The Instigator
sengejuri
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
marquis1212
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Abortion is Murder

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
marquis1212
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/8/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 761 times Debate No: 58723
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

sengejuri

Pro

*****ONLY ACCEPT IF YOU WILL ACTUALLY DEBATE THIS. My last two opponents forfeited. In light of the recent Supreme Court decision, this seems a relevant topic. My position is that abortion should be considered murder in most cases. The qualifier "most" is used because I wish to exclude abortion in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother. I believe these are unique situations and they only make up a very small percentage of abortions performed annually. Terms are defined as follows:

Abortion - Intentionally terminating a pregnancy before giving birth

Murder - Intentionally ending another human life

Human Life - I anticipate much of this debate will focus on when human life begins. I am open to debating the best definition of this. I would ask voters to accept the strongest definition that is presented.

Organization is as follows:

Round 1 - acceptance only, no arguments

Round 2 - opening arguments from each side, no rebuttals

Round 3 - rebuttals

Round 4 - response/additional rebuttals, conclusion

I realize this is a very emotional topic. I am looking for someone who is willing to debate in a calm, respectful, and logical manner. Burden of proof is shared. No trolling. Use of sources is encouraged. If you agree to these terms, please accept.
marquis1212

Con

I'll give this a shot. I'll propose a definition of human life that begins when the fetus can live independently of the mother, and argue that abortion is not murder because the life that is taken should not yet be classified as human. Looking forward to hearing the arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
sengejuri

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for accepting. I would like to begin by reaffirming the emotional sensitivity of this topic. My hope is to have a respectful and constructive discussion without offending or angering either side. I would also like to once again clarify that we will not be discussing cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother.

Murder is intentionally ending another human life, which most people agree is wrong. Most people would also agree that abortion is the intentional termination of a pregnancy before birth. Of course, there are many other definitions we could use, but my opponent and I have agreed to the two described above, and I believe they are reasonably accurate for our purposes here. There are obviously cases when intentionally ending a human life is not considered wrong, such as war or self-defense. By our definition, however, those cases are still murder, they are simply socially acceptable versions of it. Since we are not debating the level of social acceptability, I hope we can both agree that such cases are irrelevant to this debate. With this in mind, the question we must answer is whether the intentional termination of a pregnancy ends a human life. If it does, then abortion is murder according to our definitions.

To answer this question, I will first examine multiple different definitions of life across numerous disciplines and determine if an unborn child can be included within each definition.

I will start with the dictionary. Several definitions of life according the Merriam-Webster dictionary are:

1) The ability to grow, change, etc., that separates plants and animals from things like water or rocks
2) The quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body
3) An organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction

Starting with the first definition, we must ask if a fetus has the ability to grow and change. The answer is undoubtedly yes. In most cases, pregnancy tests cannot detect a pregnancy until week 4 or later. By this time, a fertilized egg has already implanted in the uterus and is dividing cells. From the very earliest moment a woman can know she's pregnant, a fertilized egg has already begun to grow and change. Therefore, it fits our first definition of life.

For the second definition, we must determine if an embryo is distinguishable from a dead body. The answer is again yes. A dead body decays, performs no system functions, and does not grow. An embryo does not decay, performs basic system functions (like an independently beating heart at week 5), and grows. It seems an embryo fulfills this definition as well.

For definition number three, does an unborn child possess the capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction? Yes. An unborn child absorbs and metabolizes nutrients, grows, and can detect light, sound, and touch stimuli while in the womb. While they obviously cannot reproduce, they begin developing sex organs within a few weeks and females produce eggs during week 16. They are growing the capability to reproduce, which will not be fully actualized until puberty. Once again, an unborn child seems to fit into the definition of life.

Let's move on to other categorical definitions. Medically, life is defined as: The energy that enables organisms to grow, reproduce, absorb and use nutrients, and evolve, and, in some organisms, to achieve mobility, express consciousness, and demonstrate a voluntary use of the senses [1]. Do the unborn possess this energy? Yes.

What about in the realm of astrophysics? Astronomers find it more difficult to define life because they must consider the possibility of its existence in conditions unknown to Earth. However, we do have some attempts. Astrobiologist Benton Clark of the University of Colorado proposes that life involves three factors: "Life reproduces, and life uses energy. These functions follow a set of instructions embedded within the organism" [2]. The "set of instructions" Clark refers to is DNA or something similar. NASA observes that life as we know it on earth tends to be complex, absorbs energy from its environment, synthesizes absorbed energy into growth and reproductive capability, and reacts to stimuli [3]. Once again, unborn embryos/fetuses meet each one of these characteristics in some capacity. While they cannot reproduce themselves, their cells do (this is how they grow), indicating that they indeed consist of living cells. They absorb energy from their environment (the mother) and synthesize that energy into growth. They possess DNA, and they react to stimuli. I submit, therefore, that the unborn meet an astrophysical definition of life as well.

This is all fairly uncontroversial though. Few people would deny that a zygote/embryo/fetus is a living organism. The real question is: is it a human life? After all, stepping on a spider is not typically considered murder; that category is reserved for human lives only. There are biological and philosophical considerations that can help us answer this question.

Biologically, humans have 46 chromosomes with DNA specific to the Homo Sapiens species. All 46 chromosomes, as well as the human specific DNA that comes with them, are present in the zygote the moment fertilization occurs. According to the book Human Embryology & Teratology, "fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. [4]"

Even if an abortion happens immediately after pregnancy can first be confirmed (4 weeks), the embryo has already begun developing a brain, spinal cord, and heart. By week 6, the arms, legs, eyes, and bones develop. The heart also begins beating [5]. These are all distinctly human features. The brains and spines of the unborn do not belong to some separate, sub-human species. They are genetically fully Homo Sapien, just at an early stage of development.

Philosophically, in order to call an embryo "non-human" or "not yet fully human," we must be able to identify some point at which it does become fully human. This distinction is very difficult to make unless you draw it at the moment of birth. But even drawing the line at birth presents philosophical and logical problems. Is a baby really not fully human until the second it leaves the womb? What about after leaving the womb but before the umbilical cord is cut? What about after the cord is cut, since the baby is still completely dependent on others for survival and its brain is still not developed? I am interested to hear my opponent's distinction of when human life begins, if not at conception.

To conclude, I submit my definition of human life as: "A collection of living cells containing all 46 human chromosomes and complete human DNA that, if kept alive and healthy, will eventually develop into a mature human capable of reproducing with other humans." Therefore, ending such a life intentionally is murder. Yes, I fully realize there are genetic and sexual defects that do not fit this definition, but I would direct any critics to the word "most" in Round 1. While there are always exceptions, I believe this definition reasonably describes most human life on Earth.

I look forward to Con"s opening arguments.

[1] Mosby"s Medical Dictionary (8th Edition, Elsevier, 2009).

[2] http://www.astrobio.net............

[3] http://www.nasa.gov............'s_working_definition.html

[4] O'Rahilly, Ronan and Muller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996), 8-29

[5] http://www.nlm.nih.gov............
marquis1212

Con

It seems to me that this debate boils down to two fundamental questions:

1. When does human life begin?
2. What constitutes murder?

For point 1, I argue that human life should be defined to begin at the moment of viability.
For point 2, I accept Pro's definition of murder as intentionally ending another human life.

Human life can be defined to begin before conception, at conception, at the moment of birth, or after any arbitrary time span; I argue for defining it to begin at the moment of viability, before which time it is unlikely that the fetus would survive if surgically removed from the mother, and after which time it is likely that the baby would be viable. Before the moment of viability the fetus is alive, but for the purposes of my argument I do not define it as human life until after the moment of viability. Before this moment it is a human fetus, still alive and with thoughts and feelings, but human life carries the potential to live independently of the mother, which a human fetus does not. Debating the definition of a word might seem academic, but the output of the first point feeds into the second: what constitutes murder?

By shifting the beginning of human life on a time scale, we establish a point after which the act of aborting a fetus can be considered murder. We could let the beginning of human life be defined as starting at the moment of fertilization, after which point killing the resulting zygote would be considered murder. A zygote is certainly alive, but it is not yet human life, and although it has the potential to become human life if it is kept inside the mother, it has not yet advanced to the phase where it would be viable if it were removed. If a zygote were removed from the mother (or the "host"), it would carry no potential to become viable human life (at least not with our current medical technology). We could shift the time to be the moment the zygote becomes a blastocyst, an embryo, a human fetus, or when the baby is delivered. We lack a universally accepted term for the moment a human fetus transitions into a human, "birth" is what we usually call it, but that definition has a fundamental problem: if it is murder to kill a baby immediately after it is delivered, why is it not murder to kill it immediately before? It would be tough to argue that aborting a pregnancy five minutes before delivery (except in cases where the mother's life is endangered) would not be considered murder--I'm certainly not a person who can argue that point. So what we require is a moment where the potential for human life transitions to become viable human life. The moment of viability.

I argue that aborting a human fetus is not murder because a fetus does not possess adequate potential to become human life independent of the mother. Aborting a human fetus after the moment it becomes viable human life is murder.
Debate Round No. 2
sengejuri

Pro

Thanks, that closes out opening arguments. Let us now move to rebuttals.

I agree with my opponent’s two fundamental questions and that this debate largely focuses on the first one.

Con argues that human life begins at the moment of viability – meaning, the moment at which a fetus would likely survive if removed from the womb. There are several obstacles this definition must overcome, which I will now examine.

The first obstacle is uncertainty of exactly when “viability” occurs. My opponent admits that viability is the point at which the fetus would “likely” survive outside the womb. So we are forced to infer then, that abortion is not murder as long as it is “unlikely” the fetus is human. The problem here is that we can never be sure. The earliest surviving premature baby (as of now) was born at 21 weeks [1]. Even though she survived, her chances of doing so were almost zero. So then, was this baby girl not human because it was “unlikely” she would survive outside the womb? Certainly not, but according to Con's definition that would be the case. The level of uncertainty involved in this definition greatly weakens it. If there is even the possibility that a life might be human, why kill it?

Second, Con’s definition depends almost entirely on our level of technology. This means that technology, rather than essence, defines a life as human. That cannot be true. Con writes: “If a zygote were removed from the mother (or the ‘host’), it would carry no potential to become viable human life (at least not with our current medical technology).” This presents numerous problems when considering both past and future pregnancies. Centuries ago, even babies born at full term faced stiff odds of survival. Slightly premature babies, who survive routinely today thanks to technology, had even worse chances. The “moment of viability” in 1300 was likely much later than it is today. So does that mean human life now begins earlier than it did back then just because we have better technology? Surely not. Looking into the future, we must assume that medical technology will continue to improve and that babies will be able to survive earlier and earlier. Maybe there is a point at which a fetus will never survive regardless of technology, but we cannot know for sure. Once again, this exposes the uncertainty as to when the moment of viability actually occurs.

Next, Con admits to the difficulty of defining human life at birth (is a baby not human 5 minutes before delivery?), but overlooks the fact that this same difficulty applies to their definition as well. Like the moment of birth, describing a “moment” at which a fetus becomes viable suggests a finite point in time. So the same question applies – was the fetus not human 30 seconds before becoming viable? 30 minutes? 3 days? Once again, as technology rapidly improves, it is almost impossible to identify exactly when such a moment occurs.

Finally, my opponent says human life must be able to live independently from the mother. The problem here is that babies still cannot survive without a caregiver even after they are born. In fact, a child cannot survive on its own until many years after birth. If taken at face value then, Con’s definition says that even a 2 year old child is not human because he cannot survive without his mother/caregiver.

In conclusion, my opponent’s definition exposes the huge amount of uncertainty in considering a fetus human only after passing an arbitrary point drawn in the middle of the pregnancy timeline. By Con’s own admission, this “moment of viability” is based on likelihood and not certainty. By definition then, abortions are ending the lives of things that are “probably” not human. The bottom line is that if there’s even a chance a fetus might be human, then it is inexcusable to end its life in most cases. Therefore, I propose that defining human life at conception is the most certain, accurate, and safe definition possible.

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
marquis1212

Con

I don't take issue with any part of your rebuttal. Defining any moment in a phase of life is inherently imprecise and fraught with uncertainty. There are countless ways we could define the moment of viability, and whatever definition we come up with will certainly change over time as our level of technology increases. Ultimately the definition of the moment is somewhat arbitrary, as it is nothing more than the term we humans outside of the womb have chosen to give it, backed by whatever data we have available to us. But this "obstacle" applies to any moment in the phases of life, not just the moment of viability: we cannot currently detect the precise millisecond fertilization occurs, or when the embryo officially becomes a fetus, and even if we could it would still just be our definition of the state of an organism that will grow regardless of what we choose to call it.

But it is worth arriving at a definition for something as important as the concept of human life, even if that definition will be refined over time and be defined differently by our governments. We currently do perform viability tests for babies, and in many places an abortion is not permitted after the baby is deemed viable, so some attempt at this is being made. Some governments choose an arbitrary number of weeks and consider the baby viable based on the statistics of survival rates. If it is a moment that needs to be defined precisely, accordingly precise standards that depend on our current level of medical technology can be established to detect it. Theoretically a mechanism could be devised that would monitor a fetus continuously and pinpoint the exact moment the vital signs indicate an established threshold has been reached, and a light would flip from red to green to mark the precise moment the baby was deemed viable and can be classified as a human life form. But no dramatic physiological change would have taken place at this moment, as these physiological changes are continuous at some level -- it is merely a dramatic change in what we've chosen to call the fetus: human life. Defining the moment accurately is important because the consequence of getting it wrong is that a viable baby is miscategorized as a human fetus. Over time as the methods of detecting the moment are improved, abortions that were previously not classified as murder might become reclassified as such, and we would need to work out the ramifications of such a circumstance. An equivalent test could be devised to detect the exact moment of fertilization or implantation, and its output would be equally arbitrary, as the involved organism(s) were unarguably "alive" before the defined moment.

The state transition into human life carries enormous implications. Once the fetus makes the transition to something we call human life, we start calling it murder to if it is intentionally terminated. But the implications cannot be the motivation for the definition of life, they are the consequences of the definition we choose. So we have to examine what makes the moment of viability a good definition for the beginning of human life. After the moment of viability the baby has the potential to live independently of the mother (although certainly not independent of a caregiver, as Pro pointed out), which is a characteristic of all human life, but a shared characteristic is not enough to make the argument that they should be classified the same. The significance is that after this point the baby is an individual, with a fate separate from the mother's. Before this moment their fates are tied; if the mother dies, so does the fetus. Therefore it makes sense to say this the beginning of the individual (or in the case of conjoint twins, the individuals).

It makes more sense to define human life as beginning at the moment of viability than to define it at the moment of fertilization. The moment the chromosomes and the DNA sequence have been determined is just another moment in the process -- it is the moment the potential identity of the eventual individual is established so it is not at all insignificant, but there were moments preceding it involving the same organisms, with the difference being that the preceding chromosomes were separated by some distance in time and space. Theoretically if we could determine identity before fertilization, would it be considered murder to abort the organisms before fertilization, perhaps because it would result in a deficient identity? The moment of viability is also just a moment in the process, but it signifies the moment the identity becomes an individual. And since before you are an individual, you have an identity but no independent fate, and by extension no individual rights, because you are not yet your own individual person.

An implication of my position is that it would not be considered murder to abort an identity that is not yet an individual, which has controversial ramifications when considering an abortion that is performed because the identity is genetically defective.
Debate Round No. 3
sengejuri

Pro

Thank you Con for the swift and thoughtful response.

I will begin by responding to some of Con's points, then I'll offer some additional rebuttals to the new information presented.

My opponent began in a slightly confusing way by agreeing with all my rebuttals and admitting that any definition of viability, including their own, is "inherently imprecise and fraught with uncertainty." I believe this admission alone is enough to reject Con's argument. They even go so far as to admit that more future abortions may indeed be classified as murder as scientific understanding improves. This seems to confirm my position. Nevertheless, I will continue.

My opponent suggests that fertilization is an equally arbitrary and uncertain point drawn on the pregnancy timeline. As an example, they point out that we cannot know the exact second fertilization occurs. Actually, we can. We can physically see a spermatozoon fertilize an egg through a microscope. In fact, this is exactly how the process of In Vitro Fertilization works. Even if we couldn't see it however, we would still know that there was a precise millisecond when a genetically unique spermatozoon reaches an egg cell, forming a set of 46 chromosomes with unique, individual DNA. The second that DNA is formed, there is no denying the resulting organism is now genetically Homo sapiens. As it turns out, fertilization is not arbitrary at all - it either has 46 chromosomes or it doesn't. Fertilization keeps the definition of humanity consistent for every person in human history.

Conversely, we do not find the same consistency when trying to define a "moment of viability." This moment is unique for each child. One child born at 22 weeks survives, another child born at 23 weeks does not. One fetus becomes viable at 21.5 weeks, and another at 22.7, etc... Viability changes as technology improves. 500 years from now there may be a device that keeps fetuses alive at 8 weeks. If we choose viability to define life's beginning, then our humanity is simply a function of the technology we have access to. The problem with that is technology cannot bestow humanity, it can only enhance it. Defining human life at a moment of viability is too uncertain to be useful or safe. As Con correctly put it, "the consequence of getting it wrong is that a viable baby is miscategorized."

Next, Con expands their definition by suggesting the moment of viability is also the moment a fetus becomes an individual. A fetus is not an individual, the argument goes, as long as its fate remains tied to the mother. There are legal, genetic, and logical reasons to doubt this claim.

Legal: American law recognizes an unborn fetus as an individual with individual rights at every point in pregnancy. In 2004, the federal government passed into law the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it illegal to harm (either intentionally or unintentionally) an unborn child. The law defines "unborn child" as follows: "the term 'unborn child' means a child in utero, and the term 'child in utero' or 'child, who is in utero' means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." This means that if drunk driver hits a pregnant woman who, as a result, loses her baby, he can be charged with homicide even if the mother survives. This remains true whether the mother is 4 weeks or 40 weeks pregnant. There is no clause that says the unborn child must be "viable" before it has legal rights. It is protected by this law at every stage of development. In addition, 38 states have also passed similar "feticide" laws. Only 9 states have viability clauses in their laws, which range from 8 weeks (Montana) to 24 weeks (New York) [1]. So, a 20 week fetus has rights in Montana, but not in New York? The point here is that the federal government and 29 States recognize that a fetus has individual rights protected by law as a member of the Homo sapiens species at every stage of development. [2]

Genetic: Con argues that fertilization and the combination of 46 human chromosomes is simply the moment a potential identity is created. That identity is not fully established until the fetus becomes viable, whenever that may be. This is simply not true. The human DNA present after fertilization is the same DNA that person will carry with them for the rest of their life [2]. Since our DNA is our genetic identity, it's hard to imagine that this identity is only "potentially" real before the arbitrary point of viability. I agree with Con that potential identities exist before fertilization, because many potential chromosomal pairings are separated by time and space. But that is not what we are talking about - "aborting" organisms (sperm and eggs) before fertilization cannot be murder because there is no pregnancy, and as a result, abortion is impossible. You cannot abort if you are not pregnant. It is only when this time and space separation disappears (fertilization) that identity goes from potential to actual. Our DNA, even at the second of fertilization, is 100% unique and distinguishable from the mother and father. It is very hard to argue that a pre-viable fetus only has a "potential" genetic identity.

Logical: My opponent writes that a baby cannot be an individual as long as its fate is tied to the mother. They correctly point out that if the mother dies, her non-viable baby will also die. However, when discussing fate you must consider all its possible outcomes - you cannot just focus on death. If a fetus's fate is truly tied to its mother, then that also means it will live as long as its mother stays alive. This is not true however. A pregnant woman can be injured, survive, but lose the baby. A perfectly healthy mother can give birth to a stillborn child. This argument also extends to life after birth. A 1-year old's fate is still tied to another person (a mom/caregiver). If you put a baby on a park bench and isolate him from any caregivers, he will die. Conversely, if you put a 13 year old on a park bench and isolate him, he will probably be able to find food and keep himself alive. So, arguably, our fates our not our own until we are able to survive by ourselves. Does that mean we have no identities until age 13? I believe that Con's argument here does not hold up to logical scrutiny.

In conclusion, I once again submit my definition for human life: Any collection of living cells containing all 46 human chromosomes and complete human DNA that, if kept alive and healthy, will eventually develop into a mature human capable of reproducing with other humans. Again, fully realizing there are genetic and sexual defects in some cases, I believe this is a reasonable description of most human life. Possessing 46 human chromosomes makes you a member of the Homo sapiens species, and this moment occurs at fertilization. To define human life at any other point is simply a statistical guess. Human life is too important to be defined by statistics (which are always changing). A moment of viability is too vague and too uncertain to be consistent, and I therefore propose my definition is stronger. If that is the case, then abortion is the intentional termination of human life, and therefore murder by definition.

Thanks to Marquis1212 for a respectful and thoughtful debate.

[1] http://www.nrlc.org...
[2] http://www.gpo.gov...
[3] http://www.ehd.org...
marquis1212

Con

I completely accept that the moment of viability is more difficult to detect precisely when compared to the moment of fertilization, but it does not follow that because it is more difficult to define it then it is the wrong definition. It is an obstacle to be overcome. We should not select the definition because it is the most convenient or easily identifiable. What should matter is what the moment represents, not our ability to precisely detect the moment.

A thought experiment: what if it were possible to detect the moment of viability as precisely as the moment of fertilization? Say we had the capability to peer into an adjacent reality where the fetus was surgically removed that moment, and we could determine the baby's viability at that moment without actually removing it in our reality. Of course it's ridiculous, but if there were a technology that would provide a definitive answer to the question of viability, I argue it should not change the definition of where human life begins, it would only allow us to pinpoint the moment more precisely. The moment happens whether we have the capability to detect it or not.

Examining our various laws that define life in different ways is interesting, as it reflects the political makeup of the communities that appointed the judges and elected the representatives that defined the laws. Under some laws abortion is currently defined as murder, and under others it is not. But this debate has been more fundamental than that; theoretically our discussion could have taken place in the context of any legal system that does not provide a clear and indisputable definition of when human life begins -- we've been discussing where the line ought to be drawn, not just examining where various legal systems currently draw it.

Our genetic identity is most certainly realized at the moment of fertilization, it is our individuality that has not yet been formed. Before the moment of viability there is undoubtedly a human identity, what is questionable is the individuality of the identity, since it cannot yet exist as an individual. The core of this debate over the definition of human life seems to be over the question of a distinction between an identity and an individual. Pro argues that the individual emerges at the same time the identity is formed, and I argue that the individual emerges when it possesses the capacity to exist independently of the mother. Before the moment of viability there is one individual--a woman who carries the identity of potential human life within her--and after that moment there are two individuals. The individual will certainly require assistance from others to survive, as we all do to varying degrees throughout our lives, but before the moment of viability no amount of assistance from others could save the fetus if it were removed; it does not yet have the capability to survive as an individual.

Thanks to my opponent for this debate--I have really enjoyed deeply thinking through this issue with you.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sengejuri 2 years ago
sengejuri
Dear Daktoria: Thanks for voting, I respect your right to assign points however you see fit. However, I think it's a bit unfair to penalize the use of a definition that both debate participants agreed to accept. Just my humble opinion.
Posted by barnesec 2 years ago
barnesec
@IndianaFrank I believe Hobby Lobby's argument is that the four forms of contraception they are opposed to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, or have the potential to even if it's not the primary function of the contraceptive. Though naturally 50-80% of fertilized eggs fail to implant and implantation is recognized as the beginning of pregnancy by the medical community.
Posted by IndianaFrank 2 years ago
IndianaFrank
First off my position is that abortion is a religious issue. Now with that said, I do believe that late term abortions are wrong and that a woman certainly should be able to make up her mind within a reasonable length of time.

I realize that most religious people say conception is the time of life. I however say life begins when it is capable of living outside the womb. I've seen premature babies born that simply didn't have the lung developed sufficiently to breathe. They all died. The new court ruling not says that Hobby Lobby doesn't have to pay for the day after pill when in fact puts a protective barrier around the egg and prevents the sperm from entering the egg. So does that mean they are not claiming that sperm constitutes life ? If so, does that mean if a man masturbates then he is guilty of murder ?
Posted by barnesec 2 years ago
barnesec
So in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother, they embryo is no long considered a human life and therefore aborting it is not murder? How's that work?
Posted by marquis1212 2 years ago
marquis1212
Clarification: I won't be able to argue for late term abortions, as those should probably be classified as murder.
Posted by ben671176 2 years ago
ben671176
A fertilized egg inside a mother that dies is the same as a white blood cell dieing, and don't eggs die anyways? From periods?
Posted by sengejuri 2 years ago
sengejuri
I'm open to alternate definitions (must agree in the comments section before accepting). Yes, murder can be understood as a legal term, but I kept my definition simple to avoid arguing over irrelevant legalities. Technically, killing in war is a socially accepted manifestation of murder.
Posted by dannyc 2 years ago
dannyc
I'll accept this debate on one qualification, that we define murder as 'the taking of another person's life against their will or desire to live'.
Posted by dannyc 2 years ago
dannyc
Murder is usually stated as the 'intentional taking of a person's life against their will', taking the life of someone via assisted suicide is not murder under usual terms.
Posted by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
ChosenWolff
Your definition of murder is wrong. Murder is the killing of someone illegally. By your definition, the US military is comprised of murderors
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Jelera 2 years ago
Jelera
sengejurimarquis1212Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: H
Vote Placed by Daktoria 2 years ago
Daktoria
sengejurimarquis1212Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Murder is not the intentional killing of human life. It's the malicious extermination of another person. Pro lost on the basis of bad definitions. To be clear, I'm against abortion, but on the basis of being pro-cognition, not pro-life. The issue of abortion has to do with whether or not it's our right to judge another life being cognitive from judging its behavior. The problem is pro-choicers believe it's their entitlement to judge other people's behavior rather than being universally tolerant of who people are as individuals on the inside that counts.
Vote Placed by Mray56 2 years ago
Mray56
sengejurimarquis1212Tied
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate. Both sides had very strong arguments. Con did not use sources.