The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
RocketEngineer
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

"principle of double effect" opens a slippery slope, see ectopic pregnancies

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
RocketEngineer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,291 times Debate No: 32465
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

people say the ends do not justify the means. they use the principle of double effect as a way around what might otherwise be thought of a an evil means etc.
but at least as applied in any cases I can see, and probably in theory too, it opens up to a slippery slope.
people like to say these hardline rules, the ends don't justify the means but principle of double effect works, help avoid "slippery slopes" etc. but even these "principle of double effect" arguments open up a can of worms, a slippery slope

an example is ectopic pregnancies. they say you can just remove the tubes with the baby inside. so couldn't the principle be extended to removing uterus's with the baby in it, when the baby poses a risk to the mother?
isn't that just an end run around the rule that you can't have an abortion etc?
and if you could just remove the uterus with the mother in it, why couldn't you just remove the baby without the uterus?

how is there really any difference between removing a uterus with the baby in it, and removing the baby itself? [not killing it directly as w an abortion]

directly killing a child could be seen as inherently evil, but just pulling the baby out is very arguably completely different. it's so much more like pulling it out in a uterus, than it is directly killing it, that it's essentially the same thing.
RocketEngineer

Con

I am going to try and understand my opponents arguments, though I will admit that they are a little confusing.
Let's break this down bit by bit without making it too complicated shall we?
For those of you who don't know what the "double effect", the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy gives a pretty good definition.

The doctrine (or principle) of double effect is often invoked to explain the permissibility of an action that causes a serious harm, such as the death of a human being, as a side effect of promoting some good end.

http://plato.stanford.edu...

In lamens terms "We meant good, but oopsied".

So 's get to why The principle of double effect isn't a slippery slope.

Argument 1: Definition differentials.

The proper explanations behind the slippery slope is: The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed.

http://www.nizkor.org...

In other words, falsely claiming that if one event occurs, than it is safe to assume that another event would occur. However what makes it a fallacy, is that the original supposer cannot predict with certainty that the event will in fact happen, and trying to disguise the theory as fact, simply makes the argument fallatic.

So what's the difference between the two?

Well a double effect is a scientific generalization probability based on logical hypothesis, where as slippery slope is based on personal assertions and estimations. The underlying difference, is the fact that one cannot prove a slippery slope, where as a double effect very easily can be proven.

Argument 2: Ectopic pregnancies irrelevant

Now I am not completely sure I understand the opposition on this one, however I will do by best to prove how this example doesn't relate to the slippery slope opening up a double effect.

When it comes to removing the felopian tube, in order to save the woman, it is not always neccesary, as my opponent suggests. While there is always a potential risk in ectopic pregnancies, having and resuming a pregnancy is perfectly possible. So when it comes to the issue of arguments for pro-lifers, a slippery slope or a double is irrelevant. But let's give the debate the benefit of the doubt, and assume a scenario where removal is completely neccesary in order to save the mothers life. Pro-lifers cannot make a slippery slope argument, or a double effect argument, because the surgery being neccesary would mean that both the mother and the childs life are in danger. So removal of the tubes being a must, would mean that pro-lifers would have to value between saving one life, or allowing both to die. This makes my opponents example completely null and void, as the purpose of the double effect argument in this case would be to prove hypocrisy in a pro life argument. But if the situation is completely un-avoidable scientifically (as I provided in my definition), then the argument is far from a slippery slope. It's a known result that will occur from the pre-supposed action.

To conclude, the best way to sum up the arguments I made, is for someone to understand the difference between a slippery slope and a double effect. The two are very different, and examples such as the one Pro provided do not apply logically when trying to compare the two.
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

"pro-lifers cannot make a slippery slope argument, or a double effect argument, because the surgery being neccesary would mean that both the mother and the childs life are in danger. So removal of the tubes being a must, would mean that pro-lifers would have to value between saving one life, or allowing both to die. This makes my opponents example completely null and void, as the purpose of the double effect argument in this case would be to prove hypocrisy in a pro life argument.

you miss the essence of the issue. prolifers who believe the ends do not justify the means, cannot abort a baby to save the life of the mother. it would be an evil means, to the end of saving the mother.
double effect says that no one intended the baby to die in the removal of the tube, so it's legit morally. but that opens the way to removing a uterus when a baby poses a risk at all. which opens to just removing the baby. and to some extent at least arguably, why not just abort and save the mother all that damage and potential li the baby is likely going to be the same anyways.
hence, the slippery slope. it's here too, with the double effect argument... not just with people who preach the relative truth. (where its usually applied
RocketEngineer

Con

To be as curteous as possible, I think my opponent has contradicted himself. In talking about slippery slope, my opponent has in fact accidently used the slippery slope himself with his assertion.

To clarify what that is, he relates the pro-lifer argument of "the end justifies the means" to abortion when removing the fellopian tube in order to save the mothers life, to an evil action. However, not even an avid pro-lifer could argue that an ectopic pregancy is an evil means.

As I pointed out in the opening round, an ectopic pregnancy is not evil, but neccesary. Theo nly chance of saving both the mother and the babies life. To not perform one, means to kill both.

By the end of the 19th century, the mortality rate dropped to five percent because of surgical intervention. Statistics suggest with current advances in early detection, the mortality rate has improved to less than five in 10,000.

http://www.medicinenet.com...

However with an ectopic pregancy there is the chance to save both (though the saving of the baby if VERY rare, and in my research, I could only find one particular amazing example of both surviving).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

It's hard to even relate ectopic surgery to abortion, in the first place, because in an ectopic surgery, the mother genereally isn't trying to "Get rid" of the baby for lack of better words. It's simply a matter of scientific survival and neccesity.

However, I strayed a little off the point. My point was the my opponent I think mis-understands the slippey slope argumen in his response, and uses it himself, in his assertion that an ectopic surgery is an evil means.

So while my opponent is wrong factually completely, and mis-understands the concept of an ectopic surgery completely, I am going to just play along and still show you how his argument is invalid.
ncy
But before I can de-bunk this, we need to establish what the difference is between an abortion and an ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic Pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg, instead of settling down in the woman's uterus where it belongs, decides to "take root" somewhere in the Fallopian tube. The fetus grows, bursts the internal organs not designed to accommodate a pregnancy, causes massive internal bleeding, and kills the mother and itself in the process.

Abortion: Abortion is defined as the direct killing of the fruit of conception (i.e. beginning with the embryo), willed either as a end or a means, whatever the means used (such as accelerated birth, craniotomy, laparotomy, cesarean, the abortion pill, etc.).

http://inquisition.ca...

Now my opponents assertion in this debate, is that an Ectopic pregnancy is a clever way to disguise having an abortion, which is exactly what I am talking about when I say he himself uses the slippery slope. By definition, the two are completely different.

An abortion is where someone willingly wants to lose a child (for various reasons, I do not feel the need to get into).

However, somewhere along the lines of make believe land, and reality, my opponent seems to think that an abortion is even possible in an ectopic situation. Either that or he equates them to being the same thing.

The reason why they are not, is because without the surgery, there is a very very high plausibility of death for both parties, while with the surgery, the is a chance that both can survive (though statistically the mother has a much higher rate of survival, and the chance of the fetus surviving is 5 in 10,000). None-the-less, the difference is almost tangible, and an ectopic surgery is extremely different from an abortion.

With the facts and evidence I have provided, I think it's sufficient to say that the double effect argument does not relate to the slippery slope, especially in this example.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

"To clarify what that is, he relates the pro-lifer argument of "the end justifies the means" to abortion when removing the fellopian tube in order to save the mothers life, to an evil action. However, not even an avid pro-lifer could argue that an ectopic pregancy is an evil means.

this doesn't make much sense. pregnancies are not evil means, not one said they are. if you meant that removing the tube no one considers and evil means, sure I agree no one does. but that shows my point, once you accept that, then you have to accept the removal of uteruses, then what about just removing the baby etc.

I can accept that a direct abortion is not the same necessarily as removal of tubes, uterus, baby etc.... but I think it's close enough that it's morally really indistinguishiable. even if we don't put direct abortion into the mix, there's no reason a person couldn't just remove the baby and let it die, as the intention to kill and direct killing are both absent... why can't a person just remove the baby if they can remove the tubes and the uterus? why must there be sacrifice of body parts etc? the baby is the thing causing death, so you just remove it.

cons arguments seem to be going all over the place
RocketEngineer

Con

Again, I am going to try really hard not to be a jerk here. But my opponent COMPLETELY mis-understands how a ectopic surgery works.

It is impossible for me to debate the Pro when he literally doesn't know what he is talking about.

It is impossible to have an abortion, beause the fertilized egg is attached to the fallopian tube. I laughed a little as I read my opponents previous round. This debate is kind of an embarrasment, and I would have not accepted, knowing that my opponent was oblivious to this fact. However the fact remains.

I thought he was trying to argue that an ectopic pregnancy was the same thing as abortion, thus making his assertion relative that abortion is similar. And yes, he was kind of still saying that, but now that he reaveals the the crux of his argument was to prove an abortion would be preferable.

http://www.medic8.com...

So I accepted this debate for the purpose of proving the slippery slope argument didn't equate to the double effect. Both my arguments have been dismissed by my opponent. In fact, he only argued on false information provided in his example. So the philosophy of the double effect argument and the slippery slope were 100% entirely dropped by my opponent.

I don't know what more to argue, as my points have been un-touched, and my opponent has un-sourced, illogical information used as examples in this debate.

To conclude, I thank my opponent for offering this debate, and appolagize for accepting this debate not fully understanding your stance. However, before starting debates like this I would personally reccommend doing a bit more research about the topic. Again, completely no offence intended.

Vote for CON.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Skeptikitten 4 years ago
Skeptikitten
The grammar here is poor enough that your meaning isn't particularly clear.

Also- are you aware that doctors do not remove the fallopian tubes for ectopic pregnancies, nor the uterus in an abortion? Or that ectopic pregnancies are diagnosed at a point where abortion is still legal in the first place, and not capable of going to term in any way?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
dairygirl4u2cRocketEngineerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro has the burden of proof, but so lacked lucidity that we aren't sure of why she is on which side of what topic.
Vote Placed by Pennington 4 years ago
Pennington
dairygirl4u2cRocketEngineerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not make any sense. Con had to tell Pro what it was they were arguing about. Pros S/G was bad. I give Con conduct for actually knowing what was being debated.
Vote Placed by Misterscruffles 4 years ago
Misterscruffles
dairygirl4u2cRocketEngineerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: S/g, look for yourself. Arguments to con, as pro appeared not to even understand what she was talking about.