due to an abortion?"

It doesn't matter if the result is unfavorable, the woman had the right to get an abortion because it's her body and she has conscious will. Taking away this right would be unethical


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


1) What do you truly believe is unethical about an abortion involving an embryo/ fetus that has no self-awareness, no ability to feel pain, and no ability to have a will to live? An ant has no self-awarebess, no ability to feel pain, no ability to have a will to live, you believe stepping on an insect is "unethical"?

2) If the prevention of a potential to life is the only concern you have, then do you feel it is unethical to masterbate since millions of sperm are being wasted that can never fertalize an egg? Do you feel condomns are unethical? Birth control pills?

3) A woman has the ability to have will at the peticular stage in her life, she can feel pain, suffering, consciousness, self-awareness, and has developed relationships with people. If she has something inside her that she doesn't want, and this something cannot feel pain, suffering, consciousness, self-awareness, and has not developed relationships with people, then how do you justify it being unethical to have it removed from her body if that's what she wants? Do you believe it's ethical to deny conscious beings with will, the ability to do what they want with their own body?

4) The only thing I find controversial about third trimester abortions, are the fact that fetuses develop pain receptors durring this stage. Even though it's not certain that the fetus can feel pain like we do at this stage, it's still possible.
However, wouldn't you agree that in this case, the only potential unethical thing is waiting too long to do X and not X itself?

5) Unethical means "Lacking moral principals" (http://dictionary.reference.com...). I believe that whatever benefits the most conscious beings in the most positive way the most is the most moral. Since overpopulation is a growing issue in todays world and causing more people needing access to finite resources, don't you think preventing too much life from spawning is the only ethical thing to do? If the world is overpopulated then nobody is happy, if it is not overpopulated, then a smaller amount of people can enjoy happines. Either way, more people benefit from the world not being overpopulated, wouldn't you agree?
Debate Round No. 3
logicnreson

Con

Q. "1.a) What do you truly believe is unethical about an abortion involving an embryo/ fetus that has no self-awareness, no ability to feel pain, and no ability to have a will to live?"

A. - I think that terminating a life in one of its developing stages in unethical. The points that you bring up; "Self-awareness, ability to feel pain, and no ability to have the will to live" are irrelevant points. Ask yourself how can a human being "have the will to live" when is being terminated before it can attempt to do so? An embryo/fetus regardless of the developing stage it finds himself in is living.

I previously provided resources from the embryology field (Round one)in order to support that once combined (egg/sperm) a human being has been formed. I invite you and others to at least briefly read it.

In addition to this please once again see the quotes by Pro-abortion advocates, they understand that is a human being that is being terminated and will not say otherwise, if they would do so it would be an un-scientific statement.
In particular please see this quote again

There is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and egg is a human being."(Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 2008), 85-86.)*

> Side note - Peter Singer also defends full-blown infanticide. So, when is a human being worthy of having the right to life in his eyes? <
It may not seem so to you, but by the way you qualify who has the right to live is what support Peter Singer to also have the "right" to support infanticide.
=========================================================================
Q "1.b) An ant has no self-awarebess, no ability to feel pain, no ability to have a will to live, you believe stepping on an insect is "unethical"?"

* Self-awareness - is the capacity for introspection and the ability to reconcile oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. Self-awareness, though similar to sentience in concept, includes the experience of the self, and has been argued as implicit to the hard problem of consciousness. (http://en.wikipedia.org... )

This question is irrelevant in regards to the actual issue, due to the animal is already in a different stage of development (meaning "out of the womb" per say), but I will answer your question.

Now I will offer a logical equivalent question so we can see what you are really stating.
Q. Do I think that terminating a dog or any animal's life (intentionally) is un-ethical?

A. Yes, yes I do.
=========================================================================
Q. " 2) If the prevention of a potential to life is the only concern you have, then do you feel it is unethical to masterbate since millions of sperm are being wasted that can never fertalize an egg? Do you feel condomns are unethical? Birth control pills?"

I think there is a misunderstanding on your behalf on what is a human being. Please do reference at least one of the embryology resources mentioned on Round 1 and let us take a look at this quote again.

"a facet that makes the obstetrician's burden unique in the whole field of medicine is his double obligation; he simultaneously cares for two patients, the mother and the infant… The essential step in the initiation of life is by fertilization, the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and the fusion of the two cells into a single cell." (Dr. Alan Guttmacher, Pregnancy and Birth: A Book for Expectant Parents New American Library; Revised Ed edition (January 1, 1962)"
Medically/Scientifically, sperm by itself is NOT a human being; an unfertilized egg is NOT a human being. The termination of the potential of life comes once the fertilization occurs, since form that point on that one cell is a human being in its initial developing stages.

A. Your question is irrelevant since an egg and a sperm by itself is not a human being.
=========================================================================
Q. "3) A woman has the ability to have will at the peticular stage in her life, she can feel pain, suffering, consciousness, self-awareness, and has developed relationships with people. If she has something inside her that she doesn't want, and this something cannot feel pain, suffering, consciousness, self-awareness, and has not developed relationships with people, then how do you justify it being unethical to have it removed from her body if that's what she wants? Do you believe it's ethical to deny conscious beings with will, the ability to do what they want with their own body?"

"a facet that makes the obstetrician's burden unique in the whole field of medicine is his double obligation; he simultaneously cares for two patients, the mother and the infant… The essential step in the initiation of life is by fertilization, the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and the fusion of the two cells into a single cell." (Dr. Alan Guttmacher, Pregnancy and Birth: A Book for Expectant Parents New American Library; Revised Ed edition (January 1, 1962)"

A. It is irrelevant where the human being currently resides, and since is an individual human being; I think that terminating a human beings life is un-ethical.
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Q. "4) The only thing I find controversial about third trimester abortions, are the fact that fetuses develop pain receptors durring this stage. Even though it's not certain that the fetus can feel pain like we do at this stage, it's still possible.
However, wouldn't you agree that in this case, the only potential unethical thing is waiting too long to do X and not X itself?"

A. I think that terminating a human being at any of their developing stages is unethical.

* Human being development - is the process of growing to maturity. In biological terms, this entails growth from a one-celled zygote to an adult human being. (http://en.wikipedia.org...(biology) )
======================================================================
Q. "5) Unethical means "Lacking moral principals" (http://dictionary.reference.com......). I believe that whatever benefits the most conscious beings in the most positive way the most is the most moral. Since overpopulation is a growing issue in todays world and causing more people needing access to finite resources, don't you think preventing too much life from spawning is the only ethical thing to do? If the world is overpopulated then nobody is happy, if it is not overpopulated, then a smaller amount of people can enjoy happines. Either way, more people benefit from the world not being overpopulated, wouldn't you agree?"

Q. "I believe that whatever benefits the most conscious beings in the most positive way the most is the most moral."

A. I cannot agree. Nazi Germany though that by eliminating the Jewish population they were doing the "most positive" and the "most moral" thing since they were following the law of the land. (Nuremberg trials)

Q. "If the world is overpopulated then nobody is happy…"

A. I think overpopulation is a well propagated myth (http://endoftheamericandream.com... )
=========================================================================
Q. "Either way, more people benefit from the world not being overpopulated, wouldn't you agree?"

A. I think is selfish for anyone to impose their "happiness" by terminating someone else's life.
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

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"The points that you bring up; "Self-awareness, ability to feel pain, and no ability to have the will to live" are irrelevant points. Ask yourself how can a human being "have the will to live" when is being terminated before it can attempt to do so?"

Exactly, they can't, which is why it's not unethical to run the abortion in that situation. It is not developed enough to have knowledge of his existence, to be self-aware, to have consciousness, to feel pain, or to have the will to live because it doesn't know what life is. An ant is not developed enough to have knowledge of his existence, to be self-aware, to have consciousness, to feel pain, or to have the will to live because it doesn't know what life is.

I apologize if I wasn't as clear in my last rounds, but I think the main fallacy which I can point out that can pretty much tear Pro's whole argument down is this:

.My opponent is focused on labels, such as "embryo", "fetus", "human being" but neglects to address the certain atributes that make any of these things valuable.

Basically he is claiming that:

P1: Killing a "human being" is unethical
P2: "Embryos"/ "Fetuses" are "human beings"
Con: Killing "Embryos"/ "Fetuses" is unethical

The problem is Pro never addresses what makes killing a human unethical. The answers are:

1) It may go against that human being's will to live

2) It may impact the lives of the people that person developed conscious, emotional relationships with

3) Dying may cause extraordinary unwanted pain


The individial emotional bonds, memories, fear of death, fear of pain, consciousness ect. are all things that make human life valuable and the only thing unethical about killing someone is it may be painful, hurt the people that person developed personal bonds with, and it may be against that person's will.

A "human being" according to Pro is once a sperm fertalizes an egg and of course there would be nothing unethical of terminating that, however if there is a will you are imposing on or pain you are inflicting then that is what makes it unethical. It's only logical to agree.

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Argument for the morality of human life boiling down to will, personal relationships, and pain:


Will:

Sex isn't immoral, or unethical. However if sex still occurs when one only one person wants it and the other doesn't, then you would be opposing your will on someone elses body and that is immoral.
Imagine there is a family member with a terminal disease and is in horrible pain, and will be in horrible pain until that family member dies. Lets say that family member pleads and begs you to "pull the plug" because she just wants to let go and not be in pain anymore, if it was legal to do it, it would be unethical not to do it.

If you didn't pull the plug, you would basically just be being selfish because you were:

a) Scared to cause the death of someone

or

b) Didn't want to lose that person

In that situation you would letting your will and fear get in the way of someone else's will regarding their own body. When that will regarding their own body doesn't regard anything anything to do with your body, the only ethical thing to do would be to give the person what they want.

If you did not end this person's life, that would be be immoral.

You can only jump from "sex" to "rape" when ones will is imposed on another. Also you can also only jump from "respecting ones wishes regarding their body" to "immoral killing" when ones will is imposed on another.


Personal Relationships:

If you only saw pictures of someone or heard their name, but never talked to them in real life, heard any stories about them, or had any emotional or personal interaction with a person once so ever...If you heard they passed away it really wouldn't effect you, but you would maybe feel for their families because of the emotional relationships he had with them. Now, imagine that that person had no personal relationships to anyone at all. The only things that would make this situation negative are the facts that he may have felt horrible pain and it may went against his will to die.

Pain:


Pain is a negative response and I'm sure we can all agree that feeling pain is not exacly pleasant (Unless you are like the Joker from The Dark Night getting punched in the face by Batman and liking it). Basically, unless you are crazy it's safe to assume pain is a bad thing by default.

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Argument #1 for abortions not being unethical:


P1: If none of these 3 things are present, then abortion is not unethical:

1) Will (which is tied with consciousness)
2) Consciousness (ability to be self-ware and develop personal relationships)
3) Pain Receptors

P2: 88-92% of abortions take place within the first trimester (http://www.abort73.com...)
and involve no imposing of will, no pain, and no personal relationships lost for the subject.

P3: 9% of abortions take place within the second trimester
(http://www.religioustolerance.org...)

and involve no imposing of will, no pain, and no personal relationships lost for the subject.

P4: 1% of abortions take place within the third trimester
(http://www.religioustolerance.org...)
and involve no imposing of will, no personal relationships lost for the subject, but possibly pain (http://civilliberty.about.com...).

P5: 99% of abortions are done in ethical mannor , while 1% of abortions are done wrong and may be unethical.

P6: If you look at abortions as a whole, they are mostly not unethical

P7: If abortions are mostly not unethical, they can not be mostly unethical

P8: This debate is leaning in my favour.

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Argument #2 in favor of Abortion not being unethical:

P1: If Abortions are unethical, then a person's right to chose what they what to do with their own body (as long as they don't inflict pain upon else or impose their will on anyone else's) is unethical.

P2: If a person's right to chose what they want to do with their own body (as long as they don't cause inflict pain upon anyone else or impose their will on anyone else's) is ethical, then abortions are not unethical.

P3: A person's right to chose what they want to do with their own body (as long as they don't cause inflict pain upon anone or impose their will on anyone elses) is ethical

Conclusion: Abortions are not unethical
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Argument #3 in Favor of Abortion not being unethical:

P1: A subject who can feel pain, has personal relationships, and has the will to get something out of her body that she does not want, morally trumps a subject who can cannot feel pain, has no personal relationships and has no will being imposed on.

P2: A woman having an abortion is not immoral/ unethical
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Conclusion:

My opponent hasn't demonstrated what it is that makes killing a human being immoral, I have. Since those things are not relavent to 99% of abortions, then there is no way one could say abortion as a whole is unethical.


Debate Round No. 4
logicnreson

Con

My closing argument:

1.) When does a human being qualify as beginning to have "life"? –

A) Throughout the debate my opponent has reminded when the beginning of a human being life should be accepted:
a.1) "Human life begins when consciousness is obtained."

Then my opponent also says he clarifies his position, but if we see is more of an attempt for a re-definition:
a.2) "I said human life begins when consciousness is obtained, not life in general."

I think if we are going to be objective we should use the available information to allow us to determine when a human being's life begins.

The science of biology says that before exiting the womb a human being's life has already begun and is just in a different stage of its development.

* Human being development - is the process of growing to maturity. In biological terms, this entails growth from a one-celled zygote to an adult human being. (http://en.wikipedia.org......(biology) )

Since even if we were to agree with my opponent's very obtuse definition of when we should consider when a human being's life begins ("I said human life begins when consciousness is obtained, not life in general."), we should ask ourselves, before the "object" exists the womb, is it NOT a human being that is alive during every stage?

For example:
Let us call the living organism inside the womb "Rational_Thinker9119."

We have "Rational_Thinker9119" the embryo developing in the womb, we have "Rational_Thinker9119" the fetus forming, we have "Rational_Thinker9119" the fetus growing, and finally we have "Rational_Thinker9119" birthing. If continue to observe after birth we have "Rational_Thinker9119" the neonate, the infant, the toddler, then the child, then the adolescent, then the adult.

1) From this illustration when did "Rational_Thinker9119" stop being a human being?
2) Throughout all stages we did not see death at all
3) All observed was growth (which is quite opposite of death)
4) All we see is that the human being ceased to be an embryo, and then it ceased to be a fetus to eventually become a new born.
5) This is no different from any us changing from adolescence to adulthood.
6) All we have is a history/process of growth and development of a human being.
After reading this illustration please asks yourselves; At what point of the process did "Rational_Thinker9119" cease being a human being with life?
==================
2) What makes a human being valuable?

A) My opponent stated that the "life" of a human being is only valuable when:

a.1) "Human life's value begins when consciousness begins is more than a fair statement."
Please consider from the information here below why it is dangerous to qualify a human beings life as being worthy (I do encourage you to read the different articles available on line on this recent publication).

The "Journal of Medical Ethics (in Australia)" recently published an article advocating "after-birth abortion" (a politically correct name for infanticide).

Let us see the argument that they use:
"Francesca Minerva and Alberto Giubilini have advanced a very simple proposition, which is that only "a person" deserves to live:
1) The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.
2) Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a 'person' in the sense of 'subject of a moral right to life.'
3) We take 'person' to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.
4) [W]hat we call 'after-birth abortion' (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled."

To continue quoting the article "We've been down this path before. It ended in Auschwitz."

"For the pro-abortion crowd, the problem with the article's analysis is that it reveals the amoral, illogical, unscientific approach justifying the current no-holds-barred approach to abortion."

"The article says a baby is not a person, but only a potential person. The pro-abortionist says the fetus is not a baby, but only potential baby."

"With modern medicine, fetuses that have passed the 24-week stage can become part of the breathing, eating, communicating, aware, thinking world, simply by being born. More importantly, biological reality is that all fetuses, from conception onward, are nascent persons. Just as life outside the womb is a continuum from cradle to grave, with the soft, fuzzy baby becoming the desiccated centenarian, so too is there a continuum within the womb, as the zygote transitions into a fully-fledged -- and viable -- infant."

"The after-birth abortion article, by applying to a viable infant the same logic that the pro-abortion crowd applies to a fetus, explodes the magical thinking that allows people to pretend that the continuum of life begins at birth, not at conception."

Please note these quotes below in particular:
"The article's authors are exactly right when they analyze an infant: the baby doesn't have existential awareness, no more than next week's dinner does."

"What makes the article valuable is that other people, more thoughtful people, people who have been affected by seeing sonograms of their own baby or their little niece or nephew, will find unsustainable the cognitive dissonance that the article creates. They will no longer be able to pretend that the fetus isn't deserving of life because it doesn't have an existential sense. They will understand that, if one accepts the article's logic, one has opened an easy pathway to killing any people who arguably lack self-awareness. It's a death knell for those with head injuries, advanced brain tumors, serious stroke deficits, Alzheimer's, etc. The next step is to look at an entire group of people and conclude that, by virtue of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, etc., that group lacks personhood and doesn't deserve to live either."

(See http://www.americanthinker.com... for article info above and do see several others available online.)

My opponent also mentioned the following "I have already tore down your premeses which your conclusion is based on, therefore, your conclusion is not logically sound."

I doubt that after reading and considering all the information above (from a very recent publication -Journal of Medical Ethics, Feb 23), anyone will agree with my opponents thought of him tearing down my argument as not being logically sound. I think it would be otherwise.

My opponent also said "My opponent hasn't demonstrated what it is that makes killing a human being immoral, I have."

I am sure that once the reader digest all the information above, we will surely see as my opponent said. We WILL see that my opponent is the one that has also help me demonstrate "what it is that makes killing a human being immoral…"
To recap my argument is as follows (See round 1 for details):

1. Life is a human right.
2. The developing fetus is a human being.
3. Therefore, abortion is NOT ethical.

I don't think that I need to remind my opponent or the reader but, as we have seen (read) when you can advocate for terminating a human being at any stages of its life it will continue to be difficult to defend "life as a whole."
I look forward to reading my opponents closing arguments and once again will like to thank him for participating and all who may read/comment on this very delicate issue.

Please also remember the terms that we agreed on for this debate once you vote:
Round 1 - a) Presentation of Pro's Argument
b) Acceptance by Con
c) Con's Argument for abortion and supporting points
Round 2 - Rebuttal against opponent
Round 3 - Cross-examination
Round 4 - Cross-examination answers
Round 5 - Closing Argument.

Thank You.
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro


Closing Argument



My opponent has presented only 1 flimsly argument for why abortion is unethical. He has just asserted that humans beings have value, and that killing a human is wrong without any reasoning and just appeal to authority fallacies. He quotes some articles in an attempt to take a stab at an argument but can't even move an inch.

My opponent's only argument is this:

"1. Life is a human right.
2. The developing fetus is a human being.
3. Therefore, abortion is NOT ethical."

The problem with Premise 1, is even the declaration of rights which he souced states:

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

(http://www.un.org...)

So it doesn't matter when someone becomes a "human being" (it's clear my opponent is only arguing over labels and not anything of substance), according to his own source life is only a human right once it's born.

Basically, even though he has refferenced experts who agree that a fetus is a human being, he has shown no evidence that a fetus has "rights".

The problem with premise 2, is it really isn't saying anything. So a fetus is a human being, that's just a label, my opponent hasn't presented any arguments regarding why a species label matters when discussing ethics.

The problem with the conclusion (Premise 3), is the first 2 premises are not logically sound.

Now if there is a subject who has no will to live, no emotions, can feel no pain, and has developed no personal relationships with anybody then you are basically terminating something on the same level of an ant.

My opponent's only problem seems to be the "potential" aspect, it must be.

Let me once more, create a picture illustrating how irrational it is to think "preventing the potential for human life" is somehow unethical.

If I didn't pull out or use a comdomn last weekend there would have been a high probabilty the girl I was with could have gotten pregnant. Now, imagine that my goal was to have a child, it could be easily done and in less than a year I would have a child. However, I'm not financially stable enough to have a child and I have goals. The girl already has 2 kids and doesn't need another one and has a hard time getting through as it is...Basically, why ruin the lives of people who are aware of their existence, can feel pain, have the will to live, goals, and developed personal relationships over the potential to create life? I hate the break it to my opponent but human life is a dime a dozen, more people are born than die, and the world is going to reach over 7,000,000,000 people soon. My opponent has provided no reason once so ever, why it's immoral to prevent human life.


Everytime I masterbate I murder at least one potential for life (considering only one out of the millions have a potential to fertalize the egg), and it's not logical to lose any sleep over it because what makes terminating a human life, is not present.


Addressing the Nazi comparisons:


They can easlily be dismissed, considering the fact the acts the Nazis engaged in did fit my logical criteria for immorality regarding human beings.

The Jews murdered in Auschwitz for example:

1) Could feel pain
2) Had personal relationships with people
3) Had the will to live

Therefore what the Nazis did fails the standards I provided in a heart beat, making the Nazi comparisons void (as offensive as they were).

Re-Cap regarding the above:

* My opponent dishes out appeal to authority fallacies to support his arguments.
* My opponent's only foundation for claiming life is a human right is the Declaration of Human Rights. However, the link he provided specifically states that rights begin at birth, not before, meaning he has no foundation for claiming a fetus has rights.
* Preventing potential for human life is not unethical.
* My opponents Nazi comparisons are unfounded due to the fact that the killing of the Jews most certainly fit my logical criteria provided for human immorality.


Now, lets rephrase the argument Con provided based on what his souce actually claims:

P1: Life is a human right once born
P2: The developing Fetus is a human being
P3: Abortion is not unethical

As you can see, once you add the "once born" his argument tends to make no sense.

So my closing argument is basically just a re-hash of a previous arguments to drive the point home.

Abortion cannot be logically viewed as unethical:

Nearly all abortions take place in the first trimester, when a fetus cannot exist independent of the mother. As it is attached by the placenta and umbilical cord, its health is dependent on her health, and cannot be regarded as a separate entity as it cannot exist outside her womb. Also the Declaration of Human Rights even states that the rights begin after birth.

Why does the above not matter anyway? Because as long as it can feel no pain, has no personal relationships with people, is not aware of it's existence, and has no will to live then what makes taking a human life logically immoral, is not present.

My opponent also seems to blatantly disregard the feelings and will of the woman in question. It's her body and she should have a right to do whatever she wants with it, imagine if you had something growing inside you that you didn't want, you know what world you would be bringing the child into if it was born, you have barely any money, and getting rid of the entity would cause no pain for this entity, impose on no will on another, end no conscious existence, and effect no personal relationships...There would be no moral reason to deny this woman the right to do what she wants to her body (even if it ends up causing negative emotional harm to her in the end, it's still her right to chose what she wants to do with her body).


My closing argument above can be summed up like this:



Argument regarding my opponent's debating

P1: Much of his arguments are appeal to authority fallacies

P2: My opponent knows how to play with labels ("embryo", "fetus", "human being") but cannot address what makes killing a human being immoral/ unethical.

P3: Comparing pro-choicers to Nazis is unfounded.

P4: Con failed to provide logical reasoning leading to the conclusion that abortion is unethical.

Argument regarding what would make killing a human being immoral


P1: It is not immoral to end life that can feel no pain, has no personal relationships with anyone, is not self-aware, and has no will to live (This would be the equivilant to ending the life of an insect).

P2: 99% of abortions involve ending the life of something that can feel no pain, has no personal relationships with anyone, is not self-aware, and has no will to live.

P3: 1% of abortions involve ending the life of something that may feel pain but has no personal relationships with anyone, is not self-aware, and has no will to live.

P4: If only 1% of abortions are logically controverial, then it's not logical to deem abortion as a whole, unethical.

P5: It's not logical to deem abortion as a whole unethical.

Argument from Woman's Rights (Re-Hashed):


P1: If a person's right to chose what they want to do with their own body (as long as they don't cause inflict pain upon anyone else or impose their will on anyone else's) is ethical, then abortions are not unethical.

P2: A person's right to chose what they want to do with their own body (as long as they don't cause inflict pain upon anone or impose their will on anyone elses) is ethical

P3: Abortions are not unethical


Regarding Con's comment about the round criteria:



I haven't done a debate with a strict criteria like this so I apologize if I went off track, I have no problem losing conduct votes for that.


However, I do believe it's clear who made the more convincing arguments regardless of if the viewers do not adhere to my believes or not


I thank my opponent for engaging in this debate.

Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
I said Pro a couple of other times too, man that's going to be confusing ha
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 5 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
*I apologize if I wasn't as clear in my last rounds, but I think the main fallacy which I can point out that can pretty much tear Con's whole argument down is this:

I meant Con's (obviously lol).
Posted by logicnreson 5 years ago
logicnreson
@ Keytar - I knew my quick typing was going to bite me back! LOL. Time management killed me that day, I was out and about all day.

Please do let me know a resource where I can recheck my info about when abortions are done, it would really help me in the future.

Thanks for reading I appreciate it
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
KeytarHero
Also, not really relevant, but Con spelled "reason" wrong in his screenname.
Posted by KeytarHero 5 years ago
KeytarHero
It's a pity Con forfeited, as his arguments had promise. Except that I don't think he has his facts 100% straight, as I'm pretty sure abortions are done on embryos (I think the earliest are done at four-six weeks, before the embryo is considered a fetus). But still, embryonic stem cell research is done on embryos so living human embryos are killed, so it is still beneficial to argue for the protection of human embryos, as well as fetuses.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
logicnresonRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF