The Instigator
CAPLlock
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Stephen_Hawkins
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Abortion should be illegal ( Tournament )

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Stephen_Hawkins
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,476 times Debate No: 20012
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

CAPLlock

Pro

R1 is for acceptance ONLY. Con may ask questions and sort out definitions.
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

I accept, under these parameters:

Abortion as defined as the common medical procedure which deliberately removes a human pregancy. Also, an abortion occurring specifically in the prenatal period[1] until the 27th week, as per the definition of British Law, and JAMA. If another maximum time period wishes to be stated, or minimum, I will accept most prior the 35th week. This is in order to make the debate correctly revolving around the issue of abortion, and not simply late abortions, or '5-minutes-before' abortions which should be deemed squirelling, or an abuse of the topic.

Illegal as not legal: not condoned by the country or countries' law, or not condoned by a body of law.

There is no geographic presupposition: e.g. American Constitution is not a viable argument as it does not affect other countries (UN charter shall be assumed to affect all countries, even though a few do not accept it).

should be meaning that it is a policy debate, not a debate on whether something is factual or not. Political, economic and other such arguments are viable.



1 - http://upload.wikimedia.org...;
Debate Round No. 1
CAPLlock

Pro

C1: A fetus is a human therefore abortion is murder.

This will be explained in detail later on.

C2: It is morally wrong to kill a person, and society looks down upon that act.

This point can't be contested at all, but this point is dependant on my first contention. So for this to be a good contention I must prove the first point. So if I prove the first point than this would be an argument for me as well.

A scientific textbook called "Basics of Biology" gives five characteristics of living things; these five criteria are found in all modern elementary scientific textbooks:

A fetus is a human
1. Living things are highly organized.

2. All living things have an ability to acquire materials and energy.

3. All living things have an ability to respond to their environment.

4. All living things have an ability to reproduce.

5. All living things have an ability to adapt.

According to this elementary definition of life, life begins at fertilization, when a sperm unites with an oocyte. From this moment, the being is highly organized, has the ability to acquire materials and energy, has the ability to respond to his or her environment, has the ability to adapt, and has the ability to reproduce. Non-living things do not do these things. Even before the mother is aware that she is pregnant, a distinct, unique life has begun his or her existence inside her.

So according to these definitions, a fetus is a human. Killing it would be murder, and it's not justified because its not self-defense. Life begins at conception.

Murder- The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice.
Malice- desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness http://dictionary.reference.com...
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

I shall create my own arguments, and address my opponent inside them, as the clash points are more obvious.

Firstly, the idea that a feotus is a human being. The idea of what constitutes something as being alive has been debated a lot, but there are a few problems with my opponent's definition and parameters of life. I did a look at the authors other works, and compare them to my own. The definition that is taught in the UK is MRS GREN[1]. This definition avoids the use of "ability to", because "ability to" refers to a potential to do something. This is in contrast to an actuality. The difference is important: a foetus does not have the ability to reproduce other foetuses.

However, my opponent makes a more deadly assumption: that 'alive' means the same as 'human'. If so, then I have a serious bone to pick with antibiotics, chemotherapy and surgery. This is my opponent's argument in a syllogism:

P1 - foetuses are alive
P2 - foetuses are human
C - Therefore killing a foetus is murder

The second premise is completely unfounded, and needs to be proved before anything goes further. This premise is the one that I strongly disagree with.

Are feotuses human?

Well, to state whether something is human is to say it has the characteristic of 'personhood'. When we say something is human, we mean is it a person? For taxanomically, the entire debate becomes incredibly confused and riddled with problems which do not hold any value to begin with. For something to be a 'person', it should be a morally responsible agent. For it being simply a human, our only link to it being of the same species is irrelevant, even 'speicesist'. For it to be a person, there are more important questions to ask. Say aliens came to the planet on friday, and had a moral sense. Does this make them as good as the cow, simply to eat? What makes a person is the moral sense. Captain Spock may not be a human, but - if he was alive - he'd be classed as a person. Mary Anne Warren, a leader in this field, came up with a solution to class something as requirements to being a moral person[3].
  • Consciousness and the ability to feel pain
  • The ability to reason.
  • The ability to act in ways that go beyond instinct -- to have motives and goals.
  • The capacity for complex communication.
  • Having a sense of self.
She has stated that for something to be classed as a human being, it must have a majority of these characteristics.

Feeling Pain

Foetuses do not feel pain until at least 20 weeks into the pregnancy, and a lot of specialists believe more.

Mark Rosen -- director of Obstetrical Anesthesia at the University of California, San Francisco -- argued that the evidence is too weak to support the new law. His own review of evidence, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2005, suggested that fetuses are not capable of feeling pain until at least 29 weeks into pregnancy.

"There are no new data to support the conclusions made by the Nebraska legislature," he said. "This is a controversial issue because the available data do not allow absolute conclusions. Unfortunately, there are considerable emotional and political issues at work here."[4]

If my opponent wishes to dispute this, please come up with more modern information which contests this, rather than old studies. Older information on this issue has led to the progress to this data, not the other way around.

The ability to reason, to act in ways that go beyong instinct, and to have motives and goals

It is unreasonable to assume that foetuses can reason, or act outside of instinct, until the very end of the pregnancy - that is, until the "5-minutes-before" situations. Even babies can realise that by crying they can achieve their motives or goals -- a telltale sign or reason. However, a foetus cannot. This is because everything is constantly provided by their host, and they do not have to act in any way, nor have any motives nor goals to be achieved that are not instinctual.

The capacity for complex communication

This means that there must be a stage where they can be able to communicate. This is the only characteristic of which a foetus may have, however I do not believe that even babies have the capacity to commune instantly. It is something one must learn, and therefore the capacity means they are capable of learning a language.

Show me a foetus that can talk, and then we'll discuss this issue. If a foetus can talk, then I shall concede all foetuses have the capacity to do so as well. However, I doubt this quite a lot. Complex communication includes the ability to talk back, as well as understand the language being used and respond accordingly.

Having a sense of self

If a foetus can think a thought regarding itself, then I would readily concede this point. However, there is little which can actually prove or show a sense of self, without some form of complex communication. If my opponent has an idea in which we can prove this sense of self, then I'd agree to it readily.

From the lack of reason to believe a foetus has any of these properties, there is a lack of reason to believe that it holds the same right to life as a human being.


Abortion is murder

I want to address this claim before I finish, howerver. Abortion is murder. I defined an abortion as the common medical procedure which deliberately removes a human pregancy. Secondly, I said the law shall reflect the majority of countries' view on the issue. The majority of countries allow it as a legal operation, and is agreed as legal as per the UN charter. So we can now define it as "a lawful common medical procedure...". Murder is, as my opponent so helpfully defined "the unlawful killing of one human..." So what this statement is saying is that "The lawful medical procedure is unlawful killing". This is axiomatically false: you cannot have an illegal legal action.


Also, my opponent stated that it is not self defence. What about cases such as when a hysterectomy needs performance in order to save the mother, but a foetus would be killed as a result of the surgery. In this situation, is it not self defence, but more importantly, is it not justifiable to have an abortion?

Thank you for reading, and I await my opponent's response.


1 - http://www.bbc.co.uk...;
2 - http://stairs.umd.edu...;
3 - http://news.discovery.com...;
4 - Ibid
5 - http://www.johnstonsarchive.net...;
Debate Round No. 2
CAPLlock

Pro

I'm sorry for the late reply. I'm sure Con is busy as well.


CON

Firstly, the idea that a feotus is a human being. The idea of what constitutes something as being alive has been debated a lot, but there are a few problems with my opponent's definition and parameters of life. I did a look at the authors other works, and compare them to my own. The definition that is taught in the UK is MRS GREN[1]. This definition avoids the use of "ability to", because "ability to" refers to a potential to do something. This is in contrast to an actuality. The difference is important: a foetus does not have the ability to reproduce other foetuses.

So you would agree to this?

P1 Anything that can't make babies is dead
P2 Anything dead can't be Human
C1 Children and elderly are not alive, and therefore not human

Please correct me.

However, my opponent makes a more deadly assumption: that 'alive' means the same as 'human'. If so, then I have a serious bone to pick with antibiotics, chemotherapy and surgery. This is my opponent's argument in a syllogism:


P1 - foetuses are alive
P2 - foetuses are human
C - Therefore killing a foetus is murder

I thought this won't be a problem.
We're talking about fetuses being human. We're not talking about pigs or anything. I can't see what Con used to base this statement.


... For something to be a 'person', it should be a morally responsible agent.

I disagree.
For it being simply a human, our only link to it being of the same species is irrelevant, even 'speicesist'.
Is it a human?

For it to be a person, there are more important questions to ask. Say aliens came to the planet on friday, and had a moral sense. Does this make them as good as the cow, simply to eat?
This is irrelevant. Con is hinting that Person=Human="More then smart" aliens. If so aliens are humans. Please clear up.


What makes a person is the moral sense. Captain Spock may not be a human, but - if he was alive - he'd be classed as a person. Mary Anne Warren, a leader in this field, came up with a solution to class something as requirements to being a moral person.

That does not make you human. C. Spock is not human for the same reason I'm not a cat.


  • Consciousness and the ability to feel pain
  • The ability to reason.
  • The ability to act in ways that go beyond instinct -- to have motives and goals.
  • The capacity for complex communication.
  • Having a sense of self.
She has stated that for something to be classed as a human being, it must have a majority of these characteristics.

Back to the alien thing. Could it be possible that a alein can have these traits? But it is not human. A Fetus can be said to at least have 4 of those.





This means that there must be a stage where they can be able to communicate. This is the only characteristic of which a foetus may have, however I do not believe that even babies have the capacity to commune instantly. It is something one must learn, and therefore the capacity means they are capable of learning a language.

Show me a foetus that can talk, and then we'll discuss this issue. If a foetus can talk, then I shall concede all foetuses have the capacity to do so as well. However, I doubt this quite a lot. Complex communication includes the ability to talk back, as well as understand the language being used and respond accordingly.

Talking isn't the only way of communicate. I don't have time to give examples.



If a foetus can think a thought regarding itself, then I would readily concede this point. However, there is little which can actually prove or show a sense of self, without some form of complex communication. If my opponent has an idea in which we can prove this sense of self, then I'd agree to it readily.

From the lack of reason to believe a foetus has any of these properties, there is a lack of reason to believe that it holds the same right to life as a human being.

It clears it self of waste and and the sorts. It has a sense of self.



Foetuses do not feel pain until at least 20 weeks into the pregnancy, and a lot of specialists believe more.

Mark Rosen -- director of Obstetrical Anesthesia at the University of California, San Francisco -- argued that the evidence is too weak to support the new law. His own review of evidence, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2005, suggested that fetuses are not capable of feeling pain until at least 29 weeks into pregnancy.

"There are no new data to support the conclusions made by the Nebraska legislature," he said. "This is a controversial issue because the available data do not allow absolute conclusions. Unfortunately, there are considerable emotional and political issues at work here."[4]

If my opponent wishes to dispute this, please come up with more modern information which contests this, rather than old studies. Older information on this issue has led to the progress to this data, not the other way around.

So? Sometimes a person in a Coma cant feel pain, think, besides instinct or reason. Does this mean when you go in a coma your not a human?


I want to address this claim before I finish, howerver. Abortion is murder.

Pro concedes?


I defined an abortion as the common medical procedure which deliberately removes a human pregancy. Secondly, I said the law shall reflect the majority of countries' view on the issue. The majority of countries allow it as a legal operation, and is agreed as legal as per the UN charter. So we can now define it as "a lawful common medical procedure...". Murder is, as my opponent so helpfully defined "the unlawful killing of one human..." So what this statement is saying is that "The lawful medical procedure is unlawful killing". This is axiomatically false: you cannot have an illegal legal action.


That is becasue it should be illegal.

Stephen_Hawkins

Con

Firstly, someone needs to fix the autosave feature so I don't lose all my writing whenever I try to close skype on my ****ing computer -_-

I shall address "sections" of my opponent, fromy something in bold to just before something else in bold in order to make things simpler:

Point 1:

My opponent has confused, as he has with most of my topic, being a person with being a human. A human being can be dead, saying that they cannot is ludicrous. If I have been not clear enough on this point, I shall state it again: The difference is important. When we ask is something human, we mean in this circumstance is it a person. Taxonomically, the dead are human, human cells are human, Auto Immune, AIDS and many diseases hold a trait of humanhood. Personhood is what is important. Being 'speciesist' is a completely arbitrary way of classifying something. Can it feel pain is an important trait. Is it self aware? Is it a rational being? These are all traits which people enjoy using to classify something as a person, or intelligent life. Let's apply it here, there is so much more reason to do so.

I use the example of Captain Spock as it is one which is used many times: he is not human but he is a person. A person is what is important: We cannot eat Spock, or attack him on whim, or grant him less liberties, neither can we do so to any other intelligent life. This is because being human is arbitrary - or I would be able to shoot Anne Widdicombe on sight. No, being a person is what is important. Also, my opponent took what I said and misconstrued it slightly. To make that sentence more obvious of my meaning, and to stop these erroneous readings from continuing, it was meant similar to "a foetus, for example, does not have the ability...". It was an example rather than a defining characteristic.

Point 2 - This continues from my original point: when we say something is a human, we refer to it as a person. The dead, bacteria, bla bla bla can all have the characteristic of humanhood, but personhood is what is important.

Point 3 - Great argument.

Point 4 - Yes, but it is irrelevant. That makes it speciesist. In fact, asking "is it a human" is just a way of avoiding addressing whether speciesism is favourable - something I would like to be seen defended.

Point 5 - I am tempted just to say "I disagree", but that would be a lack of an argument: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.[video1] I want to make it clear here, again, of a simple statement: A person is not necessarily a human, and a human is not necessarily a person. They usually overlap, but my opponent is thinking that the correlation is because of causation.

Point 6 - HUMANHOOD is not as important as PERSONHOOD. Captain Spock is better in my eyes than Fidel Castro or Hitler. Spock may not be human - or real - but he is a person in the sense that he has all necessary characteristics. Again, if aliens came to this earth, we'd class them as humans, and grant them civil liberties. We do not give the same to humans who aren't "persons".

"Back to the alien thing...but it is not human".

*sigh*

Point 8 - "I don't have time to give examples." Alright. I shall consider this dropped until you pick it up. I am also extending the possible examples to speaking of urdu, smoke signals or morse code on the womb.

Point 9 - "It clears waste"
No it doesn't : It produces Meconium, which is released after birth, when it gains the ability to do so. However, this is unerlated to self-concept, or a sense of self. It refers to an individual's perception of "self" in relation to any number of characteristics, such as academics (and nonacademics), gender roles and sexuality, racial identity, and many others.[3]

Point 10 - "...[people] in a Coma cannot feel pain, think, besides instinct or reason". Does it make them a person? Well, they are suffering from a symptom of the ailment. If they were in peak fitness, without being in..you know.. a coma, then they'd probably be just fine. But if someone is in a lifetime coma? Well, this is another issue for debate, and for the same issue as this: humanity vs personhood. If someone is constantly in a coma, cannot do anything - canot feel anything - then I, personally, feel that we should allow them the release of life, rather than force them to cling onto this world. They are no longer people in the same sense as you or I, they are merely shells of their former selves. Their chance of coming out of a coma is impossibly small, and their chance of coming out of it the same person is zero - comas lead to massive mental breakdowns and neural pathways being blocked and destroyed.

Point 11 - any reading of context can be intelligibly recognised here: abortion is murder is a heading, a clash point. This is simply taking me out of context to make it seem as if I have conceded a point, and is obvious.

Point 12 - He has failed to address this point. Saying abortion is murder means that it currently is murder. Meaning it currently is illegal. On the other hand, saying it "should be illegal", and not "should be made illegal" or "should become illegal" implies that it is not illegal. So he is saying that it is currently legal. Meaning that he is saying a currently illegal action is currently illegal. Which still makes no sense.


In conclusion, my opponent has simply failed to address, if not actively tried to hide, the difference between alive, human, and personhood. He has accepted Warren's constitution for personhood as being a system to 'check', and yet has failed to prove the foetus to have any of the characteristics he has provided. He's even broken my favourite of all laws, a DeMyer's first law, by making the majority of his entire argument simply quotations of my argument (well, not really quotations, more like my argument with his words in between) and is simply fluffing it out. He has wrote less than 200 words (ignoring single-letter words such as "a"), while the rest simply quoting me. I am simply pointing this out in the hope that more shall be written now, so there is more to talk about.

I look forwards to my opponent's reply.



http://pregnancy.about.com...;
http://en.wikipedia.org...;
Debate Round No. 3
CAPLlock

Pro

...he is not human but he is a person. A person is what is important: We cannot eat Spock, or attack him on whim, or grant him less liberties , neither can we do so to any other intelligent life...

a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.
2.
a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.
3.
Sociology . an individual human being, especially with reference to his or her social relationships and behavioral patterns as conditioned by the culture.
4.
Philosophy . a self-conscious or rational being.
5.
the actual self or individual personality of a human being: You ought not to generalize, but to consider the person you are dealing with.

http://dictionary.reference.com...
Because this isn't a debate related to philosophy we can't use such arguements. Only medical proof must used.

My arguement


P1 A fetus is a human.
P2 By defintion, a human is also a person.
P3 But this doesnt matter.
C1 Abortion is murder.

Lets go back to the definetion of murder.

Murder- The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice.

Because common sense tells us "like makes like" it would be wrong to assume that a fetus isn't human. Con never touched this.

The whole arguement on 'personhood' is a red herring. It is a human or not. This was not a philsospical debate. This is medical. It should not matter if a fetus isn't a human.. Is a fetus a human? Yes or no? if yes, then abortion is murder. If not, why not? You have not showen this clearly.


Point 2 - This continues from my original point: when we say something is ahuman, we refer to it as aperson. The dead, bacteria, bla bla bla can all have the characteristic of humanhood, but personhood is what is important.

Such as? 'Humanhood' is what is really important in this debate. All life has 5 traits in common. Maybe you got those confused?

Point 3 - Great argument.

That point was biologically false.

Point 4 - Yes, but it is irrelevant. That makes it speciesist. In fact, asking "is it a human" is just a way of avoiding addressing whether speciesism is favourable - something I would like to be seen defended.

'Speciesist'? We're only talking about humans. I said " Is it human?" to address the fact that it is human. Red herring.

Point 5 - I am tempted just to say "I disagree", but that would be a lack of an argument: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.[video1] I want to make it clear here, again, of a simple statement:A person is not necessarily a human, and a human is not necessarily a person.They usually overlap, but my opponent is thinking that the correlation is because of causation.

A human is a person. Always. Read the definetion. Again this is irrealvant of the debate that was on hand.

Point 6 -HUMANHOODis not as important asPERSONHOOD.Captain Spock is better in my eyes than Fidel Castro or Hitler. Spock may not be human - or real - but he is apersonin the sense that he has all necessary characteristics. Again, if aliens came to this earth, we'd class them as humans, and grant them civil liberties. We do not give the same to humans who aren't "persons".

This again. Proof this. What do you mean 'Personhood' is better then 'Humanhood'? Prove this.

Point 8 - "I don't have time to give examples." Alright. I shall consider this dropped until you pick it up. I am also extending the possible examples to speaking of urdu, smoke signals or morse code on the womb.

A human doesn't have to show commuication. A human is always a human.

Point 9 - "It clears waste"
No it doesn't : It produces Meconium, which is released after birth, when it gains the ability to do so. However, this is unerlated to self-concept, or a sense of self. Itrefers to an individual's perception of "self" in relation to any number of characteristics, such as academics (and nonacademics),gender roles and sexuality,racial identity,and many others.

Where do you think it all comes from? Is it logical that babies poop all that feces at birth?

Point 10 missed my point. Im saying that sense a person cant feel pain should they be people?

Point 11 - any reading of context can be intelligibly recognised here: abortion is murder is aheading, aclash point. This is simply taking me out of context to make it seem as if I have conceded a point, and is obvious.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Point 12 - He has failed to address this point. Saying abortion is murder means that itcurrently is murder.Meaning it currently is illegal. On the other hand, saying it "should be illegal", and not "should be made illegal" or "should become illegal" implies that it isnotillegal. So he is saying that it is currently legal. Meaning that he is saying a currently illegal action is currently illegal. Which still makes no sense.


This is not on topic.
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

I'm just going to address the key points.

"This isn't a debate related to philosophical" -- Let's look at this, shall we?

What is the point of saying "abortion should be illegal". My opponent puts forth the idea that it is murder. Why is murder wrong? We can either use a moral argument, which makes the debate ethical and therefore a case of applied ethics, or philosophy, or we can use a sociological argument, which makes the debate a sociological definition.

So, what definition should we use? A sociological one - " an individual being, especially with reference to his or her social relationships and behavioral patterns as conditioned by the culture." (minus use of word containing definition, which is why I dislike online dictionaries, it's not useful to define a human as a human being. Someone should tell the website that) OR we use the philosophical one - a self-conscious or rational being.

But my opponent states it's a medical debate. What does this mean, though? Medicine is simply a branch of science - and when I have started getting my qualification in physics, one of the questions that comes up in an exam is "what does science do?" or the negative variant of the statement. I can spend a long time on what it does or doesn't do, but the important, line-in-the-sand among scientists is that science, nor any variant of science, does not answer moral questions[1]. Nor does it answer political questions. Nor aesthetic, or any others. What it does is explain, not make judgement. If we are to use a medical definition - a point I have kept saying, which my opponent has ignored as an answer to the important question: why does it matter if something is human? The dead are human. Human cells are human (the clue's in the name).

So, with accordance to his SYLLOGISM (They're not arguments [no e after the u]), I disagree with P2 and P3. A human, such as the dead, are not people. Spock, who is not a human, is a person. We grant rights to Spock, but not the dead.
( A little bit of maths here)

ALIVE HUMAN BEING = Human and person = enjoys rights and liberties granted by the state.
TOASTER = Not human and not person = does not enjoy the same rights and liberties.
DEAD HUMANS / THE WALKING DEAD = Human but not a person = does not enjoy the same rights and liberties.
CAPTAIN SPOCK / ALIENS = Not humans but a person = enjoys same rights and liberties.*
(My opponent has not questioned the idea which aliens are people, simply dismissing it as irrelevant.

Let personhood = P, Human = H, enjoying rights = E, not enjoying rights = N.

HP (alive human beings) = E = P
Therefore HP = P
Also H = P/H
Therefore HP = P/H Therefore H must = 1, therefore H is irrelevant.
Therefore P is the only defining characteristic.

Or in a linguistic form, seeing as humans are equal to aliens in rights, yet the only similarity is that they are both 'people', "personhood" must be the characteristic that is not just important, but defining.

Therefore, the entire discussion about 'humanity' being important is completely null, as it is irrelevant. My opponent claimed repeatedly that personhood is irrelevant, giving the reason that this is a "medical" discussion. An unfounded and false statement.

My opponent also repeatedly claimed that killing is murder - that is the only logical assumption that can be made from his argument. Yet - leaving the legality of abortion as an example to one side for a moment - the Death Penalty is legal in 51% of countries, and 30% have exercised this ability in the last 10 years alone. War consists of killing the opposition. These are killing. These are legal. I could construct another mathematical table to show this, but it is irrelevant, we come to the same conclusion: It is the allowance of the courts that make it (il)legal, not the act of killing.

Through my 5 argument points:

1 - Feeling pain

2 - Complex communication
Firstly, "I don't have time to give examples", so I waited for him to have the time to say so. But then it was "A human doesn't have to show communication". Now I am feeling dissappointed and let down: I was hoping for a spanish foetus! My hopes and dreams have been squashed, and that this point has been DROPPED.
3 - Sense of self
My opponent gave the idea that a foetus can defecate, therefore it is alive. Now, I felt that I had to correct this false claim, but it was a sidenote. It is not proof of sense of self. My computer produces heat. So does near everything, as all moving parts are partly inefficient (movement produces heat, which is not wanted). A sense of self is not addressed.
However, my opponent then out of the blue claims that I am wrong, and foetuses CAN defecate: after all, "is it logical that babies poop all that feces at birth?". Well, ignoring how this is a dismissal of his idea that this was a medical debate, the evidence speaks for itself: and it is more logical to follow evidence and rational thought than instinct. So is it logical? Yes. However, this is still a side-note. The idea that this proves a sense of self has not been adequately justified, nor has any claims here been... true. DROPPED
4 - Ability to reason
Conceded, and rightly so. DROPPED
5 - The ability to go beyond instinct
Read point 4. DROPPED


Regarding "abortion is a legal illegal action", I realise that I may not have conveyed myself clearly in a single sentence, so I will reduce it to this: Abortion, a legal procedure, does not become illegal nor legal the moment it becomes murder: It is based on the law and the law alone; saying it is murder is completely different to saying it should be murder, one stating that the law outlaws it, making the debate about whether this fact is true, while the second makes it a policy debate, where we contend whether it should be a law.

Summary of point allocation:

Conduct: I leave this to you, but I would take note of arguments being dropped fully by either side, blind calls of fallacy, comprehensive and full arguments, and civil manner.

Spelling and Grammar: Some do not count this as important, but I personally do. When one is repeatedly called out on spelling or grammar mistakes, then one tends to correct them more. So if there are any spelling errors by myself or my opponent, then please state them so they can be corrected. Just for note, I am british, and we spell "fetus" foetus, and words occasionally have extra 'u's in, such as favour or colour. Finally, I used "personhood" and "humanhood" as informal terms, and any others that I used, which will have speech marks surrounding them to connote this.

Who debated best: This is, of course, up to you, but I urge people to counteract votebombs. If they are promoting who you would vote for, take your points from the 7 in order to counter it. e.g. If you would vote for my opponent and give him 4 points, and someone gave him a +7, then give me a +3, or a 7 - the four that you would have given my opponent. This way, votes aren't wasted too much, I hope. or, if this is complex and hard to understand, just do what you want :S

Anyway, I thank my opponent for this debate, and look towards seeing the scores.


http://undsci.berkeley.edu...;
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Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Crawford 5 years ago
Crawford
You are very intelligent and I am honored to talk with you. I apologize that I am not better at using words. If I was this argument might not have come up. It would only predicate that the personhood exists if the ailment inflicted the personhood. In the cases we have been talking about the ailment afflicts the human body, not the personhood. Therefore, a fetus only has to be proved to be biologically human for the math to make sense. If what a human body was holds value in this argument, than shouldn't what a human body might become? The two bodies (fetus and coma patient) have the qualities of being human and not having personhood. Therefore, if "time" can be considered irrelevant, what is the difference?
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
Alright, I shall continue with the mathematical position with a small amendment:

person afflicted with ailment X as they exhibit the symptom Y. Or "person" afflicted by old age exhibits the symptom of "bad hearing".

But there is a series of predicates we assume are true: the predicate that a person exists, that ailment X exists and that symptom Y exists (and that we agree what all the words mean). The predicate means we suppose most importantly that the person exists.

Therefore, the "crime" of inflicting one with the ailment of not existing yet is non-existent. it is the change of transition that causes problems.

P.S He's american to me.
Posted by Crawford 5 years ago
Crawford
Thank you for your time I sincerely appreciate your enthusiasm.
To be clear, a coma is an affliction that restricts the characteristics of personhood in an individual. Is it wrong to say that a person can suffer from old age? A person afflicted with x suffers y. A person afflicted with old age suffers loss of hearing. A person afflicted with a coma suffers the loss of the personhood. It kind of sounds weird, but can someone be afflicted with "young age" and suffer "not having existed yet"? Plus, how does the knowledge of what something was affect what it is at the present time? Are not both the fetus and the coma patient "suffering" the same symptom, lack of personhood?
Separate note: Hardcore.Pwnograpy is Canadian.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
"Fetuses have the "ability" to create personhood, thus abortion should be illegal by our laws, should it not?"

I would disagree. It is because there is an inherent statement you made which I would disagree with: when someone is in a coma, you have not taken away their personhood, rather restricting it. In the same way that a man's leg can be restricted by a rock, the person in a coma is restricted by being inflicted with this ailment.

Also, I personally believe that if you inflict someone into a state of being in a coma with no recovery within "a year and a day" equivalents, then that is the same as killing someone. This is where I believe the law should be amended. If you wish, I'd be happy to debate this issue further.
Posted by Crawford 5 years ago
Crawford
You say that the illegal part of murder is the end result of killing the personhood; the body dying just happens to coincide. Hitting someone on the head and putting them in a coma would be "killing their personhood", as you have defined it. However, it is not deemed as illegal because the "body" retains the "ability" to regenerate the personhood. Otherwise, coma patients would be legally dead. Thus the law does not define murder as necessarily eliminating the personhood, mostly because it can regenerate if the body lives, but as killing the body and destroying the person and all hope of it. Therefore, the law as we know places value on the "ability" to regenerate or create what we know as personhood. Fetuses have the "ability" to create personhood, thus abortion should be illegal by our laws, should it not?
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
No, you stole the English word for foetus, and corrupted it you foul, foul American!

*sarcasm sign*
Posted by Hardcore.Pwnography 5 years ago
Hardcore.Pwnography
You spelled fetus wrong, Stephen
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 5 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
"I want to address this claim before I finish, howerver. Abortion is murder." should become "I want to address this claim before I finish, however: Abortion is murder." small typo.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Raisor 5 years ago
Raisor
CAPLlockStephen_HawkinsTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: God have mercy on the poor soul who thought Pro deserved even a single point. The lack of a response by Pro in R3 is almost an insult to Con. Pro needs to actually write an argument rather than relying on such brilliant one liners as "I disagree." Pro seemingly cant be bothered to collect his thoughts into coherent paragraphs, it really doesn't seem like he is trying at all.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
CAPLlockStephen_HawkinsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro argues that abortion should be illegal because 1. Fetuses are living human beings. 2. Sometimes, killing living human beings is murder. 3. Therefore, killing a fetus is murder. That's like saying, 1. This is a mammal. 2. Some mammals are cats. 3. Therefore, this is a cat. Con pointed out that not all killing of humans is murder. Victory: Con.
Vote Placed by nerdykiller 5 years ago
nerdykiller
CAPLlockStephen_HawkinsTied
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Total points awarded:12 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had more source, while only source provided by pro was dictionary.com Then Pro and COn started to argue about should person be considered human. Overall pretty close debate.