The Instigator
illegalcombat
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Geogeer
Con (against)
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Abortion in the embryonic period should be legal

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,222 times Debate No: 87620
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (2)

 

illegalcombat

Pro

!! Round 1 is for acceptance only, no arguments to be presented in round 1. !!

!!! Fourth round for rebuttal and closing statements, no new arguments. !!!

Definitions/Explanations

Abortion - is the end (termination) of a pregnancy. A low-risk surgical procedure called suction aspiration or suction curette is generally used for first trimester abortions. Medical (non-surgical) abortions using medications such as mifepristone (RU486) are available in some clinics.

The embryonic period in humans begins at fertilization (penetration of the egg by the sperm) and continues until the end of the 10th week of gestation (8th week by embryonic age).

If you have any problems with the debate, use the comments section so we can agree to terms before we start the debate.
Geogeer

Con

I wish to thank illegalcombat for commencing the debate and look forward to an interesting and lively debate.

As round 1 is only for acceptance I will pass the floor back to illegalcombat to make the opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
illegalcombat

Pro

I thank Geogeer for accepting the debate. I'll jump straight into the first argument.

Freedom not restricted unless justified

I think this is axiomatic. It's not just an issue of being free or wanting freedom or arguably freedom being necessary for well being, even if rejected on those grounds to argue otherwise is self defeating, since you presuppose the freedom to argue as your starting point if you were to even try that non freedom should be the starting point rather than freedom.

Bodily rights argument (the violinist analogy)

Judith Jarvis Thomson asks us to consider the following...

"You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, "Look, we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you--we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him."

The question is thus, do you have the right to unplug ? should you be forced to be kept plugged in if you choose you don't want to ? I know of no anti abortion person who has argued that you can't unplug your self, even if it means certain death for another person.

Like wise it is argued, a pregnant women can unplugged the embryo inside of her, she should not be forced to continue with her pregnancy anymore than some one plugged into the violinist to keep them alive.

Pregnant women vs everyone else when lives are at stake

The pro life/forced continuation of pregnancy advocates insist their cause is just & noble as they are out to save lives. But notice these people themselves don't justify anything and everything when it comes to saving lives, lives of post born humans who can think, feel and are self aware.

You would be hard pressed to find such a person who would demand that we force billionaires to give up nearly all their wealth leaving them with say a few million dollars (still leaving them richer than most on the planet) and using those funds to save people lives.

So here is the logical point, if rights and freedoms are such that we can't force the billionaires of the world to give up all their wealth except a few millions to save thinking, feeling, self aware humans, then it would be laughable to then argue that we are justified to force women to give up more, their bodily rights and the dangers of pregnancy in order to save non thinking, non feeling, non self aware, human embryos.

Human 3 day human embryo is not morally equivalent to a 5 year old child

Consider the following, you arrive at a burning building, behind one door are 100, 3 day human embryos, behind another a 5 year old child. Who do you try to save first ?

Most if not all will try to save the girl, but why ? if a 3 day human embryo is morally equivalent to say a 5 year old child then it is simple arithmetic, try to save the 100 hundred all things being equal before you try to save the 1.

But as I argue they are not equal, the 5 year old child not only trumps one 3 day human embryo, it even trumps one hundred. But why ? It is kind of hard to pin down but it has something to do with the fact that the child can feel pain, is self- aware, can think, things that do not apply to a 3 day human embryo.

Antinatalism

Schopenhauer asks..."If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist? Would not a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation as to spare it the burden of existence, or at any rate not take it upon himself to impose that burden upon it in cold blood? [2]

Life in this world can be cruel, can be brutal and there will be suffering. Of course how much suffering, how intense and how long are variables, and consider also no one gets out of here alive. By bringing a child into this world you are taking a gamble, and unfortunately all the good intentions in the world can't protect them from the sufferings of this world, sufferings which for the foreseeable future will have no end.

As such the argument is at the very least a pregnant woman should be able to have an abortion in the embryonic period in order to prevent another person being bought into this world to suffer.

What about the right to life ?

If some one wants use a right to life argument, obviously at the very minimum they must mean this to mean that something has the right not to be killed.

Also presumably not everything that lives has a right to life, so why think that the right to life applies in the early stages of pregnancy ? the most common claim here from the moment of conception a person exists who at least has the right not to be killed.

But even granting that all persons have a right not to be killed why think that say a 3 day human embryo is a person ? this will depend on what you think the dividing line is between a person and non person which is a very contentious issue in of it self.

Warren argues that in order for something to be a person they must have the following consciousness and in particular sentience, the capacity to reason, self-motivated activity, the capacity to communicate messages, and lastly, the presence of self-concepts [3]

Under this criteria a person does not exist in the embryonic stage of pregnancy and thus no person with a right to life (not to be killed) exists.

I look forward to Cons reply.

Sources

[1] http://spot.colorado.edu...

[2] Schopenhauer, Arthur. Studies in Pessimism: The Essays. The Pennsylvania State University, 2005, p. 7.

[3] Warren, Mary Anne. The Moral and Legal Status of Abortion. 1973. On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion. Vol. 57. La Salle, Illinois: The Monist, 1973. pp. 97-105.
Geogeer

Con

My thanks to Pro for this opening round of arguments.

Definitions

In the Round 1 definitions, pro noted that "the embryonic period in humans begins at fertilization." Thus Pro has already accepted that the unborn are human organisms and that no further argumentation or definitions are required to establish this fact.

"A person is an individual substance that has a rational nature." - Boethius [1]


Argument

As Gregory Koukl stated, "If the unborn are not human, no justification for elective abortion in necessary. But if the unborn are human, no justification for elective abortion is adequate." [2]. This is to say that the pro-life argument is very simple. There is no excuse that can justify the intentional taking of an innocent life. Thus this is not an emotional argument, but one based on rights and facts.

We have come to accept the concept of universal human rights and equality in moral value of all humanity. This was most famously presented in the US Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. [3]

To deny the rights to the unborn is merely a form of unjust discrimination. It is the powerful subjugating those who are not only powerless, but also faceless and voiceless. We deny their rights by saying that only those who are "human AND" deserve rights. Historical examples of which:

Human and Male
Human and not Jewish
Human and not Black

We have been exceptional at denying rights to other humans in order for some group to benefit at cost of some other group. Now we are subjugating another class of humans for the benefit of the powerful. This time it is age based and not a racially motivated group.

Thus the permission of abortion denies the very foundation of our justice system - the equality of all humans. Legal abortion is an injustice and is neither legally nor morally just and should thus be prohibited at every stage of life.

It is simply illogical to support a notion that the same organism can gain inalienable rights.


Rebuttal

Instead of making one or two well thought out arguments, Pro has chosen to make a shotgun style debate.


1 - Violinist Argument

While this argument is stated as the Bodily Rights Argument, Pro never mentions the word "right" once in the entire argument. However, I will make Pro's argument for him in order to counter it.

The actual argument is that one's right to one's own body cannot be violated. You cannot be forced to donate blood to save a life, nor can you be forced to donate an organ to save the life of another.

The question is, if this is true why would the unborn have the right to overrule the mother's right to bodily integrity? Pro's argument is fundamentally an argument rooted in Natural Law. It is a flawed argument.

The reason that the violinist is justified in unhooking himself is that the purpose of the his kidneys is to filter his own blood. The fact that through modern technology we have the amazing ability to re-purpose one's kidneys to do something else is wonderful. However, this re-purposing is not obligatory. The violinist is justified in permitting only the primary purpose of his kidneys to be employed.

However, a woman's reproductive system serves no purpose other than the nurturing and protection of the woman's unborn child. The desire for an abortion is not a just appeal to preserve the natural use of her body parts. Rather an abortion is a fundamental violation of the just functioning of her body.

As such the Violinist argument fails to be a valid argument against abortion.


2 - Pregnant Women vs. Everyone Else

This is a continuation of the Violinist argument. Pro's argument is that we don't force billionaires to spend their wealth at saving the lives of the populace in general.

This is easily refuted, by understanding parental obligations under the law.

Failure to Provide the Necessities of Life

Duty of persons to provide necessaries
215. (1) Every one is under a legal duty

(a) as a parent, foster parent, guardian or head of a family, to provide necessaries of life for a child under the age of sixteen years;
(b) to provide necessaries of life to their spouse or common-law partner; and
(c) to provide necessaries of life to a person under his charge if that person
(i) is unable, by reason of detention, age, illness, mental disorder or other cause, to withdraw himself from that charge, and
(ii) is unable to provide himself with necessaries of life. [4]

The reason why a pregnant woman has a duty to her unborn child, but not a billionaire to the populace is that she is the child's parent and natural guardian. The government recognizes that parents or guardians have a special duty to provide for and protect minors.

If we demand that parents and guardians provide for the necessities of life after birth, it is only logical that this responsibility begins when the child begins.


3 - 3 Day Human vs. 5 Year Old

Pro asks why we would save a 5 year old instead of hundreds of embryos in a fire. The fact that in a moment of emergency, instinctual responses versus intellectual realization is of little value in this argument. It is easy for the human mind to relate to that which it resembles. Thus it is easier for the mind to relate to a chimp than to a single cell human. However, this is fundamentally no different than discrimination based on race. They don't look the same so it becomes easy to devalue based on visual differences.

However, we recognize the value of humans based on intellectual and scientific reality and not on visual prejudices. Pro argues that merely because they are less developed that an embryo has less moral value. If this true then it is logically necessary to conclude that those with greater development must have greater value and thus greater rights. So an adult would logically have greater rights than a teenager who would have greater rights than a youth, etc...

The fallacy in this line of argument is obvious as we have inalienable human rights.


4 - Antinatalism

If one truly believed that the suffering in the world outweighed any possible meaning of life, then one would kill themselves. The fact that Pro is here making this argument is proof that he doesn't believe this argument. It would be most just to eliminate those who suffer the most. Instead of abortion he should be seeking the death penalty for the homeless or perhaps carpet bombing refugee camps. Yet we would all recognize this as highly immoral behaviour. That Pro would even entertain this argument shows the weakness of his position to begin with.


5 - Right to Life

Pro notes that the definition of a person is a contentious issue. I would argue that it is contentious and difficult to define because it is being abused by those who wish to deny that the unborn are human.

The use of the word person originates from a theological discussion on the nature of God in the Trinity. As such the term person is meant to describe a superset of humanity and not a subset.

To refer to somebody as not a person was to mean that they were less than human. Yet since we know that the unborn are human we have redefined what person means in order to enable continued discrimination.

Pro fails to describe why the particular definition of person presented by Warren is valid.

The fault is that it treats sentience as something that is added like an engine to the frame of a car. Whereas rationality is inherent to human nature. The child's ration nature is not something that is added from without, but rather something that is revealed from within. This explains why Warren's personhood criteria are in error.


Conclusion

I have provided a logical reason why abortion is wrong and refuted Pro's arguments. I look forward to expanding these argument in the next rounds.


Sources

[1] Liber de Persona et Duabus Naturis, ch. 3
[2] Koukl, Precious Unborn Human Persons, p. 7
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
illegalcombat

Pro

I thank Geogeer for their opening argument.

Cons opening statement

""If the unborn are not human, no justification for elective abortion in necessary. But if the unborn are human, no justification for elective abortion is adequate.""

Rhetorically powerful ? sure, trouble is this merely begs the question on some many issues within the abortion debate and to a strong pro life/forced continuation of pregnancy believer it will ring true, to a strong pro choicer it's merely red meat thrown to the wolves.

Freedom not restricted unless justified

I take it Con agrees here or at least didn't challenge.

Unjust discrimination

Con makes the point of unjust discrimination in the past based on race, religion and gender. I don't disagree, but it works both ways, people can also WRONGLY claim that unjust discrimination has taken place.

Consider where Con says..."Yet since we know that the unborn are human we have redefined what person means in order to enable continued discrimination."

Presumable he means UNJUST discrimination, again Con will have to establish that and not just assert it.

Speciesism & intelligent aliens

There is what I consider a fundamental flaw in Cons argument, Con merely grants rights based solely on what species the thing is, a biological classification in this case human.

I think this is untenable, consider if we are visited by intelligent, self aware aliens, these aliens have different dna & can not reproduce with humans and thus are a different species, yet most of us would not think it is okey to kill them. I would argue this again shows that something having current capacities of things like intelligence, desire, self awareness are the morally relevant factors and not things like a species classification.

Bodily rights argument (the violinist analogy)

True to form Con just like anyone else doesn't dispute that you can be unplugged even if it will result in the death of another person. The question is how does he get around it when it come to abortion ?

Consider where Con says..."Rather an abortion is a fundamental violation of the just functioning of her body."

As opposed too forcing a women to continue with a pregnancy against her will is not an unjust violation of her what ? body ? mind ? soul ? bodily integrity ?.......................her right to choose ?

Cons reasoning justifies rape

Consider the following argument from a rapist or pro-rape group, women have female sexual parts, to deny sexual intercourse is a fundamental violation of the just function of the woman's body. It's on this basis that any so called bodily rights of the woman to choose to have sex is null and void.

You wouldn't accept that kind of reasoning for justifying forced sex, likewise don't accept it for forced continuation of pregnancy.

You can unplug even if a person will die as a result, likewise a woman can unplug, bodily rights for the win, the argument stands.

Pregnant Women vs Billionaires (Dis-proportionality argument)

Recall how I made the argument that various rights & freedoms are such that we can't even be justified forcing billionaires to give up most of their wealth (still leaving them richer than 99%) to save millions of lives, lives of intelligent, self aware, humans then how laughable and more importantly disproportional it would be to then turn around and force women to continue with a pregnancy to save a non thinking, non self aware, human organism.

Con firstly resorts to the law, this is amusing considering one of his earlier arguments was about unjust law, discrimination based on race, religion, gender. The law can be wrong & messed up.

Consider where Con says..."If we demand that parents and guardians provide for the necessities of life after birth, it is only logical that this responsibility begins when the child begins."

Even if we accept that it makes no difference, well why not ? cause I made a big noise and fuss about the difference between thinking, self aware humans and the human organism absent those capacities in the early stages of pregnancy.

We are still left with the hugely dis-proportionality of billionaires are not forced to give up most of their wealth to save millions of thinking, self-aware humans but pregnant women will be forced to continue a pregnancy to save a non thinking, non self aware human organism.

Contra Con not logical, just hugely disproportional.

A note on taking away women's choice

Frankly it's insulting, cause the bodily rights the anti choicer demand for themselves and even billionaires suddenly gets thrown out once pregnancy is involved. As such they have to resort to ad hoc rules to try and justify what I maintain is unjustifiable, to force a women to continue a pregnancy from the moment of conception.

Human 3 day human embryo is not morally equivalent to a 5 year old child

Recall how I argued that a 5 year old child not only trumps a 3 day human embryo it trumps even 100.

Con claims my argument here is based on development. I don't think that does justice to the argument here cause the argument refers to specific characteristics that are argued to be the morally relevant factors at play, those being things like intelligence, self awareness, and NOT say height, weight, looks etc etc.

Con refutes only a straw man of the argument, not the actual argument, the actual argument stands.

Antinatalism

Con response here is one big LOL, well at least I found it funny, but then again I may be a bit dark.

Con will be happy to know the argument does not logically entail such a conclusion of such things as carpet bombing refugee camps, well why not ? cause the argument assumes all the various claims that came before it, like bodily rights, the personhood of things that possess intelligence and self awareness.

That is why the argument is..."As such the argument is at the very least a pregnant woman should be able to have an abortion in the embryonic period in order to prevent another person being bought into this world to suffer." and not say, kill them, kill them all.

Personhood & the right to life

It should be noted I made a mistake in Warrens personhood criteria, their criteria states that something only need some not all of that criteria for personhood.

We can be extremely flexible to the Pro life/anti choice position under Warrens personhood criteria and it still would not matter as Warren argues..."All we need to claim, to demonstrate that a fetus (for my side the human organism in the embryonic stage) is not a person, is that any being which satisfies none of (1)-(5) is certainly not a person. I consider this claim to be so obvious that I think anyone who denied it, and claimed that a being which satisfied none of (1)-(5) was a person all the same, would thereby demonstrate that he had no notion at all of what a person is-perhaps because he had confused the concept of a person with that of genetic humanity" [1]

I have alluded too this criteria in order to make this distinction such as intelligence and self awareness. You see this in such cases as the intelligent aliens and 3 day human embryo arguments. If Con rejects these criteria but never the less claims that say intelligent aliens should be considered as persons then on what basis do they do this if they reject the former as the criteria for personhood ?

Consider where Con..."Whereas rationality is inherent to human nature."

It's one thing to say something that has the current capacity to have intelligence and/or think rational, but when you are talking about a 3 day human embryo and imply it has a rational nature what does that even mean ?

How does one determine if something has a "rational nature" or not ?

I can just claim that a 3 day human embryo does NOT have a rational nature. Without some criteria/reasoning it just one assertion vs another assertion. I think Con needs to give us more than his mere assertion on this rational nature business.

I look forward to Cons reply

Sources

[1] http://instruct.westvalley.edu...
Geogeer

Con

Thanks Pro!

Human Rights Argument

Pro has either misunderstood my argument or mischaracterized it in his response.

P1: To intentionally kill an innocent human being is wrong.
P2: Abortion kills innocent human beings.
C: Abortion is wrong.

To support this argument I showed that Pro conceded that the unborn are humans. I also showed that there is no difference between being human and a human being in 2 ways.

The first was to show that if we are to have inalienable rights they must logically come into existence at the moment our lives begin, as an inalienable right cannot be gained or lost. Pro failed to even address this in his rebuttal.

The other showed that personhood is a superset and not a subset of humanity. This did not limit personhood to humans, but rather that every human is a person. The Boethius definition that I presented was: A person is an individual substance that has a rational nature. A substance maintains its identity through change, which explains why we maintain our identity as the cells in our body and are replaced and while we age. This identity begins at fertilization and continues until we die. Thus the following could be considered persons:

God(s)
angels
humans
aliens
self aware computers.

I further showed that humanity has repeatedly denied personhood throughout history for selfish gains of one group against another group. Pro never refuted my argument that discrimination has not required that one be human (or other rational being) AND some other attribute. This other subjective attribute varies depending on which weak group the powerful was subjugating.

As such my full argument still stands.


Rebuttals to Pro's Arguments

Antinatalism

This argument is irrelevant as Pro has admitted it is dependent on other arguments presented.


Moral Equivalency Between Embryo and 5 Year Old Child

This argument is really just an ad hominem attack. It attacks the character of the person instead of the moral nature of the embryo. I would react differently to a child dying in front of me than I would to reading about 5000 dying of famine. I argue that my personal emotional reaction has no bearing on the moral value of those 5000 children. Likewise, if I replaced Pro and his family for the embryos in the burning building and my wife for the 5 year old, would he argue that he and his family were not persons of equal moral value if I chose to save my wife instead? This shows the irrelevancy of this argument to the debate.

Finally, he notes that this argument is based on his other personhood arguments "the argument refers to specific characteristics... those being things like intelligence, self awareness, and NOT say height, weight, looks, etc." This argument is irrelevant as it is based on personhood arguments.


Billionaires

This is another meaningless argument. The moral obligations (or lack thereof) of the wealthy have nothing to do with the moral status of the unborn unless Pro is arguing that the wealthy have the right to murder other humans using giant versions of suction aspiration or suction curette procedures.

Con's response to my noting the moral obligation of parents to provide for the needs of the children in their care was to say that the law I was quoting was unjust. So his counter-argument is that the most vulnerable in society (minors and the handicapped) should have no expectation that those in a position of responsibility should have to provide for their needs. Comparing this to abortion, would mean that parents have a right not provide for, and even actively murder, their children. Pro doesn't deny obligations of parents to their children, but instead is resorts to absurd arguments to in order to defend adults murdering their young.

Pro then resorts back to the unborn child failing his personhood criteria. Yet again personhood is the crux of another argument - making it too is an irrelevant argument.


Violinist Analogy

Pro did not address my argument. I made a valid argument from Natural Law showing why there is a distinct difference as to why there is no obligation for the violinist to remain being hooked up versus the unborn having a natural right to care and protection from the mother.

Pro does not seem to understand why using something according to its function is important. So I will explain:

Let's say you bought a chair and sat down on it and it broke causing you to break your arm. You'd be justified in suing, because the chair failed to act according to its function. Let's say you stood on it to change a lightbulb and it broke causing a broken arm. Since a chair isn't meant to be stood upon there'd be no right to sue. If you used it to prop up the car so that you could change the oil and the chair broke causing the car to fall and kill you, not only couldn't you sue, but you'd be probably win a Darwin Award.

This example shows why we naturally understand Natural Law and how it governs our interactions and law.

To expand upon this natural use having meaning that we must follow I'll provide this example. Say that a mother with a newborn was trapped in a cabin by an avalanche. Let's assume that the mother didn't want to breastfeed for some reason. Would she be justified in not nursing and letting her child starve to death, or does the child not have some reasonable right to the mother's breast milk as the breasts and milk exist for that express purpose? I contend that one's bodily rights are created and limited by Natural Law.

As a second example, the government has the right to draft and force you risk you health and life under certain circumstances. There are certain moral and societal obligations for both men and women.

Pro makes one attempt to deny the validity of Natural Law by stating that natural function of the woman's body justifies rape. However, this argument is false for 2 reasons. First, it assumes that sex has only one purpose, which is procreation. However, Natural Law dictates that sex has 2 purposes, procreation and unity of the couple. This helps human couples form long term lasting relationships that protect anb nurture the children. Rape on the other hand causes the exact opposite in the woman - a fear and hate of the other. Thus rape violates natural law.

The second reason is that rape is fundamentally an assault in the form of an unprovoked attack. While assault is an abuse that takes many forms, an unprovoked attack cannot be defended by Natural Law. This fully negates Pro's counter argument.

As previously noted parents/guardians have an obligation to their children/charges. These are the corresponding obligations that exist to rights.

I have provided additional explanations and examples showing how Pro's bodily rights argument fails for abortion.


Personhood

This is ultimately Pro's only argument. Yet pro has made no reasonable attempt justify it. Pro quotes Warren, however Warren just claims that his criteria is just obvious. Not much of a substantiation.

It sounds nice, but all it establishes is that Warren thinks his criteria is right without any additional justification.

I have already shown that the identity of the human remains through change. I have also shown that the concept of changing inalienable rights is logically untenable. Pro also never contested that rationality develops from within and is not something external to the organism.

Pro questions how one knows the embryo has a rational nature and claims that he can just as easily claim that there is no rational nature. However, a rational nature is easy to prove. Biogenesis. Humans beget other humans. The nature of humanity is to be rational creatures.

How do we know that we have a rational nature? It is pretty simple. The normative state of humans is that of rational creatures. It is not random for humans to express rationality, instead it the our natural state. When a baby is born you don't guess whether this child will end up rational. It is expected to be a rational being because it is our nature. It isn't random, or chance.

Another failed argument.


I await Pro's final arguments.

Debate Round No. 3
illegalcombat

Pro

I thank Geogeer for their reply.

Antinalism

I would agree there are more important issues pertaining to this debate than what is addressed here.

Unjust discrimination

Once again I would remind readers that Cons constant bringing up of injustice in other area's does not in of it's self justify injustice concerning abortion.

If Con has made the case for injustice for his side of the abortion debate on its OWN MERITS, then great, but don't let him get away with either just assuming it as a prior.

Bodily rights argument (the violinist analogy)

Recall how I argued..."Consider the following argument from a rapist or pro-rape group, women have female sexual parts, to deny sexual intercourse is a fundamental violation of the just function of the woman's body. It's on this basis that any so called bodily rights of the woman to choose to have sex is null and void. "

Consider where Con says..."Pro does not seem to understand why using something according to its function is important"

Con doesn't seem to understand that anyone can make up assertions of what constitutes proper function of a woman's body and then also assume this justifies taking away bodily autonomy of women.

Concerning Cons chairs and not being able to sue analogy consider the following points.........

1) Teleology of the kind that exists for human made things (eg chairs) does not necessarily apply to the natural world (eg womens bodies.

2) Even if it did, Con never justified how choice for a woman can be suppressed in order to maintain merely asserted proper body function X concerning a woman's own decision about her own body.

3) You can't sue (in the analogy) = woman should be forced to continue with a pregnancy ? WHAT ?

Con says..."Pro makes one attempt to deny the validity of Natural Law by stating that natural function of the woman's body justifies rape. "

No Con, I deny the reasoning of you just making up at your own pleasure what is proper function of a woman body/parts then assuming this justifies taking away a womans choice in the name of said proper function.

Con goes on..."However, this argument is false for 2 reasons. First, it assumes that sex has only one purpose, which is procreation. However, Natural Law dictates that sex has 2 purposes, procreation and unity of the couple"

All Con has done here once again made up mere assertions of what is proper function but just attached "natural law dictates" as if that makes it any less of a mere assertion/s.

The pro rape group can just assert natural law dictates another purpose of sex is pleasure, again same reasoning, same conclusion, no choice for women.

Con does the same for breast milk, merely asserts proper function and assumes this takes away bodily right of the woman. Also notice how all debate long Con wants to gloss over the differences of say a 5 year old child, who can feel pain, has desire to live etc vs a non thinking, non self aware, human organism in the early stages of pregnancy.

Just keep shouting you got to look after the child and hope no one notices seems to be the Pro-life/anti choice tactic here.

Cons reasoning is flawed, flawed on the basis of mere assertions of what is or is not a proper function of a woman's body, & flawed on the basis that it merely assumes that women can be forced against their will to comply to adhere to said merely asserted proper body function of her own body.

Con doesn't dispute that you can unplug in the analogy, I maintain that Con has not be able to refute the bodily rights argument.

Pregnant Women vs Billionaires (Dis-proportionality argument)

"Recall how I made the argument that various rights & freedoms are such that we can't even be justified forcing billionaires to give up most of their wealth (still leaving them richer than 99%) to save millions of lives, lives of intelligent, self aware, humans then how laughable and more importantly disproportional it would be to then turn around and force women to continue with a pregnancy to save a non thinking, non self aware, human organism."

Contra Con, I merely made the point that you can't hide behind the law in & of it's self to justify what ever, you even alluded to this in your reference to unjust discrimination in the past of race, gender.

Con merely thinks that such dis proportionality is justified, but that is only the case if their arguments hold up, if not the dis proportionality I refer to here stands.

Human 3 day human embryo is not morally equivalent to a 5 year old child

Con is forced to reject intelligence and self awareness as morally relevant factors to justify their side of the argument here. That's fine they can do that, but it just creates an untenable situation for them self later on.

Personhood & the right to life

P1: To intentionally kill an innocent human being is wrong.
P2: Abortion [intentionally] kills innocent human beings.
C: Abortion is wrong.

But does abortion INTENTIONALLY kill anything ? Writer Dave argues..."The NCHS[10], major OB/GYN textbooks[11][12][13], medical dictionaries[14] and even the Encyclopaedia Britannica[15] agree abortion is a procedure the primary effect of which is to terminate the physiological connection between the woman and the pre-birth human.

The intent of abortion is to terminate the connection, like in the violinist analogy death is the effect, not the intent.

Con says..." However, a rational nature is easy to prove. Biogenesis. Humans beget other humans. "

Flawed logic, just because the cause of B has A, doesn't mean B also has every characteristic of A from the beginning of it's existence.

Consider where Cons claims...The first was to show that if we are to have inalienable rights they must logically come into existence at the moment our lives begin, as an inalienable right cannot be gained or lost."

Merely asserting an inalienable right exists from the moment of conception, a right that in some way trumps any so called rights/interests of a woman to choose not to continue a pregnancy in the embryonic period is just that, an assertion with an assumption.

Con is trying to make equivalent the current capacities of say self awareness with potential capacity of self awareness I don't think that works. For starters by definition they are different, Actual vs Potential.

Consider where Con says..."How do we know that we have a rational nature? It is pretty simple. The normative state of humans is that of rational creatures. It is not random for humans to express rationality, instead it the our natural state"

And what is that "normative state" ? what is this expression of rationality ? among other things, self awareness and intelligence...........DUH.

Cons arguments for rational nature and thus personhood is based on potential capacities like self awareness, but the valuing of potential self awareness is predicated on the valuing of ACTUAL capacity for self awareness in the first place.

Con says..."it sounds nice, but all it establishes is that Warren thinks his criteria is right without any additional justification."

Consider this your justification to accept such criteria.

As such Con has no case, none, zero, nadda, zip, to complain that I argue current capacity for self awareness in my person vs non persons argument. Also Con has no case against my arguments that take such things as morally relevant in my 3 day human embryo and intelligent aliens arguments.

The argument is as such, no person exists in the embryonic period. Once again even Cons argument agrees that non persons don't have the right to life.

Closing Statement

Has Con being able to refute the arguments in support of allowing abortion in the embryonic period ? I maintain that they have not.

I thank Geogeer for the debate.

Vote Pro.

Sources/notes

(1) http://www.debate.org...
Geogeer

Con

My thanks to illegalcombat for his concluding arguments.

Final Arguments

My only positive argument has been based on human rights. It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being, and that abortion kills innocent human beings. Furthermore, there is moral equality between humans and that humans have inalienable rights - the foremost of which is the right to life.

Pro's defense is that this is not "intentionally killing the child". Now this is not a woman with cancer undergoing Chemotherapy which happens to kill the child. This is aspiration suction, wherein the body of the developing child is ripped apart by a vacuum. The procedure is a direct attack on the unborn child. Or if using RU-486, it is the equivalent of intentionally starving the child to death.

Pro further argues that I cannot justify that inalienable rights exist right from the beginning. Easy:

Inalienable: not transferable to another or capable of being repudiated [5]
Synonyms: inviolable, absolute, unassailable, inherent [5]

If it cannot be transferred it cannot be gained, it if is inherent it is a fundamental aspect of the organism. That is why I can clearly state that fundamental rights exist from the moment of fertilization. As Pro has never questioned the existence of fundamental rights, we can conclude that he concedes they exist.

Likewise with rationality. That the unborn cannot yet express its rationality does not mean it is not a rational creature with a rational nature. If it is a human it has a human nature, of which rationality is one inherent characteristic. A newborn has less self awareness and rationality than the cow I ate for dinner (btw, the burger was delicious). Does that mean we should be able to kill newborns for a lesser reason than just being hungry? This is the absurdness of this argument once you take it to its logical conclusion.

Additionally Pro's response to my claim that he never established why Warren's various criteria were necessary for personhood was... I don't know, he still didn't answer the question.

I'm quite sure that I clearly explained rational nature, but Pro seems to be of a different opinion. I have a rational nature because I'm human. It is not by accident that humans do not express rationality - i.e. if I have 2 identical twins, it isn't random chance that one will express rationality and one won't, it is their nature to be rational. And it is something that normatively and naturally develops from within - not something granted from without.

I will leave this argument with one final analogy. Say you were on Loch Ness with your old Polaroid camera. You saw "Nessie" and took a picture. As it comes out of your camera you exclaim to your friend the you have a picture of Nessie. He grabs it from your hand and looks at it. He sees only the brown/black smudge that the Polariods have when they first come out. He says, I don't see anything and throws it away. You angrily tell him, all he had to do was shake it for 5 minutes and he'd have seen it. It was a picture, you just couldn't see it yet. Likewise our brain doesn't finish developing until the mid 20s to 30s. [6] Does that mean that you really don't have fully equal human rights until that point?

I believe that I have clearly demonstrated why merely possessing a rational nature is the correct determination of why someone is a person and not some additional qualifier of "AND."

Final Rebuttals

Violinist

Pro never actually stated why bodily rights could be a justification for abortion. In Round 2 I clearly showed that this was an argument based on Natural Law. As he never disputed this or gave an alternate justification, we have to assume that he accepts this.

Natural Law grounds morality in general, and sexual morality in particular, in human nature. The basic idea is that what is good of a thing are determined by the ends or purposes for the sake of which its natural faculties exist. [7]

Pro claims that teleology only exist for manufactured objects.

The roots of a tree exist for the sake of providing the tree with nutrients and stability to the extent that a tree grows strong and deep roots it realizes these ends and thereby flourishes and to the extent that it fails to realize these ends it is defective and tends to atrophy. [7]

Human beings are no different from other living things in having characteristic faculties that exist for the purpose of achieving certain ends... What is good for us is what is determined by what what realizes the ends inherent in our nature. Then what is good for us in the sexual context can only be what realizes the ends of our sexual faculties. [7]

From a purely biological analysis, it is incontrovertible sex exists for procreation. Though we desire sex because it is pleasurable, sex does not exist for the purpose of pleasure. Rather the pleasure exist for the purpose of getting humans to procreate. Likewise, while eating is pleasurable, the purpose of eating is not pleasure, but rather to provide nutrition to the body. This is why one can say that bulimia is wrong - it violates the purpose of the action. It attempts to derive the pleasure of eating while destroying the nutritive aspect of the action.

As you can see these are not mere assertions, but logical and philosophically valid means of determining the moral actions and obligations. Pro merely found it convenient to use this line of argument when he thought that it worked in his favour, but claims it to be unsubstantiated when used against him.

One final analogy here. If we were not dealing with rape, we could reverse the violinist analogy. This time it was you with a friend, who for kicks and giggles, kidnapped and hooked the violinist up to you. You then found out that you had a rare virus that caused severe damage to the violinist's kidneys (would take 9 months for them to heal). If you were to unhook yourself the violinist would die. Would it then be morally ethical to unhook from the violinist and let him die? No, you'd be charged with at least manslaughter if not murder. Thus we can confidently say that bodily rights are not absolute.

I showed the obligation of a mother to nurse a newborn. Con brushed this off. I assume that he is actually arguing that it would be morally just for a lactating mother of a newborn to let the child starve to death as an extention of her bodily rights. Nature gave this child a mother with the natural means to provide the needs of the child and Pro is actually arguing that there is no moral obligation on the mother to provide for those needs. Even the unreasoning animals act more ethically than this... and they only act by instinct. If there is no natural incumbency even here, then I dare to say, that there can be no moral obligation to do anything at all.

Billionaire

In the previous round, I already showed that Pro had reduced this argument to bodily rights. Additionally, I showed that there is a difference in obligations as there is a parent-child obligation/relation which is much stronger than the supposed obligations of the wealthy to donate to the poor (which I supported in another debate)


Burning Building

I'm surprised that Pro continued to argue this. As I previously noted, it is actually an ad hominem attack. Let's say it was the father of one of the 3 day embryos and he chooses to save the embryos instead of the little girl, does that mean that the girl is not a person? This entire argument is just a character attack.


Closing Statement

I believe that I have clearly laid out my argument and rebuttals. Each and every one of them was supported with logic based on sound premises. Whereas Pro has tried a shotgun approach of many arguments without ever really substantiating any of his arguments on any kind of a logical foundation. I believe that I have shown that abortion should not be legal in the embryonic stage.

My thanks to illegalcombat for a highly entertaining and hard fought debate.


References

[5] http://tinyurl.com...
[6] http://tinyurl.com...
[7] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Hayd 1 year ago
Hayd
This is third on my voting list
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: ZachZimmey// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Con (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Better Arguments

[*Reason for removal*] Not an RFD, just a restatement of the decision.
************************************************************************
Posted by Geogeer 1 year ago
Geogeer
I'm sorry , I took those analogies to be mere restatements of my different arguments as they introduced nothing new, and equal to your claim that the abortion procedure was not a direct attack on the unborn. If I have erred, I apologize. I will check (with you cc'd) with anyone who votes, and if they say that either of those analogies changed their vote I will get them to reverse their vote.
Posted by illegalcombat 1 year ago
illegalcombat
And the photo analogy.
Posted by illegalcombat 1 year ago
illegalcombat
Don't ya think the reverse violinist analogy is presenting a new argument in the last round ?
Posted by Geogeer 1 year ago
Geogeer
But not all voiceless things are inanimate.
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
meant to say conscious-less
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
All inanimate objects are voiceless.
Posted by Geogeer 1 year ago
Geogeer
Thanks matt8800, I find just the opposite. The pro choice side is heavy on sentiment and light on logic. They deny the reality of what actually exists and engage in simple discrimination to enforce the will of the powerful over that of the weak and voiceless.
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
The pro-life movement is heavy on sentiment and light on logic. If there are no brain waves, a conscious person does not yet exist. If no conscious person exists yet, how can it be argued that non-existent person has rights?

Its illogical sentiment based on what the bio-mass will eventually become.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by SolonKR 1 year ago
SolonKR
illegalcombatGeogeerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PX1NhVKAdcZv1wpyWJVht-1ndgxZo0irycfFOR4ZRps/edit?usp=sharing Yes, I actually gave it a tied vote.
Vote Placed by Death23 1 year ago
Death23
illegalcombatGeogeerTied
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