The Instigator
rugbypro5
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
LayTheologian
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Abortion is wrong

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
LayTheologian
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 473 times Debate No: 38773
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

rugbypro5

Pro

I believe abortion to be wrong from the moment of conception. This may be unpopular, but from that very moment, the sperm and the egg become one cell with all the DNA to become a fully developed human being. And even though this is not a fully developed human being, neither is a 6 year old girl, and neither should be killed due to their level of development.
LayTheologian

Con

Is this the extent of your argument? You have failed to define what quality human life has that implies it should be respected. You have failed to indicate why we should conclude that an embryo is deserving of the protections and respect afforded a person. You have failed even to define what it is to be wrong.

What's more, you did not qualify your claim that abortion is wrong, which I would highly recommend you do.
Debate Round No. 1
rugbypro5

Pro

"You have failed to define what quality human life has that implies it should be respected."

-Do I need to tell give you reasons why life, specifically a human life needs to be respected? I need to tell you why I should respect you as a person and someone with life?

Humans give even the dead respect, no one would dare urinate on the corpse of a fallen soldier because we all have an intrinsic worth. If you don't feel the same, I would love to hear your reasons why it would be wrong to shoot you and take your life right now.

"You have failed to indicate why we should conclude that an embryo is deserving of the protections and respect afforded a person."

- I didn't know I would need to explain such basic principles to anyone. A human embryo will have every single quality an adult does, and like I said, is biologically proven to be human. It has all 46 chromosomes and has the exact DNA of a human being. Therefore, anything compromising the life of that embryo should be considered illegal. Now I don't see why I need to be explaining why we shouldn't be terminating embryos, you need to be justifying it.

"You have failed even to define what it is to be wrong."

- Do you propose that we don't know what right and wrong is? That killing someone out of convenience is morally permissable? Do I need to explain this? I certainly hope not. The mere fact you question it makes me question one's sanity. But for the sake of argument, something that is "wrong", goes against the moral code we all have. The moral code being a sort of "law" if you will, that tells us what is good and bad to do. Unlike the laws of physics, we have a choice to obey this law or not. I'd like to make the claim that we all don't obey the law perfectly, and that we all know it. Murder, the killing of an innocent human, has always been "wrong", as we call it. I am suggesting that when we puncture the skull of an unborn child, or fill the environment it lives in with a lethal chemical, or gruesomely dismember it with a scalpel and pliers, it is "wrong".

Please, let's not get into a debate about what "wrong " is, I feel we both have a rather good sense of its meaning, "Something we ought not do."

Now, I believe in the last paragraph I answered your other statement, "What's more, you did not qualify your claim that abortion is wrong, which I would highly recommend you do." Go ahead and read it again if you'd like.

So moving along. I have no argument to debate yet, but I have some pretty good ideas of what's in store.

Let's first start with the most emotional, and quite frankly, most difficult argument to speak against: The issue of rape.

1. If the mother was raped, she shouldn't have to bear anymore of the pain of that by having to bear the rapist's child.

I'd like to start by suggesting I call one of my closest friends, Jennifer. You see, she was conceived in rape, but her mother decided to give her up for adoption. I haven't heard anything even close to a good reason why it would have been permissible to kill her in the womb.

I certainly believe someone should be killed though in a rape situation, but it's not the child in the womb nor is it the mother who was raped. The man, who violated a woman against her will and violently and disgracefully assaulted her should be the one being dismembered or locked in a container of acid (taking hours to completely dissolve the body), or have a pair of scissors shoved in his skull when he can't do a damned thing about it.

2. The single mother already has 4 children and she can't afford another one, it would be irresponsible to bring another life into this world.

If the real issue is money, then the most logical thing for her to do would be to kill the oldest child. You see, the oldest is growing the most, requires the most food, therefore requires the most money. The child inside her womb on the other hand will already have food in its mother's breasts and baby food is very cheap compared to meat and vegetables and dairy. If the real issue was financial, it would be much more responsible to kill the oldest child. Wait, this is crazy to do? It's wrong to do? Not if you think like an abortionist. Because to them, a human life can be taken on a whim, should you desire money instead of a child.

3. You're a man (Yes I am), you don't know what it's like to be pregnant. You don't know what's best for a woman so don't tell her what to do with her body.

You are absolutely right. I am a man, not a woman. I don't know what it's like to be single and pregnant with no one to take care of me. And I should never tell a woman what to do with her own body. I agree with all of this, but sadly, this baby is not the woman, it's not her body. Again, the DNA is only half hers, therefore, it's not her and she should not have the right to determine the life of that child. The baby deserves life just you and I do.

4. If you don't agree with abortion, don't have an abortion. Don't take that right away from others.

Oh man, what a classic. This is exactly like "If you don't like chocolate ice cream, simply choose vanilla instead!" Except this is much more serious and should go against every fiber in your body. The act of abortion is not the same as your ice cream preference. One stops the craving of the stomach, the other stops the beating of a heart. And the magnitude of abortion cannot be stressed enough. It is murder! To murder is defined as " to kill (someone) unlawfully and with premeditation." The act is premeditated, so no argument there. Now if this is killing someone, then it is truly "murder". The embryo has all the biological data to consider it human, not ape, or ant.

Now were I to see someone pull a gun to a stranger's head in the street, I, obviously according to the logic of the above statement should tell myself, "Wait a minute, I know I don't agree with murder, but... He might! So who am I to tell him what to do? I can't take his right away to blow that person's brains out." And then walk away, because even though I don't personally agree with it, it's nice to let other people do what they want.

Actually, I wouldn't do that at all. You see, I believe in the God given, unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and I will do everything in my power to stop the infringement of these rights.

Go ahead, now. I've given you 10.000 character to debunk my arguments, let's stay on the subject of abortion though.
LayTheologian

Con

"Do I need to tell give you reasons why life, specifically a human life needs to be respected? I need to tell you why I should respect you as a person and someone with life?"

Yes, you do. Why? Because the reason human life is worthy of respect is very relevant to the question of whether or not embryos should be afforded that same respect. If you want to assert that something is wrong, you need to make a claim on what it is, in this situation, that defines it as wrong, rather than just saying, "It just is, and you should know why it is."

There are some who assert that human life has worth because humans are moral agents. To those people, your argument holds no merit, because embryos are not moral agents.
There are some who assert that human life has no worth, but is worthy of respect because the mutual respect for human life and human rights is the foundation of a functioning society. Abortion has not destroyed society.
There are some who assert that human life has worth because of divine command. To those people, your argument holds no merit, because you have not established that a deity has assigned worth to embryos.
There are some who assert that human life has no worth and is worthy of no respect. To those people, your argument would be charmingly naive.

Your argument may be compelling to those who hold the exact same set of views that you do, but this is a website for debate rather than for preaching to the choir. I'm not asking you to explain the source of the worth of human life because I disagree that human life has value; I'm asking because, as con, it is my job to oppose the claim you advance, and as pro, it is your job to clearly explain all aspects of your claim. Honestly, I am sympathetic to the claim that abortion is wrong. I am not sure I agree with it, but I certainly agree with the claim that human life has intrinsic value. However, you have failed to establish any logical reasons for your claim that human life has intrinsic worth; rather, you rely on a sort of emotional appeal -- and what I feel as a person is very different from what it is my job as Con to argue.


You really need to justify your claim that human life has intrinsic worth, because the reason that human life has worth is relevant to whether this worth also applies to embryos.

Because you have failed to do so, I will assume that human life has great worth because humans are conscious moral agents. Embryos are not conscious moral agents -- rather, they are potential moral agents. It is not incoherent to claim that conscious moral agents have worth, but potential conscious moral agents do not. Embryos therefore do not have worth (or, at least, not nearly the worth of humans), unless you can demonstrate otherwise.
Debate Round No. 2
rugbypro5

Pro

"It is not incoherent to claim that conscious moral agents have worth, but potential conscious moral agents do not. Embryos therefore do not have worth (or, at least, not nearly the worth of humans), unless you can demonstrate otherwise."

You claim that you need to be 1. Conscious and 2. A moral agent in order to have value. This proposes a problem with people in comas and perhaps even more common, in a sleep. You see, people who are at rest, are not at that moment conscious. According to your logic, I would be justified in killing that person in his sleep. Likewise, the man in the coma is not conscious, nor will he be for a long time. I'd argue it's morally wrong to kill either of these two individuals due to their current conditions. Please realize that both of these people are potential moral agents. They are not conscious, but have the potential to be conscious. I don't see your argument to hold any weight in this example.

You see, potential value is value all the same. If someone were to hand you a check for $100,000, it has no actual value until you cash it. No money has transferred bank accounts, no cash has been handed to you. But the fact that it will do those things gives it value. Just because it only has the potential to do so, doesn't depreciate it's value. So in the context of human beings having the only role of moral agents, embryos, though they only have the potential to be, do not have less value.

Why do you say that "...potential conscious moral agents do not [have value]. Embryos therefore do not have worth (or, at least, not nearly the worth of humans)" You didn't give any reason why you can justify killing potential. I don't see how I could justify burning your check.

Now, this is the last time I can prove my point, so allow me to sum it up.

1. Human embryos have every single requirement in the biological aspect to be classified as a living homosapien sapien (human). Therefore, destruction of a human embryo is the destruction of a fully alive human being, no matter how it was conceived.

2. I absolutely disagree with the statement "If you don't like abortion, don't have one. Don't take that right away from others." That is a pacifistic, apathetic, and flawed way of looking at abortion, or more descriptively, murder. Using my first statement about embryos being human, this statement says "If you don't like murder, don't murder. Let others do it though." That is an insidious statement trying to scare people from speaking out against this issue.

3. The embryo is not the woman's body, and it's not her property. Again, looking at #1, the embryo is 100% unique from its mother, it is not her. So the argument, "Don't tell a woman what to do with her body," again doesn't qualify as a valid statement.

OK, basically, the main point is this: The unborn are still human. Therefore, we do not have the right to end its life.
LayTheologian

Con

I would like to begin by sincerely apologizing for being lazy. I just picked one of the arguments that cursorily appealed to me, because I needed something to work with. Here's the problem I'm having here -- you have made claims, and from a personal perspective, you've made claims I agree with. I don't personally like abortion. I personally believe human life has inherent worth. I personally believe in the God of the Bible and that this God disapproves of abortion.

However, as Con, I don't believe you've made your case. In your role as Pro, you've been neglecting one of your own premises. The premise that human life has inherent value is an important one to your argument. It's also a premise that, I would argue, very few would disagree with. However, your conclusion does not follow inexorably from the premise that human life has value, because the reason that human life has value is important. I named a few possible warrants for the claim that human life has value, and I picked the one that appeals the most to me. I'll try another, to give you a better understanding of the claim I'm advancing:
Personhood (that is, the condition of having intrinsic value and the condition of being respected as an individual rather than being respected as the property or interest of another) begins at the moment when one becomes a conscious moral agent and ends at the moment when it is no longer possible for one to be a conscious moral agent in the future.

This claim meets the following criteria:
It supports the idea that conscious beings have value and deserve respect.
It is coherent with the claims of established and respected philosophers, and could cite many of them as justification: Mill's form of Utilitarianism is the most obvious. To quote Mill: "The only proof capable of being given that an object is visible, is that people actually see it. The only proof that a sound is audible, is that people hear it... In like manner, I apprehend, the sole evidence it is possible to produce that anything is desirable, is that people do actually desire it… No reason can be given why the general happiness is desirable, except that each person, so far as he believes it to be attainable, desires his own happiness… we have not only all the proof which the case admits of, but all which it is possible to require, that happiness is a good: that each person's happiness is a good to that person, and the general happiness, therefore, a good to the aggregate of all persons."
It neatly addresses your example of a cheque being destroyed: a cheque is not a person. It has no value in and of itself, nor any reason to be respected. Its value lies in the utility that a person or persons can derive from it. A person, however, is worth of being respected in and of itself.


This statement about the cheque leads us to my argument. I have provided you with my definition of a person. I have provided you with justification (the ends, goals, or interests of a specific entity are only worth of respect insofar as the entity is capable of actually possessing ends, goals, or interests) for my definition of a person. Now, would you not agree that the sole person responsible for a cheque could destroy that cheque should he or she find reason to do so? It would, of course, ordinarily be ridiculous to do so, but a reason could be found. By the same token, a mother-to-be could abort an embryo or fetus, given that it is not a person, should the mother-to-be find sufficient reason.


I don't believe this debate has been in any way, shape, or form fair to you. I have been distracted this weekend, and it was utterly unjust of me to expect you to proceed in this debate without my clearly elucidating what requirements you were not meeting until the very last round.

To that end, I will forfeit this debate if the website will allow me to do so after I have posted my final argument. If not, I humbly encourage anyone who reads this to not vote at all, or, if you must, in favor of the affirmative.

I further ask that my opponent, having read this response and having a more complete understanding of the claims I advance, do me the honor of challenging me immediately to another debate of this same resolution, acting again as the affirmative, that we might give this resolution the attention it deserves.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
funwiththoughts
rugbypro5LayTheologianTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con is correct. One cannot assert that something has the value of a human life without identifying what the value of human life is. Pro did not do this.