The Instigator
wiploc
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Zak9
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Voluntary Abortion is Immoral - 2nd Attempt

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
wiploc
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/3/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,255 times Debate No: 19112
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

wiploc

Con

Zak is Pro. He'll argue that abortion is immoral.
I'm Con. I don't see anything wrong with abortion.

As Pro, Zak will argue first. As Con, I'll argue last. So Zak will start right in here in round one, but he won't post anything significant in the last round. As Con, I'll argue second and last, posting significant argument in the final round, but not having posted anything significan in this first round.

Zak/Pro has the burden of proof. He has to persuade us that voluntary abortion is immoral.




Zak9

Pro

I am assuming that I will argue this round and the third round?

Abortion is murder. When you perform this operation, a human must die. But how do you justify this?

1. Rape: Even if a woman has been raped it does not make it morally acceptable to kill a human. It is as if a woman is raped and show she can legally kill a human being.

2. It would get in the way of the mother's way: Well what if a 6 year old began to get in it's mother's way, costed her money, etc. Does it make it morally acceptable to kill the six year old? The same rule applies to the unborn.

Please give me any other reasons a mother would perform the terrible operation of abortion.
Debate Round No. 1
wiploc

Con

Pro wrote:

I am assuming that I will argue this round and the third round?

Yes, you argue in rounds 1, 2, and 3. I argue in rounds 2, 3, and 4.


Abortion is murder.

I don't believe that. Why would you say such a thing? You can't just make that claim without supporting it. You have undertaken to persuade us that abortion is murder. You have the burden of proof. Take this opportunity to educate us. Share your thinking; give us reason to agree with you.

When you perform this operation, a human must die. But how do you justify this?

A human must die? Does a human die when you perform a tonsillectomy? When you trim your hair? When you wear a condom? When you scratch the end of your nose?

1. Rape: Even if a woman has been raped it does not make it morally acceptable to kill a human.

Well, it might make it acceptable to kill the rapist, but I see what you mean.

A zygote is neither a person nor a human being. It's the same with embryos and fetuses, but, since you claim that all abortion is murder, let's limit our discussion to zygotes, fertilized eggs. Is there any reason to consider them to be people? Or to consider them to be human beings?

You like the "human being" test, while I prefer the "person" test. If you persuade me that zygotes are people, then I might have to concede the debate to you. If you persuade me that they are human beings, then, in my view, there would need to be another step to your proof.

Person vs human being: If a baby were born headless, I would have no problem with dropping it in the trash. Once born, it is a human being, but, if it doesn't have a head, there's obviously nobody home, nobody to suffer an injustice, nobody to feel pain or fear, nobody to prefer life to death. Nothing would be gained by keeping that baby alive; nothing would be harmed by killing it.

2. It would get in the way of the mother's way: Well what if a 6 year old began to get in it's mother's way, costed her money, etc. Does it make it morally acceptable to kill the six year old? The same rule applies to the unborn.

I grant you that it's wrong to kill six-year-olds. You will grant me, I assume, that there is nothing wrong with killing sperm cells, or unfertilized eggs. This debate is your chance to show us why the PoCs (products of conception, that is, zygotes, embryos, and fetuses) belong in the category with six year old children, and not in the category with the little swimmers bumping against the condom.

Please give me any other reasons a mother would perform the terrible operation of abortion.

I don't see abortion as terrible. Going thru with a pregnancy can be a lot more terrible. Why do you consider abortion to be terrible? Since I don't consider abortion to be terrible, I think any reason will do. If a couple doesn't want a baby, they aren't obliged to. Any reason will do, unless you can come up with a reason why not.

Yes, you've said that it is murder, but you haven't given a reason for that. Killing a puppy would be much more cruel than killing a zygote.

Give us some reason to agree with you, Zak. What is it about zygotes that makes you want to defend them by calling them people, or human beings?

This is your opportunity to do more than make a bald claim. This is your chance to share your thinking, to win people to your side. Some of the readers may not have a side. Write for them. Win them over. Don't just repeat your claim, but let people know why you feel that way.

I assume it's just a matter of religious prejudice, see. Can you disabuse me of that? Can you show people that it's not just a matter of wanting to punish people who get laid?

You have one more round in which you can introduce new arguments‒-and you haven't really made an argument yet. You have the burden of proof. Show us why you're right.

Zak9

Pro

I thank Con for replying.

"I don't believe that. Why would you say such a thing? You can't just make that claim without supporting it. You have undertaken to persuade us that abortion is murder. You have the burden of proof. Take this opportunity to educate us. Share your thinking; give us reason to agree with you."

I did not make my statement clear and I apologize for not supporting my claim. According to Dictionary.com murder is:
the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder).
Therefore, abortion is murder because it is the killing of another human being. Why is it a human being?

A great many people claim that a zygote is not a human being. However, if that zygote is supposed to become a baby, why isn't it living?
Some people say "Well, you don't KNOW it will be born", or "You don't KNOW it will become a fetus."
Okay well, we also don't KNOW that a 3-year-old will live to be an adult. Should we say it is, therefore, not living and we can justify killing the 3-year-old?

"A human must die? Does a human die when you perform a tonsillectomy? When you trim your hair? When you wear a condom? When you scratch the end of your nose?"

I apologize but I do not understand your claim. A human does not die when you perform tonsillectomy. A human does not die when you trim your hair. A human does not die when you wear a condom. A human does not die when you scratch the end of your nose. Please explain.

"Well, it might make it acceptable to kill the rapist, but I see what you mean.

A zygote is neither a person nor a human being. It's the same with embryos and fetuses, but, since you claim that all abortion is murder, let's limit our discussion to zygotes, fertilized eggs. Is there any reason to consider them to be people? Or to consider them to be human beings?

You like the "human being" test, while I prefer the "person" test. If you persuade me that zygotes are people, then I might have to concede the debate to you. If you persuade me that they are human beings, then, in my view, there would need to be another step to your proof.

Person vs human being: If a baby were born headless, I would have no problem with dropping it in the trash. Once born, it is a human being, but, if it doesn't have a head, there's obviously nobody home, nobody to suffer an injustice, nobody to feel pain or fear, nobody to prefer life to death. Nothing would be gained by keeping that baby alive; nothing would be harmed by killing it."

I have already covered why a zygote, embryo, or fetus is a human being. And your statement about headless babies- I agree with. Obviously, it could serve no purpose and it should be humanely killed.

"I grant you that it's wrong to kill six-year-olds. You will grant me, I assume, that there is nothing wrong with killing sperm cells, or unfertilized eggs. This debate is your chance to show us why the PoCs (products of conception, that is, zygotes, embryos, and fetuses) belong in the category with six year old children, and not in the category with the little swimmers bumping against the condom."

I do not think it is wrong to wear a condom. The sperm is not yet fertilized and so it is not a human being because it does not share any characteristics of a human.

"If a couple doesn't want a baby, they aren't obliged to."

Ok, but what if my mother has recently given birth to a baby. It is a boy. I REALLY don't want a brother, so does that justify me killing him?

Nothing can ever justify the killing of a human if it is completely innocent and worthy of life. If we let abortion continue, we are just teaching our people to kill to get what they want. Why does the zygote, embryo, or fetus deserve death? It doesn't.
Debate Round No. 2
wiploc

Con

Conclusion:

This debate is about whether abortion is immoral. Pro has failed to meet his burden of proof.

Vote Con.

======

Notes and asides:

Murder:

Pro claims that abortion is murder, and explains that murder is when you kill a human being.

1. I don't grant that zygotes are human beings. Proto-humans, or reproductive organs, more like. But this question isn't truth apt; neither true nor false, because it is a viewpoint question. It's a matter of how you think about it.

Consider a flying boat. To the harbormaster, it is a boat; but to the air traffic controller, it is a plane. Both are right to the extent that their preferred definitions serve their purposes. Pro has not shown any purpose that is served by treating zygotes as human beings.

But there are good reasons not to do so. If a zygote were sick, would it make sense to take extreme measures, to put it on life support for the duration of its natural life? If a nurse dropped a bottle of frozen zygotes, should she be charged with homicide? If people want to make private and personal decisions about whether and when to have children, should a cruel and indifferent state (as in China) require them to abort, or (as sometimes in the USA) require them not to abort? Either way, this arbitrary abuse of authority can ruin lives. Either way is a breach of freedom. And there's no upside to it.

Certainly Pro has offered us no upside, no moral benefit of his proposed rule. He repeats, "Abortion is murder," "Abortion is murder," like a fetish, but offers no moral justification. If we asked him why it is morally wrong to kill a six year old, he could probably answer. But, even when he starts a debate on the topic, he can offer no moral objection to the killing of zygotes.

2. Even if we did grant‒-which I do not‒-that zygotes were human beings, that doesn't prove that killing them is always murder, or that murder is always wrong.

Let me point out again that Pro has undertaken to prove that all abortions are morally wrong.

That includes the abortion of zygotes, which is why my focus is on zygotes. They clearly aren't people, clearly aren't human beings.

How does Pro define murder? A murder is, apparently, any time you kill a human being. "When you perform this operation [abortion]," he writes, "a human must die."

In support(!) of this notion, he cherry-picks definitions from dictionary.com, which definitions say that murder is killing of a human being contrary to law. In other words, not even his chosen source agrees with him. Where abortion is legal, it is not murder, and is not then, according to Pro's implicit logic, immoral.

But we don't have to settle for Pro's source; we can ask Pro himself whether killing human beings is always wrong. A baby born without a head? Clearly a human being, but Pro would kill it:

And your statement about headless babies- I agree with. Obviously, it could serve no purpose and it should be humanely killed.

It gives me a chill if Pro thinks it's okay to kill people if you think they serve no purpose, but that's as may be.

The point here is that Pro hasn't made a case. He says that all zygotes are human beings, and that all killing of human beings are murders, but that some killings of human beings are morally acceptable. This does not begin to establish that all abortions are morally unacceptable.

Life:

Pro writes, "Why isn't a zygote living?" but clearly that's not the issue. Zygotes are alive, obviously, but so are sperm cells and unfertilized eggs. And so are tonsils. If it isn't immoral to kill living tonsils or living sperm cells, then clearly life is not the determinative issue.

Potential personhood.

Pro writes, "How do you know the zygote won't become a person"? But, an egg and sperm might become a person, and Pro has no problem with assuring their deaths by wearing a condom. So potential personhood isn't Pro's real concern.

It's as if he doesn't know why he's against abortion, so he's firing at random, tossing out tangential arguments that he doesn't even agree with himself.

The Argument From Alluding to NonExistent Prior Proofs:

When asked why he thinks abortion is immoral, Pro wrote, "I have already covered why a zygote, embryo, or fetus is a human being." But when we look up thru his arguments, we find nothing explaining this, only the irrelevant claim, unsupported, that abortion is murder.

(This claim is irrelevant because Pro wrote the resolution, which is about morality, not legality. In our prior debate attempt, which he forfeited, Pro clarified: "Should abortion be MORALLY accepted? (This is not a debate over whether or not abortion should be legal).")

The Argument from Shared Characteristics:

Pro writes that killing sperm cells is moral because a sperm cell, "is not yet fertilized and so it is not a human being because it does not share any characteristics of a human." This is so clearly not the case. A sperm cell has a lot more in common with a zygote than a zygote has with a six year old. A zygote actually has more in common with a skin cell on the end of your nose, or a tonsil cell, than it does with an actual person.

A Further Note About Cherry Picked Definitions:

Dictionary.com, Pro's chosen authority, defines murder as killing a human being contrary to law. If we look up "human being" at dictionary.com, we find no mention of zygotes. Rather, we find that human beings are persons, such as men, women, and children; self conscious and rational beings; one with an actual self, or personality. We are even given an exemplary sentence, "This table seats four persons," which would absurdly understate the case if zygotes were persons.

Deserving:

Pro asks why zygotes deserve death. "Why does the zygote, embryo, or fetus deserve death? It doesn't." As the Clint Eastwood character in Unforgiven said, "Deserving don't come into it." Pro is right that zygotes don't deserve death any more than they deserve life. They don't have opinions or desires or fears. They don't have virtues or vices. They aren't people.

When you move a rock so that you won't stumble over it, does the rock deserve it? No. When you cut down a tree for firewood, does the tree deserve it? No. Trees and rocks and zygotes are unthinking non-persons. They don't deserve anything.

What are we teaching?

Pro writes, "If we let abortion continue, we are just teaching our people to kill to get what they want." But killing is okay in some circumstances, as Pro would presumably concede if he were faced with a garden of carrots and lettuce when he was armed with avocado bacon ranch dressing. And he has already conceded that killing is moral in the cases of the headless baby and the frustrated sperm cells.

And getting what we want is a virtue when it doesn't involve hurting other people. That's why we educate people, so they can get things that they want. That's why we teach people to vote, so they'll be able to vote for what they want. We have assertiveness classes, because not trying for what you want can be a failing, a disability, a weakness.

Conclusion Again:

Pro undertook to persuade us that abortion is immoral. He has claimed that abortion is murder, but his only source doesn't actually back him up on that, and he specifically didn't want this debate to be about law anyway, and anyway he says it is morally acceptable to murder humans who are of no use,. Maybe that's not fair. That's probably not his actual opinion. Maybe he just didn't express himself well.

But here's another thing he didn't express well: He never explained his moral objection to abortion. He never really tried. He has the burden of proof, but he made no significant attempt to carry it.

Please Vote Con.

Zak9

Pro

Zak9 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
wiploc

Con

Zak forfeited his last round.

(He doesn't get to post anything significant in round 4 because the debate was instigated by Con, and Con gets to go last. See the terms in the opening post for details.)

So, in fairness, I'm not going to post anything significant here. I've already gotten to have a significant post after his last significant post. I will say, "Extend all arguments," not because I know what it means, but because people at this web site keep saying it for some reason:

Extend all arguments.


Vote Con.
Zak9

Pro

I apologize for missing the last round.

I can not make any further points.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Lordknukle 5 years ago
Lordknukle
Pro could have easily won this one
Posted by Zak9 5 years ago
Zak9
I meant vote Pro as the last post.
Posted by thelettermikey 5 years ago
thelettermikey
abortion is MURDER
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
wiplocZak9Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to show that abortion is murder, or that zygotes are human beings. Vote decision was easy. Conduct point for the forfeit arguments because pro did a poor job backing his claims, and cons arguments were well presented, and backed up. Con I congratulate you on your way of writing. Its entertaining and makes me want to read what you write.