The Instigator
Double_R
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Geogeer
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Pro-Life Results in Punishment for Women

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Double_R
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/24/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,925 times Debate No: 49842
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (19)
Votes (3)

 

Double_R

Pro

Since Con and I can not come to an agreement, we decided to let the DDO users decide.

Pro-Life: The position that abortion should be illegal.

Women: Any woman who is pregnant and wishes to have an abortion.

I will leave "punishment" as part of the debate to be reasonably interpreted.

Standard debate rules apply.
Geogeer

Con

I accept Pro's challenge and look forward to a lively debate.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Double_R

Pro

1. Definition

A quick Google search will give us a list of definitions of punishment:

the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense
https://www.google.com...

a penalty inflicted for an offense, fault, etc.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

A penalty imposed for wrongdoing
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

As you can see, the word "penalty" is a common theme in how the word is used. And although I am sure there is no need for me to define it, I will go ahead anyway:

a loss, forfeiture, suffering, or the like, to which one subjects oneself by nonfulfillment of some obligation.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

There is nothing controversial about these definitions.

2. A woman has a right to her own body

Any part of your body is your property, and therefore can not be used for any purpose by anyone without your consent. If for example someone needed to draw your blood to survive, then absent some loaded context we would consider it a no brainer that your consent would be required. We consider that a no brainer because for it to be considered a right, the default position is that it is yours until there is reason for it to not be yours. Something that requires justification for you to have it is by definition, not a right.

This obviously applies to women.

3. Punishment.

Clearly, a non viable fetus (which is where the vast majority of abortions are performed) requires the usage of a woman's body. But as outlined in point 2, such usage requires the mothers consent, which follows from the definition of a right. Therefore, requiring the mother to carry the fetus to terms against her will constitutes a loss of that right.

The justification for this loss now suffered by the woman is the fact that the woman voluntarily took place in an act that caused the fetus to form. One can argue all they want about whether that is valid justification for removing such a right but one cannot reasonably argue that it is not a loss of that right, which according to the non-controversial definition provided above makes it a penalty, which is synonymous with the word punishment.

Conclusion

The argument is simple, clear, and unmistakably affirms the resolution. I see no reason to go any further.
Geogeer

Con

Additional Definitions

Consent:
1. Acceptance or approval of what is planned or done by another; acquiescence.
(http://www.thefreedictionary.com...)


Consequence:
1. Something that logically or naturally follows from an action or condition.
(http://www.thefreedictionary.com...)


Procreation:
1 the sexual activity of conceiving and bearing offspring
(http://www.thefreedictionary.com...)


And since Pro introduced the word in the definition of penalty,

Obligation:
1. The act of binding oneself by a social, legal, or moral tie.
(http://www.thefreedictionary.com...)

Like Pro, I do not believe that there is anything that is objectionable about these definitions.

A penalty is not the same as a punishment, though closely related. The penalty is what is imposed as the form of punishment.


Argument

The premise of this argument is based on a generic case and does not include exceptions such as rape, imminent death of mother, etc. This is about the generic condition of a pregnant woman who engaged in consensual sex with a man. Pro has honourably maintained that basic framework from our previous discussion.

The natural consequence of sexual intercourse is pregnancy. While the odds of becoming pregnant from any single coupling of man and woman varies, the natural of purpose and outcome of sex is the creation of new human beings. Nature has made this act pleasurable in order to make the procreative act enticing.

If a woman consents to sex, and the natural consequence of sex is pregnancy, then the woman has implicitly agreed to the possible pregnancy that may arise. This is intuitive logic. If I stick a knife in the electrical wall outlet I have implicitly agreed to the outcomes that result from my action, even if the outcomes aren't what I explicitly desired.

Additionally, we know that all of nature is ordered to reproduce. The natural purpose of every life form on the planet is to reproduce and further their species. Thus procreation is a natural good for both the mother and the father as it is the fulfillment of their natural biological imperative.


Punishment

Now this debate is about "Pro-Life Result in Punishment for Women."

Now pulling up one of the definitions of Punishment from Pro:

A penalty imposed for wrongdoing

Now what was the wrongdoing?

Was getting pregnant a wrongdoing? No, I have already shown that it is a natural good.

The sex between the parties was consensual, so there was no wrongdoing there.

Is sex itself wrong? Nope, it is in full agreement with Natural Law as stated by Thomas Aquinas (ST IaIIae 94, 2).

Secondly, there is in man an inclination to things that pertain to him more specially, according to that nature which he has in common with other animals: and in virtue of this inclination, those things are said to belong to the natural law, "which nature has taught to all animal," such as sexual intercourse, education of offspring and so forth. (http://home.newadvent.org...)

So there is no apparent wrongdoing in any action. Thus in no way has a punishment been imposed on the mother by becoming pregnant.


So let's make an analogy to put things into perspective.

A young man decides to enlist in the army because he can get his College education for free. Now, while he knows that the natural duty of an army soldier is to fight, he hopes that the nation won't go to war while he's enlisted. However, one day his commanding officer tells him to get his stuff because he's being sent out.

Is the soldier being punished or suffering a penalty by being sent to the front lines? No. There was no offense committed by either party as he consented to the natural consequences of joining the army.

Let's compare the above example to a young woman having consensual sex:

Instead of the desire for education she desires the intimacy or pleasure of the act. While she knows that pregnancy is a possibility that is not the desired outcome of her having sex. That she becomes pregnant requires her to fulfil the obligation she assented to by engaging in sex.


Parental Obligation

Now that the obligation of the mother to the child has been established we can proceed to the next aspect of the argument.

The obligation of a parent to provide for the needs of their children is something that has been enshrined in law. In Canada:

Failure to Provide the Necessities of Life: Everyone is under a legal duty as a parent, foster parent, guardian or head of a family, to provide necessaries of life for a child under the age of sixteen years. (http://en.wikibooks.org...)

Additionally, parents are given the primary role of guardian. They only relinquish this duty by safely passing the guardianship of the child onto another person.

Now once again there was no verbal or written contract that made the parents the responsible party. They are so because of the implicit agreement that exists under natural law creating this obligation. However, even though the state demands that they put effort and resources to the raising of the child, this is not a punishment. However, if they fail to fulfill this obligation the courts will punish them by imposing a penalty:

a loss, forfeiture, suffering, or the like, to which one subjects oneself by non fulfillment of some obligation.

Now for the final argument. Does the child have the right to use the mother's body? Assume that the mother of a newborn has decided that she doesn't want to nurse. However, she is caught in a blizzard with no access to her formula supply, but she is still lactating. Could she refuse to provide the child milk because of her bodily rights? This is illogical to argue, because the primary natural purpose of her breasts is to deliver milk to her children. Thus it is formula that is a substitute, and she would be reasonably expected to provide her milk to the child. That is because this is what nature has provided as a means for the child to survive, and she has an obligation to the child. Once again this is not a punishment to the mother.

This leads us to the unborn in the womb. Con stated that you don't have the right to take blood from somebody else regardless of the reason. And this is true, because of the nature of what blood is. The purpose of the blood in your body is to move nutrients, oxygen, waste, etc. around your body. That we have the ability to repurpose the blood to do so in someone else's body is a modern medical marvel. However, you are not required to provide it for that alternate purpose, because that is not its fundamental purpose.

The purpose of the mother's womb however is precisely to provide the necessities of life to her children. That is its primary purpose. Thus the child is in the mother's womb through her express and intentional actions. And is using the womb for precisely the purpose that it was intended to be used. An abortion is a misuse of the womb as it interferes with both the natural and proper use of the womb, and also with the natural good of both the mother and the child.


Conclusion

As has been shown, there has been no offence from the time of consensual sex through to the time when the legal parental responsibilities end and the child is grown up. Pro confuses undesired outcomes and the limitation of rights, based on obligations, with punishments that result in penalties bing imposed.

Pro has thus far failed to prove his argument. In all of his definitions the punishment or penalty requires that there was an offense, wrongdoing, or failure to meet an obligation. It is has been clearly shown that no offence has been committed and thus there is no punishment.
Debate Round No. 2
Double_R

Pro

Main Argument

In the previous round I see two main arguments from Con; (A) that by engaging in consensual sex the woman has implicitly agreed to the possibility of pregnancy, and (B) that punishment requires wrongdoing which is absent from this scenario.

A) Implicit Agreement

I find it bizarre for Con to claim that a person agrees to a consequence by the fact that they understood the consequence was a possibility when the action was taken. By this reasoning a teenager who uses foul language at the dinner table has implicitly agreed to stay in his room for a week with no internet, and a man who commits murder implicitly agreed to spend the rest of his life in jail. These examples are absurd because they contradict the definition of an agreement. To agree with something is to have the same opinion or concur. If a person does not wish for the consequence being imposed upon him then he is by definition not agreeing to it.

And even if accepted, the argument is still invalid. By engaging in consensual sex a woman agrees to take a risk of getting pregnant. Pregnancy is not the result I am to affirm is punishment. Being forced against her will to carry out the pregnancy to terms is the punishment. To make his point Con uses the analogy of a man enlisting in the army who is sent to the front lines. In this analogy the man is explicitly agreeing to be sent to the front lines in the event he is needed. The man is not however, agreeing to be forced into a suicide mission at the Army's command. In that case the Army is trying to go one step further from the agreed consequence of risking his life on the front lines to the unagreed consequence of ensuring it in a suicide mission, just as Con is trying to go one step further from the agreed consequence of risking pregnancy to the unagreed consequence of being forced to carry the pregnancy to terms.

B) No Wrongdoing

Cons other main point is that it is not punishment if there is no wrongdoing, which I agree with to some extent. When we impose an undesired consequence on a person we do it for one of two reasons; either as a result of the circumstances or as a result of their actions. In the case of circumstances, there need not be any wrongdoing. We would place someone in a psyche ward against their will for example not as punishment, but as a means of protecting themselves and the people around them. In the case of actions, we require wrongdoing as a means of justifying our impositions. Theft for example is considered wrong, and it is this consideration that is necessary to justify any form of punishment for it such as incarceration.

In the previous round I stated that a woman has a right to their own body and that the Pro-Life position denies them this right in the event of pregnancy. Con did not contest this. So that being the case, it is important for us to determine which of our two reasons the Pro-Life position considers. If you look back at the last round, Con has made it very clear that he is not embracing the position that a woman should be forced to carry the pregnancy to terms in the event of rape. Yet whether a woman was raped or gave her consent has nothing to do with the circumstance of being pregnant and therefore, Cons position is not based on circumstances but entirely based on the woman’s actions. But if we are considering her actions, how does Con justify imposing undesired consequences without wrongdoing? Because he is trying to have it both ways.

Con needs to figure out which one it is. There is no scenario where we would impose undesired consequences on someone for their actions without wrongdoing, and you can’t simply do it anyway then claim that it is not punishment because there was no wrongdoing. Imagine a man is jailed for eating a hot dog, then when asks why he is being punished the reply is “it’s not punishment because you did nothing wrong”. That would be quite an absurd interaction and clearly in the absence of some reason of circumstance that would justify the incarceration, we would call that punishment.

Appeal to Nature

Con repeatedly makes statements referring to things being a certain way based on them being "natural". Such statements include describing pregnancy as a natural consequence, a natural good, and a natural biological imperative of the mother and father. Con seems to refer to nature as some conscious entity, and then uses it as an authority determining what is good and what we are obligated to do. Con needs substantiate such an assertion, not simply appeal to it.

Con also talks about the natural purpose of the breasts being to feed milk, and the natural purpose of the womb to provide for the child. Con would need to demonstrate how he knows what nature wants why we should care, and most importantly what relevance that has to this debate. The debate is about what qualifies as punishment, and whether the Pro-Life position (a law written by people, not nature) results in it.

Rebuttals

Con argues that a woman getting pregnant requires her to fulfill her obligation to the child. Con is begging the question. Whether she is required to carry the abortion to terms is what the abortion debate is about.

I have no idea why Con decided to show us Canada law. I don't care what their laws are and neither should anyone else. Con needs to justify the laws he cites, not simply refer to them as if they should be taken as an authority.

Con uses the example of a woman caught in a blizzard to illustrate the rights of the offspring to the mother’s body. The analogy is irrelevant as it focuses entirely on the importance of the particular circumstances and not on the woman's actions/decisions which Cons position uses as justification.

Conclusion

When an undesired mandate is imposed onto a person, it is either imposed as a result of the circumstances or as a result of their actions. Con is trying to have it both ways where it suites him while ignoring the baggage where it doesn’t. If Con is claiming that a woman’s right to her own body is subject to be taken away as a result of the circumstance of being pregnant then he has to embrace forcing rape victims to carry the child to terms since it is the exact same circumstance. If on the other hand he is not basing his position on the circumstances but rather the actions/decisions of the mother, then he is imposing an undesired consequence on the mother as a result of her actions/decisions. In English we have a word for that, it's called punishment.

Geogeer

Con

Additional Definitions

Freedom:
A right or the power to engage in certain actions without control or interference:
(http://tinyurl.com...)


License:
Lack of due restraint; excessive freedom
(http://tinyurl.com...)


Duplicitous:
Given to or marked by deliberate deceptiveness in behavior or speech.
(http://tinyurl.com...)



Opening Statement

I find it very curious that Pro introduced 3 definitions of Punishment in the first round each of them contained the word offense, fault, or wrongdoing. And yet he has failed to show how any of these match the case of a woman who becomes pregnant after voluntarily engaging in voluntary sex is being punished. He makes the mental leap that if the woman is prevented from doing something that she is automatically being punished.

Pro does not seem to understand the difference between freedom and license. While one has rights, one does not have unlimited purview to enforce those rights. That is why we have laws, to limit the application of rights.


Rebuttals

A) Implicit agreement

Pro uses a teenager swearing in his parents house and a murderer as counter examples. Both of these are non-equivalent examples as they both involve people breaking established rules or laws. He did not address my simple example of me sticking a knife in a wall outlet. Actions have natural consequences, and the natural result of sex is pregnancy.

Pro states "If a person does not wish for the consequence being imposed upon him then he is by definition not agreeing to it."

One agrees to the natural outcome of actions all the time. If I eat nothing but chips and coke, the natural result is that I'll get fat and have poor health. Did I want to become a blob on the couch with rotting teeth? No. However, that is the natural outcome of my actions.

If I cycle down a steep hill as fast as I can then wipe out at the sharp corner at the bottom I'll get road rash and maybe broken bones. Did I want to be picking gravel out of thigh? No, but that is the outcome of my action.

Pro refers to my soldier analogy saying that while the soldier enlisted he has not agreed to go to on a suicide mission. Pro is trying to distract from the real argument in two ways. First of all, his argument is of a general nature and is essentially saying that all soldiers should be able to walk away when they are called to the front lines.

Additionally, he is trying to obfuscate the issue. Even if the soldier was sent on a suicide mission, is that a punishment? Depending on circumstances it may or may not be wrong, but was it a punishment? Was this because he failed in some other duty or was it because his commanding officers need to fulfill their obligation of protecting the nation and as such rely on the soldier's obligation to fight for his nation, even at the possible cost of his own life.


B) No Wrongdoing

Pro has asked "how does Con justify imposing undesired consequences without wrongdoing". As I stated in the previous round, this is justified by incurring an obligation. We have other obligations imposed on us as well. Taxes. The government demands that you pay a percentage of what you earn to meet your obligation to society. Did I actively agree to give a percentage of my income to the government when I was employed? Nope, it is an implied agreement that the government requires of you to meet your societal obligations.

Pro brings up the example of a man being jailed for eating a hot dog. Now there is no natural link between eating a hot dog and going to jail. Thus there is no obligation on the man to be in jail as a result of eating said hot dog. Thus his being imprisoned is fundamentally wrong. This is not an apt analogy as it does not take the surrounding circumstances into effect.


C) Appeal to Nature

Natural law is the foundation to all law. Nature or God (take your choice) has resulted in us being who and what we are. If we are to have just laws, they must be in keeping with our nature and the nature of what our actions are. This is the underpinning for our fundamental human rights - including the bodily rights that Pro asserts.

As noted before, we can show that the person has bodily rights because of what the natural purpose of the body is. You have a right to your blood because the purpose of your blood is to move nutrients, oxygen, waste, etc... around your body. Just as the womb exists for the child.

The right to life proceeds from a fundamental understanding of the nature of human beings and how we are fundamentally equal in nature, even if not equal in ability. If laws are not in keeping with what our nature is, then there is no justice because the law does not defend the truth of what we and our action truly are.

A simple example. A man of average height and weight, buys a new chair and sit down on it. The chair breaks and causing the man to break his arm. He has recourse agaisnst the chair manufacturer, because a chair has a natural purpose; a chair is for people to sit upon.

I take that same chair and decide to stand on it to change a light bulb. If I fall off the chair and break my arm while changing the light bulb I have no recourse against the chair manufacturer because standing on the chair to change a light is not the purpose of a chair. Things have a proper and improper use. As a chair has a nature so do people and actions have natures. As such any law that breaks this nature, is fundamentally unjust because it is not in keeping with the truth.

This is also why we oblige parents to take care of their children. They are the natural guardians of the children.

Now Pro has asked what relevance this has to the debate. If we are to have just laws they must be based on fundamental truths and not societal whims. I have shown that natural law is what gives the woman the natural right to her body in the first place, and as such I am able to show why she has a corresponding obligation resulting from it.


D) Rebuttals

Pro stated, "Whether she is required to carry the abortion to terms is what the abortion debate is about."

And that is why we are having this debate. However, our scope in this debate is solely on whether the Pro-Life Position results in Punishment for Women.

As for citing Canadian Law, it is something that I'm more familiar with and in the US such laws are generally at the state level. Let's look at Texas for instance:

11b, The duty of a parent to support his or her child exists while the child is an unemancipated minor... (http://tinyurl.com...)

These laws are common throughout 1st world nations.


Rape

Pro has used this as a trump card because he realizes that he is losing this debate, and so he brings in an emotional issue. First of all, this is poor form and duplicitous on the part of Pro because it was never part of our original discussion that brought us to this debate and he explicitly stated in the comments prior to the debate:

"I have no intent of making an argument regarding rape." - Refer to 3rd comment from the bottom on the comments tab.


However, my desire to exclude rape from the argument was for simplification of argument and not a denial of my position. This is only because it brings an unnecessary emotional element into the argument. If the woman is raped, the violation against her was by the man.

Her being pregnant is still a natural good to her (see Round 2), though not one that she voluntarily entered. She still has an obligation to the child as she is the only guardian of the child. It is possible to be obligated to something you did not agree to.

I chose the example of a man enlisting into the army because I expected Pro to renegue on his pre-debate comment on rape. Becoming pregnant through rape is akin to being drafted. While the obligation was not voluntarily being entered into, the obligation still remains. And while it is more onerous because it was not entered into voluntarily, it is still not a punishment.

Conclusion

Pro continues to pretend that any undesired outcome is a punishment. Yet the word punishment by his own definition requires an offense.
Debate Round No. 3
Double_R

Pro

Quite regrettably, Con has spent nearly the entire round arguing with a strawman. For one he claims I am arguing that any undesired consequence is punishment, which truly makes me wonder if he bothered to read my round at all. I stated specifically in the no wrongdoing section and emphasized again in my conclusion that undesired consequences imposed specifically as a result of ones actions is punishment. Con then attacks my case with arguments that deal specifically with circumstances. I don't know how to make this any clearer, so I will illustrate below:

Undesired consequences imposed due to ones own actions = Punishment.

Undesired consequences imposed due to unfortunate circumstances = NOT punishment

The examples I gave in the last round included a teenager who swears at the dinner table being grounded. That is as classic an example of punishment that one could possibly give. In this case the undesired consequence is the teenager being restricted to his room, and is a result of his actions (swearing). I also gave an example of a murderer going to jail. Jail is the consequence, and is imposed as a result of murdering someone else.

But instead of addressing my point, Con uses irrelevant examples such as a man being drafted, or fallaciously trying to turn my suicide mission point. Being drafted is a consequence due entirely to the circumstances of the country and has nothing to do with the actions of the individual who was drafted. It is therefore not punishment because the individual's actions are irrelevant. In the case of the suicide mission analogy Con is correct; If the mission was ordered as a result of the circumstances his commanding officers were in, then it is not punishment. Glad we agree.

This brings us to the subject of the debate. Let's ask ourselves, is being forced to carry her pregnancy to terms an undesired consequence being imposed on a woman wishing to have an abortion? Assuming we are speaking English, the answer is an obvious yes. Now the big question, is this undesired consequence the result of her own actions? We'll get back to that in a minute...

Rape

Con claims that I am using the rape argument as an appeal to emotion, essentially trying to bait him into admitting he is for banning abortion even in cases of rape hopping that people would get disgusted and vote against him. What Con fails to understand is that I was doing the exact opposite. I was not trying to throw a cheap blow, I was actually presenting Con an opportunity for a victory. The rape example illustrates the only way Con could keep his argument rationally consistent, which is to say that abortion should be banned in all circumstances. Only in that case is the undesired consequence of a woman losing her bodily rights the result of the unfortunate circumstances and not her own actions.

Yet, I did fail to realize that Con already ruled out this option for himself in round one where he states: "This is about the generic condition of a pregnant woman who engaged in consensual sex", and also in the comments section; "This is about pregnancy resulting from consensual sex and does not include rape". Con has made it blatantly clear by emphasizing the word "consensual" and by ruling rape out that this is entirely about the woman's actions, necessarily making the undesired consequence a punishment.

And even if Con were to claim that he is for banning abortion in cases of rape I would still argue that Cons position is the minority view, making it largely irrelevant. But since Con made it explicitly clear what this debate is about, I need not continue with it.

Implicit Agreement

Agree: have the same opinion about something; concur.
http://tinyurl.com...

Idiot: an intellectually disabled person, or someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Con argues that someone is agreeing to a consequence if they take an action knowing that the "natural result" will lead to those consequences. That is not the definition of what it means to agree. Agreeing is necessarily a state of mind. Whether you agree with something is by definition independent from your actions. We do of course expect that our actions will coincide with our state of mind, but that doesn't always happen. And when it doesn't, we call people who exhibit this behavior an idiot. We for example, would call a person who doesn't wish to be electrocuted yet sticks a knife in a wall socket to be an idiot. This type of stuff happens, that's why we have a word for people like that.

And even if we were to grant Con some type of point here, he is still badly misapplying the word. An agreement requires two minds. Only when you have two minds can you have the same opinion. You cannot agree with a wall socket.

In the case of pregnancy I think Con is trying to use the word "agree" as a means of justifying his asserted obligation that the mother has to carry the pregnancy to terms. There are two types of obligations; contractual and moral. A moral obligation is a matter of what is right or wrong. Cons standards of morality (or anyone else's for that matter) have absolutely nothing to do with this debate. It doesn't matter whether you think a woman should carry out the pregnancy, that doesn't make forcing her to do it to be an undesired consequence imposed as a result of her own actions.

A contractual obligation is one in which the woman agrees to the consequences. And since it has been established that an agreement requires her to have the same opinion, it is a logical contradiction to claim that a woman wishing to have an abortion agrees to carry the pregnancy to terms. Con has to show where she made this agreement and as the example above illustrates, taking an action which Con claims leads to its "natural result" does not suffice no matter how dumb Con things the person is.

No Wrongdoing

Con continues to argue that it cannot be punishment if there is no wrongdoing. He then claims that since the action of having consensual sex is not wrong that there is no punishment. This is perhaps the most bizarre argument I have heard in this debate, and is nothing more then an argument from semantics based on a misapplication of simple English.

How do we tell when an action is considered wrong by an authority? Simple; when the authority deems the act punishable. In other words, when the act incurs an undesired consequence on the actor. Does society consider murder wrong? Of course, that is why we imprison murderers. In my previous round I used an analogy of a man being jailed for eating a hot dog to which Con responded "there is no natural link between eating a hot dog and going to jail". Of course there isn't, because we do not consider the act of eating a hot dog to be wrong.

Now to be clear, I am not arguing that morality is determined by the punishment. I am arguing that the authority's perception of the morality of a particular act should correlate with the level of punishment one receives. This is exactly why I and so many others are pro-choice, because people should not be punished if they did nothing wrong. The fact that the immorality of an act and the penalty for an act should generally correlate is why the people who write dictionary definitions saw no need to explain that in the definition of punishment. It is common sense. That doesn't mean that having done nothing wrong means it is not punishment.

Conclusion

Con badly misinterprets words to mean whatever he wants them to and has failed to address the only argument that truly matters; that the difference between punishment and whatever Con's claiming is that punishment is specifically a result of a persons actions. Con has made it clear that this debate is about consensual sex. Therefore his position clearly focuses on the woman's actions, not the circumstances that followed the act.
Geogeer

Con

Thank-you to all readers who have made it this far. You're almost there!

I'm going to answer Pro's last round slightly out of order to make the most relevant issues front and centre and the least relevant argument at the end.


Rape

Pro stated in Round 4:

"I was actually presenting Con an opportunity for a victory. The rape example illustrates the only way Con could keep his argument rationally consistent, which is to say that abortion should be banned in all circumstances. Only in that case is the undesired consequence of a woman losing her bodily rights the result of the unfortunate circumstances and not her own actions."

Pro seems to ignore the fact that I did assert that under my reasoning rape is not an excuse for abortion and that the obligation to the child exists. From round 3:

Her being pregnant is still a natural good to her (see Round 2), though not one that she voluntarily entered. She still has an obligation to the child as she is the only guardian of the child. It is possible to be obligated to something you did not agree to.

I chose the example of a man enlisting into the army because I expected Pro to renegue on his pre-debate comment on rape. Becoming pregnant through rape is akin to being drafted. While the obligation was not voluntarily being entered into, the obligation still remains. And while it is more onerous because it was not entered into voluntarily, it is still not a punishment.

Pro has ceded the debate to me because he has acknowledged that if what I claimed held true for rape then my argument won. He did not address my argument instead he tried to reverse that rape had ever been a topic of debate (Round 4):

"Yet, I did fail to realize that Con already ruled out this option for himself in round one where he states: "This is about the generic condition of a pregnant woman who engaged in consensual sex"

Yet in Round 3 Pro wrote:

"Con has made it very clear that he is not embracing the position that a woman should be forced to carry the pregnancy to terms in the event of rape."

and in his concluding Round 3 statement:

"If Con is claiming that a woman’s right to her own body is subject to be taken away as a result of the circumstance of being pregnant then he has to embrace forcing rape victims to carry the child to terms since it is the exact same circumstance."

Thus it is blatantly clear that Pro knew exactly what he was doing in Round 3 and that this was no mere accident. He deliberately brought in the Rape issue even though he had previously agreed not to do so. Only when he got caught, not only with his hand in the cookie jar, but also with the trap I'd laid snapped shut on his hand, did he try to pretend he wasn't really reaching for the cookie.

He makes one final desperate plea to distract the readers in Round 4:

"And even if Con were to claim that he is for banning abortion in cases of rape I would still argue that Cons position is the minority view, making it largely irrelevant."

This is simply an Argumentum ad Populum (http://en.wikipedia.org...) whereby he tries to claim my position is ignorable simply because it is not the majority opinion.

At this point Pro has lost the debate, however I will rebut his remaining points for completeness.


No Wrongdoing

I repeat once again, Pro introduced 3 definitions of Punishment in the first round each of them contained the word offense, fault, or wrongdoing. He has never shown any claim of offense, fault, or wrongdoing. He has failed to meet the criteria of a punishment by his own definitions.

I have continuously argued that the woman has incurred an obligation and that there was no punishment. I showed how this paralleled what we demand of parents after birth.

Every punishment that Pro introduced involved an associated offense or wrongdoing.

If we looked at the man going to jail for eating a hot dog analogy introduced by Pro. You could say that a law that resulted in jail time for the accused was unjust, but at least there is an offense that has been committed.

I have shown that being pregnant is a natural good to the woman and one that brings with it an obligation to the unborn child. Eating a hot dog is a natural good in that it nourishes the body. There is no natural causation between eating a hot dog and a resulting obligation to go to jail. There is however a natural cause between having sex and becoming pregnant.


Implicit Agreement

Con is trying to argue that you do not have to live with the consequences of your actions. Nature has certain laws and effects. We can not desire the outcomes, however it does not mean that you have a right to avoid them.

And let's use the term introduced by Pro. Idiot.

Is someone walking on the thin ice of a deep pond or river an idiot? Yes. He doesn't desire to fall through and drown, but that is the natural outcome of what he is doing.

Is someone speeding on icy roads with summer tires an idiot? Yes. While he doesn't intend to hurt or damage he'd be required to make restitution for any damage or death they cause.

Is someone who is engaging in the reproductive act (sex) without being ready to accept the child that may result an idiot? Yet. I know this may offend many of the readers, but if you do not think through the natural and obvious consequences of your actions, you meet Pro's definition of an idiot. However, even though someone does not think through the results of their actions does not mean that no obligations are incurred from their actions.


Miscellaneous

Once again:
Child swearing at the dinner table. Obligation broken = disobeying parental etiquette rules. Punishment - grounded.
Murderer. Obligation broken = ending the life of another human being. Punishment - jail.

These have nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Pro has refused to present an offense real or not. That obligations limit our actions and are sometimes completely undesired does not make them punishments.


Conclusion

I have clearly shown that our actions have natural outcomes. These outcomes can produce natural goods for us. Sometimes these outcomes were not actively desired, but still involved obligations:

A man wants a subsidized education by joining the army, but unfortunately gets sent to war.
By being employed you incur an obligation to society to pay taxes
By having a child you have an obligation to provide for the needs of that child. In fact many biological fathers who have separated from the mother have minimal interaction with their children have a duty to pay support for the child.

While obligations may involve undesired consequences, that does not make an obligation a punishment.

Natural obligations are entered into through natural acts.

Pro has failed to show that the child is not a natural good to the mother or that "Pro-Life Results in Punishment for Women" as he has been unable to show a punishable offense, fault, or wrongdoing. He has simply assumed this whole debate that it is a punishment without being able to meet the criteria laid out by the very definitions he introduced.

Additionally, Pro conceded the debate with the Rape issue.

I thank any reader that have managed to make it all the way to the end of this debate. I believe you can see why we were unable to resolve this debate in the forums. I look forward to your opinions on this.
Debate Round No. 4
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
Congrats on your victory.
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
My disagreement and debate was with you. The people who take the time to come and vote don't deserve to be ragged on. They've spent their valuable time to vote, and it seems that you'll officially win this debate unless for some unknown reason more people decide to actually read and vote on our debate.

I suppose we could spam back and forth often enough to get it on the front page. ;-)

Unfortunately, neither of us really won because neither of us managed to sway anybody off their pre-debate position. The atheists and pro-choice people have sided with you and the religious and pro-life people (person) sided with me. So it was really just a matter of who decided to vote on our debate.

Which is too bad because we both put a good effort in. One of these days we'll have to have a real abortion debate. I was half holding back because I'm flushing out my natural law argument and I don't want the remainder of it released until I have it completely nailed down.
Posted by Double_R 2 years ago
Double_R
Why are you being so nice to everyone? This is a debate site, we're here to argue with each other.
https://www.youtube.com...
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
Thanks to whiteflame for taking the time to read and vote on our debate.
Posted by Double_R 2 years ago
Double_R
Mike, I am fine with your reasoning that if I can't show that being legally required to carry a pregnancy to terms is punishment then I lose the debate. In fact, that was the entire point. But it wasn't what you stated in your RFD so that was not the impression I got.

But here is what I still don't understand; Even if I grant your assertion that by agreeing to have sex a woman is implicitly agreeing to get pregnant, how do you justify jumping from that to a woman implicitly agreeing to carry the pregnancy to terms? If a woman never wished to carry the pregnancy to terms then doesn't that make it by definition a disagreement?

And if you still somehow claim that it is an agreement, then I am really wondering how you would apply that argument to a woman who used birth control and forced the man to wear a condom yet still came out pregnant.
Posted by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
@Double_R

The point is that you never gave any good arguments to believe that's a punishment in the first place. On the other hand, Geogeer showed that since she's implicitly agreed to pregnancy, getting pregnant can't be considered a punishment, and neither can the idea of her legally being required to continue the pregnancy, since she had already implicitly agreed to that.

I try to vote as honestly as possible, but I thought that since the burden of proof was shared, it was pretty obvious that Con won this one.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
RFD:

I can see why this debate between you two has been going on for quite a while " you're essentially two ships passing in the night, with two markedly different sets of arguments that rarely clash. Really, how I end up evaluating the debate is who stays on topic and who leaves it behind.

I'll address rape first. My impression of this argument from Pro was that this was meant to show a logical inconsistency in Con's argumentation. I'm not certain that Con fully manages to show that this inconsistency doesn't exist, but Pro doesn't harp on the issue in the final round, so I effectively default to the position that Con's position is logically consistent. However, much as Con asserts that this ensures him victory, I think he's overblowing what winning this argument does for him. Perhaps it shows that it's circumstantial, but in that case, there's a logical inconsistency in his arguments, since he now would have to agree that it's circumstantial. If that's the case, then it upends the entire debate, and we'd essentially have to function from Pro's argumentation about punishment for circumstances in R3, which I found the most persuasive with regards to this point. Con probably doesn't want that, so we move on.

At its most fundamental level, this debate is about whether a woman has consented, at conception, to carry a child to term, and as such is being punished by lack of access to abortion over the course of the pregnancy. So let's get into natural law and implicit agreement. I find this argument is intriguing for the overall debate of rape, but not for this debate, at least not as it is phrased. Even if I buy the implicit agreement argument from Con, it seems to me that there's a difference between implicit and explicit that damages his case.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
So long as someone is not explicitly agreeing to something, like carrying a baby to term, they are effectively not agreeing. And what of their ability to opt out of that agreement? Is that not, itself, a right? I buy that natural rights factor into the discussion about abortion and specifically play a role in obligations, but we're not talking about obligations here. We're discussing the rights of women specifically. If those rights are lost as a result of societal values regarding those obligations, they're still lost. We might prefer that they be lost for the sake of the child, but that's another debate.

So onto this "no wrongdoing" point. I don't find it very convincing, mainly because any wrongdoing need not be objectively harmful to in some manner. Con keeps claiming that an obvious "offense, fault or wrongdoing" must be present, but I buy Pro's argument that a punishment can be imposed more arbitrarily. It might be ridiculous and a gross negligence of justice, but that just shows injustice, not that a punishment wasn't imposed.

In fact, this is the basis set for why each of Pro's analogies is faulty, but this ignores the differences between engaging in a behavior and accepting the consequences. I agree that these analogies are faulty, but not for the reasons that Con professes.

As such, I'm left with a debate in which I have two choices as a judge. I can either accept that this is a debate over whether an action is being punished and look at the debate as a whole, in which case I'm voting Pro for staying closest to the topic of what it means to accept consequences for an action. Or I can accept that this is a debate about circumstances, in which case I have to buy Pro's analysis from R3 about what a punishment looks like in that circumstance, something Con remained unresponsive to in the final round. Hence, either way, I vote Pro.
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
Yes, but it was an after thought that he used to negate my primary counter argument, and thus isn't exactly incidental.

Different people get different things out of the argument. Anyways, I'll zip my lip, as I don't want to contaminate the comment with anymore banter between us. Goodnight, it seem we'll have to wait for at least a third vote.
Posted by Double_R 2 years ago
Double_R
He had other reasons, that seemed to be more of an after thought for him.

People will vote how they want and I appreciate the vote either way, but if there is one thing that I just can't resist commenting on is being voted against for an argument I wasn't even making.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Double_RGeogeerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 2 years ago
zmikecuber
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Reasons for voting decision: Well I was pretty disappointed by this debate actually. Pro didn't really present any arguments. Most of his arguments were question begging assertions, and easily dealt with. I'm assuming that the burden was shared, so I'm taking that into account. Now Con's argument that agreeing to sex means you have implicitly agreed to procreation stands throughout the debate. Pro's arguments against it weren't very clear, and seemed to miss the point. Con succesfully showed that since the woman has indirectly allowed herself to become pregnant, that her getting pregnant can't be considered a "punishment." The conduct was equal. Both made a few S/G mistakes, but nothing big. Sources were just ehhh... I'm not a big fan of wikipedia. So I just give Con the arguments.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
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Reasons for voting decision: Fantastic debate, so congratulations to both debaters. Argument points are been awarded to Pro, and now let me explain why. This debate focused on whether not allowing abortion is a punishment for women. Pro showed that by not allowing the choice is the same as forcing someone to do what they do not want. This is punishment, and so Pro wins the debate. Cons argument for the obligation that arises from actions, while interesting does not deal with the issue of punishment. As this obligation relies on natural law, natural law needed to be defined and agreed upon before the debate and I find it highly unlikely that this would ever happen.