The Instigator
kohai
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Merda
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Abortion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,494 times Debate No: 16774
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (7)

 

kohai

Pro

In this debate, I will argue abortion is wrong.
This round is just for acceptance and arguments begin in the next round. However, I need to make a few definitions.

For the purpose of this debate, but without using outside resources for definitions, we will define:


abortion
The unnatural end of a pregnancy between 0-28 weeks of the pregnancy.

Mistake
Something one did not mean to do, or make happen.

Responsibility
Doing what will ultimately help everyone, or most of those involved, even if the choice is hard to make.

Wrong
immoral, unethical, the incorrect thing to do.

Right
The opposite of wrong; responsible

Miscarriage
The spontaneous end of a pregnancy, especially naturally occurring within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Merda

Con

In this debate I will be taking the negation of the resolution, namely the Con position to the sentence, "Abortion is wrong." I do not accept my opponent's definition of responsibility. I think that a definition like this one would be more appropriate: a particular burden of obligation[1] That is all I wiill say in this round. As instigator and Pro I will let my opponent begin. I of course look forward to a very interesting and engaging debate with the always fun to debate with Kohai. Good luck!



[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 1
kohai

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and would like to wish him the very best of luck.

Contention 1: A logical reason why abortion is wrong.

I would like to begin with this quote:

"To prevent birth is anticipated murder; it makes little difference whether one destroys a life already born or does away with it in its nascent stage. The one who will be a man is already one." Tertullian (160 - 220)

1. Murdering a human is wrong
2. Abortion is murder
3. Therefore, abortion is wrong

Assertion 1: Murdering a human is wrong

Most sane people would agree with this assertion.

Assertion 2: Abortion is murder

By definition, murder is the unlawful killing of another human being.
We need to determine why the fetus should be under this protection.

Evidence 1: A fetus can dream

Many pro-abortion activists say that a fetus cannot think. However, we have discovered that they can, in fact, dream. Therefore, the fetus must be conscious.

I encourage any pro-choice activists to read the article Baby's First Dreams following this link
http://www.sciencedaily.com...;

Evidence 2: A fetus, by definition, is a human!

Many pro-choice activists argue that the fetus is not a "human" until it is born. Let me ask you this question, what makes a human fetus any different than a dog fetus? Is the dog fetus not a "dog" because it is smaller or because it is not yet born? No. Then what makes human fetuses different?
Furthermore, whether you agree with that argument, I want to ask you and any pro-choice activists this question: "Why isn't a fetus a 'human?'"

Contention 2: Abortion is morally wrong because of the emotional side effects.

There are major consequences to ones actions. Abortion is no different. Here is a list of some of the emotional side-effects to an abortion.
  1. Regret
  2. Anger
  3. Guilty feelings
  4. Shame
  5. Impared self-confidence
  6. Depression
  7. Anxiety
  8. Lonliness

Souce
http://www.americanpregnancy.org...

In fact, abortion INCREASES the risk for cancer! 8 medical organizations in 2006 RECOGNIZED this fact. For more information, go to this link http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com...

All experts recognize first risk that abortion denies women an opportunity to reduce their risk for breast cancer through childbearing! (also from same page

Contention 3: There are better options than abortion

Merda

Con

My opponent has made this debate very simple to read by putting his argument in the form of a syllogism. I thank him for this and will choose only to attack one of his contentions. But, to see the full implications of this, I will list his case below.

Premise 1: Murdering a human is wrong.

Premise 2: Aborting a fetus is murdering a human.

Conclusion 1: Abortion is wrong.

This is a very simple and elogant representation of the common argument against abortion. My opponent brought very strong evidence for why a fetus is a human. However, I only have one problem which I will address in my opponent's argument. I will attack his first premise on which his entire case is based on. Is murder wrong? This premise seemed to be the only one which my opponent did not bother to justify. The only reason he brings to justify this premise is that ""Most sane people would agree with this assertion."". This actually commits two famous fallacies. The argument from popularity and the argument from authority.

Argument from Popularity

My opponent argues that most people agree that murder is wrong. First, what evidence does he bring that would sway us to believe that most people think murder is wrong? And even if he did, how does that actually make it wrong? Even if every person in the world agreed that murder was wrong, that does not bring any rational justification to the premise.

Argument from Authority

My opponent actually makes a second fallacy in his first premise when claiming that "sane" people would agree that murder is wrong. Again, this is no rational justification for the premise. It is simply a slightly different type of fallacy than the argument from popularity. While I admit that I might risk repeating myself too much in this debate, if every person with an IQ over 200 believed that murder was wrong with no actual reason for believing so, this would not justify one in believing it.

I would also like for my opponent, when he tries to justify his claim that murdering a human is wrong, clarify as to why killing a human is wrong when apparently, killing an animal is not. This actually sheds a lot of light into why my opponent probably thinks murdering a person is wrong. We simply need to look at the differences between all humans and all animals. I will list some below.

Intelligence

Does a human gain more moral protection because it is more intelligent than an animal? This claim runs into several problems. A.--- What is the cut off point for who is intelligent enough to gain moral protection? Is every human elidgible? If so then this cancels out intelligence as the root factor in assigning moral protection, as most apes, some species of dolphins, and many species of birds have been shown to possess a higher level of intelligence than say: Infants, fetus', mentally challenged, or Alzheimers patients. So I guess we can rule out intelligence as a factor.

Immaterial Soul

Knowing my opponent, I can be pretty certain that this is not a distinction he makes between humans and animals as he is an atheist and a militant one at that. But let's just say for a moment that he is using this point, without reference to his personal beliefs. Is there any evidence that A.--- Human beings possess immaterial souls or B.--- Even if humans do possess immaterial souls, that animals do not? After all, the soul is supposedly immaterial and so cannot be verified to either exist or not exist. At best I guess this is a moot point.

I can't really think of other differences that would not fit into the category of intelligence someway so I will allow my opponent to bring his reasons. My opponent brings two other arguments for the moral wrongness of abortion.

Abortion is morally wrong because of the emotional side effects

This is an interesting argument that I have only seen a few times before. Proponents of the immorality of abortion don't usually use this argument, but, since my opponent used it I will be forced to deal with it.

Problems with this argument

(A) It's consequences are inconsistent. Something having possibly regrettable emotional affects on someone does not clearly make it immoral or even wrong. My opponent provides no difference between a woman having bad emotional consequences as a result of an abortion and a woman having bad emotional consequences as a result of P.M.S. Is a woman's period immoral because it can lead to negative emotional consequences?

(B) This is unable to bypass the is-ought problem, better known as Hume's Guillotine. It is the problem first brought by philosopher David Hume in which he noticed that most normative ethical theories derived prescriptive statements(what one 'ought' to do) from descriptive statements(how the world 'is'). There is no logical connection though between a description of natural properties and a prescription of moral duties. By definition any connection would be illogical for commiting the famous naturalistic fallacy of assigning non-natural properties to natural objects or actions.

It is for these two reasons that we can throw out Pro's second arugment. Now on to his third and final argument for the immorality of abortion.

There are better options than abortion

My opponent actually did not write anything under this and so I will give him the next round to fill it in as I'm assuming he simply made a mistake in copying or something.

My opponent's arguments have each been shown not to be based on logic, reason or evidence. Conversely, I have given readers strong reason to assume that there is absolutely nothing immoral about abortion. Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 2
kohai

Pro

I thank my opponent for this opportunity to debate. I want to point out to my readers that the pros and cons are backwards in this debate. I should be con and my opponent should be pro.

First of all, I would like to say I did not copy and pace anything without citing the source as my opponent claims. I shall post my full last contention

CONTENTION 3: THERE ARE BETTER OPTIONS THAN ABORTION

Adoption is a better option than abortion. Not only does it give the child the right to life and expierence it, it also relieves the mother of the burden of raising the child if she cannot do so herself.

My opponent brought very strong evidence for why a fetus is a human

I guess there is no need to discuss this. However, you then get around my arguments by starting to attack premises 1. Now, if you do not believe murder is wrong--then why not? Why shouldn't we release all the prisoners convicted of murder from prison?

Should we have allowed people such as Hiter to continue his murderous rampage or people like Ted Bundy to do so?

These are obviously good questions, but do not address why murder is wrong. This is where I'll be strengthening my 1st premises.

We must address why it is wrong to kill a human being.

1) It is against the will of the person being murdered

Murder does not allow for the person being killed to defend themselves. Furthermore, if we legalize murder, we are violating the freedom of protection.

Furthermore, this argument STRENGTHENS why abortion is wrong. Abortion does not allow for the consent for the fetus, AND the fetus is undefended and cannot defend himself/herself.

2) Murder is wrong because the right to life is a fundemental right.

This is embeded in the constitution. This also stengthens why abortion is wrong. The constitution clearly states that everyone has the right to LIFE, LIBERTY and PERSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

Abortion is denying the fetus right to life and takes away that liberty.

My opponent makes the faulty assumption that I'm automatically for killing animals. This is not that type of debate and will not address that as it is uneccessary.

I feel my opponent has accepted the second premises. So, when he accepts the 1st premises, then he lost.
Merda

Con

Before I begin I would like to clear up with my opponent what I meant when I said copied and paste. I meant that he most likely wrote out his case in a Word document and then simply forgot to copy and paste it to this site. I was not implying that he plagurized his case.

CONTENTION 3: THERE ARE BETTER OPTIONS THAN ABORTION

What does my opponent mean by the word 'better'? Does he mean more moral? In that case I refer him to my attack on his first premise. He makes the mistake of presupposing moral facts and not supporting those presuppositions with evidence.

Murder is Wrong

I asked what evidence my opponent had for his premise that murdering a human was wrong and he unfortunately has not brought any evidence to back up his assumption. He simply asked questions which he believed would make my contention that murder is not immoral seem ridiculous. But again I will ask, what is immoral about the act of murdering an innocent human being? My opponent then does try to convince me that murder is wrong by bringing a few reasons. I will deal with them below.

1) It is against the will of the person being murdered

I agree that in the case of abortion, the abortion is performed against the will of the fetus. But why is that wrong? How does my opponent jump from a descriptive statement( abortion does not allow the fetus to defend itself) to a prescriptive statement( one ought not abort a fetus)? It seems as though he is making an argument from "common moral-sense" where he simply assumes that people agree with him on the existence of common sense morality. I will argue that I need not accept his common sense morality until he has brought reason or evdence to support it.

2) Murder is wrong because the right to life is a fundemental right.

Normally this argument would hold weight if my opponent and I were engaged in a policy debate. If we were debating on whether the U.S. specifically should grant a woman the right to have an abortion, referring to the right to life laid out in the Constitution would be a strong point. But my opponent misunderstands the nature of this debate. This is not a policy debate but more along the lines of a Lincoln-Douglas debate where my opponent and I are debating the morality or immorality of an action, abortion specifically. So the Constitution is really irrelevant in this debate unless it brings some sort of philosophical justification for why every human has a fundamental "right" to life. So my opponent again presupposes the existence of "fundamental rights" and so erranously applies them to humans and fetus' without the slightest evidence of their existence.

Animals and Murder

If my opponent feels that this point is irrelevant to this debate than I will not pursue the point further. I was merely trying to understand why my opponent only included the murder of humans in his first premise. I figured that if I tried to understand his motivations for that specific point, I would be able to understand his argument for why murdering a human is wrong and better refute it.

And yes, I have accepted my opponent's logical syllogism for the immorality of abortion as structually sound. If all of it's premises are true than I do not dispute the conclusion. However the 1st premise, on which his entire argument is rested has not been properly upheld by reason or evidence. I therefore urge a Con vote.




Debate Round No. 3
kohai

Pro

kohai forfeited this round.
Merda

Con

My opponent forfeited the last round so I will simply extend my arguments and refutations. When voting, voters should vote Con for the following reasons.

Conduct: Con
Pro forfeited R4. Also, Pro made the mistake in either wording the resolution or deciding on his position. The resolution is simply titled 'Abortion' yet my opponent is Pro when he is arguing against abortion.

Sources: Tied
Both my opponent and I provided some sources and sources never cam into question or even played much of a role in this debate.

Spelling/grammar: Tied
Neither Pro nor Con made too many noticeable spelling or grammatical mistakes.

Arguments: Con
Pro brought three arguments for why abortion is wrong. The first one was disproven because my opponent never defended his first premise that murdering a human was wrong. His only justification was that "Most sane people would agree with this assertion." which I showed to be a mixture of an argument from popularity and an argument from authority. His second argument was that abortion is wrong because it can have negative emotional side effects on the woman who chooses to have one. I also showed this point to be fallacious in showing that other morally neutral things like a woman having her period can cause negative emotional side-effects, but are clearly not immoral. My opponent' third argument that there were better options than abortion was also moot because we were not debating on whether abortion is the best option, but on whether the act itself is moral.

Vote Con. I would also like to thank Kohai for an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by mcc1789 5 years ago
mcc1789
In his R3 Pro made the following argument:

"2) Murder is wrong because the right to life is a fundemental right.

This is embeded in the constitution. This also stengthens why abortion is wrong. The constitution clearly states that everyone has the right to LIFE, LIBERTY and PERSUIT OF HAPPINESS."

A common mistake. The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are referenced as "self-evident" in the Declaration of Independence, not the US Constitution, which nowhere mentions them.
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
Thank you, potato. Woops, it appears that I did mistakingly do that.
I guess I could say that the resolution in my opening argument "Abortion is morally wrong" is my pro.
Posted by potatolover 5 years ago
potatolover
I'm sorry, but this is bothering me. The topic is abortion and the pro is against it? I know it's too late to switch them, but pro now means against and con means for. Just thought I would point that out.
Good first argument though kohai!

Thing is though both of you will be arguing the same thing and basically agreeing with each other.
Good luck with that!
Posted by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
Under my last contention, it should read that adoption allows the child the right to life and gives the mother relief of having to care for a child she will be unable to. Therefore, adoption is a better choice
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by mcc1789 5 years ago
mcc1789
kohaiMerdaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con is awarded conduct for the forfeit, while successfully attacking Pro's syllogism.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
kohaiMerdaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con argued rather weakly, I thought, but Pro forfeited and left arguments unanswered. "Murder is wrong" really can be determined by observation of the human species. It is genetically programmed. However, similar observation contradicts "abortion is murder."
Vote Placed by bluesteel 5 years ago
bluesteel
kohaiMerdaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins because of the forfeit and because he has more cogent arguments; the approach of attacking premise 1, rather than premise 2, was interesting, although ultimately could have lost Con the debate. This point wasn't sufficiently well-made, since the right to life could easily be construed as a philosophical issue (Kant, util), not a practical issue (Decl. of Indep.). I personally don't think that murder = not wrong is a defensible position, unless its caveatted with the lack of personhood.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
kohaiMerdaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit causes all arguments to be dropped. I like the approach by Con.
Vote Placed by Andromeda_Z 5 years ago
Andromeda_Z
kohaiMerdaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Merda for kohai's forfeit. S/G tied, no clear mistakes on either side. Arguments to Merda, kohai's case hinged on a point that was never proven because he forfeited. Sources tied, both posted sources.
Vote Placed by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
kohaiMerdaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for forfeit. And since the forfeit led to dropped arguments and thus extensions, he wins arguments.
Vote Placed by bradshaw93 5 years ago
bradshaw93
kohaiMerdaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for forfeit.