The Instigator
SnoopyDaniels
Pro (for)
Winning
40 Points
The Contender
Kasrahalteth
Con (against)
Losing
36 Points

Abortion cannot be justified logically.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2007 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,870 times Debate No: 633
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (23)

 

SnoopyDaniels

Pro

My original intention was to find NARAL's official justification of abortion. Strangely enough, their website does not contain one. The only one I found was "a woman's right to choose". Therefore, I will focus on this idea of a woman's right to choose as justification for abortion, along with any other justifications that I can recall having heard.

I think we would all agree that we have the right to choose. However, does that right to choose translate over into a right to do whatever one wants, despite the moral or legal implications? If we used this rationale, then I would be morally justified in killing someone, if I so choose. Of course this is absurd. However, I realize that a pro-infanticide individual would quibble about the definition of person (entailing human rights), and whether or not a "fetus," as they prefer to call it, is one.

For this, we need an additional logical argument. I will conduct this argument through questioning. First, I would ask if a baby, the moment after it is out of the womb, is a person. Save for the severely deluded, I think all of us would agree that it is. Second, I would ask if anything magical occurs during birth that magically makes the baby a person? Of course, there is no such magical transformation. Therefore, if a baby is a person after it has left the womb, it was a person before it left the womb. Third, I would ask if at any point during the pregnancy, a sudden observable transformation occurs that makes the fetus a person versus a non-person. The answer, of course, is no. If a baby is a person after leaving the womb, and that there is no defining point during its development in which it goes from being a non person to being a person, we must assume that it was always a person throughout its development, beginning at conception, when it became a geneticly human entity. Thus, abortion at any time during the pregnancy is murder.

Since an unborn baby is at all times a person, abortion is also unconstitutional on the basis that it violates the right to life, as EXPRESSLY stated in the constitution. In contrast, a woman's right to choose must be CONSTRUED as constitutional through convoluted interpretations of due process as meaning "a right to privacy". It would take a twisted mind indeed to arrive at that conclusion.

Nobody is infringing a woman's right to choose. If they don't want to have babies, then they can choose not to, BY NOT HAVING SEX.
Kasrahalteth

Con

I'll admit, no one's ever bothered teaching me debate etiquette and besides, opening statements are rather pointless and in my opinion only really serve to waste time. So I'm just going to skip to the argument.

So. Before I even start I want to go on a little tangent and point out a massive hole in your argument. For the purposes of this debate, you can completely ignore it, but I‘d really like to mention it to you. I noticed on your profile that you're against government assistance for the poor. Now, most abortions are done because the mother is too poor or otherwise can't take care of a child. So, if the whole country lived by your morals, she would be forced to have the child, and then, unless some private organization jumps in to help, she would have to raise it herself. Which would probably drive both her and the child into the ground, and since the child was raised in poverty and probably off begging in the streets or whatever, there's no way the child's life can be any better. (S)He wouldn't have gotten an education and is probably too busy living day to day and trying not to starve to get one once (s)he's old enough. And in this day and age, it's hard enough to get a job with a college degree, let alone as a high-school dropout. So you'd really be encouraging this self-perpetuating poverty. Social Darwinism. That's one thing that's always annoyed me about you libertarian pro-lifers. You care about a fetus until it's born. Then you don't want to finance any programs to help out the kid. A bit hypocritical, maybe?

And for that matter you're probably going to make the argument that a church group or something will help the mother. But they'd probably deny help unless she accepts Jesus Christ as her savior or whatever you crazy kids are doing nowadays and denying people help based on religion is generally not a very good thing.

So on to the arguments.

The first is that if killing a fertilized egg is murder, then every fertility clinic in the country ought to be shut down, because those places are absolutely full of unused fetuses that they eventually just throw out. And these clinics are for people who wouldn't have children otherwise. So you'd be against allowing people who can't have kids otherwise starting a family. And if you want to go with a pro-life argument, the one fetus out of however many were killed (and I use ‘killed' liberally here, as you'll see later) wouldn't have survived if they hadn't gone to the clinic. So you're either arguing against life, or you're selectively pro-life. And isn't the whole basis of a pro-life argument is that all life is sacred, no matter what? So your argument, when taken and applied to the rest of the world, is somewhat contradictory.

Just a point that I thought needed to be mentioned. And in response to your little opening statement, I give you my second argument.

A fertilized egg is not alive. I tend to draw the line at the fetus being able to survive outside the womb. If it can reasonably be expected to survive on its own and not be brain-dead for the rest of its existence, then it's alive. But I don't think something like that is going to satisfy you. So I'm going to make the argument that a fetus is not alive until at least eleven weeks, a full week before it goes through a "magical transformation" and actually develops a somewhat functioning central nervous system. Without a central nervous system it can't feel pain. At this stage, it can't think either. And it's no use saying there's no real way to know that. If it hasn't got a brain, then it's physically impossible for it to think. End of story. I mean, at this point, it's just a lump of cells and has all the mental capacity of the average houseplant.

And 88.2% of all abortions are done before twelve weeks, the week they actually do get a central nervous system. So 88.2% of abortions don't really kill anything, for the record.

And it seems as if the rest of your arguments hinge on a fetus being a person, which I have already disproved. But I'll mix it up and throw in some other arguments as well.

About this "right to choose". You're the one quibbling about what people can and cannot choose. The general rule is that you can choose whatever you like, as long as you're not violating any laws. And last time I checked, abortions weren't illegal, nor should they be because, as I stated above, fetuses are not alive. What you're really doing by writing that paragraph is downplaying the whole "what is or isn't life" argument, which is sad because it's what your argument really has to boil down to, anyway. Actually, if you look at your entire argument, it's really more of the same fare. I mean, infanticide?! Not that I'm trying to insult you, emotions are about the only platform pro-lifers have to stand on.

And again a fetus does not have constitutional rights because it is not a person. Plain and simple. But I'd say that the right to an abortion falls under the right to pursuit of happiness. (Oh! Curveball! I bet you thought I was going to stick to the Constitution!)

And for the record, this "right to choose" you mention in the last line doesn't cover medical abortions or abortions for rape victims, does it? What would you do in those cases?

And since your first statement is about justifications for abortion, here are a few of them:

1. Health. If the mother's sick and carrying the child to term may kill her (or possibly both of them), which life is really more important?

2. Rape. That one's simple. Is it fair or legal for someone to be forced to carry a child they never wanted to term? I didn't think so.

Besides, if you did force them to, you run into the same problems I mention in the third reason. People who aren't emotionally ready for kids.

3. Situation. Now this is the gray area. But think of it this way: having an abortion is not an easy decision to make by any stretch of the imagination. So if someone chooses to have one, they probably have a pretty good reason. And forcing someone to raise a child they never wanted in the first place is bad for all parties involved. Having a child is a life-altering experience. The mother will likely drop out of school and ruin her future to raise it. The child will be raised by someone who never wanted it, and isn't emotionally ready for that kind of commitment. It will probably be raised in an extremely unstable one-parent household. Not a good environment to grow up in, obviously.

And don't suggest adopting it out, because right now there are literally thousands of kids rotting in abusive foster homes all over this country and adding more unwanted children to the mix is only going to make things worse.

I mean, what's really worse, living a life like that or not living at all? It's easy to be sentimental and say that life is important, no matter what. But actually take some time to consider the issue. Kids in unstable families or in foster homes usually end up maladjusted and miserable for the rest of their lives, and end up doing the same things when they reach their parents' age, perpetuating the cycle. And it's not like I'm suggesting we kill babies, I want to get rid of them before they even exist.
Debate Round No. 1
SnoopyDaniels

Pro

"So. Before I even start I want to go on a little tangent and point out a massive hole in your argument. For the purposes of this debate, you can completely ignore it, but I‘d really like to mention it to you."

If I can ignore it for the purpose of this debate, then it's not a hole in my argument. But to answer your question... First, whether or not a mother can afford the baby has no bearing on whether it's right to abort the baby or not. If that were the case, then it would be morally acceptable to kill are children if we couldn't support them financially. If a woman cannot afford to take care of a child, SHE SHOULDN'T HAVE SEX. Second, yes, I am opposed to government assistence to the poor. However, I am not against assistence to the poor. I believe it is the job of private individuals and organizations (including but not limited to churches) not the government to provide for the poor. If someone is really concerned about the well being of the poor, they should donate their own money to a charity of their choice, not force everyone else to donate through taxes. In reality, politicians that advocate welfare and the like are merely demagogues, trying to win the vote of poor people. No hypocracy there.

A fertilized egg is not alive? If a fertilized egg is not alive, must be dead. So, in other words, you're saying that a fertilized egg is dead. I think you will have trouble explaining that scientifically. The fertilized egg is a cell (which is, by definition, alive), capable of cell division and the host of other cellular fuctions. Therefore, human life does indeed begin at conception.

You say that the threshold for you is when the baby has a somewhat functioning central nervous system, because prior to this it couldn't think or feel pain. If that is the case, then it would be okay to kill someone in their sleep. They aren't thinking, nor would they feel pain, therefore, it's okay to kill them. The fact that a human is unaware of what is being done to them does not justify killing them.

"And 88.2% of all abortions are done before twelve weeks, the week they actually do get a central nervous system. So 88.2% of abortions don't really kill anything, for the record."

Excuse me? If 88.2% of abortions don't really kill anything, then what are they for? The baby's heart was pounding, many of its vital systems were already functioning, and it was growing by the day. What is it, if not alive?

"And it seems as if the rest of your arguments hinge on a fetus being a person, which I have already disproved. But I'll mix it up and throw in some other arguments as well."

At this point, you have disproved nothing. All humans are people. A "fetus" is a human, threfore, a fetus is a person. Granted, it is not a fully developed person, but neither is a one-year-old infant. Do you recommend that we start killing babies when they become inconvenient on the grounds that they are not fully developed, and therefore, not human?

"And last time I checked, abortions weren't illegal, nor should they be because, as I stated above, fetuses are not alive."

With this sentence, you contradict an earlier statement of yours that you draw the line at the point when the baby has a nervous system. "Fetus" describes a baby in the later stages of development (long after the 12th week), meaning that it has a nervous system, and therefore, by your own definition, is alive. This means that you have contradicted yourself.

"I mean, infanticide?! Not that I'm trying to insult you, emotions are about the only platform pro-lifers have to stand on."

What is wrong with emotion? When we see pictures of the atrocities of the holocaust, we are immediately confronted by strong emotion of outrage, horror, and sorrow. We do not have such emotions for no reason. We are justified in having these emotions, and would further be worried about someone who did not have some kind of emotional reaction to such scenes. Clearly, then, emotions are not to be disgarded, PARTICULARLY in cases of morality. Obviously we shouldn't rely on them wholly, which is why I have been presenting logical arguments.

I have a few questions regarding your justification for abortion. First of all, how many of the thousands of abortions performed every day can truly be justified as a means of saving a mother's life? I suspect few, if any. The same goes for rape victims. It MAY justify SOME abortion, but certainly not the vast majority of it.

Furthermore, what is wrong with the suggestion of adoption? You already suggested ealier that there are many couples unable to have kids, and go to fertility clinics to do so. Looks like you've solved your own problem.

"So if someone chooses to have one, they probably have a pretty good reason." I reject this categorically. Most women abort babies because they want to have sex, but they don't want to face the consequences of sex. Their decision making process goes something like "D--n, I don't want a kid. Time to make an appointment with the abortion clinic."

"The mother will likely drop out of school and ruin her future to raise it. The child will be raised by someone who never wanted it, and isn't emotionally ready for that kind of commitment. It will probably be raised in an extremely unstable one-parent household. Not a good environment to grow up in, obviously."

You have just made an excellent case for abstinence. If having sex out of wedlock has so many terrible consequences, why do people do it, and why do we offer them a means to exponge the consequences of their actions so easily? The whole problem of abortion could be solved, not by legislation, not by debates like this, but by people not acting like children are just a biproduct of sex. This may be where the whole problem is. The reason that you fail to view abortion as a crime is that you view babies as some kind of unintended byproduct of sex, when it's actually the whole point of sex. How can someone justify killing something that they knowingly went through the process to make?

I guess that's a completely different can of worms.
Kasrahalteth

Con

"If I can ignore it for the purpose of this debate, then it's not a hole in my argument."

For the record, I mentioned that because it was a bit of a personal attack more than anything. And I don't like to force people to respond to personal attacks. Your other views aren't immediately relevant to the debate, but they're important nonetheless.

And, this is a bit of a tangent, but it's worth asking because I've always wanted to know why libertarians want to privatize financial aid and other such things. Isn't that a little idealistic? Most private groups (i.e. corporations and whatnot) only care about money, to the point of denying people healthcare because they want to keep costs down. Why do you think they would just give it away to the poor? And if you think that it's grassroots groups or whatever, then why are you so sure that people are inherently good and will want to donate money? I'd much rather charge everyone to make sure people get the care they need than depend on people's goodwill. And for that matter, in hard times when people need help most, wouldn't people stop donating in order to keep their own families afloat? And wouldn't that essentially strand the poor?

But on to the real argument, yes?

Okay. Fine. A fertilized egg is technically alive, but so are tumors. Think about it. All tissue is alive, and actually by your definition of human life (being a cell, capable of cell division and able to perform cellular functions) a tumor qualifies. So, by your logic, tumors should not be removed because they are alive. Don't go curing that cancer, now. You'll be killing human life.

You and I both know that there are different levels of ‘alive', and being alive does not necessarily mean that something's sentient. If I kill the poinsettia on your windowsill, you won't be going on about murder unless you have an unnatural attachment to houseplants.

And I think, in our case, the scientific definition of life is pretty irrelevant to this argument for exactly that reason. Because, let's face it, using that definition, you'd have to argue that the average potato is intelligent.

So, let's look at the medical definition of death, shall we?
According to Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, which I'm sure is a fairly decent source of information on such things, the definition of death is "the irreversible cessation of all of the following: (1) total cerebral function, usually assessed by EEG as flat-line (2) spontaneous function of the respiratory system, and (3) spontaneous function of the circulatory system"

At this point in the pregnancy, the fetus is capable of none of these things, and so is medically dead, unless you want to look at it as a lump of tissue. But again, lumps of tissue are not protected under the constitution, are they?

As for killing someone in their sleep, they are most certainly thinking and feeling. Just because they're not particularly aware of the fact that they're thinking and feeling at the time doesn't mean they're not. Don't believe me? Go up to someone asleep. And then poke them. If they don't wake up, you may want to call the authorities. They still have enough feeling to respond to being poked. As for thinking, people have plenty of alpha and delta waves bouncing around while they're asleep. People who are asleep are certainly aware of what's going on around them, they're still processing all the stimuli around, there's just a momentary disconnect between parts of the brain, and the cognitive part isn‘t really aware of it. If you stopped thinking and feeling when asleep, you'd be medically dead every night.

"Excuse me? If 88.2% of abortions don't really kill anything, then what are they for? The baby's heart was pounding, many of its vital systems were already functioning, and it was growing by the day. What is it, if not alive?"

That's just the point. Its heart isn't pounding and it doesn't actually have any vital systems. I will concede that it is growing, but I think I already mentioned tumors. Again, living lump of tissue does not equal sentient being.

"All humans are people. A "fetus" is a human, therefore, a fetus is a person. Granted, it is not a fully developed person, but neither is a one-year-old infant. Do you recommend that we start killing babies when they become inconvenient on the grounds that they are not fully developed, and therefore, not human?"

A one-year-old infant can think, breathe, and circulate blood and is therefore medically alive, unlike a pre-fetus, which again, at this point, is a lump of cells. I'll certainly agree that it is illegal to kill a baby, but you can't kill something if it was never alive in the first place.

""Fetus" describes a baby in the later stages of development (long after the 12th week), meaning that it has a nervous system, and therefore, by your own definition, is alive."

Oh, bah. You know as well as I do that that's just a matter of word choice. If I said you were contradicting yourself every time you chose the wrong word to describe something, we'd be here all day. Even you have to agree that was a bit of a cheap shot.

But okay, if it bothers you so much, I'll remember to call it a pre-fetal lump of cells next time.

And all this about emotions, there's a lot wrong with basing an argument on them. Some times they just don't make sense. I'm really into robotics, and whenever I build a robot, I look at the way it moves, looks, and behaves and start empathizing with it. Logic tells me that it's an unthinking and unfeeling machine, but my emotions say it's cute when it looks for the light source before driving toward it. We're evolved to see human characteristics when they're often not there, and this can often get in the way of reason.

And for the record, you're grossly overestimating the "thousands" of abortions performed every day. In America, there's something like 140 a day, and I think it's gone down a bit since then.

Now, I'll admit, that's not a figure I like, and I don't at all like the idea of killing pre-fetuses myself, but honestly, it beats the alternative.

"Furthermore, what is wrong with the suggestion of adoption? You already suggested earlier that there are many couples unable to have kids, and go to fertility clinics to do so. Looks like you've solved your own problem."

Actually, there's a big problem. People are selfish. Most of them don't want to raise someone else's kid, especially one from a foster home because they tend to be emotionally disturbed from being in a foster home. It's a harsh truth but most of us are hopelessly idealistic and want to raise our own kids from birth, and not someone else's. If adoptions were such a good idea, why aren't there more of them now?

"I reject this categorically. Most women abort babies because they want to have sex, but they don't want to face the consequences of sex."

I hate to say it, but in this day and age, that's okay. Why do we have contraception? You may be morally opposed to recreational sex but it's a pretty integral part of the nation now. Look at television, media, advertising, whatever. It's all pretty sexually charged.

And as for this whole abstinence thing. From an evolutionary or religious or whatever standpoint you're coming from, you're right. But again, let's face it, people have sex out of wedlock now. It isn't the 1800's where women couldn't roll their sleeves up past their elbows. Times have changed.

And no offense, but if you think this debate isn't going to do anything, why'd you start it? Unless you were looking to convince some people of your views by going on the internet and prophesizing you should be picketing the nearest abortion clinic or something.

Before I stop, though, I just wanted to point out that by making abortion illegal, do you really think you're going to stop it? More likely, a bunch of illegal abortion clinics will pop up with untrained and possibly dangerous personnel.
Debate Round No. 2
SnoopyDaniels

Pro

I would love to explain the benefits of privatization, but it would take too much time and it doesn't really have much bearing on this debate. I'll try to address it briefly.

It is private industry's very preoccupation with money that makes privatization favorable. Whereas the government has no accountability and no motivation to conduct its operations with any kind of efficiency, the very existence of a private firm depends on the quality of its service and its ability to efficiently deliver that service. Corporations frequently give generously to charity, partly because of the publicity. But I would not expect corporations to take care of the poor. It is up to individuals to help the poor financially. The difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals say they feel sorry for the poor and force everyone else to give them money, while conservatives feel sorry for the poor and give them their own money.

"Okay. Fine. A fertilized egg is technically alive, but so are tumors. Think about it. All tissue is alive, and actually by your definition of human life (being a cell, capable of cell division and able to perform cellular functions) a tumor qualifies"

Wow. I don't think I've ever had my words twisted worse than you just did. When did I give that definition of human life? I was defining LIFE. A tumor is not human, a fertilized egg is. So, since you have conceded that a fertilized egg is indeed alive, and since its DNA is human, it is a human life. Abortion kills that human life and is, therefore, murder.

No, I don't know that there are different levels of "alive". Something is either alive or it is not. There are different levels of consciousness or sentience, or what have you, but we don't define and organize life by its level of consciousness, we define it by its DNA. A fertilized egg has human DNA and is alive, and is, therefore, a human. Abortion kills that human life and is, therefore, murder. Whether or not it is actually conscious and thinking does not change the fact that it is human, nor does it change the nature of the crime. It simply becomes humane murder as opposed to cruel murder.

I'm not basing my arguments purely on emotion. You would have had to ingore all of my arguments in order to make that statement. I said that, while emotions are nothing to base an argument on, they are certainly pertinent in matters of morality.

http://www.abortionno.org...

According to this, and other websites, over three thousand abortions are performed every day.

"Now, I'll admit, that's not a figure I like, and I don't at all like the idea of killing pre-fetuses myself, but honestly, it beats the alternative."

So, in other words, you don't agree with abortion? What are we debating about then?

There aren't more adoptions because adopting couples typically want to adopt infants, not the type of kids you described who bounce from one foster home to another. If people would put their babies up for adoption instead of aborting them, there would be plenty of couples willing to adopt them.

"I hate to say it, but in this day and age, that's okay. Why do we have contraception? You may be morally opposed to recreational sex but it's a pretty integral part of the nation now. Look at television, media, advertising, whatever. It's all pretty sexually charged.

This is called a bandwagon fallacy. You're saying that it's okay to have recreational sex because everyone is doing it. Just because everyone is doing something doesn't make it right.

"And as for this whole abstinence thing. From an evolutionary or religious or whatever standpoint you're coming from, you're right. But again, let's face it, people have sex out of wedlock now. It isn't the 1800's where women couldn't roll their sleeves up past their elbows. Times have changed."

Bandwagon fallacy again. Just because it's widely accepted doesn't make it right.

"And no offense, but if you think this debate isn't going to do anything, why'd you start it?"

When did I ever say that this debate wouldn't do anything?

"Before I stop, though, I just wanted to point out that by making abortion illegal, do you really think you're going to stop it? More likely, a bunch of illegal abortion clinics will pop up with untrained and possibly dangerous personnel."

People still murder despite the fact that we have laws against it. Does that mean we should legalize murder? Of course not. That is one of the most fallacious arguments I have ever heard. If someone wants to risk their life murdering their baby, that's their business. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do what we can to prevent others from doing it.
Kasrahalteth

Con

Well, thanks for the explanation for privatization, though I can't say I agree with it.

"Wow. I don't think I've ever had my words twisted worse than you just did. When did I give that definition of human life? I was defining LIFE."

Half of the purpose of a debate is to twist your opponent's words. Nothing personal, I'm just proving that your definition can also be used to argue that we shouldn't kill tumors. If you don't want me to twist your words, you have to come up with a way of explaining something that doesn't violate facts and can‘t be proved to be somewhat ridiculous.

And as for defining ‘LIFE'? You were defining life in humans. Human life.

So your new definition of human life is working cells that multiply and whatnot and have human DNA.

So naturally I have to go back to the subject of tumors. Tumors are perfectly human. They have human DNA. The only problem with the cells in a tumor is that they stop doing whatever job they were supposed to be doing and multiply like mad. They're still human cells. Isolate some DNA and you can probably clone somebody from a tumor. Of course, tumors are a fairly drastic example. By your definition, skin and organs are also human life. Tumors are just fun because they point out how vague your definition of life is.

So, I stand by my assertion that a fetus is about as alive as the average tumor, and if abortion is murder, so's chemotherapy.

And I love how you conveniently forgot to mention the medical definition of life. From a medical standpoint, fetuses are not alive. End of story. They can't breathe, they don't have brain function and they can't circulate blood. Any one of the three constitutes death, having all of them just makes them triply so.

"No, I don't know that there are different levels of "alive"."

Well, right now, the only problem we seem to be having is with the difference between being scientifically alive and medically alive.

Your definition of alive is to have working cell function and cell division, and contain human DNA. Let me say again and hopefully for the last time, that by your definition any tissue in the human body is alive, and by your logic, should not be killed because of this. Just because tissues aren't ‘conscious and thinking' doesn't mean killing them isn't murder.

"I'm not basing my arguments purely on emotion."

Okay. I'm sorry. You're not basing all your arguments on emotion, but you are basing them all on the assumption that fetuses are alive, which requires quite a bit of emotion to actually believe.

And you're citing a website called AbortionNO.org. It's got quotes from scripture on one of the pages and a picture of an aborted fetus on the homepage. Do you really think it's a good source for unbiased facts? And its already somewhat dubious statistics are from 1996 anyway. I got mine from a government survey.

"So, in other words, you don't agree with abortion? What are we debating about then?"

I'm not a big fan of killing cattle either, but I'm still not going to turn down that burger. In a perfectly ideal world, there would not have to be abortions. But the world is not perfect and I'd take my rights over empathizing with a lump of cells any day. What I'm saying is that I agree with it, but I'm not exactly sadistic enough to enjoy it.

And we're debating about it because you brought it up, actually. And I took it because I agree with a woman's right to choose and I thought it would be interesting to argue it.

And for that matter, if I didn't agree with it, who are you to say I can't play devil's advocate?

"There aren't more adoptions because adopting couples typically want to adopt infants, not the type of kids you described who bounce from one foster home to another."

And those kids were once… what now? Infants. Some infants get adopted. Most get bounced around foster homes, until they are the type of kids I described. Funny thing about infants, they grow up pretty fast, and after a year or two, interest in adopting them drops sharply. There's simply not enough demand for adopted children. Of adoptable children right now, something like 4% actually get homes. (Want proof? http://www.ipt-forensics.com...) If 96% are left behind, I can promise you there are plenty of infants.

Look at that figure and then compare it to yours. If I suspend disbelief and assume your figure of over 3,000 abortions a day is true, then we assume that each not-aborted fetus is carried to term. That's 3,000 kids a day, right? Good. Now those 3,000 kids a day get sent to the country's orphanages or whatever they're called nowadays. If right now, 4% of the amount already there are being adopted, and we add 1,095,000 more homeless kids a year, how many do you really think are ever going to find homes? It's extremely unrealistic, don't you agree?

"This is called a bandwagon fallacy. You're saying that it's okay to have recreational sex because everyone is doing it. Just because everyone is doing something doesn't make it right."

Depending on just how many people are doing something, sometimes the fact that everyone is doing it does make it right. Again, recreational sex is pretty deeply ingrained in our culture now, whether you like it or not. I mean, without the sexual overtones in practically everything we, as a nation, consume, our major corporations would lose a huge amount of money. By not outlawing something, you can only assume the government is condoning it, especially with it so blatantly shoved in our faces through television and advertising. And if it's right by the government, than the only real issue is morals, which of course differ from person to person. In your opinion it might not be right, but thanks to the joys of our government, you can't govern others' actions because of your opinion.

"When did I ever say that this debate wouldn't do anything?"

Uh… Right here:
"The whole problem of abortion could be solved, not by legislation, not by debates like this, but by people not acting like children are just a biproduct of sex."

I'd put some emphasis on "not by debates like this" but the darn editor doesn't allow html.

"People still murder despite the fact that we have laws against it. Does that mean we should legalize murder? Of course not. That is one of the most fallacious arguments I have ever heard."

It's a bit defeatist to look at this way (if you're ‘pro-life', that is) but if you know fully well that outlawing something isn't going to stop it, you might as well make it safe. It was just a point I threw in for the sake of argument.

It's a bit like prohibition. We didn't like the idea of people getting drunk, but since they were doing it no matter what, and doing so dangerously and it was leading to other illegal and potentially dangerous things, we legalized alcohol and regulated it. Sometimes you can't get what you want, so you have to settle for causing the least damage.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by scorpionclone 9 years ago
scorpionclone
Abortion is a abomination to God, It is really sad that our society has reached this point, but I guess in a free country choice has it's good and it's evil!
Posted by Kasrahalteth 9 years ago
Kasrahalteth
Thanks.

And in all honesty, I feel a bit bad about the last post. It's bad debating etiquette to throw in a new argument when it's too late for your opponent to respond.

And I wouldn't say that I really twisted your words that badly, I just applied them to a different situation. But I suppose it's just a matter of opinion more than anything.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 9 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
Hahaha! No offense taken. I admit freely that I'm a sore loser, and have been since I was a small child!

I didn't read your last post, thinking for some reason that mine was the last. Now that I read it I'm not so surprised that you received more votes.

I must say, though, that your goal isn't to twist your opponents words, it's to use their own words against them. You took my words and twisted them beyond recognition of their original meaning, meaning that they weren't really my words at all, but your own.
Posted by Kasrahalteth 9 years ago
Kasrahalteth
Okay, just to clarify, I never admitted that a fertilized egg is human life. I think that about half my argument was proving that it's just a lump of tissue. So, while I wouldn't say my argument was very strong, you certainly didn't win /that/ decisively.

And I agree about the voting system, actually. If it were up to me, I'd model a voting system after what's done on Slashdot, with semi-randomly assigned moderators and karma points. But that's just me.

But while we're talking about the voting system, I'd like to point out that the overwhelming majority of members here are against abortion. Which doesn't really mean anything, the pro-abortion members may have been the only ones to look at this particular debate, but at the same time, I don't aim to offend, but you're really only succeeding in making yourself look like a bit of a sore loser.

And yes, schoolglutton, I was trying to exploit inconsistency, but it looks like you and Snoopy have sorted that out for yourselves. Just to add to schoolglutton's explanation, though, I think I tried to mention that without killing the other fetuses, the surviving one also wouldn't have lived, and therefore by shutting them down, you're ruining any chance any of the fetuses would have had at life. Not a huge deal, but I just thought I'd clarify.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 9 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
Well, if I had said it didn't apply to fertility clinics, then she would have a point. But I never made a statement about what it did and did not apply to... That's why I considered it a red herring.
Posted by schoolglutton 9 years ago
schoolglutton
I'm not so sure it was a red herring. I think Kasrah was trying to exploit inconsistency. The parallel is that they're both dealing with killing developing humans before birth and after conception. If you said that it was immoral, you'd have to clarify what ruler you were using to measure moral and how it applied to one instance and not the other. In your comment here it sounds like you're saying they're both immoral, so there's no inconsistency and therefore no problem on your end.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 9 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
I thought the fertility clinic argument was a red herring. She was saying that, if it is wrong to kill a fertilized egg then we would have to close down fertility clinics. Aaaaaand... therefore, killing fertilized eggs is okay? What? What the does that have to do with whether or not abortion is right or wrong? That's similar to saying "Well, if abortion is wrong, that would mean we would have to shut down abortion clinics. Therefore, abortion isn't wrong." Maybe it's just me.

I figured you had voted for me. You seem like a really reasonable, open-minded person.
Posted by schoolglutton 9 years ago
schoolglutton
Snoopy got my vote by the way. Kasrah didn't quite get at how a fetus was different than an infant. Kasrah did a nice job identifying why it didn't matter that the fetus was alive though. Also, Snoopy didn't address the fertility clinic argument, which I thought was possibly the best argument introduced by Kasrah. You could have tried to give reason why the analogy wasn't valid, or you could have bitten the bullet by stating that it is also immoral.

Nice job on identifying the bandwagon fallacy, Snoopy, as that's exactly what it was. As far as the book, probably the best thing it teaches is argument by analogy and when it's valid. As far as fallacy and thinking books go, my favorite has to be Why People Believe Weird Things, by Michael Shermer. He introduces some concepts within science that work against fallacies in thinking, too. Most of the other fallacy and logic books I've read are all very similar.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 9 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
Your absolutely right about putting a negative in my debate. It was a very stupid thing to do, as negatives are famously impossible to prove. Regardless, I don't see how anybody reading this debate could vote her the victor. I essentially got her to admit that a fertilized egg is a human life, which would mean that killing it constitutes murder. She clearly lost, regardless of what side of the debate you're on.

The only flaw with this website may be the voting system. People are too tempted to vote for whoever is on the same side of the debate as them.

I might have to read that book as well. It sounds interesting.
Posted by schoolglutton 9 years ago
schoolglutton
The graphic images comment is really just a disguised red herring. That's because how something looks is not morally relevant. It's important to explicitly state that it's not morally relevant and why. Also, highlight what is morally relevant and explain why it's morally relevant.

I think Boonin doesn't fully take into account competing rights in his book. This is partly because of the violinist analogies, which don't really get at abortion being morally permissible except in cases of rape. Boonin does recognize the rights of the fetus, which is important and relevant. He just needs to explicitly state that the reason abortion is morally permissible is because the fetus' right to life is less than the mother's right to her body. One reason abortion is so complicated is because it gets into competing rights.

There are a ton of arguments that come into play, all of which Boonin refutes. Some of these arguments are pro-choice arguments which Boonin finds poor. Person-hood and where life begins are not good strategies. Also, the book is pretty complicated and I'd recommend reading it with a friend. That's the only way I was able to really get a grasp on it. Boonin is a philosophy professor and it was published through Cambridge University Press.
23 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Mharman 8 months ago
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Vote Placed by BeatTheDevil89 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by thatsdebatable2 9 years ago
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