The Instigator
cassgirly
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Rational_Thinker9119
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

Abortion is right(pro) or wrong(con)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 917 times Debate No: 41554
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

cassgirly

Con

1st round is for acceptance only.
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
cassgirly

Con

Thank you for your acceptance, I look forward to your argument.
I will be presenting my argument one point at a time, so it will be easier to understand, and I am not writing novels each round.

Ok so first I will start with some definitions.

Fetus: 1. The unborn young of a viviparous vertebrate having a basic structural resemblance to the adult animal.
2. In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as distinguished from the earlier embryo.

Young:
1. Being in an early period of life, development, or growth.
2. Newly begun or formed; not advanced: The evening is still young.
3. Of, belonging to, or suggestive of youth or early life: He is young for his age.
4. Vigorous or fresh; youthful.
5. Lacking experience; immature: a young hand at plowing.
6. Being the junior of two people having the same name.
7. Geology Being of an early stage in a geologic cycle. Used of bodies of water and land formations.
n.
1. Young persons considered as a group; youth: entertainment for the young.
2. Offspring; brood: a lioness with her young.
Idiom:
Pregnant. Used of an animal.

Considering the fact that the fetus is not an animal and will not develop into one, I will be using the 2nd definition of fetus and the first definition of young for my first point.

Point 1: The fetus is a life.
A fetus is defined as an unborn young 8 weeks after conception, young is defined as an early period of life, development, or growth. Therefore, a fetus is an unborn life.

Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Argument

The claim that human life's value begins when consciousness is obtained and/ or the subject can feel pain is more than a fair statement. It's only logical to assume that human life's value is based on the actions and feelings of conscious beings that have acquired it, or beings that have developed the ability to feel pain.

Abortions carried out in the first trimester have absolutely no moral implications once so ever. Firstly, this is due to the fact that a first trimester embryo is not conscious [1]. Also, a first trimester embryo can feel absolutely no pain once so ever because pain receptors are required for this. Pain receptors need a neotox which is not formed until the third trimester [2].

Over 88% of all abortions are actually done within the first trimester [3]. Some sources even claim that the number is more around 88-92% [3].

Since first trimester embryos have no consciousness and cannot feel pain, and 88-92% of abortions are carried out in the first trimester, then the majority of abortions don't really imply any genuine negative moral implications (and therefore, should not be considered unethical).

Second Trimester Abortions And Their Moral Implications


"About 140,000 second trimester abortions are performed yearly. They represent 9% of the total"
[4].

So if you take my statement regarding the neocortex and pain, which was "Pain receptors require a neotox which is not formed until the third trimester" and apply it to second trimester abortions, it's clear that these abortions involve no pain due to the neotox not being developed yet.

Third Trimester abortions and their moral implications

"Medical intervention to terminate pregnancies during the third trimester is quite rare. The Alan Guttmacher Institute estimates that 1% of all medical terminations of pregnancies are done at or after 21 weeks - (1994 data)" [5].

Pain receptors form early on in the third trimester, and this is why abortions done in this state are usually debated on. However, there is no evidence that they feel pain the way we would, because there is no evidence they have developed a consciousness yet at this point. None the less, it is a grey area, so I would say that the only abortions that should be avoided are third trimester abortions.

Conclusion

Something that hasn't even developed the ability to feel pain is not something we should worry about terminating for the most part, when the choice of a woman who already has pain receptors and consciousness certainly seems more important.

Debate Round No. 2
cassgirly

Con

Ok, I apologize in advance, as I am running a little short on time and may not respond to every one of your points, but I will respond to as many as I can.

"The claim that human life's value begins when consciousness is obtained and/ or the subject can feel pain is more than a fair statement."
So what you are saying is that someone who is unconscious has less value than someone who is conscious?

As again, I am running short on time, I am going to skip to the conclusion and respond to that, hopefully you summed up most of your points there, although I will go back and review this again for the 4th round to make sure I have not missed anything.

Just because something does not feel pain doesn't mean we shouldn't worry about it. For example a tree does not feel pain when we cut it down (at least that is known of, or heard of), but that doesn't mean cutting down trees isn't something we shouldn't be careful about, especially if we are doing it in large quantities. The choice of a woman was made when she had sex (that statement is discounting women who are raped). It may seem more important, but is it more important? Is one life more valuable then another? Is a choice more valuable then a life?

Apologies once again, I look forward to your next argument, some very interesting thoughts/points.
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Addressing My Opponent's Concerns


"Ok, I apologize in advance, as I am running a little short on time and may not respond to every one of your points, but I will respond to as many as I can."

No worries

"So what you are saying is that someone who is unconscious has less value than someone who is conscious?"

No. What I am saying is someone who hasn't developed pain receptors and/ or developed consciousness doesn't have rights like we do.

"Just because something does not feel pain doesn't mean we shouldn't worry about it. For example a tree does not feel pain when we cut it down (at least that is known of, or heard of), but that doesn't mean cutting down trees isn't something we shouldn't be careful about, especially if we are doing it in large quantities."

I meant "worry" in a moral sense, not in a general sense. It isn't immoral to cut down a tree like it is to chop down a person who has the will to live and can feel pain. Therefore, the example here is irrelevant.

"The choice of a woman was made when she had sex (that statement is discounting women who are raped). It may seem more important, but is it more important? Is one life more valuable then another? Is a choice more valuable then a life?"

This life you are worried about hasn't even developed a will to live. Its not like its thinking "no! no!" while its being terminated. In the first and second trimester, the fetus cannot even feel pain, and is not conscious. It is like stepping on an ant; there doesn't seem to be anything immoral about it at all.

Conclusion

My opponent has offered no argument in favor of abortion being wrong. I argued that most abortions (in the first and second trimester) are not immoral, because the fetus:

(i) Has no will to live (it doesn't even know what a "will" or "life" is)

(ii) Has not developed the ability to feel any pain

(iii) Has not developed any consciousness or self-awareness

With these three facts in place, we can see that it is self-evident that a creature which all (i), (ii), and (iii) apply to shouldn't have rights like we do. Why? Because there is no harm done. You know you are not doing anything against someone's will, hurting them, and causing negative effects on their conscious awareness ect...

If this type of creature is causing inconvenience in the life of someone who:

(i) Has the will to live, and the will to get rid of this creature

(ii) Has developed the ability to feel pain

(iii) Has developed consciousness and self-awareness

Then it is clear that there is no harm done. The fetus isn't being psychologically damaged (there is no conscious mental activity), and their is no pain (no neocortex), and no will to live being smashed. Its hard to see how abortion (in the first and second trimester) are immoral. In the third trimester, the neocortex develops, and this is when abortion should be considered immoral (the subject may be able to feel pain). However, around 90% of abortions are in the first and second trimester!

Overall, and in general, abortion is not immoral; some people just do it wrong (by getting it done in the third trimester). Cars aren't immoral just because some people do it wrong, so why abortion?

Debate Round No. 3
cassgirly

Con


My opponent argues that abortion is not immoral because the fetus:

(i)Has no will to live (it doesn't even know what a "will" or "life" is)

How do you know it doesn't have a will to live? Everything living has a will to live, if it didn't it would already be dead. For example, when a small tree is overshadowed by a bigger one, it grows, bending and twisting its way towards light. Why? Because it has a will to live. Another example, when two bacteria DNA transfer (I believe it is called conjugation) and exchange traits, so they both may survive. Why? Because it has a will to live.

(ii) Has not developed the ability to feel any pain

Whether it can feel pain or not doesn't really matter. There are many ways you can kill somebody with out inflicting pain, but you can still be charged with murder. In the end you are still bringing an end to and killing, a living thing.

(iii) Has not developed any consciousness or self-awareness

Self-awareness isn't typically developed until out of the womb (http://www.parentingcounts.org...), however every living thing has vague knowledge of its existence. Considering the fact that you have stated that third trimester abortions should be considered immoral, and self-awareness isn't developed until out of the womb, this part of the point does not relate to 1st and 2nd trimester abortions. Now I have narrowed your statement down to: Has not developed any consciousness. Alright then, we shall talk about consciousness. This is quite similar to the pain thing, it does not matter whether or not a living thing is conscious. If you kill it when it's conscious, it dies. If you kill it when it's unconscious, what do you know! It still dies. It being unconscious does not justify killing nor does it make it moral.

"With these three facts in place, we can see that it is self-evident that a creature which all (i), (ii), and (iii) apply to shouldn't have rights like we do. Why? Because there is no harm done. You know you are not doing anything against someone's will, hurting them, and causing negative effects on their conscious awareness ect..."
There is harm done. You are doing something against someone's will, and you are killing someone (or something if you prefer), so you are hurting them one way or another.

"If this type of creature is causing inconvenience in the life of someone who:

(i) Has the will to live, and the will to get rid of this creature

(ii) Has developed the ability to feel pain

(iii) Has developed consciousness and self-awareness

Then it is clear that there is no harm done. The fetus isn't being psychologically damaged (there is no conscious mental activity), and their is no pain (no neocortex), and no will to live being smashed. Its hard to see how abortion (in the first and second trimester) are immoral. In the third trimester, the neocortex develops, and this is when abortion should be considered immoral (the subject may be able to feel pain). However, around 90% of abortions are in the first and second trimester!"

I'm not going to restate all the points that I just argued, however if the baby/fetus is an inconvenience to to the mother, it is still not a reason to kill it. There are plenty of better options.

So, I'm going to go back to my first point.

Point 1: A fetus is a life.
The argument for this point, or evidence is in round 2.

Point 2: Abortion kills.
As it says in point 1, a fetus is a life, therefore terminating/disposing of it, is killing.
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

"(i)Has no will to live (it doesn't even know what a "will" or "life" is)"

My opponent is using the word "will" too freely here, and it is rather absurd. A tree doesn't have a "will", as a tree doesn't have a mind and it isn't a person. A "will" is defined as:

(i) The mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action
[1]

(ii)
Used to express desire, choice, willingness, consent, or in negative constructions refusal [2]

Trees don't have brains, or any type of conscious mental faculties, desires, or any conscious expression at all. Thus, my opponent has presented a false-analogy[3] . She is also committing the anthropomorphic fallacy by attributing human attributes to non-human things[4].

In order to have a will, you must have mental and conscious faculties and be able to consent. A fetus has none of these things which are required for a will by definition. Therefore, this section of my argument goes through.

As far as DNA, that obviously has nothing to do with a "will" either (DNA has no conscious mind). This is due to natural biological functions and processes.

"(ii) Has not developed the ability to feel any pain
"

My opponent assumes that killing life necessarily implies murder, or an unethical action. This is false, because when I step on an ant that isn't murder. Why? Because it doesn't have the same rights as us. This is because he doesn't have a will to live, like we have a will to live. It doesn't feel pain, and has no consciousness. Terminating a first or second trimester fetus does no more harm than stepping on ant in reality. My opponent seems to assume that any life which is terminated is unethical. This is of course, absurd. We kill animals to eat, step on ants, and kill people who are about to harm someone really bad. Its not wrong to kill any type of life.

My opponent's argument rests upon the wild notion that its wrong to kill any type of life. Why believe such a bizarre thing?

"(iii) Has not developed any consciousness or self-awareness"

Same as above. Who cares if we are killing a life? Why is that wrong? What makes it wrong? Killing people like us takes away their conscious desire to live, it hurts them, and the people they have developed relationships with. Something is only wrong if there is harm done. A fetus cannot think to himself "I want to live", it simply doesn't have that capacity yet. A fetus (in the first and second trimester) cannot feel any pain, it doesn't have the capacity. A fetus of this nature simply doesn't have the capacity to be harmed in any meaningful sense. If there is no harm done, there is nothing immoral about it.

My opponent says:

"There is harm done. You are doing something against someone's will, and you are killing someone (or something if you prefer), so you are hurting them one way or another."
- Con

That is nonsense. A fetus doesn't even have the capacity to have a "will"! A "will" derives from conscious desires by definition, and my opponent concedes that a fetus doesn't have that capacity. Thus, my opponent's entire argument is useless.

My Opponent's Points
A fetus is a life.

The argument for this point, or evidence is in round 2.



Abortion kills.

As it says in point 1, a fetus is a life, therefore terminating/disposing of it, is killing.

---

It's not hard to see that the points my opponent is making do not actually help her to establish the conclusion that abortion is wrong. Even if a fetus is a life, and even if abortion does kill it; that doesn't make it wrong. My opponent assumes that if someone takes a life, that's wrong. That doesn't follow at all. I gave examples in this round showing that its not always wrong to kill.

---

My argument was simple. Abortion in the first or second trimester is only wrong, if the fetus (i) Has a will to live, or (ii) Can feel Pain, or (iii) Is conscious. A fetus in the first or second trimester does not (i) Have a will to live, and it is not the case that the fetus (ii) Can feel pain, or that the fetus (iii) is conscious. Therefore, abortion in the first and second trimester is not wrong. This is how abortions should be done, and how around 90% of them are done. Just because some people do it wrong (such as doctors doing it in the third trimester), that doesn't mean abortion in general is wrong.

Conclusion

My opponent got confused and didn't know what a "will" was. She also rests her arguments on the assumption that if you take a life, that is wrong. That doesn't follow. Only taking specific kinds of life, in certain kinds of situations are wrong. Thus, her argument fails. I succeeded as I showed there is no harm done with proper abortion, thus, there is nothing unethical about it. The fetus isn't being hurt, as it doesn't have pain receptors. It has no conscious thoughts, so it cannot think "I want to live". Thus, nobody's rights are being infringed upon.

My opponent's argument fails to show that abortion is immoral. My argument succeeds in showing there is nothing immoral about abortion.

Sources
Debate Round No. 4
cassgirly

Con

cassgirly forfeited this round.
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

Unfortunately, my opponent was not able to post a last round. I do thank her for the debate however.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by cassgirly 3 years ago
cassgirly
I apologize, I was trying to get the argument on, however my sister had the computer and I was trying to do it on my phone (which doesn't work very well by the way). Rational_Thinker9119, great debate, thank you for taking your time to do this as I have learned much and have been able to improve my argument (mentally anyway).
Posted by Sleezehead 3 years ago
Sleezehead
Let the games begin.
Posted by thisisbob 3 years ago
thisisbob
Cassygirl your going to have to have an awesome argument, Rational thinker wins most of his debates :)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Projectid 3 years ago
Projectid
cassgirlyRational_Thinker9119Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited, so conduct goes to Pro. The arguments that Pro made were convincing and sound, whereas the Con did not really refute any of them, and the arguments were weak, so C/A goes to Pro. R/S goes to pro as well, the Con did not use any.