The Instigator
Lucky10279
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
elvroin_vonn_trazem
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points

Abortion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
elvroin_vonn_trazem
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,704 times Debate No: 23683
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (19)
Votes (3)

 

Lucky10279

Con

I want to begin my argument with a simple statement: killing an innocent human being is always wrong. Most people will agree with this, so abortion-supporters most often justify abortion by saying that the unborn are not human beings until they have reached a certain point of growth, (this point varies depending on the person, I don't think I have met two people who support abortion who agree at what point this is.) Now let me say that this argument is false. The unborn are human beings from the moment of conception. This is not my opinion, this is a scientific fact. Look in any biology book written before 1973 and it will tell you that. Most current biology books will not tell you that, not because not evidence has been found that shows that the unborn are not human beings, but because people are simply lying about it. ("Prolife answers to prochoice arguments") All you have to do to see that the unborn are human beings is to look at an ultrasound image.

Look at this picture of an aborted baby: http://www.100abortionpictures.com... One look at that picture should prove to you that abortion is the murder of innocent human beings. If you look at that picture and still say that abortion is not the brutal, cruel, murder of innocent human babies, then you are either in denial or are just outright lying.

Now there are other abortion-supporters who openly admit that the unborn are innocent human beings, but still try to justify abortion by saying that a woman should be allowed to choose what she wants to do with her own body. Now first I will show that this point is invalid because the unborn children are NOT part of the woman's body. The unborn have separate DNA, and are sometimes a different gender from the mother. Therefore since the unborn are separate human beings with there OWN bodies, the "my body, my choice" argument is invalid. Secondly I need to point that our bodies are gifts from God. So we do not have the right to do whatever we want with them. God created our bodies and God has first say over what we may and may not do with them. For example, it is wrong to mutilate oneself. So even if the unborn were a part of the mother's body (which they aren't) that argument would still be invalid. Abortion is just as wrong as the murder of any other innocent human child.
elvroin_vonn_trazem

Pro

Con has made statements that include a variety of background assumptions, and I intend to examine each of them in detail. My second-round post will be a continuation of this one.

I enumerate the assumptions below:
1. An unborn human is "innocent".
2. An unborn human qualifies as a "being", in the same way that the average walking human qualifies as a "being" (while, say, the average hopping rabbit doesn't, because we never say "rabbit being" in casual conversation).
3. An unborn human qualifies as a "baby".
4. An unborn human qualifies as a "child".
5. A woman is not allowed to control access to her body.
6. God exists.
7. God created humans, or, our bodies are gifts from God (equivalent assumptions).
8. It is wrong to mutilate oneself.

It is to be noted that words are powerful, and "propaganda" is the art of mis-using them in a way that seems sensible. Let me begin, therefore, with the most-obvious of the mis-used words above.

3. When a pregnant woman proudly states, "I'm going to have a baby!", she is using the future tense. She never says, in reference to that pregnancy, "I have a baby right now!" Therefore it is logically obvious that her pregnancy involves something other than the typical concept of what a "baby" really is.

Well, we know quite thoroughly what happens during a pregnancy: A living human organism is building itself, using the equivalent of "blueprints" encoded in DNA. Scientists call that organism various names depending on its development stage:

A) "Zygote" --this is what exists immediately after conception, when an ovum and a sperm merge (also known as "fertilization").

B) "Blastocyst" --this emerges from the fertilized egg after four or five days of cell-divisions.
htt.....ww.wonderquest.com/TwinsTrigger.htm (NOTE: I modify web addresses to avoid being damaged by the debate.org software. Copy it to a blank browser page address bar and replace the initial dots with standard characters like "p://w".)

C) "Embryo" --this is what it is called after successfully implanting in a womb. This is the actual beginning of a pregnancy, not conception --because many blastocysts fail to implant, and hormones associated with pregnancy don't get produced until after implantation occurs. When less precision is warranted, "embryo" can encompass both the blastocyst and zygote stages.

D) "Fetus" --its name for most of a pregnancy. The dividing line is a bit fuzzy, but typically an embryo can be called a fetus 8 weeks after conception. Note that this is long enough to encompass 2 normal menstrual cycles. One might say that a fetus is an embryo that has successfully stayed implanted in a womb (because many just-naturally don't, and menstruation occurs either on-schedule or late).

A Debate is supposed to be about facts and logic, not emotion. If it seems impossible to emotionlessly use the word "baby" when talking about unborn humans in a Debate, then, logically, one shouldn't do that.

Let's consider an analogy regarding the sentence, "I'm building a boat!" At what point will the builder say, "I have a boat!"? The answer, very probably, "when it is ready to be launched", not before. So, if birth can be analogous to launching a boat, then it can be logical to call an unborn human a baby when labor begins, but not days or weeks or months before labor begins. Because labor is very much the process of launching a baby, which is typically ready to be launched, into the outside world. (Note that before modern medical technology came along to help, most prematurely-born babies would instead qualify as "miscarriages".)

4. The next word Con mis-used is "child". There is actually a better basis for using it than "baby", since pregnancy is sometimes described as "being with child". However, this falls into the category of "counting one's chickens before they have hatched". Many pregnancies end in miscarriage and emotional suffering --yet much of that suffering can often be avoided.

The way to avoid suffering is to avoid something known as "setting oneself up for a fall". It is basically unwise to assume that a given pregnancy will result in a live birth. A pregnancy is actually a "child (or baby) under construction". So focus on that until a child is delivered!

That construction process is known to be extremely complex. Have you never heard of "Murphy's Law", regarding complex events??? htt.....ww.murphys-laws.com/ So, "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." Mentally prepare oneself, that is. Else one may experience the equivalent of "mental mutilation" if the construction project fails.

2. The last mis-used word is "being". When humans talk about themselves in casual conversation, sometimes they simply say "humans" and sometimes they say "human beings". Occasionally the phrase "human animal" will be used, but this is almost always derogatory. The main non-derogatory use is in zoology, where human animals are dispassionately compared to other animals in terms of physiology, behavior, etc. There is a lot of commonality among them.
htt.../en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Naked_Ape_(book)

Next, when humans talk about almost any other living thing in casual conversation, they almost never append the word "being". They never say "rabbit being" or "radish being" or "paramecium being". The exceptions appear in the literature of science fiction, where you can find lots of "extraterrestrial beings" and "alien beings" and "intelligent beings".

Logically, it appears that the word "being" has a special meaning in casual conversation: It is a synonym for "person". After all, rabbits are not considered to be persons, while alien beings are very often described as equivalent in many ways to human persons.

It is now obvious why anti-abortion propaganda calls unborn humans "human beings". They want you to think that unborn humans qualify as persons, without actually proving that unborn humans qualify as persons. But do unborn humans, at any stage of pregnancy, exhibit any of the characteristics that could nonprejudicially distinguish alien persons/beings from mere animals? No! Therefore, logically, unborn humans qualify as "human animals" in the purely zoological sense, and don't qualify as anything more than that --certainly not "persons" or "beings".

It must be noted that the word "being" has more than one definition. One of them is "something that exists". Any human could qualify as a "human being" by that definition, including a corpse. However, it would be illogical to state that an unborn human is a person simply because it exists and "being" has multiple meanings. The proof of that illogic should be obvious:

"A radish exists exists; therefore it qualifies as a 'radish being'. Since 'being' also means person, a radish must therefore be a person." That really is Bad Logic; it can't apply to unborn humans! And since human animals can't be murdered, Con's argument fails.

I'll close this post by examining the "God" assumptions:
6. Since Murphy's Law obviously affects pregnancies far more than God does, the existence of God may be irrelevant for this Debate. For more details, see the next paragraphs.

7. The main problem with claims such as "God created humans" is that they are claims made by humans. And it is widely known that humans can lie to achieve a reward. The many claims that preachers made, thousands of years ago, have rewarded preachers ever since. What actually matters are the things that can be proved to be true. So far, all the evidence favors Evolution as the origin of humanity, not God.

Since there is no verifiable evidence (to say nothing of "proof") that "our bodies are gifts from God", it logically follows that any statements depending on such a claim can be ignored until evidence or proof is offered.

(to be continued)
Debate Round No. 1
Lucky10279

Con

When a women says "I'm going to have a baby", that is a figure a speech and is not meant to say that her unborn baby is not really a baby.

Abortion is on it's own an emotional subject, so I am not going to stop calling the unborn babies, because that is what they are.

The boat analogy is a bad one. A boat is an object meant to be used for our pleasure and convenience. A baby born or unborn, is a human being (i am using the word being to mean person, not to mean existence), to be loved and cared for, not used like a boat.

Yes many pregnancies end in miscarriage, but miscarriage is the death of the child. Whether or not the suffering a mother suffers when her unborn child dies naturally can be avoided, is irrelevant to this debate (at least at this point).

Yes, the DEVELOPMENT of an unborn child is very complex, but again (at least at this point) that is irrelevant.

It is not logical to think that the unborn baby becomes a human being at birth. The ONLY difference is location. By the time the baby is ready to be born, he/she has already finished developing for a while, and has simply been growing. How does the baby simply moving from one location to another, make him/her suddenly become a human being?

I did not misuse the word "being". I am aware that it means "person". Are you aware that "fetus" is Latin word which means "little CHILD" or "little PERSON"? You said yourself that the unborn are fetuses for most of the pregnancy, and the definition of "fetus" tells us that they are persons.
elvroin_vonn_trazem

Pro

Thank you, Lucky10279, for inviting me to this Debate.

Continuing from my Round 1 post:

(1.) Con assumes that an unborn human is "innocent". I shall instead show that it is "guilty". Note that the word has multiple definitions (these are at htt.../dictionary.reference.com/browse/guilty ).
guilty: adjective:
1. having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; justly subject to a certain accusation or penalty; culpable: The jury found her guilty of murder.
2. characterized by, connected with, or involving guilt: guilty intent.
3. having or showing a sense of guilt, whether real or imagined: a guilty conscience.

Definition (1) clearly indicates that guilt can apply without there being any intention (2) of committing a crime. This is important because it is well-known that an unborn human lacks sufficient brainpower to understand what a "crime" is.

As an analogy, consider a mosquito landing on some human's skin. It will commit the crime of "assault" when it sticks its proboscis through your skin (a type of "bite"), but it certainly knows nothing about crimes. That fact won't stop the human from smashing the mosquito flat, however.
htt.....ww-rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/moslife.htm

It could be worth noting that many humans will smash mosquitoes flat even before they bite, if the humans detect the mosquitoes soon-enough after landing on skin. Why, if the bug hasn't actually committed assault yet? The answer to that appears to be found in "genetic programming".

It is known that various aspects of DNA (yet to be identified in detail) can influence the behavior of an overall organism. (Even DNA in the common-cold virus can do that, by encouraging a human to sneeze and spread the virus.) Bugs have simple behavior patterns that can be entirely coded in DNA. Their behavior is more "controlled" than "influenced". Thus bugs are the biological equivalent of "robots" --and various robot-building researchers have constructed devices that behave remarkably like insects:
htt.....ww.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/the-engineering-life-around-the-web/4237675/Insect-like-robots-that-fly-and-cooperate

Humans know mosquitoes landing on their skin are guaranteed to bite, regardless of knowing about genetic programming. Meanwhile, life-forms far more complex than bugs can sometimes use "learning" to alter their built-in genetic predispositions. Even so, it is well-known how difficult it can be to discourage a fox from assaulting a hen-house, or to suppress a sneeze. But mosquitoes only land on skin to bite.

Now back to the topic of unborn humans. When a blastocyst implants into a womb and becomes an embryo, at that moment it is committing assault much like a biting mosquito, and its actions are equally DNA-controlled. Unlike a mosquito's assault, however, this assault is very un-obvious. Some days must pass before various hormonal changes can be detected, indicating that an assault indeed did occur, and it is continuing. In more ordinary words, pregnancy has begun.

A just-implanted blastocyst divides into two major sections, and one becomes the "placenta". It receives less public attention than other part, the "embryo". But, like a mosquito's proboscis, the placenta is the embryo's tool for accessing blood-nutrients --and an embryo needs a much longer list of nutrients than a mosquito.

It can now be more-easily understood why an abortion opponent might consider an unborn human to be "innocent" --it is not so obviously sucking blood like a mosquito; its umbilical cord puts some distance between its body and its assault-tool, the placenta.

Nevertheless, it is absolutely, positively, guilty of committing an action that can be deemed "assault". In the criminal-justice system there are extremely many cases in which a human who has been assaulted in one way or another has declined to press charges. In essence, the assault is forgiven.

Logically, ever since Roe vs. Wade, even though the verdict wasn't spelled-out in the manner described above, a pregnant woman has the right to declare her pregnancy to be the equivalent of an assault, and seek an abortion to end it. And, since at no stage during pregnancy is the assaulting organism more mentally sophisticated than a mere animal, no trial or judge or jury or other legality should be required, before an abortion is performed.

There is another and "larger" analogy, than comparing a pregnancy to a mosquito's assault. In the realm of fantastic fiction there are certain human-ish organisms that likely could fully qualify as "persons" under the legal system. The relevant descriptions are (A) they classically commit a blood-sucking assault upon ordinary humans, and (B) they are classically penalized with destruction entirely outside the legal system. That is, classically, if you encountered a "vampire", it was considered OK to drive a wooden stake through its heart --and you didn't need the permission of a judge or jury!

I recognize that more modern portrayals of vampires have complexified their behavior considerably (some don't suck human blood, for example). So vampire-slaying isn't quite as cut-and-dried as it used to be. However, the actual behavior of unborn mammals (not just humans) hasn't changed much in multi-megayears. Furthermore, an unborn human actually commits worse assaults than a vampire. Only the unborn human commits more assault by using its placenta to dump toxic biowaste compounds into the bloodstream of a pregnant woman.

Note I specified "worse assaults", plural, in that last paragraph. There is a particular hormone called "HGC" that the placenta generates.
htt.../en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_chorionic_gonadotropin
Among other things, that hormone causes another hormone to be produced, "progesterone".
htt.../en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progesterone
Progesterone is sometimes called a "feel-good hormone" (there are others).
htt.....ww.livestrong.com/article/238195-signs-and-symptoms-of-a-low-progesterone-level/
Logically, when pregnancy ends and the placenta is expelled, HGC and progesterone levels will drop. Well, it is widely known that when pregnancy ends, a woman typically feels something known as "postpartum depression".
htt.../en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postpartum_depression

I'm "connecting some dots" here that may not yet have been formally connected in the literature. Basically, the preceding facts indicate that postpartum depression is equivalent to the "withdrawal symptoms" of an addictive drug. So, logically, an unborn human qualifies as the worst type of "drug pusher", using its placenta to force addictive-drug-injection.

Of course, an unborn human doesn't have the brainpower to understand the horror of such actions. Nevertheless, those actions make it "guilty as sin!".

(5.) Con originally wrote: "the "my body, my choice" argument is invalid." --based on the fact that an unborn human is a distinct organism, different from a woman who happens to be pregnant. However, Con neglected to note the actions being performed by that separate organism. Con also neglected to note that the abortion process stops those actions, while she certainly focused on the consequence that abortion slays that bloodsucking, blood-poisoning, drug-pushing assailant, an unborn human.

Well, prohibiting abortion is exactly like prohibiting women from stopping an assault. Therefore I interpreted what Con wrote as assuming this: "A woman is not allowed to control access to her body."

I'm fairly sure that most women would consider the above assumption to be absurd. After all, if it was really true, then wouldn't any woman be rape-able at any time? And, of course, she must never swat a mosquito that's biting her, either!

(to be continued)

I'll respond to Con's other arguments after finishing the above.
Debate Round No. 2
Lucky10279

Con

Using your "logic" you could argue that any baby or young child even after birth, should be punished for doing bad things even when they don't know better. Using your "logic" you could argue that a teething baby should be punished for biting someone because he/she has sore gums.

Where did you get the definitions? That first definition is not accurate. Someone cannot be guilty if they did not have knowledge that what they are doing is wrong.

And please don't use wikipedia. It is not reliable.

Now when a women agrees to have sex, she is inviting a baby in. The baby is not assaulting the mother. What the baby is doing is NOT wrong. The baby has a RIGHT to be in the mother and grow and develop in the mother and access her nutrients. Imagine what would happen if every women who became pregnant thought that her baby was assaulting her and had an abortion. The human race would die out!

And one big problem with your vampire analogy: vampires aren't real!
as for the mosquito analogy, mosquitos aren't people, they have very little value, and no right to life. Therefore there is nothing wrong with killing mosquitos. But there is something wrong with killing unborn babies, because they are human beings with value and a right to life.

There is nothing horrific about an unborn child implanting and developing in his/her mother's womb, and there is nothing horrific about an unborn baby accessing his/her mother's nutrients.

As for what you said there about there being evidence for evolution but not evidence for God, there is evidence for microevolution but not macroevolution. Show me evidence for macroevolution if you are so sure that is some.
And there is evidence for the existence of God. The orderliness and design of the universe demands a Designer. "Design doesn't happen without a designer. It just doesn't happen." (Prove it! God) I just wanted to respond to that one comment you made about God, but let's keep this debate mainly about abortion, and we can have a different debate about the existence of God.
elvroin_vonn_trazem

Pro

Now I can finish what I started with my Round 1 post:

8. The last of Con's assumptions is about mutilation. Taken literally, the assumption means it is wrong to shave or cut any hair, to trim nails, to pierce ears (or any other body parts), to get a tattoo ... the assumption is obviously rejected in most human cultures. Some encourage the deliberate creation of scar-patterns, and consider the results beautiful.
htt.../news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0728_040728_tvtabooscars_2.html

Then there is "surgery", another class of mutilation altogether. Everything from removing tonsils to getting tooth cavities filled to replacing knee joints involves modifying the human body. There is nothing significantly different, in either degree or kind, with respect to scraping a womb to remove an unwanted organism. Well, there is nothing significantly different as far as the woman's body is concerned (yes, abortion can scar the womb).

And now that the faulty assumptions have been exposed, I can address the main content of Con's arguments.

"... killing an innocent human being is always wrong." This may be true, but an unborn human is neither innocent nor a person-class being, and so the statement is not actually a valid argument for opposing abortion.

Something I wrote in my first post may need some clarifying. Suppose you meet a truly alien organism, as, for example, did some human children in the fiction/movie "E.T., The ExtraTerrestrial". By what criteria would you determine whether or not that organism qualified as a person? Whatever the criteria, it would be prejudicial to fail to apply them to various human growth stages.

It is a simple measurable fact that unborn humans lack all the characteristics which can distinguish an arbitrary person-class organism from a mere animal. Dolphins are much more likely to qualify as persons than unborn humans!
ht..../news.discovery.com/animals/dolphins-name-themselves.html

"If you look at that picture and still say that abortion is not the brutal, cruel, murder of innocent human babies, then you are either in denial or are just outright lying." The word "murder" only applies to killing person-class beings, which unborn humans measurably are not. Again, unborn humans aren't innocent. Finally, to call it a "baby" is pure propaganda, a mis-use of the English language. Therefore it is the abortion opponents who are in denial.

"When a women says "I'm going to have a baby", that is a figure a speech ..." No, Con, you are quite wrong. See, I also wrote: "She never says, in reference to that pregnancy, 'I have a baby right now!'" --and you didn't challenge that statement. The phrase "I'm going to have a baby" is truly a future-tense statement-of-belief, not a "figure of speech".

"The boat analogy is a bad one." You are wrong again, Con. I'm comparing construction projects, not long-term uses or cherishings. The main difference between the two projects is that one is internally constructed and one is externally constructed. Neither project deserves to equated with the result before it is ready.

"Whether or not ... a mother suffers when her unborn child dies naturally ..., is irrelevant to this debate ..." You are wrong again, Con. The relevance is that the suffering is very largely caused by mis-using the words "child" and "baby". There is a big difference between believing you have a baby or child --but it miscarries-- and knowing you are hosting a complex biological construction project that might fail to be completed.

It should be obvious that constantly reminding oneself that the project might fail can lessen the emotional impact should actual failure occur. On the other hand, if the project is successful, that is all the more reason to be happy about it!

"Yes, the DEVELOPMENT of an unborn child is very complex, but again ... that is irrelevant." See above; you are wrong again, Con.

"It is not logical to think that the unborn baby becomes a human being at birth." I never wrote any such thing. I did use words to the effect that no unborn human can qualify as a human being, when "being" means "person".

The scientific evidence indicates that months of growth after birth are needed before a human baby acquires some of the generic traits that we could expect persons-of-any-species to possess. For example, one person-class ability is to recognize self in a mirror (this ability alone is not enough, and it is useless for blind organisms). Adult dolphins can recognize themselves --and so can a large octopus, but dogs and cats mostly can't. Human infants also can't, until they are perhaps 9 months old, or even older.
htt.../tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/understanding-how-children-mature-ga6.htm

It is the Law, not Science, that grants person status to humans after birth. Nevertheless, that status is something that really isn't relevant to any abortion debate, which involves humans before birth.

Meanwhile, there is one extremely relevant status change that does occur at birth. As previously described, an unborn human survives by committing assault. This remains true until birth. After birth, it can only survive by receiving gifts, such as the gift of being carried to a teat. At that time, birth, it stops committing assault, and begins behaving innocently.

"I did not misuse the word 'being'." Yes, you did, by in-effect claiming that merely calling an unborn human a "person" automatically qualifies it as a person.

"Are you aware that "fetus" is Latin word which means 'little CHILD' or 'little PERSON'?" No. I have not been able to find any dictionary with that etymology for "fetus".
htt.....ww.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/fetus
That dictionary's etymology is "offspring, bringing forth, hatching of young" --and is echoed in the other dictionaries I've looked at. Besides, "fetus" encompasses an unborn rat, an unborn skunk, an unborn mammal of any sort --are you going to claim those are all persons, too?

"... you could argue that any baby or young child even after birth, should be punished for doing bad things ..." That is false. I actually wrote: "In the criminal-justice system there are extremely many cases in which a human who has been assaulted in one way or another has declined to press charges. In essence, the assault is forgiven." What I've described elsewhere is why an unborn human animal could, not "should", deserve death.

See the "dictionary.com" site for the earlier definition of "guilty" (as previously indicated). The definitions below are from htt.....ww.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/guilty
1. Responsible for or chargeable with a reprehensible act; "guilty of murder"; "the guilty person"; "secret guilty deeds".[Wordnet]
2. Showing a sense of guilt; "a guilty look".[Wordnet]

There are several other definitions, but here also it is clear that actions can indeed be associated with guilt independently of consciousness.

Wikipedia is generally reliable enough. You are welcome to find other references elsewhere, that will say the same things I --and Wikipedia-- did.

"Now when a women agrees to have sex, she is inviting a baby in." This is often wildly false, especially when birth control is used. Even when not used it can still be false, partly because sex doesn't automatically cause pregnancy, the way a hydrogen automatically reacts with chlorine in sunlight. And it is false partly because zoologists have discovered that for humans the primary purpose of sex is "pair bonding", not reproduction.
htt.....ww.epjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/ep01138154.pdf
Religions that claim otherwise are denying facts, and are no more right about this than when they claimed the Earth was at the center of Creation.

(to be continued)
Debate Round No. 3
Lucky10279

Con

You know that is not what I mean by mutilation. I mean intentionally harming oneself, without just reason, (such as putting oneself in harm's way to protect someone else).

Yes, an unborn human child is a person, and he/she is innocent. What characteristics are you thinking of? If you won't believe me that the unborn are babies, then maybe you'll believe an abortionist confessing that he is killing. "Am I killing? yes I am I know that". (Dr. Curtis Boyd, abortionist)

And what makes someone a person? I'll tell you what does, membership in the human species is what makes someone a person, not their stage of development, or their size, or anything else.

My mother has 5 children, and the times she was pregnant she would say that she was going to have a baby, but I happen to know that she is strongly pro-life and she knows that the unborn are human beings, and that killing them would be murder. I know that she and almost every other woman I know who has children, just using it as a figure of speech. If a women says it meaning it literally then she is wrong.

An unborn baby is not a construction project, so that analogy is a bad one. No the suffering is caused by the knowledge the that she is pregnant with a baby, and the baby died.

You may not have directly said that, but you implied it. be able to see yourself in a mirror is NOT a person defining characteristic. As YOU JUST said blind people can't see at all, and some animals can see themselves in a mirror.

No we are human beings from the moment of conception whether the law recognizes that or not. God is who grants us our personhood status at conception.

As I already said the baby is NOT assaulting the mother.

It is wrong for a women to use birth control. And even if she does use it she is still inviting the baby in whether she wants to or not. Just because sex doesn't always result in pregnancy, does not mean that having sex is not inviting a baby in. When you plan a party you do not have a guarantee that everyone invited will come, but that doesn't mean you never invited them. It is people who deny that having sex is inviting a baby in, who are denying facts.
elvroin_vonn_trazem

Pro

I'll begin this Round by continuing the examining of Con's larger argument-statements. If space permits, I'll cover some of her Round-4 responses to my Round-3 post.

"The baby is not assaulting the mother." It most certainly is, as previously described, especially when a pregnancy is unwanted. However, if the pregnancy is actually wanted, then the woman can choose to forgive the assault, as also previously described. If she goes farther and considers that she is giving the unborn human a gift of her resources, it makes no real difference (in neither case will an abortion be sought).

"Imagine what would happen if every women who became pregnant thought that her baby was assaulting her and had an abortion. The human race would die out!" You say that like it was a bad thing. I doubt you can prove it in a Debate. Anyway, regardless, your statement is most extremely unlikely. Huge numbers of women want to have babies, and they won't care about any old "assault" description. It is one of those "genetic programming" things previously described.

"... vampires aren't real!" I did state they came from the realm of fantastic fiction. There is a thing known as "the willing suspension of disbelief" which is very often invoked in order to enjoy a fantastic story. It means that lack-of-reality is irrelevant to talking about something within the context of the story. So, if some story included both vampires and abortions --a not-unreasonable thing-- then the analogy I introduced becomes perfectly reasonable.

"... there is something wrong with killing unborn babies, because they are human beings with value ..." And still you mis-use the word "being". Tsk, tsk. Unborn humans are no more --and no less-- than only animals. Much like mosquitoes. To think they are special just because they are human is to exhibit prejudice. Tsk, tsk.

Also, all valuations are entirely arbitrary. To a woman who wants an abortion, the value of the unborn human she carries is less than Zero, because she has to pay to get rid of it.

"There is nothing horrific about an unborn child implanting ..." --only if it is wanted.

"As for what you said there about there being ... no evidence for God" --Actually, I stated no such thing. I actually wrote: "So far, all the evidence favors Evolution as the origin of humanity, not God." That is, there are only claims that God created humans. No evidence.

"Show me evidence for macroevolution ..." Look at the fossil record, and see for yourself. The longer the paleontologists look, the more evidence they find. Including some of the classic "missing links", like whales with legs. Other transitional species remain to be found, of course. Just because we haven't found all of them yet, that doesn't mean they won't ever be found. There is still a lot of the Earth's uppermost layers remaining to be scrutinized for fossils. Plus, we have the tools of molecular biology and gene-mappings, to "follow the DNA" across species, in spite of still-missing fossils.
htt.....ww.newscientist.com/article/dn14952-missing-link-fossil-stuck-its-neck-out.html
htt.../berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/01/24_hippos.shtml
htt.....ww.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/science/09fossils.html?pagewanted=all

"The orderliness and design of the universe demands a Designer." Actually, the universe is chock-full of randomness and chaos, including its foundations in Quantum Mechanics. And it is very possible for order to arise from disorder.
htt.../math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Quantum/bells_inequality.html
htt.....ww.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/philosop/design.htm
htt.....ww.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/339488/title/Order_from_disorder

Also, you seem to have somewhere missed a key notion that can be expressed like this: "The complexity of God demands a Designer of God." That is, if a created-complexity argument can be true for the universe, then logic demands it to be true of God, also.

"... we can have a different debate about the existence of God ..." I'm not against the existence of God. The evidence simply suggests that God is not necessary to explain the universe. I personally see nothing wrong with the notion that the two things, God and the universe, had independent origins. I don't insist that that is the Truth of the matter --maybe God caused the Big Bang and, being smart and knowledgeable, knew that the particular parameters associated with this universe would include Evolution, which in turn would produce intelligent beings like humanity --all without any additional effort on God's part. (Look at my profile page; there is a reason why I wrote, "God is smart; Religions are STUPID.") But if "separate origins" did turn out to be true, it wouldn't bother me one bit.

"... mutilation ... I mean intentionally harming oneself, without just reason ..." Ear-piercing falls into that category more than does abortion. It is very "just" to stop any unwelcome assailant.

"Am I killing? yes I am; I know that." I completely agree that abortion involves the slaying of a living animal body. And, as of this point in your posts, the only reason you've offered why an unborn human qualifies as more than a mere animal, is, in essence, "Duh ... it looks something like an adult human person, so I believe, without any other evidence, that it must qualify as a person." Well, see this:
htt.....ww.smartplanet.com/blog/smart-takes/uncanny-valley-when-robots-are-too-life-like-humans-dislike-them/17704

We can make robots that mimic human physical appearance and behavior enough to get humans to think the robots are persons, even though at this time no robot can match the average adult human in terms of "mental behavior". Logically, it takes more than mere looks to qualify as an actual person! Well, it is Scientific Fact that no unborn human, just like today's robots, has the necessary "more than mere looks", to qualify as a person.

"... membership in the human species is what makes someone a person ..." That is Bad Logic. It implies that no other species, anywhere in the universe, including God, can qualify as a person. (Note the logic: If God created the physical universe, then God could not have had a physical body of any sort, much less a human body, at that time. Are you silly enough to say that God couldn't qualify at least as a person until Jesus was born?) Your definition is pure "particularly appalling prejudice".

Next, if you change your mind and accept the idea that various non-humans (perhaps including dolphins) might qualify as persons, then you need a generic definition of "person", that can distinguish persons from mere/ordinary non-human animals. It is that definition which will preclude unborn humans from qualifying!

Next, developments in Artificial Intelligence research strongly indicate that at some future time (possibly sooner than 20 years from now), we will be able to copy every aspect of the human mind, that qualifies us as a person, into a computer. It will then qualify as a True Person-Class Artificial Intelligence. I posted a lot of links about this at: htt.....ww.debate.org/debate/23507/ --so I need not repeat them here.

Now see this link: htt.....ww.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1252440/von-Neumann-machine
When we build a True Artificial Intelligence into a von Neumann machine, one result can be small machines that can add stuff to themselves until each one qualifies as a person. This copies the way humans grow from the blastocyst stage. I won't consider any such "small machine" to qualify as a person before its self-construction project is finished. How about you? What will you think if one robs your own personal computer for parts? And why can't such logic apply to unborn human construction projects?

(to be continued)
Debate Round No. 4
Lucky10279

Con

I have to admit you have a point. God was and is three persons, (but I don't want to debate about that now), even before He became human. But this doesn't change the fact that the unborn are persons. They are human beings. What makes someone a person is having an eternal soul, which the unborn do.

No because piercing your ears does not usually cause harm. The holes simply heal up.

Assault: a sudden violent attack (dictionary.com)
There is nothing violent about anything the baby (yes, the unborn are babies) does inside the mother. And the mother is almost never harmed by the baby.

Well this isn't a story. This is reality. so vampires cannot be used to argue for abortion.
A human being does have value simply because someone want's him/her. We have value because God loves us. God still loves that baby just as much, no matter what the mother does. So the unborn babies have just as much value as you and me.

No, God does not need a creator because He had no beginning.
The way the unborn LOOK have nothing to do with it.
That computer would not be a person. Just being intelligent does not make something a person. If it did then people with low IQ's would not qualify as persons.
elvroin_vonn_trazem

Pro

My post here begins by continuing the examining of Con's statements in her Round-4 post.

"Yes, an unborn human ... is innocent"
"My mother ... would say that she was going to have a baby .... I know that she and [others] ... [are] using it as a figure of speech."
"If a women says it meaning it literally then she is wrong."
"An unborn baby is not a construction project, so that analogy is a bad one."
"God is who grants us our personhood status at conception."
"... I already said the baby is NOT assaulting the mother."
"It is wrong for a women to use birth control."
"What makes someone a person is having an eternal soul, which the unborn do."
"God does not need a creator because He had no beginning."
Con wrote the preceding quoted remarks (some from Round 5) without offering any supporting evidence whatsoever. Why should anyone believe mere claims, if they lack supporting evidence? "Just because they have been told to believe it since birth?" Sorry, but that qualifies more as "brainwashing" than "education".

"No the suffering is caused by the knowledge the that she is pregnant with a baby, and the baby died." This is very much like what I previously described --she believed she had something that she did not actually have: a complete baby (which qualifies as "mis-using the English language). When the construction project failed to reach completion, the death of that incomplete baby-under-construction proved that her belief was not founded on Reality; she "set herself up for an emotional fall" by believing something that was not Truth/Knowledge. Thank you, Con, for helping me make my case!

"... see yourself in a mirror is NOT a person defining characteristic." I actually specified recognizing oneself in a mirror, which is a different thing than merely "seeing yourself". Most ordinary animals with sight will fail that self-recognition test, and all sighted person-class organisms will pass that test. The fact that we know that blind persons can exist merely means that this test, by itself, is insufficient to prove some random organism is a person. Meanwhile, it can still prove that various non-blind organisms are not person-class. Including human infants (and, by extension, all unborn humans).

"[If a woman has sex] she is still inviting the baby in whether she wants to or not [and she must not abort it]." This is analogous to saying, "If you walk near a swamp, you are inviting mosquitoes to bite, whether you want it or not, and you must not swat them when they do bite. It is analogous to saying, "If you move to a desert, you are inviting crop failure from lack of rain, whether you want it or not, and you must not build an irrigation system." It is analogous to saying, "If you move near a river, you are inviting a flood into your house, whether you want it or not, and you must not build a levy."

ALL those statements are utter nonsense! Persons have Free Will. They are not required to go through life as if they didn't have it! It is very true that various actions can have unwanted consequences. But it is Free Will that gives us a chance to do something about those consequences. Including seeking abortions that will kill unwanted human animals.

"... piercing your ears does not usually cause harm." That is false. It always involves damaging the body. Yes, the damage is minor. But damage is damage! And, since there is no "just" cause for it, it qualifies as "mutilation", per Con's own definition.

Con ignored the second definition of "assault" at:
htt.../dictionary.reference.com/browse/assault
2. Law . an unlawful physical attack upon another; an attempt or offer to do violence to another, with or without battery, as by holding a stone or club in a threatening manner.

I added the emphasis above. The "physical attack" part does not have to be violent. It merely has to be unlawful. Stealing someone else's blood is definitely unlawful! So, a mosquito can indeed commit assault. And so can an unborn human.

"... vampires cannot be used to argue for abortion." I was comparing types of assault, and showed that unborn humans are worse than the type of assault typically associated with fictional vampires. A vampire assault is described as being basically like a mosquito assault, only thirstier (just like unborn humans are mostly blood-thirstier than mosquitoes). But unborn humans not only suck blood, they also poison it with biowaste and push possibly-addictive drugs into it. If one ordinary human adult did such things to another, no matter how gently, it would be classified as "assault"!

"... the mother is almost never harmed by the baby." That is false; psychological harm happens to most mothers --all who experience postpartum depression.

"A human being does have value simply because someone wants him/her." This is not always true; otherwise no abortions would ever be sought. And God loves souls much more than mere animal bodies. Think about the Biblical Flood. To whatever extent it may have happened (and been exaggerated), no souls were hurt in the process!

"That computer would not be a person. Just being intelligent does not make something a person." Con ignored what I previously wrote:
"... we will be able to copy every aspect of the human mind, that qualifies us as a person, into a computer." --"every" means "more than just/only intelligence".

So, Con is ignoring the facts --even her own "facts". For example, if a dolphin has a soul, it would qualify as a person. Proving it does or doesn't have a soul is as difficult as proving an unborn human does or doesn't have a soul. We know nothing about the range of physical bodies, which God might consider to be suitable vehicles for souls! This could indeed include dolphins and complex-enough computers/robots --and may exclude not-complex-enough unborn humans-under-construction. We will be building complex-enough computers/robots in probably-less than 20 years (assuming our technical civilization doesn't collapse before then).

An additional fact, not previously mentioned in this Debate, concerns "nanotechnology". We have discovered that molecular biology basically is nanotechnology.
htt.....ww.economicexpert.com/a/Bionanotechnology.htm
Molecular biology just happens to be Natural instead of man-made nanotech. And that means the human body and brain are just as much machines as future robots and computers will be. The behind-the-scenes hardware can differ, but it is irrelevant if the patterns of operation are the same. So, if our machinery can host souls (and if dolphin or other non-human biomachinery can host souls), so can, eventually, man-made computer machinery.

The key question is "WHEN do souls become associated with bodies?" There are only claims that unborn humans have souls; there is no actual supporting evidence whatsoever. Yes, the same is true about the average human walking about --lots of claims and almost no hard evidence. The only even-partly-"hard" evidence for the existence of human souls comes from "reincarnation" researchers.
htt.....ww.afterlife101.com/Twenty_Cases.html
But this poses a problem for Con's case: In reincarnation philosophy, souls only enter babies after birth; unborn humans have no souls! (By the way, abortion doesn't matter; immortal souls can afford to wait, to incarnate into babies born to mothers that want them!)

Of course, Con might choose to ignore even that small amount of data, and thereby return to spouting totally-worthless-because-unsupported claims about unborn humans and souls.

In overview, it seems that Con's entire case consists of almost nothing but unsupported claims. Tsk, tsk. Meanwhile, I've presented a great deal of evidence that almost all of those claims are flawed!
Debate Round No. 5
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
" Most people I discuss this with are very close minded,"

Lol
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
Actually I wouldn't vote on this... but the outcome was correct anyway.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
I would vote on this, but it doesn't really seem necessary.
Posted by Lucky10279 4 years ago
Lucky10279
In my last argument I meant to say that the unborn do not have simply because another human being wants them. The only reason any of us have value is because God loves us.
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 4 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
Very well. I shall begin writing my first-round stuff.
Posted by Lucky10279 4 years ago
Lucky10279
Then let's start with this debate, and we can have more if there are not enough rounds to finish.
Posted by Lucky10279 4 years ago
Lucky10279
And Freeman I want to point out that you have changed your self-awareness argument, to memory. And how does shaving memory give us a right to live? There is no logic in thinking it does.
Posted by elvroin_vonn_trazem 4 years ago
elvroin_vonn_trazem
I would prefer to tackle the overall Abortion Debate piecemeal (several distinct Debates). That's mostly because it can be very easy to use several Debate-rounds to nail down just one sub-issue --and your argument in this Debate contains quite a few sub-issues. I'm quite sure that a mere 5 rounds will be totally inadequate to cover everything at the proper level of detail.

For example, we could Debate whether or not an unborn human qualifies as "innocent". Now _suppose_ we Debated that and it could be proved that an unborn human was actually guilty. It would destroy your part of your argument in _this_ Debate, see? That is, it may indeed be wrong to kill an innocent human being, but if an unborn human is not innocent....

Or, we could Debate whether or not an unborn human qualifies for the description "human being". _If_ it does not qualify, then _again_ part of your argument in _this_ Debate would be destroyed.

And so on. Please note that I'm currently in the midst of another sub-issue Debate, regarding the silly notion that humans have "inherent value" --they can't because the concept is self-inconsistent. And since the _concept_ is faulty, not even God can have "inherent value".
Posted by Lucky10279 4 years ago
Lucky10279
And how does us remembering our past give us value? There is no logic in thinking that it does.
Posted by Lucky10279 4 years ago
Lucky10279
Euthanasia is wrong. You don't seem to realize how much value we as human beings have. Even if we WANT someone to kill us, it would still be wrong for someone to do so. That would be assisted suicide. It's wrong and illegal. As you have just pointed out, our desires conflict with others desires al the time. So it is not logical to think that just because we desire to live that we have a right to live. So what if I wanted to kill you but you wanted to live (I don't want to kill you, just an example), why should your desire win out over mine? Why is your desire better than mine?

What evidence is that? OK, so we can suffer and enjoy life, how could that give us value? So if someone is miserable and can't enjoy life, then it's ok to kill them?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by ceruleanpolymer 4 years ago
ceruleanpolymer
Lucky10279elvroin_vonn_trazemTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used evidence whereas con did not...clear win for pro.
Vote Placed by Mrparkers 4 years ago
Mrparkers
Lucky10279elvroin_vonn_trazemTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's facts and sources easily beat Con's opinions
Vote Placed by Tetraneutrons 4 years ago
Tetraneutrons
Lucky10279elvroin_vonn_trazemTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: While I don't support abortion, the vote in this debate was fairly clear cut. First I awarded the points to the pro for the use of a variety of sources to back up his arguments. Most importantly though, the con doesn't show how abortion is wrong to non-religious individuals, that coupled with less in depth analysis gives the Pro my vote.