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TheBigQuestions
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The Contender
Max.Slater99
Pro (for)
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Is Abortion Moral?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 9/13/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 504 times Debate No: 79688
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

TheBigQuestions

Con

The first round is only for acceptance. This is just to clarify my contender is willing to take part.

Definitions:

Moral - "Concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character" (1)

I look forward to a friendly and clean debate.

(1) http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Max.Slater99

Pro

I accept the rules of this debate and look forward to it being friendly and clean as well.
Debate Round No. 1
TheBigQuestions

Con

Here, we are talking about a subject which has proved to be one of the emotional and controversial in our culture. But we are going to try touch less on whether it has a place in being legal or not. But on it's morality in our society in ordinary circumstances...

We should first ask ourselves this... Whether the human foetus has any any rights, or in that, any value?

To determine this, should come a common consensus to at what point a foetus has the right to life, and is alive. The question as to when the physical material dimension of a human being begins is strictly a scientific question. And so, should be answered by human embryologists, and not by politicians, philosophers, bio-ethicists or x-ray technicians and movie stars. From a biological point of view, something very radical, and extra-ordinary occurs between the processes of gametogenesis and fertilisation. During the process of fertilisation, the sperm and the egg cease to exist as such, and a new human is produced.

Going back to simple high school science, every living organism has a specific number of chromosomes which are uniform throughout a species. In humans, this number is 46 chromosomes (with some exceptions, such as suffers of Downs or Turner's syndromes), with every single body cell in a human having this number of chromosomes. Everything from even the very earliest of germ cells contain 46 chromosomes, and because of this, the process of fertilisation cannot take place until the total number of chromosomes in each germ cell are cut in half. And then the product of fertilization is a living human with 46 chromosomes.

A human being is the immediate product of fertilization. As such they are a single-cell embryonic zygote, an organism with 46 chromosomes, the number required of a human. The foetus begins immediately to produce specific human proteins and enzymes, which allows for their own further growth and development as human, and is a new, genetically unique, newly existing, living human being.

Many claims for when the a foetus is alive are all pure mental speculation, the product of imposing philosophical (or theological) concepts on the scientific data, and have no scientific evidence to back them up. These are philosophical terms or concepts, which have been illegitimately imposed on the scientific data. Even when it comes to the brain; the scientific fact is that the brain, which is supposed to be the physiological support for both "rational attributes" and "sentience," is not actually completely developed until young adulthood.

The use of the brain as a measure on defining life can be explained in a quote by the world-renowned professor of anatomy, Keith L. Moore:

"Although it is customary to divide human development into prenatal (before birth) and postnatal (after birth) periods, birth is merely a dramatic event during development resulting in a change in environment. Development does not stop at birth. Important changes, in addition to growth, occur after birth (e.g., development of teeth and female breasts). The brain triples in weight between birth and 16 years; most developmental changes are completed by the age of 25."

One should also consider the real consequences if what a person is, depends on one's cognitive abilities. After all, what would this mean for suffers Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, or the mentally ill, the mentally retarded, the depressed elderly, drug addicts, alcoholics, patients in a "vegetative state," or other patients with nerve or brain damage? Would they then be considered not mentally able to live? Would that mean that they would not have the same ethical and legal rights and protections?

To summarise, after fertilization the single-cell human embryo doesn't become another kind of thing. It simply divides and grows bigger and bigger. That even those who still argue that the human foetus is not a person. Does that really mean the foetus has no intrinsic value or no rights. There are many living beings that are not persons that have both value and rights: for example a dog, amongst other animals

And that makes the foundation for the first moral argument: A living being doesn't have to be a person in order to have intrinsic moral value and rights. When challenged with this argument, people usually change the subject to the rights of the mother - meaning the right of a mother to end her foetus's life under any circumstance, for any reason, and at any time in her pregnancy. Yet is that moral? It is only if we believe that the human foetus has no intrinsic worth.

In most cases, nearly everyone believes that the human foetus has essentially infinite worth and an almost absolute right to live. When? When a pregnant woman wants to give birth. Then, society, and its laws, regard the foetus as so valuable that if someone were to kill that foetus, that person could be prosecuted for homicide. Only if a pregnant woman doesn't want to give birth, do many people regard the foetus as worthless. Now, does that make sense? It doesn't seem to. Either a human foetus has worth or it doesn't.

This brings us to the second moral argument: On what moral grounds does the mother alone decide a foetus's worth? We certainly don't do that with regard to a newborn child. It is society, not the mother, or the father, that determines whether a newborn child has worth and a right to live. So, the question is: Why should that be different before the human being is born? Why does one person, a mother, get to determine whether that being has any right to live?

An interesting point to add is that while people respond by saying that a woman has the right to "control her body." The problem here, however, is that the foetus is not "her body;" it is in her body. It is a separate body. Nobody ever asks a pregnant woman, "How's your body?" when asking about the foetus. People ask, "How's the baby?"

This leads us to another question. Virtually everyone agrees that the moment the baby comes out of the womb, killing the baby is murder. But deliberately killing it a few months before birth is considered no more morally problematic than extracting a tooth. How does that make sense?

And finally, the final moral argument to ask: Aren't there instances in which just about everyone - even among those who are pro-choice - would acknowledge that an abortion might not be moral? For example, would it be moral to abort a female foetus solely because the mother prefers boys to girls - as has happened countless times in Eastern countries, as well as elsewhere? And one more example: Let's say science develops a method of determining whether a child in the womb is gay or straight. Would it be moral to kill a gay foetus because the mother didn't want a gay child? People may offer practical reasons not to criminalize all abortions. People may differ about when personhood begins; and about the morality of abortion after rape or incest. But with regard to the vast majority of abortions - those of healthy women aborting a healthy foetus - let's be clear. Most of these abortions just aren't moral.

Sources -

Princeton University, "WHEN DO HUMAN BEINGS BEGIN?", Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D.
Max.Slater99

Pro

Yes we should first ask ourselves whether the human foetus has any any rights. But not whether it has value, for value is subjective to each individual person. Therefore to debate on such a topic is pointless. As well as this I believe that yes morality is important for that is the topic of this debate. However you can not simply discard stuff like law and social belief seen as they play a big part in our own set or morals and morality itself. And quite simply it is legal to abort the foetus up to a certain amount of weeks meaning many people see it as moral.

As my learned colleague has stated he believes that "To determine this, should come a common consensus to at what point a foetus has the right to life, and is alive. The question as to when the physical material dimension of a human being begins is strictly a scientific question. And so, should be answered by human embryologists." Which I am happy to agree with however when the sperm fertilizes the egg a human is not born. A mere cell entitled to no rights what so ever is born and then is grows into a foetus. In fact it is not even called a foetus by these "embryologists" until 9 weeks after this process has begun. It is just referred to as the embryo or cells.

I don't really feel the need in going back to high school education as you have done with your arguments and points, for I would hope the judge in this debate to have learnt these facts as of yet and besides that it does not really add to your point at all? As well as this it adding unnecessary jargon in which someone who hadn't studied it may feel that they are rendered out of judging this debate which I do not wish to be the case.

As I have already established it is simply a group of cells at this stage and not a human being and you make the point that it starts producing specific human proteins. But not all the human proteins.. it only makes specific ones? Plants make a few specific proteins which are the same as human. Does that mean we should feel bad whenever chomping down on a carrot? No of course not. And quite simply your point about it being a newly existing human being let me be frank it is not. It is quite frankly a potential human life. But as is a new couple wanting to have kids they have potential to create life. What about a first date that in some circumstances has potential for new life to be created where do we draw the line at conception? As well as this may I point out here comes the problem that if we don't allow abortions what about girls who are raped and forced to keep the child? Women who have a severe risk of dying if they go through with their pregnancy should be forced to?Let alone the dangerous increase in coat hanger, and illegal abortions.

The speculation about when the foetus is alive for me is a simple one, it does not live until it becomes self sufficient. For before this it is nothing but a sheer parasite. The scientific fact is that the human foetus isn't even responsible for pumping blood around its body till around 10 weeks in. And sentience as well as rational attributes are virtually non-existent at this stage let along the slightest bit developed. And the premise of your point is then contradicted by the quote you used which just shatters the reasoning of even mentioning the point in this debate. The next paragraph about mental illness is also deemed irrelevant by the quote you yourself used.

You ask strawman questions for I had not even mentioned any points as to that yet and are trying to get the judges to agree with you for just asking questions which don't need asking as the points haven't been raised. The point about "How's your baby." Is simply a manipulation of words and a fault within the English language for without the mum's body the baby wouldn't even exist and wouldn't be able to survive. Therefore it is dependant on the Mother and it is a part of the body seen as, in anatomical terms, (how else would you address this.) They are attached with the umbilical cord. So yes they are part of the mother's body. And I have addressed how it isn't considered murder in my earlier points about the foetus.

And yes finally you could argue all of those cases are immoral but those are extremist and one off cases . For instance I could argue would it be right not to allow an abortion to a girl who was raped as happened recently in Venezuela. If a mother was going to be killed by the process of giving birth. If the baby was going to have a very severe disability and it is more humane to kill them. As you can see I have done the same as you and came up with extremist cases such as yourself. I believe I have addressed all of your points and come up with a few of my own however I feel I am not needed to contribute as many arguments for abortion being moral. As it is accepted in almost all courts around the world (apart from a select few) which means it is already accepted as moral within society. This means to maintain people on my side I just have to refute your points. Just in case you disagree with this I have made a variety of points in the paragraph's above.

Sources-
http://www.newhealthguide.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org... (I believe all the stigma to be rendered irrelevant for I think this is a credible source)
Debate Round No. 2
TheBigQuestions

Con

It is a philosophical answer to a very scientific question. Is a baby foetus alive? We have seen countless Universities, Scientific Institutions and world-renowned biologists suggest that what defines life begins at the point of cell division, and when the baby has 48 chromosomes.

As my fellow debater has stated in response to my own quotation, he has stated "Which I am happy to agree with however when the sperm fertilizes the egg a human is not born." in response to my argument. Is he suggesting that life is equal to birth?

I must also disagree with him on his biological stance. He seems to suggest from his source, that a baby is alive when it has a heart which the vast majority of embryologists have proven " of course, all professions argue, and the life of a baby is no exception. What about the world"s first heartless man in 2012 who lacks a pulse? New Health Guide, cited as a source is one of debatable credibility, and lacks standing in the scientific community compared to Princeton, and Stanford University which have conducted countless studies. He further states that a "mere cell entitled to no rights what so ever is born and then grows into a foetus", and yet in the law, if one were to commit an act of murder against the mother, he would be found guilty of homicide to that baby.

A mere cell entitled to no rights what so ever is born and then is grows into a foetus. In fact it is not even called a foetus by these "embryologists" until 9 weeks after this process has begun. It is just referred to as the embryo or cells.

It is also a misconception to suggest that the law is on which the morals stand. One can define taxation as a very moral activity, it is after all about sharing and giving to the people in need, but also as an immoral activity because a person is dispossessed by his/he property, property which has been obtained completely in a legal manner.

Sources:

- Meet the first HEARTLESS man who is able to live without a pulse
http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
Max.Slater99

Pro

Once again in your first paragraph you refer to the question is a baby foetus alive? Once again I shall refer you to a carrot. That has 18 chromosomes doesn't stop you from digesting and killing it and they are technically alive through your definition. Therefore how is this any different?

I am suggesting that a human is not born, a group of cells are then an embryo then a foetus and finally a baby. In each of these stages it is of different stages of life and in my opinion it is not technically alive until it gets a heartbeat during the foetus stage.

Is the premise of your argument that a man lived without a heart? That is not only a confusing argument but completely illogical for you have to have a beating heart to survive also if you read the report they couldn't find a pulse still means he had a beating heart? In law it is stated differently because it is the criminals choice to kill the baby and not the mother's with abortion it is always the mothers choice.

The next paragraph was exactly the point I was making?

I am sorry but the law is created based upon morals trying to deny those two entities are separate is simply ludicrous.
Debate Round No. 3
TheBigQuestions

Con

And once again, I will say it is a philosophical answer to a scientific question which we should leave to scientists, which themselves are divided on the subject.

"In law it is stated differently because it is the criminals choice to kill the baby and not the mother's with abortion it is always the mothers choice."

Is it though? It is not always the mother's choice, and with some cultures, a male is more valuable than a female,

"I am sorry but the law is created based upon morals."

The law do not define our morals. Laws are changed because our morals change, and not the other way round. Our morals are the foundation for our legal systems.
Max.Slater99

Pro

Max.Slater99 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
TheBigQuestions

Con

So, our final round. An opportunity for the reader to skip to the summary, and to review our points for a final time.

The question asked was whether Abortion is moral in very ordinary circumstances, and not whether it should be legalized.

Much of the debate was dominated on science, where the argument was primarily focused on at what point a life becomes a life. It is a question which was entangled in philosophy, and many claims are on the whole, pure mental speculation with the product of imposing philosophical concepts on scientific data without scientific evidence to back them up..

My argument implied birth began as soon as the foetus had 46 chromosomes, and human proteins had already started being created. With evidence from leading scientific institutions such as Princeton University. Whereas my opponent had implied that life began from the first heart-beat, with evidence from Wikipedia and 'New Health Guide' which can be described as more un-reliable sources lacking in credible scientific study.

Nevertheless, my opponent made points that our morals stood on our laws, that it was laws which defined our morals. Whereas, my understanding is that our morals are the foundation, the structure, of our legal systems - with laws being changed because our morals change, and not the other way around.

No matter what way you are leaning towards throughout the debate, are there not instances where one would acknowledge that an abortion might not be moral?

Would it be moral to abort a foetus solely because the parents prefer boys, to girls? Would it be moral to kill a gay foetus because the mother don't want a gay child?

Virtually everyone agrees that the moment the baby comes out of the womb, killing the baby is murder. But deliberately killing it a few months before birth is considered no more morally problematic than extracting a tooth. How does that make sense? Furthermore, nearly everyone believes that the human foetus has essentially infinite worth and an almost absolute right to live. When? When a pregnant woman wants to give birth. Then, society, and its laws, regard the foetus as so valuable that if someone were to kill that foetus, that person could be prosecuted for homicide. Only if a pregnant woman doesn't want to give birth, do many people regard the foetus as worthless. Now, does that make sense? It doesn't seem to. Either a human foetus has worth or it doesn't.

I hope you, the reader, have not been to bored by the debate. Thank you for voting, which-ever way you decide to vote. And I ask you to consider not your opinion on whether abortion should be made legal, but whether aborting a unborn baby always, 100% moral.
Max.Slater99

Pro

Max.Slater99 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by TheBigQuestions 1 year ago
TheBigQuestions
Dalethejr, that is a great question. Disputed by just about everybody.

And my point is that even one abortion is immoral, it suggests that not all abortions are moral.
Posted by Dalethejr 1 year ago
Dalethejr
Technically cells are alive when they contain 48 chromosomes, but even if they are, does that rationalize keeping the baby till it's born?
Posted by MizzEnigma 1 year ago
MizzEnigma
Of course. I felt I had to ask in case you were to make the same cases as me lol. It was hard holding back, but I don't mind. This is what I would have initially said:

A foetus doesn't have worth. A baby does. If a woman does not want an abortion, than someone who attacks her and forces a miscarriage or cuts the foetus from her womb goes against her right to conceive said foetus. To her, that is her valuable [posession]. In this case, it is capable of going to court.

She doesn't decide its worth, but only how she sees it as it is part of her body. If she wants it, she keeps it. If she does not, she aborts it. She can decide this as it is not a person. A baby, the result after giving birth, is capable of independent life, so therefore is a person, and is thus entitled to life.

And while it may be a body in her own, it is part of her and feeds from her and grows in her. Does a parasite have that same right, since it is living and not actually a part of her body, to be in her body? Can she not take it out, even though it was feeding off of her and gave her no benefit?

How's the baby is an incorrect statement, but sounds better than foetus.

And whatever the reason she decides to terminate the pregnancy, it wouldn't matter as that foetus is not a person.

So, in my opinion, it is morally correct for a woman to decide whether or not to keep a foetus inside of her, which could potentially hold her back.
Posted by Max.Slater99 1 year ago
Max.Slater99
Sorry for the length of mine as well aha I've tried to shorten it down when I could. I have no problem with you commenting your opinion isn't that indeed what comments are for and I appreciate you waiting until both sides of the argument are posted each round.
Posted by MizzEnigma 1 year ago
MizzEnigma
Even though I'm not part of this debate, might I give my opinion on this? I've never answered whether abortion is moral or not, nor have I ever encountered this question. Lol. I decided to ask in case one of the sides would rather I not do as such. [And I would, of course, wait for the other side to give their input before doing so, if I'm granted the ability to state my idea on it.]
Posted by TheBigQuestions 1 year ago
TheBigQuestions
Apologies for the length.
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