The Instigator
Sunfire315
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
Bosoxfaninla
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Should killing a fetus be murder?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Sunfire315
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/5/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 767 times Debate No: 80528
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)

 

Sunfire315

Pro

The issue of abortion hinges upon the definition of an unborn child. If the life of an unborn child has the same value as ours, then killing a fetus would be murder. If he/she/it does not, OF COURSE the women should have the choice to kill the mass of cells, if it doesn't then abortion should be treated like infanticide.
Bosoxfaninla

Con

I would like to start things off by thanking Sunfire315 for creating this debate on this very controversial topic, especially with the elections a few months away. To start off I would like to define a few terms my counterpart has brought up, and that of course is the definition of murder. According to Google the definition of murder is "the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another". Now of course it would be totally illogical to call an unborn fetus a "human being" . A fetus is defined as "an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind; specifically : a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth" according to Merriam-Webster. How can you compare a human being to a developing fetus? They're not even remotely similar.

The first contention I would like to make is the classic argument is in the case of rape or mutation. Are we going to define those cases as murder, because if for some reason you do value a fetus as much a human being then this of course this should be classified as murder due to the fact it is the "premeditated killing" of what you are defining as a "human being".
That of course bring me to the topic of justification. Now if you wish to grant justification for these situations, where are you willing to draw the line? Many will argue the case that being born into a family that sees you as a "mistake" or "unwanted" is not the proper environment for a child to be born into, and this leads to the question of why should we force them to surfer. Even if you hide it from the child they will find out at some point they were unwanted and unexpected and it will traumatize them for a lifetime. Many will argue the case of teen pregnancy where the parent just is not ready yet to provide the support necessary to parent a child. Many will see this as ruining their own life, and thus should have a choice. The point I wish to make is a short one, and it is about a current novel I am reading by the author Toni Morrison, titled Beloved. The book is based around a mother who has murdered her infant child so that it would not have to suffer through the horrors of slavery. Also the case of Lennie in Of Mice and Men, who was murdered peacefully rather than painfully in the hands of a stranger. These case seems completely justifiable cases of murder and completely reasonable. If we apply this to the cases stated above about abortions, we can conclude, all the parent is trying to do is prevent the child from being born into a home that is just not prepared for raising a child. They are not trying to cause harm to the fetus or brutally murder them, they are merrily trying to protect them.

My second and final contention is that fetus's do not feel pain until very late in the pregnancy, if any at all. According to a study conducted by Jama Network (http://jama.jamanetwork.com...#) found "Evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester." They define pain as " a subjective sensory and emotional experience that requires the presence of consciousness to permit recognition of a stimulus as unpleasant." This of course means "The perception of pain requires an awareness of an unpleasant stimulus " receptors throughout the body must send a signal to the brain, where it can be processed as pain" which have not developed in the unborn fetus just yet. This of course leads us to the question of... "what's the harm". Simply there is none so long as they do not yet feel pain.

I would like to close with a quote from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, "We're always going to argue about abortion. It's a hard choice and it's controversial, and that's why [she's] pro-choice, because [she] want[s] people to make their own choices."
Debate Round No. 1
Sunfire315

Pro

In order for killing a fetus NOT to be murder, there must be an important moral watershed between the value of the unborn child, and that of a born child. How developed a person is in the case of a newborn is irrelevant, so how developed a fetus is is irrelevant to his/her worth as well. Sentience as well. The moral distinction MUST be sharp, so the fetus is either a Human being, or a mere mass of cells whose worth is contingent upon the choice of the mother.

Which by the way, aren't we all just a mass of cells? You cannot value a living being based upon the mere complexity of its Body, or how well grown it is. At most you could say that the fetus is an "unfinished human", because shortly after moment of conception, the very basis for who you are, Your DNA, (and from a Christian perspective, your soul as well.), is formed. All that is left is the building process, which does not end even when you are outside the womb.

You said there could be "no comparison" between a fetus and a human. That, frankly, is utterly ridiculous. Sure an embryo may not look like a newborn child, or like a "human" (which you have clearly defined in the comments as being a child which has already been born. I would contend that this definition is really quite foolish). A baby is still a baby, whether it is inside a womb or not. The baby chick inside of an unhatched egg is still a chick, it is just inside of an egg. The seven inch journey down a birth canal, or the 6 months gestation before birth, are not the sudden watersheds between a life having value, or not having value. How developed a human is, or if his/her cannot be the "moral watershed. If how well grown we are were to be what gives our lives value, then it would be MORE morally acceptable to kill a baby infant than it would to kill a 20-year old man.
If Sentience is the value which gives a human life value, then comatose people should have utterly no rights, for they are not sentient. Neither should an infant, for they are not conscious or self aware according to Scientific American. Even the life of a person who is sleeping cannot be seen as valuable as that of a man who is awake, for they are not sentient at the time. But killing an Infant, or a sleeping person is obviously immoral. SO therefore, sentience cannot be a source of value.

I have eliminated 2 of the usual "watersheds". The other, being whether she wants the child or not, does not effect the intrinsic value of a human life.

The final, and most draconian "watershed", is the "mercy killing".

You would not know how the child would react to being unwanted, or even that he would BE unwanted. Few person would prefer death over a harder life, (I sure know I wouldn't!!!) and you can't even say that the Child would have a "bad life" in all certainty. My dad was born illegitimately, and had his parents said that, "he would hate his life. We better kill him so he does not have to feel the pain of life", they would have been dead wrong. You can't make a choice on to end someones life, claiming their consent if you do not actually have it. Calling a "mutation" as an exception would be utterly draconian, as if we did, it would essentially be eugenics. Just because a person has a genetic disorder, doesn't by any means make their life worthless.

And for the VAST
Bosoxfaninla

Con

Bosoxfaninla forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Sunfire315

Pro

It seems like sadly my opponent has refused to answer my objections to the morality of abortion. The discussion of the morality of abortion is an important one, one we as americans must settle before anything else.
Bosoxfaninla

Con

I have not refused to answer your questions of the "morality" of abortion, rather I simply did not have the time to respond to the question due to personal reasons/medical injury due to athletics. These things do happen from time to time and it is important to have the right priorities in difficult times. I would like to extend my apology to the affirmative side of the case for not responding, but again these things do happen, and I do accept the consequences for my absence. However I still would like to continue with my rebuttal and closing argument.
I would like to start off by pointing out the fact the affirmative side is clearly and simply answering the wrong question. The topic of this debate is whether or not abortion is murder and therefore illegal. This is not as you called it a question of "morality" this is a question on legality. While the two do have some connection the two are no where near synonymous and I would like to point out the fact my opponent provided zero evidence on whether or not this case should in fact be legal. To prove this point that the two questions are completely separate I would like to point to the supreme court case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, which involved Brandenburg who belonged to the infamous hate group the Ku Klux Klan. During a 1964 rally an Ohio Klan's leader, Brandenburg, advocated for the "'re-vengeance' against 'niggers', 'Jews'" and supporters of these two groups. "Brandenburg was charged with advocating violence" and found guilty by the court. He appealed his case arguing his first amendment right under the constitution was being violated. The supreme court of course over turned his conviction because his first amendment right was in fact being violated. Obviously the actions of Brandenburg was completely immoral but that does not change the fact what he was doing was perfectly legal. Now lets compare this to the infamous Rode v. Wade trial, where the supreme court found abortions were justified under the 14 amendment which states " All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." This of course is significant because this fetus that you are calling a "human being" is not yet considered a human being under the United States constitutions due to the fact that it has yet to be "born". Therefore it can not possibly be called murder. Hence the reason the Supreme Court defined life as being "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid." which of course a fetus is not able to do. With that knowledge under the 9th amendment of the United States Constitution which states "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people" , we can officially conclude the mother has the choice to do what ever she may like to her body and therefore the fetus.
Now while some may argue this is in fact a question of morality, I would like to prove my point on the topic although it is in fact completely irrelevant to the question of legality.
I would also like to point out the fact 60% of countries of some form of abortion available for it's citizen's leaving a mere 26% who do not according to a statistic from www.reproductiverights.org. This means that 60% of the World does not define abortion as murder. This idea that it is far too old. The question you should be asking is not whether or not it should be legal or illegal, murder or not murder, but rather to what exsistent and what restrictions should be put into place. As many of these countries do.
(http://www.reproductiverights.org...)
I would like to point out the fact my opponent did not even regard any of my points about jusitifiable abortion. He mearly shook them off and began his comments about morality.
Now since my opponent would like to talk about the issue irrelevant question of morality of legal abortions, I would like talk about the irrelevant question of morality of illegal/unsafe abortions in order to counter his point. What my opponent does not seem to realize is that of the 20million abortions that are considered unsafe, 68,000 women die a year, "the leading cause of maternal mortality (13%)". 5 million of those who survive will suffer long term health contemplations. The solution to the issue is clearly not to make it more illegal as it will lead to seeing a spike in these numbers, but rather creating "less restrictive abortion laws and greater contraceptive use—face social, religious, and political obstacles, particularly in developing nations, where most unsafe abortions (97%) occur.
Now to adress all other aspects of my opponents rebutel before I close with my closing statement. Throughout his rebuttel he speaks of this theortical watershed, and I very much agree that there is a watershed between a human baby and unborn fetus, and I proved this through the definition of those two terms. My opponent states "How developed a person is in the case of a newborn is irrelevant" which of course is a very oppinionative statemenet and blantently ignores the definition of a human being which specifically states this "development". If what my opponent is saying were to be taken as true then wouldn't sperm be considered a human being, and to pleasue one self would therefore be considered murder to the fact he is wasting possible life? My opponent went on to say that a "fetus is either a Human being, or a mere mass of cells whose worth is contingent upon the choice of the mother". My opponent is completely wrong as there are more than these two options. A fetus is possible human life, it is not "just a mass of cells" and it is not a "human being" either. My opponent has appeared to redife the definition of a human being although I had provided the definition in my opening remarks. My opponent goes on to ask "aren't we all just a mass of cells". Of course this is true, and so are animals, plants, and everything that is living. This is the very reason the definition of murder is different than that of killing. Otherwise killing a tree, cow, or anything wpuld be murder, which of course is not. Murder refers to a crime and killing refers to "an act of causing death". All murders are killings buyt not all killings are murder. My opponent then controdicts his statement giving us yet another option to his original ultimatum, and I disagree with his statement becausde as I previously stated a fetus is potential human life, not unfinished human life. You can't call a chicken an egg, you can't call a tadpole a frong, you can't call a caterpiller a butterfly but for some reason my opponent believes we can call a fetus a human being. My opponent then states his point of view from a christian perspective and as we know we can't base legislation based of one religion. Everything else my opponent had stated is rather irrelevant, except for his comment on mercy killing. You made that decision based on your personal bias and is an unfair arguement as we see 10.4% of American's who disagree with you (suidide rate). This of course is why we leave it up to the mother to decide whether or not is a safe envioronment to raise a child.
To close up this debate I would like to give light to the fact my opponent's arguement was based interilly on personal beliefs. My opponent did not provide so much as one fact to back up his/her case. My opponent also failed to answer the question on if abortion sgould be legal, rather if it's imoral. I of course have proven why it should be legal and have backed up this idea. I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jjorloff1 2 years ago
jjorloff1
This debate is valuable, and should be redone where both debaters participate in the full number of rounds. It is very disappointing that it was interrupted by an injury, and that the amount of information on one side of the debate ended up being imbalanced because the Pro person did not have the ability to respond.
Posted by Bosoxfaninla 2 years ago
Bosoxfaninla
Sorry, I have been away due to a shoulder injury that required treatment and did not have the time or energy to respond to the debate. I accept the consequences of this, but these things do happen. I would like to thank my opponent for a great debate. Although I am actually pro-life I had fun learning and arguing on behalf of the other side of the argument for once. This was a very educational experience for me and I hope to do it again!
Posted by MizzEnigma 2 years ago
MizzEnigma
Define murder.

"Unlawful killing of a person."

Abortion = Lawful

Fetus = Not legally considered a person.
Posted by RedWhiteBlueBlooded 2 years ago
RedWhiteBlueBlooded
define abortion
-"murder in the womb"
Posted by MizzEnigma 2 years ago
MizzEnigma
It's human, it's just not a human being (the being part is most often questioned.) The human portion is just the overall title of our spectrum. Like colors, for instance. You have red and blue, which are colors, but just because they are colors you cannot point at blue and call it red, just as you cannot point at red and call it blue. A fetus definitely isn't a baby, being a human being (or person) is debated, but it is a human. Of course, that depends on what we are looking at as "human." As a creature of homosapiens, then yeah, we can look at it and call it human, but it is a potential to be a being. If we're look at as humans = living beings, then no.
Posted by MizzEnigma 2 years ago
MizzEnigma
It's human, it's just not a human being (the being part is most often questioned.) The human portion is just the overall title of our spectrum. Like colors, for instance. You have red and blue, which are colors, but just because they are colors you cannot point at blue and call it red, just as you cannot point at red and call it blue. A fetus definitely isn't a baby, being a human being (or person) is debated, but it is a human. Of course, that depends on what we are looking at as "human." As a creature of homosapiens, then yeah, we can look at it and call it human, but it is a potential to be a being. If we're look at as humans = living beings, then no.
Posted by MizzEnigma 2 years ago
MizzEnigma
It's human, it's just not a human being (the being part is most often questioned.) The human portion is just the overall title of our spectrum. Like colors, for instance. You have red and blue, which are colors, but just because they are colors you cannot point at blue and call it red, just as you cannot point at red and call it blue. A fetus definitely isn't a baby, being a human being (or person) is debated, but it is a human. Of course, that depends on what we are looking at as "human." As a creature of homosapiens, then yeah, we can look at it and call it human, but it is a potential to be a being. If we're look at as humans = living beings, then no.
Posted by Bosoxfaninla 2 years ago
Bosoxfaninla
Also, in reference to Seismolgic's comment, if what you're saying is true, should morning after pills should be considered murder as well? Also from what you are saying, shouldn't we consider wearing a condom as murder, since the sperm is being prevented from reaching the egg, and there for denying life and " that is all you need to create a full grown man."
Posted by Bosoxfaninla 2 years ago
Bosoxfaninla
How I see it, it is most certainly is not a human. We do not refer to eggs as chickens. We do not refer tadpoles as frogs. We do not refer to caterpillars as butterflies. Why would we change this standard with a fetus, and call it a human, when it simply is not a human just yet.
Posted by MizzEnigma 2 years ago
MizzEnigma
Of course it's human. It's not murder, as it is deemed lawful to abort it, because legally speaking it is not a person, someone with a higher conscious. We exist as of 0 days, a baby (newborn.) We don't exhibit personalities, vast emotions, linguistic capability, and the like as fetuses. While we are fetuses, we're just potentials. Babies are able to possess those qualities.

That's my opinion on the matter though. Feel free to disregard this.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
Sunfire315BosoxfaninlaTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff a round, so conduct to Pro.