The Instigator
chrmon2
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Thoht
Con (against)
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Should abortion be Illegal?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2018 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 812 times Debate No: 119635
Debate Rounds (5)
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chrmon2

Pro

This debate will be a discussion on the morality and legality of abortion, As well as possible solutions.

Pro will argue that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or when the life of the mother is threatened. (Other extreme cases, Such as if the fetus doesn't have a brain, Are not the topic of this debate. )

Con will argue against this.
Thoht

Con

Happy to think with you today.

There are many factors involved in the abortion debate. In order to ban abortions entirely you have to sacrifice a lot more than most people think. For this reason, I am currently pro-choice. However, Tech advancements and a few other things could make this a non-issue.

First of all, Abortion is distasteful. My opinion is that it should be done as little as possible. However, I acknowledge many benefits and see the necessity of it. Allow me to clarify the warring positions in this debate, To the best of my ability. It should be noted that in any respectable discussion of abortion one should list ways each problem could be solved. There are solutions to abortion that anti-abortion and pro-choice people are not discussing or investing in. The primary goal of anti-abortion people seems to be banning abortions without taking the steps that would make it possible for pro-choice people to accept that. They also fail to take steps that could reduce abortions as much as possible. Seeing as how the majority of society (in the US) agrees abortions should be legal, The priority for anti-abortion people should be to reduce the number and to improve technology to where abortion would not be necessary, Not to try to ban it against the will of the people.

Abortion Positions

1. Women's Bodily Autonomy versus the Life of the Fetus

Most people recognize that people have a right to decide what happens to their own body. There are many negative temporary effects of pregnancy, And several that are more permanent. To force a woman to carry a child to term would be to force both sets of negative effects on her. To terminate a fetus ranges from a non-issue if you draw the line any number of ways to infanticide if you draw the line at fertilization/conception.

For myself, A woman's bodily autonomy takes precedent prior to brain activity at the very least. More on this in #2.

2. Person vs Life and where the lines are drawn.

There is, In general, An arbitrary line drawn by most people as to where one becomes a 'person. ' This is often misconstrued as "when life begins, " but is in fact a distinct issue. Eggs and sperm are 'alive. ' A fertilized egg is 'alive. ' You can draw a distinction on the DNA level if you'd like and say human life begins at fertilization. This does not mean that one becomes a 'person' at conception. Your skin cells, Blood cells, Et cetera contain your DNA. That does not make them 'persons. ' Most people who give it thought will conclude that you become a 'person' around when brain activity begins. This does not mean conscious memories, But anything that changes the brain. You learned to babble, To crawl, To flop around et cetera long before you created long-term memories.

I accept brain waves + brain changes as the line to where personhood begins. This is more important to me than when 'life' begins. I don't care about when my full DNA strain was made. I don't care about any individual part of me. What makes me 'ME' is my brain. It is therefore not killing a 'person' to kill a fetus that has not yet developed brain waves. My arbitrary line, Supported with this logic is at that point. Roughly 2-3 months into a pregnancy. However, I don't support banning abortions there currently for other reasons.

Let me expand. Most people agree that a person's death is when we experience brain death. Our full DNA still exists beyond this point, But brain activity has ceased. Why then do some take the opposite view on when personhood begins? That when the DNA exists and brain activity does not, One gains moral value? Few would call people who take their parents off life support after brain death to be 'murderers' yet so many believe allowing a woman to terminate a pregnancy before 'personhood' begins is killing a person. In my view, This is illogical. To say a fetus has a 'small human body' is also an emotional appeal. Dead people have large human bodies. That does not give their bodies moral value.

For life: Eggs and sperm can be said to be alive. Most people don't accept that when you masturbate, Have nocturnal emissions, Or have your period you are killing something by way of not fertilizing it. Every man is a mass murderer if this is your line. If you draw the line at fertilization, You have to deal with the fact that many fertilized eggs never attach to the womb. This means the majority of "humans" to exist have died shortly after being 'created. ' This would be an issue far more important than abortion to you. Conception is an irrational line to draw. There is nothing special about a fertilized egg attaching to the womb that would grant personhood. Heartbeat is an insanely arbitrary line. We do not consider someone dead when their heart stops beating. This is an entirely emotional appeal based position. We can probably both agree nothing magical happens while exiting the birth canal as many people don't nowadays.

3. What constitutes abortions of convenience versus necessity?

Some people are OK with abortions only if the mother was raped/incest and for the health of the mother. These people are inconsistent. Does the life of the child have less moral value if it is a rape baby? What value do you put on the woman's mental health? How about the physical and mental health issues that arise from being forced to carry a child you do not wish to carry? This is how all women feel, It does not require them to be raped to feel this way. Many women do carry their rapists' child. It is a matter of if the woman is prepared for that sacrifice and financially prepared for the child or not.

If you disagree with termination on the grounds of rape for mental health reasons, Why are the physical and mental problems associated with forced pregnancy not a problem for you? Do you ever value the woman's mental health?

In some years over half of the women who got abortions stated they had used some form of contraception prior to having sex. Let's assume a 99% success rate for contraception. That means one out of every 100 chances you have to get pregnant will result in pregnancy. Some have higher chances, Some have lower. Do you think all people should never have sex unless they want a baby? That people who don't want kids should never have sex? You actively seek to diminish the lives of those who are living. Sex feels great and is essential for people to understand society and other people. It adds color to life. There is no reason, Particularly if you accept when personhood begins to be at brain activity, To deny ones self the enjoyment of sex. Abortion is necessary only when Contraception fails. So the goal as society should be to improve contraception, Not to expect the impossible. To expect people do deny themselves the thrill of sex because of a low chance they may need to have an abortion. It will never happen.

Not everyone wants to be a mother. Not everyone wants their children to be put up for adoption. Many women want to have kids but only when they're ready.

4. Practical Implications of Banning Abortion

Having a child in high school, Or during college, Or before your finances in order can be disastrous. This leads to single motherhood, Being poor, And destroying your personal career. All of these are negatives that effect the mother and the child. The bodily changes during pregnancy can be disastrous. Not everyone can afford to take weeks off of work. Olympic athletes may have contraceptive failures. Are you saying the moment they've been working towards their whole lives should be denied because of this? By denying women the ability to choose when to have their children, You are in fact killing the children they would otherwise have in the future. If a woman is allowed to fulfill her career, She may have 3 well-off kids rather than the 1 poor kid she would have if forced to carry the child. Poor children are more likely to commit crime, Be less educated, And have more sex in less protected ways, Resulting in even more abortions. Abortion bans actively cause this.

*Solutions*

Here is an overview of solutions we should all agree on. Let me know what you think. I can expand on all of these points in later rounds.

1. Full In-Depth Sex Education

Abstinence only education, A form of education that opponents of abortion largely espouse, Has been objectively, Factually, Irrevocably proven to be ineffective at best, Damaging at worst. Alternatively, In countries that have implemented more in-depth sex ed classes, A direct link can be tied with lower teen pregnancy, Fewer STDs, Et cetera.

2. Publicly Funded Contraception

It has also been proven that for every dollar paid into public contraception (condoms currently typically) saves multiple dollars publicly by preventing the births of children most likely to go on welfare. This is, Again, Vastly preferable both economically and morally instead of abortion. Imagine a world in which female could get access to forms of birth control that did not depend on their male sexual partners using a condom. How many males out there refuse to use condoms? Some forms of birth control are superior to condoms statistically in preventing pregnancy. Rich people have access to these. Poor do not.

3. Funding Artificial Womb research and funding orphan care

This, Along with reducing the unwanted pregnancies via improving technology, Is the only solution to never allowing babies to be aborted. Instead of having an abortion, Females will have the zygote/fetus/etc removed from them, Implanted into an artificial womb, Who would then be born an orphan seeking adoption. With improvements to our adoption system, We may be able to find homes for all such births.

To conclude,

Abortion needs to remain legal for Women's Rights reasons and because there is no person being killed prior to brain waves. The solutions to abortion can be developed, And then we can all agree to ban it.

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Debate Round No. 1
chrmon2

Pro

Personhood

My opponent defines personhood in terms of brain activity. On the surface, This makes sense. Why should someone have rights if they aren't even thinking? However, The main objection to this is that people ought to have rights if they will be conscious in the future. For example, Is it okay to stab someone in a coma, Even if they aren't thinking then? Some people will object to this by saying that the person in the coma was sentient in the past, Yet stabbing a dead person isn't murder, So past sentience is a poor way of defining moral value.

The pro-life school of thought is that once an entity (fetus) has future sentience, Then it would be wrong to prevent this. The pro-choice school of thought (as far as I am aware) says that a person is not created until birth. In this school of thought, Taking future sentience from a fetus would not be wrong. However, On cross-examination I think that pro-choice people would admit that their school of thought is deeply flawed. For example, It would be wrong to poison a fetus so that it dies at age 10. There doesn't seem to be a moral difference between this and killing a ten-year-old. It would be worse still to poison a fetus so that it dies at age 9. After all, I would rather have a 10-year lifespan than a 9-year lifespan. Why, Then, Would it be better to shorten a fetus' lifespan to zero? It seems to be moral to create children you know will die. Everyone dies, So people do this all the time. However, The pro-choice school of thought would only see poisoning the fetus as part of creating the person you know will die, Whereas the pro-life school of thought would see it as harming a future person that had already be created. Given this objection, I think we can conclude that if taking some future sentience from a fetus is wrong, Taking all of their future sentience must be worse.

Moral Obligation

Many people do recognize that bodily autonomy is a fundamental right. However, Even fundamental rights can change given context. For example, The right to property is considered fundamental as well, But parents often have to pay child support. I think, Then, That a valid case can be constructed for the obligation of parents to their children. If parents can be morally forced to sacrifice money for their children, Why not their body.

I think we can find further evidence for this in the ancient world, Where infanticide was common. Parents would often leave their kids in the wilderness to die. We often look back on such actions as immoral, But how would they be immoral if parents did not have a moral obligation toward their children?

Many pro-choice people will object that bodily autonomy trumps moral obligation, But is this really the case? Let's say that Person A shoots Person B. Person A then finds out that Person B needs a blood donation to stay alive, For which only he is a match. Although laws currently do not deal with this sort of situation, I think we can agree that Person A would be ethically obligated to donate blood to Person B, Despite his claim to bodily autonomy.

Solutions

Thoht has listed several solutions. I think that artificial wombs are the most promising. As Thoht said, A majority of women getting abortions already used contraception, And it is not 100% accurate.

Secondly, Some people object to contraception as being immoral but would not necessarily find artificial wombs to be immoral.

Third, From a perspective of net gain, Abortion isn't necessarily "worse" than contraception. Oddly, Neither is infanticide. I don't think I would care whether I was born and killed, Aborted, Or not born in the first place. However, Infanticide is obviously immoral, Whereas not having children is morally fine, From a perspective of deontology. (Note that people will disagree about where contraception and abortion fall on this spectrum. )

Let's try an analogy. A new fruit comes out that makes people live 20-years longer. However, Many of these people are getting killed by the state, Which doesn't want a population that is too large. Banning the fruit might "solve the problem", But are these people really better off by not eating the fruit? It's not like you've changed their lifespan. It the same way, Even if contraception is moral, Promoting contraception won't necessarily result in net gain.

However, Increasing resources rather than decreasing the population will result in net gain. This is why I think artificial wombs are promising.
Thoht

Con

1. Personhood.

You make several mistakes.

Comatose patients still have brain activity. You're confusing consciousness with brain activity. People who are asleep continue to have brain activity. Quite a bit actually. This is actually an extremely stupid point that Ben Shapiro has made, And my guess is that is where you get it from.

Brain Death is the only point in which brain activity stops after brain activity starts in the womb. There is no contradiction here.

The ONLY medical definition for death is brain death. A positive diagnoses of brain death has never been recovered from. Several mistakes HAVE been made in diagnosing brain death, But those were diagnoses errors. We do not yet have the technology to restart the brain, As far as I'm aware. What you're saying is "Brain activity is a poor thing to value because we can stab people who are not conscious, " Brain activity and consciousness are separate things. Brain activity may be a requirement for consciousness, But brain activity can exist without being conscious.

Nearly everyone, And everyone in the medical community for sure, Accepts that 'death' is currently when brain activity stops. Not when the heart stops beating. We can restart that. We can replace every organ in the body for the most part sans the brain. The brain is where "we" exist.

Valuing "Future brain activity" seems quite silly. If we say that personhood starts when brain activity starts, It is quite strange then to say I've killed a person if I kill the body prior to brain activity starting.

Sperm and eggs all have the potential to have brain activity in the future. Potential alone is not enough to say it is immoral to prevent them from having that brain activity. A second thing is necessary for this to occur - the sperm has to fertilize the egg. A third thing - the fertilized egg has to attach to the womb. A fourth thing - The egg has to leech nutrients from its hosts' body.

If I were to value "future brain activity" I have no idea how I could justify women letting any eggs go unfertilized and not carry them to term.

On top of that, If I'm valuing future brain activity I have no idea how I could justify forcing a woman to have 1 child before she is ready, Resulting in instability in the family and more than likely preventing 1-2 other children from being born because the woman never recovers from having to care for that child prior to being ready.

It seems if we're valuing "future brain activity" then the children women don't have are murdered when you force them to bring the first child to term. So you're still effectively murdering children.

It seems strange to draw the line for the end of personhood at brain death, But to not draw the line for the beginning of a person at the start of brain activity.

As far as poisoning the fetus goes, If a female is planning on carrying their child to term, Or to brain activity as it were, The fetus is effectively a human. The female's choice is what guarantees this. All the conditions that are required are in place with the mother's choice. Poisoning the body prior to brain activity beginning is immoral because you're damaging the vessel for the person and shortening their lifespan. If the brain activity never starts there is no harm done. There is no inconsistency here. No one is talking about poisoning or injuring fetuses without the mother's consent on my side of this debate.

2. Moral Obligation

When people are forced to pay child support that is because men could otherwise impregnate females, Say they're going to help them through it, And then abandon them leaving the child, At least, In a poor situation that the mother would not have chosen had she known beforehand they'd be abandoned. You're trying to equate being parted from some of your money to support a child that definitely exists, That probably came about because you and a female tried to conceive, Or you were irresponsible and had sex with too many strangers, Et cetera, With forcing women to risk their lives, Their careers, WAY more money, Tons of time, And permanent changes et cetera. These things aren't equivalent.

No one is saying parents don't have moral obligations for their children. However, We currently have systems in place that stop many people from intentionally murdering their children to be able to stop paying for them. Parents that find themselves unfit or unprepared give their children up for adoption all the time. This is a system that allows parents to rid themselves of that obligation towards their children and shifts the obligation onto others to protect the child.

The moral obligation for a child doesn't begin until the child is a child. If I recognize the line for personhood to begin at brain activity, That moral obligation does not extend before that. The child is not a child until that point. There is no inconsistency in my view on this part.

Legally in the US no one is forced to give blood to save the life of another. The problem is the bodily autonomy violation for forced pregnancy is multiple degrees of magnitude above the scenario you're trying to use to defend it.

Let's say there was a person on the side of the street who WILL die if a doctor doesn't immediately attach his organs to yours, And he has to stay with you for 36-40 weeks before he is recovered. The stress on your body will be immense and the risk of death is not zero. Additonally, You're expected to pay for his expenses and physical therapy for the next 16+ years. The procedure will likely leave permanent damage on you. Your current opinion is that we, As a society, Should force this scenario on EVERY woman who gets pregnant no matter how many precautions they took all because of the possibility it will be a person IN THE FUTURE. And that doesn't even begin to cover all the negatives of pregnancy and child rearing. What if you were not able to afford the above scenario? What if you were an olympic athlete nearing one of he few olympics you could possibly compete in? What if your career path wouldn't last through a pregnancy? What if you're 13 years old? Raped by your father? By gangs?

Forcing the above scenario on women when getting pregnant is so easy for some, Particularly when they try their best with the imperfect contraceptives that are out there and the imperfect EDUCATION they get on not becoming pregnant, If they get any education at all, And only because of a future potential for it to become a child, Is so morally abhorrent to me to outweigh a LOT worse than abortions prior to brain activity, The only logically consistent point of the start of personhood.

3. Solutions

1. The problem is the majority of women don't receive proper sex ed. How many women do you think know the efficacy of and the full list of contraceptive options? Largely, Education has been opposed by the same people protesting abortions. It is counterproductive to a FAULT.

2. Contraception being viewed as immoral is a viewpoint that would match your "future brain activity" view. It is indefensible from my view. What is worse, Denying sperm and eggs the ability to be fertilized or killing a fertilized egg to you?

3. If you're valuing net gain, Aka consequentialism the question of Abortion is incredibly easy. It is a net benefit to society to have fewer children born into homes that are unwanted, Or homes that aren't ready to take care of them. Forcing women into poverty forces the children into poverty. There is a pipeline from an impoverished childhood, And poverty in general to crime. A stable society is a higher priority than having a mass of people in the said society.

4. If our lifespans do increase, Which they likely will, Governments will have to put laws in place as far as reproduction goes. There is no way around this. Freedom to reproduce can't extend to the point where we have so many children the planet cannot sustain us and we all die. The future trillions that could be born, That women will want born, Would outweigh the "freedom to reproduce. " 2. 15 I think is the replacement reproductive number. The problem of lifespans may vanish eventually when more planets or space stations increase our carrying capacity. What you have here is an issue that would likely be fixed by limiting reproduction in the future, Not by killing off members of our society. If we had a pill to increase our lifespans that doesn't suddenly make us incapable of taking care of the number of people the world currently has all of a sudden. It will impact the future, Not the present.

To conclude,

I have questions my opponent must answer. If he fails to answer these, Please take note of his avoidance. I do understand that he may not have space for all, But I would ask him to finish answering in the comments and would ask that his character limit be raised by that for this round if necessary.

1. Where do you draw the line of death?

2. Why is your line for life different from your line for death?

3. What is your justification for not considering menstruation and masturbation the mass genocide of potential persons?

4. Why is abortion more of a big deal than all the fertilized eggs that never conceive? If I recall the stats correctly, 2 out of every 3 fertilized eggs fail to attach to the womb. Wouldn't it be more important to someone with your view to research increasing the fertility of women instead of focusing your energies on anti-abortion? The amount of potential future lives that could be saved is many orders of magnitude greater than you could save in hundreds of years from banning abortion in just a few generations.

5. Why do you think anti-abortion people don't focus on the solutions for the problem instead of trying to force a ban on the majority who don't want it?

6. Why don't you value the future children women won't have because they would be forced to carry a child to term when they are not prepared?

7. Would you save the lives of 5 by sacrificing your organs?

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Debate Round No. 2
chrmon2

Pro

Brain Activity

My opponent has defined moral value based on brain activity, But I don't find this to make much moral sense. Suppose there was an unconscious person in a coma who would not awaken (but had brain activity). Instead, They would die before ever regaining consciousness. Should they have moral rights? These sort of people get unplugged all the time, Since they will not have consciousness in the future. Without consciousness, Brain activity defines little in the way of moral value.

My opponent seems to be confused about my definition of "future consciousness". An unfertilized egg won't become conscious in the future, Whereas a fertilized egg will. Abortion prevents a fertilized egg from being conscious, Whereas not letting eggs go fertilized is simply not creating future sentience. My opponent further seems to take a utilitarian view of my concept of "future consciousness", Whereas my view is based on obligation. Women don't have an obligation to fertilize eggs, But they have an obligation not to kill fertilized eggs.

My opponent also states, "if brain activity never starts there is no harm done". However, He does say that shortening someone's lifespan is wrong. This seems inconsistent. He agrees that preventing someone from having some brain activity/consciousness in the future is wrong. I agree! However, I think that if this is really the case, Then preventing someone from having consciousness in the future at all (or abortion) is also wrong. If shortening someone's lifespan is wrong, Then abortion is also wrong, Since it is effectively shortening someone's lifespan to zero. My opponent also states "no one is talking about poisoning or injuring fetuses without the mother's consent on my side of this debate. " Does this mean that it is morally okay for the mother to shorten the lifespan of her child?

Child support

My opponent states that the purpose of child support is to help the woman, Who thought the man would not abandon her. However, If parents have no obligation towards their children, Then what real offense has the man done towards the woman? Suppose a man helps a woman plant a garden. The woman then demands the man give her money to water the garden, Help the plants grow, Etc. I assume you would think this is crazy, Assuming the man didn't agree to help the woman with the garden. However, The difference between a garden and a child is that parents have obligations toward their children (which my opponent has agreed to) but not to gardens.

My opponent says we now have systems in place such as adoption so that parents don't have to raise their children. However, The burden is still on the parent to make sure their children at least ends up in this system rather than killing them, As my opponent rightly notes.

My opponent makes an argument from personhood (fetus is not a "child"). This is covered in the other section.

My opponent finishes by saying I shouldn't have to help someone on the side of the street. I agree, Since I have no obligation towards that person. However, Parents do have an obligation towards their children. My opponent also brings up cases of rape. However, The woman's responsibility in this case still outweighs that of the fetus. Imagine Bob owns a house. One day, Terrorists add a trigger to Bob's door so that if he opens it, A bomb will go off and kill someone. Someone then warns Bob about this. Should Bob be allowed to open his door, Because it is "his property"? Of course not. Bob can't claim ownership of his property without claiming responsibility for it. He needs to sacrifice the right to use his property, As the woman has a responsibility to sacrifice her bodily autonomy temporarily for the fetus. I'm not saying women choose to get raped or that it's their fault. However, They are more responsible for this than the fetus, Meaning they have an obligation toward the fetus. Imagine that I ask investors for a sum of money, And then this money is robbed. Even though it is not my fault but the robber's, I am still morally obligated to pay the investors back because my responsibility is greater than theirs.

My opponent lists some negatives for women if they must carry fetuses to term. Paying child support, Paying back investors, And being locked out of your house are also negatives, But one still has a moral obligation to fulfill their responsibilities.

Solutions

1. What is your definition of "proper sex ed"? I agree that it is probably helpful but please specify.

2. If there are secular arguments for the immorality of contraception, I am not aware of them. I'm just saying that some people oppose it due to religious values, But I'm not sure it matters. Even if contraception were not immoral since people have to obligation to create children, Making contraception available would not be a net gain, Since both contraception and abortion result in fewer people being born. So from a net gain perspective, Making contraception available isn't really helpful.

3. I value net gain so long as I am choosing between two moral options. If one option is immoral, It should not be chosen. If two options are moral, One should choose based on net gain, Although they aren't obligated to. However, Impoverished children isn't decreasing net gain. I'd rather be impoverished than not exist. If you're talking about these children being born instead of others, You might be partly right about net gain, But again, Net gain does not determine morality.

4. You say that "we will all die" if the population gets too large. This doesn't make sense. People would die until the population evens out, As seen in boom and but cycles. Animals don't have government limiting the number of children born, But they seem to be doing fine.

Questions

1. It depends what you mean by "death". If you mean when things stop being "alive", Then brain death might be correct. If you mean when persons stop having moral value, Then I would say when they are no longer conscious and will not regain consciousness.

2. My line for life and death are both based on if someone has consciousness or future consciousness. How are they different?

3. Because these "persons" don't have future consciousness. A sperm will not develop into a person unless I intervene. A fetus, On the other hand, Will.

4. I think this probably is an important issue, But I'm not a scientist. It may be like cancer, Where the problem is important but hard to solve. Again, In terms of net gain there are plenty of ways to increase the population, And solving this problem is only one of them. I refer to net gain since I don't have an obligation towards these particular eggs.

5. Banning abortion is a "solution", So to speak. Many anti-abortion people focus on solutions such as adoption. A couple I know personally recently adopted.

6. I do value them, But women don't have an obligation towards these children. They do, However, Have an obligation toward fetuses that they have created.

7. I'm not old enough to be a live organ donor. Maybe in the future. Or do you mean by killing myself?
Thoht

Con

1. Brain Activity

This is not a challenge to valuing brain activity. People in comas that will never come out according to medical professionals are as good as dead. The same as fetuses that will never wake. Even if it were not, All I have to do to maintain moral consistency is say people in comas should not be killed, And your entire criticism is defunct. I value brain activity because it effects 'consciousness' and it is the most consistent line to draw in regards to the start and end of life.

Valuing 'consciousness' has MANY more problems.

1a. We have no way of measuring 'consciousness. ' When does consciousness start? Does it start when we are 1 year old? 2? Do you have conscious memories of when you were born or before you were born?

1b. The value on 'future consciousness' is even more arbitrary because we don't know when this consciousness is going to happen, Or if it happens! For all we know, No one is conscious around us. For all we know, Animals are all 'conscious' in the same way humans are, But they cannot vocalize it. We can measure brain activity easily. How do you measure consciousness if not by brain activity and assuming it exists in other humans because it exists in you? How can you value that which you cannot measure? Which you can't even prove is real?

On top of this, You have provided no reason for us to value FUTURE consciousness. You can argue for CONSCIOUSNESS but none of those arguments will work for FUTURE consciousness. That's like me trying to sell new wine for 20 year old wine prices by saying its FUTURE value in 20 years will be the same as 20 year old wine. No one would buy your new wine for the same price as aged.

Also, You're pretending that all the fertilized egg needs is to be "left alone" just because the mother doesn't consciously choose to provide nourishment to it. In reality, We see exactly what happens when fertilized eggs are left alone. They die. The mother does not choose to give it nutrients. Her body provides them without her consent, But that is not a reason to deny women the right to choose.

Even if you value consciousness, You have given no argument for valuing future consciousness, Particularly to a degree to deny women the right for their bodily autonomy. There is no obligation to give fertilized eggs the time to develop consciousness. If consciousness is what you value, That value doesn't exist until it begins. Nothing can have consciousness without brain activity. Brain activity starts several months in at the earliest. In reality, You're just valuing a full strand of DNA, And trying to justify it with the word 'future. '

Yes, If brain activity never starts there is no harm done. If the woman has chosen to carry the fetus I consider it a person even without brain activity because the woman's consent is all the fetus requires to grow into consciousness. I'm valuing the QoL that a PERSON will have in the future. I'm not valuing its potential for consciousness when it is KNOWN it will have consciousness because the woman has chosen to carry it. If the woman changes her mind prior to brain activity, It is no longer going to develop brain activity, Therefore it is no longer a person. This is not problematic and there are no inconsistencies. If the mother chooses that she will develop it fully into a person she cannot poison the fetus because that is poisoning a person. This is not valuing consciousness in the future but the certainty that it will become a person because the female has chosen it.

2. Child support

The woman can destroy the garden or stop the project. She can't simply kill the child to stop it from taxing her. The woman CAN give up the child for adoption and remove her 'obligation' to the child. However, We don't expect anyone to make this choice because the emotional attachment a female has towards her child is multiple orders of magnitude higher.

Again, This argument doesn't suddenly make a fertilized egg a CHILD. There is no moral obligation prior to personhood. Personhood is when brain activity starts. If you argue for consciousness, It must occur even after the line I've drawn. Arguing for something that won't exist until the future is something you haven't yet given a reason for.

Fertilized eggs are not children. There is no obligation. You persist in saying there is but it will not make it true.

Your response to my hypothetical is that you shouldn't be forced to help the person on the side of the street because you have no obligation towards them.

You think that a woman has an obligation towards a fertilized egg that her rapist forced on her that does not have personhood. You think she should be forced to pay for something that was forced on her. The child is a complete stranger to her. It is not a person. You think women should live in a reality where their QoL is so poor they can be forced to risk their life and pay thousands of dollars on someone else's whim even after their bodily autonomy was violated the first time. It is raping the female and destroying her career and probably destroying her future offspring. This is the morally most repulsive opinion that exists. You are raping the female a second time because something may develop consciousness in the future if it reaps resources from the raped woman long enough. It is an absurd notion.

You don't value the future consciousness of the person on the street. So your value is not future consciousness at all. If it is, You have presented the MOST contradictory opinion I've ever seen. Does his future consciousness not matter to you? He literally is conscious and yet you refuse to help him in a more mild manner than you expect raped women to help offspring they have no reason to be obligated to.

Please, Inform us all why females should be obligated to care for non-person entities that happen to share 50% of their DNA. I can create a clone which shares 100% of their DNA. Are the required to care for this as well? This is the most arbitrary position you have concocted.

In reality, I can't help but feel that you just value fertilization to such a degree you try to justify it with other words such as "future" and "moral obligation towards their children. "

Another problem with your position, Not 100% of women carry their own offspring. Are surrogate mothers allowed to have abortions? The moral obligation towards one's children is removed even if I were for some reason to grant you that fertilized eggs are children. Again, They aren't. They may be in the FUTURE but you have yet to give us a reason to value something that does not yet exist and won't exist if left alone. Fertilized eggs that don't pilfer resources from the mother die. 100% of the time. If the mother does not want her resources reaped, Why are you allowed to step in and say she has no choice when you refuse to give your own resources in a less overwhelming manner to someone who IS conscious?

Your hypothetical applies not at all to the situation. You're trying to get people to assume fertilized eggs are persons with no justification for the valuing of something that does not yet exist.

Solutions:

1. Proper sex ed is comprehensive sex ed. I don't have space here to list all the methods that should be used. You should tell MS and HS students going through puberty EVERYTHING.

2. Religious values aren't something secular society can value. There are religions that eat human flesh. Do we allow this? No. Arguments against contraceptives are literally arguing that sperm and eggs are holy. They take your future consciousness valuation and extend it further because it logically follows. There's nothing special about fertilization. If you leave the sperm and eggs alone to do what they will then you will get babies. This is your argument for fertilized eggs, Why not for sperm and eggs?

3. 1 impoversihed child versus 2 not impoverished children. It is a net gain. Therefore you should allow abortions according to your logic. I'm sorry it makes you uncomfortable that your mother could've killed you before you were you, But your father also could have wanked into a sock and killed you. He killed all your brothers and sisters that could've been this way. Your future consciousness argument applies to all of these situatons.

4. Animals are kept in check by hunters. Whenever animal populations get to large hunters are given free license and hunt them til their numbers get evened out. Overpopulation HAS driven animals to extinction in the past. It's not so easy as "the herd will thin until a manageable number is in place. " Humans will harvest fish until there are no more fish, Because we would rather live another day than see fish continue to exist. Overpopulation increases resource drain until the resources can no longer replenish themselves. On top of that, Thinning the herd will be revolutions, Government instability, New dictators in power, Military rule, Et cetera. You're underestimating problems associated with overpopulation to an extreme.

Questions

1. Might be? Again, Please tell me how you measure consciousness.

2. Because FUTURE CONSCIOUSNESS is not CONSCIOUSNESS. There's a difference in an orchard that exists and one that won't bear fruit for 2 years. IE you eat or you die. This isn't hard. Please give me an argument for valuing something not now but that may exist or may not in the FUTURE that can't possibly get there without violating the autonomy of females everywhere and making them 3rd class citizens, Particularly raped ones.

3. A fertilized egg will not develop without the woman's intervention.

4. So solving the genocide that causes a hundredfold loss in future consciousness is really not that big of a deal for you because there are other ways to increase net gain? Allowing women to have children WHEN they want them is also another way to get net gain.

5. It is not a practical solution.

6. Why are we obligated to fertilized eggs that aren't persons?

7. Yes. Why not kill yourself to save 5?

-Thoht
Debate Round No. 3
chrmon2

Pro

Personhood

My opponent has stated "People in comas that will never come out according to medical professionals are as good as dead" even if they have brain activity. Therefore brain activity cannot define moral value. They have also stated that brain activity is important because it affects consciousness. It seems, Then, That consciousness is ultimately what defines moral value. Even if we can't measure consciousness, That doesn't mean it can't effect moral value. Likewise, For many years it was impossible to measure brain activity, Yet my opponent still maintains that brain activity defines moral value, So I don't think my opponent is being consistent. As my opponent points out, Brain activity can also be often used to measure consciousness, Depending on the type of brain activity. My objection with brain activity as a measurement of moral value is that all brain activity is not created equal. (Not all brain activity results in moral value. ) Some leads to consciousness and some does not. That distinction is what defines moral value. Since we can determine the type of brain activity and thus if someone is conscious, Consciousness is somewhat measurable.

On future consciousness, My opponent has several inconsistencies. First, They argue that future consciousness does not have value if the woman has an abortion, Preventing the future consciousness from happening. Their logic is that if the woman prevents the fetus from being conscious by killing it, The fetus will not be conscious, So it will not have rights. Therefore, No rights are being violated. However, My opponent then argues that it is wrong for the woman to poison the fetus because that is preventing it from being conscious. However, If poisoning the fetus meant that it would not be conscious from age 5+, We could apply the same logic from before and say that the fetus would not be conscious from age 5+, So it would not have rights from that point on. The flaw becomes clear. My opponent is justifying abortion by saying that making someone not conscious means that they do not have rights during the time they are unconscious. However, If that were true then poisoning the fetus would be okay, Because they do not have rights during the time that I have made them not be conscious.

Child Support / Obligation

My opponent says that the woman cannot kill the child (or, I assume, Abandon it). So parents do have an obligation towards their children.

My opponent then says that a fetus is not a person. This does not have to do with moral obligation and should be discussed in the above section.

I do value the future consciousness of the person on the street but I do not have an obligation towards them. The woman has a moral obligation towards her child even if she was raped, Because her responsibility is greater than the fetus'. I already gave an analogy with Bob and his house. My opponent responded by saying a fetus is not a person. Again, This is changing the argument. My argument was that if the fetus is a person (or has the same rights as them), The woman has an obligation towards them. I gave my justification for a fetus having the same rights as a person.

Solutions

1. I'm fine with sex ed but it seems like the goal is to teach people about contraception. Again, This won't increase the number of people being born so how is it helpful?

2. Abortion is like stepping on a red button to make someone exist and then on a blue button to make them not exist. Contraception is like stepping to the side and then forward so that stepping forward does not make the person exist. If you leave sperm and eggs alone they will not make babies. Sex is required.

3. I should not allow abortions according to my logic. I only value net gain if it is moral. You can't kill one person to save two people.

4. Overpopulation of humans has led to extinction of animals. Few species overpopulate themselves to extinction. Maybe the government should limit fishing instead of killing people?

Questions

1. Based on the type of brain activity people have.

2. I meant how are my lines for life and death different?

3. The woman is responsible for the fetus needing her intervention to develop, Since she has caused it to be vulnerable to a hostile environment. This is where the moral obligation comes from. I am not responsible for sperm needing my intervention to develop.

4. Yes but that is an immoral way of getting net gain. Again, This is a problem but I'm not a scientist. Both issues are important.

5. Why not?

6. You are changing the argument. I've given my reasons for a fetus being a person above.

7. Because I don't want to and am not obligated to.

My argument goes as follows:

1. A fetus has the rights of a person.

2. If a fetus has the rights of a person, Abortion is wrong because of moral obligation.

3. Therefore, Abortion is wrong.

For some reason, My opponent keeps attacking the 2nd premise by saying "why is there a moral obligation to fetuses who aren't persons? " This is basically attacking the 1st premise, So my opponent is basically changing the argument. My opponent has done this several times, And I would like them to stop.
Thoht

Con

Personhood

You're strawmanning on both counts here to some extent.

Consciousness is not measurable. There is no test I can run to show if someone is conscious or not. Brain activity is the best way we currently have to measure what could be conscious working off of an assumption that only things with brains can be conscious.

Also, The word you're hopefully looking for is not consciousness but sentience. If you value only consciousness then ironically the argument you used earlier about harming someone while they sleep or are in a coma is acceptable because they are not then conscious. Sentience can be a better way of stating what you appear to mean.

Self-awareness and the ability to think are things we can correlate with brain activity, But it doesn't work alone. Most animals can be said to be conscious and have brain activity. We don't value them as well (unless you're vegan but I doubt it).

For myself, An animal has to be capable of certain intellectual feats before I give their brain activity or consciousness value. ALL brain activity builds up to these points barring genetic defects in certain species. I'd never eat dolphin, For example. I'd never eat human for many reasons other than that.

The problem we're having is you value things that have not yet begun. I value them when they begin. If we go by "consciousness" it is arguable they only get it around 5 months of age. It seems you're valuing things roughly 14 months prior to when they start. Brain activity is simple. It exists or it does not. Prior to brain activity there is no personhood. The mother is creating a vessel in which a person will later begin. Your DNA doesn't make you "you. " I can exchange all parts of you except your brain and you would still be 'you. ' We have no idea to what extent we could replace the brain with something else and you would still be 'you. ' Technically, You may still be you with no part of your DNA inside you.

So yes, I may value "sentience/consciousness" as well, But I'm a realist in that we cannot measure specifically for those things. We can only measure for brain activity. Brain activity is also where we measure death for the same reasons. Until you can show me a test for sentience I'm afraid you have no ground to stand on with this.

Prior to us being able to measure brain activity, My opinion may have been different. There is no logical inconsistency here. I have no idea why you bring this point up. You still can't measure consciousness and yet you argue for it to the exclusion of that which we can measure. This inconsistency, If it exists, Is on your part.

I never said it would be wrong to prevent the fetus from becoming conscious. That's my entire point. Your whole 2nd paragraph is built on a strawman. You literally stated my opinion in the paragraph and then said I believed the opposite. The contradictions you try to point out are strawmen. If the fetus never gains brain activity it will never gain consciousness. There is no one to kill, So destroying the vessel harms no one. It is not killing. If the woman poisons the fetus knowing it will later develop brain activity and consciousness fully intending on bringing it into existence then that is morally wrong. They have done damage to a person. There is no inconsistency here. If the female intends on bringing the child to the point it gains brain activity, Then all the requirements for it to become a person are in place. It can be considered and treated a human at such point. If a female does not intend to carry it to where it will start brain activity and become a person, It is not and will never be a person and so has no moral value.

Any inconsistency you see is entirely your own illusion. I will let the judges decide this matter. I don't know if your strawmen here were intentional, But hope you see that they were indeed strawmen.

Child Sup/Obli

A woman can't kill a child because it is a person. It would be morally wrong to kill or abandon a fledgling person. She certainly can give it up for adoption. This is as far as 'obligation' goes.

If you base your 2nd and 3rd argument off of your 1st argument then of course I will state that you have not proven your 1st argument. I don't see why I'm not allowed to do this in your mind. If we accept that 'future consciousness' is what we should value of course the rest of your arguments follow. We have not, So I don't. There is no fallacy here, There is no mincing words, There is no changing the argument. Your argument is based off 1. Future consciousness being a value and 2. Moral obligation of parents to children.

The child has been placed into the parent's charge. They are responsible for its care. They can give up this responsibility at any time. There is no obligation here purely because it shares their DNA. This is simply how we have structured our society. They aren't obligated because of DNA they're obligated morally because it is their charge. They can give up this charge literally before the child is born. That means it isn't parents that have obligation towards their children. It is people who choose to take care of children have an obligation to take care of those children unless they give up that responsibility. It's a nuance, But one that should not be lost. Otherwise, Adoptive parents would have no responsibility to their charges.

There is no moral obligation to take care of your children if you can give up that right. It is just that you are obligated to care for what you have chosen to care for. Again, Your argument that parents should have this obligation towards FETUSES depends on you proving that future consciousness is what we should value AND that parents have an obligation towards their children. It doesn't work without both arguments being true.

You don't value their own future consciousness more than you value your bodily autonomy and finances. Why should women value the future consciousness of fetuses, Which have no consciousness and were forced on them? You're trying to set the bar low for yourself but high for others.

What would your reaction be if the government FORCED you to take care of the person on the street? You would say you are not obligated because you don't share 50% DNA? The woman would say she is not obligated because she didn't choose to have sex. Her argument is by far stronger than yours.

Again, I'm simply reminding you and the readers that argument 2 gets you nowhere without argument 1 being true.

Solutions

1. Some people think having sex in a bathtub prevents pregnancies. With your morals, This is OK because it increases the number of people being born. For some of us, We value allowing people to choose when to bring those children into the world. We value the average intelligence and knowledge of our fellow humans and we value the average quality of life of those humans. If you strictly value population of humans alone we should strap all women down and force breed them and study how to decrease the gestation period and increase fertility, And increase multiple persons being born simultaneously. All of these things would be "net gains. " I hope you don't ONLY value increasing the population.

2. And leeching resources from the woman is required for the person to begin to exist. If we're valuing future consciousness regardless of the intermediate steps then your argument works. If we're valuing the intermediate steps then it does not. Sex is required for egg+sperm to become a fetus. Leeching is required for fetus to become human. Pretending the intermediate step does not exist doesn't make it suddenly not exist.

3. Forcing women to be breeding stock regardless of the situation is immoral. You can apparently severely damage and risk the life of 1 person to gain 1 person. Why not 1 for 2 or more? Why not 2 that are more likely to not be criminals over 1 that is likely to be a criminal and maybe kill or maim others?

4. Your sentences contradict themselves. No government can legislate against a hungry person feeding himself and expect the hungry person to follow directions.

Questions

1. Please inform me what "types" of brain activity they are. Again, You have no measure for consciousness.

2. So you've chosen to answer my challenge by repeating the question. Hopefully the judges notice.

3. She didn't cause it to be vulnerable. In the cases you're arguing for the fetus was forced on the woman by a man. If she had no choice in the matter of course she didn't cause it. Yet you still assign moral obligation arbitrarily. Again, The whole argument only works if I accept fetuses are persons. They are not. And according to your definition of obligation based on parent-child of course you have responsibility to your sperm. They're exactly as much of a percentage of you as a child is.

4. Yet none of the anti-abortion crowd have ever brought this up. Can't we just agree that your argument isn't derived from logic but an emotional appeal to fetuses that 'look like' humans? You don't REALLY value future consciousness at all if this is not vastly more important to you. "I'm not a scientist" isn't an argument you are using for 'consciousness' which you don't even know how to measure.

5. Because the majority of the population disagree with it. At least a supermajority. And most of the people on your side allow it for rapes, Incest, Etc still. That is as practical as Prohibition was. Surely you understand that.

6. You're trying to pretend you've proven your first argument. You haven't. I'm reminding you of this. No, I won't stop reminding you when you insist on continuing the assumption.

7. "Because I don't want to" works better for abortion than this. If females are obligated to a fetus, You are obligated to your sperm. They are exactly the same %s of DNA. Neither is a child or a person.

If "if a fetus has the rights of a person" is in both 1 and 2 I have a right to attack it when addressing either. Technically, All I did was remind everyone it was there.

Thoht
Debate Round No. 4
chrmon2

Pro

Personhood

My opponent says that "there is no test we can run to tell if someone is conscious or not". He then says that brain activity is the best way to measure conscientiousness. (I assume this is why he picks brain activity. ) So we are both basing our systems for morality ultimately off of consciousness, Mine is just more direct. Con then says that people who are asleep are not conscious. How would he know that if we can't measure consciousness? Obviously we get this information from experience. Scientists can then study the difference between people's brains when they are in a coma/asleep and get a rough idea of which parts of the brain cause consciousness [1].

My opponent then says that people who are asleep aren't conscious and that therefore according to my system we can kill them. However, I value future consciousness as well. I wouldn't kill a sleeping person for the same reason I wouldn't kill a fetus.

My opponent then says that animals are conscious. I'm on the fence with animal rights but I don't think it's relevant. Animals have brain activity too, So in either of our systems moral value would also require being human (if animal rights was incorrect).

Young children or people with disabilities (also sleeping people) may be as unintelligent as pigs, But they still have moral value. So I don't think consciousness is the reason for not giving animals rights (if one exists).

Poison Analogy

My opponent says that he doesn't think it is wrong to prevent the fetus from becoming conscious. But isn't that what poisoning the fetus is doing? It prevents the fetus from being conscious after age 5. Abortion prevents the fetus from being conscious at all. It seems then that abortion would be worse.

Obligation

My opponent has said a woman can't kill a child. Con's argument is that parents have no obligation towards their children and could leave them to starve. We look negatively back on societies like Rome where children were left to die. However, Who was responsible for taking care of these children if not the parents? My opponent did not denounce child support when I brought it up, And so I assume he supports it. However, If parents can leave their children to starve then what's the point of child support?

I'm not saying that parents have an obligation to their children because they share DNA. They have an obligation to the child because they created them.

Despite not having consented to sex, The woman is partly responsible for the creation of the child. I've already given an example with Bob and his house, Which my opponent has dropped. For example, If I accidentally break someone's window, I still have to pay for it. In the same way, Even if the woman did not intend to create a child or have sex, She still has a responsibility towards the child. I agree with the concept of "bodily autonomy" and that people have ownership of their body. However, You can't claim ownership of something without having responsibility for it. If someone's gun is stolen and used to shoot someone, Aren't they partly responsible? If they have the ability to help the person who was shot, They have a responsibility to do so.

Solutions

1/2. I am not a utilitarian. Forcing people to create children is wrong, Because they don't have a responsibility to the children until conception. Since my opponent seems to be confused, I will explain why I draw the line at conception. I believe people have a right to consciousness (future or present). Because of this, They should have a right to their body, Which is causing their consciousness. This is why parents don't own their children's bodies. However, Conception is the point at which a fetus actually has a "body" in that there is a mechanism which will create future consciousness. Until then, They don't have "body", So the sperm and egg do not have rights. People can't be forced to create children. My argument, As I've shown above, Is that by the time conception has occurred the person (a "future person" in this case) has already been created, In that they have a "body" which they must have rights to. Until this happens, There isn't anything for the parents to have a responsibility to. After conception, However, There is. So forced breeding is wrong, Whereas abortion is wrong. When you talk of an "intermediate step", The parents are responsible for this intermediate step being required. That is why they have a responsibility towards the fetus and to provide this intermediate step.

3. My opponent agrees that it is wrong to trade lives. In this case, However, I would argue that "trading lives" is allowing the woman not to fulfill their responsibility. You're not "stealing from one person to give to another" if the first person owes the second money.

4. People can feed themselves in other words besides fishing. Regulations over fishing have been done before [2]. I'm not saying these restrictions are moral (or vice versa), But certainly more moral than killing people.

Questions

1. Based on the different parts of the brain that function [3].

2. You explained how future consciousness is not consciousness (and how they are morally different according to you), But not how my lines for life and death are different. Someone is a moral person if they have either future or current consciousness, And not a person if they have neither. "Life" vs "death" in the scientific sense aren't really relevant. (It's more a question of when does a "person" exist?

3. The woman still has responsibility. I explained this above.

4. It's possible this problem is difficult to solve; see my point on net gain. I will try to maximize net gain so long as I can remain moral while doing so.

5. This is an appeal to the masses [4].

6. There is a section of this debate for discussing personhood. (Under the heading "personhood". ) We should discuss issues in categories of the format so that it is less confusing.

7. As I explained above, Obligation isn't based on DNA.

Sure you can remind people that an argument is there, But there is no practical need to do so. Why not discuss issues one at a time to remain more organized? Half of these "questions" are based on things that are addressed in other sections of the format. Each argument should have a section for each issue, Not ten. Otherwise it is very confusing.

Sources

1. Https://sciencebasedmedicine. Org/detecting-consciousness-in-the-vegetative/

2. Https://dnr. Wi. Gov/topic/fishing/regulations/

3. Https://science. Howstuffworks. Com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/brain-death3. Htm

4. Https://en. Wikipedia. Org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum
Thoht

Con

1. Your "future consciousness" is not more direct than my "actually has the requirements for consciousness. " It can in fact apply to sperm and eggs. You have to add a second requirement to it for it to not apply to sperm and eggs. This requirement you have said is "if left alone. " This doesn't apply to a fetus either. Inaction is an action. The fetus requires leeching off the female, Risking her life, And doing permanent damage to her. It is clear you don't value the female's bodily autonomy at all.

So, In fact, Valuing something that is actually present that doesn't have prerequisites is far more 'direct' as well as consistent. I'll leave the judges to decide.

I am convinced you didn't actually read the article you sourced as [1]. It does not say what you appear to think it says. They clearly don't know where consciousness stems. The article says some signs of consciousness are present in some people in vegetative states. It is an interesting read, But hardly gets us any closer to a real picture of where or what consciousness is, And doesn't answer my challenge to you. You say my valuing brain activity is indirect, But if you have no idea how to measure consciousness, And nothing in the article helps you on that count, Then valuing the prerequisites which can be measured is what should be until we can measure consciousness directly. Currently we assume that everyone else is conscious because we are, But that is too arbitrary for my liking. We can agree that consciousness/sentience/intelligence should be a value, But "future" adds too many problems. You say we should value what is essentially a body with no person inside of it today because if we allow it to risk the life and wellbeing of a real person it may develop into a person in the future, Even though women have many chances to do this on their own terms in the future. It is a value arbitrary, Indirect, Inconsistent, Impractical, Harmful to women's rights, And may even to your own admission result in other future consciousnesses never coming into being. You value the 'future consciousness' of one person that does not yet exist, Yet not the future consciousnesses of other beings that don't yet exist. This is contradictory.

Therefore I have no reason to switch my value to yours.

You began this argument saying there were problems with my valuation. You brought up comatose and sleeping or unconscious individuals. I'm glad you've found your own sources that show how false your previous thoughts on this were. I agreed that comatose patients shouldn't be killed and my value remains perfectly consistent. You have not challenged my value at all past that point.

Animals may very well be conscious. They may very well develop critical thought and be able to hold conversations with us in the future. If you believe in evolution and that there is nothing supernatural about humans' ability to think and be conscious, They almost certainly will be in the future with or without mankind's assistance. I am still consistent here. Prior to brainwaves, Eat them all you'd like. Kill them all you'd like. The fact that you are human and you know you have consciousness gives you the ability to assume other humans have it as well, But that's harder to extend to animals. So we're aware they have brain activity, But not 100% sure on the consciousness bit. I would never eat an animal that is intelligent enough to hold conversation or solve complex puzzles. However, I'm also not 100% convinced I'd be just as healthy without eating meat. "Future consciousness" would likely apply to animals as well.

There's a difference between being trained to respond to stimuli and having consciousness/intelligence. Even severely disabled people I would say are more 'intelligent' than most animals. Again, I refrain from eating animals that exhibit high intelligence. Again, Hard lines to draw.

2. Poison analogy

If you poison something that never becomes a person, No harm has been done.
If you poison something that will become a person, Harm has been done.
If you poison something that is a person, Harm has been done.

There is no inconsistency here. I will leave it to the judges to decide. We've been over this. I don't expect to convince you personally of this because this is probably your strongest argument against my valuation, However weak it is.

3. Obligation

Never said anyone should leave a child to starve. That is a strawman.

I'll make it as simple as I can.

Persons shouldn't leave other persons to die or suffer if they can help it without significant risk to themselves. I would never expect anyone to throw themselves into a strong current to try to save a child. I would never expect a female to risk her own life and permanent damage to carry a child to term.

No one is OBLIGATED to help anyone else. Legally or morally. There is no FORCE here. People can leave people to starve. I consider this morally wrong, But they aren't obligated to help. That is why moral societies have systems in place to care for lost or abandoned children. We allow parents to give their children up to adoption. In your world of "parents are OBLIGATED to care for their children" no one should be allowed to put their kid up for adoption.

I really doubt your position is "We have an obligation to whatever we create. " That means every inventor has a moral obligation to everything he creates. Every manufacturer has an obligation to whatever they create. You have to say there is something special about one's child to force you to value that, And all that is there is DNA.

So the female has a responsibility for something she has literally no choice in? Again, You have failed to answer why this situation is OK but the government forcing you to care for someone on the side of the street is not. You say "its because she created it" but again, She has no choice here. Forced impregnation. Something you say you're against. All for a value that remains extremely problematic. All for a corpse that may eventually become a person, But is not yet. Seems strange to me.

None of your hypotheticals match. The person who owns the gun is not responsible for someone else killing with it. Only if a child gained access to it. No one can be faulted for other adults stealing their weapons. Again, There's false equivalency here because a fetus is not a person.

Solutions

1-2. You ARE a utilitarian of some sort if you think the moral wrong of killing the body of a future person is a 'greater' moral wrong than forced impregnation of females. You think forced impregnation is wrong, But when it happens the female is responsible for it. I understand, But I'll never agree because of the problems with valuing future consciousness. It's also a real big stretch to call a 2 celled organism a 'body. ' I doubt you'll find a biologist alive that is on your side here. You're stretching so hard with the definition of "body" as to break the definition itself. Thats 1 cell greater than the egg or sperm separately. Everything's only slightly contradictory until you say "Parents are responsible for the intermediate step. " This means that parents are responsible for the intermediate step for future consciousness to make eggs and sperm into fertilized eggs and ALSO then to do the intermediate step to carry the fetus to term. You don't see how your arguments can easily be used this way?

It's interesting how we get to round 5 and JUST NOW we hear about your 'body' argument which is being added to your 'future consciousness' valuation. It's a bandaid, But the wound is too large my friend.

3. I would trade 1 life for 2 if those lives currently exist. I would never trade 1 life that exists for 2 that don't exist, Much less 1 that doesn't.

4. Hungry people don't follow laws and regulations. Few would value the extinction of a species over living.

Questions

1. Nothing in this source supports your claim.

2. The lines are different. Current and future consciousness are different. You can say you value both if you want, But your line for the beginning is unclear and your line for the end is clear.

3. You demand so much from raped females but so little from yourself.

4. You really should stop saying you begin value at 'conception. ' Conception means it attaches to the womb. There's nothing special about that just like there's nothing special about traveling through the canal. Anti-abortion people largely don't understand the distinction. There are solutions to this, And yes some of them are difficult, But in fact according to a valuation at fertilization, Most if not all anti-abortion people have allowed their children to die when they could've helped it. You have to admit this is a staggering genocide of humans far beyond the proportion of abortion and yet no one speaks of it. I've asked before and I'll ask again, Why do you think this is?

5. When we're discussing the PRACTICALITY of a solution, Saying there is a supermajority of the population that disagree with it is not fallacious. A fallacious use would be "The earth is flat because 90% of society thinks so. " You are misunderstanding when this appeal is fallacious and when it is not. Not all appeals are fallacious.

If I said we should murder every 1stborn child of a country and state that is a practical solution to something, You can counter with "Well maybe there will be a lot of people that don't like that. " That is not a fallacious statement. You misunderstand another of your sources. (saying so isn't an ad hominem)

6. There's still nothing wrong with me reminding you and judges that you have to value your first claim for your secondary claims to follow. It was not intended to annoy you. I put it in for clarity.

7. Right. . . It's based on something far more arbitrary and biologically incorrect that you failed to mention all the way to R5.

I hope I have shown the judges and you how your values are problematic and inconsistent while mine have held to scrutiny.

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Debate Round No. 5
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