The Instigator
Chuz-Life
Pro (for)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
drafterman
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Human Personhood Begins at and by Human Conception (fertilization)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
drafterman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/20/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,365 times Debate No: 28190
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (128)
Votes (8)

 

Chuz-Life

Pro

This debate will focus on the (U.S.) LEGAL requirements for personhood.

I am taking the PRO side of the debate as I will argue that our laws should and to some extent already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception. My opponent will be taking the position of Con and will try to argue that personhood does not and or should not begin at conception.

This debate is significant in that our Constitution under the 'equal protections' clause of the 14th Amendment is by way of it's own wording, an inclusive establishment.

"... nor shall any state deprive ANY person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to ANY person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." ~ 14th Amendment (emphasis mine)

http://www.law.cornell.edu...

Cornell Law says: "By denying states the ability to discriminate, the equal protection clause of the Constitution is crucial to the protection of civil rights. See Civil Rights."

http://www.law.cornell.edu...


The common English definition for the word "personhood" is:

Personhood;
1.the state or fact of being a person.

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


The current Legal definition for 'natural person' is

Natural Person;
1. A Human Being; the Body of a Human Being

[2] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...;

[3] http://dictionary.findlaw.com...



Round 1 is for opening remarks and for my opponent's acceptance.
Round 2 & 3 will be for debate, the introduction of references and new arguments
Round 4 for closing arguments and summary.
drafterman

Con

I accept the Debate and the Terms.
Debate Round No. 1
Chuz-Life

Pro

Thanks again to my opponent (Drafterman) for accepting this debate. I would like to remind him that the debate (as mentioned in R1) is centered around the "(U.S.) LEGAL requirements for personhood".

As also stated in R1, "I will argue that our laws should and to some extent already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception." and "My opponent will be taking the position of Con and will try to argue that personhood does not and or should not begin at conception."

This debate is not intended to be about anything other than 'personhood.' This includes when and how a human being's personhood begins.

I ask my opponents cooperation in my attempt to keep sidebar issues from clouding the efforts to resolve the central issue of this challenge.

In R1, I shared links to the Constitution (14th Amendment), to the current legal definitions for "persons" and to additional references as well. I urge Con to consider the references provided with an open mind and to give credit where credit is due. I will afford the same consideration for any of the references that he provides.

That said. I will now present the initial basis for claims that personhood begins at conception and for why I believe an unborn persons personhood 'should be' more widely recognized by our laws.

1. I am a person [2]

2. I am a human being [4] [7] [8]

3. I am a human organism [4] [7] [8]

4. I am the biological father of another human being / person [4] [7] [8]

5. I am the young of my own parents [4] [7] [8] [9]

6. My child is my young [4] [7] [8] [9]

7. My individual life as a human being and as the young of my parents can be traced all

the way back to my conception but no further [10]

8. My life and aging began at the moment of my conception [11]

9. The current legal definition for person is “a human being”[2]

10. The U.S. Code (Title 1 › Chapter 1 › § 8) says: “(a)In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words “person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual”, shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. [4]”

11. The U.S. Code (Title 1 › Chapter 1 › § 8) also says: “(c)Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being “born alive” as defined in this section [4].”

12. The U.S. Code (Title 26Subtitle AChapter 1Subchapter JPart ISubpart A› § 641) indicates: “a)Application of tax

The tax imposed by section1(e)shall apply to the taxable income of estates or of any kind of property held in trust, including(1)income accumulated in trust for the benefit of unborn or unascertained persons or persons with contingent interests, and income accumulated or held for future distribution under the terms of the will or trust;[5]”

13. The U.S. Code (
Title 10Subtitle APart IIChapter 47Subchapter X› § 919a) says: “(d)In this section, the term “unborn child” means a child in utero, and the term “child in utero” or “child, who is in utero” means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb. [6]”

I have decided to present this basis without further comments to expound on each claim or reference in this round. So that Con and other readers can get a general overview and see how my conclusions are based upon a converging line of facts, definitions and logic. I will further explain and support this basis as the debate unfolds.



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

[2]http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...

[3]http://dictionary.findlaw.com...

[4] http://www.law.cornell.edu...

[5] http://www.law.cornell.edu...

[6] http://www.law.cornell.edu...

[7] http://3.bp.blogspot.com...

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

drafterman

Con

Primary Points of Contention:

Based upon Pro's R1 & R2, there are the following points of contention:

1. Our laws should recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception.
2. Our laws, to some extent, already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception.

And the following explicit Burdens:

1. Pro will argue that the laws should and to some extend already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception.
2. Con will argue that personhood does not and/or should not begin at conception.

Additionally, the definition of 'natural person' and the 'equal protections' clause of the 14th Amendment provides the context for interpreting #1 and #2.

Introduction:

Before getting into specific rebuttals and arguments, there is concept I wish to introduce, as it may be relevant to this debate.

Equivocation

Equivocation is a logical error where the multiple meanings of a word or label are exploited in an attempt to transfer logical inferences based upon one meaning to the other, hidden behind the use of the same word or label for those meanings. The nature of this fallacy is evident in the following example[1]:

A feather is light.
What is light cannot be dark.
Therefore, a feather cannot be dark.

This is significant in this debate because while it is undeniable and inarguable that at least some states have codified laws that include unborn humans as "persons"[2], this does not mean they are persons as was meant by Pro in his opening statement or within the context of the 14th amendment or as a 'natural person'. We cannot simply look in one area and see the word "person", look in another area and see the word "person", and then conclude that they are equal and connected and that the logical implications of one can be transferred to the other. We must dig into the meanings in each case. Thus pro has an implicit burden that entails more than simply noting that some laws identify an unborn human as a "person," but must also demonstrate that such a classification falls within the general intent of the legal definitions of a person that he originally provided.

Rebuttals:

Pro has established a series of associations, but has yet to make these associations entirely explicit as they connect with each other and the identified contentions/burdens. Some lee way is granted for Pro to make these connections next round. However, I note that the context of this debate is the legal definition of a person, as established by statute or case law. That other people or publications - as professional or respected as they may be - are not enough to establish the burdens outlined.

That said, a number of specific mentions warrant response:

10 & 11: The U.S. Code (Title 1 › Chapter 1 › § 8) - As explicitly mentioned by this element of US Code, persons are defined, in part, as being born alive, and the code cannot be used to affirm or expand legal status or rights prior to being born. Pro has only highlighted the denial portion, I call attention to the affirm portion.

12 & 13: This is no doubt one of many individual examples Pro will reference in the attempt to establish that existing laws, in part, already treat unborn individuals as persons. I will address such examples, on the whole, in my arguments.

Argument:

As stated, it is conceded that many laws, at a federal or state level will include unborn individuals in their definition of a person. However, as mentioned in the section on equivocation, this does not automatically confer the status of being a natural person, with any other protections, even within the context of those laws.

Take, for example, a state law on homicide[3]:

"[A person] means a human being, including an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability."

Here, an unborn child is counted as a person. Case closed, right? No. Elsewhere in this same code of laws we will find:

"A human being, and where appropriate, a public or private corporation, an unincorporated association, a partnership, a government, or a governmental instrumentality."[4]

The latter statement appears in a general section of definitions that pertains to the entirety of the Criminal Code, whereas the former statement is a more specific definition that pertains only to homicide or assault. In context, the former definition is an exception to the latter, making the scope of the former only that specific body of law.

Other areas of code, such as those of US Code already mentioned by Pro, followed the same pattern. You will have a definition at a higher level, such as with U.S. Code (Title 1 › Chapter 1 › § 8), with more specific, excepted definitions at later and lower levels, as with the excerpts provided by Pro in his 12th and 13th statements.

This structure, rather than providing an inconsistent treatment of unborn individuals, or demonstrating that unborn individuals are already, in part, natural persons, actually does the opposite. Consider, in one the previous definitions of person, corporations and other types of organizations were included. This use does not confer upon them the status of "natural" person nor does it represent an inconsistency in our body of laws.

Corporations are legal persons, and are separate and distinct from natural persons[1]. The purpose for defining corporations as persons in some contexts is a matter of legal practicality. Our courts and legislatures decided that it was necessary to confer certain rights and responsibilities people have to corporations. For example, corporations can sue or be sued. However, corporations are still not natural people, nor do they have all of the rights or responsibilities of natural people. They are, in essence, persons of convenience: they are persons when and under the conditions we want them to be, and no where else.

Unborn individuals follow the same pattern. They have some rights and protections shared by natural people (can be victims of homicide in some states) but not others. They are, like corporations, people of convenience, and not 'natural' persons. They are persons when and under the conditions we want them to be, and no where else.

Furthermore, the fact that unborn individuals must be included in a definition in order to be counted demonstrates, by implication, that they are not part of that definition on the whole, or generally. Unborn individuals are included in "person" definitions only as a matter of specific laws and statutes, and this demonstrates that they are not part of that definition under general or normal circumstances.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] "[A person] means a human being, including an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability." http://www.legislature.state.al.us...
[3] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[4] http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us...
Debate Round No. 2
Chuz-Life

Pro

Thanks to Con for taking the time to read and to follow the links I provided in R2 and for restating our Primary Points of Contention along with the specific areas for Burden of Proof.

Con posted:

Primary Points of Contention:

Based upon Pro's R1 & R2, there are the following points of contention:

1. Our laws should recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception.
2. Our laws, to some extent, already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception.

And the following explicit Burdens:

1. Pro will argue that the laws should and to some extent already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception.

2. Con will argue that personhood does not and/or should not begin at conception.
"Additionally, the definition of 'natural person' and the 'equal protections' clause of the 14th Amendment provides the context for interpreting #1 and #2."


Well stated.

Con's point on the need to avoid equivocations (R2) when making these arguments is well taken.

I can assure Con that I have not been and will not be engaging in such word play as he presented in his example. When I use the word "person" in this debate it will be for "a human being" (as the legal definitions define them) [2].


Con added: " ... it is undeniable and inarguable that at least some states have codified laws that include unborn humans as "persons"[2], this does not mean they are persons as was meant by Pro in his opening statement or within the context of the 14th amendment or as a 'natural person.'

I must remind Con of his own words R2-1. "Pro will argue that the laws should and to some extent already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception."

As you can see, Pro is not burdened with the task of proving that prenatal human being's ARE 'natural persons' in this debate. Though I do contend that they are and will attempt to prove just that. As, it would certainly help to support my other claims.

Pro is burdened (as Con said) with showing "... that the laws should and to some extent already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception."

I would like to continue my arguments from the basis that I outlined in R2. However, I would like to respond to some of Con's other observations and comments before I do.

Con commented: "... it is conceded that many laws, at a federal or state level will include unborn individuals in their definition of a person (R2)."

Con also added; "However, as mentioned in the section on equivocation, this does not automatically confer the status of being a natural person, with any other protections, even within the context of those laws (R2)."

Con. If personhood were to be “automatically conferred” in all other areas of law by the establishment of personhood in one specific area of law, this debate would not be necessary.

I would like to remind Con (again) that I am only challenged with showing that our "laws should and to some extent already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception." I am not burdened with having to prove anything beyond that which Con correctly stated himself in R2-1 and quoted above.

Con has at least partially conceded that many laws, at a Federal or State level do recognize the fact that human personhood begins at conception. The law (such as Laci and Conner’s law) does this by defining a child in the womb as “… a member of the species homo sapiens, at ANY stage of development, who is carried in the womb and by making it the crime of Murder [13] if someone unjustly kills an unborn child (person) under that law.

So, because Con at least partially concedes that many of our laws already recognize the personhood of prenatal children (R2), I will focus my arguments on the remaining aspect of my BOP.

Argument:

1. Because (as conceded by Con) many of our laws at the Federal and State level include unborn individuals in their definition of a person (R2)…"

It is my contention that our laws should recognize them as natural ‘persons’ in all other aspects as well.

(Again, Cons caveat is understood. Con does not agree that children in the womb are ‘persons’ just because some of our laws recognize them as such. )

Con commented in R2: “While it is undeniable and inarguable that at least some states have codified laws that include unborn humans as "persons"[2], this does not mean they are persons as was meant by Pro in his opening statement or within the context of the 14th amendment or as a 'natural person'.

I submit to Con the fact that a person is charged with murder [13] under those laws for unjustly killing a child in the womb. Of course they are being recognized as ‘natural persons’ in the same context as the persons mentioned in the 14th Amendment [14]. By definition, a person cannot be charged with murder for killing anything other than another ‘natural person’ under the law.

Con talked about the need to avoid equivocating and it is a point well taken. As Con noted, here in the U.S., our laws treat corporations as ‘persons.’ However, we cannot be charged with ‘murder’ for destroying a corporation. Can we? No.

The charge of murder [13] means that another human being/ natural “person” was killed unjustly. So, Con is incorrect when he claims that our laws which make it the crime of murder to unjustly kill a child in the womb are not treating those children as ‘natural persons’ and in keeping with the context of the 14th amendment. [14]


Con concluded: “ We cannot simply look in one area and see the word "person", look in another area and see the word "person", and then conclude that they are equal and connected and that the logical implications of one can be transferred to the other.

I disagree. Doesn’t, the “equal protections” clause of the 14th amendment and the even greater cause of “equal rights” come with the expectation that we cannot define “persons” one way under one law to establish their rights and then to define them another way under another law so as to deny them?

Con continued: “We must dig into the meanings in each case. Thus pro has an implicit burden that entails more than simply noting that some laws identify an unborn human as a "person," but must also demonstrate that such a classification falls within the general intent of the legal definitions of a person that he originally provided.”

I have begun to demonstrate exactly that in my arguments, Con. I hope that you will consider my comments about the fact that it is the charge of murder that ties the personhood of a child under Laci and Conner’s law (and the many laws like it) to the context of ‘personhood’ under the 14th Amendment.




[13] http://dictionary.findlaw.com...

[14] http://www.law.cornell.edu...

drafterman

Con

Rebuttals and Responses:

Natural Person:

"As you can see, Pro is not burdened with the task of proving that prenatal human being's ARE 'natural persons' in this debate. Though I do contend that they are and will attempt to prove just that."

Pro is indeed burdened with said task. From the previous round, I summarized the points of contention. Specifically:

"Additionally, the definition of 'natural person' and the 'equal protections' clause of the 14th Amendment provides the context for interpreting #1 and #2."

To which Pro responded:

"Well stated."

Furthermore, in R1, Pro provided the legal definition of 'natural person' and has repeatedly asserted that this debate is about the legal definition. The first round of a debate is usually used to provide the definitions of terms under which the participants will be arguing. 'Natural person' is the only legal definition Pro provided in R1. Regardless, Pro explicitly contends that they are natural persons and will be attempting to prove that. Even if it wasn't an established burden, Pro has voluntarily taken such a task upon himself.

The Example of Murder:

"I submit to Con the fact that a person is charged with murder under those laws for unjustly killing a child in the womb. Of course they are being recognized as 'natural persons' in the same context as the persons mentioned in the 14th Amendment. By definition, a person cannot be charged with murder for killing anything other than another 'natural person' under the law."

By definition, a person cannot be charged with murder for killing anything other than that which the specific law or laws say can be a vicitim of murder. This case is illustrated by the definition linked to by Pro:

"[T]he crime of unlawfully and unjustifiably killing another under circumstances defined by statue."[1] (emphasis mine)

Ultimately, there is no universal definition of murder. Each State or jurisdiction is free to define and codify murder as they see fit, including any and all criteria necessary for the crime to have taken place. While there are general definitions of what murder is, these are summary descriptive definitions, not proscriptive ones.

Other Types of Persons:

"Con talked about the need to avoid equivocating and it is a point well taken. As Con noted, here in the U.S., our laws treat corporations as 'persons.' However, we cannot be charged with 'murder' for destroying a corporation. Can we? No."

This illustrates my point. The fact that something is labeled as a person in a statute does not confer the status of 'natural person' or any other kind of person upon that something. Corporations are people only in the specific sense as outlined by the specific laws in which they are explicitly called out as people. They do not benefit from the protection conferred to any other kinds of people except where explicitly noted. Likewise, fetuses are people only in the specific sense as outlined by the specific laws in which they are explicitly called out as people. They do not benefit from the protection conferred to any other kinds of people except where explicitly noted. They are both legal, but not natural, persons.

The 14th Amendment:

"I disagree. Doesn't, the "equal protections" clause of the 14th amendment and the even greater cause of "equal rights" come with the expectation that we cannot define "persons" one way under one law to establish their rights and then to define them another way under another law as to deny them?"

I agree. Therefore we can only conclude that when laws and statues do, in fact, define a person one way under one law and another way under another law then they are not using the label 'person' in the same sense as is meant by the 14th Amendment such that it is subject to its protection. Otherwise such redefinition would be disallowed as unconstitutional.

But we needn't even try and apply such logic. The clause explicitly only pertains to those who are born"

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."[2] (emphasis mine).

Also:

"The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment is said to apply to children, born within a marriage or not, but excludes children not yet born."[3]

Furthermore, even if fetsuses fell under the scope of the 14th Amendment, this would not necessarily infringe upon the State's right to treat them as an exception to 'equal protection.'

"Generally, the question of whether the equal protection clause has been violated arises when a state grants a particular class of individuals the right to engage in an activity yet denies other individuals the same right. There is no clear rule for deciding when a classification is unconstitutional." [4] (emphasis mine)

Specifically, youths and children have a restricted set of rights (smoking, driving, drinking, voting, military enlistment, employment, etc.) It would seem that States are free to discriminate based upon age in this manner, which would certainly allow for discrimination against fetuses based upon that same principle.

Extended Arguments and Summary:

Pro denies the implicit burden I identified, requiring Pro to not merely demonstrate that fetuses are labeled as persons, but that they are 'natural persons' as well as within the context of the 14th Amendment. Since Pro asserts that it is the legal definition that is the goal here, and since the only legal definition Pro provided in R1 was that of a 'Natural Person', I reaffirm this implicit burden.

Pro acknowledges that corporations aren't 'natural persons' but has yet to demonstrate why unborn people are, when they are both treated in much the same manner (explicitly labeled as persons only in specific areas of law). This is especially pertinent given explicit assertions that they don't benefit from 14th Amendment protections.

[1] http://dictionary.findlaw.com...
[2] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[3] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[4] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
Chuz-Life

Pro

While I am thankful to Con for his well-reasoned and civil approach to the issues in R3. I feel that I should correct my opponent on one crucial detail before addressing anything else this round.

Recap

In R3 I asked my opponent: "... Doesn't, the "equal protections" clause of the 14th amendment and the even greater cause of "equal rights" come with the expectation that we cannot define "persons" one way under one law to establish their rights and then to define them another way under another law as to deny them? (R-3)"

My opponent responded with: "I agree. Therefore we can only conclude that when laws and statues do, in fact, define a person one way under one law and another way under another law then they are not using the label 'person' in the same sense as is meant by the 14th Amendment such that it is subject to its protection. Otherwise such redefinition would be disallowed as unconstitutional."

Con, when your response to my argument "there is an inconsistency in our laws" is to claim that "there can not possibly be an inconsistency because if there were one, the disparity would have been ruled unconstitutional by now?" You are making an appeal to authority (fallacious) argument [15].

I am trying to prove there is an inconsistency in our laws with regard to the 'personhood' of children in the womb... and You are defending the status quo by citing the fact that it hasn't been ruled 'unconstitutional' (yet) as your defense. That is a classic "appeal to authority” [15] attempt.

Please understand I am not accusing Con of making a fallacious argument deliberately. However, (as seen below) this was not a one-time occurrence.

Con also stated "… we needn't even try and apply such logic. The clause explicitly only pertains to those who are born"

Here again, it is most frustrating to try to make the case that the 14th Amendment (being inclusive in its intent) should include protections for children in the womb... only to be reminded that it doesn't already do so or that it has not historically done so. Con is again 'appealing to authority' [15] when he uses that (quoted above) as his counter.

It is understood and it is not denied (by Pro) that at the time the 14th Amendment was written, it was not intended to include 'persons' in the womb. Pro contends that the writers of the 14th Amendment were not trying to EXCLUDE any persons when they wrote the Amendment and the 'equal protections clause.'

Indeed, one of the ways to remedy the inconsistencies that we now have in some of these laws would be for the courts to find that the 14th Amendment (and the 5th Amendment [16]) does in fact afford the equal protections of our laws to young human beings (persons) in the womb.


About Birth as mentioned in the 14th Amendment

I hope that Con will consider the fact that the 14th Amendment uses the word born only as a means to establish the status of "citizen" to a person born in the U.S. or under the jurisdiction of the U.S.

Quote: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.[14]"

Translation; ’Persons Born’ = Citizens

The amendment goes on to say; "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens (persons born) of the United States.[14]"

This is true and it seems to support Con’s claim.

But then the amendment goes on to say;" nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Note that it does not say ‘nor shall any state deprive any Citizen’ or 'any persons born’ in that phrase.

It is a very inclusive statement in that it declares “the state shall not deprive ANY person of life, liberty or property nor deny to ANY person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of our laws."

Does Con agree that the 14th Amendment was intended to be inclusive and was not intended to be interpreted to deny rights to any human persons?


Intermediate Summary

I have shared with Con, the legal definitions for "natural person [2]"and I have noted that 'a human being' in the womb qualifies by sharing links to the U.S. Code which already defines an "unborn child" as "a member of the species homo sapiens, at ANY stage of development, who is carried in the womb [6]." I have also shared with Con, a link to the definitions of murder [13] in attempt to further show that by making it the crime of murder to unjustly kill a child in the womb, the laws are already in fact acknowledging the 'personhood' of children in the womb.

Con's claims (R-2) that prenatal children are "people of convenience, and not natural persons" actually helps to support Pro's claims (R-1) that our laws "to some extent already recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception."

Con may note that Pro never claimed that ALL of our related laws recognize the fact that personhood begins at conception. Only that some do and they all 'should'.


People are people. Even persons defined as such only for convenience (as Con claims) are people too. And the 14th Amendment says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty and the equal protections of our laws.

Pro's view that all of our laws should recognize the personhood of children in the womb if ANY of them do is in keeping with the spirit of inclusiveness and protections of the 5th and 14th Amendments. [14] [16].

Con concluded: "Pro denies the implicit burden I identified, requiring Pro to not merely demonstrate that fetuses are labeled as persons, but that they are 'natural persons' as well as within the context of the 14th Amendment."

This is not true, Con. I have in fact tried to meet some of that burden but explaining to you that the only thing that can warrant the charge of murder is the unlawful / unjust killing of another natural person (another human being.) It is the fact that we have laws which make it the charge of murder for killing a child in the womb that establishes the fact that they are 'natural persons' in the womb.

I also provided links to links to biological sources on aging, the life cycle and existing laws to further support this claim. To Con, I ask. What more is it that you would like to see in the way of 'proof' for me to show you that a human being in the first days of their life is "a human being?" A "natural person?"

Con continued: "Since Pro asserts that it is the legal definition that is the goal here, and since the only legal definition Pro provided in R1 was that of a 'Natural Person', I reaffirm this implicit burden."

A human fetus (human being in the fetal stage of their life) is a 'natural person' in the context of the 14th (and 5th) Amendments because they are NO LESS a natural human being than is a human being who is much older, less deniable and perhaps more developed.

PERSONHOOD is not something that human beings grow into. If you are a human being (and a human being in the first days of their life IS ONE).... personhood is automatic. This is where the Supreme Court erred in Roe v Wade. Instead of declaring the personhood of the children who were facing the chances of being aborted, the Courts ruled on when, where and how the States might have the right to intervene. But even then, the Courts NEW (as well as the pro-aborts did) that the 'personhood' of the children in the womb COULD be established and that would trump everything else where the denial of their rights are concerned [17].


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

[16] http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...

[17] http://youtu.be...
drafterman

Con

Appeal to Authority:

"You are defending the status quo by citing the fact that it hasn't been ruled 'unconstitutional' (yet) as your defense. That is a classic "appeal to authority” attempt."

Merely referencing an authority is not automatically a fallacy; "[N]ot all Appeals to Authority are fallacious"[1]. Pro needs to specifically demonstrate why my reference to an authority is fallacious, other than simply note that it is a reference to an authority. However, the actual fallacy being assert is the Is-Ought fallacy. As Pro states:

"Here again, it is most frustrating to try to make the case that the 14th Amendment (being inclusive in its intent) should include protections for children in the womb... only to be reminded that it doesn't already do so or that it has not historically done so. Con is again 'appealing to authority' when he uses that (quoted above) as his counter."

I will address this in the next section.

Is-Ought:

The two primary points of contention are: the laws, as-is and the laws, as they should be. In consideration of the point in contention, of which I have been accused of responding to fallaciously, Pro said:

"... Doesn't, the "equal protections" clause of the 14th amendment and the even greater cause of "equal rights" come with the expectation that we cannot define "persons" one way under one law to establish their rights and then to define them another way under another law as to deny them? (R-3)"

Note the use of the word "Doesn't" and not "Shouldn't." My interpretation of this was that of a question about the law as-is and my response was within that scope. I have not made any statement about how the laws should be. I am making no claims about, ought, and have merely describe the situation as is.

Scope of the 14th Amendment:

Pro commits the very type of equivocation I warned against in R2. To recap:

"We cannot simply look in one area and see the word "person", look in another area and see the word "person", and then conclude that they are equal and connected and that the logical implications of one can be transferred to the other."

And this is what Pro has done. Despite the use of the term "any" we still need to consider the meaning of the word "person." Unborn people aren't "persons" as is meant by the 14th Amendment, so they aren't covered by use of the qualifier "any." As I provided last round:

"The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment is said to apply to children, born within a marriage or not, but excludes children not yet born."[2]

Pro has not refuted this.

Another way to look of it as "persons" as a label for a set of objects and "any" means to include all members of that set. The statement is only relevant if unborn persons are a member of that set, as meant by the 14th Amendment. They aren't, so the qualifier of "any" does little to remedy the existing situation.

Response to Intermediate Summary:

"I have shared with Con, the legal definitions for "natural person"and I have noted that 'a human being' in the womb qualifies by sharing links to the U.S. Code which already defines an "unborn child" as "a member of the species homo sapiens, at ANY stage of development, who is carried in the womb."

To which I have responded to this general case to note that defining a something as a person in one area of law, for a specific statute, code, or case, does not extend to any other area. This legal concept goes unrefuted.

"I have also shared with Con, a link to the definitions of murder in attempt to further show that by making it the crime of murder to unjustly kill a child in the womb, the laws are already in fact acknowledging the 'personhood' of children in the womb."

I have responded to this by noting that murder is defined by statute, and only includes fetuses when the law explicitly calls them out. It is not true or appropriate to make a universal statement here. Not all states recognize the killing of an unborn person as murder[3].

"Con's claims (R-2) that prenatal children are "people of convenience, and not natural persons" actually helps to support Pro's claims (R-1) that our laws "to some extent already recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception.""

Pro's burden is so to demonstrate personhood in the sense of a 'natural person' which is directly contradicted by my statement referenced here.

Implicit Burden:

"Con concluded: "Pro denies the implicit burden I identified, requiring Pro to not merely demonstrate that fetuses are labeled as persons, but that they are 'natural persons' as well as within the context of the 14th Amendment."

This is not true, Con."

It is, as I explained. The meaning here is the legal meaning, and the legal meaning you provided in R1 was that of 'natural person.' You provided no other goal to which to argue.

"People are people" and Remaining Arguments:

The two paragraphs here are, essentially, a commission of the type of equivocation I warned about in R2. Legally, no, "people" aren't "people."

"I have in fact tried to meet some of that burden but explaining to you that the only thing that can warrant the charge of murder is the unlawful / unjust killing of another natural person (another human being.)"

Not true, as I explained in my clarification of murder, using Pro's own link. States are free to define the circumstances under which murder can happen.

"I also provided links to links to biological sources on aging, the life cycle and existing laws to further support this claim. To Con, I ask. What more is it that you would like to see in the way of 'proof' for me to show you that a human being in the first days of their life is "a human being?" A "natural person?""

Those links are irrelevant because they are not legal documents. The current state of affairs, based upon valid interpretations of existing law is that fetuses are not natural persons. They are legal (not natural) persons when and where so defined by statute, and nothing more. This is, essentially, an irrefutable state of affairs.

"A human fetus (human being in the fetal stage of their life) is a 'natural person' in the context of the 14th (and 5th) Amendments because they are NO LESS a natural human being than is a human being who is much older, less deniable and perhaps more developed."

They aren't[2] as already argued. You haven't refuted this in the sense of existing legal interpretation.

"PERSONHOOD is not something that human beings grow into. If you are a human being (and a human being in the first days of their life IS ONE).... personhood is automatic. This is where the Supreme Court erred in Roe v Wade."

You are attempting to draw a link between legal and extra-legal contexts, suggesting that, because a fetus is included as a person elsewhere, then the law should recognize this. Not true. The point of laws is not to establish or enforce truths elsewhere. Did the courts err in classifying a Tomato as not a fruit? No. They weren't ruling on the factual classification of a tomato. Rather they were ruling on where tomatos should be in terms of taxes, fruits and vegetables being taxed differently (Nix v. Hedden (149 U.S. 304).

The situation is the same for fetuses. It doesn't matter what they are, biologically or philosophically. All that matters is what we need them to be for the law. Now, you can argue that we need them to be 'natural persons,' legally, but you will have to do more than reference there status as persons outside of the law. The purpose of the law is not to duplicate other systems of classification.

[1] http://www.nizkor.org...
[2] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[3] http://www.nrlc.org...
Debate Round No. 4
Chuz-Life

Pro

In R-4, I accused Con of using an appeal to authority in his defense of the status quo on abortion; "You are defending the status quo by citing the fact that it hasn't been ruled 'unconstitutional' (yet) as your defense. That is a classic "appeal to authority” attempt."

Con responded with; “Merely referencing an authority is not automatically a fallacy; "[N]ot all Appeals to Authority are fallacious"[1].

Pro agrees. In addition, I tried to make it clear that I did not feel that it was intentional.

Con continued; “Pro needs to specifically demonstrate why my reference to an authority is fallacious, other than simply note that it is a reference to an authority.

Con, I have provided the basis of this assertion already.

a. Pro has the BOP to show why the 14th Amendment should not exclude children in the womb from it’s “equal protections clause.”

b. To demonstrate the inclusiveness of the 14th Amendment, Con’s attention was drawn to the amendment’s use of the words “any persons” in the clause. “nor shall any state depriveanypersonof life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;nor deny toanypersonwithin its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." (R-3 & 4)

c. Con’s counter was to remind Pro that the 14th Amendment does not apply to the unborn & that no laws have been found to be unconstitutional (yet).

That is like using the Bible to defend the validity Bible and that is what makes it an ‘appeal to authority.’


Skipping ahead to address Con’s comments on the “Ought” fallacy.

Con said about himself: “I have not made any statement about how the laws should be. I am making no claims about, ought, and have merely describe the situation as is.

This is interesting because when Con accepted the challenges of this debate (R1) He understood what the challenges were. “My opponent will be taking the position of Con and will try to argue that personhood does not and or should not begin at conception.”

Con, doesn't’t seem to understand that “the situation as is” is precisely what is being challenged by Pro. So, using the “situation as is” to maintain the status quo rather than to address the issue of ‘ought’ as per the challenge (in R-1) and as questioned by Pro (in R-2, 3 &4) has been the rub.

Scope of the 14th Amendment: Rebuttal:

Con asserted: Pro commits the very type of equivocation I warned against in R2. To recap:

"We cannot simply look in one area and see the word "person", look in another area and see the word "person", and then conclude that they are equal and connected and that the logical implications of one can be transferred to the other."

I will now use Con’s quoted comment to try to better make my case against it.

As Con and I have been primarily dealing with the U.S. Code (laws) and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. I (Pro) have been trying to argue specifically for more consistency in our laws. Indeed, I have tried to argue the case that the “equal protections clause” of the 14th Amendment should not tolerate the exclusion of “any persons” from the protections of the clause.

So, I read Con’s comment as such: “W
e cannot simply look in one area
(of law) and see the word "person", look in another area (of law) and see the word "person", and then conclude that they are equal and connected and that the logical implications of one can be transferred to the other."

Pro’s view remains unchanged on this. Con’s comment (above) runs counter to the ideals expressed in the equal protections clause of the 14th Amendment.

Con argues: “Despite the use of the term "any" we still need to consider the meaning of the word "person." Unborn people aren't "persons" as is meant by the 14th Amendment, so they aren't covered by use of the qualifier "any." As I provided last round:

"The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment is said to apply to children, born within a marriage or not, but excludes children not yet born."[2]

Con added: “Pro has not refuted this.

Pro HAS refuted this and Pro again notes Con’s appeal to authority on the matter. Pro has made the case repeatedly that the “Equal protections clause” is inclusive and should include the “children in the womb “ as defined by the U.S. Code [4]. The onus was on Con (R-1 challenge) to show why the 14th Amendment should not afford to them the “equal protections of our laws” [14].

Con has done a fairly good job establishing the fact that the 14th Amendment ‘does not’ presently afford the equal protections of laws to the unborn. However, he’s offered very little to show why it ‘should not’ afford to them those protections. And that was an integral part of Pros challenge in round one.

Intermediate Summary Dialogue:

"I have shared with Con, the legal definitions for "natural person" and I have noted that 'a human being' in the womb qualifies by sharing links to the U.S. Code which already defines an "unborn child" as "a member of the species homo sapiens, at ANY stage of development, who is carried in the womb."~ Pro

Con responded: “To which I have responded to this general case to note that defining a something as a person in one area of law, for a specific statute, code, or case, does not extend to any other area. This legal concept goes unrefuted.”

Con added: “Not all states recognize the killing of an unborn person as murder [3].

Con, this too has also been addressed if not completely refuted. It is the legal definition of murder that binds the cases together. Murder is defined as the unlawful / unjust killing of one person by another. Pro noted that you can not be charged with murder for killing anything other than another ‘person.’ And, as noted… the equal protections clause is supposed to (should) afford all persons the equal protections of our laws. This is in keeping with Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

Quote:
Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.”[18]

It is clear to Pro that the Constitutional ideal is uniformity and consistency within our laws. And not the (Status Quo) disparity that Con is trying to maintain. Please note that this is not a new argument. This link is to further support one previously made.


Implicit Burden: Pro’s response


"Con concluded: "Pro denies the implicit burden I identified, requiring Pro to not merely demonstrate that fetuses are labeled as persons, but that they are 'natural persons' as well as within the context of the 14th Amendment."

This is not true, Con."

It is, as I explained. The meaning here is the legal meaning, and the legal meaning you provided in R1 was that of 'natural person.' You provided no other goal to which to argue.

Pro has shown that our laws by making it the crime of murder to kill a child in the womb have (by doing so) already established the ‘natural personhood’ of children in the womb. By legal definition, you can’t be charged with murder for killing anything other than another ‘natural person.


"People are people" and Remaining Arguments: Pro’s response

Rather than address Con’s comments from R-4 on this section, I would like to extend my previous arguments made in that round and in the first half of this round. Con continues to argue that the disparity in our laws is acceptable and I have shown that the Constitution (Article IV, Section 1) does't support his claims to that effect [18].

In closing, I thank my opponent Con for a spirited and thoughtful exchange. I didn't expect that there could be anything left unsaid after 5 rounds of debate. However, I'm afraid that this one will not be the end all to all debates on the subject.

I have "argued that our laws should and to some extent already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception. (R-1)" Con was supposed to "argue that personhood does not and or should not begin at conception."

Please vote accordingly.

[18] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
drafterman

Con

Pro has basically repeated much of his arguments without really addressing my own comments on the matter. I will address new points brought up and then provide a summary.

Con's Burden:

"This is interesting because when Con accepted the challenges of this debate (R1) He understood what the challenges were. “My opponent will be taking the position of Con and will try to argue that personhood does not and or should not begin at conception.”"

Indeed. And/or. Meaning I may tackle one or both aspects of that contention[1]. I have chosen to focus on the status of existing laws.

Full Faith and Credit:

“Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.”

I'm not sure what Pro is implying here. This clause was certainly not meant to imply that all State laws should be identical, otherwise there would be no need for individual state codes! Quite the contrary, this statement would force states to respect each others' definitions of murder, even if theirs differ.

Summary:

My primary focus in this debate was to demonstrate that unborn persons are not, even in part, considered 'natural persons' especially with regard to the protection of the 14th amendment. To this end, I have noted that, while individual laws and statutes may include or define unborn persons as persons, this is only has power within the scope and context of that law, and confers no special status of 'natural personhood' on unborn persons. In support of this, I have referenced the existing notion of corporations as defined as people in certain contexts, but are explicitly noted as being different from 'natural persons.'

Pro never directly refuted this comparison, but instead merely repeated his insistence that simply including unborn persons as persons within the context of a single law makes them 'natural persons.' This is despite the fact that he has also conceded that, while corporations are persons in some contexts, they aren't 'natural persons.' Pro never clarified why this extension to 'natural personhood' works for unborn persons but not corporations.

Furthermore, I have provided direct and explicit references regarding the 14th Amendment and its inapplicability to unborn persons. This is a point that Pro has conceded:

"Con has done a fairly good job establishing the fact that the 14th Amendment ‘does not’ presently afford the equal protections of laws to the unborn."

Rather unequivically, Pro has failed to demonstrate his first burden:

"1. Pro will argue that the laws should and to some extend already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception.

...

Additionally, the definition of 'natural person' and the 'equal protections' clause of the 14th Amendment provides the context for interpreting #1 and #2."

While I have met mine.

Regarding the argument as to why the laws should treat unborn persons as 'natural persons' the situation is less clear. In several cases Pro has seemed to shift from "is" to "ought" so it isn't clear which of his contentions he is arguing at any given point. The only clear argument for the second contention was stated in the previous round, noting that unborn persons are considered 'natural persons' elsewhere, outside of law, so our laws should refect this.

I refuted this reasoning by noting that it is not the purpose of our laws to reflect or mirror any other established classifications. I don't see that Pro refuted or even commented on this.

Alternatively, one can interpret Pro's use of the definition of murder as in support of the "should" argument, but this also has been refuted. The definition provided by Pro both A) makes no reference to 'natural persons'; and B) ignores the very important element of conceding the full definition of murder to individual States, thus preventing its use as some sort of universal proclamation.

As a result, Pro has failed to demonstrate his second burden:

"1. Pro will argue that the laws should and to some extend already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception.

...

Additionally, the definition of 'natural person' and the 'equal protections' clause of the 14th Amendment provides the context for interpreting #1 and #2."

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 5
128 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
* mainly (a)
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
RFD (Part 2):

Looking back at the resolution, it seems that Pro is trying to uphold part (a) while Con is trying to negate part (b). Having ONE resolution instead of two would have solved this problem and cleared the air. So, Pro wins that they should recognize and Con wins that they don't already do so.

I find Pro's argument about birth as mentioned in the 14th amendment quite convincing. He uses the term "persons born" as equivalent to citizens while pointing out the amendment going on to say that the state shall not deprive any person of life as opposed to any citizen or any person born. Con counters with saying that unborn people aren't "persons" so shouldn't be included under the qualifier "any." I find Con's response convincing too because Pro's argument is based on the premise that unborn people are in fact classified as "persons." I don't feel Con refuted this fully enough though. Pro's point was that since the constitution says "persons born," the constitution was implicitly suggesting that there existed persons that weren't born as well.

The intermediate summary was addressed mostly by Con's equivocation argument and Pro provided no new rebuttals to this. The same goes for the "people are people" argument.

I found Pro's fifth round very weak though. He doesn't get to heart of "person" in one context may be used differently than "person" in another context. This was where he lost the debate. I found some of Pro's arguments convincing and Con didn't necessarily win all the points debated but on balance, most of the core of Pro's arguments were negated with the equivocation argument. I was a little undecided since both debaters seemed to be arguing for separate resolutions but Con choosing to argue about the status of existing laws makes his burden (and the vote) easy.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
RFD (Part 1):

It was a little difficult to judge this debate since it seemed as though there were two separate burdens of proof to affirm the resolution. a) Our laws should recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception. b) Our laws, to some extent, already do recognize the fact that human 'personhood' begins at conception. No indication is given as to who wins the debate if one statement is affirmed and the other negated. With that said, here are the main points that I see as critical.

Con starts out with an explanation which is the basis from which he derived his arguments to attack mainly (b). Most of Pro's examples are disproved based on this argument. Pro starts off round 3 by saying that because states already include unborn individuals in their definition of person, they should recognize it in other areas as well and furthermore that a person cannot be charged with murder for killing anything other than another "natural person" under the law. However, Con counters that laws on murder are not universal implying that the definitions are different in each state tying back to the argument of equivocation. I don't get why Pro makes the argument about corporations in R3. He seems to be making an argument for Con since all it shows is that the law is using a different meaning of person to confer to a corporation which again ties back to equivocation.

I think Pro made the better argument on the 14th amendment. Con did say that it would have unconstitutional which isn't a strong argument by itself since it is something that is meant to be debated here. On the next point though, I am uncertain about Pro's argument partly because he says it is frustrating to argue that the 14th Amendment should include protections for children in the womb while Con argues that it doesn't already do so.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Wow, I am halfway through and this is a challenging debate to read. Will post comments later.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
"Hey F.king IDIOT...."

Awarding conduct to CON.

Good day.
Posted by Chuz-Life 4 years ago
Chuz-Life
Hey F.king IDIOT....

You said; "I will also attempt to demonstrate to you WHY your round #2 statutes damaged your own case. A BORN CHILD IS A PERSON - "the words "person", "human being", "child", and "individual", shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. "AN UNBORN CHILD IS NOT A PERSON - "the term "unborn child" means a child in utero, and the term "child in utero" or "child, who is in utero" means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." WRICHIRW

Can a person be charged with MURDER for killing anything OTHER than another f.king PERSON?

The f.king answer is NO.

You have no business voting on this sh!t because you obviously lack the skills in common sense and logic to see a point when a point has been made.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
What I expected from PRO after reading his round #2 was some sort of appeal that was extra-legal, and that was able to explain why we should not take legal definitions about fetuses in their current form as personhood.

However, PRO continually argued from a legal perspective, and did not even seem aware that his own legal statutes damaged his case.

I would have been a lot more convinced of PRO's case if he attempted to offer biological evidence of a fetus's similarity to an actual child, especially during the third trimester. It would have been very easy to see that in nearly every single manner (EXCEPT LEGAL) that a developed fetus is indeed a child. From such a strong base, it would have been relatively easy to argue that such a fetus SHOULD be given rights of personhood. I'm not familiar with all the murder statutes, but I'm almost certain many of them side with this kind of thinking. Thus it would have been pretty demonstrative that even in the legal realm, personhood applies to developed fetuses, and that this definition transcends "person of convenience" arguments that CON proffered.

Ah, but then CON could just argue that personhood begins at the 3rd trimester, and that PRO still hasn't met BoP. Hmmm...

Regardless, to me the resolution is difficult to argue, which is why my personal opinion sided with CON, but not for the reasons cited in the debate.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
I will also attempt to demonstrate to you WHY your round #2 statutes damaged your own case.

A BORN CHILD IS A PERSON - "the words "person", "human being", "child", and "individual", shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development."

AN UNBORN CHILD IS NOT A PERSON - "the term "unborn child" means a child in utero, and the term "child in utero" or "child, who is in utero" means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb."

I think you focused on the phrase "any stage of development". However, it is clear to me that a "born child at any stage of development" means development upon childbirth.

Similarly, an unborn child "at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb" means exactly that - development BEFORE childbirth.

I hope this clears up these statutes. They are clear in defining personhood, and their definition clearly stipulates that an unborn child "at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb" IS NOT A PERSON - "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being "born alive" as defined in this section."

This is why I awarded sources and grammar to CON. Your sources actually STRENGTHENED CON'S CASE. Furthermore, you obviously misread them, which is why I gave S&G to CON (because this is a huge failure in grammar, and completely destroyed your own case).
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
For example, one of your arguments was that because a fetus could be considered a person in certain laws regarding murder, a fetus should then be considered a person per the 14th amendment.

You made this assertion without addressing and countering CON's framework about "person of convenience," that a person may be defined as such only within the specific confines of that articular legislation. Therefore, one could argue that only in the specific case of such legislation was a fetus defined as a person, and CON built his case around this argument. Similarly, a corporation is defined as a person only within limited confines, such as lawsuits. Should a corporation be protected by the 14th amendment? Wholly ridiculous...almost as ridiculous as your argument regarding a fetus. This was how powerful CON's framework was, and you allowed it to go uncontested.

In order to have convinced me, you had to prove that a fetus was a person BEYOND the confines of "person of convenience". However, EVERY SINGLE STATUTE YOU PROFFERED PROVED THE OPPOSITE. You BUILT CON'S CASE.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
I understand you're upset. I was similarly upset while reading your arguments. I simply could not believe the amount of evidence YOU PROFFERED that SUPPORTED YOUR OPPONENT'S CASE.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments 126 and 127.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments. awarded conduct to CON for abuse.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
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Reasons for voting decision: I gave conduct to Con because Pro set up the debate, then tried to claim the terms were not being followed, when they were quite clearly being followed (and or). I gave Con arguments because he demonstrated that Pro had not met his burden.
Vote Placed by TheElderScroll 4 years ago
TheElderScroll
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Reasons for voting decision: See "Comments"
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
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Reasons for voting decision: A very good debate. Pro's arguments on fetuses being recognized as people was able to stand in the end. Arguments to Pro.
Vote Placed by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a tedious debate and not well organized, as questions of 'is' and 'ought' were not clearly distinguished. Pro argued that there was an inconsistency in the law, and Con's answer seemed to be that the inconsistencies were reconciled by the definitions implicit in the laws. If one law gave 'persons' rights X, Y, and Z, but another law only gave 'persons' rights X, and Y, but not Z, then Pro would say there's an inconsistency in the law, and Con would say there's two different meanings of 'person.' I side with Pro on that issue because I think laws which consider it murder to take the life of the unborn implicitly define 'person' in the same sense intended by the 14th amendment. I also gave arguments to Pro because I don't think Con did much to refute Pro's argument that the unborn SHOULD be protected by the 14th amendment. In round 2, Pro gave an argument from human development that Con never responded to. Roe v. Wade made that argument relevant, as Pro showed in round 4.
Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 4 years ago
DoctorDeku
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Reasons for voting decision: Both debaters acted reasonable well, so conduct is tied. Con's formatting in round 2 made it a hassle to read so S/G go Pro. Pro's argument based on the burden that that was agreed upon by both debaters was upheld; Pro showed both that fetuses are recognized to some degree as people and that they should be recognized as people. An offhand critique to both debaters; don't directly quote your opponent in the round. It's a hassle to reread all of that.
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
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Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: See Comments.