The Instigator
ToriDivine
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
jzonda415
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Abortion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
jzonda415
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/26/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,148 times Debate No: 37055
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

ToriDivine

Pro

I think that yes, abortion should be legal/allowed. For me, abortion would be the last thing I would even consider doing. But I am not every other woman on the planet, and I do not have the same mind as they. If they want to abort their baby, we shouldn't be able to say anything against that. Sure, I may not be one to abort my child, but I have no right to say that they can't. I am not that woman. I am not in control of her mind or body. For someone to come up to her and tell her that no, she must absolutely have the child, and that she has no choice, is ridiculous. I honestly don't even think that men should have any say in whether it should be legal or not. They are not female, they will never experience anything like abortion, and therefore should not be able to decide what woman should do with their own bodies if they don't even have any idea what they might be going through. And, of course, there is always the case of a rape. I personally would not want to live 9 months reliving what happened to me, and then have the baby as a reminder. I know it is not it's fault, not at all, but it's really just a sort of psychological issue that you may have with it. As you can see, I am pretty strongly opinionated when it comes to this, and feminism in general. No uterus, no opinion!
jzonda415

Con

It is a true pleasure to be debating ToriDivine on this topic. Without any further ado, let's launch right into the debate.

Opponent's Case:

There are many problems with this case. Firstly, most of her case of not telling a woman what to do revolves around the assumption that a conceptus is not a person. I will disprove this later. Secondly, my opponent wrongly calls a conceptus a part of a woman's body. It is certainly attached to and depends on the mother, but my opponent must elaborate on how this makes the conceptus less of a person, which I will contest. Thirdly, just because the child comes from a terrible scenario such as rape, doesn't mean it is of any less moral value than another life and its murder is still wrong [1].

Why The Conceptus Is A Life:

Obviously, if a conceptus is a person, than the killing of it is wrong and therefore abortion is wrong (Unless my opponent wants legalized murder). Here are a couple of arguments as to why the conceptus is a person:

1. At the moment of conception a separate unique human individual, with its own genetic code, comes into existence, needing only food, water, shelter, and oxygen in order to grow and develop.

2. The conceptus is the sexual product of human parents, and whatever is the sexual product of members of a particular mammalian species, is itself a unique individual member of that species.

3. The conceptus follows all 10 signs of life.

4. The same being that begins as a zygote continues to birth and adulthood. There is no decisive break in the continuous development of the human entity from conception until death that would make this entity a different individual before birth. This is why it makes perfect sense for any one of us to say, "When I was conceived..."

5. A conceptus' inherent capacity for self-awareness makes it morally equivalent to a fully grown human.

I will expand on these later.

As there are only 2000 characters, I must pass it over to Pro and hear her refute my points.

Sources in comments.
Debate Round No. 1
ToriDivine

Pro

My opponent has a few good points, but this is where he has gone wrong.

He says that abortion is murder, something I can prove otherwise.

Why do pro-lifers think that embryos become precious immediately after conception? Does a switch get turned on that instantly makes the fertilized egg precious?

What makes a person inherently precious, I think, is (dormant or active) consciousness: thoughts, feelings, memories, hopes, and awareness. Since consciousness depends on the development of the nervous system, and since it takes many months for the nervous system to mature, we can conclude that consciousness emerges gradually. Consequently, the inherent preciousness emerges gradually too.

Granted, a sleeping or comatose person has no consciousness either. But a sleeping or comatose person's consciousness is dormant: if they wake up, they have memories, etc.

For a fertilized egg, there is no consciousness and also no history of consciousness (unless you believe in reincarnation). Even though all the DNA is there, the fact that there's no higher brain activity strongly suggests that there's no consciousness.

Nor does the later presence of a heartbeat and of primitive neural activity imply consciousness or preciousness. What's needed is higher brain activity and the consequent self-awareness.

Now, I grant that nobody knows for sure what consciousness is -- philosophers have been speculating about the nature of consciousness for years, and scientists haven't yet tackled the issue. But it is quite clear that consciousness does not emerge full-grown immediately after conception. And since I believe in science, I have to presume that consciousness emerges with the gradual development of the nervous system.

Since I made the character limit 2,000, I will have to continue in later arguments. Best of luck to my opponent.

Sources:
A) dbcuuc.org/sermons/001001.htm
B) http://capitalismmagazine.com...
jzonda415

Con

Many thanks for my opponent's timely response.

Dropped Points:

My opponent has dropped many arguments as to why the conceptus is a life (All of my points in my second section from last round). Thus, I shall extend my arguments from that round.

The Brain and Personhood:

My opponent starts by saying that dormant or active consciousness is essential to personhood. However, a conceptus has dormant consciousness, like a person who is asleep or comatose. Thus, her reasoning actually supports my claims.

She then goes on to say that persons need to have a history of consciousness/sentience, in order to be a person. Firstly, consider the treatment of comatose patients. We would not discriminate against one for rarely or never having been sentient in the past while another patient had been sentient. In such cases, potential counts for everything. Secondly, since one does not have to experience harm in order to be harmed, it seems more consistent with our moral sensibilities to say that what makes it wrong to kill the reversibly comatose, the momentarily unconscious, and the conceptus is that they all possess the natural inherent capacity to perform personal acts. And what makes it morally right to kill plants and to pull the plug on the brain dead, who had history of sentience, is that their deaths cannot deprive them of their natural inherent capacity to function as persons, since they do not possess such a capacity. Therefore, history of sentience is irrelevant.

My opponent then proceeds to state that higher brain function is essential to personhood. However, the conceptus yet to reach the stage in his (or her) development at which brain waves can be detected, unlike the brain dead individual, possesses the inherent capacity to have brain waves. He/she is like a patient with a temporarily flat EEG. Therefore, this also argument also fails.

My opponent has not addressed one of my arguments from my first round, and all of her arguments do not stand up to scrutiny. My case still stands.
Debate Round No. 2
ToriDivine

Pro

I would first like to apologize to my opponent for the lack of argument against his first 5 points. As I went back to check them, I realized that they were all mostly about the conceptus and how they are somewhat alive.

Well, at conception, the life form is called a zygote and it begins its journey by dividing into two identical cells, called blastomeres. They continue to subdivide once every twelve to twenty hours. When it reaches sixteen cells it becomes known as a morula, which usually occurs after three days gestation. A couple of days later a cavity appears in its center and it is now called a blastocyst, which contain an inner group of cells that will eventually become the fetus and an outer group that will form the placenta. At about twelve days or so after conception, the blastocyst starts to produce hormones that are detectable in urine. It is at this point where most physicians define the start of pregnancy. A vast majority of zygotes never make it this far.

In fact, even at two months along, the embryo does not appear to be fully human. It has a reptilian brain and has not yet developed the capacity for consciousness. It is not yet sentient and is not defined as a fetus until the tenth week. Actually, over ninety percent of abortions are performed before the fetus reaches 13 weeks.

So, to say that the termination of a human zygote, blastocyst, embryo or a fetus is a human being before viability, with a right to life, is scientifically unfounded and rightfully illegal. There is a huge difference between something being potentially human and an actual living, breathing human being. Even a fetus that is prematurely born or removed from a sick or dying mother is not a human being until it is actually apart from the mother.

Due to the lack of characters, I am forced to stop now. I thank my opponent for his time and arguments and wish him the best of luck.

Sources
A) I guess this: https://theshalomcenter.org...
B) My own knowledge.
jzonda415

Con

Many thanks for my opponent's last response.


Dropped Points:


My opponent has refuted none of my points about consciousness from last round. Then, she dismisses all of my arguments from my first round by saying they talk about how the conceptus is somewhat alive, which is false. In these, I talk about how the conceptus is fully alive and a person. Therefore, I extend my arguments.


Opponent's Case:


My opponent starts out by going through what happens after conception occurs. Seeing as this is just a stage in the development of the conceptus, it is irrelevant to the question of whether the conceptus is a life or not.


Next, she says after the first week, the pregnancy is detectable. Since people being aware of your existence does not change the value of your life, this is irrelevant.


Then, she states that many zygotes never make it past the first week after conception. But, just because there is a high death rate, like in the third world, it doesn't make the child of any less moral value.


After, she states that the conceptus at this stage has not yet developed the capacity for consciousness. This is false. They do have a capacity for self awareness, a quality essential for personhood. For, when this part in their life is complete, they will be able to be self-aware, like a comatose person. This argument fails.


My opponent then claims that a conceptus needs to be viable in order to be human. However, this is not relevant to an unborn's personhood, for it relates more to the location and dependency of the unborn than to any essential change in their state of being.


After, my opponent calls a conceptus a potential person, which my arguments in round 1 showed is false.


She goes on to claim that a child is not a person until it is no longer a part of the mother. It was never part of the mother to begin with (The mom doesn't have 2 brains or 20 toes); thus, this argument fails.


My opponent has failed to even touch my case and her points don't stand up to scrutiny. Vote Con.

Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by jzonda415 3 years ago
jzonda415
@mubaracus:

Could you elaborate further on what arguments Of Pro's I ignored? And also please tell me where she refuted my claims on consciousness and my five points on why a conceptus is a life.
Posted by CatholicTraditionalist 3 years ago
CatholicTraditionalist
the Pro(ToriDivine) said, "...at two months along, the embryo does not appear to be fully human. It has a reptilian brain"

OK, then if its brain is reptilian, then its DNA would also be reptilian. But if its DNA is human, then its not a reptilian brain, but instead an undeveloped human brain.

the Pro(ToriDivine) said, "....the blastocyst starts to produce hormones that are detectable in urine. It is at this point where most physicians define the start of pregnancy. "

That says nothing about when those physicians consider human life to come into existence. It only speaks to when they are finally able to detect that human life which was already in existence.

the Pro said, " to say that the termination of a human zygote, blastocyst, embryo or a fetus is a human being before viability, with a right to life, is scientifically unfounded and rightfully illegal."

Based on what? You haven't cited any scientific sources to back up your claim that a zygote, blastocyst, embryo or fetus is not a human being. Instead, the science textbooks themselves refute your claim because they teach that a zygote, blastocyst, embryo, fetus, infant, child, adolescent, adult and senior are simply stages in a human beings life span.

the Pro said, "Even a fetus that is prematurely born or removed from a sick or dying mother is not a human being until it is actually apart from the mother."

WoW, so the Pro(ToriDivine) disregarded her own argument in regards to "consciousness" as the sole basis for determining whether one is a living human being or not. This proves that the Pro is dishonest and is running away from her own position. Its been shown scientifically and medically that a human being in the fetus stage of development has brain function and engages in the same activities that a newly born infant engages in, such as laughing, crying, kicking, sucking its own thumb etc... Therefore this proves the Fetus has "consciousness". The Pro is therefore contradicting herself.
Posted by CorOdin 3 years ago
CorOdin
Why does consciousness dictate that you are a human being or not? Who gets to decide that? You? Based on what? How about we throw away anything that can't strictly be proven through science. The fact is, the moment a zygote is formed is the moment that a unique set of DNA is created. That's it. A unique human being has been formed. Sure, he lacks bones, muscles, tendons, skin, a brain - but who gets to decide what organs are necessary to become human?

But let's assume that consciousness IS the way we determine person-hood. Pro attempted to refute the problem of being asleep, but did not carry it to its logical conclusion. A sleeping man is no less human than a man who is awake. Pro tried too explain it that because he will soon wake up, he is a human. This means Pro that if you are going to be conscious as a normal being would within a certain time frame, you qualify for being a human. But certainly this applies to a fetus. A fetus will only be a short few months before it is conscious, just as a sleeping man only has to wait a few hours. So who gets to decide the time limit? No one can, because it is completely arbitrary.
Posted by jzonda415 3 years ago
jzonda415
Sources:

1. I guess I used this a little: http://catholiceducation.org...

2. Most of what I used came from old discussions I had with my friends and old articles I read a couple of years ago. I'm just more relying on my own reasoning than anything else.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Wu-oh you're debating Jzonda.

You might have some trouble winning this one ;P
Posted by CatholicTraditionalist 3 years ago
CatholicTraditionalist
OK, here it is Pro( ToriDivine ).........

"I think that yes, murder of jews should be legal/allowed. For me, murder of jews would be the last thing I would even consider doing. But I am not every other person on the planet, and I do not have the same mind as they. If they want to murder their jewish neighbor, we shouldn't be able to say anything against that. Sure, I may not be one to murder my jewsih neighbor, but I have no right to say that others can't. I am not that person. I am not in control of someone else's mind or body. For someone to come up to them and tell them that no, they must absolutely allow the Jew to live, and that they have no choice, is ridiculous. I honestly don't even think that non-Nazis should have any say in whether it should be legal or not. They are not Nazis, they will never experience anything like murder of a Jew, and therefore should not be able to decide what a Nazi should do with their own Jews if they don't even have any idea what they(the Nazi) might be going through. And, of course, there is always the case of some Jew who did a wrongful act towards me . I personally would not want to live several months reliving what happened to me, and then have a Jewish neighbor as a reminder. I know it is not that Jewish neighbor' fault, not at all, but it's really just a sort of psychological issue that you may have with it. As you can see, I am pretty strongly opinionated when it comes to this, and Nazism in general. No swastika (卐) , no opinion!"
Posted by CatholicTraditionalist 3 years ago
CatholicTraditionalist
OK, here it is Pro( ToriDivine ).........

"I think that yes, murder of jews should be legal/allowed. For me, murder of jews would be the last thing I would even consider doing. But I am not every other person on the planet, and I do not have the same mind as they. If they want to murder their jewish neighbor, we shouldn't be able to say anything against that. Sure, I may not be one to murder my jewsih neighbor, but I have no right to say that others can't. I am not that person. I am not in control of someone else's mind or body. For someone to come up to them and tell them that no, they must absolutely allow the Jew to live, and that they have no choice, is ridiculous. I honestly don't even think that non-Nazis should have any say in whether it should be legal or not. They are not Nazis, they will never experience anything like murder of a Jew, and therefore should not be able to decide what a Nazi should do with their own Jews if they don't even have any idea what they(the Nazi) might be going through. And, of course, there is always the case of some Jew who did a wrongful act towards me . I personally would not want to live several months reliving what happened to me, and then have a Jewish neighbor as a reminder. I know it is not that Jewish neighbor' fault, not at all, but it's really just a sort of psychological issue that you may have with it. As you can see, I am pretty strongly opinionated when it comes to this, and Nazism in general. No swastika (卐) , no opinion!"
Posted by CatholicTraditionalist 3 years ago
CatholicTraditionalist
I have a message to the Pro( ToriDivine ) ,,, Science textbooks claim that a human beings' life cycle begins at fertilization of the sperm and egg, to infant, to child, to teenager, to adult, to senior, and then finally death. Which means that a human being's life begins at conception(which is the fertilization of the egg by the sperm). You are defending the position that its OK to murder a certain group of human beings(human babies in the womb) because "its a right", "its legal" and because that group of human beings is "inconvenient" to another group of human beings. Therefore in order to show you your error, I will slightly change the wording of your original post so that you can understand that you are arguing in favor of something that the evil Nazi empire also argued in favor of; Which makes you just as evil as the Nazis. I will do so in my next post..........
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
ToriDivinejzonda415Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con gets s&g and conduct points because Pro used poor paragraph structure in the first round. In the first round, Con also argued professionally by using bold titles. Pro did not do that in the first round, but did it in the later rounds. Sources is a tie since Pro used her own knowledge as a source and made a guess on one website, but Con put sources in comments. Moreover, I don't find Pro's argument convincing. One of her arguments is biased: "They are not female, they will never experience anything like abortion, and therefore should not be able to decide what woman should do with their own bodies if they don't even have any idea what they might be going through" Also, Pro dropped arguments regarding consciousness. Con's argument stands there.
Vote Placed by jdizzle 3 years ago
jdizzle
ToriDivinejzonda415Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con successfully refutes pro's points
Vote Placed by mubaracus 3 years ago
mubaracus
ToriDivinejzonda415Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con in my opinion is overly aggressive in the debeate and emphasizes many false claims. Saying numerous times that pro ignored his debates but in my opinion Pro didn't ignore any and in fact Con actually ignored a majority of the arguments that pro provided by "summarizing" them into a disagreement on life at conception.
Vote Placed by WilliamofOckham 3 years ago
WilliamofOckham
ToriDivinejzonda415Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a sad debate. It never really had a chance because, from what I could gather, each argument could only be ~2000 characters. Anyway, pro never touched con's arguments. Further, her arguments were easily dismantled by con.