The Instigator
illegalcombat
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
stschiffman
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Restricted abortion should be legal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
illegalcombat
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 571 times Debate No: 88400
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

illegalcombat

Pro

! Round 1 is for acceptance only, no arguments to be presented in round 1. !!

!!! Fourth round for rebuttal and closing statements, no new arguments. !!!

Definitions/Explanations

Restricted abortion should be legal = By this I mean abortion should be legal for a woman to choose in the embryonic period of pregnancy.

Abortion - is the end (termination) of a pregnancy. A low-risk surgical procedure called suction aspiration or suction curette is generally used for first trimester abortions. Medical (non-surgical) abortions using medications such as mifepristone (RU486) are available in some clinics.

The embryonic period in humans begins at fertilization (penetration of the egg by the sperm) and continues until the end of the 10th week of gestation (8th week by embryonic age).

If you have any problems with the debate, use the comments section so we can agree to terms before we start the debate.
stschiffman

Con

I will be arguing against you, for I believe abortion is immoral and unethical.
Debate Round No. 1
illegalcombat

Pro

I thank Stschiffman for accepting the debate.

Freedom not restricted unless justified

I think this is axiomatic. It's not just an issue of being free or wanting freedom or arguably freedom being necessary for well being, even if rejected on those grounds to argue otherwise is self defeating, since you presuppose the freedom to argue as your starting point if you were to even try that non freedom should be the starting point rather than freedom.

The right to life/right not to be killed as an absolute is untenable

The right to life/right not to be killed is often invoked as justification for not allowing abortion. Notice those who advocate it don't really believe it them self at least not as an absolute, the most common view where intentional killing is justified is self defense (or some variation of). Then we have issues of drone strikes, war, dropping the A bomb, etc etc.

The point is, not even the pro-life-anti choicer believes in such a simplistic absolute right to life and if such a person was to selectively apply such an absolute right to life to justify denying an abortion would be a double standard & hypocritical.

Bodily rights argument (the violinist analogy)

Judith Jarvis Thomson asks us to consider the following...

"You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, "Look, we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you--we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him." [1]

Even if we grant violinist the right to life, the question is thus, do you have the right to unplug ? should you be forced to be kept plugged in if you choose you don't want to ? I know of no anti abortion person who has argued that you can't unplug your self, even if it means certain death for another person.

Like wise it is argued, a pregnant women can unplug the embryo inside of her, she should not be forced to continue with her pregnancy anymore than some one plugged into the violinist to keep them alive, such is yours & hers bodily rights/freedom.

Pregnant Women vs Billionaires (Dis-proportionality argument)

The pro life/forced continuation of pregnancy advocates insist their cause is just & noble as they are out to save lives. But notice these people themselves don't justify anything and everything when it comes to saving lives, lives of post born humans who can think, feel and are self aware.

You would be hard pressed to find such a person who would demand that we force billionaires to give up nearly all their wealth leaving them with say a few million dollars (still leaving them richer than most on the planet) and using those funds to save people lives.

So here is the logical point, if rights and freedoms are such that we can't force the billionaires of the world to give up all their wealth except a few millions to save thinking, feeling, self aware humans, then it would be laughable & disproportionate to then argue that we are justified to force women to give up more, their bodily rights and the dangers of pregnancy in order to save non thinking, non feeling, non self aware, human embryos.

3 day human embryo is not morally equivalent to a human 5 year old child

Consider the following, you arrive at a burning building, behind one door are 100, 3 day human embryos, behind another a 5 year old child. Who do you try to save first ?

Most if not all will try to save the girl, if a 3 day human embryo is morally equivalent to say a 5 year old child then it is simple arithmetic, try to save the 100 hundred all things being equal before you try to save the 1.

But as I argue they are not equal, the 5 year old child not only trumps one 3 day human embryo, it even trumps one hundred. But why ? Cause self awareness, intelligence, ability to feel and recognize you are in pain are morally relevant factors that are rightly taken into consideration in such a situation.

If abortion is murder (reducto argument)

If it is the case that abortion in the embryonic stage is equivalent to murder as some anti-choicers assert then that means all women who have had an abortion in that period should all be in jail doing sentences for murder, maybe even the death penalty, as well as any future women who will have an abortion in the embryonic period. Think about it, the likes of Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and next to them endless row cells of women who had an abortion in the embryonic stage.

So there are two possibilities.......

1) Be logically consistent, and start locking up all those woman and future women who have had such an abortion.

or

2) Reject such a conclusion based on the realization that abortion is murder in the embryonic stage is false premise to begin with.

I argue that this shows that the abortion is murder in the embryonic stage is absurd and should be rejected as such.

Personhood & rights

Consider the following argument..............

1) Only a person has a right to life
2) If X does has none of the characteristics [1-5] it is certainly not a person.
3) The human organism in the embryonic stage has none of the [1-5] characteristics
C) Therefore the human organism in the embryonic stage is not a person
C2) Therefore the human organism in the embryonic stage is has no right to life

[1-5] refers to the following characteristics....

1) Consciousness (of objects and events external and/or internal to the being), and in particular the capacity to feel pain;

2) Reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems);

3) Self-motivated activity (activity which is relatively independent of either genetic or direct external control);

4) The capacity to communicate, by whatever means, messages of an indefinite variety of types, that is, not just with an indefinite number of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics;

5) The presence of self-concepts, and self-awareness, either individual or racial, or both.

We can be extremely flexible to the Pro life/anti choice position under Warrens personhood criteria and it still would not matter as Warren argues..."All we need to claim, to demonstrate that a fetus (for my purposes in this debate the human organism in the embryonic stage)is not a person, is that any being which satisfies none of (1)-(5) is certainly not a person. I consider this claim to be so obvious that I think anyone who denied it, and claimed that a being which satisfied none of (1)-(5) was a person all the same, would thereby demonstrate that he had no notion at all of what a person is-perhaps because he had confused the concept of a person with that of genetic humanity." [2]

Consider the characteristic of self awareness...""This sense of self is critical to our status as persons. In fact, philosophers often use the terms self and person interchangeably: a capacity for self-awareness is necessary for full personhood. One has a sense of self if one is able to entertain first-person thoughts, and if one possesses first-person knowledge." [3]

Consider we are visited by self-aware, intelligent aliens, would we recognize them as persons ? I submit yes we would because of various characteristics 1-5 they possess.

Characteristics that don't exist in the human organism in the embryonic period.

I look forward to Cons opening argument.

Sources

(1) http://spot.colorado.edu...

(2) http://instruct.westvalley.edu...

(3) http://socrates.berkeley.edu...
stschiffman

Con

As you said, this round is merely my opening arguments, not rebuttals to any of yours.

Like Morgan from "The Walking Dead", I believe all life is precious. I believe that human life is worth protecting, even if it is just an unborn fetus.

Contrary to what many pro-death (I refuse to use the term 'pro choice') people believe, abortion is not always used by women who have been raped, or children born of incest. In fact, less than 1% of all abortions are done out of rape/incest. And abortions done to save a mother's life represent an even smaller portion. More than 99% of all abortions are simply done by women who do not want to live with the consequences of their actions.

This number should put things in perspective: 3,700. That's how many abortions are done in the US everyday. The pro-death lobby makes abortion seem like something that happens very rarely, almost never, but it's an epidemic. We lose more children to abortion everyday then we lost in the entire 9/11 attacks, totaling 63 million since Roe v. Wade in 1973.

There's a word for systematic executions of innocent people such as this; genocide.

In fact, you'd be surprised how many similarities between the arguments put forth by the Nazis at the time of the holocaust and the pro-death in our times. "They (Jews/babies) aren't even human." "They will only cause problems for society." "What right do they have to live?"

I'm sorry to make such a bold analogy, but I feel it's true; the similarities between pro-death and pro-Nazi rhetoric are astounding when you really stop to look at it.
Debate Round No. 2
illegalcombat

Pro

I thank Stschiffman for their opening argument.

Debate Note

Due to Cons comments that suggested they though they couldn't provide rebuttals in round 2 and/or 3 I messaged them and gave them the option to restart the debate if they wanted too. They choose to continue on.

Life is precious....

Life is precious therefore women can't have an abortion and for the purposes of this debate can't have an abortion in the embryonic period is a HUGE LEAP. How can Con justify such a leap ?

Forced continuation of pregnancy as punishment

Consider where Cons says..."More than 99% of all abortions are simply done by women who do not want to live with the consequences of their actions."

This is a claim or something similar I hear all to often in the abortion debate. If you ever wondered why some regard the "Pro-life" as anti-woman, it's because of things like this.

I reject even the slightest hint that forced continuation of pregnancy is justified cause to allow abortion means a pregnant woman is getting away with something, and thus to ensure that such a woman does not get away with what ever it is you think she is getting away with forced continuation of pregnancy is assumed justified...............it isn't.

Contra this line of thinking, a pregnant woman getting an abortion isn't akin to say some one hitting your car in the supermarket then driving off without leaving a note.

Pregnancy involves all kinds of costs and risks, even the risk of death. Also having an abortion is no walk in the park.

Number of abortions

Con laments about the number of abortions, I think this is a red herring. How many abortions would be acceptable to Con? 20% less ?, 50% less ? 75% less ? 90% less ?

Cons solution to such numbers is too do what exactly ? take away abortion rights ? Too much abortion, thus no abortions for anyone ? never mind the huge non sequitur that is.

If Con finds the numbers to high for their liking there are things that have being shown to lower abortion rates which don't require forcing women to continue pregnancy those things fit under the umbrella term more commonly known as the empowerment of women.

For example sex education for women, and by sex education I mean REAL sex education, not say an abstinence only sex agenda that deliberately withholds vital information within the subject area. eg contraception.

Affordability and access to contraception.

Cons: Nazi killing is morally equivalent to abortions

Nazi's are bad, like really bad, they killed alot, abortion is killing, ergo abortion is equivalent to Nazi Germany. The USA army has done alot of killing too, even after WW2. Shall we now equate them morally to Nazi's ? probably not.

The reason most of don't compare the killings of the USA army to Nazi Germany is that we realize there are morally relevant factors that apply or don't apply to different situations and thus one situation even though they may have some things in common even killing, doesn't necessarily mean they are morally equivalent.

Freedom not restricted unless justified

I take it Con agrees here.

The right to life/right not to be killed as an absolute is untenable

Recalled how I argued..."The point is, not even the pro-life-anti choicer believes in such a simplistic absolute right to life and if such a person was to selectively apply such an absolute right to life to justify denying an abortion would be a double standard & hypocritical."

I maintain the argument stands.

Bodily rights argument (the violinist analogy)

Con doesn't seem to dispute you can unplug.

Also consider this in light of Cons Nazi killing is morally equivalent to abortion assumption. When the Nazi's killed millions of Jews it wasn't because it was necessary to maintain bodily rights of the kind as argued for in the violinist analogy. The Jews killed were not physically living inside various German people.

Another morally relevant factor to counter Cons Nazi killing = abortions.

Pregnant Women vs Billionaires (Dis-proportionality argument)

Recall how I argued that..."So here is the logical point, if rights and freedoms are such that we can't force the billionaires of the world to give up all their wealth except a few millions to save thinking, feeling, self aware humans, then it would be laughable & disproportionate to then argue that we are justified to force women to give up more, their bodily rights and the dangers of pregnancy in order to save non thinking, non feeling, non self aware, human embryos."

Once again notice what I maintain is a morally relevant factor in the abortion debate, the non existence of self aware, intelligent humans vs say Nazi killing millions of self aware, intelligent humans.

Another difference to counter Cons Nazi killings = abortion.

3 day human embryo is not morally equivalent to a human 5 year old child

Con doesn't seem to dispute that the correct call to make here is to save the 5 year old child over 100, 3 day human embryos.

I maintain this is best explained cause such things as self awareness, intelligence, ability to feel pain are the factors rightly one should take into consideration.

If abortion is murder (reducto argument)

Con doesn't seem to dispute that if you operate on the abortion is murder premise, past/present/future of women who have such an abortion should be doing hard time or the death penalty (where applied).

I maintain we are justified to reject the abortion is murder premise on the absurdity it leads too.

Personhood & rights

Con didn't seem to dispute the 1-5 criteria.

Con also didn't seem to dispute we should recognize self aware, intelligent aliens as persons using such a criteria.

As such the argument is the human organism in the embryonic period is not a person and thus has no right to life.

I look forward to Cons reply.
stschiffman

Con

"This is a claim or something similar I hear all to often in the abortion debate. If you ever wondered why some regard the 'Pro-life' as anti-woman, it's because of things like this. "
My disapproval of abortion does not in any way shape or form make me a misogynist. Does disapproving of what Casey Anthony did make me a misogynist? Of course not. So, why does my disapproval of killing children in the womb make me sexist?

"Con laments about the number of abortions, I think this is a red herring. How many abortions would be acceptable to Con? "
How about 100% less.

"Freedom not restricted unless justified I take it Con agrees here."
Yes. I do believe one's freedom to live should not be restricted unless justified, and I don't think it's possible to justify killing an unborn baby.

"Con doesn't seem to dispute that the correct call to make here is to save the 5 year old child over 100, 3 day human embryos."
Actually, I would save the 100 fetuses over the 1 child. I would not want either to die, but given the choice between taking the life of 1 or 100, I would chose only the 1.

None of Pro's arguments can change the one simple truth of it all; killing is wrong, and it has no place in a civilized society.
Debate Round No. 3
illegalcombat

Pro

I thank Stschiffman for their reply.

Forced continuation of pregnancy as punishment

Con points out that being against abortion in of it's self doesn't make them misogynist or sexist, I agree, nor did I claim as such.

Once again consider Cons implications where they say..."More than 99% of all abortions are simply done by women who do not want to live with the consequences of their actions."

What I rebuked Con for is using forced continuation of pregnancy as some sort of punishment, and the implication if such a woman gets an abortion they are getting away with something.

As I argued before..."Contra this line of thinking, a pregnant woman getting an abortion isn't akin to say some one hitting your car in the supermarket then driving off without leaving a note. Pregnancy involves all kinds of costs and risks, even the risk of death. Also having an abortion is no walk in the park."

Number of abortions

In regard to how much less abortions would be acceptable to Con they inform us..."How about 100% less.".

As I said the actual numbers is just a red herring, there is no actual argument here.

Freedom not restricted unless justified

Con agrees and seeks to provide justification for not allowing abortion.

Cons: Nazi killing is morally equivalent to abortions

Recall how I argued that..."The reason most of don't compare the killings of the USA army to Nazi Germany is that we realize there are morally relevant factors that apply or don't apply to different situations and thus one situation even though they may have some things in common even killing, doesn't necessarily mean they are morally equivalent."

I take it Con drops this moral equivalency argument in light of my counters.

The right to life/right not to be killed as an absolute is untenable

Recall the argument here..."The right to life/right not to be killed is often invoked as justification for not allowing abortion. Notice those who advocate it don't really believe it them self at least not as an absolute, the most common view where intentional killing is justified is self defense (or some variation of). Then we have issues of drone strikes, war, dropping the A bomb, etc etc.

The point is, not even the pro-life-anti choicer believes in such a simplistic absolute right to life and if such a person was to selectively apply such an absolute right to life to justify denying an abortion would be a double standard & hypocritical."

Now consider Cons claim...."None of Pro's arguments can change the one simple truth of it all; killing is wrong,"

Once again the double standard is shown.

When it comes to abortion, killing is wrong, abortion kills, ergo abortion is wrong.

When it comes to killing in other area's, well there are morally relevant factors at play and in case XYZ, killing isn't or may not be wrong.

I maintain that the absolute right to life/right not to be killed premise is untenable and Cons argument against abortion rests upon this flawed selectively applied premise and thus should be rejected.

Bodily rights argument (the violinist analogy)

"Like wise it is argued, a pregnant women can unplug the embryo inside of her, she should not be forced to continue with her pregnancy anymore than some one plugged into the violinist to keep them alive, such is yours & hers bodily rights/freedom."

I don't think I need to say anything more here.

Pregnant Women vs Billionaires (Dis-proportionality argument)

"So here is the logical point, if rights and freedoms are such that we can't force the billionaires of the world to give up all their wealth except a few millions to save thinking, feeling, self aware humans, then it would be laughable & disproportionate to then argue that we are justified to force women to give up more, their bodily rights and the dangers of pregnancy in order to save non thinking, non feeling, non self aware, human embryos."

I have nothing to add.

3 day human embryo is not morally equivalent to a human 5 year old child

Con says he would save 100 fetuses over one five year old, even if that is the case it still doesn't change the fact that we would save one 5 year old over 100, 3 day human embryos.

If abortion is murder (reducto argument)

Con doesn't seem to dispute that if you operate on the abortion is murder premise, past/present/future of women who have such an abortion should be doing hard time or the death penalty (where applied).

I maintain we are justified to reject the abortion is murder premise on the absurdity it leads too.

Personhood & rights

Con didn't seem to dispute the 1-5 criteria.

Con also didn't seem to dispute we should recognize self aware, intelligent aliens as persons using such a criteria.

As such the argument is the human organism in the embryonic period is not a person and thus has no right to life.

I thank Stschiffman for the debate.

As per rules not new arguments in the last round.
stschiffman

Con

"Con points out that being against abortion in of it's self doesn't make them misogynist or sexist, I agree, nor did I claim as such." Yeah, you actually did. You said it in Round 3. "If you ever wondered why some regard the 'Pro-life' as anti-woman, it's because of things like this."

"As I said the actual numbers is just a red herring, there is no actual argument here."
No, it's an argument. Think about it this way; if I told you that an intersection without a stop sign has only experienced one fatal car crash in it's history, you wouldn't think anything of it. But if I told you that same intersection has had ten fatal car crashes, any sane person would want a stop sign put up. Point is, the more deaths, the more the situation needs to stop.

"Freedom not restricted unless justified"
Your right; one's right to live should not be restricted unless justified, and I don't think abortion justifies it.

Well, this is it; the end of my last round. Thank you illegalcombat for hosting this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by whiteflame 8 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: Overhead// Mod action: Removed<

6 points to Pro (Conduct, Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to PRO as CON's Nazi comparisons are in bad taste. Unnecessary and the point could have been made far more tastefully. S&G was similar for both. Argument: Con seemed to largely accept PRO's central contention of "Freedom not restricted unless justified" by not arguing against it for most of the debate, so the issue is whether there is justification for abortion. The argument that followed then weighed in PRO's favour. Although both arguments were based on claims to moral truths and imperfect comparisons on both sides (Nazis, Ailing violinists), CON gave far less comprehensive arguments. In R4 Con only challenges 3 of the 10 issues raised PRO's previous statement. CON's best argument was unfortunately in R4 where they finally did attempt to turn the central "freedom not restricted" argument that everything else relies upon with reference to the fetus's rights. Far too late to do it in the final round when PRO can't respond. Pro gets sources as only they used

[*Reason for removal*] The voter is required to do more to explain sources. Simply because only one side used them doesn't mean that those sources were relevant to the debate.
************************************************************************
Posted by stschiffman 8 months ago
stschiffman
@Overhead

Thank you for your evaluation, but in my defense, I was confused on illegalcombat's debate structure, and didn't think he wanted any rebuttals until at least round 3.
Posted by illegalcombat 8 months ago
illegalcombat
@stschiffman

I think there is some confusion on the debate structure.

Round 1 is for acceptance only, no arguments to be presented in round 1. !!

!!! Fourth round for rebuttal and closing statements, no new arguments. !!!

This doesn't mean you have to wait for for the 4th round for rebuttal, you can even start rebutting in the 2nd round if you wanted too. I Probably should of being clearer on debate structure.

So I will leave it up too you, we can just asks the mods to cancel this debate and ill set up a new debate, or continue as is.
Posted by illegalcombat 8 months ago
illegalcombat
That's not really the only question to be considered, there are questions and issues like.....

Right to life - what exactly does it or does it not justify ?

Bodily rights - same as above

What about conflict of rights/interests and what do when they conflict ?

What are the morally relevant factors ? what are not ?

Personhood, what is a person vs non person ? how do you tell the difference ?

Justice, fairness, reasonableness, unfair burdens,
Posted by milesk12 8 months ago
milesk12
If you ask me, all the arguments for/against abortion all boil down to the same question: "When does a fetus become a human"?

It's interesting to hear people's answers.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 8 months ago
Midnight1131
illegalcombatstschiffmanTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I give the win to Pro for a number of reasons. First off, many of their arguments remained un-refuted by Con. Such as the violinist analogy, the billionaire analogy, etc. The violinist analogy was particularly important because it showed that regardless of whether or not something will die, you always have a right to bodily autonomy. However the most important argument for Pro was the "5 criteria of life." This wasn't even mentioned by Con. It was a huge point for Pro because they could show that embryo is technically not a person under the law. Con's essential argument was that killing is always wrong. However as Pro showed, killing is considered OK in certain circumstances, such as in self-defense. Con's argument relating to this was that a small number of abortions are done because the mother's life is at risk, however this still goes under the definition of "restricted. Pro's 2 points are enough to win it, and they do, because Con's arguments had no impact for the resolution.