The Instigator
Beondel
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
AidanRies
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Abortion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Beondel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 627 times Debate No: 72936
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

Beondel

Con

I will be arguing that abortion is immoral in this debate.

Abortion, as per the definition that will be used in this argument is defined as: "The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy"

The debate will have the format modeling that of a public forum debate:

Round 1: acceptance

Round 2: speech from both sides (no rebuttals, only new points)

Round 3: crossfire (rebuttals, new points/arguments if needed)

Round 4: crossfire (rebuttals, new points/arguments if needed)

Round 5: conclusive statements, summary of argument (rebuttals, no new points)
AidanRies

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Beondel

Con

Thank you for accepting.

Over the course of this debate, I will be attempting to defend one argument which concludes that abortion is morally wrong.

P1: Abortion kills a fetus

P2: A fetus is a human being

P3: It is morally wrong to kill a human being

C: Therefore, abortion is morally wrong


P1: Abortion kills a fetus

This is self evident as per the definition of an abortion as supplied by me in round 1 of this debate.

P2: A fetus is a human being

"Human being" is defined by Dictionary.com as: any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens.

"Life" is defined by Oxford Dictionary as: The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

"Alive" is defined by Merriam-Webster as: having life.

It is my contention that a fetus is both a human being and alive, because at the moment of conception, an organism with a strand of DNA belonging to the species Homo Sapiens is formed, making it a member of that species (Homo Sapiens - Human). It is also alive, since it has the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

P3: It is morally wrong to kill a human being

I hope this also goes without saying. If Pro disagrees, I would ask that he let me know at the beginning of his opening statement, and perhaps we can include that in the debate using conditionals for the argument concerning abortion.

C: Abortion is Morally Wrong

This argument is perfectly valid, meaning the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises. If Pro wishes to disagree with my conclusion, Pro must prove that one of my premises is false.
AidanRies

Pro

Abortion is a perfectly moral action to partake in because of the following points. And yes, I would like to disagree with your statement that killing a human being is morally wrong, assuming you mean in all cases.

1. It should be up to the mother whether or not to have her own child.
2. Abortion of another woman's fetus will not affect you.
3. Population management.
C. Therefore, abortion is moral.

1. When it comes down to it, it should be the mother's choice whether or not to have her own child. Who are you or me to tell her that she has to have a baby? Say a teenage girl gets pregnant because of a mistake she made. Should she be forced to have her child, possibly ruining her life? I say that the answer is no, it should be their choice whether or not to have their own child.

2. When a woman has an unplanned pregnancy, and chooses to abort, how does that choice impact you? Because I can tell you that it's going to impact the woman infinitely more if she is forced to have her child. A woman should not be forced to have a child by someone who will not be affected by this decision either way. It would be different if you were the woman's husband, and in this case a consensual decision would be best, but in the end, it should still be up to the one actually giving
birth whether or not to abort the child.

3. If you do not agree with my previous points, then I will put one out based solely on the practicality of abortion. With the population rising exponentially, we'll eventually need to control the amount of children people have. Abortion is a practical method to limit population growth. This earth can't supply an unlimited number of people, and abortion is a practical way of ensuring against overpopulation. It may sound immoral to you, but it may be necessary in the future.

C. Abortion is perfectly moral, what is immoral is forcing a woman to have children that she does not want.
Debate Round No. 2
Beondel

Con

Pro attempts to refute my third premise: It is morally wrong to kill a human being. Pro states in his opening argument that he disagrees with that fact, "assuming [I] mean in all cases". This leads me to assume that Pro would have exceptions to the rule that killing is morally wrong. I would agree, but I would like to clarify under which circumstances it is morally acceptable to take a human life. I ask Pro whether or not he thinks that the right to life is, in fact, a human right and when it is morally acceptable to infringe it. I posit that it is only morally acceptable to infringe that right if the human being in question is threatening to take any action, by his own volition, that will infringe upon the right to life of another human being. I ask Pro if he finds this acceptable, or if he would provide his own idea for when it is morally acceptable to infringe the right to life, if it is the fact that the right to life is a human right. If the right to life is not a human right, then the Holocaust was morally acceptable, which is absurd. Therefore it is my conclusion that the right to life is a human right.


Rebuttals:


Point 1) It should be up to the mother whether or not to have her child:

"When it comes down to it, it should be the mother's choice whether or not to have her own child."

Pro commits an Ipse Dixit fallacy. This statement is not properly backed by logic that proves that this makes abortion morally acceptable; it is simply stated as a truth that I must accept.

Pro attempts to give special priviledge to a human being simply because she is the mother of the human being in question, assuming that "have her child" means whether or not to kill it. If my original argument is sound, then the mother does not have the decision of whether or not to kill the child the same way my mother does not have the right to decide whether or not to kill me, a 17 year old boy.

I would also like to point out that this argument refuses to answer the question of the debate, whether or not abortion is morally acceptable. This point is simply a statement with a premise that assumes that it is morally acceptable to kill a fetus. If Pro is attempting to use this point to prove that abortion is morally acceptable, then Pro is committing a Begging the Question fallacy. In other words, whether or not it should be up to the mother to have her child or not will depend on whether or not abortion is morally acceptable. This is akin to me saying for one of my points, "It should not be up to the mother to decide whether or not to have her child." It does not help to prove the topic of this debate.


Point 2) Abortion of another woman's fetus will not affect you:

I agree with Pro, it will not. However that is not the question put forth in this debate, as stated in my first round: "I will be arguing that abortion is immoral in this debate."

"Because I can tell you that it's going to impact the woman infinitely more if she is forced to have her child."

Pro states that due to the impact on a woman's life that having a child has, it is morally acceptable to kill the child. This is false as long as my third premise is true. Pro and I are currently discussing the exceptions to the rule that it is morally wrong to kill a human being, however, I think it safe to say that it is wrong to kill a human being even if that human will impacting your life in negative ways. Keep in mind that a woman has the option to put the child in question up for adoption, thereby limiting the "impact" on the mother.


"A woman should not be forced to have a child by someone who will not be affected by this decision either way."

Whether or not it affects me has nothing to do with the inherent morality of the act. The Holocaust did not affect me either, but we can both agree that the Holocaust is morally unacceptable. Therefore, Pro's argument that it does not affect me is not sound in any way as an argument by itself, or as its relation to the topic of this debate.


Point 3) Population control:

"If you do not agree with my previous points, then I will put one out based solely on the practicality of abortion."

Pro states an argument in the medium of an argument on the morality of abortion that has to do with how practical it is. This is not what the focus of the argument is. If Pro wishes to use this point as an argument for why abortion is morally acceptable, then:

Pro states that population control is a reason for why abortion is morally acceptable. If I may subject this argument to a Reductio ad Absurdum, if something is morally acceptable insofar as it controls the population of the human race, then Hitler's genocide of the Jews in Nazi Germany was morally acceptable because it controlled the population of the human race, which is absurd. Therefore, whether or not an action controls the population has no effect on the action's inherent morality.

In simpler words, If abortion is right because it controls the population, then it is just as right to kill off any human being, because that, too, controls population. In fact, killing of any kind controls population. Pro's point that population control is a reason for why it is morally acceptable to kill is not sound.


A quick note: all of this is assuming that my Premise 2 is true, that a fetus is a human being. In order for my refuttations of Pro's points to be moot, Pro must correctly refute Premise 2 of my argument. Pro and I are currently debating the truth to my third premise: it is morally wrong to kill a human being.
AidanRies

Pro

I for the most part agree with your idea for when it is morally acceptable to infringe a human being's right to life except for one detail. I would like to add that it is morally acceptable whether or not the human being in question is acting under their own volition in their threat to another human's life if you have reason to believe that infringing upon the human being in question's right to live is the only way to save the human they threaten.

I say this because if there is reason to believe a fetus is a threat to the mother's life, then the abortion of the fetus to save the mother is moral, even though the fetus is not acting by its own volition. It would not be moral to allow the mother and possibly the fetus to both die by refusing to abort when you can save at least the mother by aborting the fetus. This of course, is assuming the fetus is a human being, and even has human rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." A fetus has not yet been born, and therefore does not have human rights. This is supported by the fact that there has not yet been a consensus, legally or scientifically, over whether a fetus is a human being or not because of the fetus's dependance upon the mother. The fetus is therefore not yet considered a human being, and therefore has no right to life, or any other rights at that, meaning that the abortion of the fetus is moral and leaving it completely up to the mother whether or not to abort the fetus.

One final thing that I would like to ask you is whether you believe morality is subjective or not.
Debate Round No. 3
Beondel

Con

Pro talks about whether or not it would be morally right to take the life of a fetus if the mother's life is at stake. I would ask that we continue to argue about the overarching majority of abortion cases, and then at the end if time permits, we may discuss the (possible) exceptions.

Concerning Pro's argument:

Pro states: "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." A fetus has not yet been born, and therefore does not have human rights. This is supported by the fact that there has not yet been a consensus, legally or scientifically, over whether a fetus is a human being or not because of the fetus's dependance upon the mother. The fetus is therefore not yet considered a human being, and therefore has no right to life, or any other rights at that, meaning that the abortion of the fetus is moral and leaving it completely up to the mother whether or not to abort the fetus."

It is false to claim that something is morally right simply because the law says so. If this was the case, the Mao's genocide of 50,000,000 people was morally acceptable, since he made the laws of China. My argument for why fetuses have human rights still stands. This argument, as stated: "Over the course of this debate, I will be attempting to defend one argument which concludes that abortion is morally wrong[,]" concerns whether or not abortion is morally wrong, not whether or not people think it's morally wrong/right.

Your argument:

P1: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

P2: A fetus has not been born, by defition

C: Therefore, a fetus does not have human rights

This argument is not in the scope of our discussion - whether or not it is morally right to kill a fetus. It simply states that accorind to the law, fetuses don't have human rights.


I remind Pro that since I am the instigator, it is my duty to logically defend my contention. Pro need not make his own points; he need only refute mine:

P1: Abortion kills a fetus

P2: A fetus is a human being

P3: It is morally wrong to kill a human being

C: Therefore, abortion is morally wrong


Finally, in response to Pro's question, I answer that I do believe in an objective moral code because I believe in the existence of God. You can view this line of reason on my other debate: http://www.debate.org...

I also ask why Pro would accept this debate without first assuming that an objective moral code's existence would be assumed for the purposes of debate. Otherwise, the debate would entail one of us saying "so and so is wrong" and the other saying "so and so is right". The debate would not get anywhere because at the end of the day, Mao's genocide would, in fact, be morally justified insofar as he thought it was. By extention, abortion would not be wrong or right - it would depend on the person in question. The fact that I made an absolute resolution in round 1 shows that I don't believe what others think matters when it comes to morals.
AidanRies

Pro

Con P2-A fetus is a human being.

I have provided, from a legal and scientific perspective, evidence that a fetus is not a human being. But because of con's belief in an objective moral code based on their belief in god, they believe abortion is immoral whether or not it is legal. However, I have yet to find evidence that the bible or god considers a fetus a human being, or whether abortion is immoral.

genesis 2:7- Then the lord god formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

This is evidence that from a biblical perspective, one does not become a living being until their first breath. Therefore, a fetus is not a human being because it has not taken its first breath. I would also like to point out, that throughout the New Testament, Jesus says nothing of abortion and whether it is a sin, or morally wrong. Because a fetus is not a human being, according to law, science, and the bible, con's argument for why abortion is immoral is invalid.
Debate Round No. 4
Beondel

Con

Pro has in fact not provided a scientific argument for why a fetus is not a human. The fact that a fetus is dependant upon his mother for support is a scientific fact, but it is not a scientific reason for why it should not be considered a human. On the other hand, my scientific reasons for why a fetus is a human remain un-refutted.

In the first round, I stated that I would be arguing that abortion was immoral. The law has no impact on whether or not something is moral, even in a subjective sense. If you prefer to think that morals are subjective, then it would based on what the majority thought, which is not always atuned to what the laws are. If morals are objective, then the law would make absolutely no difference as well, as morals would be grounded in metaphysics, which I hope we can both agree are not affected by laws. However, since Pro is willing I will continue the debate assuming an objective moral code.

Pro states: "genesis 2:7- Then the lord god formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."

Pro says this after stating, "I have yet to find evidence that the bible or god considers a fetus a human being, or whether abortion is immoral." I will not argue based on the Bible, but for the record:

Jeremiah 1:5 - “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart"

Psalm 139:13 - "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb."

Exodus 21:22-25: "When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out...if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life"

Clearly, the Bible does not look fondly upon the idea of Abortion. However, I am not using this to argue, but merely to educate.

My main argument has not been refutted whatsoever. Pro attempted to use "science" to refute my second premise, however the point that was made was far from science. Science does not cover the nature of a human being. Being dependant upon someone else does not distinguish biological identity. I clearly showed in my first argument how a fetus was scientifically human.

My argument stands:

P1: Abortion kills a fetus

P2: A fetus is a human being

P3: It is morally wrong to kill a human being

C: Therefore, abortion is morally wrong


P1: Abortion kills a fetus

This is self evident as per the definition of an abortion as supplied by me in round 1 of this debate.

P2: A fetus is a human being

"Human being" is defined by Dictionary.com as: any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens.

"Life" is defined by Oxford Dictionary as: The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

"Alive" is defined by Merriam-Webster as: having life.

It is my contention that a fetus is both a human being and alive, because at the moment of conception, an organism with a strand of DNA belonging to the species Homo Sapiens is formed, making it a member of that species (Homo Sapiens - Human). It is also alive, since it has the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.

P3: It is morally wrong to kill a human being

I hope this also goes without saying. If Pro disagrees, I would ask that he let me know at the beginning of his opening statement, and perhaps we can include that in the debate using conditionals for the argument concerning abortion.

C: Abortion is Morally Wrong

This argument is perfectly valid, meaning the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises. If Pro wishes to disagree with my conclusion, Pro must prove that one of my premises is false.

Until now, there has been no real attempt to refute this syllogism until round 4, when Pro claims to have used science as a means for disproving my premise 2. Hopefully, it is clear that the science is in my favor and that fetuses scientifically count as humans.

Finally, thank you Pro for the thoughtful debate. I look forward to debating you in the future.
AidanRies

Pro

My reasoning behind the fact that a fetus is not a human being because of its dependence on the mother is that, to be technically alive, an organism must be able to survive independently. This is the same reasoning that was used when determining that a virus is not a living being, because it needs a host, a cell, to survive, much like a fetus needs a host, a mother, to survive. If you were to take the fetus out of the mother, it would not be able to survive.

At the moment of conception, the fetus does have DNA belonging to the species Homo Sapiens. This does not make it a human being, however, because even a single strand of my hair has human DNA in it, yet you would not consider it a human being, even with the possibility that it could be cloned and become a human being. A fetus is like this, it has the possibility to become a human being, but that does not make it one.

Thank you for taking part in this debate, a very insightful one at that.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Chaosism 1 year ago
Chaosism
Pro stated in the debate, "I remind Pro that since I am the instigator, it is my duty to logically defend my contention. Pro need not make his own points; he need only refute mine:"

The Burden of Proof lies with whomever is making the assertion/claim in as factual case. In this case, since there was no assertive statement (title: "Abortion"), then both participants hold a shared BoP for their arguments.

However, if you had titled the debate "Abortion is not moral" and taken the Pro side, you would have the BoP because you are making the claim. Inversely, if you would have titled the debate "Abortion is moral" and taken the Con side, your opponent would have the BoP because they are inheriting the claim by accepting the debate as Pro. You can use this to somewhat shape your debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Chaosism 1 year ago
Chaosism
BeondelAidanRiesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's defense of his argument was stronger than Pro's arguments against it. Con's rebuttals were strong. Pro dropped many of his arguments after the rebuttal (i.e. population control). Conduct was good by both participants, as was the spelling/grammar. No one used sources.