The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Abortion and Libertarianism

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Judge Point System: Select Winner
Started: 12/26/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,647 times Debate No: 84317
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (82)
Votes (1)




Full Resolution: All people that believe in libertarianism ought to advocate abortion

== Rules ==

1. First round for acceptance. No new arguments or rebuttals in the final round

By accepting the debate, Con agrees to the following definitions...

All: Every

People: A member of the primate genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo
distinguished from other apes by a large brain and the capacity for speech.

Believe: To accept as true

Libertarianism: The political ideology that believes in a less restrictive government and strongly values the individual in society.

Ought: Used to indicate obligation

Advocate: Be proponents of

Abortion: The intentional killing of the fetus by a professional medical expert up to 24
weeks into a pregnancy.

Burden of Proof is primarily on Pro. Pro must show that libertarianism ought to be advocates of abortion and con must show that libertarians have the right (under their political ideologies beliefs) to not advocate abortion.

4. No semantics, kritiks, trolling, forfeiting, etc.

5. Accepting the debate is automatic acceptance to all rules, definitions and the burdens.

6. This challenge is impossible to accept. If you accept without my permission you will forfeit all points to me. You may apply to debate this in the comments section and I will choose an opponent shortly.


I accept with the understanding that by semantics, my opponent really means "unfair semantics".
Debate Round No. 1



Thank you to Wylted for accepting to debate this topic with me. I am positive that we will have an interesting discussion and that we will both learn from this debate. As pro, I am affirming the resolution that all libertarians ought to be abortion advocates. My opponent is negating. The burdens in this debate weigh more heavily on pro since I am challenging something that is already accepted amongst most libertarians. And yes, by no semantics, I mean no unfair semantics.


The framework that I will be presenting will evidently be a libertarian one. Voters should keep in mind that to affirm I must prove the following points:

The fetus is not alive.

To deny someone an abortion is to deny them of their human rights.

Abortion is not murder.

If I am able to prove that the fetus is not living, then I am able to prove that the termination of the fetus is not the termination of an individual. This is key to my case since abortions value the individual heavily in society as the definition states.

Since libertarians want to minimize government restriction, this means that if I am able to prove that abortion is a denial of human rights, then I am able to prove that the government will be restricting their people of their human rights and this is a violation of libertarian ideology.

Similarly to my first goal, if I am able to prove that abortion is not murder, then I am to demonstrate that we are not killing anybody and due to this, individualism is not violated and neither is libertarianism.

Is the fetus living?

Biologists have compiled a list of 7 signs that indicate whether something is alive or not [1]. If even one of these requirements is not met, then the fetus cannot be classified as living [1]. The list is as follows:

Movement: The fetus can move.

Respiration: The fetus is unable to respire independently [2].

Sensitivity: The fetus is not able to do this until 28 weeks which goes beyond the definition of abortion for this debate [3].

Growth: The fetus does grow.

Reproduction: The fetus cannot reproduce [4].

Excretion: This is extremely rare and the baby will be severely physically disabled if it happens at this stage [5].

Nutrition: The fetus is unable to independently consume nutrition [2].

If even one of these was not met then the fetus would not be considered to be living. The fetus only completely made 2 of these. Making it scientifically considered to be nonliving. Since the fetus is not living, libertarians ought to teach that the termination of the fetus is not wrong under libertarian ideology.

Abortion, Rights and Choice

Pregnancies have a huge impact upon people’s lives - in particular the mother. As Sarah Weddington stated:

“A pregnancy to a woman is perhaps one of the most determinative aspects of her life. It disrupts her body. It disrupts her education. It disrupts her employment. And it often disrupts her entire family life.” (6)

She continued:

“[And we feel that], because of the impact on the woman, this … is a matter which is of such fundamental and basic concern to the woman involved that she should be allowed to make the choice as to whether to continue or to terminate her pregnancy.” (6)

This was a very important case showing that without the right to a termination, you are denying women a right and therefore what my opponent is advocating is gender inequality.

The philosopher, Judith Thomson said:

“If abortion rights are denied, then a constraint is imposed on women's freedom to act in a way that is of great importance to them, both for its own sake and for the sake of their achievement of equality .... and if the constraint is imposed on the ground that the foetus has a right to life from the moment of conception, then it is imposed on a ground that neither reason nor the rest of morality requires women to accept, or even to give any weight at all.” (6)

This emphasizes my previous point in regards to the denial of gender rights and equality and therefore we come to the following conclusion:

P1: Denying women an abortion is gender inequality

P2: Gender inequality is a violation of human rights

C1: Abortion legalization stops gender inequality rights

This makes up a significant portion of my offense. Since abortion denies human rights, it puts restrictions on people which, by definition, is a direct violation of libertarianism. Furthermore, it also directly violates individualism since the women is not receiving her rights and as a result a denial to an abortion is to deny the individual of her rights. Libertarians (as already described), are individualists and therefore this violation stands against the entire principle of libertarianism. Even if you do not buy that this is gender inequality and you do not buy that this is a restriction, you still ought to presume Pro since by denying people the right to an abortion, you are denying approximately 42 million people an abortion. This is such a huge violation of libertarianism that it holds enough weight for you to vote Pro alone. If the libertarian truly believes in minimizing government restriction, then the libertarian would not deny 42 million people the right to an abortion.

Mother’s Life

“The risk of death associated with childbirth is about 10 times as high as that associated with abortion.” (7)

This means that in almost ANY circumstance, an abortion is safer than a pregnancy - even if the abortion is for reasons unrelated to health. For a libertarian to deny an abortion in almost ANY circumstance, the libertarian is essentially increasing the probability of death in the pregnancy and this is again, a restriction being put upon the mother who should have a choice but now does not. This lack of choice could cost this person their life and this is a clear infringement of both individualism and libertarianism due to the restrictions and death increased probability of the death of an individual.

Underage Teenagers

“19% of teens who have had sexual intercourse become pregnant each year. 78% of these pregnancies are unplanned. 6 in 10 teen pregnancies occur among 18-19 year olds.” (7)

This statistic is extremely significant for many reasons. Firstly, if this occurs amongst 18 - 19 year olds then this is extremely bad. Having to look after and care for a child ruins their chances of going to college / university. Your twenties are your most important period of your lives according to many sources (8,9,10). Having to look after a child in this period of time is extremely stressful and prevents you from getting proper qualifications and more importantly, it prevents you from getting a full time job and a house. Children are extremely expensive to have and having a child at the time when you should be looking for a job makes income problematic. On top of this you will have to pay huge amounts of money.

“To raise a child born in 2013 to the age of 18, it will cost a middle-income couple just over $245,000, according to newly released estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's up $4,260, or almost 2%, from the year before.”(11)

Now let's compare this to the average income of a family:

“The typical U.S. households pulls in $51,371 per year.”

Now teenage parents are most likely to make a lot less than this but let's take this statistic anyway. Assuming that this ‘average’ family spend no money at all on anything. It will still cost them almost 5 times their yearly income to equate to that amount. Of course they will need food, clothes, mortgage, heating, electricity etc. on top of this sum of money.

Now if this seems like a lot you should double the cost of a child figures (assuming that they have another child), what will you do then? Not allow an abortion? Allow these teengagers to pay almost $500,000, earning (most likely) less than $51,371 per year.

Now let’s put this into the context of both libertarianism and individualism. A libertarian (as per the definitions), is values the individual in society. Is it reasonable for somebody who values the individual in society to then take away the most important time in that individual's life? The rational and reasonable answer to that question is no. By taking away the most important period in that person’s life, you showing a lack of respect to the individual (thus violating individualism) and you are restricting their educational opportunities (thus violating libertarianism) [12].


To conclude, I have demonstrated that by not being supportive of an abortion, libertarians violate their core ideologies. As well as this, they violate individualism which is, arguably, a belief so important to libertarians that without this belief you cannot classify yourself as a libertarian [13,14]. I once again thank Wylted for his acceptance to this debate. The resolution is affirmed. Vote Pro!


















Bostrom's Trilemma

I will be arguing that we are most likely in an artificially created universe, and we'll be examining 3 possibilities. These possibilities summarized by Nick Bostrom in the following way;

"A technologically mature "posthuman" civilization would have enormous computing power. Based on this empirical fact, the simulation argument shows that at least one of the following propositions is true:
1.The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero;
2.The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero;
3.The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.
If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity. If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so. If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in an ancestor simulation."

I'll be explaining why there is atleast a 51% possibility(though probably closer to 100%) that we are living in an ancestor simulation.

The Technological limits of computation

This section is a summary of a portion of Bostrom's argument found under the section of the same name, in the following link (sources provided in the link)

Many scientists believe the stage where we can run ancestor simulations is merely a few decades away at most, but the beauty of this theory is that it doesn't have to be close. If it takes 100,000 years before we achieve the ability to create these simulations than we are still most likely living in an ancestor simulation. To ponder whether we will have the ability to create ancestor simulations, we'll use our current understandings of what is possible (though it's laughable to not think we'll continue to discover things that give us even greater abilities with technology.

"Eric Drexler has outlined a design for a system the size of a sugar cube (excluding cooling and power supply) that would perform 10 to the power of 21 instructions per second.[3] Another author gives a rough estimate of 10 to the power of 42 operations per second for a computer with a mass on order of a large planet.[4] (If we could create quantum computers, or learn to build computers out of nuclear matter or plasma, we could push closer to the theoretical limits. Seth Lloyd calculates an upper bound for a 1 kg computer of 5*10 to the power of 50 logical operations per second carried out on ~10 to the power of 31 bits.[5] However, it suffices for our purposes to use the more conservative estimate that presupposes only currently known design-principles.)"

Operations in the human brain based on the number synapsids can be calculated to be 10 to the power of 16. We need not stimulate the entire universe or things down to the quantum level either, the simulation can wait until something is being viewed through a telescope or a microscope before simulating a visual representation of what's being looked at."While it is not possible to get a very exact estimate of the cost of a realistic simulation of human history, we can use ~1033 - 1036 operations as a rough estimate[10]. As we gain more experience with virtual reality, we will get a better grasp of the computational requirements for making such worlds appear realistic to their visitors. But in any case, even if our estimate is off by several orders of magnitude, this does not matter much for our argument. We noted that a rough approximation of the computational power of a planetary-mass computer is 1042 operations per second, and that assumes only already known nanotechnological designs, which are probably far from optimal. A single such a computer could simulate the entire mental history of humankind (call this an ancestor-simulation) by using less than one millionth of its processing power for one second."

Post human civilizations would have plenty of resources to create this sort of simulation easily, and this is assuming everyone is a sentient being when it would be easy to make most of them philosophical zombies, without anybody knowing the difference.

Posthuman Motivations

The second scenario of the trilemma is one where there isn't much interest in creating an ancestor simulation. This scenario is even less likely than the first scenario. This would mean that on a planet of billions of people, not a single wealthy person or any significant amount of less than wealthy people would be the least bit interested in creating an ancestor simulation. This also goes against our human nature. We create simulations right now to learn more about our world. We simulate parts of the brain in a computer to learn more about it, we've simulated the Big Bang to the best of our ability. We've simulated car accidents. We simulate portions of our world to better understand it. There is no indication that humans will all of a sudden not want to better understand their world and in particular their history. Not that that is the only driving factor for wanting to simulate worlds. The whole sim city gaming franchise plays to our desires to wanna play God by being a very crude simulator of worlds. Even if we don't want to better understand our world for some reason, our desire to play games, to play God, will certainly not go away.

Other reasons why a Posthuman civilization wouldn't want to create a simulated world are far less likely. We'd have to assume that the economy might be so bad that almost nobody and no group of people had the means to create a simulated universe. Or we'd have to assume that some laws would be created to prevent a simulated universe scenario, but there is no sign that anybody views anything like this as unethical. We seem to think of human life as a good thing, and certainly creating more human life, if even in a simulated environment would be seen as good, in that sense.

We are most certainly living in a simulated universe

" It may be possible for simulated civilizations to become posthuman. They may then run their own ancestor-simulations on powerful computers they build in their simulated universe. Such computers would be "virtual machines", a familiar concept in computer science. (Java script web-applets, for instance, run on a virtual machine " a simulated computer " inside your desktop.) Virtual machines can be stacked: it"s possible to simulate a machine simulating another machine, and so on, in arbitrarily many steps of iteration. If we do go on to create our own ancestor-simulations, this would be strong evidence against (1) and (2), and we would therefore have to conclude that we live in a simulation. Moreover, we would have to suspect that the posthumans running our simulation are themselves simulated beings; and their creators, in turn, may also be simulated beings.
Reality may thus contain many levels. Even if it is necessary for the hierarchy to bottom out at some stage " the metaphysical status of this claim is somewhat obscure " there may be room for a large number of levels of reality, and the number could be increasing over time."

When you consider the fact that stacked civilizations could exist, and that a society could create several simulated universes, each simulated universe having stacked simulated universes, we have to assume we're most likely simulations. A real universe resembling our own with several advanced societies all with multiple simulated universes, and each one being stacked means that real people are probably vastly outnumbered by simulated people by perhaps 100 to 1. It's not even worth considering the fact we're not simulated seeing as how the likelihood of that is so small.

Indicators of a Simulated Universe

Even without these additional indicators mentioned, the argument stands on it's own. These indicators just help us to know that the universe is in fact simulated.

1."Dr. James Gates says that within super-symmetrical equations, which is part of string theory, he"s found something that very much resembles computer code. When he looked into these equations, he found computer code invented by Claude Shannon in the 1940s. Shannon was a mathematician who founded digital computer and digital circuit design theory in 1937."

2.The universe also looks to be a hologram according to many physicists. It appears that we're actually just a 3 dime soak representation of a 2 dimensional universe.

3. "According to Rich Terrile, the director of the Center for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA"s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the proof that we"re living in a simulation is that the universe is made of pixels." something you'd very much expect to find in a simulated universe

4. Remember when I talked about how computers could use a lot less memory if they only simulated things when you looked at them. Perhaps when you look at an atom it is simulated so you can observe it an be none the wiser, that you were in a simulation? Well evidence that this is taking place is abundant. Matter most definitely does act different when being observed.

"1. Matter can act as both a wave and a particle depending on whether or not it is being observed (Wave-Duality Theory)

This is the least meaningful implication for you as a macroscopic organism, but nonetheless it"s a pretty crazy concept.

2. Observation can (possibly) affect the outcome of macroscopic events

After all, you and everything you know are composed of these microscopic particles, so why couldn"t something large be influenced as well? It would be the sum of a seemingly infinite amount of pieces of matter acting as either waves or particles. Scientists have very mixed opinions on this topic so I"ll just say it makes sense to me that this could happen on a larger scale."
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent's arguments have nothing to do with the resolution. He accidentally posted the wrong debate. I don't mind continuing the debate and just ignoring my opponent's R2 however I believe that this should work in my favor. My opponent had less than 3 hours left to post and in the last few hours he posts the incorrect debate. This gives him now essentially 6 days in total to complete his next round since he now has 3 additional days to complete his argument. I find that this is unfair since he receives additional time to complete his round. We can continue the debate but I do think that this mistake should factor into the votes.


We'll make this a one round debate as my opponent has asked me to do
Debate Round No. 3


Okay. This will be a one round debate where you will judge my arguments vs wylted's. Wylted is not allowed any rebuttals in his round to keep it fair.

Things To Consider

- Wylted has had roughly 1 week longer than I have to construct a case.

- Wylted basically admits to cheating in the comments when questioned about why he posted the wrong round. He states:

"You're my opponent here. I will discuss what strategy I used or even if it was strategy after the voting concludes. Other than that I'll be extremely vague about how mistakes were made, if things were in fact mistakes and the reasons for these things."

I understand that he isn't directly admitting this so I will leave this up to voter's to decide how to weigh this when judging.

Thank you for an ..... interesting debate Wylted and may the best man win.


Wylted forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
82 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by famousdebater 9 months ago
I'm not debating her and the debate IS in the voting period. I was reading through it because I was gonna vote and then I noticed that her case was identical to mine and she was using it against somebody else as if it were her case.
Posted by Wylted 9 months ago
Just let the voters know. Typically you don't even just have to respond to her arguments. Plagiarism makes judges so mad they don't allow a plagiarizer to win. Also let me know when the debate is in the voting period
Posted by famousdebater 9 months ago
The thing is that she directly copy and pasted my whole abortion case (not from this debate but from one more specifically about abortion being legalized), and she just changed the font and the spacing.
Posted by Wylted 9 months ago
I didn't see that. I wouldn't rebut anyway, I was hoping to just intimidate you into calling this a tie. Yeah, she always plagiarizes. She often plagiarizes from her sources.
Posted by famousdebater 9 months ago
Just on a side note. You know I think you are right about Forever23 and plagiarism. Read her R2 argument and compare it to mine in this debate.
Posted by famousdebater 9 months ago
You said this:

"We'll make this a one round debate as my opponent has asked me to do."

Since you clearly say that you are following my request it seems strange that when I initially said it I DID point out that no rebuttals would be allowed on your behalf and now you choose to accept and decline various parts of my proposal without my consideration.

I clearly said:

"If you want, you can pass / forfeit this round and lose conduct but then produce an argument in the final round. Since we would have both used one round for arguments, it would be equal. I will agree to this if you want. But don't do rebuttals otherwise it will be unfair on me."

You stated that you are going to make this a one round debate as I requested however if you make rebuttals then you are VIOLATING my request and I did not agree to what you are going to do. Please bare in mind that if you do make rebuttals I will most likely mention this because this does give you an extremely considerable advantage over me.
Posted by famousdebater 9 months ago
I don't want to tie it. Do whatever you want and I'll leave it up to the voters to see if you are / aren't allowed rebuttals.
Posted by Wylted 9 months ago
We never agreed that I wasn't allowed rebuttals in the comments. So I'll be ignoring that. I gave you an opportunity to tie this, but you insisted on this route. If you want to we can still tie it, but if not I'll be making arguments and rebuttals.
Posted by famousdebater 9 months ago
@RainbowDash52 - I'd be happy to debate against you on this topic in the future but I want to rematch wylted first before considering doing this again with somebody else.
Posted by famousdebater 9 months ago
@Wylted - we can rematch then but not tie this one.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Balacafa 9 months ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro and Con agreed to a one round debate and only Pro provided arguments. Since Con forfeited the only round he was supposed to be providing arguments on only Pro can win here since there were only arguments presented by him. Con's presentation of irrelevant arguments does not count as arguments for him since they were about the universe and god. Not the debate.