The Instigator
bsh1
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
philosurfer
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Abortion

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,858 times Debate No: 38616
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (41)
Votes (4)

 

bsh1

Con

Resolved: Abortion is, on balance, moral.

By accepting this debate, you agree to the following stipulations: you will not use specific religious doctrine(s) to defend your position, you will stay on topic, you will comport yourself civilly, and you will not defend specific examples of abortion, but rather abortion as a principle.

Pro has sole burden of proof. I will be arguing the Con on this one, even though I am prochoice. I would just like to be the devil's advocate on this one...

Round one is just for acceptance. Round Two will only be for cases (no rebuttals.) Round Three will be for rebuttals. Round Four will be a closing statement capped at 8,000 characters.

I thank my opponent in advance for accepting, and I look forward to a great debate. Definitions are below:

Abortion - an intervention to remove the embryo or fetus from the womb, thus ending the pregnancy. An abortion necessarily implies that the fetus is unlikely to survive as a result of the procedure.
Moral - right; ethical.
philosurfer

Pro

I humbly accept your challenge.

I am not religious (so no worries there). I am educated (so I will try to be as academic as I can and cite proper sources if you wish). I was once Pro-choice (But have amended my position slightly based on purely scientific and philosophical reasons (specifically: the concepts of Person-hood and Viability & because of philosophical difficulties; deciding or knowing when a human-being becomes a "human-being" during developmental stages.

I would also like to point out that, as you have set the table, there is a minor, semi unreasonable request made on your behalf, which is that the "Con" in this debate has the "sole burden of proof" and yet must argue from only a standpoint of "principle" ... Which kind of proof are you speaking of? And subsequently, would it then be unfair to restrict the "Con" in this debate from specific examples?

I'm happy to debate the purely moral/ethical dynamics. But then, on the other hand, considering we are dealing with a physical system (abortion), specific examples may be needed by both parties at some point, especially when considering Viability and assigning person-hood, thus, human rights, etc., etc.
Debate Round No. 1
bsh1

Con

Just to clarify: CON is arguing that abortion is IMMORAL.

Observation One: Because we are talking about abortion "on balance," I am not required to say that abortion is wrong in 100% of cases. Therefore, I will qualify my stance by noting that I believe abortions taken in order to save the mother from death or serious injury are permissible.

I will defend the PROLIFE position using two distinct arguments, one philosophical and one medical. There will be one contention per argument, and because these argumentss operate independently, only one is needed to sufficiently negate.

Contention One: Philosophical Arguments/FLO Theory

FLO Theory is outlined by Don Marquis in his essay "An Argument that Abortion is Wrong." He writes, "Who is primarily wronged by killing? The wrong of killing is not primarily explained in terms of the loss to the family and friends of the victim. Perhaps the victim is a hermit. Perhaps one's friends find it easy to make new friends. The wrong of killing is not primarily explained in terms of the brutalization of the killer. The great wrong to the victim explains the brutalization, not the other way around. The wrongness of killing us is understood in terms of what killing does to us. Killing imposes upon us the misfortune of premature death."

Marquis furthers, explaining why precisely loss of potential is wrong. "Premature death is a misfortune because when one is dead one has been deprived of life...Premature death cannot deprive me of my past life...Rather than my past, my death deprives me of my future, of the life that I would have lived if I live out my natural life span....the misfortune of premature death consists of the loss to use of the future goods of consciousness. What are these goods?...The goods of life are whatever we get out of life....Thus, it is wrong to say that the value of my future to me is just what I value now. What makes my future valuable to me are those aspects of my future that I will value when I will experience them, whether I value them now or not." Essentially, what makes killing wrong is that it deprives of us of a future, or "FLO."

Finally, Marquis relates this theory to abortion. "The FLO account of the wrongness of abortion is a potentiality argument. To claim that a fetus has a FLO is to claim that a fetus now has the potential to be in a state of a certain kind in the future. It is not a claim that ordinary fetuses will have FLOs. Fetuses who are aborted, of course, will not. To say that a standard fetus has a FLO is to say that a standard fetus either will have or would have a life it will or would value. To say that a standard fetus would have a life it would value is to say that it will have a life it will value if it does not die prematurely." Therefore, the potentiality of the fetus makes it immoral to abort the fetus.

Contention Two: Medical Arguments

1. "The medical arguments against abortion are compelling. For example, at conception the embryo is genetically distinct from the mother. To say that the developing baby is no different from the mother's appendix is scientifically inaccurate. A developing embryo is genetically different from the mother. A developing embryo is also genetically different from the sperm and egg that created it. A human being has 46 chromosomes (sometimes 47 chromosomes). Sperm and egg have 23 chromosomes. A trained geneticist can distinguish between the DNA of an embryo and that of a sperm and egg. But that same geneticist could not distinguish between the DNA of a developing embryo and a full-grown human being."

2. "Another set of medical arguments against abortion surround the definition of life and death. If one set of criteria have been used to define death, could they also be used to define life? Death used to be defined by the cessation of heartbeat. A stopped heart was a clear sign of death. If the cessation of heartbeat could define death, could the onset of a heartbeat define life? The heart is formed by the 18th day in the womb. If heartbeat was used to define life, then nearly all abortions would be outlawed."

3. "Physicians now use a more rigorous criterion for death: brain wave activity. A flat EEG (electroencephalograph) is one of the most important criteria used to determine death. If the cessation of brain wave activity can define death, could the onset of brain wave activity define life? Individual brain waves are detected in the fetus in about 40-43 days. Using brain wave activity to define life would outlaw at least a majority of abortions."

4. "Opponents to abortion also raise the controversial issue of fetal pain. Does the fetus feel pain during abortion? The evidence seems fairly clear and consistent. Consider this statement made in a British medical journal: 'Try sticking an infant with a pin and you know what happens. She opens her mouth to cry and also pulls away. Try sticking an 8-week-old human fetus in the palm of his hand. He opens his mouth and pulls his hand away. A more technical description would add that changes in heart rate and fetal movement also suggest that intrauterine manipulations are painful to the fetus.'"

5. "Obviously, other medical criteria could be used. For example, the developing fetus has a unique set of fingerprints as well as genetic patterns that make it unique. The development of sonography has provided us with a 'window to the womb' showing us that a person is growing and developing in the mother's womb. We can discern eyes, ears, fingers, a nose, and a mouth. Our visual senses tell us this is a baby growing and maturing. This is not a piece of protoplasm; this is a baby inside the womb."

"The point is simple. Medical science leads to a pro-life perspective rather than a pro-choice perspective. If medical science can be used at all to draw a line, the clearest line is at the moment of conception. Medical arguments provide a strong case against abortion and for life." Basically, if most fetuses are alive prior to abortion, that the act of abortion would be infanticide. Therefore, abortion is, on balance, immoral, under this logic.

Thus, I negate. I eagerly await Pro's points!
philosurfer

Pro

Definition Corrections and Developmental Timetable:

Zygote: first through third day
Blastocyst: second day through second week
Embryo: third week through eighth week
Fetus: ninth week to birth
Quickening: thirteenth week through twentieth week
Viability: after 24 weeks

Should an unborn entity be terminated at any point during this timetable, an abortion is said to have occur. Thus, an "abortion" simply refers to any termination of pregnancy [Applying Ethics, Olsen., Van Camp., Barry. p. 120].

Notice this definition would then include miscarriages, still births (even though the baby isn't removed from the mother's body yet), fertilized ovum (zygote) that didn't/doesn't attach to the uterus wall., etc. (a long list of various "natural" kinds of abortions can be complied).

It is estimated that between 15% to 20% and up to 50% of all fertilized ovum are aborted naturally (spontaneous abortions) [http://www.nlm.nih.gov...] &[http://rationalwiki.org...].

I'm in no way suggesting that the rate of natural "spontaneous" abortions somehow justifies surgical abortions, however, I do think this has relevance in regard to the "moral landscape," and the stage at which abortions can be justified even when the mother's life is not at risk. There is no cause for moral concern as no rights, person-hood or life has been withheld or violated.

Round 1 Rebuttal, Logical Inconsistencies:

1) My opponent argues abortion is "on balance" immoral. The reason the phrase, "on balance," is referenced is in order to accommodate concessions; exceptions when we would like abortion to be permissible (when a mothers life in endangered) and still maintain that abortion is immoral most the time.

If that position is held, then all of the FLO points and all of the second (medical) points are not proper supporting ideas for the immorality of abortion.

The "exception" (to save the mother) would violate both the "FLO" and the outlined "Medical" concepts; not morally proving or justifying a case either way.

Why is abortion morally justified and permissible to save the mother? And then would it be morally justified and "on balance" at any stage during the development of the unborn entity?

But notice if we make an exception, for any reason, it still nevertheless violates the FLO and Medical arguments presented. Again, ethically and morally, the problems remain. Do we care about EEG brain wave activity when we need to save the mother?

2) Argument for "potential life" is a Slippery Slope fallacy.

Can anyone safely say that an acorn IS an oak tree? At what point does an acorn "become" an oak tree? When does an acorn stop being an acorn and is officially an oak tree? Should we care about all acorns if we value all oak trees?

A three-day-old blastocyst is a collection of 150 cells. There are over 100,000 cells in the brain of a fly. Every time we scratch our arm or face hundreds of thousands of cells, identical to the cells of the blastocyst, are discarded. And yet we do not see anyone blowing up abortion clinics or slaying doctors because we have scratched our noses! This is a biologically accurate analogy to the end of a three-day-old blastocyst.

For a three-day-old blastocyst (a clump of 150 cells) does it make sense then to assign potential life? And if we did we would then have to also do the same for all these discarded cells from scratching our nose! It is a biological and scientific-medical fact that anyone of these discarded skin cells could be said to have the same "potential" to "become" a new life (in fact any cell with a nucleus). This is why stem cell research from an blastocyst has been so controversial.

I await proper moral justifications for my opponents position that isn't in contradiction of his supporting arguments!
Debate Round No. 2
bsh1

Con

I will make some generic, but important overviews, followed by a defense of my case.

Overview One: Pro has failed to offer his own case. This is important for two reasons: (1) the rules that Pro stipulated to in round one state "Round Two will only be for cases (no rebuttals.)" This would also imply that Pro's rebuttal should not be evaluated, though I will respond to it. (2) Pro has the sole burden of proof. Pro cannot affirm the topic simply by responding to the Con case. Rejecting Con's objections is not the same as proving one's own points. In fact, Pro has not points that are not rebuttals. These are prima facie reasons to vote Con.

Overview Two: The definition of abortion is "an intervention to remove the embryo or fetus from the womb, thus ending the pregnancy. An abortion necessarily implies that the fetus is unlikely to survive as a result of the procedure." This definition was stipulated/agreed to by Pro when he accepted the round. Because abortion is an "intervention," it is not a natural process. This is further supported by the notion that the procedure itself is responsible for the fetus's death, not any natural occurrence.

DEFENDING THE CON

1) Pro agreed that this debate was about "abortion as a principle," not about specific examples. Thus, my observation was entirely justified. As to the more serious charge that my observation and contentions are contradictory, my response is that in the case of abortion to save the mother, both the mother's and the fetus's FLOs are in jeopardy. Therefore, we are faced with two equally bad harms. However, a mother already has a far more established FLO, i.e. she is something already and will become more. In this case, that's saving the mother. As for the mother, saving he life should be prioritized again because she has greater moral worth than the fetus because she is capable of moral thought and is sentient. Being a moral agent gives her more significance morally. This is not to say that the fetus is worthless, just worth less. Thus, in either case, when faced with two harms, we take the least bad one.Thus, there is NO contradiction.

2) I am not making an argument for potential life in the sense that you are interpreting it. I am NOT saying that a fetus should not be aborted because it could become a moral agent, I AM saying that a fetus should not be aborted because the potential itself has worth. Marquis, in his essay, actually addresses this very point. He writes, "one may try to generate an argument against abortion by arguing that because persons have the right to life. Such an argument is plainly invalid as it stands...Potential presidents don't have the rights of the presidency; potential voters don't have the right to vote. In the FLO argument, potentiality is not used in order to bridge the gap between adults and fetuses, as is done above. The FLO theory of the wrongness of killing adults is based upon the adult's potentiality to have a future of value. Potentiality is in the argument from the very beginning. Thus, the plainly false premise is not required. FLO theory is not an example of an illegitimate inference." Basically, it is not because you have the potential to become a moral agent that you have worth; it is because you have any potential, period.

So, in the example of the blastocyst, your example falls apart. You compare skin cells that we scratch off to embryos and fetuses. Clearly, a skin cell that you scratch off is not an organism unto itself, thus it has no FLO. As to the fly, no fly has the same FLO as a fetus. A fly's future could never be as valuable as that of a sentient being. A fly has potential, but its potential just doesn't compare.

Final note: Pro barely even touches my second contention, extend it. The impact is that medical arguments show that abortion is wrong on balance.
philosurfer

Pro

More Logical Inconsistencies Cloaked as Acceptable Pre-debate Stipulations:

First, I would like to point out an additional catastrophic philosophical mistake made by Con to start this debate, built within the pre-debate stipulations themselves:

There are no "proofs" regarding moral dilemmas.

Discourse within philosophy seriously concerns itself with ethics and morality. There are no clear defined "moral proofs" that can be rendered for moral concerns.

This is the keynote characteristic of irony within Moral philosophy -- precisely because -- there are no exact ways to procure and decipher actual "proofs" concerning metaphysical, abstract, and value judgments.

"The burden of proof" is then not really applicable, or even necessary, in order to debate the morality of our topic, nor should an undue burden be placed on either side whatsoever.

Actions are not automatically considered immoral unless proven to be moral; that's not how it works at all.

Moreover, abortion is dealing with physical systems -- with value judgments (which is what we are debating). Whether we agree or disagree, abortion is still physical. The aspects of the "moral" or "ethical" for this debate cannot have proofs, thus, cannot be requisite.

The philosopher David Hume argued that moral judgments are a matter of taste. Even Immanuel Kant's moral judgments (a priori) are a function of reason, which require specific universal examples because moral proofs do not exist..

Specific examples are required to make distinctions (otherwise the debate makes no sense, least I point out Con has broken their own stipulated rules with the 'exception to save the mother' being a specific example and case of abortion).

So Con asked for something to be furnished that doesn't exist (proofs for moral judgments) and stipulations to be followed that were illogical. Though the debate stipulations were set-up with much thought, the specific details of the stipulations doomed any real serious conversation within the debate from the start (which the Pro tried to point out before hand, explaining how they are unreasonable). The Con in this debate "over-stipulated" incorrectly to a fault.

For these reasons, the Pro in this debate has immediately taken to the task of establishing this, rebutting, and pointing out these inconsistencies.

As a solution I offer the Pro and the Con equally share the "burden of proof" or eradicate the inconsistent notion altogether. If Con disagrees, then I will have to ask Con equally for "proof" that abortion is, on balance, immoral (which makes no sense considering the above mentioned).

Pro's Case for the Motion: "Abortion is, on Balance, Moral," has been made subtlety in two different ways thus far:

1) If 20% to 50% of all pregnancies end in an abortion naturally, concerns and questions about the morality of abortions in general, as a principle, can be raised. Specifically, when and how.

An understanding of cell biology and what a three-day-old blastocyst is made of is critical for moral judgments if our primary concern if for suffering and a concern for violating human rights because of person-hood.

In other words, if a three-day-old blastocyst is nothing more than a clump of 150 cells, which cannot feel pain, retains no memory, cannot be assigned right to life as a full human, etc., then there are no moral qualms implementing any kind of abortion at/during these stages.

And if nature naturally aborts a high percentage of fertilized ovum at these stages, perhaps our moral concern for the suffering of a zygote and blastocyst is silly.

The question becomes, like asking when an acorn becomes and oak tree, when does a clump of cells become more than a clump of cells and becomes a person, with rights, feelings, etc.? Once we established person-hood, all rights to life should be equal morally.

If you make the case that abortion is immoral yet make an exception in cases to save the mother, after person-hood has been established, abortion to save the mother still violates the moral standard that abortion is immoral.

Morally, like David Hume, it becomes your personal "taste" to save the mother over the unborn person (who also has equal right to life).

2) Every cell (with a nucleus) within my body can be directed to make any kind of tissue. The skin cells from my nose can be used to make a new ear, or a new arm, or a new _______ (fill in the blank). A clump of 1,000,000,000,000 cells doesn't necessarily insure "person-hood" if these cells only comprise my leg which is full of tumors.

A cell can be manipulated to make a clone.

So clearly the arithmetic of cells does nothing to establish what it means to be a human being.

When does a human being become a human being?
Debate Round No. 3
bsh1

Con

I will offer two overviews and then proceed to address Pro's comments. Reasons to vote Pro will be offered at the end of the round.

OVERVIEW: Pro, by accepting this debate, agreed to certain rules. To attempt to toss out those rules now is not only going back on one's word, but it is also poor conduct.

OVERVIEW TWO: Pro basically drops all of my points--the only thing Pro does is repeat her own arguments without responding to any of my counterarguments to them. Repeating talking points is different from actually debating.

ADDRESSING PRO's REMARKS:

Having a "Burden of Proof" implies that it is your job to uphold your argument. So, the fact that Pro has the burden of proof means that it is primarily Pro's job to convince you of her stance. I am not asking her to prove her case definitively and beyond all doubt; merely, Pro must uphold the resolution against any counters that I might try to raise. In other words, Pro needed to outline a case, and then successfully defend it. This does not require "moral proofs," it merely requires making good arguments that are more persuasive then my own. Yet, Pro fails to even offer a case of her own. Thus, her argument here falls apart.

Also keep in mind that this is the very first time Pro complains about proofs--she had two other chances to do this. It's as if Pro is struggling to make any arguments stick, and so each round she has to make completely new points and hopes that they work. She says she has complained about my stipulations, but her "complaints" were questions asking for clarifications, not outright objections. And then, when Pro did make objections, those objections were not about the burden of proof. It's as if Pro is only objecting when stipulations she made began to harm her own cases. It is not that hard to avoid a rebuttal, to affirm the resolution "on balance," and to make a persuasive case. It was not as if these stipulations were unreasonable. Pro just chose to ignore them, and is now objecting to them when I apply them. That's unfairly casting aside the rules.

1) Pro NEVER REBUTS the fact that SO-CALLED "NATURAL ABORTIONS" are NOT RELEVANT to this round! I will reiterate my earlier, un-rebutted points: "The definition of abortion is 'an intervention to remove the embryo or fetus from the womb, thus ending the pregnancy. An abortion necessarily implies that the fetus is unlikely to survive as a result of the procedure.' This definition was stipulated/agreed to by Pro when he accepted the round. Because abortion is an 'intervention,' it is not a natural process. This is further supported by the notion that the procedure itself is responsible for the fetus's death, not any natural occurrence." Because of this, ALL of Pro's "natural abortion" arguments are invalid and not germane/topical to this debate.

Pro also FAILS to rebut the arguments about how a blastocyst as a FLO, and that the FLO itself is valuable and justifies keeping the blastocyst alive. Personhood is an irrelevant concept to FLO theory, because it is not being a person that matters, what matters is one's flow. So, to use Pro's own example, the acorn has a right to life because it has potential, not because it is an oak or will become one. An acorn is valuable even if it stayed an acorn for eternity.

In regards to saving the life of the mother through abortion, Pro, yet again, DOES NOT REBUT the fact that by saving the mother, we save the more entrenched FLO--that of the mother. When two FLOs are in danger, we save the one that is currently being realized, but if both FLOs can be preserved, then we must preserve them. Thus, on balance, abortion is immoral, but in the rare case of saving the mother it is not logically inconsistent with my advocacy to abort.

Furthermore, Pro claims, using Hume's arguments, that it becomes your personal taste to save the mother--yet the FLO argument shows this is wrong. There is a real reason to prefer her life when it is in conflict with the fetuses--the permanency of her FLO.

Moreover, I stated: "the rules that Pro stipulated to in round one state 'Round Two will only be for cases (no rebuttals.)' This would also imply that Pro's [round two] rebuttal should not be evaluated." Pro NEVER rebuts this, meaning that you can ignore everything Pro had to say in round two, you can cleanly extend all my arguments, meaning that I have the only legitimate offense in the round and I have won. But, even if you don't buy this argument, I still have valid responses to Pro's rebuttals.

Pro then talks about skin cells--unfortunately, none of these cells have FLO because they will not naturally have a future. They, as they are, are not organisms and will never be full-fledged ones. A leg has no FLO, but a human and a fetus do. Thus, Pro's points continue to ignore the thrust of my arguments.

Pro closes by asking "when does a human being become a human being?" I would refer you to my contention two, in which I cited various medical arguments. These points were NEVER REBUTTED by Pro, and they show how medically, prolife positions are better because humans become humans sooner than we think, under any number of criteria. Moreover, it doesn't matter when a fetus becomes a human under FLO theory, because a fetus itself has a FLO that should be preserved.

VOTING ISSUES:

Please vote Con for the following reasons:

(1) Pro never rebuts any of my arguments, she just regurgitates her old arguments
(2) Pro was REQUIRED to offer a unique case of her own, and failed. All of her arguments were made in response to mine.
(3) Pro's Round Two rebuttal was illicit, and should not be evaluated.
(4) So-called "Natural Abortions" are extra-topical and should not be evaluated in this debate
(5) Pro utterly fails to show any real logical inconsistencies in my cases: it is not illogical to save the mother, it is not illogical to exclude skin cells (which do not have the potential to become complete people), and it is not illogical to consider the value of a blastocyst (which could become a complete person.)
(6) FLO theory shows that, on balance, a fetus or embryo should not be killed.
(7) My Contention Two, which was NEVER rebutted by Pro, shows that fetuses and embryos become worthy of Pro's idea of "Personhood" very quickly. Thus, in most cases of abortion, it would be immoral to harm the fetus.

Thus, my contention one and contention two are great reasons to vote Con, even if you only buy one of them, they are each sufficient to negate the resolution.

I would just like to quickly thank Pro for an interesting round. I would also ask Pro to refrain from new arguments in the last round, as I will have no opportunity to respond to such arguments. Thanks!

IN CONCLUSION: So, is abortion, on balance, moral? No. Pro fails to affirm the topic--with no case and nonexistent rebuttals Pro cannot show that her side of the case is better. I have clear offense and a logical line of argumentation that shows that, in general, abortion is immoral. Thus, I urge a Con ballot.

Please vote CON! Thanks!
philosurfer

Pro

Burden of Proof: the obligation to establish a contention as fact by evoking evidence of its probable truth.

[http://dictionary.reference.com...]

Burden of Proof Fallacy: the burden of proof is placed wrongfully or on the wrong side. Another version occurs when a lack of evidence for side A is taken to be evidence for side B in cases in which the burden of proof cannot be facilitated or actually rests on side B. A common name for this is an Appeal to Ignorance. This sort of reasoning typically has the following form:

Claim X is presented by side A and the burden of proof actually rests on side B.
Side B claims that X is false because there is no proof for X.

[http://www.nizkor.org...]

If what Con said is true, "Having a "Burden of Proof" implies that it is your job to uphold your argument. So, the fact that Pro has the burden of proof means that it is primarily Pro's job to convince you of her stance.." --then Con would have to concede that she, in fact, also shares the burden of proof! (which is what I already said and pointed out how silly "proof"is for moral values and judgments in moral philosophy!). Con would have to hold herself to the same standard for the motion that, on balance, abortion is immoral (in essence, sharing the same burden of proof).

Again, the Con "over-stipulated" the pre-debate incorrectly to a fault.

1) Con cannot ask for 'moral proofs" for value judgments. And if she meant "present and defend" persuasive arguments, then she must concede she must also share this 'burden' (thus her pre-debate stipulations are in fact flawed).

2) Con's definition of abortion incorrect, nor Con's definition properly cited.

Full Definition of ABORTION [with proper citation]

1
: the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus: as
a : spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation " compare miscarriage
b : induced expulsion of a human fetus
c : expulsion of a fetus by a domestic animal often due to infection at any time before completion of pregnancy " compare contagious abortion
2
: monstrosity
3
: arrest of development (as of a part or process) resulting in imperfection; also : a result of such arrest

[http://www.merriam-webster.com...]

Notice that the correct definition of abortion is NOT solely relegated to a surgical procedure as Con portrays. Anyone can look for themselves and notice Con did not properly define the term 'abortion'.

Con has taken it upon herself to make-up her own definitions for the terms; which the Pro in this debate has tried to address early so a meaningful debate can take place. The debate has been skewed from the beginning for these reasons, for which the Con is responsible and should have made proper amendments as the instigator.

The proper definitions for the terms are critical in order to discuss the ethical aspects of value judgments.

Answering (the rebuttal) that Con claims not address for natural abortions not being relevant:

1) Natural abortions are relevant precisely because there would be no difference from an ethical standpoint for an intentional intervention or natural intervention when person-hood or right to life can be assigned.

2) Women can drink alcohol until a fetus is aborted. Though this would be considered a natural abortion, morally and ethically, this would be considered intentional intervention if the mother used the alcohol on purpose for this reason to cause the abortion.

3) Natural (spontaneous) abortions ARE abortions, despite Con's inability to properly define the term.

Addressing the FLO argument:

1) The end result of the FLO argument is equivalent to assigning full ontological status immediately after conception, which is equivalent to saying an acorn [IS] an oak tree, which is a Slippery Slope fallacy. It is giving value to the idea for "potential life." As mentioned before, is an acorn an oak tree? Does an acorn have potential to become an oak tree? When does an acorn stop being an acorn and becomes an oak tree?

However we know a three-day-old blastocyst is a collection of a 150 cells, which are no different ethically then the many more cells I destroy when I scratch my nose!

Con has not addressed Pro's rebuttal arguments for the FLO, but has rather decided to say Pro cannot make good arguments because it violates Con's horrible pre-debate stipulations!

Con's Medical Case (mostly an appeal to emotion):

1) Con violates his own supporting arguments for the motion that abortion is on balance immoral by making an exception in cases to save the mother. Both the FLO and Medical arguments are violated.

A) The FLO established full ontological status after conception. -- This means that the "potential human being" has full rights and person-hood, which then is equal to that of the mother's right to life person-hood. Con has failed to show good reasons to prefer the equal-life of the mother over the equal-life of the unborn (with full right to life because of the FLO and Medical principles) except for preference, which is why the use of David Hume's moral philosophy is valid.

B) The Con's made-up Medical argument contains mostly an appeal to emotions (what a fetus will respond to/pain stimuli) etc., and betting on natural human empathy to sway opinion. But the Medical argument is also violated but Con's exception to save the mother! Con would still intervene to save the mother, kill the unborn, even if the unborn had EEG brain waves! So the pro doesn't need to waste time addresses this but rather establish true ontology.

"Proof" abortion is immoral or moral cannot be made as these are value judgments. However it can be shown that abortion is not immoral thus making it "on balance" obviously moral in some cases as it is not immoral.

Further, if Con makes the concession and the exception that abortion is moral in cases to save the mother, Con must then be obligated to make a distinction why is would be considered moral but using reasons that didn't also violate the reasons giving for the motion that it is immoral, which Con failed to do. Pro merely needs to show that abortion is not immoral and would be "on balance".

Pro will not attack personally attack Con or try to sway the voting populace.
Pro will simply request that Debate.org's pre-established voting guidelines be followed:
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?

Pro would like to thank Con for a strange debate!
Debate Round No. 4
41 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MasterOfTheUniverse 3 years ago
MasterOfTheUniverse
I agree with Pro that the debate was made overly complicated to start. Also, Pro had better conduct, used more sources and seem to have a better overall understanding of the subject.
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
lol. Well, I'm sure we both raised quite a bit of awareness, intentionally or not.
Posted by philosurfer 3 years ago
philosurfer
I called you a "she" to reciprocate anyway and to raise consciousness of sexist political correctness..! HA!
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
Thank you. And, no. I probably ought to have checked your profile first. Sorry!
Posted by philosurfer 3 years ago
philosurfer
Then, you should be a lawyer my friend!

Let me ask you, did you call me "she" on purpose...? hmmm?
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
@philosurfer - Thanks for an interesting debate. I hope someone votes soon, too. I hate rounds were we get no voter feedback.
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
Largely, I think we are on the same page. It's just a few minutia that are in contention. But, yes, I think the FLO argument is ridiculous--I am as ProChoice as they get. I believe abortion is fine. But I just like taking the devil's advocate role, and whatever side I'm on I'll get really into it, even if it's not the side I believe in.
Posted by philosurfer 3 years ago
philosurfer
Sounds like you don't buy the FLO argument yourself.. or you also see the slippery slope too. So I too think personhood under the law cannot be defined by potentiality. We agree then.
Posted by philosurfer 3 years ago
philosurfer
"".."The FLO account of the wrongness of abortion is a potentiality argument. To claim that a fetus has a FLO is to claim that a fetus now has the potential to be in a state of a certain kind in the future. It is not a claim that ordinary fetuses will have FLOs. Fetuses who are aborted, of course, will not. To say that a standard fetus has a FLO is to say that a standard fetus either will have or would have a life it will or would value. To say that a standard fetus would have a life it would value is to say that it will have a life it will value if it does not die prematurely." Therefore, the potentiality of the fetus makes it immoral to abort the fetus."..""

""..the misfortune of premature death consists of the loss to use of the future goods of consciousness. What are these goods?...The goods of life are whatever we get out of life....Thus, it is wrong to say that the value of my future to me is just what I value now. What makes my future valuable to me are those aspects of my future that I will value when I will experience them, whether I value them now or not." Essentially, what makes killing wrong is that it deprives of us of a future, or "FLO."..""
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
"the FLO idea clearly endorses this concept and assigns right to life (full ontological status and, subsequently, full personhood)" - this is the notion I'm rejecting. FLO does not endorse personhood.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by WhizKid 3 years ago
WhizKid
bsh1philosurferTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: seemed like bsh1 cared more about winning vs. solving problems - Pro conduct. Arguments were pretty equal but Pro showed how what Con said didn't work with other ideas - Pro argument. Pro on sources.
Vote Placed by MasterOfTheUniverse 3 years ago
MasterOfTheUniverse
bsh1philosurferTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did have more sources. Pro did have better conduct throughout the debate and really showed more class at the end of the debate. Pro gave more reasons to minimize what Con offered. Pro had a better understanding of the subject.
Vote Placed by LtCmdrData 3 years ago
LtCmdrData
bsh1philosurferTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Exercising my newfound voting power is great. Pro knew the rules from the start. If he didn't like 'em, he shouldn't have accepted. Whining isn't constructive--conduct to Con. Arguments to Con to. Pro totally ignores his second point about medical stuff. Yeah, so that about sums up my feelings on this one...good.
Vote Placed by Juris 3 years ago
Juris
bsh1philosurferTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments are very relevant and direct to the motion. Pro did not make a sufficient rebuttal against con's.