my body my choice?
Debate Rounds (4)
1st round is acceptance plus a brief explanation of your initial view regarding this issue.
My initial view is despite our freedom and ability to choose that because it's our body means we can do whatever we want with it. Abortion, euthanasia, and illegal drug use not only causes significant damage to our own bodies but it also harms others. In the case of abortion, it causes harm to the baby (grey issues aside) and often the father is left without a choice (again, grey issues aside). In the case of euthanasia everyone generally has some loved ones that can be hurt by this. In the case of hard drug use I think it is clear that many other people are effected by this.
Another view I have is: your body, your responsibility. Our bodies are wonderful things and we shouldn't be harming them. Each of us has a responsibility to view ourselves as someone to be respected and cared for.
Before anything, I'd just like to say that this is my first debate on this site and I'll do the best I can. Also English isn't my native so you might spot some grammar or spelling mistakes here and there. Bare in mind that I actually agree with you on this matter but as I am the pro side of this, I'll have to improvise.
Now for the topic. My initial view is everyone should have freedom of choice regarding their own body, obvously. There's not much else to it so I'll just carry on to the examples you've given.
Abortion - I don't think abortion should be illegal, however I do think abortion should only be accessible with the authorisation of a specialist and both parents (unless it's a case like rape or etc). This way you're not causing harm to anyone or anything but your own body. You could argue that you're ending a life (the baby's) but I'd like to think of it as frying an egg. Abortion is executed at a time when the fetus hasn't even developed into a human being.
Euthanasia - At first I didn't know what this meant. Googling suggests that it's assisted suicide. My view on this is that if a person wants to kill themselves, they would PROBABLY do it without medical help. You could argue that euthanasia and abortion promote people into doing these procedures if they otherwise wouldn't (such as simple suicide and however you stop pregnancy without abortion) but I'll leave that to round 2.
Illegal drug abuse - In the context of this debate I don't think it matters if the drug is illegal or not. Sure, the impact on the body of different drugs is variable but the principle is the same. Alcohol and heroin are very similiar when you think of it - we use both to feel better whilst harming our bodies. The case of heroin is more extreme obviously but it doesn't harm others. I'm not sure what you meant by saying that many other people are affected by this. Alcoholism can be as devastating to close ones as addiction to drugs if that's what you meant. The problem with drugs is that people can't use it responsibly. They're just too addictive and create people into ambitionless zombies. The law for it to be illegal was set by ourselves after all (unless you live in a third world coutry ruled by a tyrann). But enough of that, I think the whole legal-illegal issue doesn't have enough to do with this topic to be relevant.
On your last view about "your body, your responsibility". I agree with you on this, but there are individuals who are self-destructive for some reasons and you can't really stop it. Nature has made us not to be this way so clearly if people harm their bodies intentionally it's just a defect.
Abortion- By the time an abortion is possible the baby is no longer an egg. The mothers is like the shell of the egg and the living baby is inside of it. Eggs you eat and boil to eat at home are unfertilized and there are no babies inside, even in caviar. Think of cooking an egg with a live bird inside it (look up Balut). So there is no comparison between a developing baby and an egg. Whether the baby is a part of you or not is currently an undecided and ongoing argument and only being decided by opinion and not completely by facts. Opinion is not fact, no one can say for certain whether it is it's own life or not. In that case it's like stabbing a body that appears to be dead but may not be. Why would you stab a body? exactly, why would you.
sources: http://www.fpawomenshealth.com... & http://www.babycentre.co.uk...
Euthanasia- It is basically assisted suicide. If someone came to and said kill me because if you don't I will do it myself would you do it? No, you would help them (or face legal charges). In the case of Euthanasia however these people are terminally ill and/or in deep physical suffering. That makes the issue far more complex and potentially less relevant to the actual argument I am trying to make. The people who would this service don't want to do it themselves or are incapable of doing it themselves. Euthanasia is significantly more effective then doing it alone.
Illegal Drug Use: I brought up the legal issue about drug use because it is potentially more harmful to more people. Apart from what it can cause a person to do to others, illegal drugs are sold by criminals. This increases criminal activity effecting many people. If you are abusing over the counter drugs you are not supporting crime.
These three topics I brought up as examples of the issue I'm actually trying to tackle. Your body, your responsibility not your choice. Abortionists use it to justify abortion, the suffering use it to justify suicide, and people who want to legalize marijuana use it to justify drug use (Although, I am not against the legalization of marijuana. However, I don't agree with using it illegally).
My point is, people say "my body, my choice" because they believe they aren't hurting anyone but themselves. I would also state that hurting yourself is hurting others. I also take it a step further to say even if you're not hurting anyone else it's not right to hurt yourself. I don't intend for this to be a legal argument but an argument about ethics and morality.
Euthanasia - I don't understand, you're proving everything I am here to prove, you're the con side so you should be saying why euthanasia is NOT ok. But yeah you said what I was going to say that the people who are terminally ill or in deep suffering should be allowed to an assisted suicide.
Drug abuse - Criminal activity has nothing to with one's body (which the debate is about). Criminal activity might attract some other concerns but for the sake of this debate I hope we're talking about just buying and doing drugs and nothing more.
About the moral concept. I think people who say "my body, my choice" know that they might be hurting the people around them but it's something that's ultimately inevitable. There's always people who will disagree with what you're doing. Imagine you're planning to have an abortion when your mother tells you that you should not do it but your father says that it's not right to bring up a child if you don't have the resources to do so. Now you're in a crossway and you have to make the decison yourself - because it's your body, your choice.
In the first paragraph from my last response I did make an argument. It was that you wouldn't know if you were only yourself and gave logical reasoning. You're explanation to justify abortion was only an opinion and not fact, making it a weak argument backed up with a weak metaphor.
Regarding euthanasia, I was clarifying facts for you as you had simply just did Google search for the definition. I also argued that you were wrong regarding someone who wanted to kill themselves would just do themselves (not that simple, suicide is never simple) then I elaborated. Unfortunately I realize I was unclear in my example, when I said help them it was to help them NOT commit suicide (get them medical and psychological help). I would not consider helping someone to commit suicide as helpful. Also, I made a statement that euthanasia was more effective then normal suicide and as Con I was coming from a standpoint that less chance of death means better, thus making euthanasia a less suitable option. I should have been more clear and should not have assumed you would realize this. I did not go into more detail about euthanasia as it is merely an example to show that it's not your body, your choice. This argument is not about whether abortion or euthanasia is right or wrong, it's about how it effects more people then just yourself. Also, euthanasia is more difficult because of the vast amount of grey area and situations regarding it, that's why I said it's not as relevant.
You're next rebuttal states that this debate is about the body, which it's not. My argument is that it's NOT just about your body. I believe and hope my view on that is clear.
Your last few sentences are the most relevant to this debate. You said that hurting people is inevitable that other people may get hurt. However, I'm not talking about people simply disagreeing with the choices.
I'm talking about:
- a baby (or egg) that is killed
- the father (of the child) who may not have gotten a choice
- the people who are left behind after the suicide
- the innocent children who have to deal with parent on drugs
- the increased crime rates effected by illegal drug sales (effecting many)
Each one of these examples are entirely avoidable and NOT inevitable. When the choice is, no one gets hurt or someone gets hurt; the choice should be no one gets hurt. Again and again I have stated and backed up that just because it's your body, doesn't mean you get to do whatever who want with it. The statement my body, my choice is wholly selfish, unjustifiable, and irresponsible.
You've basically said to me that people know they are hurting others and that by saying "my body, my choice" they actually mean they need to make the decision for yourself. Valid, yet to a certain degree your mother, father, child, husband, or the child's father is a factor in this decision and by right should have some choice in the matter. In most cases the opinions of your mother and father are of little concern in the case of an abortion, but not to the father of the child or the child itself. So the way I see it, the statement "my body, my choice" is ignoring people who should also have a say in the matter and/or not considering the people who may get hurt by the choice. That makes it a selfish and immoral statement, sometimes to even justify selfish and immoral behavior.
Now quoting you from round 1: " I am taking up the position that it is not a valid or justifiable excuse in extreme situations such as abortion, euthanasia, and illegal drug usage."
So, how can you say this argument is not about if it's right or wrong to have a mindset of "my body, my choice" and ultimately use that mindset in practice when you actually said that you think it's false in the first round. I'll provide 2 simple conclusions in the end of the paragraph of the topic, one of whether it's right or wrong, second of it's effect on others. Now your point of the matter was that less chance of death is better. From what I understand from that you're saying that it's better to have people suffering than a quick end because there's numerically less deahts? That is what you like to call out an opinion, not a fact, and one that I would disagree with to boot. You also said that people who can't euthanasia wouldn't do it otherwise because they don't want to or are incapable of. This could make up a part of the people but as seen from today, people do kill themselves and euthanasia would only help them to make it less harmless.
Why euthanasia is right - It ends people's suffering. People who have a mindset that they want to killthemselves would do it anyway.
Why euthanasia doesn't affect others - It's not euthanasia that affects others, it's the people who have decided that they don't want to live anymore that do.
Abortion - Egg metaphore wasn't accurate, fair enough. However, my argument of the fetus not being a human being yet is just as much of an opinion as yours saying that it's not. I don't think people should consider not getting an abortion because it MIGHT hurt the baby. As you've stated the argument is still undecided and ongoing. There's no really right or wrong here. This means that I was essentally arguing against your OPINION (of the fetus being developed enough to call it a human being) in the first place. A bit hypocritic to call my opinion a weak argument when in fact you stated no arguments yourself.
Drug abuse - You said that I said the debate is about the body when in fact it's not. To me it seems like nitpicking but okay, I'll clarify. My point is that drug abuse attracting criminal activity has nothing to with this argument (instead of the body, which I said earlier).
- a baby (or egg) that is killed >> Covered this in the pargaraph
- the father (of the child) who may not have gotten a choice >> In the first paragraph I stated that abortions should only be accessible with the authorisation of a specialist and both parents, this includes the father.
- the people who are left behind after the suicide >> People are left behind after suicides anyway, euthanasia or not.
- the innocent children who have to deal with parent on drugs >> Some children have to deal with alcholic and abusive parents too. It's certainly a minor issue and not problematic enough for it to solely rule out drug abuse being completely immoral. People who are drug addicts shouldn't be allowed to have a baby in the first place.
- the increased crime rates effected by illegal drug sales (effecting many) >> Do you think this is a reason why people would stop doing drugs? Because it increases crime rates and might affect others? I don't.
A lot of things are entirely avoidable and NOT inevitable. However, let's not be so naive to think that we could actually stop it. No one likes wars for example, but there are still wars. Unfortunately human nature itself is selfish, unjust and irresponsible. Furthermore, in this world there is impossible, and I mean impossible to act in a way that no one gets hurt. Unless you live a plain and emotionless life that's not worth living at all.
In the last paragraph you're saying that you're denying the child the right to vote on the matter of abortion (I already cleared out the father issue). Now tell me, did you or any other person in this world have a choice to be born? Abortion is essentially the opposite of birth and the child has a vote on neither.
Me: "I am taking up the position that it is NOT A VALID OR JUSTIFIABLE EXCUSE in extreme situations SUCH AS abortion, euthanasia, and illegal drug usage." does not contradict "This argument is not about whether abortion or euthanasia is right or wrong, it's about how it affects more people than just yourself."
"my body, my choice" is not a valid excuse in extreme situations. The three EXAMPLES are not the main point and not what this argument is about. It is more than just the example and the main debate is about the usage of "my body, my choice" which, is the title of this debate if I may add.
You said, "you're saying that it's better to have people suffering than a quick end because there's numerically less deaths?" I did not say that as you continuously try and put words in my mouth. I had made a general statement that the less death the better. In other words, death is not the optimal option in most case. I'm sure you can agree with that. I know suffering is not an optimal option either but I am saying people who say "My body, my choice" generally aren't considering the death and suffering of anyone besides themselves. Euthanasia potentially reduce suffering but not death, but not going through with euthanasia has a potential to reduce both suffering and death if you think of it outside the scope of one person (however, that is not always the case. Because it's a complicated issue).
In the case of abortion, you stated no facts at all, I stated facts and backed up my opinion. I also had an accurate metaphor backed up with sources. For example, you can't just state that a suicidal person will commit suicide anyway, especially because euthanasia normally wouldn't be offered to people who are suicidal. Euthanasia is for people already on death's door. Like when an animal is dying slowly on the road after being struck by a car, you "put it out of it's misery" by instead of a long and painful process of death you give them a shorter and less painful one. The biggest problem about euthanasia is that by taking a "my body, my choice" stance is that suicidal people would be able to use this excuse. People who are suicidal need emotional and psychiatric help and NOT euthanasia. If when I went to the doctor and said, "I want to kill myself." I shouldn't and wouldn't be responded by the offer of euthanasia. That would be a problem. This shows your lack up basic understanding of euthanasia.
So apparently you believe that whether or not the drugs are illegal matter at all in the case of this argument (which you again have failed to show). Illegal drugs are more harmful and I will give a real life example. In the comments you mentioned making alcohol illegal and during the prohibition it was. Alcohol as an illegal product was far more dangerous than legal alcohol. illegal products have no health regulation and can have dangerous health effects. For example the moonshine could make you go blind and illegal marijuana is often laced with more dangerous substances. Also, during the prohibition crime skyrocketed and organized crime used it for income. The whole reason the prohibition ended was because of it"s brutal negative effects on society. The current situation with marijuana is the same. Again, illegal drugs have a far more devastating impact on than any other example I"ve stated. Only by complete ignorance can you deny this.
It is ironic that in round one you stated :"My initial view is everyone should have freedom of choice regarding their own body, OBVIOUSLY. There's not much else to it so I'll just carry on to the examples you've given." clearly showing you actually understood the main debate topic was and stated that you also understood that the 3 examples were just examples. However, in the rest of this debate you have shown the exact opposite. This argument is clearly not just about the body, you"re just choosing to have increasingly narrow view of it.
Well, this is the last round. So I will end it with a summation of my argument. The excuse that it"s "my body, my choice" because in extreme situations it is not only your body being harmed but others around you. The fact that you ARE hurting others around you as well makes this entire excuse invalid. Also, the excuse is also selfish because you are denying that anyone around you has a choice in the matter. My opponent accepts the fact that others are being hurt meaning even he agrees it is not just your body. The only defensible position my opponent has is that harming others does not matter for no other reason that harming others is inevitable. I argue that harming others is actually avoidable (at least in most cases) by simply not harming your own body. On top of this, I also argue that you have a responsibility to care for your body. Bringing harm to your body is not ethical or justifiable.
In answering these questions it will prove it"s not just your body:
Does abortion only cause harm to your own body?
Does euthanasia only cause harm to your own body?
Does using illegal drugs only cause harm to your own body?
In most cases is causing others pain inevitable? If yes, prove it.
The main question: Is the statement "my body, my choice" a valid or justifiable excuse in extreme situations like abortion, euthanasia, and using illegal drugs?
Abortion - You said: "I am taking up the position that it is NOT A VALID OR JUSTIFIABLE EXCUSE in extreme situations SUCH AS abortion, euthanasia, and illegal drug usage." does not contradict "This argument is not about whether abortion or euthanasia is right or wrong, it's about how it affects more people than just yourself."
To me it does. The second thought is about how much you actually affect people by the various actions. The first one, however, is about whether it's STILL morally right to do so regardless. I tried to argue that to have an abortion is completely valid if some changes were made (see abortion authorisation). It indeed would in my opinion, but you're right, in the current state that abortion exists in as of this moment having it would be much less justifiable.
Much less justifiable but not completely. Okay, now that we cleared out the confusion of the debate I agree that abortion can cause harm on others. Mostly on the father. Now, harm can only be caused when mother and father have different opinions whether the child should be born. This is problematic because the mother has full control of the argument simply because she is carrying the baby. I'm afraid I can't state anything for the sake of this debate without it contradicting my principles by a huge margin. I agree with you that raising a child has almost nothing to do with carrying the baby in your stomach. Thus, I think the whole my body my choice is strictly wrong when it comes to taking the right of the baby away from the father. This doesn't mean that the mother couldn't make the choice, it just means she shouldn't have the right to do the choice solely because she carries the baby.
Euthanasia - You said: "I did not say that as you continuously try and put words in my mouth. I had made a general statement that the less death the better."
I did not try to put any words in your mouth. What I actually said on round 3 is: FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND from that you're saying that it's better to have people suffering than a quick end because there's numerically less deaths?
You said that "less chance of death means better". I still don't quite understand that. Less chance of death is obviously better in every aspect in the world other than maybe overpopulation. I would never think that euthanasia would be a better option than medical treatment to cure one's suicidal thoughts. It's not that simple however. If psychological treatment worked perfectly then there wouldn't be any suicides at all. What I am suggesting is that euthanasia offers people a better option of a suicide (the other being, well just plain suicide). Now coming back to the inital my body my choice idea. I think that euthanasia has less to do with this than you would think. The problem comes from the people who decide to selfishly kill themselves instead of seeking help. The solution would be to just get help for these people and see if that works out or not.
The last paragraph was about people with suicidal thoughts. This one's going to be about people with incurable suicidal thoughts (no reason to live) and people who are just terminally ill and/or in suffering. These people have the right to decide themselves in my opinion. Even with the mindset of my choice, my body. If one is literally in such pain that they can't even bare living anymore I would actually assume that their close ones understand it. On the contrary, it would be selfish of one to now allow suicide or put the pressure on him by threatening about their own misery the suicide would bring upon them.
You said that illegal drugs have a far more devastaing impact on one's body. I agree with that, in fact I stated it myself earlier. What I meant by the legality matter is that it doesn't matter if the drug is illegal, what matters is that illegal drugs are strictly stronger and more addicting. True, drug intensity and legality are connected, but when you brought up criminal activity you inadvertently suggested that the actualy legality is the problem, which it in fact is not (strictly in this argument). You also mentioned that during alcohol prohibiton alchol was more dangerous. That is untrue because people stricly drank more in that time. An article from New York Time suggests that "By 1830 the average American was guzzling the equivalent of 1.7 bottles of hard liquor per week " three times the amount consumed today." I am aware that 1830 was long before the prohibiton law but american alcohol consumption has decreased over time. According to Pew Research Center 70.6% of the american population indentifid themselves as Protestant christian in 2014. I'm saying this because it was the mid-19th century when protestant christians decided that alcohol usage should be moderated or prohibited according to The Oxford University Press 2005. The prohibiton was ended because of urban crime rates increasing, not because of the alcohol's effect on people's body. Besides, there are no health regulations on alcohol to date if you exclude the age restriction. The conclusion is that people had more health concerns regarding alcohol simply because they drank it more. As for moonshine and marijuana they're still illegal in some states and for a good reason.
Now to the my body my choice once again. As I stated in the comment section I think nobody actually wants to be an alcoholic or a drug addict. So people who get caught in the vicious circle are mostly unable to stop themselves from harming others. Alcoholism being a disease is a theory, so I somewhat talk against myself when I said that ungoing arguments should be dismissed but I'd just like to draw your attention to this. If alcoholism indeed is a disease then that means the ill are often times unaware of their destructive behaviour entirely.
The my body my choice problematic is only raised once one acknowledges their problem and yet still refuses to stop. That it indeed selfish and unjust regarding others.
- The mother has no right to decide the abortion matter for herself without consulting the father solely because it's her body ergo her choice.
- Euthanasia is a valid option for one who has no more options. For instance a failed medical treatment. In that case the mindset of my body my choice is completely valid, in fact it's the others who should be supportive and understanding of the suffering the said person is going through.
- Drug abuse does does often not qualify into this matter as the addicts are uncapable of thinking in an empathetic way. If that is not the case, however, it is indeed unjustifiable to harm others simply because its their own body, own choice.
Well this should be the end of it. I'm sorry I snatched this debate as a person who actually agrees with you in most cases (it seems that euthanasia was the only difference). I hoped you still enjoyed it as much as I do. Cheers and best of luck in future debates!
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.