The Instigator
Coolguy11
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Draka
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Abortion is wrong

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Draka
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2018 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,472 times Debate No: 112771
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (20)
Votes (3)

 

Coolguy11

Pro

Ah yes, one of the most famous bioethical issues out there. So I'm against it, here's why: I think it's wrong to kill people and I think fetuses are people too; they have their own DNA and are forming their own bodily systems. Sure you can say they're a bundle of cells but so are you and I, we have a right to life. You can say they can't live on their own so they are not people, but neither can people who need insulin, and they're still people. You can say you don't have a right to use someone else's body to live, but by that logic a conjoined twin can kill the other. Etc.
Draka

Con

Accepted.

Abortion Statistics

Before debating the "ethics" of abortion, we should specify when it is that most abortion procedures occur. This is important as it determines whether what is being aborted is to be classified as a zygote, an embryo, or a fetus.

According to statistics, the majority of abortions take place within the first trimester. [1.] https://i.imgur.com...

As the graph states, 38% of abortions occur in the first 7-8 weeks, 21% occur in the 9th-10th weeks, 16% occur in the 6th week, whereas only 22% occur after this (including 4% in weeks 16-20). Therefore, in most cases, it is usually the zygote or embryo that is aborted, as opposed to the fetus. The zygote (which is one single-cell) develops within the first two-weeks of pregnancy. Upon this, it divides into a small collection of cells and becomes an embryo. These cells remain an "embryo" until the ninth week, which is when a fetus begins to develop.

Given that it is indeed the zygote or embryo that is aborted, we can conclude that
a.) the cells being removed are yet to develop any organs and b.) the cells being removed cannot be categorized as persons. The extent of "life" within these cells is that they are "alive" in the sense they will continue to develop under the right conditions. They are not conscious or sentient beings (their existence and developmental potential is dependant on who is carrying them). A fully-developed fetus, on the other hand, can survive without the internal support of its mother upon being born.

Is Removing Cells Wrong?

Definition of a person:

1.)
a human being regarded as an individual.

If we are to argue for or against abortion within the zygote-embryo stage of the pregnancy, we are not arguing as to whether it is wrong to kill a person, as the zygote and embryo do not fulfill the criteria for personhood. Thus, we are essentially arguing the ethics of removing a biological cell or cells which is/are not wanted.

Definition of a cell:

2.) the smallest structural and functional unit of an organism, which is typically microscopic and consists of cytoplasm and a nucleus enclosed in a membrane.

Any cell, has the potential for development or division. These same cells can also die. An example of this would be how our brain cells slowly diminish as we become older. [2.] https://imgur.com...

To expound on my point on the removal of cells that people do not "want" or cells that are not viewed to be beneficial to the individual: the practice of this is not uncommon. The difference between a cell(s) and a newly-born child is that the former only has the potential of life, whereas the latter has a life -- in that it can live and survive as one separate being (on the contrary to being biologically dependant on its mother). This is the stage in which the fetus, which is now a newly-born infant, is granted "rights" -- with the primary right being the right to life. It is now considered a person, and is protected by the law.

A cell or a group of cells, however, are not capable of thought or feeling as individual biological units. The "potential of life" argument simply fails as all cells have the potential of life, as they also have the potential of death. That the zygote and the embryo have the potential of life only means that they are, in essence, the same as every other cell. Their continued existence and development isn't guaranteed, and, rather more importantly, they are not conscious beings. A group of cells can lead to a conscious being (I.e person), but they, as cells which are still yet to develop, are not conscious beings.

I would ask that Pro answer this question: is it wrong to remove cells?
Debate Round No. 1
Coolguy11

Pro

Well the statistics are not really relevant here because we're just talking about right vs. wrong, it doesn't matter how often something occurs to determine if it is right or wrong. No, removing cells is not wrong, but an embryo is more than cells, just like you. So tell me, what is the difference between you and a zygote? You didn't quite say, you just assumed the premise that embryos are not persons, which is not true. Just because someone can't survive on its own, that doesn't mean he/she is not a person; conjoined twins cannot live on their own (sometimes), but they're still people are they not? Not being "protected by law" doesn't mean you're not a person; black people were not protected by law back in the nineteenth century, were they not people? The law is not a basis for morality. Newborn babies are not really capable of thought either, but they're still people. Some people don't have emotions, and some can't feel physical pain (called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP)), but they're still people. You say cells are not a life, just a "potential" but if they're not living are they dead? Or just abiotic? Nobody's continued existence is guaranteed; we could all ie tomorrow, doesn't mean we're not people. When people are sleeping, they are not conscious, but they are still people.
Draka

Con

R1. Rebuttals

"I think it's wrong to kill people and I think fetuses are people too; they have their own DNA and are forming their own bodily systems."

We've established that in the majority of cases, abortions occur within the first trimester. Therefore, it is not the "fetus" that is being aborted, but the zygote or the embryo. A zygote and an embryo are not persons, they are developing cells. In the former case, it is one cell (the zygote), and in the latter case, it is a small collection of cells (the embryo). If a female, for example, has an abortion within the first two weeks of her pregnancy, she is aborting a cell and not a person. Similarly, if a female has an abortion within the seven weeks that come after the zygote-stage (when the cell has subdivided and become an embryo), she is aborting a small collection of cells -- which again -- are not "persons". I outlined the criteria for personhood in R.1, and the zygote and embryo, very clearly, do not fulfil it.

"You can say they can't live on their own so they are not people, but neither can people who need insulin, and they're still people. You can say you don't have a right to use someone else's body to live, but by that logic a conjoined twin can kill the other. Etc."

This point is sufficiently negated by the fact that people who require insulin treatment have already been born and are thus persons. One cannot compare a zygote or an embryo to a living being who is conscious and sentient. With regard to "having the right to use another person's body to live", the issue (from a scientific perspective) does not concern what "rights" a zygote/embryo/fetus or a female have. Rather, the zygote, embryo and fetus are biologically dependant on the female who is carrying them. Thus, they cannot survive or develop without her. Again, one cannot make comparisons with conjoined twins because, in this scenario, they are both alive. They do not have to live in their mother's womb in order to grow and develop.

R.2 Rebuttals

"Well the statistics are not really relevant here because we're just talking about right vs. wrong, it doesn't matter how often something occurs to determine if it is right or wrong."

Allow me to further explain why the statistics are relevant: it is important to establish whether what is being aborted is classified as a cell, a small collection of subdivided cells, or indeed a fetus.

Why is this important?

Because it tells us how close to personhood the zygote, embryo, or fetus is. If they are a zygote or an embryo, they are not fetuses. They are therefore not close to personhood.

Why does this matter?

It matters because in the majority of cases (as the statistics show) it is the zygote or embryo that is aborted. Thus, we are not aborting "persons".

"No, removing cells is not wrong, but an embryo is more than cells, just like you."

An embryo is not "more than cells". The difference between an embryo and myself is that I am a fully-developed human who can survive independently, whereas an embryo is a group of cells that cannot survive independently. I am a sentient being; an embryo is not.

"So tell me, what is the difference between you and a zygote? You didn't quite say, you just assumed the premise that embryos are not persons, which is not true."

Again, the difference between a zygote and myself is that a.) a zygote is one single cell, and b.) I am an adult human who is fully-developed. Here is one way to demonstrate the difference between a zygote and a human:

This is the appearance of a zygote: [3.] https://imgur.com...

This is the appearance of a human: [4.] https://imgur.com...

"Not being "protected by law" doesn't mean you're not a person; black people were not protected by law back in the nineteenth century, were they not people? The law is not a basis for morality."

In stating "black people", you are referring to people, not (a) cells or small collection of developing cells. Thus, this point is a non sequitur.

"Newborn babies are not really capable of thought either, but they're still people. "

Emphasis on the word "people". Newborn infants are indeed people, because they have been born. They will gradually begin to develop thought, as well.

"Some people don't have emotions, and some can't feel physical pain (called Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP)), but they're still people. You say cells are not a life, just a "potential" but if they're not living are they dead? Or just abiotic? Nobody's continued existence is guaranteed; we could all ie tomorrow, doesn't mean we're not people. When people are sleeping, they are not conscious, but they are still people."

They are people because as they are "post-birth". They are not (a) cell or small collection of cells. Regardless of their ability or inability to "feel emotion" or "physical pain", they are still sentient beings. I would note that CIP is an extremely rare condition, with only 20 cases ever being reported. [5.] https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov...

(see frequency).
Debate Round No. 2
Coolguy11

Pro

The majority cases of abortion do not matter because we are just arguing whether or not an embryo is a person. The time when most people get abortions says nothing about whether a zygote deserves protection or not. You're saying "most people get abortions in the first trimester" and trying to relate that to "therefore a zygote is not a person." Those two claims are not related, if you want to prove an embryo is not a person then you can do that on its own without bringing in the stats. If most people got abortions in the second or third trimester would that all of a sudden make an embryo a person? No, so the stats are independent of that claim. A newborn baby also consists of "developing cells," like an embryo, as you said, are newborns not people? You may have outlined the criteria for personhood but I refuted those criteria. You said a person has to be sentient/conscious, be able to live on its own, and be born already. Well if someone is sleeping they are not conscious, but they're still people. If somebody needs kidney dialysis they cannot live on their own, they're still people. Where you are located spatially is not relevant to whether you're a person or not. If I walk out of this room, would I stop being a person? Like what exactly makes you not a person if you're inside somebody else? You say conjoined twins are alive but so is an embryo, it is a biotic entity and it is certainly not dead, so how can you say a baby is alive but not an embryo? You say the difference between you and an embryo is that you are a fully-developed human who can survive independently. Well babies are not fully-developed, they have a lot of developing to do, and if a baby is on life support, maybe born prematurely, they cannot live on their own. So a baby on life support cannot live independently and is not fully-developed, is it not a person? Just because CIP is rare, that doesn't mean people afflicted by it are not people.
Bottom line: you claim that the difference between you and an embryo is that you are sentient, fully-developed, and can survive independently. By that logic, a newborn baby on life support is not a person because they are not capable of thought, as you admit, they are not fully-developed, and they cannot survive independently. You say babies will "gradually begin to develop thought" but you can say that about an embryo too; given enough time, an embryo will become a thinking being.
You keep trying to bring the frequency of abortions in this argument. That's not what we're arguing. Let's say nobody gets an abortion ever again, you could still argue whether or not zygotes are people, and if every single person got an abortion, you can still have that personhood debate. So the frequency of something happening to an entity does not determine if that entity is a person or not, do you understand?
Draka

Con

R3. Rebuttals

"The majority cases of abortion do not matter because we are just arguing whether or not an embryo is a person. The time when most people get abortions says nothing about whether a zygote deserves protection or not."

This is incorrect. The statistics "matter" because they specify whether what is being aborted is a cell, cells, or indeed a fetus. There are distinctions to be made with all three. Pro's original contention was that "persons" are aborted, but this has been proved wrong by the statistics and additional explanations that I've provided. If the majority of abortions occurred after the first trimester or during the mid-late fetal stage of pregnancy, Pro's argument may have some validity, but they do not. Thus, there is no validity to the argument that Pro has presented.

"You're saying "most people get abortions in the first trimester" and trying to relate that to "therefore a zygote is not a person." Those two claims are not related, if you want to prove an embryo is not a person then you can do that on its own without bringing in the stats."

The two claims are related by Pro's contention that persons are aborted. Due to the fact that it is generally the zygote or embryo that is aborted, this is not the case. A cell or small collection of subdivided cells are not persons. An example of this can be found in the imagery that I included in R.2. (see link 3).

A zygote is a cell, whereas a person is a living human. Likewise, an embryo (collection of cells) is also not a human and therefore not a person.

"If most people got abortions in the second or third trimester would that all of a sudden make an embryo a person?"

Again, this is a non sequitur. The embryo becomes a fetus in the second trimester.

"A newborn baby also consists of "developing cells," like an embryo, as you said, are newborns not people?"

A newborn infant is not a developing cell or developing cells, it is a human who can survive independently (I.e, without living in its mother's womb).

"You may have outlined the criteria for personhood but I refuted those criteria."

Pro has not refuted any criteria. The definition of a person is: "a human being regarded as an individual."

A zygote, an embryo and an early-stage fetus are not regarded as "individuals" because they do not fulfill the criteria, which is (first and foremost) to have been born.

"You said a person has to be sentient/conscious, be able to live on its own, and be born already. Well if someone is sleeping they are not conscious, but they're still people."

Sentience was introduced to the topic when Pro attempted to argue for similarities between a zygote, an embryo and a human. The former do not have sentience, whereas a human does. Pro is also incorrect in his assertion that we are not conscious whilst we sleep, as we are. It is merely an altered state of consciousness. However, this is not a debate on our levels of consciousness whilst we sleep, but as to whether abortion is "wrong". Pro's argument for abortion being wrong was that what is aborted is a person, which it is not. Thus, we can conclude that it is not wrong. This reflects back to my point regarding the ethics of cell removal. The fact is that on a biological basis, a zygote or an embryo are not persons -- they are cell(s).

"If somebody needs kidney dialysis they cannot live on their own, they're still people."

Indeed. They are not a zygote or an embryo or a fetus during its early stages, they are "people". Regardless of whether they require medical assistance or not, they can still live independently of their mother. However, a zygote, an embryo or fetus cannot. They are biologically dependant on the female carrying them, as they cannot survive or develop without her. This is primarily why the female is granted medical autonomy with regard to abortion.

"If I walk out of this room, would I stop being a person?"

No. This is because you have been born and have already reached personhood.

"Like what exactly makes you not a person if you're inside somebody else?"

If you are a cell or small collection of cells, then clearly, you are not a person. Example: let's assume that you were in a biology class and you were presented with a human zygote and a person. You would immediately be able to differentiate between this zygote and person, because the zygote would be one cell (see picture in R.2), whereas the person would be a fully-developed and functioning human being. The person can see, hear, smell, touch, taste, think, talk, move, etc. whereas the cell would be inanimate and without any capacity for the above-mentioned senses and abilities.

"So a baby on life support cannot live independently and is not fully-developed, is it not a person?"

A newborn infant receiving life support is able to live without existing within its mother womb. Thus, its life is independent of its mother's.

"Just because CIP is rare, that doesn't mean people afflicted by it are not people."

Where did I claim that (the 20) people who have ever been diagnosed with CIP are not "people"? In fact, I said: "regardless of their inability to feel physical pain, they are still sentient beings". They are indeed people who are alive and conscious.

"You claim that the difference between you and an embryo is that you are sentient, fully-developed, and can survive independently. By that logic, a newborn baby on life support is not a person because they are not capable of thought, as you admit, they are not fully-developed, and they cannot survive independently."

The difference between a newborn infant and a zygote, an embryo or an early-stage fetus is that the former can survive without the internal support of its mother.

"You say babies will "gradually begin to develop thought" but you can say that about an embryo too; given enough time, an embryo will become a thinking being."

An embryo cannot develop thought. Only a person who has been born can achieve thought, because you need to be "alive" and functioning in order to think. An embryo, when removed from its biological environment, will not develop into a fetus and will thus not develop into a human being -- which is what you "need" to be in order to think. A newborn infant, when taken out of its environment, will be able to develop thought as it has reached the stage necessary to survive without its mother's body and be brought into this world. Its life begins at this point.

"You keep trying to bring the frequency of abortions in this argument. Let's say nobody gets an abortion ever again, you could still argue whether or not zygotes are people, and if every single person got an abortion, you can still have that personhood debate. So the frequency of something happening to an entity does not determine if that entity is a person or not, do you understand?"

I have not once referenced the frequency of abortions. If I had referenced their frequency, I would've included statistics relating to how many abortions are performed each year, which I have not done. I have only referenced when it is in a pregnancy that abortions occur -- not how many times they occur. Here, I will highlight again why it is important that we define when they take place and at what stage during the pregnancy:

Pro originally stated in R.1: "they're still people."

To which I responded in R.1: "it is usually the zygote or embryo that is aborted, as opposed to the fetus."

Thus, I have shown that the cell(s) being aborted are indeed only cells, and not persons. This argument, though, does not relate to the actual frequency of abortions -- this is something that only Pro has referenced -- likely because he is unable to adequately comprehend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
Coolguy11

Pro

So this is your argument: "embryos are not humans," right? You keep saying that as if it is a premise we agree on, but we don't, that is what this debate is about. You are begging the question here. I have refuted all of your criteria for a person (sentience, full development, living independently of someone else) you just clearly have not read them. If somebody is in a coma, they cannot respond to stimuli and they cannot think, and by your logic somebody who cannot feel or think is not a person, but that logic would not apply to a comatose person, right? After that you say, "but a comatose person has already been born and is fully-developed," but again, a kid is not fully-developed, but kids are still people. You have not described how passing the birth canal makes somebody a person. Not being able to live independently of someone else doesn't mean you are not a person (back to the conjoined twins example). What you are doing, is not even trying to understand my argument, and that means you are not honest about debating this. Because at least I try and understand where you're coming from, that's why I ask for clarification. You're purposely making your arguments as long and wordy as possible so I won't have time to refute them all. You need to be succinct if you actually want to have an honest debate.
The statistics do not prove anything "wrong" because my claim that embryos are people has not been proven wrong by you. Again, that is what we are debating about. Do you understand everything that I am saying? Because I am happy to clear anything up if need be.
Draka

Con

R.4 Rebuttals:

"So this is your argument: "embryos are not humans," right? You keep saying that as if it is a premise we agree on, but we don't, that is what this debate is about."

As to whether Pro agrees with this premise is irrelevant. The point is that it is based on fact. For example, an embryo is defined as: "a thing at a rudimentary stage that shows potential for development." A human, however, has already developed all the necessary organs and fulfilled the biological criteria that is required to be a "human". An embryo cannot be a human, hence why it is only defined as a "thing at a rudimentary stage that shows potential for development." The agreement of Pro to this is not needed, as it is a statement of fact.

"You are begging the question here. I have refuted all of your criteria for a person (sentience, full development, living independently of someone else) you just clearly have not read them."

Pro hasn't refuted any criteria. I will remind Pro what the "criteria" actually are:

That in order to be a person, you need to a.) not be one single cell, and b.) not be a small collection of cells. Thus, you need to have passed the zygote-embryo stage of your mother's pregnancy to be a person. Pro is yet to refute my argument on living independently, as he has not shown how a zygote or an embryo can live without the female carrying them. I will ask Pro one simple question:

Can a zygote or an embryo survive without living in the mother's womb?

If his answer to this question is "no" (which would be the correct answer), then he will have conceded the "independent living" argument.

"If somebody is in a coma, they cannot respond to stimuli and they cannot think, and by your logic somebody who cannot feel or think is not a person, but that logic would not apply to a comatose person, right?"

A state of comatose is a not natural, so it does not negate my argument on consciousness. Humans are born with the ability to think and thus achieve sentience. In scenarios in which this ability isn't fully realized or is incapacitated, they are still persons, because they have been born. An individual in a coma has all the necessary tools to think and feel (the issue is that these tools have been damaged and have thus lost, either temporally or permanently, their capacity to function). A zygote and embryo do not have all the necessary tools for thinking and feeling because they are only cell(s). They have never been able to experience thought or emotion, which is to the contrary of a person in a coma.

"After that you say, "but a comatose person has already been born and is fully-developed," but again, a kid is not fully-developed, but kids are still people."

Children are people because they exist within this world as individuals, as opposed to existing in their mother's womb as non-individuals, or rather "cell(s)". A child, as with any other human, will have its own distinguishable features and characteristics. A zygote and an embryo has no distinguishable features or characteristics (that separate it from other zygotic or embryonic cells). It will only begin to develop its genetic identity when it reaches mid-term fetal stage, by which point, abortions generally do not occur.

"You have not described how passing the birth canal makes somebody a person. Not being able to live independently of someone else doesn't mean you are not a person (back to the conjoined twins example)."

Rather simply, it makes someone a person because that is when they have left the environment they've developed in for (what should be) nine months. Upon this, they are granted legal rights -- as persons.

"What you are doing, is not even trying to understand my argument, and that means you are not honest about debating this. Because at least I try and understand where you're coming from, that's why I ask for clarification. You're purposely making your arguments as long and wordy as possible so I won't have time to refute them all. You need to be succinct if you actually want to have an honest debate."

The debate pertains to this question: is abortion wrong? In showing that it is either a cell or cells that are aborted, not a "person", I have demonstrated that it is not wrong. This argument stands as Pro's premise was that abortion is "wrong" because it is persons who are aborted -- which is incorrect. They are not aborted, thus, it cannot be wrong.

"The statistics do not prove anything "wrong" because my claim that embryos are people has not been proven wrong by you."

An embryo is a small collection of cells, a "person" is: "a human being regarded as an individual." Therefore, Pro's assertion that an embryo is a person is very easily shown to be erroneous. To further highlight how he is incorrect, though, I will include an additional definition of "person":

"A person is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of property, or legal responsibility."

Pro may attempt to argue that an infant or a child cannot fulfil any of the above criteria, but as they have brains that will develop (without the "life-support" which is essentially their mother's womb), they will. A child, even if it is taken away from its mother, will continue to grow and develop without her. A zygote and an embryo cannot achieve this.
Debate Round No. 4
Coolguy11

Pro

So now your criteria for a person are: not a single cell or not a small collection of cells. Why? Babies are small collections of cells too, size is relative, they are still people. One cell is an arbitrary number.
"Children are people because they exist within this world as individuals, as opposed to existing in their mother's womb as non-individuals, or rather "cell(s)". A child, as with any other human, will have its own distinguishable features and characteristics. A zygote and an embryo has no distinguishable features or characteristics (that separate it from other zygotic or embryonic cells). It will only begin to develop its genetic identity when it reaches mid-term fetal stage, by which point, abortions generally do not occur."
Children are still a bunch of cells, just like an embryo. Embryos can have distinguishable features, every embryo is different, because they all have a unique set of DNA. The DNA code forms right at conception, it is not formed later in the pregnancy.
"Rather simply, it makes someone a person because that is when they have left the environment they've developed in for (what should be) nine months. Upon this, they are granted legal rights -- as persons."
Environment does not determine personhood, what if a bay is in an artificial incubator? Does it not become a person until it left the incubator?
You keep saying you showed that an embryo is not a person, and I have refuted your reasoning for it, but you just try to refute that in turn by saying some other criteria has been meet in a being who is missing one criteria,. But I talked about all the criteria, so it doesn't matter which criteria a being shows, because none of the criteria are legitimate arguments for personhood.
"a human being regarded as an individual."
You've thrown this definition around, it does not back up your reasoning at all, nor does it back up mine actually. The question of an "individual" is still not settled. An embryo can be called an individual because it has its own genetics, even though it needs a form of life support to live.
"A person is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of property, or legal responsibility."
Some people do not have the brainpower to reason, some people are amoral, some are unconscious (for a time), not everybody has a family, not everyone owns property, not everybody follows laws. All the above criteria can be non-existent in a being for you to call that being a person. You say a child does not have the criteria, but will develop them. I can say that exact thing about an embryo, because an embryo will develop into a newborn, in turn developing into a grown adult. I also have another question, is a fetus at, let's say 22 weeks, not a person? It cannot survive without the mother but it has developing organs, including a brain, it also develops pain receptors around this time.
Bottom line: you have provided some criteria for personhood (more than a small number of cells, independent of life support, capable of sentience, etc.) and I have shown that each of those criteria can be non-existent in somebody and you can still call that somebody a person, so clearly those are not proper criteria for personhood because you are not required to have them for being called a person. You really have not proven to me, succinctly and in your own words, how one needs to be outside the mother to be called a person. I do not use the "independent living" argument because I have said that one does not be able to live independently of someone else to be called a person.
Draka

Con

R5. Rebuttals:

"So now your criteria for a person are: not a single cell or not a small collection of cells. Why? Babies are small collections of cells too, size is relative, they are still people."

The criteria has not changed (see previous rounds for evidence of this). We have established that a zygote (single cell) and small collection of subdivided cells which were formerly a zygote (embryo) cannot be persons. A person is a human who no longer needs to develop within its mother's womb. An infant is a "person", as it has passed the zygotic, embryonic, and fetal stages of its mother's pregnancy -- and therefore can no longer be classified as a cell or cells.

"Children are still a bunch of cells, just like an embryo. Embryos can have distinguishable features, every embryo is different, because they all have a unique set of DNA. The DNA code forms right at conception, it is not formed later in the pregnancy."

Children are considered persons, so they are not merely a "bunch of cells". They are living beings who are able to experience pain and emotion, one single cell or subdivided cells cannot think or feel. Moreover, the features of a fetus do not begin to develop until mid-stage pregnancy (as I have previously specified), so Pro is incorrect in stating that an embryo has distinguishable features. It will develop its DNA within time and if it becomes a fetus. There is a 75% chance of a miscarriage within the first 1-2 weeks of pregnancy, so the "if" in whether a zygote develops into a fetus is rather significant. [6.] https://imgur.com...

We were all essentially born as a result of biological lottery. This is to the extent that losing a "zygote" is far more likely than keeping one. I would add that this should demonstrate how fragile the existence of this cell is, and how, due to this fragility, it cannot be compared to a person. The probability of a zygote surviving is low, yet the probability of an infant surviving upon being born is high. Note: it can now survive without its mother.


"
Environment does not determine personhood, what if a bay is in an artificial incubator? Does it not become a person until it left the incubator?"

We've already determined what defines "personhood". In this scenario, the child has been born, so it is indeed a person -- regardless of whether it requires an incubator or not.

"You keep saying you showed that an embryo is not a person, and I have refuted your reasoning for it, but you just try to refute that in turn by saying some other criteria has been meet in a being who is missing one criteria."

Pro is again claiming to have made non-existent refutations. He has not refuted my argument on the differences between a person and an embryo. This is primarily because he cannot provide any valid counter-arguments to it (because it is based on fact).

An embryo:
a thing at a rudimentary stage that shows potential for development.

A person: a human being regarded as an individual.

An embryo cannot be a person.

"But I talked about all the criteria, so it doesn't matter which criteria a being shows, because none of the criteria are legitimate arguments for personhood."

The criteria are part of legitimate arguments for personhood because they are the correct criteria for personhood, and indeed non-personhood.

"You've thrown this definition around, it does not back up your reasoning at all, nor does it back up mine actually. The question of an "individual" is still not settled. An embryo can be called an individual because it has its own genetics, even though it needs a form of life support to live."

Pro has failed to explain how the definition does not support my reasoning. Unlike Pro's, my reasoning has remained consistent throughout this debate and I have used the appropriate definitions and citations to support it. Pro has not used any supporting evidences for his case. Example: Pro failed to define what "wrong" was, what a fetus is, and what his criteria for personhood are.

"Some people do not have the brainpower to reason, some people are amoral, some are unconscious (for a time), not everybody has a family, not everyone owns property, not everybody follows laws. All the above criteria can be non-existent in a being for you to call that being a person."

These people are still categorized as "persons" who are accountable to and protected by the law. An "amoral" person will be confronted with legal consequences if they are shown to have violated the law. An "unconscious" person is protected by the law to the extent that medically trained professionals have an obligation (known as a "duty of care") to assist them. This is because this individual is a person -- with rights. Rights are given to people, not cells.

"You say a child does not have the criteria, but will develop them. I can say that exact thing about an embryo, because an embryo will develop into a newborn, in turn developing into a grown adult. I also have another question, is a fetus at, let's say 22 weeks, not a person? It cannot survive without the mother but it has developing organs, including a brain, it also develops pain receptors around this time."

A child is able to experience pain and emotion, unlike a cell or a small group of cells. Pro's point on abortion at 22 weeks is irrelevant, as the vast majority of abortions occur before the 16th week of pregnancy. Only a minute 1% of abortions occur after week 21. [7.] https://imgur.com...

If Pro had reviewed the citations used (in this case, citation #1), he would be aware that his point here does not follow.

In conclusion, Pro has neglected to do the following:

1. ) Define what, according to him, "wrong" is.

2.) Define what, according to him, a "person" is.

3.) Address my citations.

4.) Adequately address my arguments (in responding to specific points made in them).

5.) Provide any sufficient counter-arguments.

6.) Show how abortion is wrong (the absence of his own definition of "wrong" seemingly rendered him unable to do this).

Therefore, potential voters should vote CON.
Debate Round No. 5
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Nd2400 2 years ago
Nd2400
I fellen. Asleep
Posted by Nd2400 2 years ago
Nd2400
Why life is so fucked up?

Why do some ppl care so much about one person?
Posted by Nd2400 2 years ago
Nd2400
You Must love winning. . . .

Even when that person is getting lit on fire. .

I guess you like watching that person burn. . . .
Posted by dsjpk5 3 years ago
dsjpk5
Apparently my vote DOES comply with current voting standards. Having said that, I wish to congratulate Draka on his victory. It was well earned. Both debaters would be formidable opponents.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: FREEDO// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Con (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Pro is asserting the positive claim that zygotes, embryos and fetuses and can be considered persons. Thus they have the burden of proof. They make no serious attempt to substantiate this burden. Their arguments are weak and ripe with logical fallacious, for example non sequitur in the case of the conjoined twin argument. Which doesn?t relate to a cluster of cells. And strawmen arguments, for example, in the black people and CIP arguments which oppose arguments that Con was not making. Con, on the other hand, provided excellent criteria for personhood. Obviously none of which apply to a zygote, which they differentiate from a more developed fetus. Pro makes no distinction between the two, claiming they both have equal personhood. Even though, as Con said, a zygote cannot ?see, hear, smell, touch, taste, think, talk, move, etc.?. Con used helpful sources during the debate and Pro used none the entire time. Clear winner.

[*Reason for removal*] Sources are insufficiently explained. The voter is required to do more than characterize one side"s sources as "helpful" while pointing out that the other didn"t present sources. It must be clear how the sources presented by Con were relevant to the debate.
************************************************************************
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: dsjpk5// Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Rfd in comments.

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter clearly assesses specific arguments presented by both sides in the debate and bases his decision on those assessments. That is sufficient basis to award argument points.
************************************************************************
Posted by Coolguy11 3 years ago
Coolguy11
You know how about this: I don"t wanna take up the comment thread so we can have this discussion elsewhere. Deal?
Posted by Coolguy11 3 years ago
Coolguy11
Nope I"ve done those things you just clearly did not understand them. As I said, I"m happy to explain it further for you.
Posted by Draka 3 years ago
Draka
@dsjpk5,

Alright.
Posted by Draka 3 years ago
Draka
@Coolguy11,

You have no arguments to explain. What you *should have* done is use more substantive arguments within the debate and made a greater effort to understand my own. The fact remains that you a.) failed to define what "wrong" is, b.) failed to define what a "person" is, and c.) failed to provide adequate counter-arguments to mine.

For instance, one cannot claim that my sources were "not relevant" when they very clearly demonstrated the differences between a zygote, an embryo and a person. Their pertinence relates to your claim of abortions being "wrong", as this claim was based on the misconceived idea that it is persons and not cells that undergo abortion procedures. It cannot be "wrong" if it not a person being killed, or rather, in this circumstance, "removed".
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
Coolguy11DrakaTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:03 
Reasons for voting decision: In this debate, the Burden of Proof lies on Pro, who had began the debate with a positive claim in what should be considered a person, but Con gave a definition in which added capable of thought or feeling as an individual. This definition stands in the debate due to Pro's lack of challenge of it nor clarity in R1. Pro's predominate arguments revolved around comparing the similiarties of humans to the fetus by talking about sleeping people and CIPs. Con provided criteria for what makes a person through the senses, which ended up highlighting why the senses and other portions of what makes a human, as brought up in R1, does not apply to the zygote. With that, I have to give arguments to Con in this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
dsjpk5
Coolguy11DrakaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Rfd in comments.
Vote Placed by Skepticalone 3 years ago
Skepticalone
Coolguy11DrakaTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con provided us with the definition of a person: "a human being regarded as an individual" and added "capable of thought or feeling as individual biological units". It did not seem Pro caught the significance of the core definition and how it undermined 'fetuses are people' or suggestions that there was no difference between a human that had been born (and was an individual) or a zygote/embryo/fetus (which was still directly dependent on the life of another being) which had not. Similarly, Pro's other objections such as 'sleeping people are not conscious' or 'people suffering from CIP do not feel' [paraphrased] lacked teeth. Ultimately, Pro did not provide us with a strong case and primarily focused on lodging objections against Con's arguments. As such, Pro failed to meet his burden. On the other hand, Con's view that abortion is not wrong due to it being the removal of cells (and not persons) I found compelling. Arguments to Con.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.