The Instigator
JWP
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Cygnus
Pro (for)
Winning
22 Points

Abortion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Cygnus
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,220 times Debate No: 44320
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (31)
Votes (4)

 

JWP

Con

I am extremely pro-life, so if you fancy yourself as pro-murder, welcome to the debate!
Cygnus

Pro

After due reflection, I gladly accept Con's challenge to discuss this very delicate topic. For the record, I am pro-life as well, with notable and important exceptions that I will touch on throughout this debate. I think that my particular views on abortion should make for an interesting discussion.

I look forward to Con's opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
JWP

Con

Sorry, I need to postpone this debate for a couple of days. Please do not respond until only a little time is left. Thanks for understanding.
Cygnus

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for submitting the challenge to debate this issue that continues to divide our nation. The topic of abortion is a dark one that no one wants to think about, much less discuss. However, there are instances, such as this one, in which the abortion must be discussed.

For the most part, I consider myself to be pro-life. In fact, during my time as a fundamentalist Christian, I could think of no good reason why a woman should subject herself to an abortion. However, in 2007, my ways of thinking began to change dramatically, and I began to question the central teachings of Christianity. Once I began to be challenged on views from eternal suffering and creationism, to abortion, I found myself in a brutal and difficult internal struggle and could no longer justify my willful ignorance for the sake of dogma.

While I still consider myself to be pro-life, there are circumstances in which abortion is not only a logical choice, but the ethical choice as well. I shall now list a few of those circumstances.

Birth disorders
Due to the disturbing nature of the following disorders, I will not include their imagery [1]. However, if my audience chooses to read about these disorders on their own, reader discretion is advised upon reading and viewing source material. Below are just a few fatal birth disorders.


Cephalic disorders: Severe birth disorders in which fetuses do not fully develop a head, brain, or neural tube. One of the most horrific of these disorders is anencephaly, in which the fetus is missing large portions of the brain or skull are missing [2].


Cyclopia: Another severe birth disorder in which the fetus does not develop separate orbits of the eye. Many fetuses with cyclopia are born without noses, and most are stillborn [3].


Harlequin ichthyosis: A disorder in which the infant is born with very thick. armor-like skin, and may not have the ability to regulate body temperature or breathe properly upon birth. While some infants born with this disorder may live long lives, harlequin ichthyosis is usually fatal. Until recent medical breakthroughs,most infants born with the disorder typically died within a few days of birth [4].


Those infants born with some of these disorders have absolutely no hope of living a normal, healthy life. Indeed, many, if not most will die within hours of birth. So, I ask my opponent, which is the more ethical decision to make; to force a mother to bring a child to birth with such fatal and nightmarish disorders, knowing that it will likely suffer a very brief, painful life, or make the deeply painful decision to terminate the pregnancy? Some parents make the decision to bring the pregnancy to term in the search for closure, which, to some degree, I can understand. But, with utmost respect and gravity, I ask if those parents are acting in their best interest or that of the infant.

The Life of the Mother

Perhaps the most recent, well-known example of a mother's death during pregnancy is Savita Halappanavar [5]. Savita became pregnant in 2012, but suffered a miscarriage during the 17th week of her pregnancy. She then began to experience severe pain in her back, and requested to have an abortion out of fear for her life. However, due to a strict zero-tolerance abortion ordinance in Ireland, Savita's request was denied. Forced to give birth to a miscarried fetus by Irish-Catholic law, Savita acquired sepsis which resulted in her death on October 28, 2012. Her death was 100% preventable [6]. Knowing that the fetus was miscarried for half of the pregnancy and that Savita was forced to carry out the birth by law, how can her death be justified by the strict pro-life advocates?


In a similar story, a Texas judge ordered a hospital to remove a pregnant mother from life support. The parents of the mother, Marlise Munoz, had their daughter on life support, in spite of the fact that she was braindead from lack of oxygen for an undetermined amount of time as her husband found her unconscious on their kitchen floor at 2:00 a.m.on November 26th As a result from lack of oxygen, the fetus was also not receiving any oxygen or nutrients. Therefore, the fetus was no longer viable. Yet, the parents of Marlise, devout Catholics, held her on life support in spite of Marlise's demands. In effect, Marlise was being used as an incubator for a fetus that was no longer viable [7][8].

Rape

The subject of rape and abortion is not so clear-cut as birth disorders and the life of the mother. However, there is still a case to be made for the victim of rape. Should a woman who is raped be forced to carry out her pregnancy?

Closing

I want to make it clear that I do not support abortion as a vehicle for convenience from an unwanted pregnancy. If a woman decides to engage in sexual activity and becomes pregnant, then she is without excuse. However, if she suffers any of the tragic results mentioned above, then her request to an abortion should be found acceptable.


I also want to make it clear that I do not view any and all birth disorders as legitimate reasons to carry out abortions. Most defects are treatable, sometimes in-utero. But for those fetuses who are doomed to a short life and painful death, I believe it is far more ethical to end the pregnancy as opposed to bringing the fetus to birth.


At the heart of this very sensitive issue is lack of education. This is clearly evidenced by the comments made during the 2012 election campaign of Todd Akin (R-Mo.) In August 2012, Akin said, "From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare...If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist [9]." Such statements are moronic and horrifying, especially if those making such comments are made by candidates running for public office.

Finally, since my opponent is strictly pro-life, I wonder if he supports the death penalty, war (especially collateral damage), and self-defense resulting in the death of a would-be assailant. Also, since one of his favorite books is the Bible, I wonder how he feels about atrocious verses like Hosea 9:13-16 and Deuteronomy 22:23-29.


BIBLIOGRAPHY
[1] National Institutes of Health (2014). "Genetics/Birth Defects." Retrieved January 25, 2014. http://www.nlm.nih.gov...;
[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013). "Facts about Aanencephaly." Retrieved January 25, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov...
[3] National Institutes of Health (2010). "Cyclopia with shoulder dystocia leading to an obstetric catastrophe: a case report." Retrieved January 25th, 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[4] National Institutes of Health (2010). "Harlequin ichthyosis: a review of clinical and molecular findings in 45 cases." Retrieved January 25th, 2014.
[5] Wikipedia (2014). Death of Savita Halapanavvar. Retrieved January 25, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] Bruno Waterfield (2013). "Irish abortion law key factor in death of Savita Halappanavar, official report finds" The Telegraph. Retrieved January 26th 2014. http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
[7] Ed Lavandera. Josh Rubin and Greg Botelho (2014). "Texas judge: Remove brain-dead woman from ventilator, other machines" Retrieved January 25, 2014. http://www.cnn.com...
[8] Wikipedia. Brain death (2014). Retrieved January 26th, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org...
[9] Huffington Post (2012). "Todd Akin On Abortion: 'Legitimate Rape Victims' Have Ways 'To Try To Shut The Whole Thing Down'" Retrieved January 26, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 2
JWP

Con

JWP forfeited this round.
Cygnus

Pro

It is unfortunate that my opponent has decided not to participate in a debate that he incited. Nevertheless, I thank him for bringing this sensitive topic up for discussion.

I stand by my points that abortion is acceptable in rare circumstances, which include fatal birth disorders, the life of the mother, and rape. Most objections to abortion are religious in nature, and sometimes have little to do with logic.

For example, what sense does it make to keep a woman who suffers brain death on life support in order to give birth to a child that will be stillborn, as in the case of Marlise Munoz? Moreover, hardcore pro-life advocates all too often only consider the well-being of the fetus, but not the life of the mother. How can pro-life advocates call themselves truly pro-life as in the case of Savita Halappanavar, where strict and non-sensical abortion legislation ultimately led to her unnecessary death?

In closing, I would like to stress that I don't support abortion as a convenient escape from parental responsibility. But there are times that abortion is not only logical, but necessary and ethical.
Debate Round No. 3
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cygnus 2 years ago
Cygnus
We're done. Go read your damned book.
Posted by janetsanders733 2 years ago
janetsanders733
"It also tells me that I want to live my life as optimally as possible, and don't want anyone to do anything that would be harmful toward that lifestyle. Life is preferable to death, pleasure is preferable to pain, food is preferable to starvation, being cared for is preferable to being left to fend or yourself. It's really that simple."

That's all it is on your worldview: Preferences. Nothing is absolute or objective. There's nothing that says I 'ought' to respect you. Or I 'ought' not kill you.

If one want's to live their life as a Hitler or Mother Theresa, then they can do so. But, what gives you the right to judge them for their actions in a Godless World?
Posted by janetsanders733 2 years ago
janetsanders733
What are rights? I'm just an advnaced primate. Everything is relative. Killing is necessary in order for me to survive.
Posted by Cygnus 2 years ago
Cygnus
It also tells me that I want to live my life as optimally as possible, and don't want anyone to do anything that would be harmful toward that lifestyle. Life is preferable to death, pleasure is preferable to pain, food is preferable to starvation, being cared for is preferable to being left to fend or yourself. It's really that simple.

So, let's do a little exercise about belief or lack thereof and morality. It has to do with death to nonbelievers. Let's take two passages, one from the Quran and one from the Bible.

"And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah [disbelief] is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers." -- Quran 2:191 says,

"They [tribes of Benjamin and Judah] entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman." 2 Chronicles 15:12-13

Both of these passages suggest that it is morally acceptable to kill people who don't bend their will to a particular god. I say that they're both morally wrong because no one should have to die because they don't believe. What do you think?

Here are yet more questions for you to answer:

1. Is it right to kill non-believers or witches? Yes or no.
2. Is it right to kill people because of their sexual preference? Yes or no.
3. Is it right to kill a child who strikes their parents? Yes or no.
4. Again, do you think it's right to kill a rape victim? Yes or no.
5. Is it right to beat a human being to death? Yes or no.

You have six questions to answer. If you can't or refuse to answer, as you so far have, then I will consider your inability to answer them as an admission that the basis of your morality is flawed.
Posted by Cygnus 2 years ago
Cygnus
Again, this is why it's preferable to begin from the point of agnosticism. You start with the foregone conclusion that *your* god is the source of all morality. As I said, basing your morality on a deity is flawed logic. Because if belief in that deity urges you to kill, rape, and enslave people then how can you call yourself a moral being?

The foundations of your morality are based in a book written by ignorant shepherds and rulers. When I say ignorant, I don't say that in a derogatory sense. Rather, that they justified their actions because their sense of morality was horribly skewed and they knew no better. For instance, selling a daughter into sexual slavery (Ex. 21:7-11) is immoral and unethical because it puts another human being into a situation that is extremely harmful to her physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You, on the other hand, are more likely to believe that sexual slavery is morally acceptable because Yahweh deems it moral.

To use another example, science has revealed that homosexuality occurs in nature. Dolphins, swans, and lions all engage in homosexual behavior, often forming lifelong bonds. However, other animals of those same species don't make the decision to kill the homosexuals within their species based on religion. Only human beings do that. Moreover, the New Mexico whiptail lizard is parthenogenic, meaning that the members of that species are all female and frequently engage in mating behavior. Ask yourself, how can your god instruct his believers to kill homosexuals but create animals that are homosexual?

So, again, as an agnostic I embrace science, reason, and logic as my moral compass. My sense of morality tells me that I don't want someone to hurt me because of my lack of belief, so I'm not willing to hurt them because of theirs.
Posted by janetsanders733 2 years ago
janetsanders733
@Cygnus Evolution has nothing to do with objective moral values and duties because if it did all these actions we call moral/immoral are really just part of evolution. Stuff like this goes on all the time in the animal kingdom. What appears to be rape, is really just mating. Species kill their own all the time. But when you say God is evil or rape is evil or killing witches is evil. What evil? I'm just an advanced primate. It's survival of the fittest.

The rapist, murderer, and child abuser is not really "Evil" according to yoru worldview. He's just acting out of fashion. Until you give a basis for objective moral values and duties, then you can't condone/condemn something as moral/immoral. For you would be acting inconsistent with your own worldview.
Posted by Cygnus 2 years ago
Cygnus
Wow. Just wow.

I answered your question already in our first debate. The foundations of morality are perfectly explained through evolutionary processes.

I asked you two posts ago if you think executing a rape victim is okay. Your answer was, "No, I don't think it's right to rape." You did not, I repeat, did not answer my question. But you *know* deep down inside you that it's wrong. I can sit here and give you verse after verse filled with atrocities that your god commanded and you're going to ignore every single one of them for the sake of dogma.

I never directly said that I'm a better person than you. But if you're going to insist that you have the moral high ground because of a bunch of books that the ancient Jews wrote in order to justify their crimes against humanity, then you have some serious introspection to do.

Speaking of verses, here's another one that I love from Deuteronomy 21:10-11. " "When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house."

So, screw the fat, old, ugly women, just keep the hot ones. And force them to marry you because we all know that broken and defeated women would just *love* to spend the rest of their lives with the rotten bastards who murdered or enslaved their loved ones and destroyed their hometown.

Oh, wait. Forcing a hot, young sexpot to marry her plunderer must be considered moral if your god says so. Right?
Posted by janetsanders733 2 years ago
janetsanders733
Nope, your manipulating words. I didn't say that I am a better person than you. I am simply saying that you don't have a foundation to ground moral value judgements.

Or in otherwords, you have no way of condoning/condemning something as right or wrong. The DCT does not argue from any Religion. It simply says that there must be an objective moral-law giver. The fact is you want to make value judgements. I am just asking you for the "Grounds" you make these. Why think in a Godless universe evil would exist? It wouldn't. Stuff like this goes on all the time in the animal kingdom. So it would be perfectly normal on your worldview.
Posted by Cygnus 2 years ago
Cygnus
"No, I don't think it's right to rape."

I didn't ask you if it's you think it's okay for a woman to be raped. I asked you if it's okay to execute a woman who is raped. There's a tremendous difference between the two questions.

"The problem is that you don't have a moral foundation to ground that value judgement."

You're simply projecting what you want to believe about me because as a Christian, you think I'm a horrible and sinful person in need of a savior. Yet, you still claim to have the moral high ground because you get your sense of morality from a book that says it's okay to destroy entire cities and rape their women (Zech. 14:1-2), sell daughters as sex slaves (Ex. 21:7-11), beat human beings to death (Ex. 21:20-21), destroy babies (Isa. 13:15-18, Ez. 9:5-7).

"If God does not exist, then there are no objective moral values and duties."

We've already been through this. First off, which god are we talking about? Thor, Osiris, Zeus, Mithras, or Yahweh? Second, if Yahweh does exist, then how can you say that his command to beat a human being to death is moral? Finally, WLC is a clown and a charlatan, and his arguments are filled with logical fallacy after logical fallacy. Stop listening to him and start listening to your own heart instead.

"You have no way of condoning/condemning someone's actions as wrong or right on your worldview. The second you do, you are acting inconsistent and borrowing from my worldview."

So, then you think it's okay to rape women and kill children who hit their parents?
Posted by janetsanders733 2 years ago
janetsanders733
If God does not exist, then there are no objective moral values and duties.

You have no way of condoning/condemning someone's actions as wrong or right on your worldview. The second you do, you are acting inconsistent and borrowing from my worldview.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Tophatdoc 2 years ago
Tophatdoc
JWPCygnusTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins because he provided an argument backed with facts. To which Con failed to reply altogether. Source point to Pro. Conduct to Pro due to Con's Round 1 statement and forfeit. Good luck to you both in future debates.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
JWPCygnusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con lost his conduct point in the very first round with his idiotic challenge statement, and his forfeits didn't make it any better. Pro made a very good argument and backed it up with sources.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
JWPCygnusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Points reflect FF.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
JWPCygnusTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeits. I was tempted to score S&G, but it wasn't technically a full forfeit--there were some words past the instigation round that came from Con, and they weren't atrocious S&G-wise, so I wound up siding with equalling it out, though it was close. Arguments for the case from Pro which went completely unrebutted, and sources because Pro actually had some, while Con had none at all. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.