The Instigator
themanofearth
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
HumanRights4Everyone
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Pro-life: Ignorance or Inhuman

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
themanofearth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,353 times Debate No: 14998
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

themanofearth

Pro

PREFACE: In this debate it is to be understood that the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are not simply statements of personal preference. They are statements of political (and therefore ethical) ideology. A person who is pro-life does not simply say that they would not get an abortion but they say that abortion should be illegal. A position in which a person would not get or approve of an abortion but would NOT persecute or prosecute a person who would get one is pro-choice.

Consider these two scenarios:
1) You're in a burning building and have a choice to save one of two things; a 9-year-old girl or a cooler with 1000 viable human embryos: Which one do you save?
2) You are in charge of making decisions for a 9-year-old girl and she becomes pregnant from a rape with twins. Every prenatal doctor you take her to tells you that the pregnancy is life-threatening and that an abortion would save her life. Would you authorize the procedure or would you not?

As I understand it, if one wanted to be consistent while holding a pro-life position they would/should choose the cooler in #1 and to NOT authorize the procedure in #2 or at the very least deride the person in a situation like #2 if they were to authorize the abortion. This assessment of the pro-life position is obviously predicated on the stated pro-life position that suggests that humanity begins or human rights are bestowed at the moment of conception.

My basic contention is that a person holding a pro-life position (as defined in the preface) is either inhuman - given the logical, philosophical, and real life consequences of holding and/or implementing said position - OR they are simply ignorant of the consequences of holding and/or implementing their position.

Now I'd like to take the time to make my position as clearly as I can at the moment. I leave it to my opponent then to show the flaws in my arguments.

1) I do not believe a fetus could be considered a fully fledged person until around the 28th week when the thalamus (the brain structure known to be responsible for routing sense information to the brain and regulating consciousness) is formed and functional. Without this structure there is no sense information, no emotional capacity, no pain perception, and no capacity for conscious thought therefore; therefore an abortion, before the 28th week of development is not murder nor does it cause suffering. I am open to pushing the time limit back from the 28th week however I think that topic is for a different discussion.
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk...
http://discovermagazine.com...

2) Pro-life hypocrisy:
A) I consider it a hypocrisy on the part of the pro-life movement to desire to outlaw abortion because of the opinion they hold that the UNborn have rights over the rights of the mother's right of self determination.
They tend to say things like, "Who are you to decide for the unborn?"
I ask, "Who are you to decide for all women?"
B) Should someone site religious grounds against abortion, I wonder if they feel any sense of reverence for religions that revere animals as reincarnations of humans and therefore consider it murder to kill them?

3) I do not support abortion being used as a form of birth control however illegalization is not the way to reduce and/or prevent the occurrence of this phenomena effectively. Before 1973 (Roe v Wade and Doe v Balton) legal abortions at that time ranged around 250,000/year and there were an estimated 400,000 - 1.2 million illegal abortions/year and because of the illegal abortions there were over 5000 deaths due to complications from botched abortion procedures on top of many more disfigurations and health complications.
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com... v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton
http://thomas.loc.gov...:

4) Abortion is not used as a form of contraception. Pregnancy can occur even with responsible contraceptive use. Only 8% of women having abortions have never used birth control, and 90% of the women most likely to have an abortion are on birth control. http://www.alanguttmacher.org...

5) I think Bill Clinton said it best when he said, "Keep abortion safe, legal, and rare." Based on the number of then legal and illegal abortions and the fact that abortion levels today are arguably not significantly higher now then they were before abortion was legalized, the idea that illegalizing abortions will stop abortions from taking place, reduce their number or solve a problem without creating several bigger ones in it's place is laughably unfounded.

6) Illegalizing abortion would demonstrably cause more problems than it solves given the number of unwanted children heaping more pressure on the state (through adoptions, juvenile crime, and impoverished families/mothers who can't afford a child), the extra stress on the healthcare system due to unsafe illegal abortions causing medical problems, and the civil liberties of rape victims who become pregnant and a woman's right to control their own reproductive health being violated. (If your objection is along the lines of, "What about the civil liberties of the unborn." see #1)

Conclusion: The only way to responsibly, ethically and effectively reduce the number of abortions is to increase access to birth control and abandon abstinence only sex education programs (given their complete and utter failure) and replace them with proper sex education programs that inform young and even older people about birth control, the truth about it, and how and where to access it. I am pro-choice, not pro-abortion: I believe that legalized abortion is a necessary evil if we wish to maintain the healthiest society possible and promote the highest level of well-being in that society.

http://scholar.google.com...

HumanRights4Everyone

Con

Getting to the Bottom of Things:
I thank my opponent for starting this debate. It raises an interesting question – Can knowledgeable, humane people disagree on the legality of abortion? Certainly ignorance rears its ugly head on both sides of this controversial issue and even more disturbingly extreme inhumanity (1). Yet is one side 100% wrong and 100% unthoughtful and evil? Is every pro-lifer who ever existed and thought and learned about the issue a nightmarish, psychopathic monster or are some just good people that happen to disagree with Pro.

Now I could attack my opponent's scenarios, but these criticisms would be besides the point as what my opponent is really asserting is that pro-lifers don't actually think children in the womb are people deserving of the same protection as born people when it comes down to it. The underlying challenge is that we would all save the 9-year-old girl over the embryos, thus pro-lifers are ignorant. After all, wouldn't pro-lifers's resistance to the legalization of killing 9-year-olds be far greater? If they really believed that millions of people were being systematically murdered why would they denounce those who kill abortionists? Indeed this very point is brought up every time an abortionist is murdered (2).

If pro-lifers really believed in the personhood and equal treatment of children in the womb why treat them differently? Because pro-lifers are irrational and hypocritical. At this point you may be wondering why I am debating Pro in the first place. I'm debating Pro because almost everyone is irrational and hypocritical.


My Case:
Most would tell you they believe in equality and equal legal-protection among born human beings. Yet almost invariably people display favoritism for some groups of people over others. Someone would be more likely to save their own friends over strangers not because they think of strangers as inherently less valuable or less worthy of legal protection but because they have a far greater emotional attachment to a certain group of people (their friends) then to another (strangers). Is this irrational, yes, but most people, especially in life and death situations use more emotion then rationality. Far from making them inhuman this is what makes them their flawed human selves. Prejudice is hardwired into us (3).

Nor does it make them ignorant. A judge might be perfectly knowledgeable about the law and be a humane and honorable defender of equal treatment under the law; but he or she wouldn't be allowed to precede over a criminal trail involving his own family. “Why,” you ask. Once again people have a far greater emotional attachment to a certain group of people (their family) then to another (strangers). This doesn't invalidate the position that all born human beings are deserving of equal protection and basic human dignity nor does it make people who believe in these principles ignorant and/or inhuman. It just makes most of us emotional, irrational and prejudiced human beings instead of cold, logical machines that would save the maximum amount of lives regardless of emotions or societal conditioning (4).

One's family is merely the strongest example of a favored group. Similar logic can used applied to other favored groups (fellow countrymen, friends, neighbors, followers of the same faith, women, the elderly, children, etc.)

For another example consider that most abolitionists in 19th century America were still racists and would have saved a little white girl over a couple of black slaves any day. It was the culture of the time, it valued white people above black people, and even abolitionists succumbed to these social pressures, making them inconsistent and hypocrites (5). Yet this didn't invalidate their anti-slavery position nor make them all either ignorant or inhuman.


Pro's Pro-Choice Case:
I would like to take this opportunity to remind the reader that this isn't a debate on whether abortion should be legal but rather if all people who think it should be illegal are ignorant and/or inhuman. As such Pro's generic arguments for legalized abortion are off-point. So are Pro's railing against my non-existent theological arguments and defense of abstinence-only education. This is made especially ironic by the fact I've clearly labeled myself an atheist on my profile. I would ask Pro to please stay on point. If Pro wants to debate whether abortion should be legal or not I'll gladly take the challenge, but that's not the point here. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, whether you think a child's personhood is determined from it being a human being, or from it being conscious, or from it being self-aware (6), is one side completely uneducated or barbaric? Pro certainly hasn't provided any evidence for this.


Pro's Relevant Case:
Pro's argument relies the on the fallacy Argumentum ad misericordiam (appeal to emotion). Pro automatically declares any knowledgeable person who disagrees on his definition of personhood as “inhuman” without providing any evidence to support his claim. No scientific study that demonstrates knowledgeable pro-lifers are all sociopaths and no philosophical evidence other then the current social prejudices against children in the womb to justify current social persecution of children in the womb. Thus he has also committed the fallacy of Circulus in demonstrando (circular argument) (7). That is because most feel, including Pro-lifers, that children in womb aren't full fledged people, they aren't people. Even going further Pro claims that anyone who disagrees with this dogma is either ignorant or inhuman, this commits the fallacy Dicto simpliciter (sweeping generalization). Pro also asserts that anyone who doesn't share our societal prejudices and values human beings equally is inhuman without saying why, this commits the fallacy Petitio principii (begging the question) (8).


Wrapping Things Up:
It's in our nature to value certain people above others on an emotional level, even whilst intellectually supporting equality. This is not something unique to pro-lifers. Despite this irrationality we shouldn't so arrogantly dismiss those who support equality in our laws despite any prejudices they might have on an emotional level. Now we can debate abortion, debate what makes a person a person and how much our humanity factors into this but declaring anyone who disagrees with your dogma as either ignorant or evil requires some extraordinary evidence.

Firstly Pro will have to prove that anyone who disagrees with his definition of personhood is inhuman rather then some pro-lifers simply being compassionate; but for human beings outside of this particular society's favored groups. Furthermore Pro will have to prove that anyone who is uncertain about the personhood of children in the womb and would support laws erring on the cautious side is either ignorant or inhuman. Secondly he will have to prove that inconsistency due to prejudice equals ignorance, and that pro-lifers are unique, or at least in the minority, in being emotionally and logically inconsistent.

My claim is: The lack of absolute logical consistancy doesn't equate to ignorance. Futhermore, emotional attachment doesn't equate to inherent value or worthiness of legal protection.

My hat is off to Pro, it takes ambition to make such claims but I think such thinking is counterproductive to finding a solution to this controversial issue. I look forward to Pro's response to my criticisms.


Works Cited:
(1)
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com...

(2)
http://www.time.com...

(3)
http://www.brookings.edu...

(4)http://www.associatedcontent.com...

(5)
http://www.pbs.org...

(6)
http://www.princeton.edu...

(7)
http://www.csun.edu...

(8)
http://www.iep.utm.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
themanofearth

Pro

I'd like to start off the round by thanking my opponent for his response and for suggesting we go onto this forum to debate this subject after our first encounter on YouTube. I always relish the opportunity to challenge the beliefs and positions held by myself and others.

A problem emerges:
"I would like to take this opportunity to remind the reader that this isn't a debate on whether abortion should be legal but rather if all people who think it should be illegal are ignorant and/or inhuman. As such Pro's generic arguments for legalized abortion are off-point.”


While I partially agree with Con's reminder to the reader that this isn't a debate on whether abortion should be legal per say, I feel that I must correct my opponent's misconception on the actual subject of this debate. This debate is not about the people who hold a pro-life position but about the position itself being either an inhuman or ignorant position to hold.


I do think that a person who holds a pro-life position (as defined in the preface) is ignorant in the sense that they are either ill informed or misguided however I do not think they are inhuman as in suffering from some for of psychopathy. In fact I think they may have an over abundance of humanity however misplaced it may be.


After reading Con's response it took me a few moments to see why Con's responses were not making much sense as a rebuttal to me because I happen to agree with quite a few of premises he puts forward in his response including his claim that
The lack of absolute logical consistancy (spelled: consistency) doesn't equate to ignorance. Futhermore, (spelled: Furthermore) emotional attachment doesn't equate to inherent value or worthiness of legal protection.
I believe I found the issue in rereading my opening arguments and can also see how someone could have taken my position to mean what Con has stated it to be and I'll attempt to address that issue.

Addressing the issue:
In my opening arguments I stated:


"My basic contention is that a person holding a pro-life position (as defined in the
preface) is either inhuman - given the logical, philosophical, and real life consequences of holding and/or implementing said position - OR they are simply ignorant of the consequences of holding and/or implementing their position.”


I think this is where the issue/misunderstanding came from and it is somewhat understandable. The language I used can be taken as Con has suggested based on the in limited scope of his response about human irrationality due to our emotional nature and the nature of emotion to override our cognitive faculties. However that maxim does not excuse holding an irrational position but rather it requires that we take emotion and prejudice into account when developing rules and laws which will apply to all people - however rational or irrational they may be - so that the rules and laws are not based on emotions or prejudice.


Given the facts and arguments that I presented in my case, (which Con has dismissed off hand as virtually irrelevant given the limited scope in which he has interpreted my position) holding a pro-life position (as defined in the preface) did seem to suggest a desire to cause demonstrable harm to a society (i.e. inhuman intent) unless that individual were simply ignorant of the consequences (logical, philosophical, and real life) of his or her position. There is however a third distinct possibility brought to light by Con's response: The possibility that a pro-life advocate is emotionally attached to the notion of the unborn having rights the same as anyone reading these statements and is therefore holding their position for irrational reasons.

Con's case:
Con seems to suggest that pro-life advocates are simply mere human and not “...cold, logical machines that would save the maximum amount of lives regardless of emotions or societal conditioning.” I agree with him, however taken in the context of the subject, this seems to me to be an “emotional, irrational and prejudice” response to the “cold logical” case for pro-choice I presented in my opening argument. I'm not sure how emotionally cold it is to hold a position that supports a system of laws that promotes the maximum well-being of a society and therefore the highest level of humanity possible.


Aside:
"Pro's generic arguments for legalized abortion are off-point. So are Pro's railing against my non-existent theological arguments and defense of abstinence-only education. This is made especially ironic by the fact I've clearly labeled myself an atheist on my profile. I would ask Pro to please stay on point.”


At the time of writing my opening arguments I did not know Con's religious status seeing as how we only encountered each other a short time ago on YouTube and (to my knowledge) he had not entered his religious status on his profile at the time of my posting. My intent was not to assume my opponent's religious status which is why I used the language I did in saying, “
Should someone site religious grounds against abortion...”


The fact that Con would not and will not make religiously motivated arguments on this issue is virtually irrelevant to this debate. Many (dare I say, most) pro-life advocates depend on and/or derive their pro-life stance from religious reasoning. I would be remiss were I not to point out the major religious aspect of the pro-life movement because it only adds to the ignorance and/or the newly added irrational category of a major portion of people who hold a pro-life position. I imagine my opponent (being an atheist) would actually agree with that statement.


Conclusion:
I believe Con has simply misunderstood my position given the limited scope of his arguments and counterpoints. I eagerly await his reply.

HumanRights4Everyone

Con

Thank you for your response.



Cognitive Dissonance:

I would first like to start off by examining my opponent’s language. My opponent's claim in round 2 is as follows:


This debate is not about the people who hold a pro-life position but about the position itself being either an inhuman or ignorant position to hold.”


But his claim in round 1 is this:


“My basic contention is that a person holding a pro-life position (as defined in the preface) is either inhuman - given the logical, philosophical, and real life consequences of holding and/or implementing said position - OR they are simply ignorant of the consequences of holding and/or implementing their position.”


As one can see, my opponent is saying two very different things. He makes very clear he is referring to the people holding the pro-life position and that they are either inhuman or ignorant in the first round. In the second round Pro back tracks and claims that he was only making assertions about the ideology itself and not the people that hold it.


In the interest of civility I will give my opponent the benefit of the doubt and assume he simply didn't realize the logical consequences his two statements instead of him being intellectually dishonest. Should Pro concede his first point he'll have conceded the debate and I'll applaud his maturity at doing so; should he concede the second point we'll carry on where we left off leaving Pro to prove his entire position in round 3. The two statements are diametrically opposed. If Pro continues to support both statements it will have to fall on the voters to show him his error, as I would have failed.


If Pro wishes to continue to continue the debate I'll gladly engage him. I offered a third proposal:...OR due to societal conditioning they are aware of of the logical consequences yet choose not to act on them (This proved Pro's argument as a illogical Bifurcation [1]). This makes the person, not the ideology irrational. Indeed this third possibility essentially disproves Pro's argument. Irrational is neither a synonym for ignorant nor inhuman (2).


Indeed what Pro is asserting would dismiss the principle of cognitive dissonance. The uncomfortableness with holding two contradictory positions (3). One must first have the knowledge that they are contradictory and thus aren't ignorant. For his argument to be true the scientific principle of cognitive dissonance would have to be false.


"The possibility that a pro-life advocate is emotionally attached to the notion of the unborn having rights the same as anyone reading these statements and is therefore holding their position for irrational reasons.”


That is in fact the exact opposite of what I was claiming. I claimed that pro-lifers weren't emotionally attached to the unborn (or at least not as much as born people), because they were irrational and prejudiced. Despite holding a rational position they are likely to implement it in an irrational way during a life and death situation due to their own prejudice.



Why so Dissonant?:

Its difficult to understand how my opponent could have so misunderstood my arguments. This is especially so in the context of me framing inconsistent ageist pro-lifers as allegorical to inconsistent racist abolitionists. Did my opponent really think I was claiming abolitionists had an irrational position and an irrational emotional attachment to slaves? I was claiming just the opposite that despite their rational position they held a irrational emotional dis-attachment to slaves.


Furthermore, my opponent has yet to prove why choosing to save the cooler is inherently inhuman. Yes, most pro-lifers would save the born girl and most abolitionists would save the white girl, but why is defying social prejudice and sticking to your beliefs of human equality intrinsically evil?


Certainly Pro wouldn't choose to save the cooler but if someone did save the cooler, out of genuine compassion for those inside and a strong belief in human equality why is that someone evil? And why is the stance of genuine support basic human equality, even if you think the that stance causes harm on a practical level, inherently evil? Why is this a desire, even if it causes harm, inhuman if it's motive is one of compassion?


Indeed it all comes down to one's definition of person. If one considers the unborn people then all of the practical harmful consequences become moot, as none of them justify the slaughter of millions of people. One could argue that since defining the unborn as people would cause these enormous negative consequences (very debatable but for the purposes of this debate we'll assume the pro-choice boogie stories are true) then we shouldn't define the unborn as people and doing so is inhuman. Of course this is nonsensical and ridicules.


Someone who was Pro-slavery might argue that defining blacks as people would be inhuman because it would lead to consequences that would harm society (economic troubles, loss of state rights ect.), thus we shouldn't define blacks as people (4). As one can tell this is circular in nature (See above sources). Not to mentions it presupposes the motives of the abolitionist position is to cause harm, rather then one of compassion towards blacks (if less so then towards whites).


This is the same for pro-lifers, even if you could conclusively prove that ending legal abortion would cause more harm then good you would then have to prove the motives of the pro-lifers were ignorant or inhuman.



Conclusion:

Not only hasn't Pro provided proof of either why pro-lifers or the pro-life ideology are/is inhuman/ignorant but I have disproven both claims. Pro has claimed both, but he need only prove why pro-lifers are all evil and/or ignorant. Still a mighty task that has yet to be addressed. Remember Pro has the burden of proof.


Many believe that laws shouldn't be defined by the prejudice of the day, but by consistent laws that protects humanity equally under the law, even if the citizens are prejudiced and inconsistent. I oppose the assertion that all those that believe and act on the above statement are ignorant and/or inhuman.



Sources:

  1. http://www.fallacyfiles.org...

  2. http://www.synonym.com...

  3. http://www.ithaca.edu...

  4. http://www.olemiss.edu...



P.S. :

I merely stated I found his railings against theological pro-life arguments ironic. If Pro really didn't intend it as a strawman I'll let it slide, but I would remind him many pro-choicers (dare I say most) derive their pro-choice position from the belief that children in the womb aren't human. Unlike religion that belief has been unequivocally and scientifically disproved. Let us attack the arguments that have actually been made. It's really not important to this debate but given that he said it is the determination of personhood that matters, the majority of is pro-choice arguments would be off-point even in a debate directly about the legality of abortion.


I eagerly await Pro's final response, this has been fun.


Debate Round No. 2
themanofearth

Pro

I must say I'm not sure how to respond to an argument who's main point is to accuse me of feeling cognitive dissonance in reference to the subject matter due to Con's response and an assertion that my entire rebuttal is not an accurate reflection of my position but that I'm lying, being dishonest, and/or "flip-flopping" to avoid hypocritical self-justification. I thank my opponent for his response: I shall do my best to respond but given the varying ways my opponent has further misconstrued or attempted to misdirect the debate, 8,000 characters will not be enough.

An Old Problem Remains...
this debate is not about the people who hold a pro-life position but about the position itself being either an inhuman or ignorant position to hold”

My basic contention is that a person holding a pro-life position(as defined in the preface) is either inhuman – given the logical, philosophical, and real life consequences of holding and/or implementing said position – OR they are simply ignorant of the consequences of holding and/or implementing their position.”

In the section Con titled "Cognitive Dissonance" he claims, "The two statements are diametrically opposed." I did in fact address the perceived contradiction my opponent has attempted to point out in section in Round 2 titled “Addressing the issue:”

"Given the facts and arguments that I presented in my case, (which Con has dismissed off hand as virtually irrelevant given the limited scope in which he has interpreted my position) holding a pro-life position (as defined in the preface) did seem to suggest a desire to cause demonstrable harm to a society (i.e. inhuman intent)unless that individual were simply ignorant of the consequences (logical, philosophical, and real life) of his or her position."

I may be mistaken, but in order to suggest that the two statements compared in my opponent's response in Round 2 are "diametrically opposed," my opponent would need to cherry pick the quotation (take the quote out of context) from Round 2 to support/make his case. Indeed, even the text that was bolded by Con, when quoting me in my opening argument, seems to be an attempt to lend credibility to the cherry picking. If you read the quote in its entirety and in the context of the preface, it takes on a different meaning from the bolded text alone. Taken in the context of the opening arguments this entire debate was meant to be a challenge to show that the pro-life position was not an inhuman or ignorant position to hold.

...A New One Emerges

In this debate it is to be understood that the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" are not simply statements of personal preference. They are statements of political (and therefore ethical) ideology. A person who is pro-life does not simply say that they would not get an abortion but they say that abortion should be illegal. A position in which a person would not get or approve of an abortion but would NOT persecute or prosecute a person who would get one is pro-choice.”

Prior to going into this debate, Con agreed to this premise (1).

Unless I'm mistaken, so far my opponent has concentrated on almost nothing but the personal aspect of the abortion issue in pointing out the emotionally charged aspect of the subject and the ability of a person to hold a rational position while implementing it in an irrational way while avoiding the position altogether. This would appear to make Con's response in Round 1off topic: He is not addressing the pro-life position set forward in the preface, which is one of policy that one would enforce upon other people.

The “(Ir)rational” Way

"I claimed that pro-lifers
weren't emotionally attached to the unborn (or at least not as much as born people), because they were irrational and prejudiced. Despite holding a rational position they are likely to implement it in an irrational way during a life and death situation due to their own prejudice.”

Being that abortion is a life or death situation no matter what the circumstances that have culminated in the choice to kill an undeveloped human, the claim made here by Con cuts both ways does it not?

I have claimed that there is a third option to the position (as defined in the preface) being ignorant or inhuman which is that it is irrational because of an emotional attachment to their position.

Aside: This was not an assessment of opponent's argument from Round 1 but rather a byproduct of it coming into contact with the subject of the debate.

The preface makes it very clear that (in the context of this debate) a pro-life position is about implementing a policy in which abortion would be illegal. The two situations in the opening argument were pointed out to show the inconsistency of not recognizing an embryo or a fetus as a fully fledged person in those situations while holding a position that would force the recognition of an embryo or a fetus as a fully fledged person which (if actually implemented) would force another person to make different choices from the ones they would make or face prosecution.

Would my opponent have the reader believe that making abortion illegal to spite their own decision to save the 9-year-old girl in both situations could not be due to their prejudice, bias or emotional attachment to their position and is in fact a purely rational?

The Topic Has Been Found:

"
Indeed it all comes down to one's definition of person. If one considers the unborn people then all of the practical harmful consequences become moot, as none of them justify the slaughter of millions of people. One could argue that since defining the unborn as people would cause these enormous negative consequences (very debatable but for the purposes of this debate we'll assume the pro-choice boogie stories are true) then we shouldn't define the unborn as people and doing so is inhuman. Of course this is nonsensical and ridicules.”

It is nonsensical. In fact this entire paragraph becomes nonsensical after the first two sentences. Defining the “unborn” as fully fledged people (thereby providing them the same rights as any other person from the moment of conception) would have enormous consequences.

A pregnant woman who trips and falls down a stairs could be legitimately be prosecuted for manslaughter or even negligent homicide should she miscarry do to the event. A couple practicing safe sex and had a condom break would be unable to get the Plan-B pill being that it would technically be a murder weapon.

These are not “boogie” stories, should a developing human in the womb be considered a fully fledged person with rights, under the law, a pregnant woman falling down a stairs and miscarrying would be no different than falling down a stairs, causing another person to fall and break their neck. A woman even attempting to acquire a Plan-B pill could be charged with attempted homicide.

No one would argue that considering a fetus to be a fully fledged person is inhuman unless in defining a fetus as such caused another person to suffer needlessly. That IS what is on debate every time people try to define the unborn (from embryo to fetus) as fully fledged people (2). I would go so far as to say that suggesting that there would be no negative ramifications in defining the unborn as fully fledged people would certainly be ignorant.

Conclusion:

8000 Characters wasn't enough. Instead of attempting to fix the misunderstanding I attempted to point out in Round 2, my opponent has attempted to convince the reader that I was wrong about what my position actually is. As a consequence only one point of any relevance (personhood) was touched upon very briefly.

1 http://www.youtube.com...
2 http://www.parentdish.com...

HumanRights4Everyone

Con

I thank pro for his final response. For this section I'll deconstruct Pro's round 3 argument.


I must say I'm not sure how to respond to an argument who's main point is to accuse me of feeling cognitive dissonance ..."


I never accused Pro of feeling cognitive dissonance or lying or flip flopping. Indeed throughout this entire debate in the interest of civility I've always assigned my opponent the most benign of the possible motives, that he didn't realize the full implications of his assertions, and thus
not be suffering from cognitive dissonance. I am still confused on how my opponent, assuming he is being genuine, can consistently interpret my arguments as the exact opposite of what they are. The cognitive dissonance was directed towards pro-lifers, examining their inconsistency on a scientific level.


I may be mistaken, but in order to suggest that the two statements compared in my opponent's response in Round 2 are "diametrically opposed," my opponent would need to cherry pick the quotation (take the quote out of context) from Round 2 to support/make his case.”

You are mistaken. They ethical and legal positions of being pro-life are logically inseparable. I go further into this below.

No one would argue that considering a fetus to be a fully fledged person is inhuman unless in defining a fetus as such caused another person to suffer needlessly. That IS what is on debate every time people try to define the unborn (from embryo to fetus) as fully fledged people (2).”


And what exactly is it to suffer needlessly? Stopping the killing of an innocent person is considered the need. To use that as an argument as to why to a fetus isn't a person is totally circular. Pro is simply repeating his circular logic again and again in place of an actual argument. This commits the fallacy of Argument ad Nauseum(argument by repetition)(1).

Furthermore your source doesn't back up your claim. It is an article about concerns that a law in Utah is too vague and that vagueness could lead to prosecutions of pregnant women who didn't know they were breaking the law. It did not mention making children in the womb full-fledged people nor present evidence for your claims. It only briefly reported on some people having concerns that were vaguely similar to yours.


I would go so far as to say that suggesting that there would be no negative ramifications in defining the unborn as fully fledged people would certainly be ignorant.”


Who is arguing that? Not me nor any Pro-lifer I've ever heard of. Indeed there are negative ramifications, increased poverty, stress for the mother, etc., but the pro-life argument is that these don't justify the killing of a person nor the denial of personhood. This is a straw man thus committing a logical fallacy (2).

Personhood isn't determined by the consequences negative or positive you cause to others but by what you are. Pro's point is exactly what I preemptively argued against in round 2 using the pro-slavery analogy. The debate is to whether children in the womb are people based on what they are. Some believe because they're human beings they should be considered people, others believe that that certain groups of human beings can be killed because of a temporary lack of conscience or, in the case of newborns, sentience (see above sources).

But this debate isn't about the personhood of children in the womb, if my opponent would like to have such a debate I'd welcome it wholeheartedly. It's about whether someone who defines children in the womb as people or is unsure whether they are people or not (and thus believes abortion should be illegal) is inherently ignorant or inhuman. That's it; despite Pro's attempt as confusing the issue that is the issue. Pro is claiming that anyone who disagrees with his dogma, or even questions it, is either ignorant or evil.

Thinking children in the womb are people or not being sure if they people or not and thinking current methods of abortion should be illegal are inseparable ideologies.


Defining the “unborn” as fully fledged people (thereby providing them the same rights as any other person from the moment of conception) would have enormous consequences. A pregnant woman who trips and falls down a stairs could be legitimately be prosecuted for manslaughter or even negligent homicide should she miscarry do to the event. A couple practicing safe sex and had a condom break would be unable to get the Plan-B pill being that it would technically be a murder weapon.”

How many mothers who lose their babies in a tragic accident are prosecuted? How many mothers who roll over in their sleep and suffocate their babies go to jail? When abortion was illegal how many women were prosecuted for tripping and having a miscarriage? This is fear-mongering and quite frankly makes me disappointed that my opponent has sunk to using such tactics.

Also the Plan-B pill IS NOT the abortion pill. It doesn't kill any embryos and won't be a “murder weapon” (3).

Being that abortion is a life or death situation no matter what the circumstances that have culminated in the choice to kill an undeveloped human, the claim made here by Con cuts both ways does it not?”

Nope, just one way. As I've pointed out many times before, Pro-lifers don't register the death of fetuses/embryos as the death of people on an emotional level.


The preface makes it very clear that (in the context of this debate) a pro-life position is about implementing a policy in which abortion would be illegal. The two situations in the opening argument were pointed out to show the inconsistency of not recognizing an embryo or a fetus as a fully fledged person in those situations while holding a position that would force the recognition of an embryo or a fetus as a fully fledged person which (if actually implemented) would force another person to make different choices from the ones they would make or face prosecution.”

I agreed that they showed inconsistency among pro-lifers, but inconsistency does not equate to ignorance nor inhumanity (see above sources). I made this clear with my analogy to inconsistent abolitionists. I explained the inconsistency by prejudice amongst pro-lifers and explained why this didn't make them ignorant or inhuman nor did it make their ideology ignorant or inhumane.

What Pro is arguing is that Pro-lifers demanding their views be made into law are inhuman or ignorant. Apparently Pro wants pro-lifers who think abortion is murder to respect the different choices of others. One of those “I think abortion is wrong but it should be legal” people. The problem with this is that is doesn't make any sense. If you think something is murder its inhuman not to demand that it be made illegal.

Conclusion: Pro has failed to meet his burden of evidence. He hasn't proved why inconsistency among some pro-lifers amounts to all of them being ignorant or inhuman nor has he proven why the ideology is automatically ignorant or inhuman. The center of his argument is holding a Pro-life position, knowing the negative consequences, demonstrates an intent to cause society harm. Pro ignores basic compassion for other human beings and uses current societal prejudices to justify current societal prejudice. This logic is circular in nature and I deconstructed it with the slavery analogies Pro never addressed.

As one may have guessed, I'm pro-life, but one doesn't have to be pro-life to take a stand against automatically pigeon holing one side as ignorant and/or evil. Good people can disagree. Rational debate about personhood and the nature of the unborn is the way to settle this issue not dogmatic ultimatums that demonize those that disagree with you.

Sources:

(1) http://www.bgu.ac.il...

(2) http://www.unc.edu...

(3) http://www.plannedparenthood.org...

Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bossyburrito 5 years ago
bossyburrito
This is actually good stuff!
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 6 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
For Pro; Contention 3 is evidence driven; Source 1 is not relevant to the point being made, source 2 does not work, or wherever it's taking m is a blank article.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 6 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
For Pro on contention 2- You're not making a lot of sense.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 6 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
Nope Card 1 on contention 1 has nothing to do with thalamus development in fetuses. But even more than that, the car that Pro provides indicates that the thalamus' function is in sensation of visual stimuli; not physical stimuli.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 6 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
I'm currently reading through this debate; right now I am in the first round on Pro's Firs speech. I felt I had to say this about their point regarding the Thalamus.
First, on their first source provided; it has nothing to do with the argument presented. followed the link and read more than half-way through it and never once does it talk about thalamus development in a fetus. Now again I haven't finished reading through it, but it seems as though the latter half of the card is just expanding on the Thalamus's purpose. so if I am just grossly mis-interpreting this card please alert me of this.
Now the second card was relatively shorter and I was able read all the way through it; so I want to quote this from the later half, "It is possible that a temporary structure of neurons that appears in a fetus's brain during the second trimester allows it to sense pain. But Rosen and his colleagues believe a fetus's brain doesn't function coherently enough to be conscious." This point negates the impact of this contention completely. as this card gives no viable reason why Rosen and his colleagues don't believe this. Thus Pro C1 has no Impact as it is an evidence driven contention with no viable evidence
Posted by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
Before I explain my vote, allow me to say that it is obvious just on the first glance that you both are going to fit in well here. I hope you stick around.

Here's all the things I didn't haveto worry about:
-Spelling, grammar, format; you both know how to write. Not many people do, these days.
-Conduct; you both behaved in a sportsmanlike fashion as far as I can tell.
-Sources. You both referenced a variety of sources covering a wide range of reliability; this point seemed a tie.

Con did a very good job of showing the contradictions and fallacies in Pro's arguments. There really isn't anything else to say. Bravo.
Posted by Sky_ace25 6 years ago
Sky_ace25
lol Pro could you have had more outrageously biased examples?
Posted by HumanRights4Everyone 6 years ago
HumanRights4Everyone
Woot. The debate is done! Fun while it lasted. Remember to vote con.
Posted by Robikan 6 years ago
Robikan
This debate gives me a headache, just reading it! You are both clearly intelligent people and experienced in debating, but there was an immediate loss of focus.
Posted by themanofearth 6 years ago
themanofearth
This debate has been fun though I will have to admit that I was a little taken aback by the charge of cognitive dissonance. I admit when I am wrong without equivocation. Anyone who is familiar with my YouTube channel will know this.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by kweef 6 years ago
kweef
themanofearthHumanRights4EveryoneTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Personally it is hard to commend Pro-Lifers because their arguments are not backed by any science, just religious ideology. good debate on both sides
Vote Placed by Jillianl 6 years ago
Jillianl
themanofearthHumanRights4EveryoneTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con clearly realized that he could not combat the specific ideas presented that showed how the pro-life idealogy was inhumane or ignorant, so he/she took the approach to try and prove that all people are inhumane/ignorant regardless of ideology. Can did not address the inherent problems with the pro-life ideology that Pro presented, therefore, pro get my bote hands down.
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
themanofearthHumanRights4EveryoneTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: See comment.