The Instigator
bthr004
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
CP
Con (against)
Losing
26 Points

The basic defense of bieng pro life abortion is a contradiction to the defense of the death penalty.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/30/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,045 times Debate No: 4552
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (11)

 

bthr004

Pro

As a conservative and absolute no exception pro life believer, I feel it is contradiction to favor the death penalty. Most conservatives I know find it interesting that I am against the death penalty. Yet they argue time and time again the basic liberty of man is the right to be alive, in the topic of abortion.

In logic, a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. It occurs when the propositions, taken together, yield two conclusions which form the logical inversions of each other. Illustrating a general tendency in applied logic, Aristotle's law of noncontradiction states that "One cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time."

On a side bar,.. asking my mother about abortion and the argument given about the "health risk of the mother," she told me,... Any good mother, if even the smallest chance that her child would live, would give her own life for that small chance.
CP

Con

Thank you for starting this debate and good luck.

As my opponent and I both reside in the U.S., I must assume we are debating rights, the death penalty, and abortion as they relate to U.S. laws/customs/ideas.

"By Jefferson's own admission, the ideas contained in the Declaration of Independence were commonly expressed throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.[5] John Locke's Second Treatise of Government is probably the predominant source from which Jefferson drew inspiration.[6]" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Given that the basis of "rights", specifically the right to life, as we know them are the by-product of social contract theories expressed in the Declaration of Independence, it is rather simple to see that these two viewpoints are not, in themselves, contradictory.

Based on the ideas of the Social Contract, those people who violate the rights of others, in turn forfeit their own rights. Thus, a person who is on death row does not retain the "right" to life once choosing to commit some heinous crime such as murder.

"Since rights come from agreeing to the contract, those who simply choose not to fulfill their contractual obligations, such as by committing crimes, deserve losing their rights, and the rest of society can be expected to protect itself against the actions of such outlaws. To be a member of society is to accept responsibility for following its rules, along with the threat of punishment for violating them. It is justified with laws punishing behavior that breaks the Social Contract because we are concerned about others harming us and don't plan on harming others. In this way, society works by "mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon" (Hardin 1968).
" (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

On the other hand, a fetus (given that you are Pro-Life I assume you accept it as a person) has committed no such act, and therefore retains its right to life.

To conclude, there is no inherent contradiction in being Pro-Life and in favor of the Death Penalty, as the individuals involved in both cases do not posses the same right to life based on their actions / inactions.
Debate Round No. 1
bthr004

Pro

I believe you are out of the context of the topic of this debate:

"The basic defense of being pro life abortion is a contradiction to the defense of the death penalty."

Basic:
The fundamental principle or underlying concept of a system or theory; a basis.

The main and most common defense given. (basic)

The BASIC defense of PRO LIFE:

Pro-life individuals generally believe that human life should be valued either from fertilization or implantation until natural death. From that viewpoint, any action which destroys an embryo or fetus kills a human being. Any deliberate destruction of human life is considered ethically or morally wrong and is not considered to be mitigated by any alleged benefits to others, as such benefits come at the expense of the life they consider as a person.

The BASIC defense of PRO DEATH PENALTY:

In your (con) own admission: "Based on the ideas of the Social Contract, those people who violate the rights of others, in turn forfeit their own rights. Thus, a person who is on death row does not retain the "right" to life once choosing to commit some heinous crime such as murder."

Definition of CONTRADICTION:
a situation in which inherent factors, actions, or propositions are inconsistent or contrary to one another

www.merriam-webster.com

The inherent factors/propositions, contrary to one another,….

1. Pro- life: Any deliberate destruction of human life is considered ethically or morally wrong and is not considered to be mitigated by any alleged benefits to others, as such benefits come at the expense of the life they consider as a person.

2. Pro- death penalty: a person who is on death row does not retain the "right" to life once choosing to commit some heinous crime such as murder."

However,… I respect your interesting angle you provided with this debate, though out of context, and will touch briefly on your points.

-" As my opponent and I both reside in the U.S., I must assume we are debating rights, the death penalty, and abortion as they relate to U.S. laws/customs/ideas."

-In terms of U.S. laws, or federal laws on abortion none such exist that give liberties to the unborn life and not protecting them from being killed.
-Yet federal laws (fifth amendment protected) give right to capital punishement for heinous crimes such as murder.

Murder by definition:

the crime of killing a person especially with malice aforethought

Malice aforethought by definition:

intent to cause serious injury or death

So ALL of this mumbo jumbo is one big conrtadiction.
CP

Con

I'd like to point out that no where in my Opponent's opening round did he feel it necessary to define what the basic defense for being Pro-Life actually is. This has left me possibly wasting a round due to my opponents ambiguity, but none-the-less I will continue.

Defense:
- noun
3. the defending of a cause or the like by speech, argument, etc.: He spoke in defense of the nation's foreign policy.
(http://dictionary.reference.com...)

My opponent stated:
"The BASIC defense of PRO LIFE:

Pro-life individuals generally believe that human life should be valued either from fertilization or implantation until natural death. From that viewpoint, any action which destroys an embryo or fetus kills a human being. Any deliberate destruction of human life is considered ethically or morally wrong and is not considered to be mitigated by any alleged benefits to others, as such benefits come at the expense of the life they consider as a person."

Where he got this notion, I haven't the slightest idea. I see no reference stating that this is, in fact, the BASIC defense for the Pro-Life support. Also, please note that the first line of my opponent's "defense" is actually a statment of the purpose or intent of the Pro-Life group, followed by what appears to be his interpretation of a defense predicated on that statement. Since he has apparently pulled this purpose of Pro-Life advocates out of thin air, I will actually offer up a legitamite one by the American Life League. The ALL is "One of America's largest prolife organizations" (http://www.prolife.com...), as described by the top Pro-Life website, and hence a much better reference for the ideas associated with the Pro-Life movement than my opponent.

"American Life League Mission Statement
by American Life League
Released January 1, 1979

American Life League exists to serve God by helping to build a society that respects and protects individual innocent human beings from creation to natural death—without compromise, without exception, without apology.
"(http://www.all.org...)

I'd like to pause here and point out one simple word that the BASIC Pro-Life argument incorporates in their mission statment: INNOCENT. As you can see at this point, my opponents entire argument falls apart and he fails to affirm the resolution. As a fetus has committed no acts of crime, and certainly has not been found guilty of any crime within the U.S. court system, it is therefore INNOCENT and a life in which the Pro-Life community attempts to preserve. On the flip side, an individual on death-row is the polar opposite of this scenario. He has been found guilty of a crime, and by definition cannot be considered innocent. Thus, his "right to life" has expired as I pointed out in the previous round.

The rest of my opponents argument was filler in relationship to my first "out-of-context" round and requires no further discussion.

My opponent must now prove to the audience the contradiction that exists between the defense of an INNOCENT fetus (which retains the right to life) and a GUILTY individual (who has forfeited his right to life) as per the Social Contract. If he fails to do this, he necessarily loses this debate.
Debate Round No. 2
bthr004

Pro

I apologize for your confusion on the context of the debate,.. so I will explain to you. You see when starting a debate one has the option to choose in what category or context the debate will be argued in, I chose social, and if you look at the top left of the main page displaying the rounds, you will see the category is social, not political. Again, sorry for any confusion on your part, that made you feel you have "burnt" a round. Now on to the debate,...

"We proclaim that human life is a precious gift from God; that each person who receives this gift has responsibilities toward God, self and others; and that society, through its laws and social institutions, must protect and nurture human life at every stage of its existence."

-U.S. Catholic Bishops

www.usccb.org

The Pro-Life Issue Spectrum
To say that someone is "pro-life" is to say that the person believes that the government has an obligation to preserve all human life, regardless of intent, viability, or quality-of-life concerns.

A comprehensive pro-life ethic, such as that proposed by the Roman Catholic Church and similar religious organizations, prohibits:

Abortion ;Euthanasia and assisted suicide ;The death penalty ; and
War, with very few exceptions.

In cases where the pro-life ethic conflicts with personal autonomy, as in the case of abortion and assisted suicide, it is conservative. In cases where the pro-life ethic conflicts with government policy, as in the case of the death penalty and war, it is liberal.

www.civilliberty.about.com

etc..etc...

Every site or source can be contradicted in belief of the ones sponsoring the site. This is why I chose to say "basic" defense, for instance the defense chosen the large majority of the time.

The following is a random pull from this very site of a debate still in debating period titled,:

THE rights of infants in the womb should sometimes trump the rights of the mother?

Value: Protection of rights (Specified in resolution)
Value Criterion: Right to life

The thesis of this case is that the right to life supersedes all rights because all rights spring from it. Violating the right to life is the greatest of all right violations for this reason. Therefore, violating the right to life needs to be seen foremost in the battle for trumping different rights.

Contention I: Right to life is the paramount right, and must trump other rights.

When looking at competing rights, i.e. between a mother and her unborn child, the right o life must supersede. Why? Because all rights are violated when you violate the right to life. Once your dead, you dont have the right to pursue happiness, or the right to private property, etc. Therefore, between the mothers right to "Privacy" (Right established in Roe Vs. Wade)or the baby's right to life, right to life trumps.

A) Right to life begins when the baby is indeed a living being. According to the UN Health Department, and 12 scientists who testified before the Senate in 2007, life begins at implantation. Implantation is the sticking of the fertilized egg to the uterine lining. I.e. 10-12 days after conception.

www.debate.org (argued point by CiRrO)

The death penalty takes the life which is a violation of ones right to life. To feel murder is a violation of rights that justifies the murderers right to life to be revoked, is a contradiction by every account.

Killing is wrong, so I will kill you for killing someone. <<< "oxy moron"

OXY MORON;
a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-CONTRADICTORY effect.
www.dictionary.com

The basic defense for abortion as I have clearly stated is that everyone has the right to live, making abortion wrong, however, if one takes the right to live away, for instance by murder, they can be killed back; which as I have shown above displays a SELF-CONTRADICTORY EFFECT, thus contradicting.

Since this debate is in the realm of social rather than political, your argument of requiring the U.S. court to determine the innocents does not hold up.

Yet, again I will pick you up on that point,...

It is still contradictory in effect for a court to prosecute ones that kill life in every other instance, yet protect the right of woman to kill the life of her unborn child.

Making your points of U.S. laws and courts void, as I have pointed clear and concise CONTRADICTIONS in even those on the topic of pro life VS. pro death penalty.

In ending,.. I urge everyone to vote pro, as I have established the CONTRADICTIONS and CONTRADICTORY effects of the basic defenses given for being pro life and pro death penalty.
CP

Con

In reviewing my opponents final argument it has become apparent that there is a gigantic hole in his logic. His entire argument is based on what he perceives as the "basic" defense for "Pro Life abortion". He continues to exert this based on the idea that the Pro-Life majority position, on which the "basic defense of being pro-life abortion" is predicated, relies solely on the right to life of all individuals regardless of the circumstance. Furthermore, he has failed to objectively prove what the most "basic" (common) defense for pro-life abortion even is. I will show why he has not definitively proved either of these insinuations or that they are, in themselves, contradictory.

My opponent uses the U.S. Catholic Bishops proclamation of the pro-life stance in order to justify his position. As is obvious, there is no way for my opponent to prove that this group actually represents the majority opinion of the Pro-Life group. In fact, lets take a look at a little of the diversity of pro-life views:

"Diversity of pro-life views

The major stated goal of the pro-life movement is to "restore legal protection to innocent human life."[6] This protection would include fetuses and embryos, persons who cannot communicate their wishes due to physical or mental incapacitation, and those who are too weak to resist being euthanized.

Some pro-life advocates, such as those subscribing to the philosophy of a Consistent Life Ethic, oppose virtually all acts that end human life. They would argue that abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and unjust war are all wrong."
(http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Key elements to take from the above:
1. "The MAJOR" (basic, common) goal of the pro-life movement is to "restore legal protection to INNOCENT human life".

Major
-adjective
10. of or pertaining to the majority: the major opinion.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Thus, the majority of the defenses (most common / basic) for the Pro-Life position would necessarily incorporate the restriction of taking an INNOCENT human life, not a life in general. Therefore, it is not contradictory to revoke the life of a guilty individual.

2. "SOME pro-life advocates ... oppose virtually all acts that end human life". SOME, not all, not even a stated majority, of the Pro-Life advocates support the prohibition of all acts. In other words, this is not the common belief within the Pro-Life advocacy.

Further, my opponent even points out that there are both "liberal" and "conservative" sides of the Pro-Life argument. Given the above article, we can actually see that the majority opinion is the "conservative" one which does not apply to the right to life of a guilty individual. Again, no contradiction in advocating both Pro-Life abortion and defending the Death Penalty.

My opponent continues:
"This is why I chose to say "basic" defense, for instance the defense chosen the large majority of the time.

The following is a random pull from this very site of a debate still in debating period titled,:"

Where has my opponent proved that the common defense is the right to life for all? One "random" debate from debate.org proves this? First, I'd like to see his methods of randomization for selecting this current debate. Even if this debate was randomly drawn from the current debates on the topic of abortion, this in no way proves any correlation to the defenses of past debates on this site, or all debates in general. Had my opponent stated the resolution to be "The basic defense BY DEBATORS ON DEBATE.ORG of being pro life abortion is a contradiction to THEIR defense of the death penalty." and followed this up with statistics proving that the common defense was, in fact, the right to life in all instances, I would have to concede this debate. HOWEVER, this is not how my opponent set the resolution and the onus was on him to provide affirmative proof of his claims. Since my opponent has failed to do so, it must be seen that he has failed to affirm the resolution. Additionally, I have provided substantial evidence to show that the two positions are NOT contradictory. Given these factors, my opponent cannot have merited a win on this debate and should not receive your vote.

Although I have already proved that my opponent must lose this debate, I will continue for the sake of argument.

"The death penalty takes the life which is a violation of ones right to life."
In my opening round dealing with the principles of the Social Contract and the "rights" of people within a society based on these principles, I proved that a person found guilty of a crime and given the death penalty has forfeited his right to life. In order for society to function, criminals rights must be revoked under the social contract. Thus his statement "Killing is wrong, so I will kill you for killing someone" should actually read as: "Killing an INNOCENT person is wrong, so I (SOCIETY) will kill you, a GUILTY individual, for killing an INNOCENT person." When qualifying the people killing and being killed, you can obviously see that this is NOT a contradictory position and is justified under the principles of social contract.

"The basic defense for abortion as I have clearly stated is that everyone has the right to live, making abortion wrong" - Not true. My opponent failed to prove that this is, in fact, the basic (common) defense.

"however, if one takes the right to live away, for instance by murder, they can be killed back; which as I have shown above displays a SELF-CONTRADICTORY EFFECT, thus contradicting."
- Again, not true on the basis of the Social Contract.

"It is still contradictory in effect for a court to prosecute ones that kill life in every other instance, yet protect the right of woman to kill the life of her unborn child"

Two things here which show this statement not only to be false, but also NOT contradictory:
1. The court does not prosecute "every other instance" of "ones that kill life." An example of this would be someone who kills in self-defense. In the case, the "killer" is not guilty of a crime because he was only attempting to protect his right to life. Had the "killer" been guilty of a crime, then yes, the courts would have the authority to revoke the killer's right to life. Thus, there is no contradiction between revoking the right to life of the guilty and preserving that of the innocent.
2. The courts do not recognize a fetus as having the right to life until it becomes viable. "The central holding of Roe v. Wade was that abortions are permissible for any reason a woman chooses, up until the "point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable,' that is, potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid. Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks."[1](http://en.wikipedia.org...) As you can see, under U.S. law, the fetus has no inherent right to life, so women are not guilty of a crime when aborting a fetus. Again, the women's right to life is preserved because they are innocent in the eyes of the court.

In closing, there is NO contradiction in preserving the right to life of the innocent and revoking the right to life of the guilty in the American society. This is based on the fact that the principles of the American society are founded on the ideas of the Social Contract, which my opponent has neither rejected nor disputed.

Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by BennyW 4 years ago
BennyW
I would say innocent life is the standard and that also plays into the death penalty debate, as innocent people are killed because we onvict people without proving 100% that they are in fact the killers.
Posted by bthr004 7 years ago
bthr004
lol,.. Xera, google it and see, not as easy as you would think,.. innocent life came up alot, it is alot harder a theory to prove with a computer as it is in candid conversation, most people leave out the innocent life part, and just say life. Props to "CP" on wording his argument correctly, I was really hoping whom ever was my opponent wouldn't approach it like that,.. oh well.
Posted by Xera 7 years ago
Xera
I voted Con because Pro failed to show that the defense of a pro-life belief was typically inconsistent with values based on actions. I doubt there would have been time, but any type of randomly generated pro life advocacy groups, at least 10 to pool from, where the word innocent was not used in the defining statement would have tipped the scales. Perhaps a Google search for pro life advocacy groups, and the first ten websites to pull up would have been random enough. I just don't see that any proof was offered that in general pro life advocates do not view innocence as a standard for their beliefs. ANY proof of this and I would have voted otherwise.

That said, I think it is funny, because I actually had a debate once, on another site, on just this topic, only the opposite. How very hypocritical it seems to be both against the death penalty but pro-choice :D.
Posted by bthr004 7 years ago
bthr004
I wast just trying to win!
Posted by CP 7 years ago
CP
Bthr004: In going back and re-reading the entire debate I realized that the reason this debate was so confusing is that you defined "basic" as per the dictionary, and then you redefined it in a completely different context to fit the resolution. At times it was difficult given the wording of the debate to tell if we were debating:

The dictionary definition of basic:
"The FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE for defense of being pro life abortion is a contradiction to the defense of the death penalty."

OR

your definition of basic:
"The MAIN/COMMON defense of being pro life abortion is a contradiction to the defense of the death penalty."

It put me in the unique position to have to argue both definitions at different points in time. However, your definition still tended to necessitate that I prove the fundamental principles of pro-life abortion were not in contradiction with those of defending the death penalty. So, I guess it all worked itself out in the end anyway...
Posted by CP 7 years ago
CP
Thanks for the debate Bthr004. By the way, it would be greatly appreciated for anyone voting to state why they voted one way or the other. I'm new to all this, so analysises help.
Posted by bthr004 7 years ago
bthr004
Basic:
The fundamental principle or underlying concept of a system or theory; a basis.

The main and most common defense given. (basic)
Posted by bthr004 7 years ago
bthr004
I thought of this topic of debate the other night when some friends and I discussed the death penalty,.. they couldn't believe that I was able to be ok with "letting" killers live,.. I thought that was contradiction in itself,... but I really had a hay day when they started discussing why abortions are wrong.

Thought I would bring this idea to the debate.org table.
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
Twould be pretty funny is someone argued that the defense you're talking about is not basic. :D
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