The Instigator
andrewkletzien
Pro (for)
Tied
2 Points
The Contender
Chuz-Life
Con (against)
Tied
2 Points

Roe v. Wade (the case which legalized abortion) should be held up.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,285 times Debate No: 28413
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (28)
Votes (3)

 

andrewkletzien

Pro

I will start by revealing that I am approaching this with the methodology (one of many) set forth by sociologists Peter Berger and Anton Zijderveld. (http://www.amazon.com...)

The Normative Principles & Cross-Perspective Agreement
There are two principles in the normative status of legal abortion that are stressed with great certainty: "1) That every person has the fundamental right to life [which is why murder is one of the most terrible crimes]; 2) That a woman has the fundamental right over her own body [which is why rape is a crime comparable to murder in its violation of human dignity]."

You will see how the two sides have thus deemed themselves "pro-life" and "pro-choice," which must be seen as an extension by assumption of the mutual exclusivity of these two statements. These two statements in and of themselves are hardly disagreeable and one may recognize this in "pro-choice" individuals granting assertion #1 and "pro-life" individuals granting assertion #2. This would seem to show us that the two sides have postulated arguments which are of little practical importance to the question of the legality of abortion, and the disagreement on the policy aspect of abortion would lead us to believe that we must turn elsewhere.

Concerning the Inapplicability of the Above Normative Statements & The Appropriate Question
The fetus is of course a human life, just as much as your appendix is. The question is of "personhood" and this can be said to be agreed upon by legislative assemblies which have dubiously labeled anti-abortion bills "Personhood Amendments." Life and personhood are inextricably distinct concepts in theory and in the actuality of worldly substances of which "life" and "persons" are constructed.

(http://rationalwiki.org...)

That being said, the question to be asked of the "pro-choice" individual is not of a woman's legal right to control over her body, but in the case of abortion where her own body ends and another body begins with respect to a fetus.

The ultimate question is explicated by Berger and Zijderveld as, "When in the nine-month trajectory of pregnancy does a human person emerge?"

There is a simple and yet unsatisfying answer to that question we don't know. He who says that the person is formed at birth is required by the burden of proof to show, which hundreds upon hundreds of years of examination on the human person and natural law by the brightest of individuals has failed to provide a conclusive answer.

The personhood at conception view is typically based on theological perspectives or inconclusive philosophical premises, which self-evidently have no role to play in legislative abortion policy. Unless it can be shown that allowing the termination of a pregnancy of a distinct and unique women contradicts the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...") then your religious concerns are of no relevance in this debate. The government need not respect your religion, only protect your ability to exercise it, which (unless proven to the contrary) the actions of a unique and distinct woman with regard to her pregnancy does infringe upon. The First Amendment does not give the right to religious indivdiuals to object to and hinder the actions of others it deems wrong if said actions do not impinge on your right to practice as you see fit.

The Distinction between Specified DNA and "Personhood"
It should first be noted the biological fact that mitochondria have their own separate and unique DNA within each cell, so unless personhood is to be granted to the organelle itself, unique DNA is not reason to grant unique personhood to the entity in which the DNA is contained.

(http://en.wikipedia.org...)

From this we can extrapolate to make a more practical distinction in that "Whatever I am as a person isn't identical with my DNA, and it's I, not my DNA, who have certain inalienable rights.

Legislative Application (The Question of Roe v. Wade)
If it is to be argued that the state has sufficient interest in banning the termination of a pregnancy, then Con must be asked to show: (1) a conclusive and convincing argument for the establishment of a human person at conception that does not depend on irrelevant religious premises; (2) that a defense of anti-abortion legislation appropriately applies the First Amendment which only grants the individual right to practice their religion independently and without obstruction.

It can be reasonably assumed that an embryo at 1-2 weeks is relatively further from "personhood" than a developed fetus in the second or third trimester. This begs the question (but does not answer) of where along the 9 month spectrum it can be said that a human person has emerged. In this sense, we are "faced with the necessity of making a morally sound decision in a state of ignorance about the basic question underlying the issue at hand -- in this case, the question of when human [personhood] emerges."

Because we don't know when we are dealing with an unborn person, it is reasonable to make "abortion solely the woman's prerogative at least during the first trimester, then making abortion increasingly difficult and finally illegal except under extraordinary circumstances." It is noted that this is the widely used preference of most European countries.

In Defense of the Posed Debate
It can be reasonably shown that this methodology is consistent with the legislative conclusions of Roe v. Wade. The decision has limited the availability of receiving an abortion until "viability," or the point at which the fetus is able to naturally survive outside of the women. This is typically denoted as around 22 weeks. It is my argument that this chronological denotation is the best we as a collective species have done to establish "personhood," thus making the decision of the Supreme Court adequate and worthy of continued support.
Chuz-Life

Con

Congratulations to my opponent (Pro) on a very good effort outlining of the specifics of this debate. I accept this challenge with the hopes that we will reach some common ground on the subject of human personhood, when it begins and on the viability of Roe v. Wade itself.

Pro has not specified a round for beginning arguments and as this debate has only three rounds total, I would like to respond to Pro's comments in this round.


The Normative Principles & Cross-Perspective Agreement
1. "... the two sides (Pro-Life & Pro-Choice) have postulated arguments which are of little practical importance to the question of the legality of abortion, and the disagreement on the policy aspect of abortion would lead us to believe that we must turn elsewhere. "

I agree with Pro on this point. In addition and for the record, I prefer to call myself 'anti-abortion [1].'

2. "The fetus is of course a human life, just as much as your appendix is."

My opponents claim here is biologically incorrect. An appendix is only a part of the (much larger) organism that it belongs to. A human fetus is an entire organism in and of itself [2]. Consider a human embryo living in a petri dish created by invitro fertilization [3]. It too is a human life. Correct? Even as it is living outside of and apart from the body of any other human being. It is a human life. The same can not be said of an appendix.



Concerning the Inapplicability of the Above Normative Statements & The Appropriate Question
3. "The question is of "personhood" and this can be said to be agreed upon by legislative assemblies which have dubiously labeled anti-abortion bills "Personhood Amendments." Life and personhood are inextricably distinct concepts in theory and in the actuality of worldly substances of which "life" and "persons" are constructed."

I agree with Pro that the question is one of "personhood" and also when and how personhood begins?

The current legal definition for a person is simply; "a human being" and or "the body of a human being. [4]" For myself, that definition when considered along with Pro's earlier comment that a human fetus is "a human life" should automatically end this debate with a vote for Con.

However, I understand that Pro is not likely to immediately appreciate the full significance of the legal definitions and what has just transpired. So, I am prepared to expound on this point in the following rounds.

4. "... the question to be asked of the "pro-choice" individual is not of a woman's legal right to control over her body, but in the case of abortion where her own body ends and another body begins with respect to a fetus."

Science has not problem making this determination. The two organisms (mother and fetal child) are both connected and separated by the "placental barrier." [5]

5. "The ultimate question is explicated by Berger and Zijderveld as, "When in the nine-month trajectory of pregnancy does a human person emerge?" There is a simple and yet unsatisfying answer to that question we don't know."

I submit that we do know and I will expound on the reasons why in later rounds.

I also ask Pro. If "we don't know" for certain whether or not an abortion kills a child (person) shouldn't we err on the side of caution and life?

6. "He who says that the person is formed at birth (conception?) is required by the burden of proof to show, which hundreds upon hundreds of years of examination on the human person and natural law by the brightest of individuals has failed to provide a conclusive answer."

I understand and I will continue to provide the evidence that convinces me of the fact that personhood begins at conception as this debate allows.

7. "The personhood at conception view is typically based on theological perspectives or inconclusive philosophical premises, which self-evidently have no role to play in legislative abortion policy."

Hopefully, as this debate unfolds Pro will appreciate the fact that my basis is neither theological nor philosophical on this subject.


The Distinction between Specified DNA and "Personhood"
8. "It should first be noted the biological fact that mitochondria have their own separate and unique DNA within each cell, so unless personhood is to be granted to the organelle itself, unique DNA (alone) is not reason to grant unique personhood to the entity in which the DNA is contained. From this we can extrapolate to make a more practical distinction in that "Whatever I am as a person isn't identical with my DNA, and it's I, not my DNA, who have certain inalienable rights."

I tend to agree. However, I would add the word 'alone' as I did in parenthesis above.



Legislative Application (The Question of Roe v. Wade)

9. "If it is to be argued that the state has sufficient interest in banning the termination of a pregnancy, then Con must be asked to show: (1) a conclusive and convincing argument for the establishment of a human person at conception that does not depend on irrelevant religious premises; (2) that a defense of anti-abortion legislation appropriately applies the First Amendment which only grants the individual right to practice their religion independently and without obstruction."

Understood.

10. "It can be reasonably assumed that an embryo at 1-2 weeks is relatively further from "personhood" than a developed fetus in the second or third trimester."

To this, I would say that such an assumption is not 'reasonable' once it is understood that personhood begins at conception.

11. "Because we don't know when we are dealing with an unborn person, it is reasonable to make "abortion solely the woman's prerogative at least during the first trimester, then making abortion increasingly difficult and finally illegal except under extraordinary circumstances."

I would like to bring Pro's attention to the legal definitions under 'Laci and Conner's Law.'[6] A law which (already) establishes the personhood of a child in the womb by making the unjust killing of a prenatal child a crime of murder[7] and defines the child as "a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb."

This law (for now) makes an exception to keep voluntary abortions 'legal.' Hopefully, Pro will appreciate the significance of that fact. The rule is that killing a child (person) in the womb is a murder. The exception is to allow for abortions to be permitted.


In Defense of the Posed Debate
12. "It can be reasonably shown that this methodology is consistent with the legislative conclusions of Roe v. Wade. The decision has limited the availability of receiving an abortion until "viability," or the point at which the fetus is able to naturally
survive outside of the women. This is typically denoted as around 22 weeks. It is my argument that this chronological denotation is the best we as a collective species have done to establish "personhood," thus making the decision of the Supreme Court adequate and worthy of continued support."

The personhood aspect of prenatal children is paramount in ANY abortion debate [8]. This one is not exception. However, I disagree with Pro's assertion that the burden should be upon a developing child to breech our ability to deny to them their 'personhood rights' before we will finally regard them as 'persons' worthy of the equal protections of our laws.



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://www.plannedparenthood.org...

[3] http://www.plannedparenthood.org...

[4] http://dictionary.findlaw.com...

[5] http://www.med.umich.edu...

[6] http://news.findlaw.com...

[7] http://dictionary.findlaw.com...

[8] http://youtu.be...
Debate Round No. 1
andrewkletzien

Pro

In summary of my opponents arguments, I will trust that I will be corrected if I am mistaken:

1. The definitions of "pro-life" and "pro-choice" have been conceded as useful but often deceptive labels with regard to the important questions of this debate.
2. The status of "life" to a fetus is distinct from one's ability to label other organs (such as the appendix) as human life.
3. The concession has been made that "life" and "personhood" are distinct qualities of any substance, organismic or otherwise.
4. The definition of a human person can be said to be (at least legally) the same as a "human being," which has been proposed as an an appropriate extrapolation from the status of "human life" to determine the validity of Roe v. Wade.
5. Science has not run into a problem making a determination of where a human person's body ends and a fetus' body ends.
6. We do know when a human person emerges during the nine month process of pregnancy (claimed but not justified until later rounds).
7. The concession that unique and distinct DNA is not grounds for establishing unique and distinct personhood.
8. Concession that the establishment of fetal personhood must be adequately shown to provide the government with a significant interest in banning the termination of a pregnancy.
9. There is no reason to believe that the growth of a fetus is a gradual progression, but instead is something that happens instantaneously at conception.
10. Laws such as "Laci and Conner's" law which supposedly establishes the personhood of a child in the womb.

At the risk of sounding redundant, I will point out the extraordinary number of concessions that have been made between two individuals who disagree on what has become so vitriolic among some individuals: (1) Pro-choice and pro-life, while they are useful at denoting different policy preferences, are deceptive; (2) life and personhood are distinct characteristics, and that personhood requires life but life does not require personhood; (3) unique and distinct DNA is not sufficient in and of itself to establishing personhood; (4) the establishment of a fetus' personhood not be dependent on inappropriate applications of religious law.

In Response to Non-Conceded Premises:
1. In the distinction between life and personhood: an appendix can be said to be human life in that it is comprised of the "stuff" of life (as Carl Sagan) would put it. In this sense an appendix is much like a fetus in that while neither serve as necessary components of the proper functioning of a woman, they would both be inoperable outside of the organism in which they are latched. My opponent has claimed that a fetus is "an entire organism in and of itself" while not recognizing that the entirety of an organism ipso facto requires the basic biological functions of breathing, digesting, a beating heart, etc. While a fetus may in fact be able to perform some of these necessary functions before birth, the entirety of its organismic status cannot possibly be rectified with its inability to survive naturally on its own (viability). An embryo living in a petri dish is in fact human life, but is in no way a full organism nor can it be said to have personhood, which has been admitted to be the relevant question in the legislative abortion debate. My opponent has failed to recognize the inappropriateness of ascribing "life" variably with "organismic entirety." Thus, the appendix is "alive" in the sense that it is a construction of the basic tenets of physiological "life," but its personhood is not able to be even conceptually extrapolated from such a fact.

2. On a "human person" being synonymous with a "human being": You seem to lack any observable methodology of moving from "human life" to "human being" to "human person." And that is precisely my point in ascribing inconclusivity to the debate thus far. If you wish to establish conclusivity to a debate that has been up in the air for centuries with no observable acceptable conclusion, I will wait to hear it. I will point out, however, that you are grossly overestimating the ease of such labeling. As Kristin Luker of the University of Michigan writes: "The moral status of the embryo has always been ambiguous. Though both sides turn to history and philosophy and law to buttress their arguments that the embryo is or is not a baby, none of these disciplines gives any evidence that can prove the status of the embryo 'beyond a reasonable doubt...' In short, philosophy, law, and history only confirm something we already knew about embryos, that they are located on a continuum that stretches from a single sex cell (an egg or a sperm) to a newborn human infant. All that these disciplines can tell us is that sometimes embryos are treated as the babies they will become while at other times they are treated as the primitive single-celled creatures they once were." (http://www.amazon.com...)

3. The question of scientific labeling: You claim that science has not had a "problem in making [the] determination" of where a woman's body ends and the fetus begins. You may be correct at first glance, but further understanding of the placental barrier will ask whether that connection is the mother, the fetus, or as I would say "something in between." If you'll allow me to get a little graphic, it is clear that when one is engaging in sexual intercourse, there is a sort of "overlap" but a distinction is clear in what is the "outline" of the first individual's body and the second. This is not clear, as you claim it to be, in the case of pregnancy, for the fetus and the mother are ultimately tied to each other and running off of each other. They are intrinsically connected unlike one engaging in copulation that does indeed mean that the lines are clearly blurred. Unless you can provide a reason for us to see these lines as less blurry, the distinction is not as easy as you claim it to be.

4. To the claim that we know when a human person emerges: You have not provided reason to believe this but ensured us that you will explicate your theory in further rounds, so I will be glad to wait on this point.

5. On the claim that personhood is a quality able of being acquired instantaneously rather than over a gradual progression: You have made it clear that you believe the indelible mark of human personhood is quite able to be granted instantaneously, but I will ask why this is as opposed to the quite common (and I would say moderate) view of the fetus growing and developing gradually and thus establishing some of the correct labelings gradually. It is at this point I believe you have made it very difficult on yourself to not rely on teleological or religious pleas, for it appears to me that only a religious argument would be brash enough to ascribe such an important and significant label so definitively at one exact point in time.

6. As to laws such as Laci & Connor's: I will first point out that you seem to understand (as do I) that our laws are grossly inconsistent when it comes to this issue, which can probably be ascribed to the continuous ambiguity of the definition of a human person. However, this is a debate on Roe v. Wade in the normative sense. These laws, you are correct, are all interrelated and are often contradictory. However, inconsistent laws do not necessarily go to the advantage of pro-life or pro-choice, as can be seen by both sides ability to point to grossly inconsistent legislation. Anyways, we have found another point of agreement! That our legislature is quite often incompetent when it comes to dealing with these heavy issues rationally and effectively. This does not, however, establish a benefit on either side of the argument.

I have run out of space, I will be glad to answer any of the questions I inevitably missed if you will point out specific applicable ones next round.
Chuz-Life

Con

Pro posted this;" In summary of my opponents arguments, I will trust that I will be corrected if I am mistaken:"

1. The definitions of "pro-life" and "pro-choice" have been conceded as useful but often deceptive labels with regard to the important questions of this debate.

True.

2. The status of "life" to a fetus is distinct from one's ability to label other organs (such as the appendix) as human life.

A a human fetus is a complete organism and 'other organs' are not... I'm not sure that my opponent yet appreciates the distinctions that must be drawn between the two.

3. The concession has been made that "life" and "personhood" are distinct qualities of any substance, organismic or otherwise.

To my opponent, Pro. I have made no such 'concession.' That is, I agree that 'life' is a distinct quality for any living thing. However, I have not been queried by you during this debate on the rest. I never made the claim that "personhood is a distinct quality of any substance, organismic or otherwise.''

4. The definition of a human person can be said to be (at least legally) the same as a "human being," which has been proposed as an an appropriate extrapolation from the status of "human life" to determine the validity of Roe v. Wade.


At least!

5. Science has not run into a problem making a determination of where a human person's body ends and a fetus' body ends.

This is a fair summary of what I said. Yes.

6. We do know when a human person emerges during the nine month process of pregnancy (claimed but not justified until later rounds).

This too is a fair summary of what I said. Yes.

7. The concession that unique and distinct DNA is not grounds for establishing unique and distinct personhood.

My opponent has it close but not quite right in this summary. I concede that "unique and distinct DNA ALONE is not grounds for establishing unique and distinct personhood. " In as mush as I can agree that it takes more than just DNA to establish the personhood of a prenatal child, I can not ignore the significance of DNA and the role it plays in determining the child's identity as being an individual being that can be distinguished from all others.

8. Concession that the establishment of fetal personhood must be adequately shown to provide the government with a significant interest in banning the termination of a pregnancy.

Again, Con has this only partially correct. As the United States Supreme Court posited in Roe, "were it to be determined that a human fetus is a person, the proponents for abortion would have a very difficult case to prove" (paraphrased) [8] The court did not say that the establishment of personhood for prenatal children would be required in order for the court to ban abortions. They only indicated that it would make it much more difficult to keep abortions legal.

9. There is no reason to believe that the growth of a fetus is a gradual progression, but instead is something that happens instantaneously at conception.

False. I challenge Pro to provide a quote of any comments that I have made to support that claim. Of course, a person's growth and aging begins at conception and in fact carrys on for many years beyond the pregnancy [9].
"Aging begins at conception and terminates at death. As we progress through life and its four 
major states: 1. conception and birth, 2. puberty and adolescence, 3. adulthood and 4. senescence,
we realize and experience the fact that the human body is biologically changing. It is growing,
changing and aging."
I struggle to see how Pro (in his ninth comment) could make such a conclusion from anything I have posted thus far.

10. Laws such as "Laci and Conner's" law which supposedly establishes the personhood of a child in the womb.

Close again. My view would be correctly summarized as; "Laws such as "Laci and Conner's Law" (by making the unjust killing of child in the womb a crime of murder) have effectively established the personhood of children in the womb."

Pro added: "At the risk of sounding redundant, I will point out the extraordinary number of concessions that have been made between two individuals who disagree on what has become so vitriolic among some individuals: (1) Pro-choice and pro-life, while they are useful at denoting different policy preferences, are deceptive; (2) life and personhood are distinct characteristics, and that personhood requires life but life does not require personhood; (3) unique and distinct DNA is not sufficient in and of itself to establishing personhood; (4) the establishment of a fetus' personhood not be dependent on inappropriate applications of religious law."

That was a much better summary, Pro. It seems you have that part right, despite some of the corrections I had to make to some of the individual itemized conclusions that you had drawn.

Pro continued with: "In Response to Non-Conceded Premises:

1. "... My opponent has claimed that a fetus is "an entire organism in and of itself" while not recognizing that the entirety of an organism ipso facto requires the basic biological functions of breathing, digesting, a beating heart, etc. While a fetus may in fact be able to perform some of these necessary functions before birth, the entirety of its organismic status cannot possibly be rectified with its inability to survive naturally on its own (viability)."

I remind my opponent of the link to Planned Parenthood's Glossary that I shared in R1. Planned Parenthood (no friend to Con in this debate) correctly recognizes that human being in the zygote, embryo and fetal stages of their life as a human 'organism' [2] [3].

Pro added; "An (human) embryo living in a petri dish is in fact human life, but is in no way a full organism nor can it be said to have personhood, which has been admitted to be the relevant question in the legislative abortion debate."

As mentioned earlier, I have already shared links to Planned Parenthood's Glossary [2] [3] which seriously undermines Pro's claims that a human embryo is not a complete organism. Because we have only one more round left after this one, I will add an appeal to Pro to consider the fact that human beings are 'placental mammals.' As such, our young [10] are carried in the mother's body [11] until they are delivered from the womb. Biologically speaking, it was your conception (the moment that created your DNA) that makes your father your biological 'father.' (click here for further discussion; http://debate.org... )

Pro concluded with; "My opponent has failed to recognize the inappropriateness of ascribing "life" variably with "organismicentirety." Thus, the appendix is "alive" in the sense that it is a construction of the basic tenets of physiological "life," but its personhood is not able to be even conceptually extrapolated from such a fact. "

Unlike an appendix, a human being in the first days of their life CAN be determined to be a complete organism. I ask Pro to consider the fact that an amoeba (for example) is a complete and living organism too. And the fact is that all an amoeba will ever be is a single celled organism [12].

Human organisms (beings) do not morph out of something that is less than a human being and into something which is. A human being in the first days of their life is the 'young' of the parents who created them [10]. As I explained before, conception is when your father became your biological father. It is when your DNA that gives you all your traits and characteristics was first determined. It is when your aging began [9]. It seems that logic would follow that all of these things indicate that "conception" therefore is also the moment that 'you' first became 'you.'

[9] http://snl.depaul.edu...

[10] http://dictionary.reference.com...

[11] http://www.superglossary.com...

[12] http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 2
andrewkletzien

Pro

In response to my description of my opponent's arguments.

1. Conceded as an accurate description.
2. The accuracy of the description was not objected to. Not shown to be contradictory to my opponent's argument, but appropriate extrapolations are debated.
3. Con claims that no such concession has been made to the inextricable distinction between life and personhood. Pro is quoted as saying "I agree with Pro that the question is one of 'personhood' and also when and how personhood begins." No objection was made to the clear distinction between life and personhood, as seen in the concession that the appropriate question is of personhood and not life. Con seems to have backpedaled on this issue.
4. Conceded as accurate description, but with debatable extrapolations.
5. Conceded as an accurate description.
6. "^"
7. An appropriate addendum was made to include the inappropriateness of DNA alone being enough to establish personhood. Conceded by me.
8. Conceded as partially right, rebutted with measurements of requirement for personhood and not to the point of constitutional and legislative interest.
9. Con claims that it is a misappropriation of his arguments to claim that he believed in an instantaneous occurrence of a human person. A simple look to the fact that Con agrees with personhood established at conception (a single, definable moment in time) will show that his definitions are of an instantaneous nature rather than a progression.
10. Con has made the distinction between the effective establishment of personhood in connected but distinct legislation, but failed to take into account my point in round 2 of the inconsistency of laws and legislation making no benefit to either side of the normative debate.

Con has conceded to a progression of human development in his statements of the timely distinction between "1. conception and birth; 2. puberty and adolescence; 3. adulthood; 4. senescence. Con has failed to reconcile this accurate description of human development with his belief that personhood can be said to be granted instantaneously at the moment at which an egg is fertilized by a specific sperm. Con seems to experience some confusion over whether the physiological and observable progression of human development can be reconciled with the labeling of stages of development at a particular moment of time. We either develop personhood, or it is something that can be seen as a gradual process. Con must make an attempt to reconcile the fact of physiological development through progression and the claimed ease of establishing personhood at a specific moment in time.

I must point out the incessant need to identify my arguments and positions with organizations such as Planned Parenthood that I have claimed no normative association with despite my support for their provided services. I find it necessary to point out the difference in the theoretical and practical implications of this debate. With regard to ultimate effects, I am in support of the services that Planned Parenthood provide. However, it is a straw man to assume that the reasons and definitions put forth by Planned Parenthood are identical with or dependent on my arguments. In short, I am not defending Planned Parenthood in this debate, I am defending the normative aspect of the abortion debate with regard to its efficient application in Roe v. Wade.

Con's inference from the creation of my DNA to the personhood of myself while a fetus has failed to be consistent with his concession that DNA alone cannot establish personhood. No additional reasons to establish personhood beyond unique DNA (which by Con's own words are insufficient) were provided.

On Applications of the State of Amoeba's with regard to Organismic Entirety
An amoeba is in itself a complete organism. This can be said because the full development of an amoeba is a single cell. However, in order to establish organismic entirety to a multicellular species, the comparison to a single-celled organism is irrelevant. The organism can be said to be a "full person" in the case of homo sapiens when that organism is capable of living and functioning independently (http://en.wikipedia.org...), which an amoeba is able to do being a single-celled organism because the entirety of the amoeba only requires a single cell. The comparison here is between apples and oranges, between an organism that can be labeled "entire" because it can only hope to remain single celled, and an organism which is multi-cellular if it is to be granted status of organismic entirety. Con has said it himself: "an amoeba will ever be is a single celled organism" [sic]. One must provide reason to believe this comparison is relevant.

Con claims: "human beings do not morph out of something that is less than a human being and into something which is." This is clearly incorrect. Human beings are created out of an egg and a sperm, two thing which in themselves are not human (and if it is to be argued to the contrary, masturbation would need to be labeled mass murder), but that when put together may morph into something that is human. The question at hand is when that combination can be labeled a person. Con argues that the label can be placed instantaneously when the egg and the sperm meet, while I argue that human personhood cannot be established instantaneously with the simple combination of the parts. Putting two legos together does not deserve the label of a "lego tower," but the concurrent addition of legos (biological and physiological resources in the case of a fetus) gradually increased the applicability of the label. Simply put, the combination of two resources of "creation" does not entitle the immediate label of what those two resources will eventually create.

I concede that "conception is when your father became your biological father." Con must provide a reason why this is able to be extrapolated to full and complete personhood.

In round 1 #9 Con claims to have understood that he must provide reasons why the state has "sufficient interest in banning the termination of a pregnancy." He conceded that he must be required to "show a conclusive and convincing argument for the establishment of a human person at conception that does not depend on irrelevant religious premises." While he did not attempt to show such an argument based on religious premises, his non-religious premises still do not create a "conclusive and convincing argument for the establishment of a human person at conception." By his own admittance, Con has failed to produce the necessary arguments for establishing a legitimate state interest in banning the termination of a pregnancy. If Con claims to have fulfilled this need in the subsequent round, let that be determined by the voters.

On The Important Question of Uncertainty of Personhood being Logically Followed by the "Side of Caution and Life."
This is a question that I take very seriously. It is a question, however, which can easily be neutralized if not answered by the question: "Would it not make sense in issues of moral uncertainty to leave the decision up to the woman involved and not effectively and practically assume an answer to the quandary?" The question must turn to the role of government in legislating practically when moral uncertainty is present. The distinction can be made between the theoretical and practical. A ban on abortion due to the uncertainty of the matter may theoretically appreciate the moral uncertainty, but it effectively and practically assumes a conclusion. It is my argument that this is not the role of the government in moral gray areas. Government must function on empirically observable facts. A monomania with regard to the practical implications may very well turn into a government of paternalism which protects its citizens from harms that they need not nor wish not to be protected from. Lawrence v. Texas may provide insight into this problem: (http://en.wikipedia.org...).
Chuz-Life

Con

Thanks to Pro for staying on point in this debate and for focusing on the arguments and not the person or agenda.

My opponent apparently still believes even after our exchange that the Roe v Wade ruling should be upheld. That's fine though I personally disagree more now than I did before we started.

In this debate, Pro had the burden of proving why Roe should be upheld. I (Con) had the burden of proving why Roe should not be upheld.

The debate eventually came to our fundamental disagreement on personhood [8]. As Pro noted in early R1; "The ultimate question is explicated by Berger and Zijderveld as, "When in the nine-month trajectory of pregnancy does a human person emerge?" There is a simple and yet unsatisfying answer to that question we don't know."

In my attempts to answer the question of personhood for Pro, I provided several links to support my comments. These included, links which show the Legal Definition [4] for a human person would not exclude a child in the womb. A legal definition for Laci and Conner's Law [6] which effectively recognizes children in the womb as legal 'persons' by making it the crime of murder [7] to unjustly kill one. I provided a link to show that the child's aging begins at conception [9]. Links to prove that a child in the first days of their development is a human organism [2] [3]. That they are not a 'part of' their mother's body (like her appendix is) but they are in fact separated from her body by the Placenta [2]... and so on.

Pros final arguments seem to be more about finding contradictions in my own comments and less about refuting the information in the links that I listed above.

Example; Concerning the Inapplicability of the Above Normative Statements & The Appropriate Question

Pros said: "The question is of "personhood" and this can be said to be agreed upon by legislative assemblies which have dubiously labeled anti-abortion bills "Personhood Amendments." Life and personhood are inextricably distinct concepts in theory and in the actuality of worldly substances of which "life" and "persons" are constructed."

I (Con) agree with Pro that the question is one of "personhood" and I added that it is also about when and how personhood begins. (R1)

"Pro see that as "The concession has been made that "life" and "personhood" are distinct qualities of any substance, organismic or otherwise." (R2)"

When I tried to (again) clarify my position, with this: "I have made no such 'concession.' That is, I agree that 'life' is a distinct quality for any living thing. However, I have not been queried by you during this debate on the rest. I never made the claim that "personhood is a distinct quality of any substance, organismic or otherwise.(R2) ''

Pro concludes; "
No objection was made to the clear distinction between life and personhood, as seen in the concession that the appropriate question is of personhood and not life. Con seems to have backpedaled on this issue.(R3)"

1. The original claim by Pro was that "the question is of personhood. (R1)"
2. I agreed. And I added that it is also about "when and how personhood begins.(R1)"
3. Instead of simply debating what I added, Pro decided to portray my comments as a complete concession by posting "The concession has been made that "life" and "personhood" are distinct qualities of any substance, organismic or otherwise." (R2)"
4. After I tried to set the record straight again with "I never made the claim that "personhood is a distinct quality of any substance, organismic or otherwise...(R2)''
5. Pro quipped; "No objection was made to the clear distinction between life and personhood, as seen in the concession that the appropriate question is of personhood and not life. Con seems to have backpedaled on this issue."

In my opinion, it should not have been this difficult for both of us to agree that the "Question is of Personhood" and also about "When and How personhood begins."

Going forward, Pro seems to be fixated upon pointing out all the aspects that we agree with each other on and pointing them out as 'concessions' on my part. However, if we both agree on these things, is Pro not conceding as well? I think it's great that we have some common ground. I ask Pro to accept it as such and to try to see it as something other than a concession.

Pro indicated that: "Con has made the distinction between the effective establishment of personhood in connected but distinct legislation, but failed to take into account my point in round 2 of the inconsistency of laws and legislation making no benefit to either side of the normative debate."

I will happily address those remarks now.

In round 2 Pro said: "our laws are grossly inconsistent when it comes to this issue, which can probably be ascribed to the continuous ambiguity of the definition of a human person. However, this is a debate on Roe v. Wade in the normative sense. These laws, you are correct, are all interrelated and are often contradictory. However, inconsistent laws do not necessarily go to the advantage of pro-life or pro-choice, as can be seen by both sides ability to point to grossly inconsistent legislation..."

To Pro, I would say that we again can agree on some aspects of the above. However, My arguments were not based on the laws or conclusions of Laci and Conner's law but on the "legal definitions" of 'Children in the womb' instead.

To Pros point "inconsistent laws do not necessarily go to the advantage of pro-life or pro-choice" I am inclined to agree. However, I would have liked for Pro to have addressed the legal definition and to explain how it does not support the anti-abortion / pro-life claims that a child in the womb is a person.;

"... the term `unborn child' means a child in utero, and the term `child in utero' or `child, who is in utero' means a member of the species homo sapiens, at ANY stage of development, who is carried in the womb." ~ Laci and Conner's Law

Pro stated: "Con has failed to reconcile this accurate description of human development with his belief that personhood can be said to be granted instantaneously at the moment at which an egg is fertilized by a specific sperm."

I direct Pros and the readers attention again to the legal definitions for Laci's and Conner's Law, the links I posted earlier on the Legal Definition for "person." The links to definitions of "young" "organisms" and "aging" and I ask what more does a person require to see that a child is a person and that their life as the Young of their parents begins at conception?

It's clear that we who oppose abortion see a child in the womb as "a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently " [13] and Pro along with many defenders of abortion see a child as less than a person ONLY because the child has not developed past an arbitrarily decided point (viability?) whereafter, Pro can't deny that they are persons anymore. The legal definitions I provided earlier does not exclude a child in the womb from personhood in the way that Pro and his criteria does.

Pro added: "Con's inference from the creation of my DNA to the personhood of myself while a fetus has failed to be consistent with his concession that DNA alone cannot establish personhood."

I beg to differ. The readers will not that I have not argued that DNA ALONE determines personhood. To the contrary, DNA was only used to support my many other reasons for concluding that a child's personhood (and life) begins at conception.

I will conclude.

Pro said; "I concede that "conception is when your father became your biological father." Con must provide a reason why this is able to be extrapolated to full and complete personhood. "

To Pro, I would say that while I do find that fact compelling on it's own. It is to be considered along with the many other facts that I've provided. Facts that (when combined) support my claim that a child in the womb is a Person and as such is entitled to the protections of our laws.

[13] http://www.hyperdic.net...

Debate Round No. 3
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Chuz-Life 4 years ago
Chuz-Life
@ Garret

My thoughts exactly.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 4 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
"Very true, sadly many members do not appear to share that same perspective; begrudgingly they are given the power of voting on debates that they seemingly do not read or worse, do not comprehend."

You may as well have been talking about voters at the election booths...
Posted by Grantmac18 4 years ago
Grantmac18
@Chuz-Life

I am not qualified to answer that on his behalf, I suppose it would derive from a perceived responsibility or perhaps he is the appointed "vote monitor". Generally, he counters the voters who exhibit obvious indications of "improper" voting.

Very true, sadly many members do not appear to share that same perspective; begrudgingly they are given the power of voting on debates that they seemingly do not read or worse, do not comprehend.

Alas, such is the flaw of public voting.
Posted by andrewkletzien 4 years ago
andrewkletzien
I have less of a problem with Emospongebob appointing himself to such a virtuous position than other individuals granting themselves the power to cast unsubstantiated votes. It's a threat-neutralizer, not a threat in and of itself to the site and its credibility.
Posted by Chuz-Life 4 years ago
Chuz-Life
@Grantmac

That's too bad, I guess. Cause even a broken clock can be right twice a day. So, what's it to him why someone votes the way that they do? I have no problem with the site policing the votes or even appointing HIM to do it. But appointing himself and using his own arbitrarily decided reasons? Meh.

All the more reasons to ignore the numbers and concentrate on the issues and sources.
Posted by Grantmac18 4 years ago
Grantmac18
@Chuz-Life
Emospngebob has a history of balancing out fraudulent votes; that is, votes cast based on presupposition etc. He is a champion to all those who have fallen victim to some individual holding a contrasting opinion who does not take the time to read the debate or the sources provided, instead votes based on his or her personal opinion. He restores order to a site desperately in need.
Posted by tmar19652 4 years ago
tmar19652
Why do these people feel like they have to force abortion views on someone else? If you don't agree with abortion don't have one, don't take away the woman's right to have one. Also, why are men going against abortion, we don't have the experience of being pregnant, nor are we affected by abortion.
Posted by Chuz-Life 4 years ago
Chuz-Life
We both survive to fight another day!

@ Andrew, thanks for a good debate.

@ Emospngebob, what's up with taking my (potential) win away by countering someone else's vote?

Meh.
Posted by andrewkletzien 4 years ago
andrewkletzien
Precisely why we had this debate: to gauge level of conclusiveness.
Posted by Chuz-Life 4 years ago
Chuz-Life
Andrew, just because the information that I provided doesn't prove conclusive to you... that doesn't meant that it won't be conclusive to others. Indeed, it took far less to change my own views on the subject.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
andrewkletzienChuz-LifeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter Wishing4Winter.
Vote Placed by Wishing4Winter 4 years ago
Wishing4Winter
andrewkletzienChuz-LifeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
andrewkletzienChuz-LifeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: See Comments