The Instigator
Jonathan_Jackson
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
sillydebater
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Abortion is murder

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/17/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 394 times Debate No: 115635
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (0)

 

Jonathan_Jackson

Pro

Abortion is murder. The life of the child starts at the conception of the child, as soon as it is an embryo. Please refrain from character attacks. This is from the point of view of a Christian conservative.
sillydebater

Con

Before I start, let's set some definitions:

As per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Abortion is "The termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus". (1) Murder is "The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another". (2)

Therefore, the premise under debate is that the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanies by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus is the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.

With that set, I'll begin my argument:

For abortion to be murder, it has to meet three criteria:
1) It must be unlawful
2) It must be premeditated (i.e. a willful act)
3) It must be the killing of one human being by another

I think it's easy to see that #2 and #3 apply in this case. Abortions are almost universally a willful act, and they are carried out by one human being with the intent on killing another human being. So, that only leaves criteria #1, that it is unlawful.

Now there are certainly many places in the world where abortion is against the law. In those regions abortion does constitute murder and someone committing abortion can be prosecuted for it. However, the assertion that abortion is categorically murder is just false. There are many countries where abortion is legal, thus making it not meet criteria #1.

In short, while abortion is legally defined as murder in some places, it is not considered murder everywhere, so the generalized statement that abortion is murder is false.
Debate Round No. 1
Jonathan_Jackson

Pro

The point of whether it is unlawful is where you get your morals from. If you follow the Bible or Torah, then it is illegal. You could say that both holy books say that you must follow the laws of the land unless it conflicts with the rules stated within. But since abortion would violate "Thou shall not kill" (which in the Hebrew version it directly translates to "Thou shalt not murder"). While yes, abortion is not illegal, almost everyone would define murder as killing someone willingly. I will concede that your point is right, it's not technically murder according to the dictionary. But the core issue on whether it is murder or not is whether it is a life or not. Would you be willing to argue off of this? If so then I think that it is a life at conception.
sillydebater

Con

I want to start with a statement you made: "almost everyone would define murder as killing someone willingly". I disagree with this statement.

There are many cases where killing someone willingly is not murder. For example: if someone is trying to kill you, most societies allow for you to defend yourself, to the point of killing the attacker if it saves your life. Killing in self-defense is, on the whole, not illegal and not murder. Similarly, killing to protect someone else. If a hostage-taker has a hostage at gunpoint, a police officer may willingly kill the hostage-taker and it is not considered murder. These cases make it clear why legality is an important criteria for a killing to be called murder. Without the legality criteria, murder simply devolves into being defined as "killing someone", and the the statement "abortion is killing someone" of course is true. To be considered murder, however, requires something more: it has to be illegal.

I accept your proposal to move the standard by which we determine whether a killing is legal away from secular laws to the Bible. After all, you did mention Christianity in your opening. In the same way, I'd like to stick to the Bible and not the Torah, to keep the Christian focus.

As previously stated, to be murder, abortion must be illegal, and in this new context, it must be illegal according to the Bible.

In Numbers 5 starting at verse 11, God says:
"If a man's wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him ... or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure, then he is to take his wife to the priest. ... He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse ... If she has been impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry" (1)

Administering a poison to cause a woman to miscarry is abortion. Furthermore, not only is this abortion acceptable in the eyes of God, it is in fact mandated that the fetus should be aborted in cases of infidelity!

Now, I want to note that I am Christian and I find this passage absolutely disgusting and wrong. (How those two statements can be compatible is a good topic for a different debate). But, if we are to use the text of the Bible as God's law, then it clearly states that abortion is not illegal in this case, and thus it is not murder.

1. https://www.biblegateway.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Jonathan_Jackson

Pro

You agreed that the fetus is a life. It's illegal to kill people, that fetus is a person. Therefore, abortion is murder, The Bible says some nasty stuff, but God also understands that things change. The old testament says to stone homosexuals and adulterers. Jesus saved an adulterer from being stoned. Abortion is the killing of a baby in the womb, the baby is a living thing. It is illegal to kill someone, even if it's in self-defense you're still likely to serve time in jail. If you carry out the termination of a fetus then that is murder because you are ending a life. You say that is must be illegal for it to murder. There's no law keeping me from killing a Chinese man, does that mean it's not murder? The law simply says that you cannot kill another person, otherwise it is murder (except of course in self-defense). Therefore, since a fetus is a life and a person, it would be murder to have an abortion.
sillydebater

Con

Here is my understanding of your argument:

1) Abortion is killing a person
2) Killing a person is illegal in the bible
3) Illegal killing is murder
Therefore: Abortion is murder

I agree with #1 and #3. You have not yet given any proof of #2, however.

You say, "The law simply says that you cannot kill another person", but haven't provided any backing for that statement. I can refute it, though. Yes, Exodus 20:13 says "Thou shalt not kill" (1). However there are many more places in the bible that say you should kill.

Examples include:
- People who reject the verdict of a judge (2)
- Gay men (3)
- Fortune tellers (4)
- People who attack (5) or curse (6) their parents
- Adulterers (7)
- Prostitutes (8)
- People who have sex with animals (9)
- False prophets (10)
- Non-believers (11)
- Entire towns of non-believers (12)
- Women who are not virgins on their wedding night (13)
- Blasphemers (14)
- Anyone who approaches the Tabernacle (15)
- Anyone who works on the Sabbath (16)
- Mothers and children who don't grieve (17)
- Babylon's children killed (and women raped) (18)
- Genocide of the Amalekites (19)
- The entire kingdom of Ai (12,000 people) (20)
- Your own brothers, friends and neighbors (21) and, of course,
- Fetuses conceived out of wedlock (22)

From what I can tell, your response to this is. "The Bible says some nasty stuff, but God also understands that things change." If that's your argument, you need to provide proof that the Bible renounces every one of the examples I mentioned above, for each example is a case where the bible says that it is okay to kill another person.

1. https://www.biblegateway.com...
2. https://www.biblegateway.com...
3. https://www.biblegateway.com...
4. https://www.biblegateway.com...
5. https://www.biblegateway.com...
6. https://www.biblegateway.com...
7. https://www.biblegateway.com...
8. https://www.biblegateway.com...
9. https://www.biblegateway.com...
10. https://www.biblegateway.com...
11. https://www.biblegateway.com...
12. https://www.biblegateway.com...
13. https://www.biblegateway.com...
14. https://www.biblegateway.com...
15. https://www.biblegateway.com...
16. https://www.biblegateway.com...
17. https://www.biblegateway.com...
18. https://www.biblegateway.com...
19. https://www.biblegateway.com...
20. https://www.biblegateway.com...
21. https://www.biblegateway.com...
22. https://www.biblegateway.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Jonathan_Jackson

Pro

I never said that it's illegal to kill in the Bible, I had clarified that it had actually said that it translates to "Thou shalt not murder" from the Hebrew version. When I said that " It is simply illegal to kill another person," (I should have clarified) I was referring to our laws, not the bible. I know the Bible is full of borderline genocides. Our laws simply say you cannot kill someone unless you are saving yourself or another. That is why abortion is, from what I see, is murder. There is only one instance that abortion is not murder and that is when the fetus is risking the life of the mother.
sillydebater

Con

I'm okay moving our point of reference back to human laws, but let's please keep it there. It's difficult to debate if the standard by which we are measuring legality keeps changing.

"Our laws simply say you cannot kill someone unless you are saving yourself or another." When making a claim like this, it's important to back it up with evidence. I disagree with that statement, and I will use evidence to show that it is false.

Aside from self-defense, killing someone is legal in the following situations:

Capital Punishment
54 countries in the world have laws and practice capital punishment, or using killing as punishment for a crime. (1) The person doing the killing is not punished in anyway, and is not considered to be doing something illegal.

Euthanasia
6 countries allow for the killing of someone to relieve their pain and/or suffering. (2) This is not illegal in these countries.

Abortion
65 countries have legalized the killing of an embryo or fetus in the womb on request. Also, half of all countries allow for abortions in the case of foetal impairment, and half of all countries allow for abortion in cases of rape or incest. (3) Again, killing of the fetus is not illegal in these cases.

On a related note, some jurisdictions do not consider the killing of a fetus even in non-abortion settings a crime, including 10 US states. The federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act offers only limited protection to fetuses in these cases. (4)

So, human laws say you cannot kill someone unless you are saving yourself or another, or if you are committing capital punishment on a criminal, or if you are performing euthanasia, or if you are performing an abortion. There are many cases where killing someone is not murder, and abortion is one of them.

Even you have identified a case where abortion is not murder:
"There is only one instance that abortion is not murder and that is when the fetus is risking the life of the mother."

On that sentence alone I can rest my case. The generalized statement that "abortion is murder" is false, as you yourself have provided one case where it is not.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org...
2. https://en.wikipedia.org...
3. https://en.wikipedia.org...
4. https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
Jonathan_Jackson

Pro

In most of the U.S. euthanasia is illegal. (https://en.wikipedia.org...)
Are you performing capital punishment against a fetus? I doubt it since it can't rape someone or murder someone.

Seeing that you said foetal instead of fetal, you might be somewhere in Britain (just assuming unless you miss typed). It is unlawful to kill someone unless it is capital punishment or if you're protecting the life of someone else. Abortion is simply the process of eliminating a fetus. If we have to specify that you can't kill a fetus because our anti-murder law doesn't cover them since we didn't outlaw the medical process of killing the fetus, then where does it stop?. If we have to specify who we can't kill since the overall law doesn't cover it, then I could apply this to a lot of other people. Abortion would be illegal if we acknowledged the fact that a fetus is a person since that is a living being. To every rule, there is an exception. Me acknowledging a single instance where it would be acceptable does not destroy my entire argument. If the fetus is threatening the life of the mother, then it is not murder because you are saving her life since you're protecting someone from another. Overall, the fetus is a life. You say abortion is not murder, which is just the medical process of killing a fetus. So by that logic, if I go to a pregnant woman and kill the fetus, would that be murder? If it is then why doesn't that apply to the doctor killing a fetus using scissors and a vacuum? If my scenario isn't murder, then you can't call it a life since I can do whatever the hell I want with it. But you conceded that it is a life before, so that wouldn't be the case.
sillydebater

Con

I have already shown that your statement, "It is unlawful to kill someone unless it is capital punishment or if you're protecting the life of someone else" is false. Specifically, abortion in a majority of countries in the world is legal (see my arguments in round 4), and is thus another exception to the rule.

As an aside, I find it interesting how your statements have changed each round:
Round 3: "It is illegal to kill someone, even if it's in self-defense"
Round 4: "Our laws simply say you cannot kill someone unless you are saving yourself or another"
Round 5: "It is unlawful to kill someone unless it is capital punishment or if you're protecting the life of someone else"
Each round you've added more and more exceptions to your assertions. I think this really shows the fact that the laws around killing are not simple and clear-cut, but are complex and the context of the situation plays a huge role in whether a killing is punishable by law. And, as outlined in Round 1, legally punishable killing is murder. Legally accepted killing is not.

"Abortion would be illegal if we acknowledged the fact that a fetus is a person since that is a living being." Possibly. It would depend on the country and the laws therein. However, the statement under debate is not "Abortion should be considered murder". The debate statement is "Abortion is murder", which is plainly and provably false in many countries around the world. Where I live, abortion is not murder. Any woman can freely go to an abortion clinic to get an abortion and neither the mother nor the doctor will be convicted of any crime. Thus, the statement of debate is false.

I think a more interesting debate topic would be the one you alluded to, namely that abortion should be illegal, or that abortion should be charged as murder. Those topics bring up more discussion of morality, opinion and weighing the rights of the child vs the rights of the mother, and I recommend you use one of those as a topic in the future.

Thank you for the debate, Jonathan_Jackson, and I look forward to debating with you again in the future!
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by the_password_is_123456 3 months ago
the_password_is_123456
wel my mum sed i wes a fayled aborshon so aparenly aboshron is a gud fing? So it is nut murder
(Also i got off to this post =P)
Posted by John_C_1812 3 months ago
John_C_1812
WW2GuyWhoLikesWW2,
We are not saying a person shouldn"t have a right to admit murder, and yes there most certainly is a right to tell everyone not all woman need by law to admit to murder, or lie on official documents, it is in fact wrong not right. Simple because people do not understand how a crime occurs, while they"re taking part in the crime simple do to the way it is explained. Are you sure you do not mean female specific amputation because people can become accomplices, or an accessory to murder if the admission is being made prior, or after it takes place.
Posted by WW2GuyWhoLikesWW2 3 months ago
WW2GuyWhoLikesWW2
I'm not gonna lie, I'm for abortion because I'm libertarian. Not because I think it's something that's right. It's a good fall back if you can't take care of a child. I don't care if you think it's murder really if you're not able to take care of it or it's going to come out missing an arm. You should have the ability to abort it. Might as well not give it a terrible life. People who are against it should have to pay for the extra kids that come out of it really. They have no right to tell someone what they can and can't do. Who cares, go live in your own house you don't care about the starving Africans enough to feed them so why should anyone listen to the bull that spews out. Don't play a moralistic standpoint if your high horse is made of glass.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 months ago
John_C_1812
Free will is an intellectual idea, we have the option to make a choice but that choice may have self-value, or cost which negates the claim we make of freedom. A fact is a person does not want to be free they are led to believe that freedom is greater than liberty and independence. Which it is not the case as free means the loss of both self-value and cost and is infect becomes demeaning to a person.

We can be free of a person as this is saying we do not care of the cost of friendship, or the self-value of companionship as these can be replaced by those we give liberties of self-indulgence to. We cannot be free ourselves as people hold a self-value even if a desire to give is present.

People who direct followers to confess their sin, should not be so eager to have all men, all woman, or all people confess guilt of crime. What is stated religiously is limited choice as female specific amputation is a woman who may wish to sin by creating self-harm for which some-one else pays the price, or the admission before a god of the lack of total control over existence of life. As it is only pregnancy abortion which admits just one greater action of sin. The sin is the confession to express a desire to commit murder.
Posted by DylanTheGreatk 3 months ago
DylanTheGreatk
God gave us free will so we shouldn't force people to follow Gods rules
Posted by John_C_1812 3 months ago
John_C_1812
Pregnancy Abortion is the admission to commit murder. It is not the murder itself as murder requires a means of death, and not just the desire of officially ending life, death. The medical profession has a definition for when life, living, and alive occur and it contradicts the terms described by Pregnancy abortion. The embryo and sperm are each alive either just before, or well before conception the process is simple the union of two things. Sperm and embryo this action is what creates two living things into a single independent life, or multiple lives such as twins etc.

We know it is a life and is understood to have started or there would never have been any pregnancy abortion. As the word abortion means to official stop something seen as officially started. A debate topic over Pregnancy abortion is real why do all woman need to make a confession on a process which is not a single shared event that all woman need by emergency, like Female specific amputations.

Any dictionary is not a suitable way to find a definition of murder as this is a criminal act and not a democratic idea. While science also already shares the burden of possible self-incrimination with woman by its practice of artificial insemination. Meaning conception without direct copulation of a man and woman it is done by a trained scientist. Not a general person of the public. Two independent living things are combined with sole purpose of officially continuing a preserved single state life. All that changes is the independence of the basic life as many scientist become both mother and father, as new life is added for the purpose of longevity.
Posted by John_C_1812 3 months ago
John_C_1812
Again abortion is lawful and is a Constitutional right by allowing the admission of guilt.

Pregnancy Abortion is illegal when legislated as it then dictates all woman must make an admission to a crime, and it is this action that fabricates sexual discrimination. All woman are the target. It is also criminal perjury as it is telling a lie under oath or official document. The lie told publicly is that all woman who must receive a female specific amputation are responsible for this events that led up to its undertaking. They are clearly not.
Posted by canis 3 months ago
canis
1) It must be unlawful
2) It must be premeditated (i.e. a willful act)
3) It must be the killing of one human being by another
A. I did not donate most of my money to the suffering people in this world..2 and 3 are true, (well 3 would be the killing of 1-1xxx).
B. I go to war... 2 and 3 are true.
The abortion rate is the same if you call it murder or not..The abortion rate is the same if it is illigal or not.
Posted by sillydebater 3 months ago
sillydebater
Darn it. Forgot to post my citations in round 1. Here they are:
1. https://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. https://www.merriam-webster.com...
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