The Instigator
OtakuJordan
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
whiteflame
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Abortion should be illegal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
whiteflame
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,751 times Debate No: 43648
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (42)
Votes (10)

 

OtakuJordan

Pro

Thank you in advance for accepting, Con.

As Pro, I shall be arguing that abortion should be illegal with no exceptions. Abortion shall be defined in this debate as "a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus."[1]

The first round will be for acceptance. Trolling and insults will result in a full seven-point loss.

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

Con

I appreciate Pro's invite. As he has not stated any arguments in his first post, I will abstain as well and use this round simply for acceptance. I await what will likely be a stirring debate over this divisive issue.
Debate Round No. 1
OtakuJordan

Pro

Thank you for accepting, Con.

My case

I will be making three contentions.

1. The zygote/embryo/fetus is a human life
2. There is a moral obligation to preserve innocent human life
3. This moral obligation is of the highest order

Throughout this debate round, "unborn" may be used to mean an unborn human at any of the three stages of zygote, embryo or fetus.

Contention #1 - The unborn is a human life
The standard, biology textbook definition of life is 1) the ability to grow and 2) the ability to reproduce.[1] In other words, if something grows and possesses the ability to reproduce at some point in its life cycle (barring some sort of defect), then it is considered by the scientific community to be alive.

By this standard, the unborn can be considered to be a life. But what if we use a more advanced definition such as the one below?


        1. Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.



        1. Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells â€" the basic units of life.



        1. Metabolism Transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.



        1. Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of anabolism than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter.



        1. Adaptation: The ability to change over time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity, diet, and external factors.



        1. Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of multicellular organisms. A response is often expressed by motion; for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototroism), and chemotaxis.



        1. Reproduction: The ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms.[1][2]


Once again, the unborn meets all the criteria for life.

However, this is somewhat irrelevant. After all, bacteria and blades of grass are also alive, and we feel no moral qualms about killing them. Why, then, is the zygote/embryo/fetus different? Put simply, because it is a human life. By definition, a product of reproduction is of the same kind as its 'parents.'[3] I offer this Merriam-Webster definition of fetus as further proof: "a human being or animal in the later stages of development before it is born."[4]

Contention #2 - There is a moral obligation to preserve innocent human life
This statement is accpeted as a general truth by most of humanity regardless of what moral system a person adheres to. Even the somewhat amoral utilitarianism can be leveraged against the destruction of innocent life. However, I present this contention in the off chance that Con disagrees with its tagline.

Man is a moral agent, a being with free will whose actions have moral import. Because of our freedom we are bound by duty to act morally or, if you prefer, ethically. Morality may be derived from either philosophy or religion. I shall be making a philosophical case for the moral obligation to preserve human life using Kant's three Formulations of the Imperative.

The First Formulation of the Imperative

"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction." Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of Metaphysic of Morals[5]

Clearly we would not want the justified taking of innocent life to become a universal law without contradiction. This would result in chaos, bloodshed and (depending on your interpretation of this First Formulation) the extinction of the human race.

The Second Formulation of the Imperative

"Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end but always at the same time as an end." Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of Metaphysic of Morals[6]

The taking of innocent life violates this Formulation because it disregards and devalues the free will of the victim and sees them as an end in themselves.

The Third Formulation of the Imperative

"Therefore, every rational being must so act as if he were through his maxim always a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends." Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of Metaphysic of Morals[7]

To explain this Formulation, I quote from an article on deontological ethics by the Seven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and Ethics:

Using reasoned judgment we can apply this formula to any maxim and discover whether it is morally permissible under deontological ethics. Let's take, for example, the act of picking flowers from the local park. The flowers are very pretty, and one may want to take some home. Essentially, this requires adopting a maxim that supports doing whatever one wants to do. Using the formula of the universal law (categorical imperative), there are a few irrationalities and contradictions that arise from the adoption of such a maxim as law. If everyone were to do this, there would be no flowers left in the park, and the act contradicts the original motive for picking the flowers. The better option is to go to a shop and order or plant one's own flowers.[8]

The taking of innocent life unarguably carries moral implication on far grander and more devastating scale than the picking of flowers.

Contention #3 - This moral obligation is of the highest order
As can be evidenced by the Formulations of the Imperative, ignoring this moral obligation results in greater devastation than the violation of any other moral obligation can (including such hypothetical consequences as the extinction of the human race).

Clearly, then, it supersedes any other demands upon our free will.

Sources
1. http://www2.una.edu...
2. http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu...
3. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
4. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
5. http://sevenpillarsinstitute.org...
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
whiteflame

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for both inviting me to debate this topic and for providing such a detailed and thought out post. With that, I'd first like to get into some discussion of our respective burdens in this round before I launch into my case, which will also include some rebuttal.

Now, since my opponent has taken the tack of being for a law (I believe in the U.S., he can correct me if I'm wrong) banning all abortions. As such, he is taking three major burdens onto himself.

1) Pro must prove that there is a harm to abortions warranting such a law, and
2) Pro must prove that such a law would reduce, not exacerbate, these and other harms.

That's a lot to do, I realize, but it comes with the territory. An outright ban on all abortions is a policy with wide-ranging effects that we must consider in evaluating Pro's case.

Meanwhile, as I am pro-choice, I would be remiss if I didn't take up that mantle and argue that current policy on abortion in the U.S. should be preserved, though I will state that viability outside the womb is my cutoff for open abortions (so around 22 weeks). There's a good debate over what viability is, but this seems to be the cutoff.[1] So my burden in the round is to defend this stance, and to prove it is better than Pro's stance on abortion for general policy purposes.

So let's get the contentions somewhat before I launch into my points. We agree on most of Contention 1, and I grant all the arguments about the unborn being life. And I agree with all that's been said about said about it being human as well. Well, almost all. I'm going to create a distinction between something that is biologically human and a human being. As Warren states, there are five properties that characterize persons:

1. Consciousness, and in particular the capacity to feel pain
2. Reasoning
3. Self-motivated activity
4. The capacity to communicate by whatever means
5. The presence of self-concepts and self-awareness

A person need not have all of these, but they much have more than one to be a person. As a fetus has, at most, only the first, it is not a person. Establishing this, the lack of personhood also leads to a lack of the basic right to life that other persons have.[2]

I also argue that personhood should be based on "brain birth," or the reversal of the brain death concept. Presence of brain waves would be enough to grant personhood,[3] and specifically, the appearance of these waves in the higher brain are necessary for personhood.[4]

This is an important distinction. Accepting Pro's worldview makes in vitro fertilization mass murder since most zygotes created by this method aren't implanted, despite the fact that none of those children would have a chance at life without it. This would also make instances of miscarriage grounds for manslaughter charges at the very least, as each case would have to be considered carefully for how the mother could have contributed to it.

I also agree with most of Contention 2, though the First Formulation is essentially just a restatement of the Golden Rule. The Second is just a basic deontological perspective, and it closely links to the Third. However, I could just as easily use these points myself, since these arguments don't distinguish between who is being used as and end and who as a means.

Contention 3 is not really well supported. Violation of many different moral obligations can hypothetically lead to the extinction of the human race and many other life forms.

With that, I'll get into my case. My case for now will focus to two basic points:

1) Why the mother's health and well-being should be preferred,
2) Why instances of a child's extreme suffering should be prevented

1) So why should the mother's life be preferred? There are multiple simple reasons. The mother is a living, breathing, functional human being, and is virtually guaranteed to experience more of life, whereas the unborn child lacks some of those faculties and has a decent chance of miscarriage and therefore death before experiencing anything. That mother is of child-bearing age and is therefore capable of conceiving and giving birth to other children, whereas the child may never reach that age or may be otherwise impaired from doing so.

I'd like to go into this second one a bit more, and this goes back to the concept of life. Pro's definition of life is applicable to the cells from which the child was conceived as well, and though they may not yet carry the traits of human life, they are, nonetheless, still capable of reaching that as an end terminus. Therefore, using Pro's logic, those lives also have meaning. So when conception is denied for whatever reason, that human life is also denied. Therefore, every mother who is made less capable by this ban of conceiving again is also less able (or unable) to engage in the formation of another human life, which is just as bad under Pro's argumentation.

2) Rape victims. Yes, it seems obvious, but this one normally doesn't get the right kind of attention. The big problem here is that these rape victims are, once again, having something forced upon them. They now have, at the very least, a 9-month reminder followed by intense pain of their encounter. And now the state, by banning their only route out, is contributing to their mental anguish. These victims are never going to want to experience pregnancy again when it's associated with this. Many will suffer long term mental trauma, treating their families differently and hurting their qualities of life.[5]

1. But let's also think about the child, because that"s the focus of Pro's arguments here anyway. His argument ignores any number of diseases - genetic, infectious, drug-related or physically induced - that the child could suffer from. It doesn't matter whether they are certain to die within five years (Tay-Sachs),[6] are born with major deformities that often result in death (Edwards Syndrome),[7] are doomed to terrible neurological conditions (Huntington's),[8], lacking essential immune activities (Alymphocytosis),[9] or are simply set to live a life of constant pain (Sickle-cell anemia);[10] these issues are all detectable early in the pregnancy, and yet in Pro's world, they are secondary to their survival till birth. This ignores the psychological trauma of watching the child suffer and/or die, its effect on other family members, and on possible future kids.

And let's not forget my points from the start of this round. What effects does a law like this have?

Back alley abortions are the most commonly cited issue. It's pretty simple: provide no legal avenue for abortion and people will pursue an illegal one. It's already happening in some states that massively limit them.[11] Injuries and even death can result, as they have in the past.[12]

Much as we would all like to think that people treasure their little bundles of joy, if they view the birth as being forced upon them, many will feel resentment that can be reflected in how they treat their child, leading to child abuse.[13] Of course, that's if they keep them. If they don't, they'll be adding kids to an already overtaxed adoption system,[14] which will make it more difficult for kids to find homes and reduce the quality of life the orphanage and foster systems can provide.

Lastly, I think classism must be discussed. This type of ban is ineffective against the rich because they can always travel to another country and get the abortion. And even if they have to get it here, they don't suffer from the financial strains of going to the hospital and having the child, and certainly suffer less from childcare costs. The poor aren't so lucky. Most won't be able to leave the country. The thousands of dollars that it costs for the hospital stay are more likely to break the bank, and if that doesn't, the costs of childcare will.[15]

So even if Pro's winning on harms, the negative effects of the ban outweigh its benefits.

1. http://www.slate.com...
2. http://www.amber-hinds.com...
3. http://jme.bmj.com...
4. http://www.cirp.org...
5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
10. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov...
11. http://www.policymic.com...
12. http://www.prochoice.org...
13. http://ecademy.agnesscott.edu...
14. http://www.childrensrights.org...
15. http://www.parents.com...
Debate Round No. 2
OtakuJordan

Pro

Thank you for that very cogent reply, Con.

Introduction
Con is quite correct in his description of my burden of proof and I willingly accept it. As he stated, I must 1) prove that there is a harm inherent to abortion that warrants a reformation of the law and that 2) such a change in the law would decrease rather than increase harm to society. I would, however, nuance this by saying that I should not be required to prove that the law is

The harm I shall be arguing that abortion causes will, quite obviously, be the destruction of innocent life. Con has granted my first contention as well as my second (with the caveat that there is, in his opinion, a difference between a human being and a person). Beyond asserting that it is poorly supported and perhaps mildly hyperbolic, he has also left my third contention untouched. Having established that abortion results in the termination of an innocent human life, what remains to be debated is whether or not this harm is of sufficient moral or ethical import to justify a law banning abortion.

Before I close this introduction, I would like to briefly touch on Con's critique of my third contention. Con asserted that there are other moral wrongs that could hypothetically result in the destruction of the human race. My opponent failed to present an example of such a wrong, but I daresay that none of the standard pro-choice anti-values (violation of bodily autonomy, potential trauma, loss of choice, etc.) qualify. His critique is, therefore, irrelevant.

Rebuttals

On humanity and personhood
In his last speech, my opponent sought to delineate between a human being and a person (or, in his terms, a "human" and a "human being." I shall use the terminology of "human" and "person" common to this debate). He argued that only those human beings who had achieved personhood should be granted the right to life. However, "personhood" is not a scientific concept. One cannot prove using facts that a living human being has not yet transcended mere humanity and reached personhood by running a lab test. Rather, it is a philosophical concept that is baseless by nature. The only thing that allows us to categorize some humans as persons and others as sub-persons is our own preconceived notions. Such notions are prejudicial, arbitrary and unfounded.

But even if we assume that the fetus is indeed something less than a person before reaching the point of viability, it does not follow that it is permissible to take its life. Let us suppose that mankind has developed the ability to “edit” the body of the fetus, even from the earliest stages of the pregnancy. Would it be moral to operate on a fetus so that it develops a deformity or disability? Is it ethical to purposefully cause the fetus to grow into person with no limbs, or perhaps a person who is blind? Most would say that it would not be. Within the context of the abortion debate, the question that must then be asked is, why is it morally acceptable to kill a fetus but not to maim it?

Maiming the fetus would be wrong, in the view of some, because the fetus will eventually achieve personhood and will then be hindered throughout its life by its disability. One might infer from this that it would be acceptable to maim a fetus that is scheduled for abortion. This seems rather cruel and unethical, especially if the fetus has developed to the point where it can feel pain. But regardless of whether or not "personhood" has been reached, this argument shows that potential is of some value. If a potential person has a right to not be maimed, then we can infer that the future of the fetus gives it some intrinsic value, regardless of whether or not it is a person.

As for Con's claim that a miscarriage would warrant an investigation under my worldview, I respond by saying that if this were so it would be warranted under his as well once the fetus had reached the point of viability. But that aside, this is somewhat of a ridiculous claim. Miscarriages were not investigated prior to Roe v. Wade unless there was good evidence that the mother had been actively involved, and we can assume that the same would be true if Roe v. Wade were overturned now.

On the value of the mother in relation to the child
Even if we accept that the life of the mother is of greater value than the life of the child, it does not follow that the mother has the right to abort the child.

I see nothing in my arguments that require that we value the sperm and egg cells that potentially create life. In fact, I was very careful to point out that there is a moral difference between the destruction of life (which includes such things as sperm, bacteria and blades of grass) and the destruction of human life. And regardless, please explain how a ban on abortion makes mothers less capable of conceiving in the future.

As for the issue of back-alley abortions, it is not the responsibility of the law to ensure the safety of those who break it. Also, it is important to put this in perspective. In 1972, the year prior to Roe v. Wade, only (and it is a great shame that I am forced by pro-choice claims of thousands of deaths to use the word only in such a context) thirty-nine women died from "back-alley abortions."[1]

On victims of rape
Allow me to open by saying that rape is a horrible thing and I have profound sympathy for anyone who experiences it.

However, we have already established that there is a moral obligation to preserve innocent human life. Also, I challenge Con to present an instance outside of the abortion debate in which he believes it is permissible to kill someone solely because they remind one of an unpleasant person or experience. Let's also keep in mind that only 1% of abortions are performed on victims of rape.[2]

I would like to close this heading by asking my opponent to please indicate where exactly he found evidence for his claim that banning abortion contributes to the mental anguish of rape victims. I was unable to find such a statement on the page he sourced.

On the fate of the child
To say that a disease or the likelihood to end up in an orphanage justifies abortion is somewhat heartless, especially coming from the side of the debate that touts itself as "pro-choice." To make the choice for the child that they would be better off dead is anti-thetical to everything the pro-choice movement claims to stand for.

Allow me to point out that sickle-cell and alymphocytosis are curable.[3][4] It is also worth mentioning that Huntington's does not usually manifest itself until adulthood, even when present prior to birth, and even then it is only in severe cases that such symptoms as paranoia develop.[5]

Demonstrating that children are poorly treated when they are unwanted is not justification for abortion. Rather it is a call for tougher measures against child abuse. After all, one could cite the same statistic in support of the right to terminate children who are already born.

Also, since 46% of women who get abortions are using it as a form of birth control[6], we can assume that there would be far fewer children being conceived after abortion is no longer available, especially when a child is not wanted. In fact, it has been demonstrated that pregnancy rates are far lower where access to abortion has been limited, particularly among teens.[7]

On classism
Any number of laws can be said to be subject to classism. This does not mean that the law is necessarily bad. For instance, large corporations have the ability to circumvent minimum wage laws by outsourcing labor to overseas companies. Does my opponent believe that we should strike all laws requiring companies to pay their employees fair wages from the books? How about laws against child and slave labor?

Sources
1. U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics Center for Disease Control, as cited in Dr. and Mrs. J. C. Wilke, Abortion: Questions and Answers.
2. http://www.guttmacher.org...
3. http://news.uic.edu...
4. http://www.rightdiagnosis.com...
5. http://www.helpguide.org...
6. http://www.womenscenter.com...
7. http://oca.org...
whiteflame

Con

Thanks to Pro for a provocative continuation to what has become a very intriguing debate.

The nuance, clarified in the comments, is acceptable, so long as harms to children and their families are within its domain.

While I didn't present such a moral wrong directly in response to Pro's 3rd contention, my points indirectly addressed it. Always preferring the life of the potential child to any other due to its relative innocence, I would say, could lead to much the same end, since those lives are far less likely to be able to create children given that they may never reach reproductive age. But I don't think this factors heavily into the round.

But let's move into his responses. I like his formatting, so I'll stick to it as well.

Humanity and personhood:

Pro drops my analysis about what distinguishes something that is biologically human from a human being. He states that there is no scientific way to evaluate this separation. Consciousness, reasoning, self-motivated activity, the capacity to communicate and the presence of self-awareness are all able to evaluated. I also provided a separate delineation based on on "brain birth." We can detect brain waves in the higher brain by EEG. I've provided two separate mechanisms to make this delineation. These objective mechanisms haven't been addressed. Ignoring these arguments doesn't make them "prejudicial, arbitrary and unfounded."

So long as a fetus is only biologically human and lacks actual personhood, Pro's argument that legal action should be taken to protect their lives at the cost of any human lives is insufficient. In fact, his initial contentions are couched in them being persons, so the Second Formulation fails to apply.

He discusses the morality of killing or maiming a fetus. Pro will find no disagreement from me with regards to the morality of causing harm to a fetus simply because they are not deemed to be persons. However, while it has value (and its potential to become a person affords it more value to humans), that doesn't mean that it has same value as the mother. The mother is not potentially a person; she is a person.

I'll grant that miscarriages will likely be a small issue. However, Pro has not addressed the issue of in vitro fertilization. If aborting a zygote is banned, then so is IVF, which removes the capacity for many couples that are infertile or face genetic concerns with no capacity to have children. Those lives have meaning too, and under this ban, they have no chance at a human life.

Value of mother vs. child:

Pro provides no response to my argumentation, allowing that the mother's life should be preferred. As such, health issues that could result in the mother's death or maiming should always be preferred to the life of the child, and therefore a ban would wreak major harms. Some of those physical harms are posted here.[1]

I will explain the point on sperm and egg (gametes) vs. zygote in terms of human life. Pro states that potential human life is to be valued. He doesn't provide a cutoff for what that potential must be for it to be valued in this way. Since any life before what is viable outside the womb is potential life, and since a zygote has a far lower potential of becoming human life than a 12 week old (about 75% chance of miscarriage to 5%)[2], any potential life should be viewed the same here. Every gamete is a potential life. Even if its potential is significantly lower than that of a zygote, the potential remains, and therefore it must be regarded in the same light.

On back-alley abortions, we again have to go back to the burdens. Pro has to prove that significant harms aren't caused by making it illegal. The reality is that this is a significant harm. Not to mention that each mother killed or made infertile by the practice is another who can never have a child.

Victims of rape:

Again, Pro falls short of a full response. He provides no response to the basic fact that forcing them to go through the full pregnancy and the labor at the end of it is making the state complicit in enhancing their mental anguish. If I prove nothing else here, this showcases a significant harm of such a ban.

When the trauma can result in harm to other life, and the life being lost is not yet a person, there is room for permissibility. The paper I cited here does state that "rape-related pregnancy...it is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence," so no, it doesn't address the issue of abortion specifically. Instead, what it showcases is that rape-induced pregnancy can cause major mental concerns. My point is a logical extension: the longer they're forced to deal with that pregnancy, the further the mental trauma and therefore the more likely these abuses are.

On the 1% of abortions point. Remember, Pro is the only one here arguing for denying every single one of them access to an abortion. 1% of all women who get an abortion in a year is a substantial number: 1.21 million people got an abortion in 2007,[3] so that's 12,000 people. Pro could have argued about restricting abortions to rape victims. He didn't. Under this ban, their access is denied, and this means a number can now be attributed to the harm caused by it.

Fate of the child:

I disagree with Pro's assessment of my heartlessness. Sure, I'm a terrible person, but that's in no way reflected in my argument. Pro's argument suggests that there should be no choice on the part of the mother or the child " if the child should have to endure Tay-Sachs, then it will have no choice but to endure it over the course of its extremely abbreviated life. The prevention of intense suffering is not heartless.

On sickle-cell, the stem cell treatments have yet to be approved by the FDA, hence the vast majority of people suffering from it will continue having to suffer and aren't certain to ever have access. As for the bone marrow treatments for alymphocytosis, they can be effective, but come with high risk. Both of these come at high cost, supercharging arguments about classism. Huntington's can have symptoms as early as 1 years old, can't be treated, and in most cases do include mental and physical harms, such as corea. Personality changes, cognition, and motor control issues are common. It's so bad that 5-10% of people who get the diagnosis commit suicide[4] Pro is completely non-responsive to Edwards Syndrome and Tay-Sachs, and as a ban would require that these kids be born, he still has to answer for the suffering that the vast majority of them will endure for their short lives.

His arguments about child abuse are all well and good in an ideal world, but not sufficient. We have strict laws meant to deal with abuse. It still happens, and as I've explained, this linearly increases the problem. And since those children suffice as persons, whereas these don't, there is a difference between making those two arguments.

The claim that there will be fewer pregnancies following such a ban is unwarranted. The fact that some people currently use it as a form of birth control when they could use preventative measures that are much simpler, have fewer associated dangers, and are less costly is a sign that they're going to make the same decision after the ban is implemented. The link he provides is factually incorrect. The highest rates of teen pregnancy are depicted here.[5] The article Pro posted mentions that pregnancy is down in every state that requires notification of parents. Here's the list of states that require it.[6] Looking back at the map, many of them have the worst teen pregnancy rates in the country. Given this, and the fact that he's otherwise non-responsive to my point about overtaxed adoption systems, Pro is making a bad situation far worse for many.

Classism:

The ineffectiveness of minimum wage laws to combat bad labor practices of companies doesn't make those laws bad. The fact that we have laws against child and slave labor that don't function overseas doesn't make them bad. However, when a law creates classist issues by removing alternatives to the extremely expensive process of raising a child, that is a problem. When that law has loopholes that are only easily accessible by those with sufficient resources, that law now only applies to those with the fewest.

Remember, it is part of Pro's burden to prove that he doesn't cause substantial harms by implementation of this law. Such a policy does substantial (and mostly untouched) harms to the poor, even if that's not a part of its intention.

With that, I await Pro's concluding post.

1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov...
2. http://www.pregnancyloss.info...
3. http://www.operationrescue.org...
4. http://www.sciencedirect.com...
5. http://www.thenationalcampaign.org...
6. http://www.guttmacher.org...
Debate Round No. 3
OtakuJordan

Pro

Thank you, Con.

Introduction

I would like to begin by apologizing for the incomplete sentence in the first paragraph of my R3 speech. I was attempting to say that the law should not be required to take on responsibilities outside of its domain.

The framework of this debate has evolved, so I shall close this round's introduction with a brief recap. What has been established thus far in the debate is that the preborn is indeed a living human being and that there is a moral obligation to sacrifice to preserve innocent life. My claim that this moral obligation is of the highest order has not been rejected. It has also been agreed that the preborn has intrinsic value due to its potential, regardless of whether or not it has achieved personhood. Also, Con has agreed that the modifier I put on my burden of proof is a fair one, adding that protection of the nation's citizens falls within the domain of the responsibilities of the law.

I encourage the voter to read the debate through the lens of this framework.

Rebuttals

On humanity and personhood
Con incorrectly asserts that I dropped his argument regarding personhood. Rather, I did not respond to his "analysis about what distinguishes something that is biologically human from a human being" because it is irrelevant in light of the rebuttal I presented. I can see that Con missed my point, so I shall restate and elaborate upon it.

Con presented five criteria for personhood. It may or may not be scientifically accurate to say that the preborn does not meet these criteria. I did not claim that Con's list could not be proven by science, but rather that his list could not be proven by science to be the criteria for personhood. Personhood is a philosophical concept, not a scientific one. As such, any claim that a human being has yet to attain personhood is, by definition, arbitrary.

Since it cannot be founded upon scientific fact, it must be founded upon opinion. This opinion is based on nothing more than Con's (and Warren's) own preconceptions of what a person should be. In reality, there is nothing that indicates to us that we should delineate between humans and persons. To say that because the fetus has not yet attained personhood it does not yet have the right to life is simply to tack one arbitrary and baseless assertion onto another.

Con goes on to state that my second contention does not apply the preborn due to their alleged lack of personhood. The tagline of my second contention is "There is a moral obligation to preserve innocent human life." It clearly applies to all biological human life, which Con has admitted that the preborn is. In his R2 speech, Con stated, "We agree on most of Contention 1, and I grant all the arguments about the unborn being life. And I agree with all that's been said about said about it being human as well. Well, almost all. I'm going to create a distinction between something that is biologically human and a human being." (Emphasis mine.)


On the value of the mother in relation to the child
As stated in the first round, the definition for abortion that shall be used in this debate is "a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus."[1] Delivering the fetus prematurely and working to save the lives of both it and the mother may not be considered an abortion under this definition, and such a course of action is the moral resolution to the problem of ectopic pregnancy.

Con dropped my argument that even if we accept that the life of the mother is worth more than the life of the child, it does not follow that she has the right to abort.

The ethical dilemma I presented of fetal maiming does not pose a problem to my worldview, but rather to his. I have been arguing throughout this debate that human life is to be valued, period. Con argues that some human life does not have value because it has not yet reached a certain stage. This is where questions of the value of potential enter the debate.

Would it be moral to maim a fetus? After all, it is not deserving of rights in Con's worldview. The answer is no, however, because the fetus will one day reach personhood, at which point it will be held back by its injury throughout its life. This illustrates that even in Con's worldview the fetus must be afforded some intrinsic value due to its potential. It is, therefore, Con's worldview that must place value upon the sperm and egg.

I would like to close this heading by pointing out that Con did not respond to my R3 argument that the law is not responsible for preventing injury to those who break it. He may not do so now, either, as raising new arguments in the last round is against the rules of debate. This must, therefore, be considered an established point.

On victims of rape
I fail to see how I "fell short of a full response," but I will elaborate upon my response in order to satisfy Con.

I questioned the validity of Con's source in proving his point. As he admitted, it makes no mention of the mental effect of having an abortion so it is a poor citation at best. Con quotes the line stating that rape "is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence." He seems to be misreading this as saying that rape-related pregnancy results in domestic violence, rather than the obviously correct meaning that rape is frequent in areas and perhaps families where domestic violence is frequent.

Let us dwell for a bit on the phrase "unwanted pregnancy." The study is simply stating that a large number of rapes result in obviously unplanned pregnancy, not that those who become pregnant through rape desired to abort or that access to abortion would lessen their mental trauma. Unless Con can provide a better source for his claim it should be dropped.

But regardless, we have already established that there is a moral obligation to preserve innocent human life and that this moral obligation is of the highest order. It is therefore, not permissible for a woman to terminate the life of her child because the pregnancy causes her mental stress. (Keep in mind, also, that we have established that the fetus has some value even if it has not attained "personhood.") The destruction of innocent life is a greater evil than mental trauma, and even if the law I propose results in such mental trauma, it will still be reducing harm to society by preventing the greater evil of the loss of innocent life.

Con conveniently ignored my direct challenge to him to provide an example of another instance in which he believes it is morally permissible to kill someone because they remind one of an unpleasant person or experience.

On the fate of the child
Con's response to my main point under this heading was largely inadequate. To argue for "the prevention of intense suffering" is one thing, but to argue for the prevention of said suffering by ending the life of someone without their consent is an entirely different matter. Con did not address my claim that, by depriving the preborn of choice and control of its own life, terminating a pregnancy because the preborn has an illness is anti-thetical to everything that the pro-choice movement claims to stand for.

Con points out that 5-10% of people diagnosed with Huntington's commit suicide, as if this free will choice on their part justifies ending their life for them. Con doesn't point out that 90-95% do not commit suicide, and therefore prefer living to Con's proposed solution of death without choice. This illustrates what I am trying to say perfectly.

The point here is not that this or that disease is not as bad as we think or something to that effect, but that we do not possess the right to end someone else's life for them in the name of preventing suffering. It is entirely the choice of the individual as to whether or not their lot in life is tolerable. The same principle applies to child abuse.

And it is even more relevant in this instance because here we have a clear-cut case of "I do not want this child, therefore I will end its life." The reasoning and justification for the act do not run any deeper than that. The fact that the fetus has value, even if it has not yet attained "personhood," is the perfect rebuttal for this kind of arbitrary killing. Con did not respond to my point that "one could cite the same statistic in support of the right to terminate children who are already born."

I will close this heading by asking Con if he believes it is permissible to have an abortion after the fetus has reached the point of viability in order to prevent the child from suffering from a disease or child abuse.

On classism
I see, what you are arguing is not that law is unfair but that it will cause economic harm to some families. As I am almost out of characters, I cannot fully respond to this point other than to say that because we have established that there is a moral obligation to sacrifice to preserve innocent life, economic loss does not compare to the destruction of innocent life.

Please vote Pro.

whiteflame

Con

I would like to thoroughly thank my opponent. Far too often, this subject turns into a battle of ideologies, and I"ve rarely had the opportunity to engage in such a high level discussion on such a contentious issue. It has been a privilege to read his arguments.

Pro has made a masterful attempt at upholding his burdens, but has fallen short based on a single word: context. In a world where the death of the unborn is being analyzed against no other harms, Pro is winning this debate. But that"s not our world. We live in a world where abortion is used to prevent or ameliorate medical and psychological harms to mothers, and where poverty is a real problem for women and their families. As such, we must ask ourselves whether the harms of aborting the unborn outweigh these.

Personhood:

Back to the flow of the debate. Pro only addresses vague issues with Warren"s analysis. I could easily grant this argument, though, and point out that he is still completely non-responsive to my point about brainwaves in the higher brain. Those papers (my [3] and [4] from round 2) have gone completely undisputed. Since my opponent has not argued that someone who is brain dead is still a person, that person is dead. Therefore, someone who has not yet gone through "brain birth" is similarly not yet a person. There"s nothing arbitrary or baseless here.

But it gets worse. Con hasn"t provided any reason why any of the 5 criteria are faulty. Not one. He says there might be limited scientific accuracy, but that"s not a direct response, just an assertion on his part. The paper from Warren very expansively defends these 5 criteria, and shows how they transcend the philosophical. His lack of specific response here leaves the point practically untouched. Voters shouldn"t be swayed by a blanket argument that in no way addresses the structure of this argument. He provides no alternative, and only offers his own opinion as proof that personhood is a philosophical concept.

So voters should be buying this argument " Pro simply hasn"t spent enough time disproving it. Now, if we accept that the unborn aren"t persons, then we should ask ourselves, why does personhood matter? The first reason, as I brought up in round 3, is that his moral imperative is contingent on it. He cites the Second Formulation, but leaves out a few words:

"Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end but always at the same time as an end."

Person, mentioned twice. It"s meant in a different way here, but let"s look at the particular definition:

"The body of a human being." http://www.merriam-webster.com...

This argument is contingent on those involved being human beings, or persons. It isn"t predicated on the child solely being biologically human. His moralistic stance, therefore, fails so long as it is not a person. But it goes beyond that. If an unborn child is not a person, then its life is simply never to be preferred over the life or well-being of the mother, as well as other living persons. Their personhood makes their health morally superior, given the reasons I"ve already described. So any impact to them should be far heavier than an impact to the unborn.

Value:

No mother, no matter how dire her physical state, will be able to get an abortion under this law. I"ve already stated the numerous physical harms that can result. Remember, each life weighs far more, not just because of personhood, but also because every ovum is a life form under Pro"s worldview (he was non-responsive to my explanation from round 3 on this). And no, I didn"t drop the argument about the right to abort. It"s a balance of lives, and only one of those lives is a person. Therefore, while both lives have value, the one that has more value should be preferred.

Pro tries to use his definition of abortion to get out of this argument, but it doesn"t work. Delivering the fetus before 21 weeks is guaranteed to end its life, no matter the life-saving measures you use, which means it"s an abortion under a different name. Under such a law, these would still be denied. Worse yet, this new argument actually does major harm to his case. Every single mother could just "deliver the fetus prematurely" instead of getting an abortion. All the same harms result from status quo, except that now, more money and effort is spent on trying to keep a fetus alive that stands no chance at life.

The law itself may not be responsible for the harm that comes to those who break it, but that doesn"t mean that we should dismiss the harm from the round. The harms of back-alley abortions only exist in the presence of this law. It"s a unique harm that results from implementing such a law; therefore the losses that occur as a result are harms to Pro"s case.

Pro is still completely non-responsive to my point about in vitro fertilization. These potential persons will never exist under such a law. Under his own paradigm for humanity, this is very harmful to him. This is his law specifically inflicting harm to the unborn, and since he provides absolutely no response to my point about every gamete having value under his worldview, these are lives that will be lost as well.

Rape:

The same basic arguments hold true on rape " the mother"s quality of life decreases when the state is forcing her to have a child that was, similarly, forced upon her. Pro can keep pretending that this isn"t an issue and that no excessive psychological harms will result from being forced to carry a child that they had no choice in conceiving, but the harm is there. Whether it results in domestic violence or not is really immaterial; psychological harms are not a small issue, and the decreased quality of life of the mother and her family, if nothing else, is worthy of concern. And this is 12,000 women a year we"re talking about, no small number.

And no, I didn"t ignore Pro"s challenge. The response is in R3: "When the trauma can result in harm to other life, and the life being lost is not yet a person, there is room for permissibility." In other words, it"s never morally permissible to kill another person for that purpose, but that"s irrelevant to this debate.

Child suffering:

Pro is still completely non-responsive to Tay-Sachs and Edwards Syndrome, and now he has dropped sickle-cell and alymphocytosis. Most of these kids are likely not to survive longer than their first few years of personhood. Therefore, they are uniquely being harmed by being made to endure it. Pro argues about consent. Since when did any of these children consent to being born with a disease that will make them suffer over their relatively short lives? Banning abortion forces these children to live through pain and suffering while its family watches helplessly. The child doesn"t get a choice of tolerability here; they will have to bear it. And if they choose to commit suicide, they will leave mental scars on their families. The same is true for children that will be abused, and often these children will be completely deprived of a way out, even suicide.

Pro also completely drops the overburdened adoption systems point. Now that we"ve established that the pregnancy rate won"t change, millions of new children will be added to this system. Millions that will never be adopted, and suffer reductions to their qualities of life.

Classism:

This point remains strong after two rounds of rebuttals. Pro simply isn"t addressing this issue thoroughly enough. The economic loss that he says cannot be compared could lead to starvation, homelessness, and death, not just for the child but for their entire family. This is forcing bankruptcy on families that can hardly afford to live day to day, while leaving many of the middle class and all of the rich untouched. And that"s not to mention that many of these families will have to watch their kids suffer through diseases that they could treat if only they had the money. Their economic state directly affects their quality of life and ability to survive.

In the end, Pro is causing a great deal of harm, no matter how he tries to minimize it. And he"s not even solving for the vast majority of the problems he purports to be so terrible, as there seem to be many possible loopholes.

Context. Again, this is the word that voters should be thinking of as they judge this debate. Who is providing the most reasonable context? Is it Pro, who states that abortion is "arbitrary killing" and views the life of a zygote " with a 75% chance of never reaching the world (R3, not rebutted), limited to no brain activity, and lacking the factors integral to personhood " as equivalent to the life of viable human beings with all of those factors? Or is it me, who has pointed out the many areas where a law like this could do severe physical harm to mothers and kids, dramatically increase suffering, and exacerbate classism in this nation? You already know my answer.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
42 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wordy 2 years ago
wordy
And good debate, guys!
Posted by wordy 2 years ago
wordy
Cool
Posted by kbub 2 years ago
kbub
Anyway, Con does not give sufficient evidence that raped persons experience additional discomforts during pregnancy (which is absolutely true!), and so does not win that point. Con says that Pro must prove otherwise, but I do not buy that argument since it is Con's harm. Con wins also that many children will suffer and die if they are allowed to be born, but Pro suggests that most cases are not enough to warrant suicide, but as Con states suicide is difficult in itself, and also carries its own disadvantages. However, Pro cuts this down to only a few cases. Con wins that less children will be adopted, but does not say how many until the last round (uncited I believe). Thus, I will count that as having less.
I am sympathetic towards Pro's suggesting that preborns have some rights and moral obligations, even if not to the extent of their mothers. However, it should be noted that this does not seem to be a case of either the mother dies or the preborn dies, so it is not such a binary of ontological preference as Con implies. I will grant Pro's argument that preborns have inherent value following closely to those of full persons. Therefore, I will grant that trying to prevent suffering through abortion is usually problematic and neglects to give the potential child a say, and that many, many preborns would be killed, which is problematic, and that compared to the harms, even while giving present humans superior consideration, do not outweigh the good of preserving life.
This was some strong argumentation. I could have done with a little more analysis on rape, more about women's rights, more on classism earlier in round, more on what value preborns have outside of Kant (using only Kant's system I think reduces a full picture on the value of life), more criticism of the setup, more clarity on BoP and how the round be evaluated, more defense of Kant's system, more abortion harms, more sources on black market abortions. I thoroughly enjoyed the very well-done debate.
Posted by kbub 2 years ago
kbub
RFD pt1: Let me first point out that both debaters are fantastic. It really was a marvelous debate, and a joy to read. What seemed to be a recurring theme though was the lens through which the argument was supposed to be evaluated. Pro looked at the debate through comparative morality; that is, the least evil ideology should be preferred, while Con argued from the standpoint of whichever world would be most comparatively advantageous. However, Pro seemed to concede to Con's evaluation in round three, so I'll be looking at which would be net beneficial to society as a whole.

The "personhood" of the preborn got to be a little confusing by round 4. Con worked very hard to secure that there was a difference between a human person and a biological human. Pro basically conceded this point, but also pointed out that the distinction was of no great consequence, being semantic at its root. I am sympathetic towards pro's point there. However, Con did not intended to use this to prove that prefetus' are without moral need necessarily, but it would seem in order to undermine the the applicability of the prefetus to Pro's Kantian moral imperatives. I might have bought that right away, but Con gives the most confusing circular interpretation of "personhood" in round 4, saying that personhood is the body of a human being, who is a person. This is really confusing and circular; and almost seems to work against him. Personhood seems in that definition to apply to a biological body. That being said, I think Con does admit that a prefetus might not be a human per se but does have some claim, perhaps lessor, to the moral imperatives since they have to potential to be persons.
Now, here I would advice Pro to come up with moral systems beyond Kant, and Pro to have debated the contentions more rather than admitting them. Due to his not giving them enough attention they bit Con pretty hard.
Con wins classism. I certainly agree that there are great harms for pregnant violated women, b
Posted by cbcullen84 2 years ago
cbcullen84
I'd like you to know though, I'll be in contact with my admin over the confusion with the scoring system. I have a habit of taking things very literally and when I see something like "Who had better conduct" I take that question in it's simplest form and make an informed decision based on all aspects of the entire debate on who's was "Better". Yet...you aren't the only ones who have referred to that specific point as conduct "Violation". I have found no reference to scoring based on violations and the only way I can see past scoring based on a violation is if there actually were one...and since there wasn't...then it becomes a matter of applying methodical measurements of each side's method of engagement. As I said, I'll consult the admin to find out more but thank you for the advice.
Posted by cbcullen84 2 years ago
cbcullen84
Indeed Thelastman you are correct, there isn't a need to assign all 7 points and if there had been difficulty in differentiating who was better then I would have taken a tie into consideration for any of the areas.

And Whiteflame, my apologies if you didn't understand my statement as I may not have provided a clear enough explanation. I did not choose Pro over you because his statements were "Kinder" or "More open". Pro received the conduct vote because his conduct during the debate was better than yours in that he had better usage of tact. Tact is not kindness nor does it have anything to do with being kind, it is strictly a professional courtesy afforded from one to another. When deciding who was better, I took the entirety of the debate into consideration, no one portion of the debate was left for comparison against the whole of the other.

To further address your question Whiteflame, no it is not unreasonable for you to state where your opponent is lax in his responses, nor is that what I have said or implied. Additionally, no you should not just ignore when an argument is under covered, again I haven't said that.

I'd like to point out the obvious (My apologies for making this sound the way it does but I believe it to be valid) the voting option for conducts asks very clearly "Who had "Better" conduct"? Concerning conduct alone, the question poses to the voter that he/she decide who conducted themselves better, not who had bad conduct necessarily. IF one of you had bad conduct in this debate (Which neither of you did) then that would stand as sufficient reason to award the other by default. In this case, both had good conduct, but Pro's conduct was better. I didn't mean to criticize your choice of contradictory method whiteflame, if I did then I sincerely apologize. Additionally there seems to be numerous variations in belief as to how the voting should be done and yet they still oppose the explanation provided for each vote.
Posted by TheLastMan 2 years ago
TheLastMan
I aree with whiteflame. That's not the way to award the conduct point. You could have just give it a tie. You don't HAVE TO award all the seven points.
Posted by TheLastMan 2 years ago
TheLastMan
My point is that Pro could have just said that one's function is not necessary to define personhood because the personhood is already there, or atleast he could give a reason instead of dismissing it by saying "arbitrary". He also said that philosophical concepts are arbitrary and unfounded. This is a dismissal. One can't deny the existence of philosophical concepts when one is discussing about morality. Afterall, they were talking about the morality of taking life of the unborn. Philosophy is strongly related with morality. Also, I don't know how "The back and forth argument concerning the life of the Mother Vs the life of the Unborn Child is void of the fact that pregnancy isn't an accident" is relevant to it in anyway. The argument is: When we have the power to save only one life between two, which one should we save? Option (a)mothers life (b)life of the unborn. We must evaluate the value of their lives. Pro must have shown that either the value of (b) is greater than (a), or equivalent to (a).
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
I'm still really lost here. So it's unreasonable for me to state where my opponent is lax in his responses? I spent the time explaining each of those, at length. Should I just ignore where an argument is under covered?

Conduct isn't meant to be a "who did better" vote, it's meant to register violations. Maybe I'm missing something, but simply being kinder and more open within the round isn't the basis for a conduct vote.
Posted by cbcullen84 2 years ago
cbcullen84
Yes whiteflame

I apologize firstly and foremost for not specifying, the conduct was listed but not identified as such, again my sincere apologies for the error.

Given a choice between Pro, Con or Tie, I simply reviewed the method in which each of you went about addressing contradictions and what was claimed to be erroneous statements.

Here are excerpts that contain examples of what I'm speaking of:

"Again, Pro falls short of a full response". "So voters should be buying this argument" "Pro can keep pretending that this isn"t an issue"

While Con's statements in this matter aren't necessarily insults, they certainly don't compare to the amount of attention to detail that Pro has provided while carefully applying tact each time he must point out what he intends to prove as an error made by Con.

Conduct goes to Pro for professional use of tact and open admission of mistakes and errors. Con used a great deal of tact as well but it was not close enough to call it a tie, not by far.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
OtakuJordanwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Great effort by both debaters. Pro established his argument on (1) The zygote/embryo/fetus is a human life, (2) There is a moral obligation to preserve innocent human life, (3) This moral obligation is of the highest order. I agree with all of these except the insistence that (2) and (3) apply to (1). The human embryo ( 3 to 8 weeks) and human fetus ( 9 to 38 weeks) is in fact a parasitic human organism, incapable of living independent from its mother's womb. Furthermore, though it has all genetic material it needs to eventually become an independent human being, the human embryo and human fetus ( up until week 20 ) lacks a central nervous system. It doesn't even develop something resembling a brain until week 9. For all intents and purposes it really is just a crude under-developed organism for much of its early duration. Pro also took an extreme approach to abortion by indicating it should not be permitted in cases of rape. Con argued this issue more effectively I felt
Vote Placed by paigeb 2 years ago
paigeb
OtakuJordanwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a great debate, so thank you both for providing well thought out and convincing arguments. I personally believe that I would never get an abortion, but I am not in that situation, so it is not my responsibility to tell someone else what they can or cannot do. Putting my personal beliefs aside, I did have to agree with con at the end, for the point that a fetus does not have self awareness, so it would not be taking away an innocent life. I did find pros word choice was very persuading. I have to say that about pro. However, in the end, I did agree with con.
Vote Placed by kbub 2 years ago
kbub
OtakuJordanwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD: see comments. Great debate on both sides. I find myself right on the boarder of this issue myself; I can't find where I stand. The decision was a very hard one and took me a lot of time to think through. If either of you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to send me a message.
Vote Placed by Ryuuikari 2 years ago
Ryuuikari
OtakuJordanwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was an extremely tight debate with both sides efficiently putting their points across. It was good that is was debated well on both moral and legal grounds instead of it just being a moral shouting match. It's quite difficult to decide but I would have to give my vote to Con for rebutting slightly more relevant points than Pro in particular the ones involving humanity and 'personhood'. While both participants dodged a few points when rebutting, Pro evaded the most weighty ones with the unchallenged point on IVF catching my eye the most.
Vote Placed by cbcullen84 2 years ago
cbcullen84
OtakuJordanwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Well I spoke to Airmax and Ties seem to be popular around here, there seemed to be an er of caution surrounding a solid vote for either side so with that being said I cannot in all honesty vote certain areas as ties when they clearly are not, integrity isn't something you can repair easily and integrity to myself is more important in any case. So I award all ties as nullification and thank both Pro and Con for the opportunity to review their debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
OtakuJordanwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Abstaining due to strong bias. ... As a vote snob (remember the VRB?), I will state that IMO the only area in any real question on this one is arguments. All other areas being either tied, or close enough to tied to not warrant extra points (S&G pretty much only comes into it when distracting from arguments, conduct for outright bad behavior as opposed to one person being nicer (save for concessions, which is above and beyond being the nicer person), and sources... ok I could see a case for massively preferring one set of sources to the other).
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
OtakuJordanwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The Warren paper referenced by Con poses the problem: "both the friends and foes of abortion consider their position to he morally self-evident". That being the case, the debate must be judged on a technical basis. I think Pro did not adequately rebut the case of abortion to save the life of the mother. Pro's response was to claim there is sometimes an option to try to save the life of both. But the evidence is that there sometimes is no such option. By evading the direct question, I think Pro is implicitly admitting that if it came to a clear choice, the mother's life would be preferred. Con could have made a broader argument about the negative impact to society of preferring the death of an adult woman to a fetus, but he provided good enough arguments and referenced the good of society as part of the moral judgement. Pro did not adequately counter the example of in vitro fertilization in which some zygotes perish in the process. A good debate with valuable insights.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
OtakuJordanwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Great debate on both sides. Both sides made several great points. A very important point to make it the debate is what constitutes a human life. Pro's biggest problem was his definition of human life was far too general and included things the biggest pro life supporters wouldn't acknowledge as life. Con's definition and how he came to it was extremely important and specific and no worthy rebuttal was given. If pro could have given a better argument that life ( personhood ) begins sooner then what con did then he would have done much better.
Vote Placed by TheLastMan 2 years ago
TheLastMan
OtakuJordanwhiteflameTied
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Reasons for voting decision: See comment
Vote Placed by janetsanders733 2 years ago
janetsanders733
OtakuJordanwhiteflameTied
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Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Tough debate, However, I think pro pulled through by showing that a fetus has the potential for values. I agree that science can show how personhood works. But science is limited in explaining the true meaning of Personhoood. That is a philosophical argument and not a Scientific. Pro showd that the fetus had the potential for human value and crippling it would be unethical or at worst murder. Again good job to both debaters. This was a pretty dtough debate.