The Instigator
RonPaulConservative
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
JonHouser
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Life does not begin at conception:

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/2/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 732 times Debate No: 99521
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
Votes (0)

 

RonPaulConservative

Pro

Apparently 'abortion at any point is murder,' and I did not know that, last I checked life begins 28 weeks after conception, but I suppose my opponent has some basis for this belief?
The resolution is that life does not begin at conception, and abortion is not murder before a certain point.
JonHouser

Con

I do not believe I will need 5 rounds to prove this point, but I reserve the right to refute any arguments my opponent may bring up in later rounds.

I will start with the Bible, from which all morality has its foundation. From there, I will show that Life according to "science" begins much earlier than 28 weeks.

In Jeremiah 1:4-5 we read, "Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.""

God knew Jeremiah before He formed his body the womb. Thus Jeremiah was alive before the formation of his body, I believe this to mean from the time he was conceived.

Luke 1:41, and 44 says, "And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 44 "For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy."" Elizabeth's child was about 24 to 28 weeks old at this point, because the angel announced Jesus conception to Mary during the 6th month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, and immediately Mary went to Elizabeth's house (Luke 1:26 and 39). Yet the child was already aware.

Now I will look at some scientific data. Dr. Tommy Mitchell in his article "When Does Life Begin?" (1) says, "For reasons unclear to medical science, the mass of cells sometimes splits to produce identical twins. These twins are called identical because their sets of chromosomes are identical. Depending upon the stage of development when the split occurs, the twins may share certain placental parts, but the twins produced are distinct individuals. If the split occurs between the 13th and 15th days, the twins will actually share body parts, a condition known as conjoined twins, commonly called Siamese twins. (After that time, development and differentiation are too far along to allow successful splitting.)" If 13 to 15 days is too late for the embryo to split completely, yet two individuals form that are conjoined, then I would argue that individualization occurs at about this time. That would mean that whatever it is that makes you "you" is already formed by 15 days after conception.

Only three weeks after conception a heart and blood forms. By 4 weeks, that heart is beating, and a unique blood supply (separate from that of the mother) is flowing. (2) Most women are just now figuring out that they are pregnant at this point.

It is clear that God considers an unborn child to be human, and recognizes His ability to know us, "before [we are] formed in the womb". Since He is the creator, I will follow His lead in this recognition. It is also clear that the individuality of a child is formed very, very early his the development. That being the case, I would have to say that the soul was formed at that time as well, maybe earlier. I adamantly oppose abortion on the grounds that a child at any stage of development is "human", and therefore deserving of protection. Children (especially unborn children) are the most defenseless, helpless, at risk humans, and therefore demand of us the most protection and support.

References:
1. https://answersingenesis.org...
2. http://www.mayoclinic.org...

PS: Because I feel it is grammatically incorrect to use the word "it" to refer to a human child, the PC crowd out there can gather your pitchforks and torches if you want, but I think it is ridiculous to say "his/her" every time I want to say something about a single individual that could be of either sex. I refuse to do it. I will use "he" or "his" without apology.
Debate Round No. 1
RonPaulConservative

Pro

THE BIBLE SAYS SO
My opponent claims that the bible says that life begins at conception- well, the bible says a lot of things. It says that working on saturday is worse than murder and that yu should hack off half of your newborn babies genitals. Truth be told I learned not to take the bible seriously a long time ago. But regardless, the bible actually says, in Exodus 21:22:
“If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine."

Christians can't seem to understand that not everyone believes in their bible, I, for example, am a deist, and my bible is very different from your bible. The deistic bible is the universe, life on earth, and the natural world- this is evidence of our belief, and it is very effective at determining things, for example:

Most mammals have fur from head to toe, this is proof that God intended for us to wear clothes.
People are born with foreskin, this is proof that God did not intend for us to be circumcised.
We were born with brains, this is proof that God intended for us to think or ourselves.

So, let's see what my bible says about abortion. It turns out that bunnies are able to have abortions themselves, without taking a pill, if they decide that it is not a good time to have babies. This means that God has no issue with having an abortion if you are not in a good position to have children.

SCIENCE
My mom knew a couple where the mother was pregnant with a baby that didnt have a brain- literally, it was a fetus without a brain. So- they aborted it, and this is not murder, because said fetus did not have a mind, and therefore, not a soul. Likewise, a "baby" before 19 or 20 weeks after conception has not yet developed grey matter,
{1} and aborting it is thus no different from aborting a baby who does not have a brain.

{1}. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
{2}.

JonHouser

Con

My opponent makes some very interesting statements. He is correct that not everyone believes in the Bible. This is irrelevant to this argument. Not everyone believes that the world is round. Does this change the facts? No. How many people believing the wrong thing does it take to make it right? Half the population of the Earth? Sixty percent? Ninety nine percent? No, it doesn't matter how many people believe the wrong thing. It is wrong regardless of what people believe.

Pro said, "Most mammals have fur from head to toe, this is proof that God intended for us to wear clothes." This argument show improper reasoning. It would be just as easy for me to say, "The sky is blue, so this is proof that God only loves people with blue eyes."
Pro said, "People are born with foreskin, this is proof that God did not intend for us to be circumcised." People are also born with umbilical cords. Does God not want us to cut it, and walk around with the placenta thrown over our shoulder all our lives?
Pro said, "We were born with brains, this is proof that God intended for us to think or ourselves." This is actually true. However, a dog also has a brain. Is it capable of reasoning? Is a fish? Is a mouse? No. Humans are the only animal on Earth that is capable of reasoned thought. Therefore this argument is again nonsensical.

Next, Pro says "So, let's see what my bible says about abortion." He then turns to bunnies. First off, give evidence of rabbits ability to spontaneously abort. I can find no evidence. Second, rabbits are not able to think or reason. Humans are. Rabbits do not have a living soul. Humans do. It is not murder to kill unborn, infant, adult, or aged animals of any species. It is murder to kill innocent humans of any age.

Finally, Pro brings up "Science", and then goes into an anecdotal story of his mom knowing a couple. Again, where is his scientific evidence? The lack of "gray matter" does not mean that the baby is not alive yet. It simply means that the child is not fully developed. I feel sorry for the family in his story, but I would have counseled them to allow the child to fully develop and be born. If he lived, they would be blessed. If he died however, at least they would have known that they gave him a chance, and didn't eliminate any chance he had of doing anything.

I also have friends who had babies who were malformed in the womb. They allowed their children to be born. Today, those children are strong, productive, effective contributors to the lives of many people. Our lives would be less if we did not know these children. My in-laws aborted their first child because they were "too young" when they got pregnant. There is not a day that goes by that they do not regret that decision. The senseless murder of unborn infants causes a tremendous loss in terms of ideas, relationships, and emotional well-being in our society.

To go back to one of the first things Pro said in this round, he quoted Exodus 21:22. But he said just before, that he, "learned not to take the bible seriously a long time ago." So which is it? Is the Bible a reliable source, or should we "not take [it] seriously"? Either way, what is the point of his quote? He makes no claims or statements about the quote, and he leaves off the only relevant part, verse 23-24. Exodus 21:22-24 says, "If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman"s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." What does this mean? It means that the life of the unborn child has value. If harm is done to the child, the same harm is to be done to the men that caused the harm. If the child dies, they die. If the child loses a hand, they lose a hand, etc. It does not say anything that would make it OK to abort a pregnancy. It actually means that the doctor who performs an abortion should be put to death, because he is causing the death of an unborn child.

It is off topic, but my last comment will be addressed to Pro's first two comments. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that working on Saturday is worse than murder. If you can find it please show it to me. What it does say is that violating God's commands on any topic is the same as violating His commands on any other. All are equally sin. Therefore, if He says don't work on Saturday and you do, that is the same as disobeying your parents, murdering, or telling a lie. All are equally violations of God's law, and therefore are deserving of equal punishment.
Also, we are not commanded to "hack off half of your newborn babies genitals." The Israelites were commanded to circumcise their males (all of them, oldest to newborn). Medically, there are benefits to circumcision. It aids in keeping clean, prevents cervical cancer in their partners, and in no way impacts the pleasure of sex for either the male or the female (1).

Reference:
1. http://www.mayoclinic.org...
Debate Round No. 2
RonPaulConservative

Pro

THE BIBLE
I don't even know how to respond to this- the Qur'an says to murder Non-Muslim's, and that is OK even if my opponent disagrees because the Qur'an says so. How do I know the Qur'an is true- the Qur'an says so! This is the kind of reasoning I am dealing with here folks.

MY EXAMPLES
First of all, the foreskin is not like the umbilical cord- the umbilical cord is not part of a baby, it is a temporary structure which dies after birth, just like placenta- the foreskin on the other hand is a specialized organ which is part of the baby, accounts for half of a males erogenous tissue, has 20,000 nerve endings, and serves many purposes.

Second of all, many animals are capable of reasoning- bunny rabbits, monkeys, and sheep
have all demonstrated advanced problem solving abilities.

RABBITS
Rabbits are capable of reasoning, and I think that squashing a bunch of newborn bunnies constitutes murder.

THE BIBLE AND ABORTION
I don't take the bible seriously, I just thought it interesting that my opponent is trying to say that abortion is murdering babies based on a book which permits both abortion and the murder of babies. Numbers 5:11-12, 15, 21-22:
"Then the Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him... then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing... here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries..."

Exodus 12:29:
"At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock."

EMBRYOS ARE NOT BABIES
My opponent's thinking is absurd- if a baby doesn't have a brain, it isn't going to live, neither was it ever alive! It is a body, without a mind. It's like a corpse that was never alive to begin with. Aborting it simply means terminating a failed attempt at creating a baby. It isn't even a fetus.

THE BIBLE SAYS
Yes, it does say that working on saturday is worse than murder, see here. {1} In regard tro circumcision- that you are even justifying this practice is horrifying. The claims that circumcision has health benefits is just quackery. The muslims claim that there are benefits of FGM, {2} and yet if you cut your daughters clitoris out at infancy you would get hauled off to prison, and no one would care if it's easier to clean. Also, circumcision most certainly does affect pleasure, as a matter of fact it destroys 75% of a males ability to feel pleasure. {3}

{1}. https://www.youtube.com...
{2}. https://islamqa.info...
{3}. https://www.avoiceformen.com...

JonHouser

Con

First off, the Koran is not the Word of God (1). That Bible is. What the Koran says is irrelevant to moral, ethical living. The Manufacturer of the universe (God) wrote a user's manual (the Bible) for the proper use of His creation. The closer you follow that user's manual, the better your life will be. The less you follow the instructions in that user's manual, the worse your life is.

You are incorrect. The genetic structure of the umbilical cord and the placenta are identical to the baby's genetic structure. They are not part of the mother; they are part of the baby's body. (2)

My father was circumcised when he was in his 50s due to medical necessity. By his own admission, his enjoyment of sexual intercourse was not diminished in the least after the procedure.

Animals can be taught in terms of conditioned responses, and some "higher" animals may have limited decision making processes, but they are not capable of "reason". And even if they could, they do not have a living soul. Man is the only "animal" that God created that has an immortal, living soul (Gen 1:26, Gen 2:7).

I love it when someone who does not believe in the Bible tries to use it as a reference. They almost always take a passage out of context, twist the meaning to represent something they are trying to say, and therefore come to wrong conclusions. Numbers 5 has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion. It is talking about the potential unfaithfulness of a wife. It does not condone the murder of an unborn child. The passage addresses a man who believes his wife has been sexually unfaithful with another man. It says that he is to take his wife to the priest who will give her a cup of water with dust in it. God will then judge her, and if she was unfaithful the water will turn to a poison (by God's power), if she remains faithful then the water will be sweet to her taste and do her no harm. This is God's judgement, not man's.

The second passage cited, Exodus 12:29, refers again to God's judgement. The problem most people have with death is that what we think of as death is not significant to God. God is concerned with the soul, not the body. The people who died in Exodus 12 were already lost spiritually, and God simply took their physical life (which He gave them in the first place) and sent them to Hell. Those first born who lived were righteous in His sight, and thus were allowed to keep their physical life a little longer. Again, this is God's judgement.

If a baby had a mutation that caused it to have no brain, it would die on its own. There are numerous pregnancies that end in miscarriage due to mutation that is incompatible with life. A child with no brain would be a mutation that is incompatible with life, therefore it would die on its own. There is no need to "abort" it. Just because a brain has not developed yet is not an excuse to kill the child. As Pro said in an earlier round, the brain does not develop in the child until about 19 to 20 week. That does not mean that the baby was not alive before that. Any "failed attempt at creating a baby" will result in a natural miscarriage. It is immoral to kill that child.

I submit that Pro's final few arguments are not relevant to the debate on whether life begins at conception or not. I will answer them in a comment, but do not feel that they in any way support this debate, therefore I will not answer them as part of the debate.

References:
1. http://crossexamined.org...
2. https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
RonPaulConservative

Pro

RESPONSUM
First of all, the Qur'an doesn't order Female Genital Mutilation, rather this is found in the Sunnah.

Second of all, the bible is most certainly not the word of God- regardless of what my opponent claims, one cannot simply come along and decree that his holy book is the word of God, and that every other holy book is false, and that his book is supreme truth with no errors in it with no proof whatsoever save that 'my boom said so.' Especially if you are defending a barbaric and savage practise such as circumcision- better yet, I'm going to do exactly what my opponent did and see how he responds:
The bible is not the word of God, the Guru Granth is. What the Bible says is irrelevant to moral, ethical living. And the Guru Granth says that circumcision is unnecessary and forbidden. {1}

Third of all, your father has every right to have any form of bodily modification done to him- if he wants to have half his penis cut off, he can go right ahead- the issue arises when people like you decide to go mutilating your newborns genitals because you think that somehow or another it isn't mutilation.

Fourth of all, Numbers 5 says that if the wife is unfaithful the water will cause her to have a miscarriage, .e. forced abortion.

Fifth of all, God murdered the Egyptians children to get at them- which is wrong, and contradicts Deuteronomy 24:16, Ezekiel 18:20, and Jeremiah 29:31. So many contradictions.

Sixth of all, if the fetus doesn't have abrain, it will continue to grow until it is born stillborn. While it's body is composed of living flesh, this will stop once it is born.

RESPONSE REGARDING ABORTION
My oppnent claims that life begins at conception because the bible says so- to refute this, I showed that the bible doesn't consider an unborn embryo to be equal to a baby. In addition to this, the bible is not the word of God but the word of man, {2} and therefore what it says is irrelevant. I have also showed how an embryo doesn't have grey matter, and therefore isn't sentient- this means that aborting it is not murder as it is not a person.

{1}. http://www.sikhiwiki.org...
{2}. http://www.ushistory.org...

JonHouser

Con

Apparently, Pro has forgotten the topic of his own debate. He spends almost all his time in this round attacking the validity of the Bible. If he wants to debate the validity of the Bible, he should challenge someone to that debate. As it is, since the Bible is accepted as a valid source in almost any setting, I will continue to cite It as a foundational source for all knowledge.

If a fetus has no brain, and continues to grow until it is born, and is then stillborn, then that is a tragic loss. But to take that child's life before it dies of natural causes, I believe and the Bible back me up, is a crime.

By almost any medical or biological standard, a child is a living human from the moment of conception (1).

The author of the article cited (2) gives many times when different people argue that life begins. I believe that if there is no consensus and no way to "win the debate", that it is incumbent on us to err on the side of the rights of the child and select the earliest possible time. If we choose any later time, and we turn out to be wrong, then the right to life of the child we have just killed has been violated. Thus conception must be held as the beginning of life, and therefore the right to life begins at this time. Meaning that abortion at any point is murder.

Resources:
1. http://www.hli.org...
2. http://www.bbc.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 4
RonPaulConservative

Pro

1. If an embryo doesn't have a brain, it doesn't have a mind. (given)
2. If an embryo doesn't have a mind, it doesn't have a soul. (1)
3. If it doesn't have a soul, aborting it is not murder. (2)
4. At any point in a pregnancy where the embryo doesn't have a brain, aborting it is not murder. (3)

LIFE DOES NOT BEGIN AT CONCEPTION. Life begins when an organism is capable of sentience, before then, abortion is not murder.
JonHouser

Con

There is no debate over the fact that a sperm is "alive". There is no debate over the fact that an egg is "alive". Although they do not have the ability to reason, they are living cells. From the moment they merge, the resulting cell is therefore alive.

Because the sperm and egg both come from human parents, the cell resulting from their union is a human cell. If it implants in the uterus, it will naturally develop into a fully developed human being barring any mutational or gestational abnormalities. Even with some abnormalities, it can still develop into a functioning, contributing human.

Because the united cell is "living", and is "human" from the moment of conception, and because it will naturally develop into a human child, we must allow every protection, and right of a living human, to this cell from the earliest possible time. To do less would be to risk violating the right to life. Thus I submit that taking the life of that child (or set of cells) at any point is the termination of what is a living human child, and will become a functioning part of our human society. That would make the abortion of a pregnancy at any point the murder of the innocent, helpless, fragile life of a human being.
Debate Round No. 5
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 1 year ago
RonPaulConservative
@JonHouser
Us non-Theists live in reality, so yes we value facts and cold hard observations over some old book filled with murder and atrocities.
Posted by JonHouser 1 year ago
JonHouser
Regardless of the fact that the Bible is Truth, I have also proven my case through your oh so precious Science. There is no justification for the killing of an unborn child.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 1 year ago
RonPaulConservative
@CosmoJarvis
Vote me.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
CosmoJarvis
Jonny, without any evidence, assumes the Bible is true, and because Jonny fails to provide any support for his seemingly baseless statements regarding the Bible, his points are invalid. Just as RonPaulConservative pointed out countless times, you can't assume that the religious beliefs in the Bible are true because "the Bible says so." Automatic win for my boy, Ronny.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 1 year ago
RonPaulConservative
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel." - Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, Part 1 Section 4.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 1 year ago
RonPaulConservative
Neither the Sunnah or Tanakh come from God.
Posted by JonHouser 1 year ago
JonHouser
As promised:

Your source from youtube is a rabbi giving his opinion on Scripture. Show me in Scripture where it says that violating the sabbath is "worse" than murder. I maintain that it is equally a violation of God's law.

You believe that the Mayo Clinic is a "quackery" organization? I will leave you to your delusions. There may be some who are circumcised as adults who do lose some sensitivity (3), however, the vast majority of men do not, and if circumcised as infants do not have a scope of reference for comparison. Thus, I submit that there are more benefits than there are problems with MALE circumcision. It being a command of God under the Old Covenant, we are no longer commanded to do it, but I do believe it remains a beneficial procedure overall. I in no way condone or support in any way "female circumcision". This again come from the Koran. That is not a book authored by God, therefore I do not adhere to its ideals. There is no medical benefit to, and severe medical problems that come from, female "circumcision" (4). This is not a practice promoted, mentioned, or supported by the Bible.

3. http://www.karger.com...
4. http://www.popline.org...
Posted by JonHouser 1 year ago
JonHouser
I know. I have been away from my computer all weekend.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 1 year ago
RonPaulConservative
15 hours
Posted by JonHouser 1 year ago
JonHouser
At fertilization, the sperm binds to a receptor on the surface of the egg and fuses with the egg plasma membrane, initiating the development of a new diploid organism containing genetic information derived from both parents (Figure 14.41). Not only does fertilization lead to the mixing of paternal and maternal chromosomes, but it also induces a number of changes in the egg cytoplasm that are critical for further development. These alterations activate the egg, leading to the completion of oocyte meiosis and initiation of the mitotic cell cycles of the early embryo.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

That indicates to me that at fertilization, the chromosomes of both the father and mother are present, and then fuse into one diploid organism separate from either the father or the mother.
No votes have been placed for this debate.