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# The Abortion of a Fetus is NEVER Moral NOR and Imperative

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JustCallMeTarzan
 Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point Started: 7/27/2009 Category: Miscellaneous Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period Viewed: 2,712 times Debate No: 9056
Debate Rounds (3)

22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Lifeisgood 8 years ago
What a disappointing turn of events. I am convinced that I could have won this. I had a superb argument.

WHY! WHY do I have to have a life outside of DDO!?!
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
@JCMT
"Lex, "nor" cannot function as "and" under any circumstances..."" I know. "and" however, can function as "and." Look at the title of this debate. I was explaining how Pro could have 'assumed' that he only needed to prove that abortion was never moral AND imperative, rather than having to show that abortion was never moral OR imperative. Assuming the resolution is the title (The Abortion of a Fetus is NEVER Moral NOR and Imperative) and assuming that Pro read "NOR and" to mean "nor/and", then the resolution is the same as saying: (1) The abortion of a fetus is never moral nor imperative AND (2) The abortion of a fetus is never moral and imperative. So the resolution could be read as | R = [{A= -(M & I)} + {A=-(M v I)}] | in which case Pro's focus on {A=-(M & I)} is understandable but fails to prove the resolution unless he can show that {A=-(M v I)} is a valid contention as well, as both arguments must be true for R to be true.

@I_heart_debate
The six points are for the six categories that you can click on to vote in the debate. They are:

1. Who did you agree with before?
2. Who do you agree with after?
4. Who had better spelling and grammar?
5. Who made more convincing arguments?
6. Who used the most reliable sources?
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
Lex, "nor" cannot function as "and" under any circumstances... The resolution is in the form ~(M v I), or "it is not that case that it is moral or imperative." Contained WITHIN this statement is the notion that it is not moral AND imperative, though.

When evaluating a negative disjunct, there is no need to evaluate the correlative conjunct because it must necessarily also be false. Basically, as soon as a negative disjunct is satisfied, the correlative conjunct is ALSO satisfied.

In this case, as soon as abortion was shown to be moral, it was also shown to NOT be NOT moral or imperative...

If we suppose M is True, and I is False,

~(M v I) = ~(T) = False
(M & I) = True

Where Pro got confused was in the logical equivalent of the resolution, which is:

(~M & ~I), or "not moral AND not imperative."
Posted by I_heart_debate 8 years ago
@ Lexicaholic
What are the criteria for your RFD. What do the six points stand for?
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
RFD and explanation:

(1) Con. I agreed with Con before the debate. Provided there is a scenario where the life of the mother is at risk by the continued life of the fetus there is a moral imperative to abort the fetus upon the mother's request.
(2) Con. For exactly the above reason.
(3) Tied. Conduct was fairly equal.
(4) Con. Although con misspelled one word (re instead of be), Pro had numerous run-on sentences.
(6) Con, though it had more to do with burden of proof than substance, sadly.

Explanation of argument:

In the light most supportive of the challenger, Con used a conjunctive of two arguments, one disjunctive and one conjunctive, to define the resolution *if you use the title instead of the first round.* The resolution title was "The Abortion of a Fetus is NEVER Moral NOR and Imperative." I will assume that 'NOR and' should be read as nor/and. This means that Pro needs to prove both the conjunctive statement "The abortion of a fetus is never moral and imperative" *and* the disjunctive statement "the abortion of a fetus is never moral or imperative." To negate, Con needs to prove that the abortion of a fetus can be both moral and imperative *or* that the abortion of a fetus can be either moral and imperative. The weakest statement is the disjunctive - it is easier to prove that an act can have either of two qualities than both simultaneously. Con properly exploited Pro's weaker argument, the disjunctive one. Pro wanted to focus on his strongest argument. Pro can not do this. If Pro is tasked with supporting an assertion, Pro must support every implication under the assertion. Con provided a single case where the implication negated the assertion. Pro therefore failed to meet his burden.

I am aware, of course, that round one makes it clear that the argument was meant to be 'either/or' and not 'and', but I thought I would explain some of the confusion.
Posted by barrettriley 8 years ago
Con
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
Bnesiba, you have a good grasp of the categorical imperative, but you've improperly identified the circumstance. There is a HUGE difference between killing one to save one and killing one that will unavoidably die soon to save one. Consider:

1) Jeff might accidentally shoot Bob. I shoot Jeff to save Bob.
2) Jeff is being eaten by zombies and is holding Bob's leg. I shoot Jeff to save Bob.

Of course, in the second circumstance, the fact that Jeff is already certainly going to die (or worse in this case) is entirely pertinent to the situation. So instead of "it is justified to kill one to save another" we need to think of the maxim as "it is justified to purposefully kill one who is about to die anyway."

Furthermore, as suggested by JJC Smart, Kant's categorical imperative collapses into act utilitarianism, which holds that one should maximize net benefit. Clearly, 1 death instead of 2 maximizes net benefit. Rights-based act utilitarianism answers the question of how we can kill the fetus if it has a right to life. If we understand the right to life as including a right to a life not defined by suffering, then early termination of the fetus IN THIS CASE is the moral thing to do.
Posted by Bnesiba 8 years ago
Guys.. you're main problem here is how you define murder....
Princeton Wordnet defines in as: "kill intentionally and with premeditation"

By this definition you ARE murdering the fetus... the real question here is whether or not it's moral.

From a utilitarian standpoint, the abortion in tarzan's situation is the only moral choice. However, looking at it from a Kantian point of view the maxim here would be "it is justified to kill one to save another life". If everyone were able to act on this there would be a lot of dead people. Therefore, from a Kantian standpoint, such an abortion would be wrong.
Posted by KRFournier 8 years ago
Again, morality is contingent upon the worldview. In the Christian Worldview, the moral choice is that which obeys God. If God commands not to kill the unborn child, then doing so is immoral. God does not command us to kill an unborn child if it threatens the life of the mother, so it is not immoral to allow the unfortunate incident to follow its course.

Of course, we're speaking in academic terms here. When such a situation hits close to home, I seriously doubt most of us will bother with the technicalities. I for one would be tempted to abort the child to save the girl if it were my own wife or daughter, though it wouldn't change the fact that doing so would still be--biblically speaking--wrong.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
>> "in a worldview in which the fetus is a burgeoning immortal soul, killing it is murder."

Even with such a worldview, killing the fetus in this instance cannot be described as murder because it's not wrongful sort of killing. You are not taking away a chance at life, which is why most people are up in arms about abortion. In this case, the fetus has no chance either way.

KRF - explain how it is the moral decision to kill 2 people instead of 1.
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