The Instigator
rugbypro5
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
emospongebob527
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Abortion is Wrong

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
rugbypro5
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/13/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 587 times Debate No: 49065
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

rugbypro5

Pro

Hello everyone!

I am taking the stance that abortion is wrong in every case except when the mother's life is in danger. I take a purely logical and ethical stance on this issue and no bible verses will be cited- don't worry. Be respectful, try and be prompt with your responses and we should have a pretty fun debate on our hands. Good luck!
emospongebob527

Con

I would like to thank my opponent, rugbypro5, for instigating this debate. I would also like to thank any people who may follow this debate in the future.

I would like to offer a few definitions since my opponent didn't.

Abortion- a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus. (1)

wrong-
behavior that is not morally good or correct. (2)

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...

2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Otherwise, I accept.


Debate Round No. 1
rugbypro5

Pro

Yep, those definitions work for me!

I'd like to begin the debate by saying that my opponent has already won. Abortions should be allowed in all 50 states, at whatever trimester the mother decides, and that the mother has every right to do what she wants with the fetus. I have no solid argument, and I will be the first to crossover from being "pro-life" to "pro-choice". That is, if the unborn isn't human. If the unborn isn't human, we have no right to tell the mother what she can and can't do with it. I believe that the unborn is human- there are mounds of evidence from embryology, and I quote Keith Moore from a textbook: "A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm ... unites with a female gamete or oocyte ... to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual." From the moment of conception, we are all distinct, living, and whole human beings. I'll clarify. Distinct: We are different in kind from our parents. Living: Well... simply put, dead things don't grow. The fetus is building new systems, breaking old ones down, it's forming neurological pathways, creating new cells, and is in control of its own internal development. Whole: a sperm and an egg (or oocyte) are not whole human beings, they are merely part of a human entity, like a skin cell on the back of your hand. When they come together however, they become a human and each of the cells are working together to promote the the welfare of the entity as a whole.

Now I am taking a very radical position, but I believe it to be the right one. I believe that 1) Life begins at conception 2) There is no good reason to end that life at anytime, except when the mother's life is in danger. And obviously, there is disagreement here. What I'm about to propose are some of the most common arguments.

1. The mother has a right what to do with her own body.
2. The fetus does not have cognitive brain function until 20 weeks (or whatever week it is)
3. The fetus is not yet completely developed
4. The mother was raped and doesn't want the child
5. The fetus is still in the womb

I don't want to take the time to rebut all of these arguments though I am well equipped to do so. I'd like con to present his arguments, whether the ones stated above, or another different one. He then can bolster his argument and give his support for it, and I'll refute it in the last round.
emospongebob527

Con

Many thanks to rugbypro5 for his opening arguments.

Burden of Proof-

Who has the burden of proof in this debate? Well, it's fairly simple, my opponent does, unless he specified otherwisein round one. Which he didn't. My opponent could have given me the BOP or claimed that it is shared. But, by refraining from doing either, he gives himself the BOP because he is trying to affirm the resolution, not deny it or doubt it. I will show this contention's relevance later.

Non-humanity speal-

To open, my opponent goes into a speal and says, "Abortions should be allowed in all 50 states, at whatever trimester the mother decides, and that the mother has every right to do what she wants with the fetus. I have no solid argument, and I will be the first to crossover from being "pro-life" to "pro-choice". That is, if the unborn isn't human. If the unborn isn't human, we have no right to tell the mother what she can and can't do with it." Now, all I have to do is refute my opponent's claim that fetuses, in general, are human, in order to make him concede. Because, even he admits that, "If the unborn isn't human, we have no right to tell the mother what she can and can't do with it." I completely agree that the unborn are humans, but yet there's something missing. Take this syllogism of Pro's entire argument condensed down in two premises and a conclusion.

Pro's Syllogism-

P1. It is wrong to kill a human being

My opponent establishes no real ground to prove this claim. He simply argues how the unborn are humans and concludes his argument. Which isn't sufficient enough to establish his case to prove abortion to be morally wrong. Until he does so we have no reason to accept his conclusion.

P2. A human fetus is a human being.

I admittingly agree with this premise, for my opponent argues it well. But, both premises must be sound in order for the conclusion to be sound. So, my opponent must argue why it is wrong to kill a human being.

C. Therefore, it is wrong to kill a human fetus.

My opponent argues the second premise quite well, but never establishes grounds for accepting the first premise's truth. Thus, we have no reason to accept his conclusion.

Burden Shifting & Possible Pro-Choice Arguments-

After my opponent made his argument in his opening round he moves over to give a conclusion of some sorts. He states,

"Now I am taking a very radical position, but I believe it to be the right one. I believe that 1) Life begins at conception 2) There is no good reason to end that life at anytime, except when the mother's life is in danger. And obviously, there is disagreement here. What I'm about to propose are some of the most common arguments."

He had hinted towards wanting to establish how abortion is wrong with the exception of one case, in his opening round. He said, "I am taking the stance that abortion is wrong in every case except when the mother's life is in danger." Now, this confuses me. Is my opponent arguing that abortion is wrong in every case except when the mother's life is in danger or is he arguing the blanket statement that, "abortion is wrong." If he is arguing the former, then he would have to list and refute every single reason on could get an abortion other than if the woman's life is in danger. i.e, rape, incest, pre-20 weeks, pre-viability, financial reasons, too young of age, etc. If he is arguing the latter, then he would have to argue how, on balance, abortion is wrong. He has done neither. He must do so in order to uphold his BOP.

Towards the end of his round, my opponent lists common pro-choice arguments and then states, "I don't want to take the time to rebut all of these arguments though I am well equipped to do so. I'd like con to present his arguments, whether the ones stated above, or another different one. He then can bolster his argument and give his support for it, and I'll refute it in the last round." This is a classic example of burden shifting, a major error on my opponent's part. He argues that I must provide arguments in support of abortion, but such a claim is a myth and a catastrophic attempt to shift the burden of proof.

Conclusion-

My opponent opens by admitting that, "If the unborn isn't human, we have no right to tell the mother what she can and can't do with it." He then proceeds to argue for why fetuses are human, I completely agree with this. But, my opponent leaves out the justification for his first premise and thus, his conclusion fails. I explained earlier why my opponent must draw a distinction is what he's trying to prove. Namely, he needs to make it clear whether or not he is arguing that abortion is wrong in every case except when the mother's life is in danger or is he arguing the blanket statement that, "abortion is wrong." Meaning, he is arguing why, in general, abortion is wrong. His opening argument fails to establish either of these, unfortunately. Lastly, my opponent lists common pro-choice arguments and follows up by saying, "I don't want to take the time to rebut all of these arguments though I am well equipped to do so. I'd like con to present his arguments, whether the ones stated above, or another different one. He then can bolster his argument and give his support for it, and I'll refute it in the last round." From this we can take that my opponent is attempting to shift the burden of proof. Doing so is useless because the burden of proof is always on him until he can fulfill it or he withdrawals his position. He has done neither. Therefore, his attempt to burden shift is useless.

Back over to you, Pro. :)





Debate Round No. 2
rugbypro5

Pro

First, I want to know why the burden of proof lies on the one who is trying to save lives, as if he needs justification, while the one advocating the murder of lives needs none. I'm not sure you're correct in saying I am shifting the burden of proof when in fact I'm only making it clear who it lies upon. If you agree with me that the unborn is human, and YOU need reason for killing the child, why do I carry the burden of proof? If we had another round to argue this, I'd keep going, but we don't, so I'll move on.

Before I start, I just wanted to point to you your lack of argument- nothing you said gave me a reason why ending the life of the unborn human being is morally acceptable- that proposes many problems for you. I've heard this argument before: Yes, the fetus is human, but just because it's human doesn't mean it's valuable, and without value, we can kill it at our leisure (whether that's financial reasons, age reasons, relationship reasons etc.). I, however, argue that because we have value now (if you want to argue if humans have value after birth you should look for a new debate) we had value in the womb, and if we had intrinsic value in the womb, there is no good reason to end the life. (Unless the mother's life is in danger.)

My personal belief in man's intrinsic value is derived from my religious background, but there is an excellent philosophical argument that bolsters this position without the use of Bible verses; it's called the Substance Argument. It's claim is this: A human is a substance (something living that retains its identity through time and change) as opposed to a property thing (something that's not living and can have its identity changed by time or change); therefore the human being that has intrinsic value now, had the same intrinsic value as a fetus.

Let me give you a few examples. Over time, our cells have gone throughout massive changes, almost every cell in our body has been replaced with one that wasn't originally there, but have we changed who we are as humans? If you, Dylan, had your arm cut off, would you cease being "Dylan"? In 50 years, I'm sure a lot of things will have changed for you, but you will never stop being you until the day you die. This is because you are a substance that retains its identity throughout time and change. My car however, is a property and it's identity changes over time. If took my 1980 Firebird, "Roxanne", and started taking her apart piece by piece and replacing her with completely new parts, even if I stopped halfway, she would not be my 1980 Firebird, "Roxanne", there would be an entirely different car before me. You as a human being have intrinsic value because of your human nature, which you've had since the day you were conceived. How do I know this? Because you are a substance who's identity will never change due to time or change. So if you will have your intrinsic value in the future- which you will- what does that say about the past, when you were in the womb? It means you had that intrinsic value then as well- your mom's decision to give birth didn't decide your worth. So every fetus in the womb has intrinsic value.

Now you said you agree that the fetus is human, but you don't believe that my first premise- it's wrong to kill the child- is without support. I honestly didn't think I would have to do that, but if you look at the previous paragraph, you'll see that the basic truth we come down to, is that the fetus has intrinsic value as a human, and that value is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We can reasonably and logically conclude that it would have been wrong to kill you in the womb because it would be wrong to kill you now.

So I still don't believe it was my duty to provide the reasons for preserving the child's life, I think it's yours to provide reasons to end it, but nonetheless, if it was my duty, you have my defense.

Now for the most common contentions for reasons why the unborn can be killed.

1. It doesn't have cognitive brain functioning and therefore has no desire to live; therefore we can terminate it.

This is the first refutation I choose to tackle because it is the most logically sound out of all the pro-choice arguments, the others go downhill from here. The reason this argument doesn't give a reason for abortion is because cognitive brain function and the desire to live are both abilities or functions that the fetus has yet developed. Yet is the keyword. If I were to take a 6 year-old girl, Susie, and an 18 year-old girl, Lucy, and stand them side by side, the Lucy will be much more developed, but we all realize the fact that we can't kill Susie due to her lack of development. Susie is much shorter, less intuitive, and less developed than Lucy, but again, her value is the same. Therefore, just because the fetus' ability to desire life isn't yet developed, or it hasn't obtained the ability of cognitive brain function, it doesn't reduce its value or strip it of its right to life.

2. The mother was raped, she shouldn't be forced to carry a child she didn't want.

I really hate bringing this argument up in online debates because it such a tender topic that should be dealt with with the utmost sympathy- you can't sympathize very well with just words. Let me start though by saying this: the crime is atrocious and if found, the culprit should be punished to the full extent of the law, I believe that very strongly. I do not, however, believe that it is justification for the murder of innocence. The child in the womb is no different from a child outside of the womb, a toddler lets say. Only when it is right to kill the toddler born out of rape is it permissible to kill the fetus. I know the child may arouse horrendous memories in the mother's mind, but we need to care for that child like we care for its mother. The mother should be given therapy and support from her family, friends and the church, but never should the child be killed.

3. The child is still dependent on the mother, therefore it can be killed.

This has a major flaw in its basic contention- the one who believes in this has not extrapolated and applied the same philosophy to everyone. If the level of development determines the value a person has, people handicapped and reliant on wheelchairs, people sick and dependent on doctors, newborns (arguably 100% dependent on their mothers) and all sorts of dependent people will consequently be of diminished worth. That simply isn't reasonable to assert; therefore the argument shouldn't be asserted as reasonable.

4. The mother already has 4 children and it would be irresponsible for her to bring in another! She's already struggling to make ends meet!

Finances should not be a factor when it comes to preserving the human life. If finances were really the issue, the most logical thing to do would be to kill the oldest child. It just makes sense financially, and if it is truly permissible to end a life because a factor as meaningless as money, then in order to get the most "buck for the bang" the mother should just kill the oldest child- he eats the most, most expensive to clothe etc. Obviously this won't happen because inside, we value the life of the human more than we value money (or at least I hope).

These are just a few of the arguments- I'd love to chat more about other ones. But I can foresee a few objections to my stance: Why do support abortion only when the mother's life is in danger, isn't she just as valuable as the fetus? My answer is, "Of course!" To explain my reasoning though, look at paramedics when faced with a dire situation, such as a car full of people flew off a bridge and they're drowning underwater. They are instructed NOT to rescue the women and children first, rather, they are told the men should be their first priority. That's not because they value men more than women, but because the men have a higher probability of surviving- if they were to rescue the women and children first, they might be trying to save someone already dead while the ones who have a chance are under the water. They make their decision based on the survivability of each person. That's what we have to do when a mother's life is at risk when giving birth. Everything possible should be done to keep both the mother and child alive, but if that's not possible, then we are forced to act to save the mother's life. My stance is taken from a purely logical and ethical point, I try to make decision without the emotional aspect, however hard that may be.

And I'm serious, Dylan, we are only allowed 3 rounds to discuss this issue but if you wanna talk more, just message me. I'd really like to talk more about this with you.
emospongebob527

Con

emospongebob527 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Finalfan 2 years ago
Finalfan
While I completely agree abortion is morally wrong... in the sense that it is wrong to kill a human being however human life is inherently expendable! You either have to humble yourself and see the destruction of overpopulation or you can live in your own ideal reality where death is "bad" and should be avoided at all costs.. I just love being an African ape.. survival instincts and all!
Posted by PiercedPanda 2 years ago
PiercedPanda
Lol u changed it.
Posted by emospongebob527 2 years ago
emospongebob527
lol
Posted by PiercedPanda 2 years ago
PiercedPanda
Your avatar is a picture of misty in her panties blushing. I don't find such very appropriate.
Posted by emospongebob527 2 years ago
emospongebob527
My avatar fits within the site's standards of appropriateness.
Posted by Jabuticaba 2 years ago
Jabuticaba
Inappropriate profile picture. I'm sure someone out there is fapping to it right now.
Posted by emospongebob527 2 years ago
emospongebob527
Why? What did I do?
Posted by Jabuticaba 2 years ago
Jabuticaba
I reported con.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
rugbypro5emospongebob527Tied
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: A strange debate, to be sure. Unfortunately, Con was hampered by his forfeit. I don't really think either side won on arguments. I'd have awarded conduct for the forfeit, except that Pro attempted to shift the burden of proof--a conduct violation of its own that negates that. So I find myself not awarding any points on this one. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Vote Placed by Finalfan 2 years ago
Finalfan
rugbypro5emospongebob527Tied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to pro for con's forfeit! I had an issue with pro's argument's I will give my view in comments!