The Instigator
OtakuJordan
Pro (for)
Winning
23 Points
The Contender
ElissaH98
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Abortion should be made illegal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
OtakuJordan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 383 times Debate No: 42616
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

OtakuJordan

Pro

Thank you in advance for accepting. I look forward to a good discussion.

The first round is for acceptance only.
ElissaH98

Con

Thank you for accepting me as well. I look forward to our debate.
Debate Round No. 1
OtakuJordan

Pro

Thank you for accepting, Con.

I shall be making only two contentions in this debate.

1. The zygote/embryo/fetus is a human life
2. There is a moral obligation to preserve innocent human life

NOTE: 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 — 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
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.

Conclusion
Because we have established that the unborn is a living human being and that the taking of innocent life is wrong, we have no choice but to view abortion as a moral/ethical evil that should not be legal.

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.
ElissaH98

Con

ElissaH98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
OtakuJordan

Pro

My arguments stand.
ElissaH98

Con

ElissaH98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
OtakuJordan

Pro

My arguments stand.

Please vote Pro.
ElissaH98

Con

ElissaH98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by OtakuJordan 2 years ago
OtakuJordan
Actually, this was a challenge that had been issued prior to our conversation. I will happily debate you as well.
Posted by JacobAnderson 2 years ago
JacobAnderson
OtakuJordan, you said you wanted to debate me on abortion, so I challenged you, but you started a new debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 2 years ago
Zaradi
OtakuJordanElissaH98Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Lame.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
OtakuJordanElissaH98Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Please tell me when someone actually debates all the rounds with you. I think it will be fascinating and would love to read it. As the debate was full forfeit Pro gets full points.
Vote Placed by abelsmack 2 years ago
abelsmack
OtakuJordanElissaH98Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: I disagree but Pro provided the ONLY argument.
Vote Placed by Matt_L 2 years ago
Matt_L
OtakuJordanElissaH98Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Pro because of Con forfeiting. More convincing arguments and reliable sources go to Pro for the same reason.