The Instigator
kvaughan
Pro (for)
Losing
36 Points
The Contender
DrAcula
Con (against)
Winning
43 Points

If you're "pro-life" then you necessarily must be against sexual reproduction

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2007 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,650 times Debate No: 236
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (23)
Votes (25)

 

kvaughan

Pro

I remembered hearing in a class I took a while back that a large percentage of fertilized eggs (conceptions) do not make it to full-term birth. To back this fact up, I did a quick search on the internet and found a New England Journal of Medicine article which confirms this fact, by claiming that "Only 50 to 60 percent of all conceptions advance beyond 20 weeks of gestation. Of the pregnancies that are lost, 75 percent represent a failure of implantation and are therefore not clinically recognized as pregnancies." (if you have access, link here: https://content.nejm.org..., citation is Norwitz, E.R. . "Implantation and the survival of early pregnancy." The New England Journal of Medicine vol. 34508 Nov. 2001 1400-1408.)

This fact means that when you try to get pregnant through usual sexual reproduction, 50-60 percent of the eggs that are fertilized DIE. If you are a pro-lifer, this should be extremely troubling because that means that when you have sex and fertilization occurs you are placing a being with full moral status at a 50-60% chance of death.

If you take the view that conception is the moment of moral significance, then you should not be willing to engage in normal sexual reproduction, because the risk of some horrible happening is so high.
DrAcula

Con

So you've pretty much posted a Catch-22 just to get a win, huh?

Your logic is really flawed. Fertilized/Unfertilized eggs really aren't life yet. Same with an aborted fetus in the first trimester. It's not developed enough to truly be called a lifeform.

If you really want to call those things lifeforms, then you can't really be alive if you're a pro-lifer, can you? You kill organisms everyday. Do they hold weight as a human being would? No, but neither do underdeveloped fetuses.
Debate Round No. 1
kvaughan

Pro

I think there's a large amount of confusion here. This argument is a reductio ad absurdum. It is, of course, completely absurd to think that sexual reproduction is wrong, and so I am arguing that if you're pro-life, you are forced to accept this absurd argument.

For the record I against the "pro-life" position, and in favor of abortion especially early in the pregnancy.
DrAcula

Con

I understand what you're saying, but IMO, I don't believe, unless a fetus is nearly-fully developed, it isn't constituted as life. Yes, science might prove otherwise, but that doesn't mean it should be accepted.

lives are lost in sex.

potential lives are lost in male masturbation.

There are probably other instance where this argument can be applied, but these are the most prevalent.
Debate Round No. 2
kvaughan

Pro

Maybe I've committed this fallacy as well, but I don't think "life" is relevant in the abortion discussion. Bacteria constitute "life", my salad was once "alive" but neither of these matter. Instead what we're talking about is moral significance.

So, when does the fetus gain moral significance? I don't know, but it seems absolutely clear to me that an entity without the ability to experience pain cannot have moral significance. This is why we don't have any moral obligations to rocks or plants, for example. With that being said, abortion up until 20 weeks is almost certainly justified.

After that point, it becomes slightly trickier and while I could give an extremely long discourse on the relative rights of human versus animals, this would be beyond the scope of this debate. Suffice it to say that I think desire constitutes rights and fetus cannot "desire" life (desire being a complex interaction in the frontal cortex) until well into development.

I'm a little disappointed that we have nothing to disagree about, but better to be right than argue for the sake of arguing.
DrAcula

Con

I'm still a bit confused, I mean, if it's acceptable to abort before 20 weeks, then it's acceptable for Pro-Lifers to feel fine about having sex, because the fertilized egg is not 20 weeks old.
Debate Round No. 3
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cindela 9 years ago
Cindela
Just wondering, what is a Catch 22? "So you've pretty much posted a Catch-22 just to get a win, huh?"
Posted by kvaughan 9 years ago
kvaughan
magpie: thank you for agreeing with me! Abortion and death through other means do lead to the same end-state and thus are equally bad. It's good to know that someone knows where I'm coming from.
Posted by magpie 9 years ago
magpie
Kvaughn: You said: "There is a difference between killing a child and that child getting a disease and dieing (sic), but the latter is still horrible and should be prevented as much as possible".
If Jack is aborted and Jill gets a disease and dies from it, their current state is indistinguishable. They're both dead! BTW: Dying is the correct spelling.
Posted by magpie 9 years ago
magpie
Buletman: It troubles me that a person who calls him/her-self a Christian can be pro choice/abortion. How is that possible?
Posted by kvaughan 9 years ago
kvaughan
I'm not arguing that natural things should be stopped. What I am arguing is that your are conflating "natural" with "inevitable". If something is inevitable, then we can't be morally responsible for it. If something is natural then we may be in a position to stop it. The point is, miscarriages being "natural" is entirely irrelevant.

Now, you are right to claim that without procreation, life could not exist, but this implies a false dichotomy. The choices are not either procreate through sex or not at all. I suggest that other means of procreation (those aided by science) are viable alternatives that should be pursued if you think the fetus is important.

And yes, I agree that there is a difference between a miscarriage and a voluntary murder, but that does not mean that a miscarriage isn't still horrible and worthy of prevention. There is a difference between killing a child and that child getting a disease and dieing, but the latter is still horrible and should be prevented as much as possible.
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
kvaughan, you are rationalizing. Yes, all the horrible things you mentioned are natural. But so are many wonderful things like the sunset, snow, waves, etc etc. Yet you don't see us trying to stop them. To say that all Pro-Lifers should oppose any pregancy because the baby MIGHT die IS folly. Death can only be preventable if you are alive in the first place. If don't procreate, there is nothing to prevent. Don't be coy. You know that there is a big diffrence between the mother's voluntary killing of a baby and a miscarriage.

By the way I did read your arguments. Stop assuming.
Posted by kvaughan 9 years ago
kvaughan
goldenspurs: The link I gave goes to the debate where I addressed this issue. Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean anything. Polio was natural, malaria is natural, but yet we consider preventable deaths from these causes to be a travesty. The deaths from "natural" sex are preventable and thus we should consider them a travesty.

Additionally I do not think that these deaths are "completely natural". Let's remember that sex doesn't just happen, people must actively engage in the process. While the actual death process is "natural" this is irrelevant. If I push a kid off a cliff, the thing that kills him is the "natural" process of gravitation, but we're still in outrage that I allowed that natural process to engage.

Please actually read my arguments before deciding that they are "folly".
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
But your argument failed. To compare the act of abortion to a completly natural miscarriage is folly.
Posted by kvaughan 9 years ago
kvaughan
goldspurs: I know the pro-life movement is not against unintentional miscarriages. A reeductio ad absurdum argument works by showing that a position that you accept necessarily leads to one that you don't and causing the defender to make a choice. I hope to show that the pro-life movement is absurd by showing this as a consequence of the argument.

Darth_grievo: I'm debating this topic again with someone who actually disagrees with me here: http://www.debate.org...
I will address that point
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
kvaughan, you never awnsered my question about when has the Pro-Life movement been against unintentional miscarriages?
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kvaughanDrAculaTied
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