The Instigator
heisenberg
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Daniel1197
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Abortion before the end of the second trimester is murder

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
heisenberg
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/13/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,596 times Debate No: 24692
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (28)
Votes (1)

 

heisenberg

Con

This debate will only involve abortions during the first or second trimester of pregnancy. Pro will have the burden of proving that abortion before the end of the second trimester is murder. As Con, I will have to refute or invalidate this claim.

Definitions:
Murder: The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another [1]

Abortion: The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy [2]

Second Trimester of Pregnancy: time period extending from the 13th to the 27th week of gestation [3]

Rules:
-First round is for acceptance of definitions.
-Second round is for main arguments. Pro may not rebut my arguments until the third round; he can only state his own.
-Third round is for rebuttals to our opponent's main arguments and then summary of one's own. No new arguments may be made outside those that are needed for rebuttal. Pro may not respond to the rebuttals I make to his arguments, since I am unable to respond to his rebuttals of mine.

[1] https://www.google.com...
[2] https://www.google.com...
[3] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Daniel1197

Pro

Murder: To kill (another human) unlawfully

Abortion: Induced termination of pregnancy, involving destruction of the embryo or fetus.
Debate Round No. 1
heisenberg

Con

My definitions are sourced, and his definition of murder also works for the definition of manslaughter [1] (specifically, manslaughter is not premeditated, while murder is, and his definition does not include premeditation at all, so under his definition, manslaughter could be murder, when they are in fact separate terms). Thus, his definition is not as specific as my definition for murder, so my definitions shall be used for the debate. Furthermore, I use the noun definitions of murder and abortion, while he uses the noun definition for abortion and the verb definition for murder. The title uses them in the noun form (as opposed to it saying "To abort before the end of the second trimester is to murder, which is the verb form). My definitions are consistent, and thus they should be used. I have shown my definitions to be more appropriate for this debate, and they shall be used for the remainder of it, especially because Pro has not shown how my definitions are inappropriate in the only round where, according to the rules, he was allowed to do so. I am not breaking the rules by posting this, because this is a clarification necessary for the rest of the debate, and it is something that I could not respond to in Round One. Even though I have denied Pro's definitions, I believe my arguments will still work under his definitions.

Now, this round deals with our main arguments. I remind my opponent that he is not allowed to respond to my arguments until the third round, where I will address his as well. He can only state his main argument in this round.

Ultimately, I will prove that abortion is not the killing of an innocent human being, because the embryo/fetus is not a human being. I will remind you that murder is the killing of a human being, under both of our definitions, even though his is irrelevant. So, if I can prove that an embryo/fetus is not a human being, then abortion before the end of the second trimester is not murder.

A human being is an organism [2], which is defined as: "An individual living thing that can react to stimuli, reproduce, grow, and maintain homeostasis. It can be a virus, bacterium, protist, fungus, plant or an animal" [3]. So, if an embryo is not an organism, it is not a human being.

Individuality is required for something to be considered an organism under organism's scientifically accepted definition. An embryo is not an organism, because it is not an individual. An individual is defined as: "A single, separate organism (animal or plant) distinguished from others of a same kind" [4]. Allow me to show you how it is not an individual.

An embryo does not fall under this scientifically accepted definition of an individual, because it is not able to be separated from the mother it resides in without dying. In other words, its existence as life is dependent upon it being attached to the mother. It is not "separate," as the definition of individual requires. I do not expect my opponent to deny the fact that a fetus is attached to the mother, but I have cited this fact just in case [5]. For a fetus to be considered a human being, it must be an organism. For it to be considered an organism, it must have individuality, which it does not, because it is unable to survive without being attached to the mother.

Now, one may argue that even if the fetus is dependent upon the mother, so is a person hooked up to an IV machine dependent upon the IV machine; thus, shouldn't a person hooked up to an IV machine be not considered a human being as well? No. To be dependent upon the mother is the fetus in its natural state, as opposed to someone hooked up on an IV machine. If whatever incident that caused a person to be hooked up to an IV machine did not happen, then the person would be considered a human being. Thus, he or she should still be considered a human being despite the handicaps, because what happened to him or her was an irregular occurrence. A normal fetus on the other hand has no "incident" happen to them; no defect is present, only natural processes, yet they remain dependent. If you keep the natural processes intact for both the fetus and the human, the human being would still be considered an individual, while the fetus would not. In principle, a person attached to an IV machine is still a human being; a fetus in principle is not a human being.

I have shown how abortion before the end of the second trimester is not murder because murder involves killing a human being, which a fetus is not. According to the rules, my opponent has the burden of showing that abortion is murder in his main argument; he cannot directly respond to my arguments in round two, although his arguments can certainly contradict mine. He just cannot reference them directly.

I thank my opponent for accepting the debate and I wish him luck.

[1]http://www.google.com...
[2]http://www.project2061.org...
[3]http://www.biology-online.org...
[4]http://www.biology-online.org...
[5]http://indianapublicmedia.org...
Daniel1197

Pro

I would like to begin by saying yes, yes it is.

"Annually 50 million babies are aborted worldwide." and "In America 3700 babies are aborted a day. One every
24 seconds."[1]

Is it any different if I killed you now than if I killed you as a fetus. If you kill a fetus you take the life they will have.
You take away the wife/husband and children they may have. Would you want to be killed as a fetus because your
mother didn't want you or wasn't able to care for you? That means you would never know your friends or your family.
This question in my mind shouldn't be based on definitions. It is a moral question in my opinion.

In conclusion, you may not be taking away someone's life but you are taking away the life they're going to have.

[1]http://www.cpforlife.org...
Debate Round No. 2
heisenberg

Con

Okay.

I will do my best to respond to his argument, but honestly, there is not much to respond to.

His statistics are from a biased source, and are technically incorrect under my argument that a fetus is not a human being, a thus certainly not a baby, as the source likes to refer fetuses as. You really can't abort babies; that would be infanticide, not abortion.

"Is it any different if I killed you now than if I killed you as a fetus."

Yes, yes there is. As a fetus, I am unable to value my own existence. Now, I value my existence. So, yes, there is a difference.

"If you kill a fetus you take the life they will have."

The fetus, even without being aborted, is not guaranteed their life until they are actually born healthy. So by aborting them, you may not be taking the life they will have. Something else may happen to them, like a miscarriage.

But either way, that does not make it murder. I have shown how a fetus is not a human being; the act of an abortion is not taking a human being's life.

"Would you want to be killed as a fetus because your mother didn't want you or wasn't able to care for you?"

As a fetus, I would be unable to "want" or "not want" to be killed in the first place. Since I'm alive now, I value my life, but as a fetus, I am unable to value my life. But a fetus is not a human being; it has the possibility to develop into a human being if anything, but killing a possibility for a human being is not murder. An individual sperm has the possibility to develop into a baby as well, but male masturbation is not considered murder even by most Pro-life standards. Even if a sperm needs a female's egg to make life, so does a fetus need a woman's body to develop into a life.

"It is a moral question in my opinion."

It certainly is a moral question. It is very philosophical in nature. That said, philosophy is based off of reality, and to use scientific definitions to back up one's philosophy is not only a good idea but also required to be taken seriously, since science is an observation of reality. And it wasn't even like I rigged the definitions in my favor either; my arguments could work under your provided definitions, and the ones I provided in Round Two that I needed for my argument were scientifically based and not nitpicked from various sources. You, on the other hand, have only given emotional appeals with no evidence to back them up.

Just because a question is a moral question doesn't mean that you can use your emotions to answer it. Rather, you should look at the evidence, which exists in statistics, definitions, scientific law, etc., to see which answer to this moral question is correct. I have provided biology facts and scientific definitions, along with the reasoning to apply the facts and definitions with each other, to prove my case correct. My opponent has not done this in his main argument. His main argument does not prove the notion that abortion before the second trimester is murder. For this reason, you should vote Con.

Now, I will remind my opponent that in the third round he cannot state any new arguments; all he can do is rebut to the arguments I made in round two, as I have just done here with his arguments from round two. He cannot reply to the arguments I just made here in round three either, since I am unable to reply to his rebuttals made this round. All of this is in the rules.

I thank my opponent for the debate.
Daniel1197

Pro

I made my decision based on emotion because it is the way I see it. Why should we say this isn't murder just because
someone before us wrote the definition that we follow? What if he had written it differently to where it is murder?
We're just following what a human being before us wrote and we believe. I guess it is just the way you see it.
The ones that believe it isn't murder just look at definitions people before us wrote and believe it isn't. People who believe it is look at the life the baby may have. Should humans have the decision over life and death? I suppose I will lose this debate because I based it on my emotions and opinions and not a definition.

I thank my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by heisenberg 4 years ago
heisenberg
" "It has to do with the nature of people to not try something that they know they will lose at" - exactly correct. I am in total agreement. I know that I will lose at this debate as it currently stands, and I believe that this is because it is impossible to win in its current wording. I do not see the value in entering a contest that I "know I will lose at", but I DO see the value in entering a contest that is heavily stacked against me - it would be to challenge myself, and to give me greater personal reward in the case of victory."

But the problem is that I've already shown in previous comments how it isn't heavily stacked against you. I've actually had to repeat myself on some of them for people asking more than once. And I don't even mind repeating it for you too, except I already have, so I won't bother now. If you address my arguments about how the debate is not stacked and shown them to be incorrect, then I would have changed the rules of the debate to your suggestion, assuming I didn't object to your objections to my explanations. But you didn't do that, and instead you proceeded with a analogy about Prometheus and how I shouldn't try to add to the parameters of the debate in the comments section, which I'm not doing. All I'm doing is addressing problems people have with the original parameters of the debate, showing them to be not problems under the parameters of the debate stated in round one, without me having to expand them in the least.

Frankly, this conversation has lost its relevance, because the debate has been accepted by someone else. I'll let you have the last word in here, but I probably won't respond. The only reason why I would is to either admit I was wrong or to say that I have sent you a private message in response. Nonetheless, there isn't much reason to continue this discussion here.
Posted by jaketaz 4 years ago
jaketaz
"I never said that you have to read the stuff in the comments to vote correctly on the debate. Where have I said this?" - I never said that you said that people have to read the comments to vote correctly on the debate. In fact I said the opposite: "they will not affect the outcome of the debate". I wasn't saying this to imply that someone has to read "the comments to vote correctly", I was saying this because you are creating clear debate parameters in the comments instead of creating clear debate parameters in the debate parameters.

"What I do have to explain is why people shouldn't be so afraid to accept this debate" - are you saying that you will not go after people by exploiting the wording of the definitions of "unlawful" and "murder"? If so, I guess I could just take your word for it, but I've been in so many arguments where people (like myself) get nit-picky about every little thing. So it does give me reservations, because I'm seeing something in the debate that I perceive as a structural problem, and a potential opponent that claims that this perceived problem is not actually a problem... yet is unwilling to change the wording.

"And it has nothing to do with the nature of the debate" - I have a problem with the nature of the debate, so it does. If you changed the wording, I would accept the challenge.

"It has to do with the nature of people to not try something that they know they will lose at" - exactly correct. I am in total agreement. I know that I will lose at this debate as it currently stands, and I believe that this is because it is impossible to win in its current wording. I do not see the value in entering a contest that I "know I will lose at", but I DO see the value in entering a contest that is heavily stacked against me - it would be to challenge myself, and to give me greater personal reward in the case of victory.

If you have a problem with me, I'm sorry I couldn't think of a better analogy. It just reminded me of Prometheus.
Posted by heisenberg 4 years ago
heisenberg
Just because you can make an analogy that fits into your own descriptions of what is going on here and in Prometheus, doesn't make the analogy right. It doesn't mean it's wrong either, but it makes it look a whole lot more right than you've really proven it to be. Instead of responses to what I have said to your initial comments with logical reasoning, you give me an analogy. And then you try to appeal to the masses, saying that all these people don't understand something or have a problem with something, and since I don't, I must be wrong.

Now to your actual response, which I honestly don't understand; for once, however, instead of blaming the person who said it for not understanding it, I'm going to assume I'm missing something, that I'm understanding something wrong. I never said that you have to read the stuff in the comments to vote correctly on the debate. Where have I said this? I know that "no one who votes on the debate is required to read these comments, or to take them into consideration, and as such they will not affect the outcome of the debate." I do not have to provide this much supplemental info just to explain the nature of the debate. I explain the nature very well in Round One. What I do have to explain is why people shouldn't be so afraid to accept this debate. Almost everyone who has commented has a problem with the word "unlawful," claiming that it would be impossible for Pro to win because of that word. I have shown this is not true, but nonetheless, this is their problem, not mine. And it has nothing to do with the nature of the debate. It has to do with the nature of people to not try something that they know they will lose at; I do not have a problem with this, because I do this myself a lot as well.

What I do have a problem with is someone like you, for reasons I've pretty much already stated in paragraph one.
Posted by jaketaz 4 years ago
jaketaz
There is a movie out now, called "Prometheus". A lot of confusing things happen, and the audience is not given a lot of answers. The director, Ridley Scott, has done a lot of press interviews explaining things about the movie that were neither told to the audience, nor logically deductible from what happened in the movie, because the audience was given neither the facts nor the logistical parameters of the problems posed by the movie.

This debate reminds me of "Prometheus", because everyone other than yourself has commented about their confusion and logical/rhetorical problems with it, and you are working to quell these problems in the comments with additional information. Ridley Scott hasn't re-cut the movie, and you haven't edited the debate parameters.

You said "I won't bother making arguments in the actual debate that I've already countered here." This is not the debate, these are additional comments. No one who votes on the debate is required to read these comments, or to take them into consideration, and as such they will not affect the outcome of the debate. The whole point of a debate is that an argument is supposed to arrive at a conclusion favoring one side, using only materials provided in the debate. If you have to provide this much supplemental info just to explain the nature of the debate, the debate parameters aren't acceptable.
Posted by heisenberg 4 years ago
heisenberg
@16kadams- Anyone can feel free to challenge my definition. I'm getting to the point where I'm repeating myself now, but I'll say it again: this was the first definition I've found on google, and I looked at four or five other definitions but they all involved the word "unlawful." So I eventually gave up.
Posted by heisenberg 4 years ago
heisenberg
@Keytarhero- I've already explained why I'm attached to the word. The main reason I want to debate this is because I've come across people in my real life or on the internet who use the argument that "abortion is murder" on me when we're discussing political matters. They use it for a reason why abortion should be illegal. I've found that debates here are a good way of trying out some arguments or ideas I have before I say them in other places, especially real life. It also gives me a good idea of what some counter arguments can be.

To someone else, a little change of wording doesn't seem like that big of a deal, as long as we're still focusing on the general debate topic of whether or not abortion is a bad thing or not. But I started this debate for the specific reason, as I've stated above.

But I noticed below that you said that you don't want to debate me because you don't think you'll win because of pro-choice voters who will latch on to any reason to vote for the pro-choice side. That's completely understandable, but I just want you to understand that although I love to win debates and I will try my hardest to win, I don't really debate just for the prospect of winning. I debate because an issue interests me or/and I want to learn more about it; fueled by my desire to win, I force myself to go in detail in looking up information that I wouldn't otherwise do, and furthermore, my opponents generally bring information to the table I was not aware of. I'm not doing this debate to win, but rather get information and formulate ideas.

@16kadams- I decided to focus on before the third trimester because of mostly illogical reasons, honestly. I'm no medical expert, but I was under the assumption (that I shouldn't have assumed) that abortions that occur under the threat of the mother's life happen in the third trimester. This may not be true; I'm not sure now that I think about it. I just didn't want to involve exceptions to the resolution like that to the deb
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
Change definition of murder
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
It seems illogical, of your an abortionist, that trimester would matter. Only the "if it feels pain" part would dictate your decision in later spheres of development.
Posted by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
*all other abortions are unjustified.
Posted by KeytarHero 4 years ago
KeytarHero
Well, I love to debate the topic, I've just seen how people vote in the past. I usually debate that abortion is generally immoral, then in my first round I say that I do believe that life-saving abortions are morally justified, so I'll be arguing that all other abortions are justified. Then I get people voting against me because I believe that life-saving abortions are justified. Pro-choicers on this site will look for any excuse to vote against a pro-lifer.

I just don't see why you're so attached to using the word "murder." If you just change the word to "immoral," you'll get some takers (myself included).
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by THE_OPINIONATOR 4 years ago
THE_OPINIONATOR
heisenbergDaniel1197Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument was well thought out and he had very accurate sources, however my moral opinion and side still stands with the Pro side. I suggest that Pro useion and referances as possible in order to justify his argument. Short arguments aren't bad unless you cover all of your bases. Pro needs to clarify his argument as much as possible for the readers of the debate.