The Instigator
CP
Pro (for)
Winning
34 Points
The Contender
oboeman
Con (against)
Losing
17 Points

Induced Abortions for Personal Reasons ought to be Illegal in the United States

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 14 votes the winner is...
CP
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/25/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,425 times Debate No: 4794
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (14)

 

CP

Pro

Good luck to my opponent and may the best argument win.
______
Definitions:

Abortion
-noun
1. a. Termination of pregnancy and expulsion of an embryo or of a fetus that is incapable of survival.

"Induced Abortion"
b. Any of various procedures that result in such termination and expulsion.
(http://dictionary.reference.com...)

"Personal Reasons" - For the purpose of this debate, personal reasons will incorporate the following common factors found to influence the decision of abortion as described by the 1998 AGI meta-study.

1) Desire to delay or end childbearing
2) Concern over the interruption of work or education
3) Issues of financial or relationship stability
4) Perceived immaturity.
(http://en.wikipedia.org...)

"Illegal"
–adj.
1. forbidden by law or statute.
(http://dictionary.reference.com...)
______
Defining a Human Being:

Human Being
-noun
1. any individual of the genus Homo, esp. a member of the species Homo sapiens.
(http://dictionary.reference.com...)

"A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are often used, such as based on similarity of DNA or morphology." (http://dictionary.reference.com...)
______
The Human Embryo & Fetus:

"The first sperm that penetrates fully into the egg donates its genetic material (DNA). The egg then polarizes, repelling any additional sperm. The resulting combination is called a zygote... Like every cell in the body, the zygote contains all of the genetic information unique to an individual, or a complete genome. Half of the genetic information residing in the zygote's nucleus comes from the mother's egg nucleus, and the other half from the nucleus of a single sperm." (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

It is important to note that the zygote, from which the human fetus forms, contains a unique, individual set of genetic material (DNA) from both the mother and the father.

- From the U.S. National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health -
Embryo:
-noun
2. the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception
(http://www2.merriam-webster.com...)

Fetus:
-noun
2. a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth
(http://www2.merriam-webster.com...)

**For simplification (and character limits), throughout this debate I will refer to the individual in both stages (Embryo and Fetus) as a "fetus".**
______
Human Fetus is Human Being:

Given the above, it is clear that the Human Fetus, unquestionably of the species Homo Sapien and containing an individualized set of DNA, is and must necessarily be considered a human being.
______
Human Rights in the United States:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - United States Declaration of Independence

It is clear from this statement that the United States was founded on the principle of a set of natural rights granted to all "men". We have come to realize that the term "men" does not specifically pertain to only those of the male gender, but to a broader definition of man.

Man
-noun
2. a member of the species Homo sapiens or all the members of this species collectively, without regard to sex: prehistoric man.
(http://dictionary.reference.com...)

However, we also understand that the concepts described in the Declaration were predicated on the theories of Social Contract. "By Jefferson's own admission, the ideas contained in the Declaration of Independence were commonly expressed throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.[5] John Locke's Second Treatise of Government is probably the predominant source from which Jefferson drew inspiration.[6]" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Under the Social Contract there are circumstances where a human being, guilty of committing a crime, can and must forfeit some, if not all, of these natural rights. "Since rights come from agreeing to the contract, those who simply choose not to fulfill their contractual obligations, such as by committing crimes, deserve losing their rights, and the rest of society can be expected to protect itself against the actions of such outlaws. To be a member of society is to accept responsibility for following its rules, along with the threat of punishment for violating them. It is justified with laws punishing behavior that breaks the Social Contract because we are concerned about others harming us and don't plan on harming others."(http://en.wikipedia.org...) While we recognize the rights of the guilty must be revoked, there is no such circumstance for the innocent under this doctrine. An innocent human being, having done nothing to break the Social Contract, must therefore retain their natural rights in such a society.
______
Human Fetus is Innocent

A human fetus must be considered innocent, as it has produced no behavior breaking the Social Contract and thus committed no crime.
______
Hierarchy of Natural Rights
To understand the implications of rights between two innocent parties, we must recognize that the right to Life is paramount to both the right to Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Without Life, the latter rights are non-existent. It is therefore illegal, and rightfully should be illegal, to revoke the right to Life of an innocent human being, especially for the lesser rights of another, albeit innocent, human being's. It's clear that "Personal Reasons", as they have been defined in this debate, are categorically of the type: Pursuit of Happiness. Thus, they must not be considered superior to the right to life of a fetus (an innocent human being).
______
Inherent Risk and Undesirable Results

While a woman is by no means "guilty" of unintentionally becoming pregnant, from a common sense standpoint, there was some rationalized acceptance of risk on her part. There is a conscious decision to have sex with the knowledge that a new human life could result. In the same way, if a person makes the conscious decision not to study, they run the risk of failing a class. As it is illegal for that person to take the life of a teacher for failing him from a class and impeding his education (pursuit of happiness), it should be illegal for a person to have an induced abortion of a fetus for any of the described personal reasons (pursuit of happiness). In both instances, the person brought the situation upon themself with at least a basic prior understanding of the potential for undesirable results. Killing an innocent human being is never an appropriate response for an improper decision having led to an undesirable result.
______
Self-Defense: Exclusion of Mother's Health & Rape

We concede the right to self-defense, in-so-much as it is an innocent individual protecting its right to Life. Thus, a pregnancy which threatens the physical well-being (life) of a mother, must supersede the life of a fetus. Also, it is also clear that instances such as rape do occur in which the only self-defense from further trama exists after the event, in the form of an abortion. Because these fall within the scope of self-defense, they will not be relevant to this debate.
_____
Conclusion

It is considered immoral and illegal to revoke the right to Life of an innocent human being in the U.S., especially for the lesser rights of another. Therefore, throughout this debate, I will show why the same law ought to be extended to protecting fetuses from induced abortions for personal reasons.
oboeman

Con

I offer greetings to my opponent, CP.
May the most logical argument win.

I accept all of my opponent's addressed definitions for use in this debate.

To the discrepancies:

Regarding a human fetus as a human being:
As my opponent claims, a human fetus is necessarily a human being. The reasoning for this is because it is of the same species, and it contains "an individualized set of DNA."
I ask my opponent the following:
Is any member of the Homo sapien species that has altered DNA (perhaps due to mutation) still the same individual, or are they a different one?

Regarding human rights in the United States:
It is fallacious to quote the Declaration of Independence (DoI) in this debate. First, my opponent is using a separate definition, and merely incorporating this definition to fit under "men" in the quotation used. As for as I know, there is no definitions section of the DoI, and therefore, it is quite possible that the definition intended by its writers would not interchangeably match the definition put forth by my opponent.
However, for the sake of argument in this round, let me briefly assume that "men" in the DoI would indeed refer to fetuses as well. My main argument here to counteract the resolution is that documents from over 225 years ago are not infallible. It is possible that any such documents could contain some flawed logic that would no longer apply at the current. It would be fallacious to assume that 200-year-old documents must still explicitly apply today (i.e. argumentum ad antiquitatem).
As for the theories in regards to Social Contract, I am mostly in agreement.

Regarding the innocence of a human fetus:
I have one main point as to why a human fetus is not innocent. The human fetus is seemingly a parasite of its mother. This, even if it does not directly put the mother at a life-threatening situation (which was established to be irrelevant in this debate), still may harm the mother, thus effectively breaking the Social Contract most logical in the United States.
Besides for the above, a human fetus is seemingly innocent, as in not having done anything wrong.

Regarding the hierarchy of natural rights:
The right to life is desired, but not always feasible.
In fact, my main argument here is that a fetus acquires these fundamental rights (including the right to [developed] life). The human being does not suddenly acquire such rights at conception, but rather, acquiring them later in pregnancy.
Also, while referring to the right to life (desired, but not always feasible), I ask my opponent why conception (collaboration of haploid cells to a diploid zygote) is the point of acquisition for such rights. There are various other times when one could consider a being's rights acquired.
Why does this time have to be at the diploid stage?
Why not at the individual sex cell stage? After all, each sex cell has the potential to become a zygote, just not all indeed become one. Surely, each of these sex cells would be considered innocent. Why is it relevant that they are haploid?
Each human sex cell is life (from that of a human). When joined during fertilization, the resulting zygote is no more alive than the individual sex cells.
Perhaps the real question should not be about when a life begins, but when a person begins (i.e. acquiring natural rights).
Why must, in accordance with the Social Contract, a being be diploid in order to apply?
In fact, the act of conception is not even considered a particular moment, but rather a long, multistage process. As an example, the moment when a sperm enters an egg occurs an entire 24 hours before both sets of genes come together to create a new genetic potential. Conception is a gradual process, not a point in time. Therefore, my opponent must clarify when, specifically, a human being is deserving of the referred rights.
As of now, all I must say is that my opponent has given no reasoning as to why natural rights should be given according to diploid status. I also would like to say (but wait to explain until my opponent answers my questions) that, perhaps the most sensible point for the acquisition to natural rights is at the point of sentience.

Sentience – state of elementary consciousness.

As well, one is considered to be dead once their brain ceases to function. However, even though their other vital organs operate for a time, once the brain stops, the person dies. Therefore, unless my opponent contends this claim, if one does not yet have any brain to begin with (such as a fetus before brain growth), it would be logical to conclude that they have not yet developed to the point of acquiring the rights associated with life.

Regarding inherent risk and undesirable results:
To the contrary of my opponent's argument, it should still be legal to have abortions (as defined) for personal reasons. Regardless of whether a fetus would be intentional or not, as I concur with my opponent, is irrelevant. However, to point out (although my opponent did not seem to use it), it would be wrong to punish parents for merely engaging in intimate relations, and receiving unexpected results. Such would not be an adequate punishment. In fact, whether my opponent meant for me to infer it or not, I claim that punishment is not the main point in this sub-argument. What is important, in my view, is that the respect of rights (life mainly) for sentient life remains intact. The killing of a being with such rights is what is deplorable and inappropriate. Thus, the main point of contention is when such acquisition of rights should begin.

Regarding self-defense:
Such will be irrelevant in this debate, as my opponent has claimed.

As my opponent has stated, the rights to life are more important than other rights. Does my opponent eat meat? If so, why does such a right to do so trump the rights of the animal? Judging by my opponent's subsequent response, I may get more into this in the next round.
As well, if the rights to life are more important than other rights, then perhaps it would be logical to also ban the use of automobiles, lawnmowers, and the such, as (a) they pollute and can diminish wildlife, (b) contribute to global warming, which would have a profound effect on life around the world, and (c) can cause accidents.
In the name of the right to life, is my opponent prepared to do this?

Conclusion:

"It is considered immoral and illegal to revoke the right to Life of an innocent human being in the U.S., especially for the lesser rights of another."

To the contrary, allow me to rephrase:
It should be illegal to revoke the right to life of an innocent, sentient being in the United States.
The point of sentience, which I argue to be the point of acquisition of inherent rights, occurs at a different time than when my opponent's definition of human life (and, therefore accordingly, to my opponent, natural rights) occurs.
The point of sentience ought to be considered most relevant in this debate.

I have negated the initial resolution thus far.
I thank my opponent for initiating this challenge, and I await the remaining rounds of this debate,
Oboeman.
Debate Round No. 1
CP

Pro

Thanks for taking this debate Oboeman.

> "Is any member of the Homo sapien species that has altered DNA (perhaps due to mutation) still the same individual, or are they a different one?"
I am having an issue understanding this question and ask my opponent to please clarify. Do you mean:
a. Is any member of the Homo sapien species that has altered DNA (perhaps due to mutation) still the same individual, or are they a different one? (fictional example: Spiderman)
b. Is any member of the Homo sapien species that has altered DNA (perhaps due to mutation) still an individual [of the same species], or are they [of] a different one? (example: individual born with gills instead of lungs)

> "As f[a]r as I know, there is no definitions section of the DoI, and therefore, it is quite possible that the definition intended by its writers would not interchangeably match the definition put forth by my opponent."

Correct, there is no definition section; however, if we look at the current state of this country we can clearly see that these rights have been extended to those not of the male gender. Thus, the United States legal system currently accepts the idea that an XY set of chromosomes is not indicative of a person's endowment of natural rights. It is therefore logical to accept my definition of "men" with regards to this country's present state.

> "My main argument here to counteract the resolution is that documents from over 225 years ago are not infallible."

I completely agree with this statement; however, it is utterly irrelevant. My argument consisted of the fact that these rights CONTINUE to be the crux of our legal system. As my opponent has already conceded, our ideas regarding laws and society are based on the Social Contract. Natural rights are an inherent, indispensable part of the Social Contract:
"…it is in an individual's rational self-interest to voluntarily subjugate the freedom of action one has under the natural state (their so called "natural rights") in order to obtain the benefits provided by the formation of social structures." (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

While we may give up some natural rights, our forefathers set the precedent that some of our natural rights were the inherent rights to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness". As these ideas are certainly still prominent in the United States legal system (e.g. The U.S. Constitution), they must be seen as relevant to our present situation.

> "The human fetus is seemingly a parasite of its mother."

Parasite:
-noun
1. an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.

Key words in the above definition: "another species". For my opponent to claim that a fetus is a parasite is entirely incorrect since both the mother and fetus are of the same species. But let's just assume for a minute that my opponent meant that the fetus is a "parasite" in the figurative sense. In that case, all humans act as a "parasite" on the earth. By my opponent's logic, doesn't this mean that we, the entire human race, should be considered guilty and our rights revoked? What an absurd insinuation!

> "This, even if it does not directly put the mother at a life-threatening situation (which was established to be irrelevant in this debate), still may harm the mother, thus effectively breaking the Social Contract most logical in the United States."

I fail to see any situation in which the fetus harming the mother falls under a crime in our present system, especially not one that would constitute the revocation of its life.

> "Besides for the above, a human fetus is seemingly innocent, as in not having done anything wrong."

It appears that my opponent recognized that his previous argument was fairly weak and has conceded that the fetus should be considered innocent.

> "The right to life is desired, but not always feasible."

Incorrect. Based on the precedents set forth, the right to Life of a human being is an inherent right. The WILL to live is desired, but not always feasible.

> (My opponent's main question) "Why not at the individual sex cell stage? After all, each sex cell has the potential to become a zygote, just not all indeed become one. Surely, each of these sex cells would be considered innocent. Why is it relevant that they are haploid? Each human sex cell is life (from that of a human). When joined during fertilization, the resulting zygote is no more alive than the individual sex cells."

The reason is simple really. We understand a human being's life to begin at conception. "Fertilisation[1] (also known as conception, fecundation and syngamy), is the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism of the same species."(http://en.wikipedia.org...) Until such time as the haploids completely fuse into a diploid, no new individual human life exists. Thus, on their own, the sex cells cannot be considered a human life.

> "Therefore, my opponent must clarify when, specifically, a human being is deserving of the referred rights."

At the point where the zygote (diploid cell) has fully formed. Being that as it may, I would like remind my opponent the topic he is supposed to be attacking hinges on Induced Abortions. Based on the definition of Induced Abortion, which he accepted, we are only arguing the termination of embryos and fetuses. I ask that he stick to the resolution, and not divert us from the topic at hand.

I accept my opponent's definition of sentience, but for further understanding I offer the following definition:
Consciousness
-noun
1. the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

> "… if one does not yet have any brain to begin with (such as a fetus before brain growth), it would be logical to conclude that they have not yet developed to the point of acquiring the rights associated with life."

My opponent has attempted to personally rationalize brain activity as being necessary for the right to Life of an individual. I, on the other hand, have given evidence that there is precedence in that all human beings inherently posses the right to Life in our society, and only forfeit that right when guilty of a heinous crime against others. While my opponent would like you to believe that the beginning of a human life must be the polar opposite of the end of its life, commencement and cessation of brain activity, this is certainly not so. I have shown that a new organism's (human) life begins at fertilization and brain activity is not a prerequisite of this status. If my opponent extends his own logic to sentience, it would follow that consciousness is the beginning of rights and unconsciousness would necessarily have to be the end of them. Therefore, any coma patient, regardless of whether or not they could actually awake, has lost their right to Life and can be killed without consequence.

> "it would be wrong to punish parents for merely engaging in intimate relations, and receiving unexpected results."

My opponent ignores the fact that we are not talking about punishment. If it is considered unfair "punishment" to have a law against killing innocent human beings, then we are currently punishing all citizens since laws against murder already exist.

> "What is important, in my view, is that the respect of rights (life mainly) for sentient life remains intact."

Again, if consciousness is the only indicator of the right to Life, we have no reason to respect the right to Life of those in any unconscious state. Their wishes prior to their comatose state would therefore have no bearing, and they could be killed without consideration or consequence.

***Out of Space ... will attempt to continue in comments***
oboeman

Con

Thanks for the debate.
And here goes my rebuttal as the contender:

"I am having an issue understanding this question and ask my opponent to please clarify. Do you mean:
a. Is any member of the Homo sapien species that has altered DNA (perhaps due to mutation) still the same individual, or are they a different one? (fictional example: Spiderman)
b. Is any member of the Homo sapien species that has altered DNA (perhaps due to mutation) still an individual [of the same species], or are they [of] a different one? (example: individual born with gills instead of lungs)"

I was originally intending A (if a member of the species acquires gene mutation later in life, such as the fictional example of Spiderman).

"It is therefore logical to accept my definition of "men" with regards to this country's present state."

What I meant was my opponent's definition of "human." When saying "men" in the DoI, it is difficult to tell if that was intended to mean "any individual of the genus Homo, esp. a member of the species Homo sapiens," or if it may have merely meant "a fully developed humanoid." I am not talking about gender, though. I, however, doubt they referred to dictionary.com back then.

The fact set forth that documents from over 225 years old are not infallible, in fact, IS relevant in this debate. As well, such rights as referenced do continue to be amid the nation's legal system. Admittedly, the ideas referenced in the Social Contract, for the most part, should continue to be a part of the nation's legal system. However, what must be determined is when these rights are acquired.
The inherent rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I concur, are evident, and also should be a part of the nation.

"In that case, all humans act as a "parasite" on the earth. By my opponent's logic, doesn't this mean that we, the entire human race, should be considered guilty and our rights revoked?"

If my opponent is claiming that humans are parasitic on the earth itself, I remind my opponent that the earth does not specifically have the same rights given to humans, and therefore, would invalidate such an analogy.
However, my point was, fetuses may not be as "innocent" as one might think. Obviously, to survive, a fetus may need nutrition from the mother. However, one could consider such an act to be depriving the mother of essential nutrients.
This would fit under my opponent's definition of "Social Contract."

"It appears that my opponent recognized that his previous argument was fairly weak and has conceded that the fetus should be considered innocent."

Instead, I only was attempting to recognize the fact that I do not need to win that specific sub-argument in order to potentially win this debate.

As I said, the right to life is desired, but not always feasible.

As my opponent claims, however, "Based on the precedents set forth, the right to Life of a human being is an inherent right."

Such a statement if somewhat flawed, as firstly, based on the precedents set forth (i.e. I am assuming the Social Contract and DoI), the right to life of a human is an inherent right. However, what they define as human is claimed to be an inherent right. This definition (i.e. when such rights are acquired), seemingly, is the main point of contention between my opponent and myself.

"[It is understood for] a human being's life to begin at conception."

As I have pointed out in my Round 1, conception is no single point in time, but rather a series of events spanning around 24 hours long. To pinpoint the exact time during the process for which acquisition of the natural rights is to be given seems rather arbitrary. For example, would my opponent place this arbitrary moment when the two sex cells seemingly fuse, or when the genetic transfer initiates, or perhaps even when the genetic collaboration is complete?

Well, my opponent claims that conception (fertilization, fecundation, syngamy) "is the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism of the same species."

However, like I said, this concept is a gradual process, not a moment in time.

Then, my opponent, seemingly answering the above question, states the following:
"Until such time as the haploids completely fuse into a diploid, no new individual human life exists. Thus, on their own, the sex cells cannot be considered a human life."

Thus, my opponent is essentially implying that the acquisition of natural rights begins at the end of the process of conception. However, I ask for my opponent's reasoning. Why must the acquisition of natural rights begin only after the diploid number is obtained?
Conventionally, many consider the life of a human being to begin at conception. Quite frankly, I am currently inclined to agree in this debate that a "human being" does indeed begin at, if not before, conception. This is because, as the definition provided in my opponent's Round 1 states:

A human being is "any individual of the genus Homo, esp. a member of the species Homo sapiens."
"A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are often used, such as based on similarity of DNA or morphology."

Thus, "similarities of DNA" are evident in haploid sex cells, as well as the diploid zygote. Either way, the "similarities of DNA" are seemingly evident.

"[A human being is deserving of the referred rights] at the point where the zygote (diploid cell) has fully formed. Being that as it may, I would like remind my opponent the topic he is supposed to be attacking hinges on Induced Abortions."

This is not so. Thus far, my opponent has given no solid reasoning to prove why the referred-to rights are acquired specifically at the diploid level. I plan on briefly giving my reasoning as to when such natural rights should be acquired. Therefore, my opponent would not be able to win this debate, by not sharing the reasoning for why natural rights are acquired once diploid, and therefore not solidifying my opponent's own claim.
As well, I remind my opponent that, in order for me to adequately defend my position, I felt the need to go into the realm of life itself.

What I have done has been to attempt to pinpoint the most reasonable point during development to allocate natural rights. I claim it to be most reasonable to place this point at the state of sentience. Sentience, associated with consciousness, can scientifically be determined based upon cerebral cortex activity. Therefore, one can deduce that when one has significant cerebral cortex activity, it is sentient.

It seems as if my opponent is saying that the deceased still have the right to life even if one cell (diploid) remains living. So if there were a small piece of tissue, for example, in a body, the body should be kept on life support to continually feed that strand of tissue, to keep it alive. After all, it is diploid. Mandating such would be outrageous.

"If my opponent extends his own logic to sentience, it would follow that consciousness is the beginning of rights and unconsciousness would necessarily have to be the end of them. Therefore, any coma patient, regardless of whether or not they could actually awake, has lost their right to Life and can be killed without consequence."

Sentience is associated with consciousness, of which is associated with cerebral cortex development. Therefore, significant cerebral cortex development should be an indicator of acquired natural rights. Even in coma patients, who happen to be unconscious, there is still significant cerebral cortex development. Because of this, such patients should still retain such rights.

Sentience is vital in this debate.

I look forward to my opponent's response, and the remainder of this debate.

**Out of space ... continued in comments**
Debate Round No. 2
CP

Pro

CP forfeited this round.
oboeman

Con

I allowed my opponent an additional 1.5 days or so to respond. Thus, see the comments section positioned below for their arguments.

"There is a difference between one organism changing and the other case (i.e. the fetus) being formed by sexual reproduction creating a new organism separate from the two contributors whereas the example of Spiderman would still be the same organism only altered."

One could argue that a sperm cell is only an altered normal human cell, and therefore that the resulting zygote is only an altered human cell. Therefore, this would contradict, again, my opponent's reasoning of when a human is deserving of rights. However, I do not plan to elaborate too much on this specific sub-argument, as it does not need to be won for me to win this debate.

"One might assume from the phrase 'all men were CREATED equal' that these rights began at the point of creation. Notice it doesn't say 'all men were born equal' or that 'all men were developed equal'. From that phrase I think we can infer that they believed these rights to start at the point of creation, not birth, or full development."

Again, my point is that the "point of creation," so to speak, is the main point of contention in this debate, seemingly. As well, their intention could still differ from the current intentions presented, and therefore, one cannot infer such a thing. Thirdly, even if it was their intention, a single quote from hundreds of years ago is not infallible. One must analyze the situation at the current to know for sure what is indeed right and most logical. Fourthly, even if one were to infer that "all men were created equal" directly, it would still apply to my case, as my argumentation entails that, at the point of diploid life (again, desired, but not always feasible), natural rights identified in Locke's Social Contract are not yet possessed. Therefore, all people were indeed created equal, as in each having no natural rights prepossessed.

Being parasitic on different species is irrelevant to this debate. I, however, will concur, for this debate, that induced abortions due to "parasitism" (on the same species), unless for self-defense (demonstrated to be irrelevant in this debate), are not pertinent to either my opponent or myself being victorious in this debate. However, such does not invalidate the rest of my argumentation.

"Natural rights should begin at the point when a new human is created, which most logically would be after the diploid number is obtained. At this point the DNA is a new set completely different from the parents and can be deemed a new human."

By this reasoning, however, every piece of meat one eats originated from a diploid animal. However, my opponent has claimed that it is ethical to eat meat. So, in essence, my opponent says it is fine to eat meat from developed animals, but not fine to terminate an underdeveloped fetus. This is seemingly contradictory. I have already explained in previous rounds that animals should be deserving of inherent rights, just as humans. The determining factor ought to be sentience, as defined, not differing DNA sets. Otherwise, even vegetarians would be unjust, eating parts of plants for food. Many plants are diploid, containing differing DNA from its parents. The difference is, plants do not have cerebral cortexes, distinguishing them from other sentient beings of life. Vegetarianism, therefore, is just. The same applies to underdeveloped (i.e. prior to cerebral cortex development) fetuses. It would be more reasonable to eliminate induced abortions due to personal reasons only after the point of sentience.

"However with the fetus the potential for life is there because the child is forming."
"In the other you are guaranteed there will [be life]."
"Sentience shouldn't be the indicator; however, once a new DNA is created and a new life is formed with that human DNA (the point at the end of the diploid cell) it should as it is defined by dictionary terms be considered a new human and thus should not be able to terminated."

Indeed, in a fetus the potential for further development of life is of course there. However, this potential is irrelevant. This same "potential" also resides in individual sex cells. Though there might be more potential in the diploid zygote, such a potential is also irrelevant, insofar as that potential is quite difficult to quantify. Seemingly, one could argue that many, many things have potential for something, but something else may have the potential to have that potential, making somewhat of a conundrum. The potential for developed life in this debate is irrelevant. Therefore, one ought to focus on what is, not what can be.
Secondly, there are no guarantees that there will indeed be life in the zygote. Outside factors and resources are necessary. For example, nutrition would be considered an outside source. Without it, the zygote would not be able to develop within adequate parameters. Thus, it is surely possible that the zygote, intrinsically, might not develop into further life.
Next, sentience would seem to be the most reasonable place to apply natural rights as proposed in Locke's Social Contract. The dictionary terminology of what a human is, then, is irrelevant for this debate. A human being, as for its definition, is largely arbitrary, based on of what one considers to be their own discretion. As well, if I may remind my opponent, the main point of contention resides in not when a human life begins, but when natural/inherent rights ought to initiate.

"I believe we limited this debate to humans, per the definitions defining man as members of the homo sapien species. Let's get back to the topic at hand."

However, analogies similar to the ones I have drawn up are essential for comparisons in debate. They also help to clarify ethical guidelines and parameters current placed by society (or in some ways, contradict them).

________
________

In conclusion, logic dictates that natural rights ought to be placed at the point of sentience. Therefore, with this determination intact, I have successfully negated the initial resolution.
Instead of making induced abortions for personal reasons illegal in the United States, they should, under the proclaimed guidelines of this debate, perhaps be illegal after the point of sentience. Yet, this point being later on during progressive development, abortions for personal reasons ought to be legal prior to that stage.
The right to life is desired, but not always feasible.

I would also like to remind voters to read through the debate and hopefully explain why they cast their vote the way they did.
I would, at this point, like to thank my opponent for the fun and effortful debate,
Cheers,
Oboeman
Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by CP 8 years ago
CP
I just want to thank to Oboeman for the debate and the extension so that my brother (Pricetag) could finish it in my absence. Even though my brother may not have approached the final round in the exact manner I would have, he was certainly the most knowledgeable of my position and arguments. I extend a special thanks to him for taking the time to pick up where I left off, even though he doesn't agree with the stance. While I am sorry I had to miss the final round, Lollapalooza was awesome and well worth the trip.
Posted by oboeman 8 years ago
oboeman
In this debate, to clarify, I agreed that a new life begins with each cell formation (whether it be a sex cell, or collaboration into a zygote).
As well, I did say that the "potential" was irelevant, and that "Therefore, one ought to focus on what is, not what can be." I explained why the conundrum was formed with the argument.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
What I meant was that you never actually brought to light that this phrase was in fact a concession of the entire debate. PRO's whole case was that the unborn are living, not a potential to be. He conceded everything, not just the sentience issue.
Posted by oboeman 8 years ago
oboeman
First, thanks Xera, for the comment.

I meant that cephalized animals should have the fundamental right to life. The other natural rights do not necessarily apply.

Also, my argument was premised on the fact that the most reasonable point to establish such rights is at sentience.

As well, regarding the potential for life given by Pro, I did negate it. See my Round 3. The part where I speak of it starts with, "Indeed, in a fetus.."
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
I think Con overstepped himself a bit by claiming that human rights should extend to animals in order for PRO's possition to be valid. That was quite a leap for me, and I simply could not make it. I think PRO lost some ground by failing to refute the need for sentience in order to be classified as deserving of rights. This could be done in two ways. The rebuttal "Sentience shouldn't be the indicator" was insufficient.

Con's entire meat argument hinges upon the idea that sentience is the point at which rights are conveyed. This really needed conested more deliberatly.

The dead are not considered because there is no chance of the so called sentience coming into being, whereas with the unborn we are simply unable to measure on such a small scale as of yet. Pro validated Con's sentience claim by using the phrase "potential for life" This should have negated Pro's whole case, if Con had caught it. By stating the life was only a potential and not in acual existence, every contention was conceded, but CON never called that one, so no point given or taken.
Posted by oboeman 8 years ago
oboeman
Thanks for responding in the comments section, Pricetag/CP.
Good debate, too.
Posted by CP 8 years ago
CP
This is me, CPs brother, just clarifying this situation. Can't wait for the last round.
Posted by Pricetag 8 years ago
Pricetag
You may be confused as to why I (Pricetag) am finishing this debate, let me explain. My brother is CP and is in Chicago right now for Lolapolooza (sp?). He doesn't have access to a computer and told me to finish the debate for him. If you don't believe me I'm going to sign on as him and leave a comment after this one. Please vote fairly. Thanks and good luck.
Posted by Pricetag 8 years ago
Pricetag
Conclusion:

A human can be and should be defined as a fetus beyond the diploid process because it has human DNA and is a different organism than the parents that created it. As the fetus is innocent (it has not chosen to break a capital offense) and is a human it should be protected by the social contract. Therefore if the child is not threatening the life of the mother, then the child deserves the same right to life that we have because it is a human.

I would like to thank my opponent for the debate and please leave comments as to why you voted the way you did so that I may learn from this debate. Thanks to all.
Posted by Pricetag 8 years ago
Pricetag
"It seems as if my opponent is saying that the deceased still have the right to life even if one cell (diploid) remains living. So if there were a small piece of tissue, for example, in a body, the body should be kept on life support to continually feed that strand of tissue, to keep it alive. After all, it is diploid. Mandating such would be outrageous."

These two scenarios can hardly be considered analogous. With the deceased you know that there is no longer a potential for life because of the lack of sentience. However with the fetus the potential for life is there because the child is forming. In one you know there won't be life, in the other you are guaranteed there will. Sentience shouldn't be the indicator; however, once a new DNA is created and a new life is formed with that human DNA (the point at the end of the diploid cell) it should as it is defined by dictionary terms be considered a new human and thus should not be able to terminated.

"Many people eat meat. Meat originates from sentient animals. (Transitive property indicates that they are, due to cerebral cortex development). Therefore, assuming my proposed reasoning for acquisition of natural rights, animals deserve the right to live. Of course, such is not explicitly stated in the Social Contract theory, but like I said, explicit wordings of such older documents and theories are not necessarily infallible. Thus, animals must be considered as well (i.e. for the right to live), as they are sentient too."

I believe we limited this debate to humans, per the definitions defining man as members of the homo sapien species. Let's get back to the topic at hand.
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