The Instigator
a_janis1
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
angeloivy
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Abortion

Do you like this debate?NoYes+7
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 3 votes the winner is...
a_janis1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,254 times Debate No: 70308
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (57)
Votes (3)

 

a_janis1

Con

Abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, the right to life is an inalienable right given to every innocent human being, therefore, abortion, as the direct result of the killing of an innocent human child, violates the inalienable right to life. Thus, abortion is wrong.

I would like to argue against abortion. There is no layout other than that my opponent should first provide a retort to the paragraph stated above in round one. This is just a free discussion in a relaxed manner. Also, I would like to mention there is one case where abortion is permissible, and that is under the circumstance that both the mother and child will die. I could argue why it is permissible in the debate, if my opponent so chooses me to do so. Thank you, and remember, let us remain respectful and courteous.
angeloivy

Pro

Hello Con,
I'd like to first point out that there is no actual scientific definition of the terms "life" and/or "living". While all "living" species on Earth have the same characteristics (made of cells, adapt to their environment. reproduce offspring, require energy, and provide immediate or near immediate responses to stimuli), it is impossible to say that extraterrestrial life would, if in existence, abide by the same rules. This is one of what I'm sure are several reasons scientists cannot "define" life. So you're saying that abortion (the intentional termination of a developing fetus) is violating a right to life, when life cannot be defined.

In the womb of the mother, the fetus receives nutrients necessary to its survival through its mother via the blood in the umbilical cord. Should the fetus not be considered part of the mother, even though it shares a blood supply? The mother's body even goes so far as to break down and renew muscle, fat, and bones. This process, called "turnover", releases fat, calcium, and protein into the mother's bloodstream. At this point, it is clear to see that the fetus and the mother are one.

Innocence is subjective. What is innocent by one person's standards may be guilty by another's.

One would share a blood supply with a tumor as well, but it is that person's option to either live with the tumor, or have it removed. The tumor, by your argument, would be innocent (as innocence is subjective, as i afore mentioned), and only be allowed to be removed if a biopsy showed it to be malignant. A benign tumor however, could not be removed, as it poses no threat t the host's well being.

Therefore, if the mother of a fetus would like to legally abort it, it is within her bounds to do so.
Debate Round No. 1
a_janis1

Con

Thank you for accepting this debate.

First of all, there is a scientific definition of life.

Life: 1) A distinctive characteristic of a living organism from dead organism or non-living thing, as specifically distinguished by the capacity to grow, metabolize, respond (to stimuli), adapt, and reproduce
< http://www.biology-online.org... >.

So yes there is a scientific definition of life. Furthermore, your extraterrestrial point is entirely irrelevant because abortion deals with the living human being on Earth. And since science can definitively define life on Earth, I then do not understand why the "extraterrestrial" argument was included due to its inherent irrelevancy. Also, you say that life can never be defined by science, and because life cannot be defined by science, then the fetus does not have the right to life. Well if science cannot define life (as you said), then no one has the right to life because science, according to your argument, does not definitively prove either you or me to be alive. And since we both agree we are scientifically alive, then obviously science can and does define what life is. So do you accept that there is a scientific vindication of life?

Also you say abortion is the "intentional termination of a developing fetus". According to my definition, you left out a key word. Here is the definition of abortion

Abortion: "a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the DEATH of the fetus.
< http://www.merriam-webster.com... >.

Abortion causes the death of the fetus. Lets now look at the definition of death.

Death: "the end of life : the time when someone or something dies"
< http://www.merriam-webster.com... >.

Death can only occur when something was alive prior. Therefore, because abortion results in the death of the fetus, the fetus must have had life before the abortion took place. Therefore the fetus is alive.

Also, again let us look scientifically at how the fetus is alive. First, I must make a key point. A newborn baby does not have the capacity or ability to reproduce, yet the ability to reproduce is a defining characteristic of scientific life. However, science and logic both know that a newborn baby is alive. Why? Well the baby has not yet grown into enough biological complexity to reproduce, but the baby has the potential to reproduce. The same argument is applied for determining that the fetus is alive.

The fetus, from the moment of conception, begins biological growth from biological simplicity into biological complexity. Nothing is conceived in its full potential, therefore, by showing the fundamental sign of life from which all other characteristics of life stem, the fetus is alive. Biological growth from simplicity into complexity is enough for the fetus to be considered alive.

Here is the same argument stated another way. As a commenter on this debate advised me, I am trying to avoid saying the same things I used in my previous Abortion debate. But I will quote this paragraph merely because it was never refuted and also because it is worded in a different way that might make more sense:

"Now, a fetus shows scientific signs of life starting with the most simplistic from which other signs can stem (i.e. reproduction, respiration etc.). This foundation is the ability to grow. No being is created in its full potential at the moment of its conception. Everything has a beginning from which, due to growth towards more complex potential, life exists. By the mere fact the fetus is growing from biological simplicity into biological complexity we can soundly say the being must be alive. Biological growth, which a fetus possesses, is the foundation by which life is marked, for without growth, none of the other factors pointing towards life could exist."

Can you now agree the fetus is alive? Also, note that i have not yet shown the fetus is uniquely human. I will do that now while also responding to your next argument.

Next you say the fetus and the mother "are one." Tell me, if the body of the mother and the body of the fetus are the same, then why does the human DNA of the fetus differ from the human DNA of the mother? By the mere fact that the DNA differs between the fetus and the mother, science proves that the fetus and mother are not the same. No human being biologically produces cells that have different human DNA from the body that produced it. A fetus therefore is not the same as the mother. A sperm cell is not, in itself, genetically unique from the father. An egg cell is not, in itself, genetically unique from the mother. However, when the egg and sperm meet at conception, they form a new being with entirely unique human DNA that has never existed before, separate even from the mother and father. This proves the fetus is uniquely human and different from the mother.

Furthermore, of course the fetus is connected to the mother. The fetus is dependent on the mother for survival. But a new born baby is also dependent on the mother/father/doctor for survival. The dependency of the fetus on the mother does not then make the fetus not living or not human.

Innocence and guilt can only be applied to beings with free will. The only beings with free will are human beings. That is why a tumor can neither be innocent nor guilty because the tumor has no free will on which to act upon. This eliminates your "tumors are innocent" argument.

There are varying levels on which humans use free will. It is safe to say humans are conceived with the potential to access their latent ability to use free will just as any human is conceived with all the genetic latent potential to access and use a strong mental acuity. Therefore, every fetus (because the fetus is a human being) has free will, and because the fetus has not acted in a wrong manner, then the fetus is innocent.

Also innocence is not subjective, because innocence can only correspond with an objective morality. Here is why innocence and then morality can be objective. I will take the same argument I used in my last debate because the argument was never refuted and then expand upon the argument and tie it in with innocence.

"1.For everything, there is a standard by which everything else can be relevant towards. For example there is cold, which is the absence of heat. There is a minimum heat capacity by which coldness is measured, which is absolute zero. There is a heat capacity by which heat is measured. So there are certain levels of perfection. If something morally exists, then is there not a perfect standard by which we judge such morality? There must be. Otherwise, our lives our meaningless for nothing can truly be justified or condemned. You can call this perfect standard "God" if you so choose, but there must be, by necessity, some perfect moral standard from which actions can all be judged.

2.If you believe no perfect moral authority/standard exists, then you must admit we should be free to do whatever we wish without repercussion. With no morality, there are no rights, and without rights there would be no true law. So therefore, by believing there is no morality, or that morality is subjective, the Nazi genocides are acceptable and equally permissible for they cannot be held responsible for their wrong actions. However, since obviously the Nazi"s actions were atrocious, it would be well within logical reason to say a perfect moral authority must exist."

Since I have shown there must be, by necessity, an objective, perfect moral standard, we then judge innocence based on that morality. And because morality is an objective truth, then innocence also must be an objective truth. If innocence did not exist, then we could no longer protect people by condemning the unjust. Without innocence, there would also be no guilt. Without guilt, we could not convict or protect. Innocence and guilt are both objective.

Also I never said in my opening argument anything about the legality of abortion. I merely said abortion is wrong and breaks the inalienable right to life. However, if you would like me to do so, I will argue why abortion should be illegal in my next argument because I do not have sufficient room to do so here.
angeloivy

Pro

While i will concede, some of what you said was true, let it be known there is no scientific definition of life. In the definition you provided "A distinctive characteristic of a living organism from dead organism or non-living thing, as specifically distinguished by the capacity to grow, metabolize, respond (to stimuli), adapt, and reproduce" you will see that it is simply characteristics of living things. I will also concede that i should have worded that better in my first argument. The relevance of my extraterrestrial life argument however, seems clear to me. There is an overwhelming possibility that extra terrestrial life does exist. However, there is no way of proving that, if it does exist, will abide by the same rules. While your definition of life may be accepted, it cannot be relied upon.

Lets look at the definition of the word, "definition":
"State or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of:"
( http://www.oxforddictionaries.com... )

Because there is a possibility that life will not always fall into the characteristics i afore mentioned, there can be no definition.
A beautiful example of things that don't fit into the category they have been placed is Elysia chlorotica, a photosynthetic sea slug, belonging to the the same kingdom as humans (animalia) which had several characteristics, including that they were to be heterotrophs. Elysia chlorotica can manufacture its own chlorophyll, giving it the ability to be heterotrophic. You may ask what the point of the above tangent was, allow me to explain. If science can not adequately list a series of definite characteristics of one small kingdom, then how could one believe they have a definite understanding/definition of life.

While I certainly agree that we are both clinically living, that simply implies we posses all the characteristics of other organisms that are also clinically alive. While arguing science, it is important to remember science doesn't prove one thing true, it proves other things false.

The word "death" was not necessary.

Termination: "an act of ending something"
( http://www.merriam-webster.com... )

If I was going to abort a child, i would presume we are debating legal abortions up to the 24th week, i would be terminating the pregnancy. Because a fetus cannot survive without its mother before the 24th week, you would be "ending' the fetus as well.

While i will also agree the fetus is alive clinically, so is a tumor (I'll use the tumor comparison to maintain consistency). A tumor would also have a genetic difference from its host. That genetic mutation is why a tumor is grown in the first place. The tumor would even have human DNA, as it grew on a human, however, the DNA would ot be the same as the host. Though no one would argue that the tumor is not actually part of them..

While a newborn does require care, it is not the care of a biological host. Because a fetus requires the mother to live, would it not be fair to say that the mother is living for the fetus. If the mother were to die, the fetus would follow. As opposed to a mother dying during the birthing process, the newborn can still survive. Is it not fair to say that it is the mother's life, and the fetus is simply part of it. Without the mother, the fetus would also fail to grow, which is, as you put it "fundamental". And if a fetus lacks the ability to function on its own, without the support of its mother, and without the ability to reason, can it truly have free will?

Innocence it extremely subjective. In our culture, you could be found guilty of crime. (We'll use murder as an example.) In several cultures around the world, ritualistic killings are perfectly acceptable. In their own way, they are innocent of any possible crime involving their killing. However by our standards, it would be considered murder, and we could be found guilty of it.

Objective morality itself in such a hotly debated topic. Humans are not born knowing right from wrong, just as one persons morals are not necessarily the same as another's. to claim there is a "perfect standard of morality" is foolhardy, as every cultures sense of morality is different. If an objective morality was in existence (i do not believe it is) then the world should all agree across the board on all topics, such on war. The very fact that we are debating the abortion of a fetus is a perfect example on how objective morality is not at play.

I however, do not agree we should be able to do whatever we want. Morality certainly exists, though it it is subjective. Even the United States Government is run on objective morality. The court system as well. A guilty finding is simply a group jurors with similar morals though not necessarily the same, they simply agree the defendants crime was against their own morals. A group of people finding something wrong or immoral, does not mean another group will. For example, i think Hitler was atrocious, however neo-nazi's believe he was in the right. Morality is simply a big game of "majority rules". If morality is majority rules, innocence via morality, must also be.

The fetus as well, can be likened to a parasite.
Parasite: "an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment."
( http://dictionary.reference.com... )
A fetus certainly fits the definition. If one was infected with any form of parasite (now including a fetus by definition) should they not have the option to have it removed?
Debate Round No. 2
a_janis1

Con

I just provided a scientific definition of life from a biology website that I cited. I do not know how you can still say there "is no scientific definition of life." These characteristics are what define life. And because we can scientifically define life, we can prove you and I are both alive. Would you ever be willing to say "Science cannot define me as being alive, so I'm probably not alive."?

I believe extraterrestrial life could very well exist. I do not have an issue with that. And wonderful: extraterrestrial life might be defined by a different manner of biological characteristics. But this is completely irrelevant because we are talking about earthly abortions that kill earthly fetuses that happen ON EARTH and science can define the life ON EARTH. And there is no definitive scientific proof of alien life in the form of test samples of alien blood, studies on alien creatures etc. Because there isn't the slightest bit of empirical evidence of alien life that has been evaluated by science (other than some bacteria on Mars, I believe, which had the same characteristics as bacteria on Earth) then the current definition of life encompasses those things which are earthly. And because the fetus is of this earth, then the definition of life must apply to the fetus.

Furthermore, your "Elysia Chlorotica" argument is about the classification of a species, not whether the species was alive. Science places species into kingdoms, phylums, etc once they have been shown to be alive. So it is, in fact, easier to define what life is than to specifically give an organism a certain classification because classification deals not with life, rather it deals with how the species will function and where it is genetically is placed in an ordered list. And because we are not debating what kingdom or phylum the fetus is placed in to, this only adds to the fact that the fetus is alive.

I would ask you to use that same "Merriam-Webster" source you used to cite your definition of "terminate" so we can stay consistent with your sources. Now look up abortion. Look at the first definition. Notice my definition of abortion was cited by the same source, which, by the way, you never gave me a citation for your definition of abortion in the first round. Guess what? Our shared source defines abortion as :"a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the DEATH of the fetus." Because abortion is defined as causing the death of the fetus, the fetus must have been alive before the abortion took place. But I still would ask you to provide the definition of abortion using your resource used to define "Termination" just to vindicate what I am saying is true.

Next you say " Because a fetus cannot SURVIVE without its mother before the 24th week, you would be "ending' the fetus as well." I would like to focus on the word "survive."

Survive: " to remain alive : to continue to live"
.

You are saying that the fetus must inherently have a life, because, in order for anything to survive, it must CONTINUE to live. The mother is simply the way the fetus remains alive. Therefore, the fetus is alive before the 24th week. Actually, the fetus is alive at conception as I showed last round. Furthermore, I am arguing abortion at any point after the moment of conception is wrong and should be illegal. The only exception is where the mother and fetus will both die.

Here is why a tumor and a fetus are different. The tumor is formed from one host, and initially the tumor stems directly from the DNA of one preexisting being, The fetus is an entirely new being not formed from one preexisting human body, rather the merging of two sex cells. Now we look at potential. Is the tumor conceived with the potential to use a mental acuity, to speak, to hear, to love, to hate, to have emotion, to lust, to desire, to use free will? No. Is a fetus conceived with the potential to love, hate. use free will, have emotion etc? Yes. A fetus only has one biological future: To continually grow into a more complex human being, unless that is stopped short by natural or intentional (abortion) death. The tumor does not have the potential to ever be more than a lump of cells that have no characteristics of a human being such as emotion and free will.

Next argument:
It would be fair to say the mother's womb and umbilical cord acts as the median through which life is SUSTAINED by the fetus. It is NOT fair to say that "it is the mothers life and the fetus is just part of it" because as you just admitted, the fetus is alive as well as the mother.

Does a day old baby who cannot function without a mother (or any other advisor) and also who cannot have the ability to reason have free will? Yes. Both the baby and fetus are conceived with the potential to use free will, but neither have reached enough biological complexity to ACCESS that free will.

Laws can be wrong, just as it once was legal to own a slave. Just because it was legal 200 years ago to own a slave dis not make it morally acceptable to own a slave 200 years ago. Laws do not always represent an accurate representation of an objective moral standard, and therefore, should not be used to assess whether innocence exists or not. Laws are contingent on time, location, and circumstance. Objective morals are not contingent on these things.

Your argument about society and individuals having different moralities is often brought up and rightfully so. But just because certain people believe one thing, and other people believe something else, that does not mean their is not an objective truth. We cannot create our own reality. Society creates "morals" that are based on time, location, and circumstance. They are attempting to make their own reality on objective morality, which cannot be done.

Would you agree there are varying acts of morality? Such as stealing an ice cream cone does not have the same gravity as murdering 25 children. If so, then why? Because you are comparing the two moralities. But how? You are admitting their are degrees of difference in morality, and therefore, because we compare morality as that which breaks an objective truth of proper moral action, we know there is, by necessity, a perfect moral standard. If there were no perfect moral standard, stealing an ice cream cone would carry the same moral weight as committing genocide.

"The world should all agree...", well the world will never all agree because human beings have been given free will by which we attempt to change objective standards. This does nothing to deconstruct my argument for a perfect moral standard.

I ask you this hopefully rhetorical question: Do you believe every human being has the inalienable right to life, whether they live in America, Serbia, Germany, Australia etc.?

Once you answer as "yes or no", I will be able to conclude my argument for why morality is objective. I need you to answer this question before I can continue my argument.

I dont understand why you argue morality is subjective but then say "The US Government is run on objective morality." But before I speak more on morality, I need you to answer the question above.

At first glance, yes the fetus does appear to be a parasite. But this is not the case. Parasitic relationships exist between two different species. The fetus and mother are of the same species. Therefore the fetus and mother are not in a parasitic relationship.
Also, there is a condition known as Peripartum cardiomyopathy which is essentially a heart attack while a woman is pregnant. What is strange about this condition, however, is that the mothers recover from the heart attack at a significantly higher rate than anyone else suffering from a heart attack. According to the "Mt. Sinai School of Medicine", it has linked a fetus to donating cells to the others heart in order for quicker recovery of the heart.

The relationship between the fetus and mother is not parasitic.

.
.
angeloivy

Pro

While, your definition of life may be from a reputable source, and an accepted definition, there are too many gray areas. For example, a virus can be argued to possess all of those characteristics, so why then, does modern medicine consider them to be non-living. A virus can achieve all of the characteristics of a living thing, simply with a host cell. Why, is something that has THE POTENTIAL to have all the characteristics of life, not considered living? So while the definition you provided may be accepted, for some reason, it seems to not apply to some specimens. On the matter of "Elysia Chlorotica" it is perfectly relevant. First, you failed to notice a very clear, very intentional misprint in my previous argument.
"...Elysia chlorotica, a photosynthetic sea slug, belonging to the the same kingdom as humans (animalia) which had several characteristics, including that they were to be heterotrophs. Elysia chlorotica can manufacture its own chlorophyll, giving it the ability to be heterotrophic."
You failed to notice that i stated chlorophyll gives Elysia cholrotica the ablility to be HETEROTROPHIC, when in reality, it has the ability to be autotrophic (which is not a characteristic of animalia, though it is categorized as such, thus proving there are too many gray areas in science to adequately define such a broad topic. There is no universal scientific categorization or definition of life, in which everything will fit neatly). I point this out as it calls your scientific credibility into question.

I certainly agree that all humans have a right to life, but at what point is a fetus truly human? Is it because the fetus has the potential to be a human? Certainly you wouldn't consider an egg fertilized outside of the body for surrogate implantation a human yet. At what point is it human? When it develops hands and feet? Gorillas have hands and feet, though are not considered human. Is it at the development of the brain? For that cannot be right, gorillas have brains too. The difference between humans and our unique evolutionary ancestry is found in our ability to reason and comprehend like no other species. While the fetus has the potential to develop into a human, it should not yet be considered as such. For I have the potential to be a doctor, however I'm not referred to as "Dr. Ivy" seeing as I am not a doctor.
A gorilla is capable of all the potentials you have listed, within your quote are brackets I added in an effort to explain my argument.
"...mental acuity, to speak [In their own intraspecies form of communication], to hear, to love, to hate [emotions such as affection and anger are found in several species such as the gorilla], to have emotion [this was never specified, and plenty of non-human species have it], to lust, to desire [they may desire a specific food, much like what we call a craving], to use free will [within the bounds of their species]".
If youd like to argue that they are not capable of lust,
Lust: "a strong desire for something"
( http://www.merriam-webster.com... )
All of the above happens on an intraspecies scale of course. And within the bounds of their species
Again, the difference is in the humans unique ability to reason. If you would like to argue we are human because of our genetics, then you also admit that a fertilized human egg, even one which has been fertilized outside of the uterus, for surrogate implantation is also, by genetics, a human. If you choose to argue the fetus has the ability to reason, then it would reason in favor of itself. If it were to reason in favor of itself, would it not make more sense to stay in the womb until fully developed? As opposed to being born prematurely? And if you choose to argue the fetus has the potential to be able to reason, and so it then must be human, I can argue I have the potential to be a doctor, therefore I must be a doctor.
The same argument can even be made for inanimate objects. A boulder has the potential to be a pebble, therefore, by your argument, the boulder is a pebble.

If you would like to argue that the womb and umbilical cord are simply a median for the fetus to acquire sustenance, then you further make the fetus appear as a parasite. Let us again look at the definition of parasitism.

Parasitism: "A form of symbiosis in which one organism (called parasite) benefits at the expense of another organism usually of different species (called host). The association may also lead to the injury of the host."
( http://www.biology-online.org... )
I stress this definition, a biological definition, as it uses the term "usually" in regard to the species. Now let"s look up the definition of "usually'.

Usually: "Commonly encountered, experienced, or observed".
( http://www.thefreedictionary.com... )
If you notice, nowhere in the definition does it say that it "usually" means "always".

If you claim the fetus is a separate organism, and does benefit at the expense of the mother (through things like 'turnover') ,and MAY lead to injury of the host, then you agree the fetus is a parasite. The condition of peripartum cardiomyopathy further proves the concept of a fetus being a parasite, as it causes harm to the host, but maintains the host as living, so as it itself could continue to live. If you choose to argue that the fetus is not a parasite, then you surely believe the definition of the word is wrong. And seeing as how your definition of life and my definition of parasitism are from the same site, you must then question the validity of your definition and the site from which it came.

There can be no perfect standard that all humans judge morality upon. For example, in several cultures, humans believe being homosexual is a worse "crime" than the killing of another human. They may then decide to kill the homosexual, for being homosexual, though the victim committed no real crime. I for one do believe that killing 25 children is worse than stealing an ice cream cone, however, the child you may have stolen it from, could very well disagree, and cry until he gets another ice cream, yet not care at all about the children that were killed on the news. Do not make the mistake of thinking that this only applies to young children who do not know right from wrong. It can apply to some children as old as 8. My cousin was more upset that i would not play hide-and-seek with him, than he was that children were killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. My cousin was 8 at the time. The standards of morality vary too greatly from person to person, and instead, morality is judged by the greatest number of people with similar morals.

Now I have a question for you. Your exact words were "The only exception is where the mother and fetus will both die" in regards to abortion. If the mother were at risk of dying, however the fetus could be saved, is it any more acceptable to kill the mother and save the fetus? Do you let the mother die, and allow the fetus to die as a result? Or do you save the mother, and allow the fetus to die? If the fetus kills the mother, does it remain innocent? Will you argue it remains innocent as it had no control over its actions? If it had no ability to know what it was doing to kill its mother then is it truly human? An animal lacks the ability to reason as a human, for the way they think is instinctual. Should we not put down a bear if it attacks a human? You may believe the bear to be innocent of harming or killing a human, as it was instinctual and did not truly know it was doing. However if this is your argument, you also strip the fetus or the human qualities you give it. If, however, you argue the fetus did have free will and the ability to reason, you also argue the fetus could have chosen not to harm the mother, and in doing so, lost its 'innocence'. In losing its innocence, do you now claim it would be acceptable to abort the fetus, as it is no longer an innocent human being?

Furthermore, should it not be acceptable for a woman to control what grows within or on her own being?
Debate Round No. 3
a_janis1

Con

"My scientific credibility"? Really? If you are prepared to say that then I must point out the reasons why you lacked "scientific credibility." Also please remember neither you nor I have true scientific credibility as neither of us are trained scientists with masters and major degrees from recognized institutions! Thats why we uses sources.

1. You blatantly denied there was any definition of life but i provided a "reputable source" and an "accepted definition." You were wrong in saying "there is no scientific definition of life" So you lacked "scientific credibility" :)

2. You proclaim extraterrestrial life is relevant towards the argument of abortion. I showed that abortion is of this earth and therefore not extraterrestrial which means your argument was irrelevant. Where was your credibility in that statement?

3. You still haven't provided the definition of abortion from the site we communally used (Merriam-Webster dictionary). I called you out on this and you have not provided any response. Why? Because you and I both know it will only hurt your argument because abortion is defined as "Abortion: "a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the DEATH of the fetus."
< http://www.merriam-webster.com...... >.
You then say "the word death was not necessary" yet the word death IS IN THE DEFINITION OF ABORTION???? Im calling you out on that again. So respond to that or I will only continue to call you out.

And I will use this paragraph to argue your initial arguments that there "is no definition of life" again which my source has already shown to blatantly false. Now you say science cant prove life but there is somehow an inalienable right to life that you believe all humans should have? If you remained consistent you would have to say we cannot know that anyone has a right to life because we cannot prove anyone to be alive. You even say this "So you're saying that abortion (the intentional termination of a developing fetus) is violating a right to life, when life cannot be defined". If life cannot be defined then no one has the right to life. But since there obviously is a true right to life, then we must be able to define life in order for those rights to be applied.

Your Elysia chlorotica argument is still irrelevant. It doesn't matter if it is heterotrophic or autotrophic in determining life. We aren't debating what phylum or kingdom a human (since DNA shows it to be unique human DNA) fetus belongs to. We are debating whether the fetus is alive. So yeah, you are arguing about how science classifies things that are already proven to be alive, and you are NOT arguing how the science proved the Elysia Chlorotica to be alive in the first place. Hence, your arguments are still irrelevant. We aren't debating categorization ].

Please note, by intentionally ignoring your "heterotrophic argument" I was not lacking scientific credibility. I realized what was irrelevant to debating abortion (as i just proved) and intentionally ignored it :)

The fetus is human, as scientifically proven by unique human DNA that had never existed before, with the potential to grow in complexity just as a baby is a human with the potential to grow in complexity. Anyone who says the fetus is merely "the potential to be human" is denying the scientific verification of unique human DNA of the fetus from conception, which makes the fetus human.
I went on a tangent there so I will narrow it down to two things which human beings have. Do you really think gorillas have free will? So they can form their own religion, worship, form societies with popular elections, choose which pair of pants to wear in the morning based on the pre planned activities for the day? Gorillas do not have free will. If they had free will, the we could condemn gorillas for murder or theft, because they consciously and freely choose to commit a crime. That is absurd to say a gorilla has free will. I should also note a key sign of humanity is self awareness. We realize we are different from gorillas for some reasons I stated earlier such as the ability to unconditionally love and reach a far greater plateau of mental acuity. But gorillas don't know they are merely gorillas and therefore act as subservient to a human race. So gorillas and humans are inherently different.

You argue whether a fetus has the ability to reason. Does an hour old baby have the ability reason? Neither can reason but the baby is human being and so too is the fetus.

How about a prematurely born baby that should sill be in the womb but is now in an incubator? Does that mean, because the born fetus technically hasn't reached a full 9 months in the womb it is not a human being? No. This is one more argument to prove a human fetus in the womb is a human being. There isn't a magical moment during birth when the fetus becomes a human being. The fetus had to be a human being before birth and therefore was a human being in the womb who survived with help from the mother using the umbilical cord. And if you believe the use of an umbilical cord makes the fetus a parasite, then a birthed baby laying on the doctors table who is not yet cut from the umbilical cord is still parasite and therefore deserves to be killed.

Yes the fetus is a separate organism who exists inside the mothers womb but survives by using nutrients from the umbilical cord. But lets switch your argument that a fetus is a parasite on its own head. So then there should be no laws against punching a pregnant woman in the stomach, with her consent, in order to kill a "parasite" within her body. It should also be promoted to become an alcoholic during pregnancy in order to kill a "parasite" within the woman. And then double murder is a joke of a law. By killing as pregnant woman you are only killing one human being (the mother) and then a parasite. If we believe a fetus is merely a parasite that can only cause harm, the abortions should be promoted and rejoiced and required by almost everyone because fetus "cause harm". But abortion is not killing a parasite. Abortion is killing a human baby as shown in this other way....

I believe you and I agree about the laws of non contradiction. Either one thing is or it is not. Our laws are a great example of this. Double murder laws claim that killing a pregnant woman is the same as killing two human people: the mother and the fetus. But abortion laws claim that the killing of the fetus is not the killing of a human person. Which is it? Well since we know the fetus is both alive, and the fetus is uniquely human with the potential to grow into more biological complexity, then we know the fetus is a living human being growing towards complexity. This conclusion supports the Double murder clause, and thus, abortion is wrong. But this is not enough, in my opinion. I now continue with morality.

Morality cannot be subjective. Due to the law of non contradiction, either something is or it is not. Either slavery was wrong or it was not. And actually, if your argument that morality depends on a majority rule were true, then social progress itself would be immoral and condemned. In America, in the South, being a plantation owner who would support equality and wages would be immoral because the majority believed slavery to be moral. Therefore, those initial people who rejected slavery in the south were actually being immoral and unjust. Due to social progress towards a greater good, we know morality cannot be subjective. If morality were subjective, then Hitlers genocide of the Jews is just as good as my belief that all humans deserve the right to life. In fact, if you support moral subjectivity, you would have to support the belief of Neo-nazism as being a legitimate moral standard and equally permissible and therefore, their actions would not be able to be condemned because within their own group their standards are majority.

Now, you support the inalienable right to life. I very much agree. But if you agree I have the right to life, and then one other person believes I do not have the right life, then what? It contradicts itself. By saying rights, which stem from morality, would be subjective, then I both deserve to live and deserve to die. Because this argument and logic contradicts its own being, we know rights are objective. This is shown when in the declaration of independence, it is so eloquently stated that "we hold these truths to be self evident" meaning that they existed before the legal document that was the Declaration of Independence was formed. This means, of course, that rights exist outside of time and location and personal belief. Furthermore, by sayings truths (meaning inalienable rights such as the right to life) were "endowed", we realize these rights were not created by personal subjective opinions. These rights were discovered and not created, and because these rights were discovered, then they must exist outside of the human subjectivity. Thus, rights are objective. Now, rights are stemmed from morality, and if rights must be objective, then in order to be formed, their initiator must also be objective. This means that morality must be objective in order to have objective rights and since we know laws stem from inalienable rights and protect inalienable rights, then laws must be both objectively conformed with rights and by being so, must also be morally objective. If a law is not morally objective by upholding objective rights, then the law must be changed. Even you said that "Even the United States Government is run on objective morality." However, the government does not always uphold objective morality through equal representation of objective inalienable rights and that is why reforms are made to law. In order to better uphold objective rights that stem from objective morality.

I will have to respond to the rest of this in the comments section.
angeloivy

Pro

I at no point denied you provided a definition to life, I have however repeatedly shown and explained why the definition is hardly applicable. At no point have i claimed extraterrestrial life relevant to the topic of abortion. Mind you extraterrestrial life was brought up while explaining the lack of a definition of life, as there are too many gray areas to define all things and CLASSIFY them as either living or non-living. The perfect example of GRAY AREA in CLASSIFICATION is Elysia Chlorotica. Again, I never argued Elysia chlorotica determined the "living v. non-living" argument.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary will not hurt my argument. However, if i must use your definition, I shall, though not without my own.

Abortion: "A medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause the death of the fetus".
( http://www.merriam-webster.com... )

However, I do suggest you look at these as well.

Abortion: "Also called voluntary abortion. the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy".
( http://dictionary.reference.com... )
Note it nowhere contains the word "death"

Abortion: "In medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception (the fetus, fetal membranes, and placenta) from the uterus. It is the loss of a pregnancy and does not refer to why that pregnancy was lost".
( http://www.medicinenet.com... )
Again, the word "death" is not mentioned.

Abortion: "Induced termination of a pregnancy with destruction of the embryo or fetus".
( http://www.thefreedictionary.com... )
This simply says the destruction of the fetus, and clearly something does not need to be alive for it to be destroyed.

Abortion: "The intentional ending of a pregnancy".
( http://dictionary.cambridge.org... )
Cambridge only says it ends a pregnancy.

I do hope you now realize I have provided 4 cited definitions, in which the word "death" was not used. Thus proving, the word "death" is not necessary in the definition, seeing as it is not in all defintions. One must, at this point, also ask why it is not used. Perhaps because the fetus was not considered previously living, despite having the characteristics of a living thing, much like a virus, which also has the characteristics, yet is not considered living.

If you believe that the characteristic that makes a human a human is simply DNA, then you must also believe that a zygote, fertilized outside the uterus, and remaining outside the uterus until implantation, is also a human.

Here is a link to an image of a zygote. By your definition, this fertilized egg, has the same rights as you or I. Though, as the zygote has not yet been born in any given country, it is not yet a citizen of that country. So why should it have the same rights as one?
( http://f.tqn.com... )

So now i ask you, what to you, makes something human? Should I receive no answer, i shall take it as you having no adequate definition, and then proceed accordingly.

Gorillas most certainly have free will. i shall now prove that.
Free Will: "The ability to act and make choices independent of any outside influence".
( http://dictionary.cambridge.org... )

If you would like to argue that there will always be an outside influence in a gorillas decision, then there I can argue there is always an outside influence in our decision, such as weather, popular opinion, someone else's command even. They simply do not have the mental capacity to function like we do. That is not to say they don't have free will. If that is your argument, then you argue a baby has newborn has no free will, and a toddler has no free will, as they can not yet function on the same plateau as an adult.
Who is to say a gorilla doesn't know it's a gorilla? Certainly not I. A gorilla can certainly tell it's not like us, this is evident in the way they interact with us in the wild as opposed to their interaction with each other.

An hour old baby is already developing an ability to reason. If it cries, it gets attention. It will use that reasoning until it is better able to communicate.

At no point have i claimed the fetus "deserves to be killed". So please, don't frame such hateful words with my mouth. However, by definition, the fetus is a parasite. So if you'd like to argue the definition of "parasite" and "parasitism" you must believe it is wrong. If you believe that the definition is wrong, you must also question your definition of "life" as they are from the SAME SOURCE. Nowhere have i said a fetus can only cause harm.
You'll notice the previous definition I gave you on this topic was "parasitism". But let's take it a step further.

Parasite: "An organism that obtains nourishment and shelter on another organism".
( http://www.biology-online.org... )
Also from the same source as your definition of "life"
As you can see, "harm" is not in this definition. Let it also be known, that in the definition of "parasitism" it states injury "may" occur, not "will" occur.

While punching a woman in the uterus would be a less than honorable action, in order to remove what is, by definition, a parasite, it is the woman's body. She has the right to do with it as she likes. If consent was given, she has the right to allow whatever she'd like happen to her body, or not happen to it. If she would like to drink to kill the parasite, and that is her intention, it is her body to do with it as she would like.

As for your "double murder clause", was it not you who stated "Laws can be wrong...". I now rest my case on this point.

And now on to your "slaves and morality" argument.

The majority of people in the south actually were slaves. Slaves would have certainly opposed slavery. In fact, a total of 76% of the south's population (in 1860 ( http://civilwarcauses.org... )) were slaves (not including border states). On top of that, less than 1/3 of southern families owned slaves, leaving a little over 2/3 without. As slaves were against the abuses of slavery, that meant they had the majority rule. So those who, in addition, were opposed to slavery, were in fact, moral, as their morals were held by the majority of the population. Thus, because it was the majority, the greater good could be achieved.

Ahh the genocide argument.

Let's pretend all of Germany and Austria were Nazi in WWII. So in 1939, the year the war started, the German population was approximately 76 million.
So lets take the population of some of the major countries that would soon commence fighting in the war. (To keep things proportional for our purposes, the entire population of the other countries are not Nazi).
United Kingdom- approximately 47 million
France- approximately 41 million
The USSR- approximately 190 million (note the United States had not yet entered WWII, but were still against the Nazis).
The United States- approximately 132 million

( http://www.euronet.nl... )

So the total number of people (for our sake) of those who are not Nazis, is 410 million. This would mean that only 18.53 percent of the populations listed we listed were Nazi. That is most certainly a minority. Thus the vast majority were against the mass genocides of Hitler, and he was then able to be stopped.

And laws. How is a bill turned into a law? It is voted upon. With a majority rules approach. While the president may veto a law, the law can still be put into action if the majority of people who vote still believe it is a good idea. Would it not be accurate to say that a law is reformed as morals change? This is, in fact, perfectly true. When a law is made, people with similar morals vote for it, people with different, vote against it. The same goes for when a law is reformed.

Furthermore, who is one person to claim that their morals MUST apply to someone else?

I will ignore, as should the voters, the continuation of this debate that flows into the comments. We are given a character limit to fit our arguments within. That is more than enough room to state, argue, and reaffirm multiple points. If one cannot fit their argument in the given space, then they should post the most important, relevant information. In an order to keep things professional, I ask we refrain from posting more of a debate you cannot fit in the comments. So i now ask the voters to only consider that which is within the debate column.
Debate Round No. 4
a_janis1

Con

If you noticed I said "there is no formal layout to this debate" in the opening, therefore, comments are fair game just as anyone would also vote on some of the responses to questions outside of a formal debate in a presidential election. So voters, also use the comments and responses to those comments to vote. So if I need to, I will continue into the comments.
But just to appease you:
I will first address this statement "There can be no perfect standard that all humans judge morality upon."
This is false. The accurate statement would be that "There is a perfect moral standard but not all humans choose to judge morality upon it due to their own use of free will." If morality is objective and discovered, then there must be, by necessity, a perfect giver of perfect morality from which all varying levels of morality are compared. Therefore, there is a perfect moral standard.
Next I address your example of your 8 year old cousin. Just because someone does not understand the gravity of a situation or the depth of a circumstance, does that make the gravity or depth non existent? Of course not. In an analogy, I doubt your 8 year old cousin understands the importance and existence of BC Calculus, but the Calculus still exists outside of his subjective opinion and understanding of the Calculus. The same can be said for morality. Just because some people do not care about the morality of the situation or do not recognize the moral weight of a situation does not mean an objective moral weight of the situation exists outside of their subjective opinion of the situation.
I will address every question simply as possible and then provide an overall theme for the topic.
1. It is not more, rather it is EQUALLY permissible and tragic to save the fetus and let the mother die.
2. Letting both the mother and fetus die is far more tragic than saving one or the other. However, whoever lets both die is not committing and act of immorality because who ever allows both to die is not actually initiating the cause by which both die. Neither the mother, the fetus, nor the doctor who lets both die have any moral culpability.
3. Saving the mother and letting the fetus die is equally as permissible and tragic as saving the fetus and letting the mother die.
4. Innocence can only be applied to beings with free will. Only human beings have free will. Therefore NO animal is subject to either innocence or guilt. The fetus would remain innocent because the fetus has free will but not the ability to openly use free will. This is the same case as when a 2 year old child kills a woman in Walmart. The 2 year old child cannot act on his or her own free will, which he or she possesses, but cannot control yet. Therefore, just as the 2 year old child remains innocent, a fetus would remain innocent as well. < http://www.foxnews.com...... >. So because the fetus has free will, but cannot yet use the free will, the fetus is innocent.
5.The 2 year old child did not know he or she was killing the woman, but the 2 year old child is still truly human. Therefore, this doesn't show the fetus to be not "truly human."
6. The bear can neither be innocent nor guilty because the bear does not have free will. Also, we can put down a bear because a bear does not have the same intrinsic worth protected by an inalienable right to life that a human being has.
7. The fetus remains human, as it has free will, but also remains innocent, for it cannot yet act upon that free will.

Here is the overall theme. Because it was not refuted against, I will quote once again my last debate but then expand upon it:
"Your situation where either the mother dies or the fetus dies is a very valid question that is brought up quite often. And here is where we have to weigh culpability. Both are innocent. Both have the right life. This is hard for some people to accept, but, fundamentally, both have the EQUAL right to life. Even the Catholic faith holds that saving the mother would be equally as noble but also inherently equally tragic as saving the child. So in fact, yes, this is the only circumstance where abortion is permissible because two equal innocent lives are at risk. Since their is an inalienable right to life, it would be better to save one innocent life than neither life. And furthermore, choosing either to save to mother or fetus does not make the person morally culpable for this reason:
A good deed is always inherently above/better/higher than a bad deed of equal gravity (in this case killing). The good deed of saving the innocent mother is inherently above/better/higher than the bad deed of having to abort/kill the fetus. I am not contradicting anything I have stated because my overall theme, applied to any situation, is supporting the inalienable right to life. This debate happens to be on abortion. Therefore i should also add saving the fetus would be inherently better then the act of letting the mother die."
I also must talk about intention:
Looking at intention is very important in determining a moral circumstance. Applied to abortion, we can say that if we save the mother and abort the fetus we view it as such: The intention is to save the mother but results in the death of the fetus. Because a good deed is inherently better than a bad of equal moral gravity, then intentionally saving the mother is permissible if the fetus must be aborted, however, the death of the fetus is still tragic. Same goes for vice versa.

In your closing sentence you say "Furthermore, should it not be acceptable for a woman to control what grows within or on her own being?" This only applies to an extent.
"The right to swing my fist ends where another man's nose begins"- Oliver Wendell Holmes.
I often use this quote in relation to abortion. The primary reason is that this quote vividly and simplistically illustrates that my right to do what I want cannot infringe upon someone else rights, especially his or her inalienable rights.
Since the fetus is both living and a human being, and every human being has the inalienable right to life, and since abortion is the killing of the fetus, then abortion infringes upon the inalienable right to life of the human being living within the mother, therefore abortion is wrong. The mother does not have the right to kill her own child by removing the inalienable right to life from the child."

Furthermore, you still are only showing how categorization of life in science is fuzzy. There is "a gray area in classification." That is wonderful, but the only argument for life of the fetus is the "living vs. non living argument" thus your argument is still irrelevant because we aren't trying to put a fetus into a certain phylum, kingdom etc.
So you do admit that the fetus is alive. "While i will also agree the fetus is alive clinically..." why wouldn't the merriam webster definition then be the most appropriate? If you admit the fetus is alive, then you must admit "removing" or "terminating" the fetus is causing the death of the fetus. Thus the fetus, you must admit, as you already have, is alive.
The reason we don't consider a virus to be alive is that the virus "cannot reproduce without the use of the host cell and lacks typical cell-division approach to reproduction" The fetus, as a zygote, cellularly divides after conception, and therefore reproduces in a way the is represented under scientific definition of life. It is easy to see that the reason a virus is not alive and the way a fetus IS alive. Therefore I have negated your comparison of life of a fetus to pseudo-life of a virus. < http://scienceline.ucsb.edu... >.
If the zygote is fertilized, has a new unique human DNA, and was conceived from a sperm and egg cell from two human beings and therefore inherently has potential, then yes, the zygote would be a human. And it would have rights, because I have shown prior, rights exist outside of time and location. Rights exist beyond laws. Therefore, even though the fetus is not a citizen, it has a right to life. Lets make an analogy, say I am in Antarctica and you kill me. I was not protected by American laws, but did I have the right to live? Yes I did. Rights extend beyond laws.

Here is what makes us living humans, and it must be all of these things: Unique human DNA, growth towards biological complexity, conceived with free will, great mental acuity, and self awareness but growth into the ability to use all of those things.
A gorilla does not have free will. A gorilla does not formulate pre-meditated plans. A gorilla does not build a barrier to stop a river from flooding. They cannot act in free will because they do not have free will. Also, you admit our mental acuity is different from a gorilla which is a good sign of being human. The baby has free will, just not the ability to use it yet. The gorilla never had free will to begin with.

"Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. It is not to be confused with consciousness." So the gorilla can do an in depth recognition of its own life and make planned actions to change something in its life?

So do you honestly believe the 30 second old baby knows it is crying for attention? The crying is more instinctual dealing with a reaction to a change in environment. Furthermore, the baby does not yet realize it is a baby, but is conceived with self awareness, just not the ability to use it.

The fetus, even if you can definitively claim is parasitic, then, does not deserve to die, as you agree. Therefore, it deserves to live because the fetus is an innocent human being. But I will also take this a step further, and guess what, because I made it openly acknowledged this debate will have no layout, the comment sections can be used...Which I will do now.
angeloivy

Pro

As for your "perfect standard" of morality, you negate to mention i was able to successfully refute this, with statistics and numbers, in my "majority rules" concept. The same "majority rules" concept you attempted, and failed to refute. Let us not forget, science doesn't prove one thing true, it proves all others false.

Let's look at the definition of "tragic"
Tragic: "causing strong feelings of sadness usually because someone has died in a way that seems very shocking, unfair, etc.".
( http://www.merriam-webster.com... )
Would me, stepping on the Zygote in the previous image, cause more sadness to you than a man mercilessly beating a child? It certainly must, as I killed the zygote, but the child is still alive. I do hope you now see the flaw in your sentiment. How could one hold a single celled zygote on the same plateau as a developed, grown, human?

I have already shown how, within the bounds of their species, gorillas have (by definition) free will. As they do form hierarchical societies, and do interact and even form opinions of one another, which is clear by seeing the way they interact with each other. They must form premeditated plans, as that is exactly what a plan is.

Plan: "a set of actions that have been thought of as a way to do or achieve something"
( http://www.merriam-webster.com... )
Certainly, a gorilla, by definition, plans how to get its food, or protect its offspring.

Just to further my point,
Premeditated: "done or made according to a plan : planned in advance".
( http://www.merriam-webster.com... )
If something has been thought out as a way to achieve something, then certainly, do that thing, according to the plan, in order to achieve the desired outcome.

Self-preservation is recognizing harm or danger in one"s environment. In recognizing danger, one knows they are separate from the environment, and the notion that they have personalities (mean, nice, caring, antisocial) suggests they know they are different from one another.

Possibly the largest issue with your excerpt from your previous debate, is the use of the Catholic faith as a defense. I say this, as not every person worships the same god, or any god at all. Certainly a religion like (for example Islam) would find no refute to any of their arguments in another religion, as that religion does not apply to them.
Next you say "abortion is permissible because two equal innocent lives are at risk". Does this mean that if the mother is at risk, and not the fetus, it is NOT permissible to kill the fetus to save the mother? Should it not be the mothers choice, whether the fetus was at risk or not, to kill the fetus to save her own life? By your sentiment that is wrong, as only one life was at risk, and not both.
Again, I ask you to look at the definition of "Tragic". Tragic seems like an awfully opinionated word, what is tragic by your standards, may not be tragic by mine. Therefore, saying anything is more tragic than another, is a strictly personal opinion.
You now use Oliver Wendell Holmes' quote. Allow me to show you how this does not apply.

Birth: "The emergence of a baby or other young from the body of its mother; the start of life as a physically separate being".
( http://www.oxforddictionaries.com... )
Notice, how even if you wish to argue that the fetus is alive, the definition states "birth" is the start of life "as a physically separate being". This is exponentially important, as through this definition of the word "birth", it is shown the mother and child are not separate beings while in pregnancy. So a much more accurate quote for this argument would be "The right to swing my fist ends where another man's nose begins, save this situation, as the nose is my own, and I can do with it as I will"- angeloivy.

Next i will address how declaring something living or non-living IS CLASSIFICATION AND CATEGORIZATION. It is remarkably near sighted to assume the only scientific categories are domain, kingdom, phylum etc. And in saying "you still are only showing how categorization of life in science is fuzzy" you help my argument immensely, as you are agreeing that there are gray areas, and not everything will be categorized neatly.

Saying one definition is more appropriate than another, is ridiculous.
Definition: "State or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of".
( http://www.oxforddictionaries.com... )
By this definition, of the word "definition" the explanation must be exact. Therefore, if there is MORE THAN ONE DEFINITION, ALL MUST BE CORRECT. I must however, hand it to Con for being the only person I have seen yet to incorporate a "no true Scotsman" fallacy into the definition of a word.

Next onto your definition of what makes a person a human. Your exact words are "conceived with free will", so you must surely be using the word in terms of conception, as you believe the moment a zygote is conceived, you believe it to be human. Though you claim that they have the POTENTIAL to achieve free will, so though that argument, a zygote is not a human, because it is not conceived with free will, it only has the potential to achieve free will.

At no point did i say the baby knows it is crying for attention. However, it has begun to learn, if it cries, it will get attention.
Can you learn calculus in 30 seconds? No. But in 30 seconds, the teacher can give an overview of the course from the syllabus. Thus beginning the learning process of calculus.

While the fetus is parasitic, and may not deserve to die, that does not mean it deserves life. This cannot be a "one or the other" argument. It does not deserve to die, however, it does not deserve to live.

Deserving: "qualified for or having a claim to reward, assistance, etc., because of one's actions, qualities, or situation".
( http://dictionary.reference.com... )
The fetus has done nothing to deserve either, then neither argument can be used. The fetus deserves neither life nor death.
I must now also ask, as you say "rights extend beyond laws", so should a man, who kills another be put to death? Certainly you can"t believe so, as that would be infringing on his right to life, and because "rights extend beyond laws" he must, even if found guilty, keep his right to life, as it was a law he was found guilty of breaking.
As you argue the that the release of chemicals in the brain makes the fetus out as "doing something beneficial" for the mother, there are also tumors, when growing in specific locations (carcinoid tumors) that release serotonin, a chemical in the brain that increases ones feeling of well-being. Though no one would argue this is a benefit of having a tumor.
You also argue "every other parasite on a human ought to be removed since it has no right to be there, unless someone consents to it". By this logic, if the mother did not consent to having a child, the child should be removed. You have just confirmed my entire argument. As the fetus is a parasite, if the mother does not consent to it, it must be removed. Let us not forget, consent to have sex, is not consent to carry and birth a child. If you honestly believe consenting to sex, is the same as consenting to carry and birth a child, and therefore the woman must go through with it, then you MUST also believe that in consenting to sex, the man must stay to raise the child into adulthood. If you do not believe the man must stay, but do believe the woman must have the child, then you sir, are not supporting woman"s rights.
I have already proven how, by your words and standards, a fetus is not human, therefore, by your definition, the double murder clause is wrong.
You completely ignored the numbers in my argument. I think this actually funny. As you can see, in the south, the majority of people were against slavery, just as the majority of the world was against the Nazi regime. If you would like to argue that the majority of plantation owners supported slavery (which were the minority of the population, the majority of the population were not slave or plantation owners) then I will also argue the color blue is blue. Is this not you picking and choosing what numbers and facts you use. The number of slavery supporters and plantation owners were the minority of the population. END OF STORY.
The 3/5 argument was voted upon by a majority rule yes, however, only the wealthy were active in government proceedings, and in the south, the plantation owners were the wealthy ones with power, though they were also the south"s minority. So while the bill was passed in a majority rules fashion, the majority in this case simply had no say in government.
As for ancient times, (I personally do not believe that it is moral to own a slave, however, we are both products of our time period) it was socially acceptable to own a slave. It is not accurate to compare vastly different time periods, as ideals, religions, and science change daily.
Also you said ""because that would remove a person"s free will to choose right or wrong, thus making that person not human since they would not possess free will." This clearly disagrees with your idea of a fetus being human, as they do not possess free will, they only have the potential to achieve free will, thus, because it does not have free will, you openly admit it"s not human.
As I see another debate has begun in the comments section, allow me to point out, that factual_asshole, and yourself, have just proven free will to have no bearing on whether or not an organism is human, as Con has said ""making that person not human since they would not possess free will". factual_asshole was right in calling you out on this. You also explicitly say "limiting what someone's free will extends to". In limiting someone"s free will, you take away a trait that, by your definition, is necessary for a human to be considered as such. So a_janis, is free will still required to suit your definition? If so, then a woman not in control of her own body, (I have proven the fetus to be part of her being, alive or not) is not human.
This has been an interesting debate, I look forward to the voters opinions.
Debate Round No. 5
57 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by a_janis1 1 year ago
a_janis1
I think I should step in and say this:
Science does have a fairly concrete definition of life. However, it is more difficult for science to classify "some things" as living or non living. An example of this "some thing" is a virus. But because the the virus lacks the ability or potential to reproduce (be it by means of cellular division or sexual reproduction), that is why a virus is not considered living. But a fetus is not one of "these things" that science would have a gray area in defining as living. I think we can all agree at this point I showed how a fetus is alive. And I think we also do plainly agree the fetus is living. The real argument now lies in whether the fetus is a human being or not.
Posted by Toxifrost 1 year ago
Toxifrost
Philosurfer it's important to note that he specifically states SCIENTIFIC definition. Sure you can give a linguistic definition to life but trying to accurately describe what life is is a tad harder which is why there are the characteristics of life and even then those are slightly inaccurate as some living things lack some of the characteristics. The point is there is no universal description to which we can apple to ALL living things from a scientific perspective.
Posted by philosurfer 1 year ago
philosurfer
No definition of life?

life
l&#299;f/noun
1.
the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.
"the origins of life"
synonyms:existence, being, living, animation; More
antonyms:death, nonexistence
living things and their activity.
"some sort of life existed on Mars"
synonyms:living things, living beings, living creatures, the living; More
a particular type or aspect of people's existence.
plural noun: lives
"an experienced teacher will help you settle into school life"
synonyms:way of life, lifestyle, situation, fate, lot
"an easy life"
vitality, vigor, or energy.
"she was beautiful and full of life"
synonyms:vivacity, animation, liveliness, vitality, verve, high spirits, exuberance, zest, buoyancy, enthusiasm, energy, vigor, dynamism, elan, gusto, brio, bounce, spirit, fire; More
2.
the existence of an individual human being or animal.
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
===================================================================
1Credo. 3 points to Con (arguments). Reason for removal: merely stating "unconvincing rebuttals" is not a sufficient explanation for why one side was more convincing. It is no different than saying "Con had better arguments." It's not a reason *why* Con had better arguments, but rather a mere statement *that* Con had better arguments.

Reasons for voting decision: Con was able to successfully refute Pro's arguments for abortion while Pro was unable to refuter Con's arguments against abortion.
======================================================================

-bluesteel (Voting Moderator)
Posted by Toxifrost 1 year ago
Toxifrost
Yes Philocat I have in fact accepted that abortion kills a lot of fetus' as has everyone on the planet by now. What I disagree with is that abortion kills a lot of PEOPLE. Actually it does matter whether it's 10000 or 10 mil as 10000 would be a relatively low number considering the population of America in 2011 1.06 mil is still a tad low considering the sheer number of people who get pregnant in the US per year. Requesting a source may not pertain to the actual debate but what does that even matter? The fact of the matter is is just I'm a skeptically minded person and I need evidence before I can actually believe something and thats why I request sources.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
@toxifrost, I most definitely know what a red herring is.
What I'm saying is that Janis's point was that abortion has killed a lot of foetuses, it does not pertain to the point whether that figure is 10000 or 10 million; the point was that it is a large amount. I presume you already accepted the fact that abortion kills a large number of foetuses, so nothing is achieved in requesting a source. Verifying an exact quantity does not add anything to the debate.
Posted by Toxifrost 1 year ago
Toxifrost
*applauds* Thanks Janis for actually supplying us with a source.
Posted by a_janis1 1 year ago
a_janis1
1.06 million abortions in 2011 in the US < https://www.guttmacher.org... >. < http://www.abort73.com... >. And there have been approximately 53 million abortions from 1973 to 2011.

But I agree that the truth may be somewhere in the middle. Most states are not required to release abortion statistics therefore the numbers may be inflated in order to account for the number of abortions that have not been officially released. However, the number also may be too low because the numbers only account for the number of abortions that have been officially released and do not take into account the number of abortions that actually occurred.

Also, the number of 1.06 million listed above pertains only to one year (2011) and only in the US.
Posted by Toxifrost 1 year ago
Toxifrost
Philocat by your comment I'm 99% sure you don't know what a red-herring is. There actually is something to be gained by assigning a real numerical value, objectiveness. Saying 1.02 million without actually establishing it does nothing to further a cause one way or another. Besides 1.02 million can only be an under or over estimate if it's given a timeframe. 1.02 in a day? A month? A year? Forever?
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
1.2 million sounds an underestimate to me... Anyway, asking for a source is a red herring- since we know that loads of foetuses are killed so there is nothing to be gained from assigning an exact numerical value to it.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Squirrelnuts57 1 year ago
Squirrelnuts57
a_janis1angeloivyTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 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: Good debate for both pro and con. However I agree more with con, and pro seemed to drift the debate into whether or not a fetus is a parasite. But anyway, good job to both pro and con.
Vote Placed by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
a_janis1angeloivyTied
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: This was an interesting debate, albeit one too indulgent in semantics and appeals to dictionaries. However, Con made better arguments because he actually proved that a human foetus is an actual human being. As Pro did not expressly deny that human beings have a right to life, Con's argument remained unrefuted.
Vote Placed by Chuz-Life 1 year ago
Chuz-Life
a_janis1angeloivyTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 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 Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Overall good effort by both pro & con. It was good to see it play out to the end. Though pro tried to shift the topic away from the original premise (abortion right vs wrong) on several occasions - to debate things like the definition of life and comparisons to parasites, pro also conceded several points made by Con in his responses. In the end, neither pro nor con presents a clear argument for why abortion is right or wrong but Con does make a case early on that "if the fetus is a human being an abortion denies their human rights" (paraphrased) and con makes a clear case with several sources to support the fact that a human being in the fetal stage of their life is a human being.