The Instigator
jwebb893
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
Curtispov11
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points

Abortion as a Conflict of Rights

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/20/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,613 times Debate No: 733
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (8)

 

jwebb893

Con

Before I begin my argument, I'd like to say that I'm approaching the topic from a rights-based perspective. Thus, if your system of ethics is Utilitarian or Virtue Based, then the issue would be null. This is only for those who believe in rights and their place in legal and political systems.

Next, I'd like to say that the following argument rests on the principle that the agents involved are RATIONAL, FREE agents. Thus, they are of age and capable of making decisions independently. I UNDERSTAND that this is a contentious issue and it is impossible to tell 'when someone is rational or independent', but seeing as this is a rights issue i would request that the challenger and reader cut me some slack.

Finally, I'd like to say that I try to be as open about these things as possible. While this is a debate, I'm mostly after the truth, not winning an argument per se. Thus, no hostility is needed.

Ok, a common argument for pro-life goes like this:
1. all fetuses are persons (or future persons)
2. every person has a right to life
3. we cannot kill fetuses

I think this argument is incomplete; however, with a slight change, it will do the job. The problem was brought up by a philosopher named Judith Thomson. She claims that just because something has a right to life does not mean WE HAVE TO KEEP IT ALIVE. For example, she asks us to envision ourselves in a situation where we wake up in bed attached to a world famous violinist. The violinist needs to use your kidney to survive for nine months, at which time you could remove yourself from the violinist. Would you ethically have to do it?

No. Of course not. It would be nice for you to save this man, but its not really your issue. Thomson claims removing yourself from the violinist is the same as having an abortion. I believe she is wrong because the analogy doesn't fit. We INITIATE THE ACT which puts the fetus in the position of need, unlike the violinist, and thus we are responsible for not killing it. So...

1. Every fetus is a potential person
2. Every person has a right to life
3. We cannot kill fetuses which we knowingly place in a position of vulnerability.

Thus, abortion is wrong in cases not connected to rape, where the mother and father knowingly commit sexual intercourse.

perhaps ive commited some egregious error; i am no proffesional debater or philosopher, but that is the argument which i think respects the rights of all parties involved.
Curtispov11

Pro

Yeah it is too bad that people sometimes have to get an abortion, but for every single case, it would be a lot worse if they had to keep it.
No person in their right mind would get an abortion unless they absolutely need it. one of my best friends got unexpectedly pregnant semi-recently and had to make the toughest decision of her life...whether or not to kill her baby.

she got the abortion, and because of it, she stayed in school, and is currently passing all her classes as a Junior in high school.

There is absolutely no way that she could do this if she had kept the baby.

The point is that abortion is definitely not a good thing, but some people need it.

And it making it illegal would suck...flat out.
Debate Round No. 1
jwebb893

Con

I'm not suggesting by any means that the life of the person having the child would not be altered drastically for the worse, for the record. I dont believe i ever claimed that in my argument.

secondly, there may be other reasons why abortion should be legal, such as the elimination of criminal incodents with women seeking unorthodox means of removing the fetus. However, I am dealing with the issue from a RIGHTS BASIS, as I stated in the first round.

Thus, from my perspective, while it may be harmful to the overall standard of living of the mother, I do not believe that changes the fact that by having consensual sex, a mother (and a father ina different way) owe the fetus rights to services, namely her body and his support.

Whether or not the world is a "better place" has nothing to do with my argument; that would a utilitarian argument, which i said would not apply to a rights based argument at all.
Curtispov11

Pro

well i understand that if both parents knowingly have sex and the woman gets pregnant you think that they should not be able to get an abortion.
but the truth is that people make decisions sometimes without thinking of the consequences.

people f**k, they get pregnant, they realize that they can't afford to keep it, they have to either get an abortion or struggle to keep their baby from starving.

it happens all the time. people have to make these decisions all the time...

the law shouldn't tell a woman that she doesn't have the right to her own body, and if it did there would be a lot of pissed off women out there... that's the last thing we need lol
Debate Round No. 2
jwebb893

Con

Forgive my somewhat judgmental attitude, but just because we do not think of the effects of our action does in no way absolve us of our duty to deal with those effects. The police do not let you off of a DUI because you failed to consider the consequences when you got in the car.

While I'm sure sometimes the mother and father are in a terrible situation with the child, these facts do not in any way affect the duties of the parents or the rights of the child.

To voters, I'd like to request that you vote on argument and not your own beliefs in this case. I realize that abortion is a sticky subject and that there are plenty of objections to my case (although I dont think they have been presented here).

My original argument for parental duties has not been negated yet, and thus I do not feel the need to waste your time by making my last turn a long one.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Merry Christmas
Curtispov11

Pro

well I just wanna finish by saying that first of all, I believe that a fetus is not yet alive, but is part of the mother, and it she can get rid of it if she wants...

but that is not the reason that i am pro-choice

yes it is true that people should be held accountable for their actions, but sometimes, if someone messes up, they need a second chance

thanks for the debate
Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mr.Andrew 9 years ago
Mr.Andrew
The argument moved to the comment section... that waters it down a bit. its like judging a soccer team on their post-game walk to the locker room. the debate is over, thus the votes should not be based on the comments (even the authors), but on the debate itself.

Mr.jwebb your argument was not met. you have my vote.

~Andrew

P.S. I am "pro-life" and would enjoy a debate sometime.
(oh and please dont judge me by my poor grammmar)
Posted by jwebb893 9 years ago
jwebb893
haha i can tell we wouldnt get along. Im not a big Singer fan.We make fun of him in my philosophy classes. Im more of a virtue ethics kinda guy. You realize libertarianism relies on rights ?(I read your profile)

all kidding aside, i addressed the violinist argument in my debate, and the problem is that its a bad analogy because it fails to take into account the difference between positive and negative diuties and causal chains of death.

And yes, if you think a fetus isnt a person, then my positition is false. The only question I have is "Where do you draw the line then?" Infants are just as reliant on others for survival as a fetus. Can we kill infants?
Posted by longjonsilver 9 years ago
longjonsilver
jwebb893 you have raised some good questions. I would recommend my debate to see my response. You can find it in my profile. I think I sufficiently deal with your claims using natural rights.
Posted by jwebb893 9 years ago
jwebb893
No its fine Curtis i understood the points you were making and they were good there just wasnt much supporting evidence.
Posted by Curtispov11 9 years ago
Curtispov11
yeah i'm gonna have to apologize for the poor effort i put into my arguments...jwebb i don't agree with you, but your arguments actually have thought in them which is more then i can say for my own...i just kinda regurgitated all of my crap and it was sorta all over the place
Posted by jwebb893 9 years ago
jwebb893
i cant believe this is tied
Posted by jwebb893 9 years ago
jwebb893
o and I thoroughly enjoyed all the comments. I value all of your opinions and its because of all of these that I really have hope in people as rational agents :)
Posted by jwebb893 9 years ago
jwebb893
to respond to a previous comment, just because sex isnt rationally thought out all the time does not excuse anyone from their obligations. If one knows the possible outcome of sex, then one has to deal with the consequences

And yes, i understand the difference between a zygote and a three year old, i was just makng the point that the common argument that "people are independent" cant really apply strictly speaking.

I know its a hard issue and i agree it sucks for these families, but at the same time all practical data is subjugated to the positive duties owed by participating consensual partners. The interesting thing about my stance is that it allows for rape or drugged or UNKNOWING parents to have abortions.
Posted by jwebb893 9 years ago
jwebb893
I was merely trying to cover the widest base possible which would still be supported by my argument. Why would i narrow my scope if it works with "developing humans" or "potential humans" too?
Posted by lizmason 9 years ago
lizmason
both of you are wrong in a way. no one has the right to kill an innocent child. it's in-human. these are not "potential people", these are live human babies.
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