The Instigator
JustCallMeTarzan
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
I_heart_debate
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Abortion of a Fetus is NEVER Moral NOR and Imperative

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
JustCallMeTarzan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,591 times Debate No: 9056
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (22)
Votes (3)

 

JustCallMeTarzan

Con

DAT has put forth this opinion, and now I challenge him to back up his claim. DAT makes this claim in response to my position that in some cases it is a moral imperative to abort the fetus.

The proposition on offer is that the abortion of a fetus is NEVER moral NOR an imperative.

Since DAT has refused to accept this debate (see comments) I now open it to the public. Like I mentioned in my response to DAT below - we will use appropriate medical terminology - there will be no mincing of non-interchangeable words.

***********************************************
Definitions:

moral: of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong (http://dictionary.reference.com......)

imperative: a command; something that demands attention or action; an unavoidable obligation or requirement; necessity (http://dictionary.reference.com......)

moral imperative: a principle originating inside a person's mind that compels that person to act. (http://en.wikipedia.org......)
***********************************************

To be clear, my statement was: "in cases where the mother and child will BOTH die, abortion becomes a moral imperative?" To which DAT responded: "Abortion is NEVER moral NOR imperitive."

I make the case that if we have a situation where BOTH the mother AND the fetus will die unless the fetus is removed, it is a moral imperative to remove the fetus to spare the life of the mother.

***********************************************
THE CASE:

Jessica is pregnant with a currently unviable fetus. Her pregnancy has developed in such a manner that there is a severe medical complication. Due to this complication is is the case that Jessica and her fetus will both certainly die unless the fetus is removed. If the fetus is removed it will certainly die because it is not even close to being viable. If the fetus is removed, Jessica will certainly live. Both Jessica and the fetus will certainly die if the fetus remains inside her until the point at which it is viable.
***********************************************

My opponent's main contention seems to stem from the notion that there is a categorical prohibition on abortion because it is murder. However, there are several problems with this position.

1) Purposeful failure to remove the fetus is akin to TWO murders.

2) Removal of the fetus maximizes benefit to the parties involved.

3) Since murder is a wrongful type of killing, removal of the fetus is not murder, since the medical condition is no fault of anyone's.

4) An unviable fetus is arguably not a person.

***********************************************

I contend that if murder is the criteria that makes removal of the fetus immoral, then the fact that not removing the fetus would constitute TWO murders indicates that it is a moral imperative to act in a way that lessens the number of murders committed.

Note also that there is no moral difference in this case between "killing" and "letting one die" - if anything, letting someone die while you have the power to save them is worse than actively killing someone.

NEGATED.
I_heart_debate

Pro

Alright lets begin. Let have fun and debate not argue! Big difference between the two, in a debate the two parties should learn from each other and end the debater more knowledgeable about both sides of the topic. An argument is not concern with education, fairness and most importantly RESPECT!

BURDEN OF PROOF:
1) The AFF has to prove that an abortion is NEVER moral.
2) The AFF has to prove that an abortion is also NEVER imperative.
3) The NEG has to prove that an abortion is moral.
4) The NEG has to prove that an abortion is imperative.

DEFINITIONS:
1) I agree with my opponents Definitions. I offer one definitions;
Never: not ever, at no time, not in any degree or not under any condition.
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

SCENARIO:
1) I agree with the scenario of Jessica pregnancy.
2) I disagree with the fetus being nonviable;
a) This gives to much ground to the AFF and limits fairness.
b) We should agree to not give an age to the fetus and that the fetus is healthy but due to factors not of the baby's cause.

CONTENTION (S):
1) What is moral? Ask yourself this question? Write down what you think and then compare this list of morally correct ideas with all of your friends, family and the people you walk by down the street. Have these people agree to all of what is on this moral list. I'll save you some time and tell you it will be impossible! Not every man, woman or child believes the same thing as you. Because you, and I repeat only you alone, agree with your moral list completely what you believe is never moral. The resolution is worded with never, which means not in any degree or not under any condition. So unless you can get all 6 billion humans in the world to agree with your list under any degree or under any condition what you believe is moral is never really moral. The point I am making is their are personal truths and universal truths. Personally my opponent feels that an abortion is completely moral in the Jessica situation, but since I disagree this truth or moral is not universal and thus does not completely encompass the entire moral spectrum. Therefore no matter what my opponents says what he believes moral is never truthfully moral.

2) The above argument also concerns the idea of imperative. The opponent idea of imperative is personally his own and not that of an universal imperative. An unavoidable obligation or requirement is a contract written in blood or chiseled in stone. Or written with urine in the snow. The essence of what is an unavoidable obligation is entirely legitimate to the party that is obligated and the party subject to that of the obligation. Thus in the scenario of Jessica and her fetus the imperative is that of the actors in the scenario, not that of I or my opponent. He can say their is a imperative to abort the child, but this a claim only proven by a warrant or moral of his personally truth that impacts only to his liking. Since the resolution stress an universal morality that is never disagreed upon we can simply smile and nod to my opponents logic and deem us none actors irrelevant to the scenario.

3) Cause and effect of human action is burden with the entire or no responsibility placed on the actor.
a) The actor is entirely responsible for what he/she caused and the effect.
b) The actor is not responsible for a cause not of his/her hand and thus not the effect as well.
Unless I shoot someone (cause) and the person dies (effect) I am responsible for murder. But If I see one struggling out at sea to keep their head above water and water fills their lungs (cause) the person drowns (effect) I am not responsible for the swimmer's death. Thus to let Jessica die by not aborting the fetus you are not murdering two people or nor are you responsible for their deaths.

Summary:
1) A universal truth and a personal truth will never be the same.
2) A imperative is relative, and thus never universal.
3) No matter what the opponent says he can't prove the abortion of a fetus is moral and an Imperative because these factors are not universal, since my opponent has to prove the opposite to never which is always or universal.
4) Murder and natural death are never the same.
Debate Round No. 1
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

A short note before we begin. My opponent has improperly labeled the burden of proof. Perhaps "incompletely" is a better term. Pro must show that abortion is NEVER moral OR imperative. Con must show that in at least one case, abortion is moral OR imperative. The resolution is a disjunct, and my opponent has mistakenly presented it as a conjunct.

Some short responses:

>> "I agree with the scenario of Jessica pregnancy."

Then you have conceded the debate - this is one case where abortion is the moral thing to do.

>> "I disagree with the fetus being nonviable"

My opponent cannot disagree to the terms of the case I present to fulfill the resolution. My burden is to present one case wherein abortion is the moral or imperative thing to do. I have done so. My opponent cannot simply state that he disagrees with the case and toss it aside. Furthermore, since the case is in the opening round, it is a given in terms of the framework of debate. Unless there is something logically incoherent in the case, it stands.

>> "We should agree to not give an age to the fetus and that the fetus is healthy but due to factors not of the baby's cause."

No... I think my opponent is missing the point. What if we have a baby that is UN-healthy due to factors not of the baby's cause? My opponent is trying to place constraints on what sort of cases I can present. Obviously, the real world does not abide by his rules, as cases like Jessica's are not impossible at all.

>> "my opponent has to prove the opposite to never which is always or universal."

Sorry, but this is simply incorrect. Never is logically equivalent to none (meaning no). For example, "There are no unicorns." The negation of such a term does not mean it's opposite. For example, if I say, "Jimmy Carter was never President," the negation of that statement is not "Jimmy Carter was always President." The negation is "Jimmy Carter was President AT LEAST ONCE." The negation of "none/no" is "some/at least one." So I need to show that abortion is moral or imperative in AT LEAST ONE situation.

***********************************************************

Responses to Contentions:

1) Subjective Morality.

My opponent concludes by saying that, "no matter what my opponents says what he believes moral is never truthfully moral." Unfortunately for him, this means that no matter what HE says, it is never truthfully moral EITHER. If necessary (which as yet it is not) I'll put forth a case for an objective moral system that can easily be used to answer the questions surrounding Jessica's case.

2) On an Imperative.

In order to state that something is moral or immoral, one must subscribe to an imperative. For example, it makes little sense to say that A is moral and ~A is immoral, but hold that there is no imperative to do A. The very fact of A's moral-ness suggests that there is an imperative to act in accordance with A. Furthermore, I don't need to show that the abortion of Jessica's child is moral AND imperative - just moral OR imperative.

3) Matters of Responsibility.

The doctor in this case carries the responsibility for Jessica's life. The doctor must make a decision whether or not to abort the baby (A v ~A). In either case, he has made a decision that brings about a set of circumstances that directly affects Jessica's life. The life of the fetus is immaterial, as it will die either way. In a situation where it is entirely the choice of the doctor that determines whether or not Jessica lives or dies, the responsibility for her life is with the doctor. My opponent commits the fallacy of holding that killing and letting die are not the same thing IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE THE ACTOR COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE. In Jessica's case, the fact of the matter is that if the doctor chooses not to abort, he is killing Jessica, and if he chooses to abort, he is saving her.

Consider my opponent's case of the drowning man. If I have a life preserver and I toss it to him, I saved him, right? If I do not toss it to him, then I not-saved him... or I killed him.

*********************************************************

I await a rebuttal to the case I have presented. Not the case my opponent wishes I had presented.

NEGATED.
I_heart_debate

Pro

@ Burden of proof argument:
"Pro must show that abortion is NEVER moral OR imperative. Con must show that in at least one case, abortion is moral OR imperative." This is unfair, the CON has to prove that the abortion of a fetus is moral nor an Imperative. Not just in one case. The CON has to negate the entire resolution.

@ Jessica scenario argument:
1) I have not conceded the debate. This is one case that the CON has not proven that abortion is not a moral thing to do. The Con argument is a quantitative analysis of the scenario but does not provide a moral analysis. Thus the CON has not proven any thing.

@ Fetus nonviable argument:
1) We can not assume the fetus is nonviable because we do not know all the factors.
2) If the fetus is already nonviable then CON is given to much ground making the debate unfair.
3) The CON has to negate the entire resolution, thus the CON must prove that in all cases abortion is moral AND imperative.
4) I have not toss the scenario aside I mention it in my entire case.

@ Fetus health argument:
1) You can not change the scenario and make the fetus UN-healthy.
2) The constraints I am placing are to keep the debate fair.
3) If the real world does not abide my rules or yours. The CON can't assume that the fetus is not viable.

@ Definition of None:
1) The definition of none is not in any degree or not under any condition.
2) The opponent has to prove the the resolution is wrong, thus abortion is moral and imperative under any condition.
3) The CON has to negate the resolution and prove abortion MORAL AND IMPERATIVE in all cases.

@ Subjective morality argument:
1) I am not forcing the CON to provide a moral system.
2) The CON morality is not one that meets his burden.

@ The imperative argument:
1) Once again the CON has to negate the entire resolution and prove abortion moral AND imperative

@ Matters of responsibility argument:
1) The doctor is not killing Jessica the "severe medical complication" are killing Jessica.
2) By the CON logic anybody who does not donate to charities that help the poor in developing nations is killing millions of people. IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE THE ACTOR COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE, if the actor does not make a difference the actor is not killing anyone. By your logic because I don't donate money to feed hunger children in Africa, I have killed more people than those killed in the Nazi holocaust.

Please meet your burden of proof.
Debate Round No. 2
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

My poor opponent is very, very confused about the resolution and what it actually means.

Responses:

>> "CON has to negate the entire resolution."

The negation of the resolution is, "The Abortion of a Fetus is moral or imperative in at least one case."

>> "We can not assume the fetus is nonviable because we do not know all the factors."

All the relevant factors are given in the case. The case is one where Jessica's fetus is not viable.

>> "If the fetus is already nonviable then CON is given to much ground making the debate unfair."

PRO took the debate knowing full well what the case was. PRO cannot simply accept the debate and then attempt to reword CON's opening argument to suit his needs.

>> "The CON has to negate the entire resolution, thus the CON must prove that in all cases abortion is moral AND imperative."

We've already been over this. Please take a course in basic logic. And reread this: Never is logically equivalent to none (meaning no). For example, "There are no unicorns." The negation of such a term does not mean it's opposite. For example, if I say, "Jimmy Carter was never President," the negation of that statement is not "Jimmy Carter was always President." The negation is "Jimmy Carter was President AT LEAST ONCE." The negation of "none/no" is "some/at least one." So I need to show that abortion is moral or imperative in AT LEAST ONE situation.

>> "You can not change the scenario and make the fetus UN-healthy."

The scenario was given that the fetus IS UNHEALTHY. Fetuses sometimes become unhealthy... Hell - I was an unhealthy fetus myself.

>> "The CON can't assume that the fetus is not viable."

The entire debate is over whether or not there exists a situation in which abortion is moral or imperative. My argument is that, in Jessica's case, abortion is the moral choice.

>> "The CON has to negate the resolution and prove abortion MORAL AND IMPERATIVE in all cases."

PLEASE, PLEASE take a logic class. You are performing a De Morgans, when all is needed is a simple Contradiction. If we view the situation as:

~(M v I) - meaning: Not moral or imperative (Moral NOR imperative)
You have labeled the negation of it as:
(~M & ~I) - meaning: Not moral and not imperative.

Unfortunately, the two expressions are logically equivalent, meaning that you haven't actually identified anything different - just the same thing in a different way. Please read up on De Morgan's Law: (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

What is needed is a negation of ~(M v I). Obviously, the easiest negation is (M v I) - Moral OR Imperative. For more information on contradiction and the negation of a proposition, please read up on the Square of Opposition: (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

********************************************************************

Ok - my opponent has raised only two actual points this round.

1) The doctor is not killing Jessica - the complications are.
2) Extension of my responsibility argument indicates everyone is responsible for hungry children in Africa.

The second contention is easier to answer. Simply, yes, those able to donate that choose not to re responsible in some part for the suffering of hungry children in Africa. However, obviously the amount of responsibility is proportional to the amount of difference a person can make. For example, if a billionaire and a normal, middle class person both choose not to donate, the billionaire bears more responsibility for their suffering. What that level of responsibility is, however, is determined by a discussion of how obligated we are to provide for others. If there is no obligation to provide for others, then people bear no responsibility.

The fact that Jessica is in the doctor's care, and he has been hired to help her indicates that he has an obligation to make a choice concerning her medical treatment.

To the first contention, one must understand the difference between responsibility and blame. For example, if a parent takes their child to the doctor and gets them a shot, the parent is responsible for the pain of the shot, but they are not to blame for it, since the pain was inflicted in order to bring about a greater net good (i.e. polio vaccination). In Jessica's case, the doctor would be responsible for her death, but the medical complications would be to blame.

***************************************************************************

A recap for our readers:

To negate the resolution, CON must show that in at least one situation, it is the case that abortion of a fetus is moral or imperative.

I argue that in Jessica's case, above, the abortion of her fetus is the moral decision to make, and that the moral import of the situation constitutes a moral imperative to act in aborting the fetus.

In appealing to a standard of morality, I suggest we examine the situation from a utilitarian standpoint. Obviously, being dead is bad - it decreases net benefit. Under utilitarianism, the moral thing to do is to maximize net benefit. And obviously, the more people you can save (or the fewer dead), the greater net benefit is.

By this reasoning, it is obvious that Jessica's fetus should be aborted to spare her life. If the fetus is NOT aborted, there will be two dead people. If the fetus IS aborted, there will only be 1 dead quasi-person.

In order to provide a salient position, my opponent must address the following, some of which have been ignored entirely throughout the course of the debate:

1) If abortion is murder, knowingly leaving the fetus in a situation where it WILL DIE is also murder.
2) Not removing the fetus is thus akin to TWO murders.
3) Removal of the fetus maximizes benefit to all parties involved.
4) If murder is killing wrongfully, the abortion of Jessica's fetus is not murder, as it is, for all intents and purposes already dead.
5) A nonviable fetus is arguably not a person anyway - thus, Jessica's rights trump that of the fetus'.
6) PRO must explain how bringing about a situation wherein two people die instead of one is a moral situation.

Throughout the debate, my opponent has constantly quibbled about the parameters of Jessica's case, stating that it is not a fair case. No pregnant mother about to lose her child would say that it was FAIR. However, life is not FAIR. It does not matter if Jessica's case is FAIR - what matters is whether or not it is REALISTIC, which it is.

I offered a realistic case for a situation wherein abortion would be moral. My opponent never raised a contention that moral situations carry the moral import to create a moral imperative - and in the last round, it would be dishonest of him to do so. My opponent took this debate realizing full well what the case was.

NEGATED.
I_heart_debate

Pro

Responses:

@ The negation of the resolution is, "The Abortion of a Fetus is moral or imperative in at least one case."
The negation of the resolution is the abortion of a fetus is moral and Imperative. The CON can not decide what he wants to argue whenever he wants.

@ All the relevant factors are given in the case. The case is one where Jessica's fetus is not viable.
Your scenario proves that abortion is not moral AND imperative. One reason is we do not know all of your factors. If the CON scenario is to be used then we must know all the factors.

@ PRO cannot simply accept the debate and then attempt to reword CON's opening argument to suit his needs.
We must have a fair debate! I am simply criticizing your scenario. I accept the debate but not the scenario.

@ Burden Issue
I don't care about your logically equivalent to never. I defined never in my first speech, and you did not give a counter definition. Thus we are going by my definitions therefore you must prove that abortion is moral AND imperative in all situations.

@ Responsibility argument
You are only responsible for you actions not in actions. It is desirable for everyone in the world to feel responsible for others welfare, but unless you are obligated you are not responsible for that person welfare. Thus I nor you (reader) are responsible for the death of starving children because we are not obligated for their welfare.

@ The Murder vs. natural death argument
The actor responsible for Jessica death are the medical complications, not the doctor. Murder or killing is a cause and effect relationship. Unless the Doctor harms Jessica (cause) and Jessica dies (effect) the doctor is not killing Jessica. The actor that kills is the one to be blamed, the medical complications.

@ Utilitarianism argument
Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its contribution to overall utility: that is, its contribution to happiness or pleasure as summed among all people. Utilitarianism is a theory that justifies actions that maximize the happiness of people, not the greater net benefit. Thus utilitarianism can not be used to measure the morality of the Con argument, because we do not know what will make Jessica happy. Jessica could feel life is pointless without her child (thus not happy) and wouldn't mind giving birth to the child even risking death. Thus under utilitarianism abortion would be immoral.

1) If abortion is murder, knowingly leaving the fetus in a situation where it WILL DIE is also murder.
Abortion is murder, and if the fetus dies the murder was not any human actor. It was a natural death.

2) Not removing the fetus is thus akin to TWO murders.
Look to my responsibility argument, the reader will understand that no murder is being committed.

3) Removal of the fetus maximizes benefit to all parties involved.
My opponent continues to believe that he is the definitions of universal morality and can decided what is the benefit of each party. Look to my utilitarianism argument on what is consider good/beneficial.

4) If murder is killing wrongfully, the abortion of Jessica's fetus is not murder, as it is, for all intents and purposes already dead.
The Fetus is not dead and no murder is being commited.

5) A nonviable fetus is arguably not a person anyway - thus, Jessica's rights trump that of the fetus'.
Two completely different arguments not relevant to the debate. This not a debate about fetus being consider a person and the rights of mothers. Also it is abusive to bring new arguments this late in the round.

6) PRO must explain how bringing about a situation wherein two people die instead of one is a moral situation.
The anti Christ and a child rapist are looked in a room with a bomb. Yeah letting them die is a moral situation. The CON needs to learn something called topicality! You didn't say I needed to provide a situation of two people dieing concerning abortion.

Reasons to Vote PRO/AFF:
1) I affirm the entire resolution, the CON did not meet his burden.
2) The CON repeated old argument that did not refute my first three contentions through the entire round. Thus vote PRO because my contentions were properly extended.

Worst debate ever!
Debate Round No. 3
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
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 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
@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?
3. Who had better conduct?
4. Who had better spelling and grammar?
5. Who made more convincing arguments?
6. Who used the most reliable sources?
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
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 7 years ago
I_heart_debate
@ Lexicaholic
What are the criteria for your RFD. What do the six points stand for?
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
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.
(5) Con made the more convincing argument. Please see explanation.
(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 7 years ago
barrettriley
Con
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
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 7 years ago
Bnesiba
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 7 years ago
KRFournier
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 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
>> "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.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
JustCallMeTarzanI_heart_debateTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Vote Placed by Bnesiba 7 years ago
Bnesiba
JustCallMeTarzanI_heart_debateTied
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Vote Placed by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
JustCallMeTarzanI_heart_debateTied
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