The Instigator
chippedcup
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
SweeneyTodd
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Abortion is Immoral

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
SweeneyTodd
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/9/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 402 times Debate No: 56289
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

chippedcup

Pro

Hello, this is a debate about the morality of abortion (not whether it should be legalized/banned).

I am new to the website, so I am hoping that this is the correct format to frame the debate. If not, please feel free to correct me :)

My position is that abortion is a strictly immoral action, as when a woman consents to have an abortion, and a doctor carries the procedure out, they are directly causing the death of a human being.

Abortion is a very complex issue, as women who seek abortion do so for various, generally emotionally distressing, reasons. However, there is a singular core difference between the way pro-life and pro-choice advocates view this debate. As a secular humanist and a pro-life advocate, I see a fetus as a live human being, whereas most consistent pro-choice arguments hinge on the presupposition that a fetus is not yet alive or a human being.

If they are right, then abortion would absolutely be moral as it improves the quality of life for the woman during those 9 months that she would have been pregnant and potentially allows her to access a higher level of productivity and happiness throughout the rest of her life.

However, if fetuses are in fact live human beings, then it is always an immoral action. Even if the life of the mother is at risk, and an abortion must be performed in order to save her, it is still resulting in the death of another human being. This is at best an unfortunate sacrifice, and at worst a deliberate extermination of a potential threat.

If fetuses are live human beings, then they deserve all of the same protections afforded to infants located in the outside world. Our responsibility as a moral society is to care for the needs of women and find ways to support them in such a way that the death of another individual is not required.

Thank you to SweeneyTodd for taking on this debate, and I look forward to reading your arguments!
SweeneyTodd

Con

I will reiterate chipedcup's contention in my own words: basically, if a fetus is in fact a human being then it is immoral to abort that unborn human being and equal to murder. If, however, the fetus is not a fully developed human, then it is acceptable to abort it if need be. I'm not sure if I agree with that premise, but for the sake of this debate I will.

I will start out by saying that it depends on how far in development the fetus is: scientifically in it's early stages a fetus is nothing like a human, nor is it capable of comprehending what is even happening to it when an abortion is carried out. We can see that up until 9 weeks a fetus only starts to resemble a human being and it doesn't even develop a brain until 7 weeks.

I would like to see chipedcup's rebuttal to the chicken egg analogy: how smashing a chicken's egg is a lot less of a sacrifice and an emotional impact than killing an actual chicken, or a chick for that matter. You wouldn't call smashing an egg 'chicken murder.'

I would like to ask my opponent, coming back to the fetal development argument, would you agree that it depends on where the fetus is at in development, that's it's not fully human at it's early stages? At least, if it were unable to comprehend or feel anything, would you agree that these circumstances would make an abortion moral, or at least, permissible? Or would you argue that it is immoral even from the very start?

I will finish by saying that an unborn baby does not have the same rights as a born baby because by it's definition, it hasn't been born; babies out of the womb get certain rights that babies inside the womb don't have. The reason is that the born babies are now severed from their mother and need external care.

So, chipedcup will need to respond to these three things: the chicken/egg analogy, his/her thoughts on fetal development, and will comment, I imagine, on the rights of the born children vs. unborn. I am open to any conjecture, whether from chipedcup or comments and voters; my mind is not yet made up on this topic.
Debate Round No. 1
chippedcup

Pro

"So, chippedcup will need to respond to these three things: the chicken/egg analogy, his/her thoughts on fetal development, and will comment, I imagine, on the rights of the born children vs. unborn. I am open to any conjecture, whether from chipedcup or comments and voters; my mind is not yet made up on this topic."

In response to your chicken and egg analogy, I have a couple of points.

The first is that the analogy is a little muddy because, assuming Con's argument is based on smashing a chicken egg you get out of a carton from the grocery store, I absolutely agree that this is not 'chicken murder'. However, this is not because the chick inside is at an earlier stage of development. The reason do not take issue with smashing a chicken egg is due to the fact that eggs which are sold for food are almost always unfertilized by roosters.

This makes them the equivalent of the product of human menstruation, or for males, human ejaculation. An unfertilized egg equates to only half of the puzzle which, when fit together, creates an autonomous living organism. Essentially, an unfertilized egg does not hold an unfertilized chick and never ever will. Similarly, a sperm if implanted in a woman's uterus without the presence of an egg, is not a developing baby, and never will be.

Now, assuming that Con is actually talking about a fertilized chicken egg, I disagree with their assertion. A chicken embryo is still a chicken. Given enough time, it will develop to the point where it can survive outside of its eggshell and it will continue to develop and change throughout its lifetime. For that reason, I would never condone smashing a fertilized chicken egg for fear of killing the baby chick inside.

Just as a chicken embryo is still a chicken, a human embryo is definitely a human. If size and level of development determine whether someone is a live human being, should an adult be considered more of a human than a child, or a teen more human than a toddler? Absolutely not.

I believe that I have already addressed Con's question about my take on fetal development, but to put it briefly, the stage of development a human is at is not an indication of how human they are. There are adults who live without the sense of sight, or hearing due to their eyes or ears being undeveloped or underdeveloped. Are they less human than fully sighted people or people who can hear a full range of sounds? Would you be more likely to morally condone the killing of one over the other?

Finally, regarding rights, I believe that our duty as a moral society is to protect those among us who are most vulnerable. Whether we are sick, elderly, dying, young, or unborn, we all deserve the same rights.

Which brings me to the point I would like to add to this discussion. As it is not contended that a fetus dies during an abortion, ending their life permanently and taking away any liberty or choice they would have in the future, does Con consider this more moral than compelling a woman to live through her pregnancy of nine months, after which her life and liberty are completely unchallenged should she decide she doesn't want to keep the baby?

I say that taking a life permanently is much more immoral than compelling a woman to provide use of her body's resources for a fixed amount of time, after which she can do what she likes.





SweeneyTodd

Con

Now we're getting somewhere. To honestly answer the question, "Would you condone killing a person with a disability over someone with no disabilities." Honestly, yes. If I absolutely had to choose between who lives and who dies, the one with the disability would die.

In regards to human life: unborn babies don't have memories, feelings, or are even capable of comprehending what is even happening to them like children, teenagers and adults do. Newborn babies can and do sense danger and pain and great fear. Now you say the unborn child has the same rights as children who have made it out of the womb, why? I suppose it should be given the right to vote and the right to freedom of speech and rights to peaceably assemble?

I will say in regards to morality that morality is completely subjective. It is up to us, the people, to decide what is and isn't moral for the benefit of society. With freedom comes great responsibility, and unless one is old enough to be able to freely choose for themselves, they are denied the rights that everyone else has, because everyone else is able to exercise their freedom and their rights.

I have made my case that it depends on where the fetus is at in development. Now, you disagree, and say that even a zigote can be considered a person. I do not consider a zigote a person, like I don't consider a tadpole a frog; but you see, an early unborn baby isn't even a tadpole; it's an egg.

Maybe in the latter stages of embryo development, it is as close to an actual baby as can be. There are babies born prematurely that do quite well in the world. I am open with putting a restriction on abortion in the latter stages.
Debate Round No. 2
chippedcup

Pro

Con, this is not a debate about the legality of abortion, nor specific rights that people should and should not have access to. For the record, I don't believe that this issue should be decided in a court of law, and I don't wish for abortion to be denied or restricted to any woman, as it isn't anyone's place to force their morality on anyone else (in fact, I am an advocate of the morning after pill and pre-9 week abortion, even though I understand these options to be immoral).This debate is about whether abortion is morally acceptable, and whether a moral society should protect the most vulnerable among them (ie the developing unborn fetus who cannot voice their choice to live)

Your point about killing the person with disabilities versus the person who was perfectly healthy neglects one of the key issues surrounding the morality of abortion, which is that in the context of abortion, neither of those people needs to die in order to save the life of the other, which brings me back to the question that you failed to answer from my earlier argument...

"As it is not contended that a fetus dies during an abortion, ending their life permanently and taking away any liberty or choice they would have in the future, does Con consider this more moral than compelling a woman to live through her pregnancy of nine months, after which her life and liberty are completely unchallenged should she decide she doesn't want to keep the baby?

I say that taking a life permanently is much more immoral than compelling a woman to provide use of her body's resources for a fixed amount of time, after which she can do what she likes."

My final response to your argument about the development of a human being is this: when we judge life at a later stage as being more valuable, we come to a sticky situation of being forced to make the consistent argument that a newborn baby's life is less valuable and more morally acceptable to extinguish than an adult's. A newborn baby has many of the same problems that an embryo has, when you compare an embryo to a child and a baby to an adult. Both are much smaller and much less developed. Both have far less understanding and awareness of the world around them, and both are unable to communicate their thoughts and feelings to the same level as the latter.

In conclusion, an embryo, like a developing tadpole in a frog egg, is a unique life form at the beginning of its life cycle. Killing one of these is just as immoral as killing an elderly human being or an elderly frog. Saying otherwise is to devalue life in earlier stages of development, which leads to a slippery slope such as the one I layed out in the paragraph above.



SweeneyTodd

Con

In my opinion, it would be more wrong to perform the abortion than to make the woman keep it for 9 weeks, if in fact it is taking human life. I do think that people should be responsible for their actions, and if they choose to have sex and get pregnant than they should have used contraception or not have sex at all. In cases such as rape, where the woman would be unwilling to have the child in the first place and for other obvious reasons, I think it is her right to have an abortion.

A baby is not a citizen. A baby is someone's property; they have to constantly take care of it in order to raise it to be a proper citizen. Foreigners are required to take literacy tests in order to gain citizenship, so should babies born in America. Now, I would have it that we didn't have to separate people into different groups and countries and all of that, but that's the way it is.

Morality is all in one's opinion. If one woman deems abortion immoral, she does not have to get one. If another does not wish to carry or have the baby, and it poses harm to her health, then she can choose to get one. I do agree, however, that people should be responsible for their actions. I don't believe that abortion is out right immoral, say as immoral is killing a normally aged person. That is immoral. I do not equate abortion to murder, but as you put it, a tragic sacrifice.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Stonedtosheep 2 years ago
Stonedtosheep
A fetus is not a living human being heres why...
A living human being requires a consciousness or to be currently capable of having a consciousness.
A dead body (one whose brain has shut down) may have still living cells for days or even weeks but we do not consider them "living human beings" because there is no consciousness no free will no individual intent no sentience or sapience present in a dead body.

In contrast a fetus (pre 24 weeks) has living cells yet no brain activity. So if we do not consider the dead which have living cells and inactive brains living human beings why should we consider a fetus which also has living cells yet no brain activity?

It's called consistency pro-life should try it sometime XD

Further without an active brain there is no "you." Without "you" there is no "person" Only legal persons are granted legal rights protections and responsibilities.

We call humans dead when there is no brain activity when they are outside the womb, so why should we consider a human alive before there is brain activity?
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
Let me know when you are done. I love abortion debates and will vote on this for you.
Posted by Mike_10-4 2 years ago
Mike_10-4
Con stated "" a fully developed human "," that is, a relative term that could change as a function of social ideology.

The day may come when a "fully developed human" is one who has a degree, could work and support itself.

Just like in some social ideologies, a woman is half a human, therefore, it is OK to kill a half-person.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
chippedcupSweeneyToddTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: What the heck happened in Round 3. Each side went way off track providing arguments for the other side. Both sides made many baseless points. He noted that the unborn were humans without proving it. Con refuted that the unborn weren't human without actually proving it. Both just made statements to that effect and assumed that it was valid. This appears to be the major contention of the debate. Now in round 3 Pro argues for abortion rights and the morning after pill. If the unborn were truly human beings then this is murder and Pro is stating that he's not going to impose his morality on murdering other human beings on others. Whereas Con comes back and says that the action isn't AS immoral as murder. The word as implies there is some level of immorality in the action of abortion. The BOP was on Pro to prove that Abortion is immoral. As he never established that the unborn are indeed in some way deserving of equal rights he failed to uphold the BOP. Argument Con.
Vote Placed by debatingequality 2 years ago
debatingequality
chippedcupSweeneyToddTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Good