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Abortion should be legal in all instances

(PRO)
WINNER!
7 points
(CON)
2 points
adminadmin (PRO)
I thank my opponent for setting up this debate. It should be good.

This debate is about where life begins
As a basic presumption, I think it's fair to assume a framework of natural law - that people have simple rights simply as a result of being human. Sometimes, we mutually give up certain rights according to what is in society's best interest. That's what criminal law is.

By all instances, we mean anytime somebody is having an abortive procedure that is not otherwise a crime. Or put another way, abortion regulation should not penalize anyone for having an abortion under any circumstances. This still leaves the option open to regulate procedure, such as requiring abortionists to have a medical degree.

One of the most basic natural rights is the right to life. A basic presumption of the right to life can be made from the fact that we're all alive (zombies and vampires notwithstanding). As such, if an unborn child equally has this right to life and has otherwise committed no crime, the legal presumption must be that the child is entitled by right not to be deprived of that life. In this view, abortion is fundamentally equivalent to murder. This is presumably the position con will be defending in one, several or all cases. On the other hand, if the child has no separable right to life from the mother, then the concept that the child has rights is about as absurd as saying any other part of one's body has rights. In this view, abortion is fundamentally equivalent to trimming one's fingernails. This is the view I will defend in this debate.

What is life?
As can be expected on such a contentious issue, there is no unequivocally accepted definition of life. This being said, I believe we can sort this issue right now with a game of Sesame Street's "one of these things is not like the others".

A foetus cannot survive outside the womb. It requires a birth to activate its key bodily functions, such as breathing. There are other basic organisms that do the same thing, of course. A virus is inactive until it parasitically invades some cell in your body, so there's an example. The less reliant something is on its host, the closer to a natural right of life we can get - after all, destroying viruses is hardly immoral since our bodies do that naturally. An unborn child relies on the mother for pretty much exactly the same things all the way from conception to birth. This point is important. In late stages of the pregnancy it may be possible to force an emergency birth, but the child the womb is still reliant on the mother for pretty much exactly the same stuff in the same was as during the first day of pregnancy.

The distinction is important. An unborn person is leeching off the bodily functions of another at best, like a parasite. There is no right for that. Forcing somebody to bear a child is akin to forcing somebody to live with worms in their gut, or better yet, forcing somebody to donate their organs, even if that saves the life of another person. There is also a reason why this is good: bodily integrity. A mother - not the state - has a basic right to her own body, including removing unwanted parts from it - be that fingernails or unwanted potential kids.

Legal powers
The right of the state to determine when and where parts can be added or removed from the body is therefore always something that has been protected by natural law. Examples of this abound, but perhaps the most famous decision was the US Case Roe v Wade, which held (by a 7-2 majority) that abortion was a private matter and thus covered under the right to privacy. But for this it's worth considering the alternative.

Imagine if the state had absolute power to decide what people could and could not do with their bodies. It's a very scary thought.

We live in a world where western liberal democracies routinely criticise nations such as North Korea for making people to choose between government-approved hairstyles instead of giving them free reign. This freedom of expression is held as sacrosanct by our society. Why then can't we accept the fact some people don't want to be mothers? In the same way as governments cannot force people to have surgery under normal circumstances, so too should governments not regulate what surgery people may choose to perform (for example to remove a foetus) in the absence of some other overriding public health concern. Indeed, it is the role and purpose of the government to protect people's rights, such as the right to a person's bodily integrity.

Mother's lives
Legalized abortion means a lower mortality rate for mothers. Ultimately, everyone can agree the mother is alive. This happens in two ways.

First, birth is itself inherently dangerous for both mother and child. Though much safer now than in the past, numerous mothers still die giving birth every year. Even in the United States, a fairly developed and very wealthy country, pregnancy remains the 6th most common cause of death for young women.

Second, somewhere in the world, one woman will die in the time it takes an average reader to read my argument for this round due to having an illegal unsafe abortion. The fact is that women who want abortions are desperate. Choosing to get rid of a foetus is not a decision made lightly. It carries a lot of complicated emotional baggage. Half of all pregnancies are unwanted, and half of those are aborted. Restrictive abortion laws of the type currently existing in Africa or Central America do not usually influence the abortion rate. They do, however, strongly influence the abortion complication rate.

The logic here is simple: if women can't get abortions through official channels, yet they are sufficiently desperate, they'll get their abortions on the black market. Although the reason why an abortionist is not performing their services legally may be out of a simple concern for women, it may also simply be that they are poor, unsafe abortionists. This is particularly damaging to a women's health as she has little recourse if the procedure goes wrong. Although a safely performed abortion is safer than a safely performed birth, unsafe abortions still kill many women every year, particularly in countries where abortion is illegal or heavily restricted.

Why then are women so desperate for abortions? There are numerous reasons, ranging from rape to a simple inability to care for a potential child. In almost every case, an unaborted, unwanted child is instead severely neglected... while they are unequivocally alive.

I look forward to reading my opponent's responses.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-05-21 23:30:10
| Speak Round
KrazyKrazy (CON)

I thank my opponent for starting round 1 of the debate.


First, let’s define some terms to eliminate potential confusion later on in the debate.


Abortion: The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy.

Pregnancy: Having a child developing in the uterus.

Legal: Permitted by law.

Murder: The killing of another person without justification or valid excuse.


Now, with that out of the way, let’s begin.


The beginning of life

According to science, once fertilization happens, the genetic makeup of the child is already complete. It’s sex, hair color, eye color, skin color, height; all of it has been determined at that moment instantly. It is a scientific fact that a new organism has been created once conception happens. This is when the new organism’s genetic code is different from the mother’s and the father’s. Since the fertilized egg has an entirely different genetic code than the mother’s, it is not part of the mother’s body. Really, no further argumentation is needed.


Some people may bring up the fact that a virus has DNA too (some do, some don’t); but here’s the deal though, the fertilized egg has human DNA. Therefore, it is a human. And it has a completely separate genetic code from his/her mother.


Here is an excerpt from AnswersinGenesis:

“In a landmark 1998 paper, researchers at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta, USA, found that the mammalian embryo (they worked with mice) produces a special enzyme, called indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, or “IDO,” which suppresses the mother’s T cell reaction and allows pregnancy to proceed. Follow-up work in humans revealed the same effect, and it was also demonstrated that the IDO was produced on the embryo side of the placental membrane (which separates mother from child) and not on the mother’s side. Further work in mice showed that IDO production peaked during the formation of the placenta—the most crucial time for establishing that vital link between mother and child. And the most recent work in humans has established beyond doubt that IDO is a specific mechanism at the mother- child interface for preventing the mother’s immune system from rejecting the child.”


So what does this mean for the unborn in the context of the mother? Well, the mother’s immune system initially starts to attack the unborn as it it’s foreign. This, without a shadow of a doubt, proves that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body. It’s only because of a special enzyme produced that the baby isn’t killed.


Inconsistency

My opponent is being inconsistent. He said that a woman should have rights to her own body, implying that the unborn is part of her body. But also says that the unborn is like a virus/parasite, which is foreign (not part of the woman’s body). Well, which is it? Is it a foreign particle or part of her body?


Rebuttals

1) The main argument that my opponent used in favor of abortion is the argument of reliance. He said “A foetus cannot survive outside the womb.” First of all, thats a half-truth. The fetus can survive outside the womb after 23 weeks of pregnancy. Second of all, it’s irrelevant. Science shows that the genetic makeup of every human being is already complete at fertilization. Since the baby has a complete different genetic code than the mother and the father, then by definition, it is their child with a separate body. And with the IDO research, it’s an indisputable fact that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body. Whether or not the fetus is dependent upon the mother is irrelevant. Infants and 4 year olds are dependent upon their mothers too; but that means nothing in terms of life. Yes, the unborn are completely reliant on their mothers for nutrients, but all that proves is that they are completely reliant on their mothers for nutrients. It does not prove that they are not alive.


2) My opponent said that what if she doesn’t want to be a mother. Here’s the quote: “Why then can’t we accept the fact some people don’t want to be mothers?” If a couple doesn’t want to have a child, then they should’ve kept their legs crossed. If they don’t want a child, they shouldn’t have sex (they shouldn’t have sexual relations outside of marriage anyway and have at least some level of decency). The mother isn’t “forced to bear a child”. This makes the murderer look like the victim. The fact is, they chose to have a baby. Now, in the case of rape or incest. As horrible as it would be to be pregnant as a result of rape, murder is not the solution. Two wrongs do not make a right. It just doubles the amount of wrongs. Yes, rape is bad, but so is murder. The child should not be punished for the evil acts of his/her father. The father deserves the death penalty, not the child. And it doesn’t matter how a woman gets pregnant; genetics still prove that it’s alive regardless of how she gets pregnant.


3) My opponent said that childbirth is dangerous and abortion is safe. First of all, again, it doesn’t matter how safe abortion is if it’s murder. It could be the most safest procedure in the world, but if it’s murder, then it doesn’t matter. Genetics prove that once conception occurs, the genetic composition of the baby is instantly complete and is completely separate from the mother’s genetic code. This proves that the fertilized egg is a human being and not part of the mother’s body. So it’s irrelevant if abortion is safe. Second of all, it’s the opposite way around. Abortion is more than twice as dangerous as natural childbirth (sometimes 3x). According to a large study done in Denmark, about 500,000 women, one of the largest studies on abortion, who had first-trimester abortions (which is safer than the second or third trimesters) had significantly higher death rates compared to women who had delivered birth.

DenmarkMortalityRates-Sept.-2012.jpg

So why are there so many doctors that claim that abortions are safer? Pregnancychoices4me.org explains:

 “Abortion mortality studies in the United States are likely similarly flawed because they are based on either the voluntary submission of data on the part of abortion clinics to the Center for Disease Control, or to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood. There is no centralized collection of abortion and death history in the U.S. similar to what is found in Europe, where many countries have a nationalized health care system. The more accurate data was found by linking nearly half a million records from Denmark’s fertility and abortion registries to death registry records.”


The reality is that abortions are far more dangerous than childbirth. But again, it doesn’t matter if abortion is safe because genetics prove that the unborn is alive. ADMIN lives in New Zealand; I live in the United States of America. I don’t know anything about New Zealand, but in the USA, there have been about 58 million abortions since Roe vs Wade in 1973. Hitler’s Holocaust killed about 11 million. The USA makes Hitler look like a school bully. So if it’s really murder (which genetics prove), then it doesn’t matter how “safe” abortion is. It’s obviously not safe for the unborn children.


4) My opponent said that if abortion is illegal, people would just do it illegally; so he argues that that’s the reason it should be legal. But that’s not a coherent argument. Let’s just apply that same principle to other crimes, such as murder of people after-birth. Murder of people after they are born is illegal. But people do it anyway. Therefore, lets make murder legal. No, that’s absurd. Stealing is illegal; people still steal. But that’s not a reason though to make stealing legal. If we make rape illegal, people will rape anyway; does that mean we should make rape legal? Of course not. And likewise, people will do abortions if it’s illegal, that’s true; but that is not a reason to make it legal. The fact that there are crimes is not an excuse for lawlessness.


Final statements/Summary

My opponent never stated when life began. Question for my opponent: If life doesn’t begin at conception, when does it begin? Although genetics prove that it begins at conception, the point is that my opponent never said when life began, which is an essential part of the debate.


I’m going to offer a comparison. Most abortions (about 99%) in the world are done simply for the convenience of not having a child, financially unable, or rape (none of which are justifications for murder). Less than one tenth of one percent of all abortions in the world are done when the mother’s life is in critical danger. Now with that said, some mothers choose not to have an abortion when they know full well that they will die in birth or soon after birth in a selfless act. So we have one woman who has an abortion just out of convenience of not having a child. Then we have another woman who, knowing she will die sufferably, decides to not have an abortion and save her unborn child. Of course, that’s not necessary. Self defense is always justifiable. But it just shows that these 2 women are completely different people. And it shows their inner character.


Most of my opponent’s arguments are entirely based on circular reasoning that the unborn is not alive. He said that some women don’t want to be mothers. Well, that’s not a reason for murder. He claimed that it’s safe. First of all, that’s false. Second of all, it doesn’t justify murder. He said that people will do abortions anyway if it’s illegal. Okay, but that doesn’t justify murder just because people do it illegally. And the argument of reliance is a red herring. On top of all that, he never argued when life begun. This whole debate is about whether the unborn is alive. Because if it is alive (which genetics prove), then abortion should be illegal since it is murder (except for the less than 0.01% of cases that the mother’s life is in danger).


The resolution is “Abortion should be legal in all instances”. The resolution is not “Abortion should be legal in some instances”. I agree with the latter. There are indeed, the less than 0.01% of cases that the mother’s life is in danger. But for the vast majority, abortion is treated as if the unborn is not alive. And that’s the center of the debate. If we consider the unborn to be alive, then it is only logical that most abortions should be outlawed; since it is the killing of a human life.


With all that said, I am looking forward to my opponent’s future rebuttals and arguments in his next post.


Sources


(of excerpt, AIG)

Williams, Alexander. "Abortion Argument Unravels." Answers in Genesis. Answers in Genesis, 1 Sept. 2005. Web. 22 May 2015. <https://answersingenesis.org/sanctity-of-life/abortion/abortion-argument-unravels/>.


(in excerpt, AIG)

Munn, D.H. et al., Prevention of allogeneic fetal rejection by tryptophan catabolism, Science 281(5380):1122–1124, 1998.


Kudo, Y. and Boyd, C.A., Human placental indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase: cellular localization and characterization of an enzyme preventing fetal rejection, Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1500(1):119–124, 2000.


Suzuki, S. et al., Expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase in early concepti, Biochem. J. 355(2):425–429, 2001.


Kudo, Y. et al., Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase: distribution and function in the developing human placenta, J. Reprod. Immunol. 61(2):87–98, 2004.


(of excerpt, WCCLG)

"Abortion Is Much More Dangerous than Childbirth, Major Danish Study Finds." Abortion Choices LaGrange Womens Care Center Of La Grange RSS. Woman's Care Center of La Grange, n.d. Web. 22 May 2015. <http:// www.pregnancychoices4me.org/abortion-is-much-more-dangerous-than-childbirth-major-danish-study-finds/>.



Return To Top | Posted:
2015-05-22 21:45:17
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
I thank my opponent for continuing his case.

In his case, con repeatedly confused three concepts: human, person, and life. For example, DNA may be human, but DNA is not by itself a person, nor is DNA life. It is therefore important to realize the three do not refer to the same thing. Routinely he falls back on this idea that a child has a unique DNA profile, thus is its own person, and thus is alive. The three are NOT the same.

Let's revisit why life begins at birth
Quick two sentence refresher. Life begins at birth because that's when all the key bodily functions required for survival activate, and I gave the example of the respiratory system. Until the moment of birth, a foetus is totally reliant on its mother, and therefore part of her body and governed by her natural rights.

Con's argument is that a fertilized egg has human DNA, and thus it is human, and thus it is alive. This is nonsense. If I took a DNA sample from a criminal, would that DNA sample have rights too? Would I commit murder by destroying the DNA sample? Of course not. DNA merely provides the code for life - it is not alive by itself. Rather, life is a descriptive term.

It is also irrelevant how different this DNA is from the mother's DNA. Not only is this logic entirely arbitrary, but having a mutated or cancerous cell does not absolve you of bodily rights. Since it doesn't in those instances, why should you lose your rights to the cells that make up a foetus just because it, too, has a different chemical core from other cells in your body? It's not just disease though. Blood has different DNA from every other cell in your body. Does this mean blood donation or any kind of bleeding is murder? Of course not - that would be absurd. Natural rights apply to the whole body.

It's also irrelevant that immunosuppressive enzymes are a natural part of a pregnancy. The human body is full of mechanisms to prevent one part of it interacting in a negative way with another part. The digestive system is a prime example, filtering out good nutrients from among the waste and disposing of the unnecessary bits. Further, the fact it is the child's enzymes is relevant. If anything else in the body creates an immunosuppressive effect - such as, I don't know, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus - that doesn't mean the virus has protections under natural law.

An unborn child fails the "one of these things is not like the others" test for living things because most of its basic biological processes are inactive. I likened it to a virus, as viral material is also inactive until it can find a nice juicy cell to target somewhere. A foetus is almost the same way until it is birthed. Therefore just as viruses are treated as the mother's natural law right, so too should the foetus.

But after 24 weeks...
That's called a "premature birth". You have to go through the birthing process (or apparently some people have managed to induce parts of it in an incubator). A foetus cannot survive outside of the womb. If you just pluck out a foetus, it will die in seconds (matter of fact, this is pretty much how most abortions are done). A baby that has been birthed on the other hand, can survive. Birth makes the difference.

4 years olds are also reliant on moms
This is a variant definition of "reliant", because as any adopted 4-year-old will tell you, a 4-year-old does not need their mother in order to survive. They can survive with just about any family. A foetus, on the other hand, cannot survive in the body of anybody except their mother. Further, a 4 year old requires little more maintenance than food, perhaps some basic safety. A foetus is reliant for much more than nutrition - its body literally cannot function independently. If the mother dies (absent an emergency birth at the point of death if the pregnancy is past 24 weeks) then the foetus dies pretty much instantly. If a 4-year-old's mother dies, that 4-year-old can live with another family member or foster care, and still has a great life ahead of her/him.

Abstinence?
My opponent mocks people who don't want children but who become pregnant, saying they should have remained abstinent. The situation is rarely that simple for many reasons, too many than can be accounted for by a rigid legislative framework. These may include:
  • Rape
  • Ineffective contraception
  • Religious beliefs
  • Social pressures
  • Not realizing they are pregnant / lack of education
This all being said, it sounds like my opponent is arguing for restricting sex, not restricting abortion. If he wants to enforce abstinence among everybody who does not intend to have a child, that's fine, but it has no bearing on the legality of abortion. The choice of motherhood must remain with the mother for as long as choice is a fundamental freedom to be protected by the role of the state.

Murder as a solution to poor choice
First, this whole line of argumentation presupposes it is murder, something which is not true.

Second, the mother didn't choose to have a child. AT BEST, the mother chose to have sex. Not all sex results in a foetus, and not every foetus results in a viable child. Once they know they are pregnant they may choose to have a child... or, they may choose to abort that child. It's a separable decision - it's quite possible to choose sex without even thinking about the consequences - however irresponsible that might be, it's an all-too-common choice that's a reality of our world.

Third, if there was no abortion, then there would be no choice to have a child. Only a choice to have sex. And sometimes this wouldn't even be a choice. In these instances, yes, the mother would be forced to bear a child. And to care for it, in most societies. And to live with this creature that constantly reminds them of what was quite possibly a traumatic moment in their lives. Again, in almost every case, these kids are neglected and live horrible lives, if they survive at all.

Safety
Con says safety doesn't matter if abortion is akin to murder. Yes it does. Public health is all about reducing harms. An example of this in action in another area would be animal testing, where a harmful thing (violation of animal rights) can still be justified in the name of some overriding public health concern (new medicine development).

Con's denmark study (the one where he failed to insert the image properly) was not measuring the safety of the procedure - it instead measured how many died in subsequent years, of things unrelated to the procedure itself. As the authors note in the their discussion on limitations (you can read the whole study here by the way) first year correlations are not causations, but rather driven by complex regression analysis. For example, teenage moms are more likely to have abortions, or those of low socioeconomic standing, or those who have an illness. Such people also have a higher death rate  in general than the broader population. It seems most likely that the abortions have little to do with it, but rather that the survivability of the parent influences their desire to birth (which basically disproves con's hypothesis as well, that almost all abortions happen out of pure convenience). The actual medical procedure of abortion remains significantly safer than birth.

I'm sure "Pregnancychoices4me.org" is the most comprehensive source on this matter (seriously?) but they clearly didn't read this study or any of its conclusions (which was basically that women who abort should be checked for health issues, and for further research to be done - neither of which they bothered to mention in favor of showing the more sensationalist graph). Their "likely similar flaws" in other studies have no basis in peer reviewed research - and further, much of the effectiveness data on the abortion procedure, and the associated mortality rate being significantly lower than birth, comes from Europe. A good example of this would be Romania, where severe abortion restrictions were directly responsible for the deaths of at least 9000 women, and no noticeable birth rate increase.

Black Markets
There's no inherent problem with making something illegal if people will do it anyway.
There is an inherent problem if these create perverse incentives for populations to kill themselves, as we saw in Romania.

Criminal law is supposed to protect us and our natural rights, not further harm us. If criminal law is acting as a harm, as opposed to an incentive for good, then of course this would be a problem. Anti-murder laws don't incentivise murders, but anti-abortion laws invariably only kill people.

I support abortion only if the mother's life is in critical danger!
Most of the time when a mother dies during childbirth, the danger was unforeseen.

There's all manner of complications that can arise during birthing. Most often, this complication affects the child, in the form of a stillbirth. Anyone who has ever known somebody who's had a stillbirth knows that a stillbirth isn't something you know about in advance. Also, other complications can affect the mother. These are not known in advance.

Even so, we want to create a society that's best for women, and best for kids. That means each women has the chance at self-determination in life, and kids have a right to a positive start in life, rather than a mother who's only caring about the kid because she "has to" even though she really cannot afford it (or other issues con is apparently unsympathetic towards). I for one have a lot of respect for a women who aborts a child, so that later in her life - when she's ready to have kids - she can make them all happy in their formative years.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-05-22 23:40:29
| Speak Round
KrazyKrazy (CON)

Thank you for starting round 2.


First of all, my apologies that the picture failed to upload; or me not uploading it correctly. I’ll try to explain the picture the best way I can. Or, the admin/viewers/judges can type in the URL of WCCLG (the URL is in the MLA citation in the sources at the bottom of my post in round 1) to view the graph on the website where it came from.


It was a graph titled “Annual Mortality Rates Following First Pregnancy Outcome During Each of First Ten Years Following Pregnancy Outcome.” On the x-axis, was the amount of years, the origin being 0 while the end being 10. The y-axis was the deaths per 100,000, the origin being 0, while the top being 80. There were 2 lines on the graph; one being “birth” and the other “abortion”. The “birth” line was along, on average, the “20” of the y-axis. The “abortion” line was along, on average, the “50” or “60” of the y-axis. This means that abortion produced a fatality rate of that nearly 3 times that of natural childbirth over the course of ten years after the abortions were done on the mothers.


Now, back to the debate.


The opposing side said “Until the moment of birth, a foetus is totally reliant on its mother, and therefore part of her body and governed by her natural rights.” But why? How does reliance determine life? People are reliant on other people all the time. That doesn’t prove anything. Genetics mark the beginning of something. All of the cells in every person’s body came from one single cell, which that was the fertilized egg cell: the combination of the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm. It has a completely different genetic code different from the mother and the father, so it isn’t part of the mother’s body. The opposing side proposes that the fertilized egg is part of the mother’s body, but the truth is, genetics determine which cells are yours. And since the fertilized egg has a completely different genetic code, that logically means that it’s not part of the mother’s body.


The opposing side stated “If I took a DNA sample from a criminal, would that DNA sample have rights too?” The opposing side either 1) doesn’t understand my argument or 2) understands it, but is intentionally misrepresenting my position in a straw man. I never said that DNA itself is a person. I argued that the fertilized egg has half the DNA from the mother and the father, and that the genetic makeup of the fertilized egg has a completely different genetic code from the mother and the father, which proves that it’s not part of the mother, so it is a person.


The opposing side said “Blood has different DNA from every other cell in your body.” While true, all cells in the body that have a nucleus have the exact same DNA, except gametes of course. Now, even though RBC DNA is a bit different, they’re still your cells. They aren’t so different that it qualifies to be another person’s DNA, they’re just different enough to be a different cell to play another role, which isn’t that much of a change. Also, every single cell, including RBCs, come from the exact same source: the fertilized egg. Not the mother, because she has a completely different code of DNA than the fertilized egg. Which proves my point: the fertilized egg is not part of the mother’s body, which the opposing side claims it is.


The opposing side said “If anything else in the body creates an immunosupprssive effect - such as, I don’t know, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus - that doesn’t mean the virus has protections under natural law.” Here’s the difference though. When the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg unite, it doesn’t create a virus. It creates the fertilized egg, which has a completely different genetic code from the mother and the father. If my opponent’s argument is that the fetus is part of the mother’s body, then genetics disproves that by showing that the fertilized egg has a separate genetic code.


The opposing side goes on to argue about premature births at 24 weeks; but this is completely irrelevant (which I said in round 1). Whether or not it’s a premature birth does not negate the fact that the fetus has a completely different set code of DNA from the mother (or the father).


Inconsistency

The opposing side’s main argument for abortion is that the fetus is totally reliant on it’s mother’s nutrients; therefore it’s not alive. But again, why? Yes, the unborn are completely and utterly dependent on the mother for survival; but all that proves is that the unborn are completely and utterly dependent on the mother for survival. It does not prove that the unborn is not alive. Again, the opposing side’s arguments are very inconsistent. The opposing side claimed repeatedly that the unborn is part of the mother’s body; but likened it to a virus, which isn’t part of the mother’s body—it’s foreign. That’s why the immune system tries to attack it (given that there isn’t some kind of disorder and attacks it’s own cells). And since, especially with the IDO research, the immune system initially tries to attack the unborn once it’s recognized. That proves beyond without a shadow of a doubt that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body. But saying that the fetus is part of the mother’s body but saying it’s a virus at the same time is inconsistent.


Ad hominem

The opposing side said “My opponent mocks people…” First of all, that’s an ad hominem personal attack. Whether or not I am “mocking” somebody has no relevance to whether the unborn is alive or not, which is what I’m trying to argue. The only times when I don’t argue when the unborn is alive is at my rebuttals of the opposing side’s already irrelevant arguments (such as the “safety” of abortion). The definition of an ad hominem is attacking the opponent’s motives or character rather than the position they maintain. The opposing side is attacking my motives by claiming that I mock people. Second of all, I’m not mocking anybody. If it came off that way, I’m sorry; but that wasn’t at all my intentions. Attack my arguments, not me personally, please.


Rebuttals (continued)

The opposing side claimed that some of my arguments are presupposing murder. It’s not an assumption, it’s a scientific fact. Again, once the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg unite, it’s genetic makeup is already complete. It’s hair color, eye color, skin color, sex, height, and everything else has already been determined right at that moment. It’s no more human than a grown adult. The opposing side’s argument is that it’s part of the mother’s body, but genetics disprove that assertion, as explained earlier. Again, the opposing side is being inconsistent in saying that the fertilized egg cell and up is part of the mother’s body, while comparing it to a virus, which is not part of the human body. It doesn’t have human DNA.


The opposing side said “Second, the mother didn’t choose to have a child. AT BEST, the mother chose to have sex.” Okay, but the couple knows full well that they could have a child. Sex always has that possibility; and the couple know it. They know that they could have a child, and they choose to have sex anyway. So they shouldn’t be utterly shocked that the girlfriend is pregnant, and then go to an abortion clinic to have it killed. And besides, this is totally irrelevant to whether the unborn is alive.


The opposing side said “And to live with this creature that constantly reminds them of what was quite possibly a traumatic moment in their lives.” Children should be viewed as a gift, not a burden. How does being a result of rape lessen the value of that person? It doesn’t justify murder.


The opposing side argued in extensive detail about the “safety” of abortion. This whole argument is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter how safe abortion is for the mother (what about the child?). The point is, if it’s murder, abortion shouldn’t be done at all (except in self-defense when the mother’s life is in danger because of the fetus). Self-defense is always justifiable. This argument is both irrelevant and circular reasoning. It assumes that the unborn is not alive (which genetics disprove). The opposing side argued extensively about the Denmark study, but that is completely irrelevant if abortion is murder. I only talked about it in round 1 because the opposing side brought up the already irrelevant claim that it’s “safe”. But the truth is that it doesn’t matter if it’s “safe” if abortion is killing an alive human being. The whole argument is a red herring. Even if they (WCCLG) are wrong in the interpretation of the study, it has no relevance. Genetics still prove that the unborn is living. The zygote that is formed at fertilization is different from all other cells in the mother’s (or father’s) body and it has a completely new and unique set of genes as it grows.


The opposing side stated “…which basically disproves con’s hypothesis as well, that almost all abortions happen out of pure convenience”. It’s not a hypothesis, it’s a statistical fact. Less than one-tenth of one percent of all abortions in the entire world are done because of the mother’s life being in danger. The rest are either: unready for responsibility, can’t afford the baby, too immature or young, rape or incest (which is 1%), will alter couple’s relationship, etc. None of these are valid excuses for murder.


The opposing side said “There is an inherent problem if these create perverse incentives for populations to kill themselves, as we saw in Romania.” Nobody is forcing anyone to commit suicide. If somebody murders themselves (which is what suicide is—self-murder), then that’s their own fault. Honestly, it’s hard to see the logic in the opposing side’s argument. So because people murder themselves, let’s let them murder their children. Um, what? That doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t matter if people commit suicide; the unborn is still living regardless. Since the genetic code of the zygote is completely different from the mother, it isn’t part of the mother’s body. The opposing side also said “…where severe abortion restrictions were directly responsible for the deaths of at least 9000 women, and no noticeable birth rate increase.” No, women committing suicide were directly responsible for the deaths of at least 9000 women. Actually, it’s double that, since the women were pregnant and they actually took other people’s lives—their own children. This is not a justification for abortion where they can just murder their children alone. The opposing side’s argument is entirely circular. While genetics prove that the unborn is alive, the argument that people will commit suicide if it’s illegal is assuming that the unborn is not living.


Ad hominem

The opposing side said “…(or other issues con is apparently unsympathetic towards). I for one have a lot of respect for a women…” I’m just going to skip over the fact that it’s another ad hominem personal attack from my opponent. Saying that I’m unsympathetic is appealing to my character traits, which is not part of the debate. I’m sympathetic towards victims of murder. That’s the reason I want abortion to be illegal in most instances.


Question

The opposing side never answered my question in round 1 that if the fetus is a foreign particle (virus) or part of her body. Whether or not that’s intentional, it doesn’t matter. It remains unanswered.


I look forward to the opposing side’s arguments.


Return To Top | Posted:
2015-05-24 19:56:54
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
Con claimed of his picture "This means that abortion produced a fatality rate of that nearly 3 times that of natural childbirth over the course of ten years after the abortions were done on the mothers." That's so blatantly untrue, I feel moved to simply upload the picture properly for everyone's benefit:



This picture shows a CORRELATION, NOT a CAUSATION. It shows that abortion didn't produce anything - merely that people who had an abortion were nearly three times as likely to die in the next 10 years for reasons other than the abortion itself. This is why you need to not only read the labels on the sensationalist media sites, but also the study itself, which confirmed this in many ways: notably, the fact that, for both birth and abortion, the study did not consider mortality caused by the operation itself. The numbers in this graph are misleading anyway.

The study, and the graph, in no way showed "abortion is more dangerous" as con's article mentions, and the authors of the study back that up. It simply shows that people who choose to have an abortion over giving birth may be slightly more likely to die from other factors. The study's own interpretation of their odds intervals of births vs abortions is somewhat less sensationalist:

As can be seen, at a 95% confidence interval, the difference between the two options over the full 10 years is most probably only 1.097 times higher rate of death for abortions vs births, which is basically equal. At worst the difference is only 1.214 times higher - bearing in mind this is not including the procedure itself, only due to other factors that lead to mortality - and at best, birthing is actually more dangerous than abortion. These figures are adjusted for date of birth and year of first pregnancy. Once again I encourage everyone to check the study as see where my opponent's claims do not match up. The authors present a large number of very strong hypotheses for this slight discrepancy, and none of them are to do with the dangers of abortion.

Despite this dishonesty, I thank my opponent for continuing his case.

Ad hominem
Claiming my opponent has expressed an unsympathetic position on an issue is not an ad hominem attack. An ad hominem attack is where you attack an issue because it's your opponent who's making it. For example, if I were to defend the topic "This House Believes That Edeb8 Rules", an ad hominem attack might be to say "Well, you would say that, because you're the founder of the site!", undermining the credibility of the point prima facie. It's a logical fallacy because my arguments for why edeb8 rules might still be solid, regardless of who I am making them.

Never once in this debate have I attacked my opponent personally. I have merely attacked his arguments. So when I say something like "con is apparently unsympathetic to [insert issue here], however [insert valid rebuttal here]" that doesn't in any way diminish the credibility of the argument except on the basis of the strength of that rebuttal. As an independent point, therefore, the idea that I've been making ad hominem attacks that require no further responses is not valid. I've not attacked my opponent once outside of my opponent's beliefs as expressed in this debate, and merely stating the opposing position is hardly a logical fallacy.

Question
I'm surprised my opponent made a big deal of his question, seeing as I did in fact answer it in the previous round, but probably didn't signpost it as well as I should have. The point I was trying to make was that a child is not a foreign particle - it is part of its mother's body (think fingernails). It can, however, be likened to a virus or parasite with regards to legal or moral issues, which I do to help people understand my points. I tried to make this super clear last round but reading back I can appreciate that I should have made this more apparent.

Why life does not begin at conception
On side affirmative we see a clear distinction between the sort of reliance a foetus has on its mother (completely unable to rely on anybody else, ie totally reliant), and the sorts of reliances we experience post-birth (which we could get from anybody). There are extremely rare instances in life where it is indeed the case that somebody is totally reliant on somebody else for their life, but these cases are not murder. An example might be not administering CPR to somebody who really needs it right now. Simply because you're a random bystander that doesn't know how to do CPR, that doesn't make you a murderer - and even if you do, it's not generally a legal obligation.

Con's claim that genetics determine what cells are yours I totally debunked in the previous round. He presents almost no further material to the point in this round, except as noted below. As such I extend my analysis, particularly on the following points:
  • That human genetics are not necessarily unique to an individual
  • That human genetics are not exactly the same throughout the body
  • That human genetics do not by themselves qualify separate life or personhood
  • That moral and legal rights analysis can be extended even to entities merely on the basis of reliance as is the case with a virus

Con claims they aren't saying DNA is a person. They are saying, however, that it qualifies what makes a person. Con has failed to provide any exhaustive description of the conditions required for personhood in his countermodel. My point is that regardless, DNA is a poor qualifier, and even if it were a qualifier for life (it isn't - life can exist on the basis of RNA, for example) it certainly doesn't qualify legal personhood, and all the legal rights and responsibilities that entails. Throughout his case con has routinely confused the three concepts.

Con agrees that different cells in the body have different DNA profiles. He argues they're "still yours", despite the fact this flies in the face of his claim that DNA differences are the exact qualifier for separate life and personhood. His claim that the change isn't "big enough" is irrelevant - heck, the genetic variations among human beings are only very small. The same problem emerges with the "source" of the cell, which is the other qualifier he mentions here - bodies produce plenty of things that aren't other cells with very similar DNA profiles, unless my opponent wants to claim that flushing excrement down the toilet is an exercise in murder. To further complicate matters, many people don't have a single DNA profile consistently throughout their body at all, a condition known as Chimerism, yet they are still clearly one person, and there the DNA differences can be vastly distinct. DNA is just a poor qualifier on every level.

Con strawmans the point about immunosuppressants. He tries to pretend like his point was about a separation of DNA - the fact is that the presence of immunosuppressants does not always indicate life and it certainly doesn't indicate personhood, as my point demonstrated.

Finally, con agrees that a premature birth is not an example of a foetus surviving outside of the womb - supporting my point.

Why life begins at birth
My opponent's rebuttals to my argument haven't been particularly well signposted or very comprehensive, particularly given the weight of attention I have paid to his material.

Dependance is a qualifier for personhood. I agree that it is not a qualifier for life. That would be the basic biological processes that a foetus cannot do because it is dependant. It's quite simple. For example - living things tend to respire, a basic biological process. A foetus, on the other hand, does not. Those functions aren't merely suspended either, like a person holding their breath - a foetus on its own is literally incapable of life. Only through the process of birthing does a foetus transform into a creature capable of living. This is what proves the unborn are not alive.

Again, simply because something is immunosuppressant doesn't mean it's alive. There are immunosuppressant drugs and (inactive) viral material and countless other things that are not usually considered alive. There's nothing inconsistent about that, either.

Social Issues
Con claims that an unborn foetus is exactly like you or me simply because the genetic makeup for it is complete. Again, I can create a genetic sequence that codes for somebody in a lab or on a computer, but that does not mean they're a real person. DNA doesn't qualify personhood, and it certainly does not qualify life.

Con disagrees that consenting to sex doesn't mean not consenting to have a child. As a social policy, banning sex for non-recreative purposes is impossible to enforce and likely to create perverse incentives to engage in riskier behavior to have sex without being caught. There's inherently no harm to consenting to sex without consenting to having a child, and therefore, it shouldn't be in the purview of the state. Remember that our debate is on whether abortion should be legal. It's entirely possible that the moral question of when "life" begins cannot be exactly resolved, and that is why social policy implications need to be taken into account. Contrary to con's assertion, consent to sex and consent to childbearing are separable, whatever the reasons behind those consents.

Con argues children should be universally thought of as a gift. He offers no evidence or reasons behind that thinking. It's not what happens. Society knows all too well that child abuse and neglect is a reality of this world, and efforts to diminish it and allow people to have kids at the time when we are sure they won't take such actions - by their own voluntary choice - are good for society and particularly our most valuable members, our children. If con really thought children were such a gift, he'd want all of them to grow up in happy loving homes - not with a mother who never even wanted the child in the first place and is living each and every day in eternal, torturous regret.

Con seems to agree that having an abortion procedure is more safe than giving birth when performed correctly. He argues this doesn't matter if it's murder, unless it's self defense, which would be justifiable for some reason (con never explains why that makes it ok). Even if it were murder, which it clearly isn't, the point is that it can be justifiable. It's a similar argument to assisted suicide, which is certainly murder, but it's still understandable why many would support a right to die because of social policy and moral concerns. Similarly the death penalty is state-sponsored murder, but it's understandable in light of the horrible wrongs those people have committed, in terms of social policy and morality. In light of society's broader view of what makes a murder, we on side affirmative are happy to embrace that with respect to abortion. If legalized abortion is a clear mechanism to lower child abuse, and much less expectant mothers needlessly being killed as they try to seek illegal abortions, then that's a very positive thing.

Con's "statistical fact" that abortions do not happen out of convenience is not backed up by any statistical evidence. Prefer my analysis to the contrary. Part of this is that con defines everything that doesn't meet his standard for when an abortion should be done as being out of convenience - rape is just an "inconvenience" to con. Even if it were true, I argue that it's a valid excuse. Having a child is a very emotional issue for any mother. It's not a decision made lightly. Further, many countries require counselling and such to go with the abortion. That further increases the emotional burden and stress these women face. They make the difficult decision to have an abortion because all those other "inconveniences" are worse than the joy of having a child. That is an awful lot of "inconveniences", because having a kid is pretty sweet. Mothers make these difficult decisions in the best interests of themselves, a potential child, and society generally. For the government to apply a blanket rule to all women facing that scenario without due consideration of the individual costs and benefits that would apply in every case is not helpful.

The mothers in Romania didn't willingly die. They were just trying to get an abortion and died accidentally in the process. Once again, it wasn't suicide, it was dodgy backstreet abortion clinics. The fact is you don't stop abortion by making it illegal. You simply drive it underground and kill a whole bunch of people. Nor do you see more births - in fact the evidence is that you still get equally many abortions, because the birth rate didn't change. Even if abortion were murder, think of it this way: would you prefer to see all the foetuses you see now killed, or all the foetuses AND most of their mothers too? If you truly value the sanctity of human life, then it makes no sense under either of our views on abortion to make abortion illegal. The topic isn't "should we go get an abortion", but whether the government should allow abortions or not. We aren't debating whether abortion is morally good or not, or whether it is murder. Simply if it should be legal.

My opponent missed about half of my analysis here. Extend analysis on points such as black markets in a natural law framework, and the fact that complications as part of birthing are not usually known in advance of the birth as would be required under pro's system.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-05-30 23:11:49
| Speak Round
KrazyKrazy (CON)

I thank my opponent for starting round 3. This has been really fun.


Scientific error

First of all, let’s address a scientific error that both me and my opponent made. He said in round 2 "Blood has different DNA from every other cell in your body.” That’s just not true. All cells in your body have the exact same DNA (except gametes; they have half). Red blood cells don’t have DNA because they don’t have a nucleus—the blood DNA comes from the white blood cells. But it’s still the same DNA as any other cell that has a nucleus. At first, I agreed with my opponent that blood has different DNA, but upon further research, it turns out it’s not true. No matter what the cell, it has the exact same DNA. It was my opponent’s wrong for bringing up the claim; and it was my wrong to agree with it. There may be some pseudoscientific articles that claim that some cells have different DNA, but really, it’s a scientific fact that all cells with nuclei have the same DNA (except gametes).


The unborn is not part of the mother’s body

My opponent, since round 1, claimed that the unborn is part of the mother’s body but also compared it to a virus. Ultimately, he said that it’s part of the mother’s body and not a foreign particle—“The point I was trying to make was that a child is not a foreign particle - it is part of its mother’s body (think fingernails).”. He says that it’s not foreign. Well, when the body detects something foreign, it tries to attack it. It just so happens that that’s exactly what the body does to the unborn, proving that the unborn is foreign. This falsifies my opponent’s claim that the unborn is part of the mother’s body. The fact is that the unborn puts up a defense against the mother’s T-cells that are trying to reject it.


Once the mother’s body detects the unborn as present, it automatically tries to reject it and attack it. It tries to kill it because it’s foreign. This is the cause of so many miscarriages too, if the unborn’s defense mechanism fails. It’s only because of a special enzyme the unborn produces that suppresses the mother’s T-cell reaction with indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) that allows the pregnancy to continue in this foreign body. And this enzyme is only produced in pregnancy.


And thus, the unborn is not part of the mother’s body. And thus, abortion is murder. And thus, abortion should be illegal. The resolution is negated. Really, no further argumentation is needed.


Life begins at conception

Once the egg and sperm unite, it becomes a person. This is because everything about your characteristics is determined at this one moment. Your sex, height, skin color, eye color, hair color, and everything else is determined at one instant. It isn’t more human than a grown adult. My opponent says that life begins at birth—“A baby that has been birthed on the other hand, can survive. Birth makes the difference.”. If life begins at birth, then what happens when the baby is half-way through the birth canal? Does this mean they’re half-human? Anybody who believes that life begins at birth are stuck in the very embarrassing position that there are different “levels” of humanity. Somebody could say, “This person is 50% human because he is 50% away from the birth canal. This person is 34.583% human because that’s how far away he is from the birth canal.”. That’s ridiculous. You are either 100% human or you’re 0% human. There is no middle position. The same thing applies to life. The beginning of life needs to be instantaneous to avoid different “levels” of humanity. Birth is not instantaneous; it takes a minute. Conception, however, is instantaneous. That’s why life begins at conception. Also, when the sperm and the egg unite, the genetic structure is complete. The DNA is accounted for and is completely different from the mother’s body. That’s a scientific fact. Science and common sense prove that life begins at conception. The beginning of life needs to be instantaneous because if it weren’t, then we would be stuck in the extremely embarrassing belief that the are different “stages” of humans. Different “levels” of humans. This is absurd and is why life needs to begin instantaneously. My opponent claims life begins at birth, but that takes a minute. It’s not instant. Conception is. Plus, since all of your cells stem from the fertilized egg, that’s when you became into existence. Science (and common sense) prove that life begins at conception.


Reliance/survival

My opponent argues that the unborn is completely reliant on the mother. That’s true. But how does that prove that the unborn is part of the mother’s body? The fact is, it doesn’t. As shown with genetics and IDO, it clearly shows that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body. Yes, the unborn is completely reliant on the mother for survival; but all that proves is that the unborn is completely reliant on the mother for survival. It does not prove that the unborn is part of her body; and it doesn’t prove that the unborn is not alive.


My opponent said that reliance determines life. Infants are reliant on their parents for survival. Does this mean that they aren’t alive? Of course not. My opponent said in round 2 that it’s a different form of reliance. But they’re still “reliant” aren’t they? Yes, they are. Infants are completely reliant on their parents for survival. If anybody disagrees, then throw an infant onto the street and see how long they survive. Now, does this mean that infants aren’t alive? No, of course not. The same applies to 4 year olds or the unborn. The argument of reliance is a complete red herring. Again, the mother’s immune system initially attacks the unborn BECAUSE IT IS FOREIGN. My opponent keeps on arguing that the unborn is part of her body. If that were true, then her body wouldn’t recognize it as foreign.


Human being, person, life

My opponent said that I’m confusing the 3 concepts—human being, person, and life. But really, they’re all synonymous. It’s pro who’s confusing them. A human being is a person—same thing. And the moment when a human being comes into existence, that’s when life begins. They are all synonymous. Twisting the definitions to support an argument doesn’t really change the definitions.


Supposed straw man

The opposing side stated "Con straw mans the point about immunosuppressants." I didn't misrepresent pro's argument. Please quote me where I did that. The fact is, the mother's body detects the unborn as foreign and so it attacks it. Then the unborn releases indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase to suppress the mother's T-cells from killing it. This proves that the unborn is not part of the mother's body--it's foreign. And since my opponent's side of the debate revolves on the belief that the unborn is part of her body, this science takes that argument down.


Chimerism

My opponent brought up the existence of Chimerism, a condition in which somebody has more than one genome. First of all, it’s worth noting that this condition is extremely rare. Second of all, it ultimately doesn’t matter if the unborn has more than one genome in respect to this debate. Here’s why. First, the DNA is still different from the mother’s DNA, and is thus not part of the mother’s body (which attacks the unborn initially; that’s also why the unborn is foreign, as explained earlier with the IDO). So it would still be a murder to commit an abortion. Second, a chimera is the product from two zygotes. Chimeras always result from two fertilized egg cells that fused together at an embryonic stage. This does not prove that the unborn is not alive. It’s irrelevant.


Premature birth

My opponent said “Finally, con agrees that a premature birth is not an example of a foetus surviving outside of the womb - supporting my point.” Pro used a straw man. The only thing I said relating to premature births in round 2 was this:


“The opposing side goes on to argue about premature births at 24 weeks; but this is completely irrelevant (which I said in round 1). Whether or not it’s a premature birth does not negate the fact that the fetus has a completely different set code of DNA from the mother (or the father).”


I said that it was irrelevant (which I said in rounds 1 and 2). Genetics and IDO still prove that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body and is alive.


Social issues

All of the social issues that my opponent argues about are entirely based on circular reasoning. Genetics and IDO have proven that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body and, thus, abortion is murder and thus, should be illegal in most instances. He claims that it’s safe; but if it’s murder, then it should be illegal regardless if it’s “safe”. He said that some couples didn’t want a child, but how this proves that the unborn is part of her body I’m not sure. He said that children are not gifts, but how does this prove that the unborn is part of the mother’s body? I’m not entirely certain. He presupposes that it’s not murder for the majority of his arguments.


Safety

For reasons unknown, my opponent keeps arguing for the safety of abortion. If abortion is killing a person, then abortion should be illegal. He claims that it’s safe for the mother. Question: How safe is it for the unborn? Obviously, not very much. Abortion could be the most safest procedure in the entire world. But if it’s the murder of a person, then it should be illegal. Again, answer this question: How safe is it for the unborn? This question shows that my opponent’s safety argument is based on circular reasoning. If the belief of life beginning at birth is taken right off the bat as a given, then the argument of safety would seem like a reasonable argument to use. But since the debate is about when life begins, this argument is irrelevant and begging the question.


The opposing side stated “Con seems to agree having an abortion procedure is more safe than giving birth when performed correctly.” That’s a straw man. Please quote me where I said that. I never agreed, but said that it doesn’t matter because it’s STILL murder. IDO and genetics STILL prove that the unborn is not part of the mothers body and is alive.


The opposing side stated “…unless it’s self defense, which would be justifiable for some reason (con never explains why that makes it ok).” Self-defense is always a valid justification for killing because it’s either your life—or theirs. If somebody tried to kill you, you need to try to kill them first. You want to preserve your life. This is why self-defense is always justifiable—you can kill them because if you don’t, they’re going to kill you. Unless somebody is a die-hard pacifist, everybody would agree. And besides, if the mother dies, the fetus dies with her. So when the mother’s life is in danger because of the fetus, we want to do the most good and save at least one life instead of zero.


The opposing side stated “Even if it were murder, which it clearly isn’t, the point is that it can be justifiable.” First of all, genetics and IDO have proven that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body, so it is murder. Second of all, murder is never justifiable. Sometimes, killing is; but not murder. There’s a difference. Killing is simply the taking of a life. Murder is the unjust taking of a life without justification or valid excuse (see round 1 definitions). He says that it “clearly isn’t” murder; but doesn’t have any evidence to support this arbitrary claim. The mother’s body detects the unborn as foreign; that proves that it’s not part of her body. And also since the genetic composition of the unborn is completely different from the mother, that also proves that it isn’t part of her body and is alive.


DNA

The opposing side said “Again, I can create a genetic sequence that codes for somebody in a lab or on a computer, but that does not mean they’re a real person.” Pro’s right, it doesn’t. Typing in A’s, G’s, C’s, and T’s in a computer into binary code is not the same thing as the real acid forming at the moment of conception. But since the zygote formed at fertilization has a complete new set of DNA and is different from the mother and the father, it isn’t part of the mother’s body and is it’s own person and is alive. So abortion is murder, and should be illegal.


Consenting to have sex verses child

My opponent argues that some couples don’t want a child. Okay, but how does this prove that the unborn is part of the mother’s body? I’m not sure. It’s a complete red herring. It’s a tangent off the real topic—if abortion should be legal. And since the unborn is not part of the mother’s body and is alive, as shown by genetics and IDO, abortion is murder. And thus, abortion should be illegal in most instances.


Children as gifts or burdens

My opponent says that children are not gifts. Really, this has no relevance. How this proves that the unborn is part of her body, I’m not entirely sure. I mentioned it as a side note in one sentence in round 2; but then my opponent took it and extended it into a whole paragraph. The entire thing is irrelevant. This does not prove that the unborn is part of the mother’s body.


Statistic

The opposing side stated “Con’s ‘statistical fact’ that abortions do not happen out of convenience is not backed up by any statistical evidence”. The opposing side gave a straw man argument. I did not claim to give a statistic that “abortions do not happen out of convenience”. I gave a statistic concerning how many mothers get abortions because of their life being in critical danger. That is less than one tenth of one percent, possibly the least common reason to get an abortion in the world today. The rest are: financially unable, too immature or young, child will alter the couple’s relationship, rape or incest (which is 1%), not ready to have a child, wasn’t planned, etc. None of these are justifications for murder. Again, genetics and IDO prove that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body and is alive.


People might do abortions anyway if it’s illegal

The opposing side stated “The fact is you don’t stop abortion by making it illegal.” Well you can’t stop rape completely by making it illegal either, so should we legalize that too? This principle that the opposing side brings up applies to any crime—not just abortion. People murder, steal, rape, and pillage despite them being illegal; but that doesn’t mean that they should be legal. The fact that there are crimes is not an excuse for lawlessness. He said that the mothers in Romania didn’t commit suicide, but accidentally killed themselves trying to get an abortion. How does this prove that the unborn is part of the mother’s body? It doesn’t. It’s completely irrelevant. IDO and genetics still proves that the unborn is alive and is it’s own body regardless if people accidentally kill themselves or not. The science is still there.


The opposing side said “…would you prefer to see all the foetuses you see now killed, or all the foetuses AND most of their mothers too?” The mothers were committing attempted murder. This means that they deserve jail time or the death penalty. It does not mean that abortion should be legal. Somebody trying to murder the most defenseless human being does not deserve anybody’s sympathy. Attempted murder deserves the death penalty anyway. And the mothers died committing attempted murder. Justice was served. So abortion should be illegal. If people die trying to murder somebody else, that’s their own fault. They brought this on themselves. If somebody tries to attempt murder, they deserve to die. Which is another reason abortion should be illegal.


The opposing side stated “We aren’t debating whether abortion is morally good or not, or whether it is murder. Simply if it should be legal.” Murder should be illegal. Bottom line.


Extra

My opponent said “My opponent missed about half of my analysis here. Extend analysis on points such as black markets in a natural law framework, and the fact that complications as part of birthing are not usually known is advance of the birth as would be required under pro’s system.” First of all, I did address the fact that people might do abortions any if it was illegal (black markets), Second of all, the argument of black markets and birth complications is irrelevant. I have still proven that the unborn is alive and is it’s own body. So abortion is murder. And thus, should be illegal in most instances.


Summary

My opponent’s arguments are completely centered on the idea that the unborn is part of the mother’s body. When the body detects something foreign (not part of it’s body), it tries to reject it. Well, that’s precisely what the body does to the unborn. The mother releases killer T-cells sent to eliminate the unborn. The unborn, in response, releases indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase to suppress the mother’s T-cell reaction from killing him/her. And this enzyme is only released during pregnancy. This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body and is, in fact, it’s own body. My opponent says that life begins at birth. So what happens when the baby is half-way through the birth canal; does that mean it’s half-human? Is it 78.362% human when it’s that far away from the birth canal? That’s absurd. Life is determined when the cell comes into being that all of your cells originate. That, would be the fertilized egg cell. All of your characteristics are determined at that one moment. Your sex, height, hair color, fingerprints, eye color, and skin color; everything is determined at that one instantaneous moment. Genetics, along with indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase, prove that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body, is it’s own body, and is alive. It’s no more or less human than a grown adult. So abortion is the murder of a person. So it should be illegal.



I look forward to my opponent’s responses.


Return To Top | Posted:
2015-05-31 22:08:24
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
I thank my opponent for continuing his case and apologize for delays on my end.

"Scientific Error"
Not only is my opponent openly acknowledging a contradiction in his own case, since he has now changed his argument around completely - he has affirmed an alternative position without any evidence whatsoever. He has simply asserted throughout the debate that DNA is uniform throughout the human body, while I have provided a reputable scientific source proving this is not the case. Nor has he provided any clear reasoning for why we should accept his assertion as true.

Pro confuses his own stance plenty however. In his later section entitled Chimerism, he has no problem accepting the fact that a single person can have multiple DNA profiles, while in this section he argues the profile is always entirely unique. There his claim becomes that this is irrelevant to the debate. I'm fine with accepting the fact that the "individuality" of a DNA profile of a person doesn't define that person's life as separate from everybody else (especially since this isn't even my argument, I think life begins at birth - con literally called his own argument "irrelevant"), except that I also have a burden of rejoinder because pro elsewhere insists that it is PRECISELY the individuality of this profile (in the section on the Beginning of Life - see also additional rebuttals on this part below) that makes a human life.

In short, in this round, pro has been consistent only in his inconsistency, taking me on a merry-go-round of different viewpoints regarding exactly what standard is sufficient to define life.

It must be foreign because it is being attacked
Unfortunately for con, reiterating points from round 1 and 2 is not the same as extending them. Let's clear up some basic scientific errors. First of all, it isn't the unborn that puts up the defence. The mother's DNA literally changes. A woman's body literally transforms when she's having a baby to suppress her own immune system without any intervention from the fetus at all. This is the case whether the woman has an abortion or not. There may be a few other mechanisms in the placenta that have been studied, but none concern IDO secretions by the fetus, because those are con's fantasy, not observed reality.

Once again to make this absolutely clear - the unborn does not release any IDO into the mother's system.

As I said in the second round, in rebuttal, the human body protects itself against other parts of the human body all the time. There's nothing unusual about this at all. I gave the example of the digestive system. Since con is big on T-cells, I'm sure he's aware of one of the biggest classes of T-cells, the Regulatory T-cells, which exist specifically for the same reason - to protect the human body from itself. This is normal and doesn't imply that everything "protected" is a unique entity, much less a human being.

The mother's body (more specifically a part of the placenta called the trophoblast) does produce a moderate amount of IDO, but only in early pregnancy does the mother's IDO actually have an immunosuppressive effect. Pro's hypothesis is thus inadequate, flawed, and even contradictory to his own source, because contrary to what he expressed, being "produced on the embryo side of the placenta" is not equivalent to being "produced by the embryo itself". Con stated IDO is only produced during pregnancy. This is false. It is typically produced by white blood cells and by any other cell that wants to regulate the immune system somehow in the human body (source).

All this being said, even if an unborn entity WAS foreign, that still doesn't help con's case, because foreign matter doesn't inherently have natural rights. The production of IDO caused by many viruses and cancer, for example, does not mean they should be treated as humans. Considering that con based his ENTIRE round on this basic scientific assumption, it's pretty shoddy to get it so wrong.

Beginning of life
Con now argues that the beginning of life must happen in an instant to avoid different levels of humanity. Three responses.
1. I just don't see why that would even be problematic if somebody wanted to interpret it that way. Con calls it absurd several times and I'm not entirely sure why.
2. This is easily solved for by saying that in the instant one is fully born, they are 100% human. Before that, they are not yet human. Much like conception is marked by the completion of a process, so too can birth be seen in the same way.
3. Just because conception is instant and life must begin instantly somehow, it does not logically follow that life must begin at conception.

For arguments against DNA being a good standard for when life begins, see my awesome rounds above.

Reliance
As I've pointed out in previous rounds, an infant is not reliant on their parents. I told everybody they could confirm this by asking any given orphan. It appears con has not done so. Nor has he engaged with any of my additional rebuttal on this matter.

Numerous children have apparently survived alone in the wild. Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, for instance. But it is irrelevant - being reliant on human society for a few things is very different from being reliant on one particular person for everything. Exactly like any other part of your body is reliant on the rest of "you", so too is it with a fetus. If the relationship holds true for everything else, then the onus is on con to show why a fetus would be the exception to the rule, and con has not done so.

Human vs person vs life
A person is a conscious individual identity.
A human is a description of a type of animal.
A life is a broad description for biological behavior.

I don't really want to get into a semantics battle but think of it this way. Me and you are different persons. Me and you are both human. If human and person meant the same thing, then we couldn't possibly both be the same (human) and different (person) in that respect. The meanings are different and con is confusing them. Likewise, a human might not have life. Generally I like to call such people "dead". This isn't me twisting the definitions somehow, this is what the words are commonly understood to mean. Even the fact that there ARE three separate words as opposed to just one should prima facie imply the possibility that the three are not interchangeable.

Social Issues
Ironically, con claims all my points are based on circular reasoning, but rather than showing why that would be the case he proceeds to produce an entirely different set of rebuttals that are themselves all examples of circular reasoning.

If you take as a premise that the unborn is alive (be that proven by genetics or otherwise), then you will reach the same conclusion. Inserting that premise into the argument does indeed make the argument circular, but it is con who is making that insertion, not myself. And this circular argumentation, unlike my arguments, is indeed invalid. I gave several reasons why in the previous round that con kindly ignored, notably the fact that a social moral concern can outweigh an individual one, and that the moral issue of when life begins is not guaranteed a resolution. These are separate arguments. They stand on their own and are not supposed to prove when life begins.

Moral Imperative
This is important -even if abortion were murder, they remain true, because the resolution is not "Abortion is not murder". I could (but don't) concede that abortion is murder and still win the debate on social impacts alone because, as I demonstrated last round, "murder" doesn't trump each and every social impact, such as war or the death penalty. As such I strongly disagree that abortion should be illegal even if it did kill a real person.

It's like I said before with the bystander analogy - a human being is not legally obligated to help another person under normal circumstances even if that would save a life. By removing a fetus from the womb, a mother is simply refusing to render aid to the fetus.

Con does accept self-defence as a valid imperative simply because, and I quote, "You want to preserve your life... we want to do the most good and save at least one life instead of zero." Two excuses have two problems:
1. Many people have many wants. Con is not the divine arbiter of which wants are morally valid and which are not.
2. I've already proven logically how even what con calls "convenience" abortions maximize human life.

Role of the State
While we're on the note of issues con has never properly engaged with, con has continuously dropped the notion that the state should have no right to regulate abortion. Somehow I figured name-dropping Roe v Wade's privacy defence in round one would get him fired up. I was wrong, but I'd still like him to engage at this later stage in the debate.

States should abstain from regulating private health matters and choices that pertain only to the individual in a blanket fashion, without any due consideration or process for the individual costs and benefits of pursuing the matter for that person. It's only sensible to restrict government in this way for the prevention of tyranny.

Safety
Even if abortion is not safe for the fetus, both my opponent and I figure the mother's life is more important to protect. Her right, therefore, to choose a less risky procedure to use in terminating the pregnancy must therefore be held inviolable.

My point about safety, however, mostly concerned the safety of those who are forced to endure unsafe abortions because the government was foolish enough to make abortion illegal. If you've read this argument so far, then statistically, 6 women will have died in this time in that way if you're an average reader. It could be so much worse under con's model. These deaths are meaningless and terrible and painful. Thousands of healthy adult women should not be dying because they need an abortion.

Con argues this applies to any crime. Not true. With most crimes, the whole point of making something illegal is to disincentivise it. Experience has shown time and time again that you do not in any way disincentivise abortion by making it illegal. People still do abortion just as much. It also makes logical sense, because pregnant women have nothing to fear: the decision of whether to have kids or not is a far more weighty and important decision to just about anybody than the decision of whether to go to prison or not. Many women would rather die than have a child at their particular age and stage, and honestly, that's perfectly legitimate. That only shows what great selfless courage and concern they have for their potential offspring, wanting them to be raised in a good, loving environment. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Kids as gifts + consent
Con wants to drop these points. Alright, sure. Especially given that they were both con's arguments.

Statistic
Con will no doubt be excited to note that merely restating his point does not constitute statistical evidence or analysis. He pulled this statistic out of thin air. Also, I distinctly remember making an "even if" point around here that wasn't responded to, since pro has defined "convenience" impossibly broadly.

Deserved penalties
Con appears to have a fascination with sentencing attempted murderers to death, something of an eye for an eye philosophy even if you didn't succeed in taking the eye. Claiming justice was served is a naive and dangerous view, particularly when con doesn't feel like defending it with any actual arguments.

How was justice served for the thousands of orphans who lost their mothers?
How was justice served for all the parents who lost their children?
How was justice served for all the husbands who lost their wives?
Above all, justice wasn't even served for the women.

I'm not a fan of the death penalty - especially with no fair trial for the accused! - but I will say that the minimization of deaths is beneficial for any society. A society where we look for reasons to kill each other, as opposed to reasons to support and forgive each other, is not the kind of society that I and, I dare say, most people would want to live in. Con has himself identified that abortion can be forgivable - even if the circumstance he describes is basically impossible because, as I keep laboring, you don't usually know about birth complications ahead of time. And I'd much rather we learn how to best forgive, then let being raped as a child become a virtual death sentence for women, or any of the other "inconveniences" pro mentioned.

The simple fact is that when you make abortion illegal, you don't save lives. Not those of fetuses nor anyone else. You simply kill more people. A lot more people at that.

Given that con's whole case is centered on the value of the preservation of life, it's contradictory to now be saying that he's happy to throw away life in the meaningless name of "justice". If life is so special and sacred, shouldn't it be treasured and maximized so it can be best enjoyed by all? I'm not just standing up for women in this debate. I'm standing up for all of society. True justice means providing the right incentives to minimize harm. Even if abortion was murder, two wrongs don't make a right, and supplementing those murders with even more won't fix society. As such, unless anti-abortion laws were actually deterrents, they will never be just.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-06-07 11:43:51
| Speak Round
KrazyKrazy (CON)

I thank my opponent for starting round 4.


Scientific error

The opposing side stated, “He has simply asserted throughout the debate that DNA is uniform throughout the human body, while I have provided a reputable scientific source providing this is not the case.” About that source, here’s what it actually says:


“AAA is one of the rare vascular diseases where tissue samples are removed as part of patient therapy. When they compared them, the researchers discovered major differences between BAK genes in blood cells and tissue cells coming from the same individuals, with the suspected disease "trigger" residing only in the tissue. Moreover, the same differences were later evident in samples derived from healthy individuals.”


Notice that it’s not too clear that the genes were different, or that the gene expression was different. Different genes are active in different kinds of cells. The article doesn’t explicitly make it clear if the study meant that the genes were different or gene expression was different. When they say “…major differences between BAK genes…” they could mean or imply expression. The DNA is the same, but gene expression is different in each cell. That, is a scientific fact backed by decades of genetic research. For example, Judith Miller, M.S., says:


“All the cells in a person's body have the same DNA and the same genes. However, the difference between cells in different tissues and organs is that the "expression" of the genes differs between cells. Expression means that the message from the DNA is being copied and made into protein. For example, liver cells have different proteins than skin cells, even though their DNA is the same.”


Source: https://www.genome.gov/DNADay/q.cfm?aid=153&year=2009


But even IF the DNA was different in each cell, they all come from the same cell - the fertilized egg. This means that all of the cells are still yours - because of how they all originated. All of the cells that each person has ultimately come from the fertilized egg cell. This still proves that that was your beginning. The beginning of each person is when all of their cells originate. Now, what could be the one originating cell? That, would be the fertilized egg cell. That cell is special because that is where ultimately every single other cell of the human body originates. So that is when each person begins their existence - or life. Each person’s existence begins from the one cell in which all of their cells originate. And since that is the fertilized egg cell, that is where life begins.


So the opposing side argues that blood has different DNA. First, that’s false. Second, it ultimately wouldn’t matter IF it did. Where did the blood come from, or any other cell for that matter? Ultimately, that is the fertilized egg, so that is when human existence begins, and therefore life. Which is what I’ve been saying all along.


The opposing side stated, “Pro confuses his own stance plenty however.” Well, given that HE IS PRO, I would agree. However, I’m pretty sure he meant to say “con”. Nevertheless, I’m not confusing my position. He brought up the existence of chimerism in the previous round - but that is completely irrelevant. Chimerism doesn’t support pro’s position. Chimerism is a disorder in which two fertilized eggs fused together at an embryonic stage. Both DNA profiles are unique - but BOTH of them are still different from the mother. It doesn’t matter if a chimera has two entirely different genomes. The chimera could have a thousand different genomes. But all of them are still different from the mother’s genome, which makes it not part of her body. And the beginning of human existence starts at the fertilized egg, since that is where all of your cells originate.


The opposing side stated, “In short, in this round, pro has been consistent only in his inconsistency…” Again, I hope he isn’t trying to argue against himself. But I’m 99% certain that he meant to say “con”. It’s not inconsistency. Since round 1, I have shown that genetics and IDO prove that the unborn is alive and is it’s own body; and there hasn’t been a rational rebuttal to it since.


The beginning of life/The unborn is not part of the mother’s body

The opposing side stated that the unborn doesn’t produce IDO. Yes it does. That’s what the source states. It says, “Just as the embryo produces IDO to protect itself from the mother’s immune system…”. It also says “…found that the mammalian embryo (they worked with mice) produces a special enzyme…”. So the embryo does produce it. Technically speaking, it’s the embryo’s side of the placenta but it’s synonymous. Arguing a technicality such as this is like me saying that I picked up a book, and then somebody says “You didn’t pick up that book, your hand did.” Um, okay, that IS true. And likewise; yes, the embryo’s side of the placenta produces it. The embryo’s side of the placenta produces IDO. It’s on the embryo’s side and that’s the point. And it produces IDO that prevents the mother’s immune system from killing the unborn. That still proves that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body, as I have said before. Really, the debate was already settled since round 1. The unborn IS foreign. So it is murder to kill the unborn child. So it should be illegal.


Source: https://answersingenesis.org/sanctity-of-life/abortion/abortion-argument-unravels/


The opposing side stated, “…foreign matter doesn’t inherently have natural rights.” If the unborn is not part of the mother’s body, then who’s body is it? It’s the child’s. After all, that IS the definition of pregnancy, a child developing in the uterus (see round 1 definitions). A lot of people say that the mother should have rights to her body; but the thing is, it isn’t part of her body. It’s called pregnancy. The definition of pregnancy is a child developing in the uterus. So if the unborn isn’t part of the mother’s body, who’s body is it a part of? It’s the unborn’s body.


The opposing side stated, “…Since con is big on T-cells, I’m sure he’s aware of one of the biggest classes of T-cells, the Regulatory T-cells, which exist specifically for the same reason - to protect the human body from itself.” This isn’t really a rebuttal. It’s more like a description. Naming off different kinds of T-cells and their functions is not an argument. The fact still stands that the unborn produces IDO, which prevents the mother’s immune system from killing it. And the phrase, “…to protect the human body from itself.” is essentially false. The immune system, unless there is some freak disorder, protects the body - not attack it. The mother’s immune system tries to attack/reject the unborn because it is foreign. This principle is also why some organ transplants fail, it’s because the body doesn’t recognize it as it’s own. It’s only when the immune system is weakened with immunosuppresents that will allow the transplant to take place. The same thing happens with every normal pregnancy. As with a foreign organ, once fertilization happens, a foreign embryo appears and the immune system tries to attack and reject it until it is weakened with IDO.


The opposing side stated, “The production of IDO caused by many viruses and cancer, for example, does not mean they should be treated as humans.” This argument is irrelevant. First of all, what does this have to do with the fertilized egg? It’s a false analogy. Second of all, viruses are not alive. Also, they did not come from the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg. Third of all, even though normal human cells can turn cancerous, they all still came from the same fertilized egg - the cell where all of the cells originate. Since all of the cells originate here, this is where human existence comes into being. This is common sense. This is also where the person’s genetic makeup is complete, so it’s entirely separate from the mother, as said before. This also proves that it’s separate from the mother’s body.


My opponent essentially did not answer my question directly. If life begins at birth, what happens if the child is half-way through the birth canal? Does that mean it’s half-human? Different stages of humanity is an embarrassing position to take. All humans are created equal in value and worth. So there is no middle position of humanity. My opponent said that once the baby respires, life begins. Then what happens when it takes a mini-breath, but not a complete one? Ultimately, it doesn’t make any sense. Conception is essentially instantaneous, so we can believe that all humans are created equal.


Reliance

My opponent argues that the unborn are reliant, so therefore (so the argument goes) they aren’t alive. But he has not responded to my rebuttal since round 1 of this debate: Yes, the unborn are reliant on their mothers, but all that proves that the unborn are reliant on their mothers. It does not prove that the unborn is not alive. Where is the connection? I have said this since round 1, and I will keep saying it until a rebuttal is offered. It has not been answered nor explained why this makes them non-alive. It has not been answered why reliance determines life. Other people are reliant on other people all the time, this proves nothing. The opposing side claims that this is another form of reliance, but they’re still “reliant”, aren’t they? Of course they are. Does this mean they’re dead? No.


My opponent stated “…an infant is not reliant on their parents.” Not always, but pro said that reliance determines life. Since infants have to be reliant on somebody (not their parents necessarily) to survive, they must be dead. This is absurd. My opponent keeps claiming that it’s a different type of reliance, but the fact of the matter is they are still “reliant”. Just because they’re “more’ reliant proves nothing. The unborn are more reliant than infants, but how does this prove that they’re not alive? It doesn’t. Infants are more reliant than adults. Does this mean that infants are not alive? Of course not. And the unborn are more reliant than infants. Just because they are “more” reliant than some other age group, that does not prove anything.


My opponent stated “If the relationship holds true for everything else, then the onus is on con to show why a fetus would be the exception to the rule, and con has not done so.” That’s a bit of a double standard. Pro has the onus of proving why reliance determines life only for fetuses and not everything else (like infants or the elderly). Why is it that when the elderly and infants are reliant, they’re alive; however, when the unborn are reliant, they’re not alive? That’s inconsistent and contradictory. I have simply shown that reliance does not determine life.


Human vs person vs life

My opponent stated “I don’t really want to get into a semantics battle…” I do.


Person: (1) A human being regarded as an individual.

Human: (1) Of, relating to, or characteristic of people or human beings.

Life: (3) The period between birth and death of a living thing, esp. a human being.

Birth: (2) The beginning or coming into existence of something.


Note: All definitions were courtesy of New Oxford American Dictionary


My opponent stated that a person is a “conscious individual identity”. So when somebody is in a coma (unconscious), they aren’t a person? That doesn’t make any sense. A dog has a “conscious individual identity”. They’re aware of their surroundings. That doesn’t mean that dogs are people. My opponent stated that a human is a “description of a type of animal”. That’s false. Humans are not animals. A major differentiating factor that sets humans from animals is that we have a moral consciousness; animals do not. My opponent stated that life is a “broad description for biological behavior”. That depends on the definition of “alive”. Trees are “alive”, but they aren’t “alive” in the sense that you and I are.


My opponent stated “Me and you are different persons” Yes, but we are both people. And we are both human. They are the same thing. Yes, we are different people; but we are also different humans. So it’s suffice to say that we are both people and both human.


Social issues

My opponent stated “Ironically, con claims all my points are based on circular reasoning, but rather than showing why that would be the case he proceeds to produce an entirely different set of rebuttals that are themselves all examples of circular reasoning.” My rebuttals weren’t centered on circular reasoning. Since round 1, I have already shown that genetics and IDO have proven that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body and is alive. So it isn't circular reasoning. And therefore it is murder and thus should be illegal. But my opponent’s argument of reliance means nothing. Reliance does not prove anything except that they are reliant. Nothing more, nothing less.


Moral imperative

Pro stated “As such I strongly disagree that abortion should be illegal even if it did kill a real person.” That is moral absurdity. Murder should be illegal. End of story. Period.


Pro stated “…a human being is not legal obligated to help another person under normal circumstances…” Yes but you ARE obligated not to kill them. The point is, genetics and IDO still prove that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body and is alive.


Pro stated “Many people have many wants. Con is not the divine arbiter of which wants are morally valid and which are not.” If I’m not the divine arbiter, neither is pro. I never claimed to be the divine arbiter; but I’m just saying, if I’m not the divine arbiter, neither is he. The divine arbiter is God. The point is, yes, many people have many wants; but not all of those wants are right. If I’m not the divine arbiter in saying that abortion is wrong, then pro is not the divine arbiter either in saying that abortion is right. That is a two-sided street.


Pro stated “I’ve already proven logically how even what con calls “convenience” abortions maximize human life”. Murdering people does not maximize human life. It doesn’t matter if the murdering is convenient also.


Role of the state

Pro stated “…but I’d still like him to engage at this later stage in the debate.” I thought that if abortion is murder, then the role of the state doesn’t need to be argued. But for pro’s satisfaction, I’ll rebut it anyway.


Okay here’s the thing, abortion has already proven to be killing a person. The Roe v Wade decision on privacy is entirely based on circular reasoning. They say that abortion is a private matter. Well, if it’s murder, then it’s not the parent’s “private matter”. It’s child sacrifice, not a private matter.


Pro stated “States should abstain from regulating private health matters and choices that pertain only to the individual in a blanket fashion, without any due consideration or process for the individual costs and benefits of pursuing the matter for that person.” Which “person” does pro mean? The parent’s, or the unborn? Again, I have already shown that abortion is murder since round 1. It’s not a private matter if it’s murder.


Statistic

Pro stated “He pulled this statistic out of thin air.” Here’s the source: http://www.gotquestions.org/abortion-Bible.html


It states:


“The second argument that usually arises against the Christian stance on abortion is “What about when the life of the mother is at risk?” Honestly, this is the most difficult question to answer on the issue of abortion. First, let’s remember that this situation is the reason behind less than one-tenth of one percent of the abortions done in the world today. Far more women have an abortion for convenience than women who have an abortion to save their own lives…Over 95 percent of the abortions performed today involve women who simply do not want to have a baby. Less than 5 percent of abortions are for the reasons of rape, incest, or the mother's health at risk. Even in the more difficult 5 percent of instances, abortion should never be the first option.”


Here is another source, giving a comprehensive list of all the reasons why women have abortions: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3711005.pdf


Here is the list:


Having a baby would dramatically change my life (74%)

Would interfere with education (38%)

Would interfere with job/employment/career (38%)

Have other children or dependents (32%)

Can’t afford a baby now (73%)

Unmarried (42%)

Student or planning to study (34%)

Can’t afford a baby and child care (28%)

Can’t afford the basic needs of life (23%)

Unemployed (22%)

Can’t leave job to take care of a baby (21%)

Would have to find a new place to live (19%)

Not enough support from husband or partner (14%)

Husband or partner is unemployed (12%)

Currently or temporarily on welfare or public assistance (8%)

Don’t want to be a single mother or having relationship problems (48%)

Not sure about relationship (19%)

Partner and I can’t or don’t want to get married (12%)

Not in a relationship right now (11%)

Relationship or marriage may break up soon (11%)

Husband or partner is abusive to me or my children (2%)

Have completed my childbearing (38%)

Not ready for a(nother) child (32%)

Don’t want people to know I had sex or got pregnant (25%)

Don’t feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child (22%)

Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion (14%)

Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus (13%)

Physical problem with my health (12%)

Parents want me to have an abortion (6%)

Was a victim of rape (1%)

Became pregnant as a result of incest (<0.5%)


There is the reason of “Physical problem with my health” but that is not the same thing as “Life being in critical danger”. Those are two completely different realities. So where is the statistic of abortions happening because the mother’s life is in danger? They have over 30 reasons, where is “life being in critical danger”? Well the fact of the matter is, that reason is so small, that it’s not even recognizable in the study. The reason of rape or incest, according to this study, is the least common reason - at about 1%. Reasonably speaking, the reason of life being in danger is even lower than rape or incest. So it’s not even recognizable. If it were, they would have listed it.


Safety

Pro stated “Even if abortion is not safe for the fetus, both my opponent and I figure the mother’s life is more important to protect.” Yes, if her life is in danger, which is responsible for less than one tenth of one percent of all abortions done in the entire world today. The rest, are murder. Pro said “Even if abortion is not safe for the fetus…” What does he mean “even if”? Abortion is obviously not safe for the fetus. The definition of abortion is killing the unborn. Abortion kills the fetus, of course it’s not safe for the unborn.


Pro stated “My point about safety, however, mostly concerned the safety of those who are forced to endure unsafe abortions because the government was foolish enough to make abortion illegal.” Nobody is “forced” to have an abortion. They have the choice to buckle up, take responsibility, and take care of the child. If they do a back-alley abortion, that’s their own choice. Usually, pro-choicers are obsessed with the word “choice”. Well, this right here is ALL ABOUT choice. Personal responsibility - that’s what it’s called. They need to take personal accountability for what they’ve done (have sex) and deal with the consequences (have child). If people accidentally kill themselves trying to murder somebody, that’s THEIR FAULT. If they die trying to murder the innocent, they deserve it. Nobody should try to murder the innocent. Just because people kill themselves accidentally, that doesn’t mean the government should make murder legal. What is the logical connection in that? It doesn’t make any sense.


Pro stated “These deaths are meaningless and terrible and painful.” Again, the murderers chose to do a back-alley abortion. If they die trying to murder somebody, that’s their own fault and they deserve it. Murder of innocent children is what’s “terrible”.


Pro stated “Experience has shown time and time again that you do not in any way disincentivise abortion by making it illegal.” Again, as said before, if murderers die trying to murder the innocent, that’s their own fault and they deserve it. Murderers of innocent children deserve to die. Pro said “People still do abortion just as much.” Here’s the difference though, justice was served when it was illegal, as I will explain later under “deserved penalties”.


Pro stated “Many women would rather die than have a child at their particular age and stage…” Well then they should have thought about this a little bit more before engaging in the act that gives them a child. It only takes once. If they “rather die” than take care of their own children, then maybe they should’ve thought about this a little bit harder before having sex.


Deserved penalties

Pro asks how justice was served three times. For each time, there is the same answer. Justice was served by indirectly eliminating murderers from society. If people murder innocent children, they already have a depraved mind. If their minds are so debased that they ruthlessly and heartlessly murder innocent little children - the most helpless human beings, then that means that it wouldn’t phase them in murdering adults as well. Because murdering innocent children is worse than murdering adults.


When abortion is illegal, murderers accidentally kill themselves, as pro admitted. That is a good thing. Consider these two scenarios:

1) Abortion is legal: Only the innocent are killed - the unborn children.

2) Abortion is illegal: The innocent are killed AND the murderers. That is a benefit. We can do without murderers in society. The less the murderers, the better.


Pro stated “…but I will say that the minimization of deaths is beneficial for any society.” It depends on “who’s” deaths that pro talks about. The less murderers in society, the better. Which is another reason why abortion should be illegal in most instances.


Pro stated “And I’d much rather we learn how to best forgive…” So we should make murder legal and let murderers go in the name of “forgiveness”? First of all, letting murderers go in the name of “forgiveness” is not true forgiveness. Second of all, it’s not justice either. No justice is being done when abortion is legal. The murderers are sent free. And of course, murderers can be forgiven by God, that’s between them and Him. But concerning the criminal justice system, murderers should be punished in society.


Pro stated “Given that con’s whole case is centered on the value of the preservation of life, it’s contradictory to now be saying that he’s happy to throw away life in the meaningless name of ‘justice’.” Justice is not meaningless. Justice needs to be served no matter what. And justice also applies to murder. The fact is, when abortion is illegal, as pro admitted himself, the murderers die trying to murder the innocent. This is a good thing. The less murderers in society, the better.


Pro stated “Even if abortion was murder, two wrongs don’t make a right, and supplementing those murders with even more won’t fix society.” Now pro is being inconsistent. He said earlier that the mothers die in the process trying to kill their own children. If that’s the case, then nobody is murdering the mothers, they accidentally kill themselves when abortion is illegal, as pro stated earlier. But now he is saying that the mothers are being murdered by somebody/something else. This is very inconsistent and self-contradicting.


Pro constantly says that if abortion is illegal, people will just do back-alley abortions and die in the process with the unborn. But here is the solution: They won’t die if they don’t do abortions.


I look forward to the opposing side’s responses.


Return To Top | Posted:
2015-06-08 08:43:22
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
I thank my opponent for what has been a fun debate.

As this is the final round, I will use this primarily to summarize the key issues that we've touched on in this debate.

Are there social, legal and ethical concerns that justify abortion legality?
Con has attempted to make this a one-issue debate - if abortion is murder it should be illegal no matter what else that may entail. On the other hand, I have taken a more nuanced approach in explaining why we have laws against murder, why the government enforces them, and by extension, when the social costs outweigh the social benefits, when it might be legitimate to restrict the government's power over issues such as murder (death penalty etc being examples from earlier). Con hasn't presented a compelling alternative theory. He has, time after time, fallen back on the assertion that abortion is murder and thus should be illegal, without actually justifying why murder should always be illegal. In a similar fashion con asserts that murder can never be private (obviously never heard of euthanasia, where both participants to the murder are willing to conduct it privately) - but he never explains his reasoning for that belief (and regardless, ignored the point for most of the debate anyway). Nor did he ever get into why it's important to limit state powers like I did, to prevent states doing things such as genocide through the manipulation of the health system.

The assertive nature of this point has even been driven home by my opponent in great depth. Of my analysis, he simply stated "That is moral absurdity. Murder should be illegal. End of story. Period." in the previous round. In debates generally, the proper response to a claim is to do something called rebuttal - provide evidence or analysis to refute that claim. It is not to say "Your point is wrong, end of story" but to actually explain why it is wrong. This is where con has fallen short, and it comes in spite of the fact he admits he has no moral authority (though he asserts the moral authority of some God or other). Don't take my moral belief or his belief for it, because in my social framework (the only one offered in this debate) it doesn't matter what anyone thinks about abortion - it all comes down to personal choice. There's a big distinction between me arguing people should have abortions, and arguing people should be allowed to have abortions if they make that choice, but con never acknowledged this throughout the debate.

If making the so-called "murder" of people illegal literally depopulates a country and fills up the cemeteries with no real change in birth rate, then we can be certain that policy of making the so-called "murder" illegal does not promote human life. This fact single-handedly undermines my opponent's value in this debate, since it acts on the assumption that lives will be saved by the policy (notably, lives of unborn "people") - this assumption, however, does not hold in real life. Nor does the assumption hold that birth can ever be truly safe, and we note that the evidence remains unrefuted that abortion is a safer procedure than childbirth - and that post-operation results, contrary to my opponent's fancy graphs, have only been mis-stated and misinterpreted by con. This whole idea that abortion is nothing but a choice that people will simply no longer make if we make abortion illegal has been refuted time after time - abortion only ever becomes more visible when it is illegal, as the one newly grieving family who has to suffer because some women had an unsafe illegal abortion in the last 7 minutes will tell you. For these women, abortion is not a choice. They would rather die themselves than be forced to raise a child in circumstances no child should have to be raised. Putting society above their own lives in support of legalized abortion in such a way is the ultimate sacrifice, and we should be honoring the millions of women who have needlessly and courageously died in defense of these virtues. Nobody deserves to die, least of all these women as con asserts they do. For him to condemn all these women to death, as I've said, is legally (because of due process) and morally (because he agrees he is no moral authority) shameful.

Unless he can justify this for every instance, cost and benefit, his "justified" mass murder of pregnant women undermines any authority he holds on maximizing life. Is it now "depraved" to want to raise your child in a loving home? Is it "depraved" to want to give every child a chance at living life to the fullest? And for that matter, do depraved people automatically deserve to die? We in liberal democracies live in a society and social justice system that can forgive murders, rapists and all manner of terrible criminals - can we not forgive women who, by simple fault of circumstance but with a full desire to raise a good family, undergo the traumatic decision to have an abortion, and delay the hope and joy of expectant motherhood? This kind of language is indicative of the misogynistic framework con has proposed, since a man (unable to have an abortion) cannot be "depraved" in this way. Women don't have abortions just because they feel like it, but because they feel they have no other choice. They don't do it because they feel like killing children, but because they aren't ready to have children. They do it out of love, and not hate. Although extremely safe physically, abortions are extremely traumatic emotionally, and these women are willing to accept that consequence for the rest of their lives. In extreme cases, they are willing to lay down their own lives. They are not suicidal, but care so deeply for their family that they don't believe they have another choice. It's not as simple as murder or not murder, even if it were murder, a question that is debatable at best. It all simply rests on con's unjustified moral assumption that all murderers should be given the death penalty - with extra emphasis on that "unjustified" part. As an aside, there is no evidence that where abortion is legal the women attempt to perform an abortion on themselves as con seems to assume when he said they "kill themselves" - the more usual case is that they go to unlicensed, unregulated, under-the-table dodgy abortionists and entrust them with their lives.

Con's beliefs on the reasons for abortion have been narrowed unjustifiably. Not having enough money for a child, for instance, is not inconvenience - it means the child will literally die after birth because the mother does not have enough money for food to feed the baby, clothes to clothe it, and other basic expenses. Family planning is a huge and vital part of how the human race raises its young, while con believes every pregnancy should inevitably result in a birth, regardless of the post-birth outcome. The policy he advocates has no regard for the safety of babies, or delivering policy that ensures the happy, healthy, loving families that we want every child to grow up in. Conceptions born out of rape or other adverse circumstances might ultimately meet that criteria, but the choice of whether the mother wants the child is always with the mother, and an abortion is not a lightly made decision. None of this - surprisingly - has actually been contested by con. His view is merely that such circumstances are unfortunate, but still don't justify murder. It's a social cost, and along with more abortions and more deaths of mothers, an increase in child abuse does need to be weighed in this debate. Most mothers who have abortions, remember, still intend to actually have children. Con doesn't get this and, even until the last round, holds that when you consent to sex, you automatically consent to having a child, in complete ignorance of well-established common law and the basic principle of free choice as applied to a distinguishable act.

Abortions practically never happen because "the mother's health is in danger" because that cannot be known for certain in advance. Con advocating an exception to the rule on social grounds proves that he agrees such exceptions are necessary (even if his will never happen as I've been consistently saying), but the same exception of maximizing life applies to all abortions, not just a few. That ties in to all my evidence from above.

Once again, the resolution is not whether mothers should do abortions or not. It's what the government should do about abortion. If abortion is really so bad, then con could have tried to run a model of providing education, or providing government incentives for giving birth, such as child and financial support in third world countries where this is desperately lacking. Unfortunately, the fact is that con's solution of "don't do abortions" is irrelevant to the debate, and not helpful because it reduces life.

This - not the right to life - is the most important point in the debate. Con has agreed in principle that justifications may exist outside of murder because he made such an exception himself. He has agreed that such exceptions supersede the right to life because he's happy to accept a higher death rate in defense of his moral stand against abortion. Therefore, law and public health concerns trump the right to life. Unfortunately, all the points are stacked in my favor. Governments should only make policy decisions in light of social costs and benefits - the benefit of saving the lives of "unborn people" doesn't even accrue, while the costs - child abuse, neglect, infant death, deaths of pregnant mothers, black market networks and gangs moving in, and still having deaths of "unborn people" among countless others - are enormous. As a piece of policy therefore, even if abortion was murder, making it illegal does not solve the problem. Abortion is not like other kinds of murder - that view is too simplistic to account for all the nuances I've brought up in this debate.

Does the right to life justify making abortion illegal?
Considering that his entire model rested upon this notion that the unborn are somehow worthy by nature of having a legally independent life from the mother, con did surprisingly little to prove this point. In his penultimate round con even appears to suggest that whether the life is "dependent" or not is irrelevant (section entitled "reliance" - a point which, unfortunately, has been far too heavily strawmanned in this debate). He has routinely mistaken DNA differences for life for personhood and about a dozen other things con thinks are synonyms. In fact the issue is far more complex.

We know we can discount any source that begins with "All the cells in a person's body have the same DNA and the same genes" out of hand, because both sides in this debate have now agreed a single human body can have distinct genetics (chimerism), meaning we both agree the source is providing us with a simplification based on dated ideas. I say dated because the source predates the research into blood cell DNA and how it is distinct, which con continues to squabble over for some reason even though we both accept the point (needless to say, the article is very clear it does not merely refer to gene expression, since it specifically states many times that it questions the very assumption con has cited many times about DNA being identical, as opposed to DNA expression).

Having established that DNA is not the criteria for a legally independent life, we turn now to con's sole study on IDO which he claims backs up his case. In the last round, I provided a scientific study showing the embryo does not produce any IDO, but the placenta, not as a defense mechanism, but as a regulatory mechanism, for the body to remain well-contained (I likened it to the activity of the digestive system earlier in the debate). Con prefers his source, which was essentially a bible think-tank's false interpretation of the same material, much like the heavily misleading chart produced by the pregnancy blog that con cited earlier. The "embryo's side of the placenta" doesn't mean the embryo produces it, because there is no question in this debate that the embryo's side of the placenta is part of the mother's body (unless con suddenly wants to claim that a woman commits murder every time she has her period, too). The entire placenta - both sides - is part of the mother's body. Nor does this prove it is foreign, nor does being foreign prove it is yet human, despite vital systems in its body not functioning. There's no reason why a child's body can't be part of a mother's body either, and a mother retain the natural rights to remove that body from her own at any time she so chooses. The mother's body protects itself using IDO all the time, and this is just another example of the mother's body using IDO for self-defense, to protect the part of her body that is the child.

Con has constantly asserted that the mother's immune system tries to attack the child. He has not evidenced this. No attack ever happens under normal circumstances, because the mother's body redirects "attack" cells elsewhere using IDO. IDO is used as a regulatory T-cell - it is designed to regulate the mother's internal bodily functions to ensure attacks reach their proper targets. The same is done in many other parts of the human body, both in males and females. And yet, we are all just individual people. The fact we need to regulate the insides of our bodies does not imply the existence of other lifeforms. Not only does the unborn not produce IDO, but IDO in no way should imply the existence of a foreign life, since IDO is naturally occurring in all our bodies and we'd be dead without it. This is the immune system protecting the body and not attacking it - regulators controlling the movement of attack cells is literally how the entirety of the immune system works. I used the analogy of viruses and cancer, which con called false as they are not alive (strange, because I do seem to remember different, but oh well, I'm happy with this) and because it has nothing to do with children. I'm glad he agrees it has nothing to do with children, because unlike viruses and cancer, children do not produce IDO, but even if they did that doesn't mean they should be treated any differently from viruses and cancer because then it would be analogous. As to them not being alive, sure, why not - all that proves is that the unborn aren't alive as well.

This brings us to the third, more minor push by con for a standard of what makes a human life which has come up in the last few rounds - that anything that originates from a single cell is a single lifeform. This point, however, has never been properly established, and appears to rely on the fact that the cell is unique or special because it contains unique DNA or such. Taken independently, the point would imply twins etc are a single person, which is an inadequate standard for this debate. Therefore this minor push can not stand as an independent point, but must rely on con's other evidence and all its strengths as well as weaknesses. I rebutted the notion that an arbitrary origin point for life proves the existence of a life in earlier rounds more fully. All three approaches used by con have thus failed in the light of close scientific scrutiny.

Con also more recently tried a non-scientific approach, by attempting to equate words through semantics. Unfortunately I don't think he has carefully read the definitions even he provided if he truly believes they are all equivalent, but regardless, I intend to use fact and evidence-based approaches to determining where life does and does not begin, as opposed to the subjective determination of the editors of one particular dictionary.

Let's compare my standard, of beginning life at the point where the major organs of the human body start to do their jobs properly, a point that I like to call "birth". The sole objection con continues to carry to this single, consistent standard I have put forward is the idea of a "half human". However, con has shown neither of the required elements I outlined in the previous round. He has not shown why the notion of a half-human is in any way actually problematic. And he has not shown why a half-human need be the case, since his own standard relates to the completion of conception, and mine relates specifically to the completion of the birthing process. Until the act we each believes defines the beginning of life completes, there is no "half" about it in either of our models - and if there is, then the same problem (if it even is a problem - con still hasn't proven this) applies to his model as well. Therefore, my model is the most scientifically tenable and agreeable and problem-free model proposed in this debate.

As such there is no evidence the unborn is even alive, let alone an individual person who deserves the full protection of the law. There simply is no scientific basis for such claims.

The resolution is affirmed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-06-14 09:44:34
| Speak Round
KrazyKrazy (CON)

I thank my opponent for this enjoyable debate. This has been interesting.


I could post new arguments, but since my opponent is pro and this is the last round, it might not be entirely fair. So I’ll just recapitulate my points and summarize them as succinctly as possible. As well as rebut my opponent’s new arguments.


Abortion is murder

It is a scientific fact that abortion is killing an alive human being. IDO is produced for the unborn because it is foreign, otherwise, the mother’s immune system would kill him/her. My opponent says that the embryo’s side of the placenta produces it for the unborn. Great, this is proof that the mother’s body distinguishes the unborn as foreign. Now, if it’s not part of the mother’s body, whose body is it a part of? It’s the unborn’s body, hence the term “pregnancy”. Logic demands it.


Once conception takes place, your genetic makeup is already complete. That includes your hair color, eye color, skin color, sex, height, and everything else. It all takes place in this one moment; and this is where all of your cells originate at this one location. So it makes sense that this is where life begins. This proves that life begins at conception. And also, the fact of the matter is, the unborn’s DNA is different from the mother’s DNA, which proves that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body and is her child. This point has not been logically refuted. So if the unborn’s DNA is not part of the mother’s DNA, whose DNA is it a part of? It’s the unborn’s DNA, obviously. Which means that the unborn is it’s own body. In refutation of this, my opponent brought up the existence of twins. He argues that since twins have the same DNA (I’m assuming he means identical, not fraternal), they must be the same person under my position so therefore life doesn’t begin at conception. Identical twins come from one fertilized egg that splits in two. That’s the reason for the “identical” DNA. But this point of existence of identical twins can easily be refuted by the existence of conjoined twins, a condition in which the egg doesn’t split completely but they’re obviously different people, meaning that life/personhood cannot be granted after twinning. This confirms that life begins at conception. So my opponent attempts to refute the conception/DNA position by bringing up the existence of identical twins. But this refutation is refuted by the existence of conjoined twins. So life still begins at conception, scientifically. And besides, both of the twins’ DNA is still different from the mother, again proving my point: The unborn is not part of the mother’s body.


My opponent said that we have to discount any source that states that each person has the same DNA uniformly because some people are chimeras. But this logic does not follow. Chimerism is a disorder. A very rare one too. Under normal circumstances, people do have the same DNA and the same genes. And both of the chimera’s DNA profiles are still different from the mother’s proving that the unborn, chimera or not, is still alive.


This is important: Even if genetics and IDO doesn't prove that the unborn is not part of the mother’s body and is alive, that doesn’t mean that birth determines life. If reliance determines life, then the elderly or infants or people on life support must not be alive. My opponent says that this is a different sense of reliance, but the fact of the matter is, they are still “reliant”, which my opponent says determines life. The fact that the unborn are completely reliant on their mothers for survival only proves that the unborn are completely reliant on their mothers for survival. My opponent has never established the connection of why this means that the unborn is not alive or not a person. So even if the genetics and IDO arguments are discounted, my opponent has never logically argued his own position of why life/personhood begins at birth. So even if genetics and IDO didn’t prove that the unborn is alive or separate from the mother’s body, the resolution is certainly not affirmed in any way.


Murder should be illegal

The purpose of governments is to punish evildoers, whether directly or indirectly. My opponent said that if abortion is illegal, the mothers will accidentally kill themselves while doing back-alley abortions. If this is really the case, then that is another reason why abortion should be banned. The less murderers in society, the better, right? Of course it’s better. If people’s minds are so evil that they murder innocent children who did nothing wrong to them, then that is a good indicator that it wouldn’t bother them to kill adults as well.


Murder should always be illegal. My opponent said that I gave no evidence of why this should be, but the truth is, everybody has an innate moral code that is universal throughout each human being. Everybody knows the difference between right and wrong. And if it’s wrong, it should be illegal.


Return To Top | Posted:
2015-06-16 23:40:01
| Speak Round


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BlackflagBlackflag
No one ever said he was under any obligation
Posted 2015-06-10 04:10:28
adminadmin
He has no obligation to accept your advice though. And you're really pushing him.
Posted 2015-06-09 15:34:16
BlackflagBlackflag
@admin - I can agree with you on the specifics regarding the ad hominids, but if Krazy475 doesn't understand my advice the least I can do is try to explain it for him.
Posted 2015-06-09 15:33:04
BlackflagBlackflag
All arguments that do not fall under one of the common logical fallacies are based off of an axiom. The only way to know something for sure is to see it with your own eyes, which can be misleading.

That is as simple as I can make this.
Posted 2015-06-09 15:30:29
KrazyKrazy
Or let me rephrase that last part:

You said "You don't know if it's true". Well, if you don't know if the premise is true, you don't know if the conclusion is true.
Posted 2015-06-09 09:24:50
KrazyKrazy
And also, in response to "All truth claims are proved by empirical observation", you said "You don't know if it's true. That's the irony". But you said earlier "Nothing can be proven through non-empirical means, therefore all arguments are fallacies." You said that as if you knew for certain. Which is it? I'm not trying to sound hostile, but I'm genuinely confused of what your trying to say in regards to "all arguments are fallacies". You said "You don't know if it's true". Well, if you don't know if your claim that all arguments are fallacies is true, then there's no reason for me to believe it.
Posted 2015-06-09 09:10:03
KrazyKrazy
Okay let's get some facts straight. First of all, you phrase it as such that implies that the majority of my post is about exposing logical fallacies. I point it out here and there, but it's not the majority of my argument. Second of all, I would prefer my opponent to point out any of my logical fallacies when I make any. And likewise, I do the same.

It's just simply about exposing error, which is good. I make some logical fallacies too, and I would appreciate it if my opponent points them out to me instead of letting me argue erroneously for the rest of the debate or conversation.

Exposing error in a discussion to get closer to the truth is not the same thing as this:
http://existentialcomics.com/comic/9
Posted 2015-06-09 08:37:17
adminadmin
I kinda get the feeling this comment war is probably counter-productive at this point...
Posted 2015-06-09 08:02:49
BlackflagBlackflag
It is definitely a waste of time, I'll tell you that. You are supposed to be giving a convincing speech. I don't get that out of you at all, especially when your arguments are mostly pointing out why the other arguments are logical fallacies instead of what you should actually be doing.

Providing new material that acts as counter evidence to your opponents argument is a lot better than writing a paragraph on why it is fallacious and then moving on to pointing out the next fallacy. I never see that happen in real life debates.
Posted 2015-06-09 08:01:21
KrazyKrazy
Could you please explain why pointing out logical fallacies is bad conduct? Pointing out logical fallacies gets us closer to the truth. And since logical fallacies hide the truth, it's good to point them out right? Not just in debate, but in other areas of life as well.
Posted 2015-06-09 07:12:47
BlackflagBlackflag
I thought I did. My answer was that there is really no way of knowing for sure.

We can't be sure of anything that we haven't seen ourselves, and even empirical evidence can be misleading. We can only come to the most logical conclusions based on the information we have. Considering most knowledge is based off of axioms, or as intellectuals like to call it, a priori, we are constricted to fallacies in every argument we make.

I said earlier that debating is more about providing a convincing case and not a logical case. I meant it. The most persuasive people aren't always the most logical ones, which is why I am advising you from playing a game of calling out fallacies. Especially ad hominids, which is really bad conduct in a debate.
Posted 2015-06-09 03:51:03
KrazyKrazy
You didn't answer my questions.
Posted 2015-06-09 01:26:22
BlackflagBlackflag
You don't know if it is true. That is the irony. I can only make it sound as logical as possible in an attempt to convince you. Sad realities don't make for happy excuses
Posted 2015-06-09 00:43:32
KrazyKrazy
Alright. Sorry if I'm annoying you but this is just too confusing for me. You said basically "All truth claims are proved by empirical observation". Then I have some questions.

How do you know that statement "All truth claims are proved by empirical observation" is true? It's funny because that sentence, "All truth claims are proved by empirical observation", that itself is a truth claim. So how do you know that the statement itself is true? Did you prove that by empirical observation? Did you observe all truth claims?

And by the way you can't "observe" a truth claim, they're conceptual. You can't "see" them. And even if you could, you certainly couldn't see all of them. So how do you know that this is true?

The problem is, you can't observationally prove that all truth claims are proved by observation. It's impossible.
Posted 2015-06-08 23:13:28
BlackflagBlackflag
One piece of advice is to keep the "my opponent said this and I have this to say about that" to a minimum. You need to treat it more like a speech. Use flow, narration, even humor when you can.
Posted 2015-06-08 22:13:05
BlackflagBlackflag
When you want to get technical, then yes. The only way to present absolute proof is to manually observe.
That is why there is a flaw in reasoning in every argument. Most of them based on axioms.

Debating as I've discovered is more about presenting a convincing case rather than a hole-proof case. To many people on DDO do this thing where they counter points by marking them off as fallacies or listing the issue as if it they were stagnant.

As it has been said, you don't need to be right to win a debate. A more powerfully spoken case deserves dominion over a more logically spoken case with weak rhetorical backing.
Posted 2015-06-08 22:06:41
KrazyKrazy
*Are you saying all truth claims are proved by empirical observation?*
Posted 2015-06-08 21:17:18
KrazyKrazy
I understand, but still, not all arguments are fallacies.

Are you saying that all truth claims are proved by empirical observation?
Posted 2015-06-08 21:07:35
BlackflagBlackflag
A fallacy is an inference based on invalid means. Nothings can be proven through non-empirical means, therefore all arguments are fallacies. We had a nice thread on Munchhausen Trilemma awhile ago.

Anyways, the point remains the same. Pointing out two words and spending two paragraphs explaining how these two words were fallacious is ridiculous and weakens the strength of your own case.
Posted 2015-06-08 19:16:11
KrazyKrazy
Lol it's fine admin. It's understandable.
Posted 2015-06-08 10:15:52
adminadmin
Sorry for calling you pro, Krazy475. I keep getting confused for some reason lol, I've found myself several times reading back through my arguments in this debate and correcting myself, but due to the limited time I had with the last round that must have slipped past me.
Posted 2015-06-08 09:54:30
Beekeeper12Beekeeper12
nice debate, It is good to see an experienced debater do a similar debate to one I am in!
Posted 2015-06-02 14:50:12
KrazyKrazy
Oh lol. Alright then, thank you.
Posted 2015-05-31 23:37:54
adminadmin
By clicking on the button on the editor to add a picture. I could have also clicked on the button to upload a picture.

If you're not sure which button does what, the relevant buttons have tooltips. Not sure what you did but your url starts with "webkit-fake-url://" rather than "http://" which is a weird protocol haha.
Posted 2015-05-31 23:20:44
KrazyKrazy
Hey admin, how did you upload that picture? I don't how to upload it correctly.
Posted 2015-05-31 23:17:34
RXR.RXR.
Admin, don't you see that your pro-abortion stance is falling apart ?
Posted 2015-05-30 17:43:50
KrazyKrazy
*there weren't*
Posted 2015-05-25 14:05:09
KrazyKrazy
I understand what your saying that they weren't ad hominems because they weren't arguments associated with them. But how are all arguments fallacies?
Posted 2015-05-25 14:04:21
KrazyKrazy
*It's hard to follow your logic*
Posted 2015-05-25 13:44:09
KrazyKrazy
How are all arguments, fallacies? A fallacy is an error in reasoning. If all arguments are fallacies, then that means all arguments are erred reason. It's hard to don't follow your logic.
Posted 2015-05-25 13:43:46
adminadmin
Removed various accidental duplicate comments. :)
Posted 2015-05-25 04:24:47
BlackflagBlackflag
It can only be a fallacy if it relates to an argument. There wasn't a argument in him saying "My opponent mocks people"

Either way, if your opponent makes a logical fallacy you need only make a logical non-fallacious argument in responce. Or if you must just give a slight reference to the fact that it is a fallacy.

The thing a lot of people don't realize is that all arguments are fallacies in some form or another. Your goal and focus should be persuading the judges. I did not become a single bit more convinced by those two paragraphs that you were more likely right than the affirming position.

If it isn't important don't write it down
Posted 2015-05-25 03:51:07
KrazyKrazy
Thanks for the advice. But if there's a logical fallacy that anybody makes in a debate (including ad hominems), I'm going to point it out.
Posted 2015-05-25 01:48:29
BlackflagBlackflag
LAST EXAMPLE:

"People with the views of my opponent are mocking people"
"My opponent's views are a mockery towards people."

Admin could of said either of those two things and I imagine you would of took less offense to both.
What he actually said was "My opponent is mocking people"

The first two statements are making the same claim as the statement made in the debate. You are making a mockery of people.
The only difference is that the first two use "Views" as the direct object, which the abcense of the word is most likely the source of contention
Posted 2015-05-25 01:43:47
BlackflagBlackflag
Or to clarify even more, writing two paragraphs on how the affirmative position threw out the words "My opponent" is a lot of filler and makes the offense seem petty on both sides, that is if the judge considers it an offense to begin with, which he or she might not.

In this case I do not think admin made an argument based on your individual character, which is the definition of an ad-hominen.
Posted 2015-05-25 01:18:37
BlackflagBlackflag
I too will throw out the opposing positions names, not because it adds much weight to my arguments, but because it pushes for a response. If I do something in particular to illicit a certain response from you, then chances are that response is in my greater strategy for winning the debate.

When admin says "My opponent mocks people," he is actually making the claim that having abortion illegal is a mockery. The added bonus is that he also takes an innocent hit on your credibility. It is deceptive, but that is partially what debating is about.
Posted 2015-05-25 01:14:51
BlackflagBlackflag
@Krazy475 - Yeah, this is one of those universal pieces of advice that it took me awhile to learn. I wholeheartedly suggest that you don't call out debating tactics you do not like. Focus solely on your arguments and not the other person.
Posted 2015-05-25 01:08:20
nzlockienzlockie
What's taglining a position?
Posted 2015-05-25 00:50:46
KrazyKrazy
Uh oh, didn't mean send that 3 times.
Posted 2015-05-25 00:46:13
KrazyKrazy
What's taglining a position?
Posted 2015-05-25 00:45:17
adminadmin
I think there's a difference between taglining a position somebody holds and lowering their personal credibility, but I'll address it in round anyway.
Posted 2015-05-24 23:44:55
KrazyKrazy
What do you mean? Are you saying that if your opponent uses an ad hominem, then you don't talk about it or bring it up?
Posted 2015-05-24 23:42:25
BlackflagBlackflag
Some advice, absolutely DO NOT call out ad hominids in the debate or anywhere else. Some more advice for Pro, it is best to tagline the opposing position as little as possible. I find it isn't a big deal most of the time (considering that lowering credibility is a classic politicians tactic), but if the other guy begins complaining about it, then just categorize your opponent in a larger group, such as anti-abortionists or pro-lifers
Posted 2015-05-24 21:46:27
adminadmin
Lol
Posted 2015-05-20 02:20:19
KrazyKrazy
Woah, that was really creepy. I went on edeb8 at about 9:06pm (US central) and then you accepted the debate at 9:07pm.
Posted 2015-05-20 02:19:22
BlackflagBlackflag
@admin, take the debate
Posted 2015-05-19 20:01:17
KrazyKrazy
Oh, alright.
Posted 2015-05-19 10:15:36
adminadmin
They usually are similar RL international tournament topics. If you look at recent topics for Australs or Worlds that should give you some idea.

Ofc with the Australs system we're using this year you can veto some topics you don't like.
Posted 2015-05-19 03:32:23
KrazyKrazy
Thanks. In general, what are the topics usually about in WODC?
Posted 2015-05-19 02:53:28
adminadmin
It's the debate competition I told you about in a message once: http://www.edeb8.com/wodc2015

I'm with nzlockie, your last debate was high quality.
Posted 2015-05-19 01:58:36
BlackflagBlackflag
2015 World Online Debating Cup
http://www.edeb8.com/wodc2015/
Posted 2015-05-19 01:57:51
KrazyKrazy
Oh, alright. What's WODC? Google says that it's an Ohio FM radio station stationed in Ashville. But that's probably not what you meant.
Posted 2015-05-19 00:35:24
BlackflagBlackflag
I wish I could be con in this debate, but I'll leave you to properly defend the opposing position. Doing this topic with admin is a good way to enter the site. You will meet fierce resistance every step of the way. Meaning this debate has the potential to be quite popular if it doesn't turn into a forfeit fest.

Posted 2015-05-18 22:01:14
nzlockienzlockie
If you haven't already, you should sign up for the WODC. That would be fun.
Posted 2015-05-18 21:52:54
nzlockienzlockie
@Krazy475 for what it's worth, I thought it was a solid debate. In the context of this site, I'd say it would definitely fall into the "good" category.
Especially for a first debate.
Posted 2015-05-18 21:52:20
KrazyKrazy
Lol I don't really care WHO does it; as long as it's a good debate that goes the length. The Biblical inerrancy debate though felt pretty intense. Hey, in your opinion, was the Biblical inerrancy debate a "good" debate? I've never debated before so it's kinda hard what to compare it too. But you've probably debated hundreds of times; what's your say about that debate?
Posted 2015-05-18 21:18:43
adminadmin
I'll take it if nobody else does. I wouldn't want to hog all your debates for myself haha.
Posted 2015-05-18 08:44:45
KrazyKrazy
Oh alright. You want to accept the debate?
Posted 2015-05-17 22:34:02
adminadmin
I'm pro. Stag is con late term abortion.
Posted 2015-05-17 22:25:08
KrazyKrazy
Oh really? Lol. Whats your and his position on it?
Posted 2015-05-17 22:12:45
BlackflagBlackflag
@Krazy475 Lol, me and @admin got into some pretty heated debates over this topic recently.
Posted 2015-05-17 20:33:14
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2015-06-18 01:01:45
dsjpk5Judge: dsjpk5
Win awarded to: Krazy
2015-06-21 17:30:25
RXR.Judge: RXR.    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: Krazy
2015-06-27 07:03:35
Mackayla ColeyJudge: Mackayla Coley
Win awarded to: admin
Reasoning:
He (admin) gave good reason as to technical terms. Moraly, Krazy has the high ground, however, if we are speaky in literal terms, Admin has the upper hand. Pro Choice doesn't automatically translate to Pro-Baby Killer. Having the option is what helps protect the mother from serious illness or even fatal illness. Having the right to choose what happends to your body is a fundamental right every human deserves. (As Admin pointed out.)
3 users rated this judgement as a vote bomb
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1 comment on this judgement
RXR.RXR.
''Having the option is what helps protect the mother from serious illness or even fatal illness.''

Ya that's about 0.001% of abortions and abortions are never medically neccasary to save a woman's life.
Posted 2015-09-10 13:43:51
2015-06-30 02:32:46
nzlockieJudge: nzlockie    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: admin
Reasoning:
Oh man this is a tough debate to judge. A lot of work has gone into this though and even though I suspect I'll be getting a less than constructive rating, I'm going to do it.

This debate was clearly about one issue - When does Life begin?

I'm going to preface this by an admission that I didn't make it through the whole debate. As you will see, from my perspective, a lot of the discussion that went on here was not relevant to the resolution. I read every word up til round 4 and then I cherry picked only the sections that related to, what I deemed to be the deciding factors.
I want to be clear that these factors were decided early in the debate.

Neither side disputed the fact that Murder was wrong or what the definition of Murder was. The point was made that sometimes Abortion is not murder, but the resolution clearly states that it needs to apply in ALL instances, rendering individual exceptions to the rule irrelevant.

Neither side disputed that Abortion denies the unborn their life. If it can be proven that the unborn is alive, and is human, then it can be concluded that Abortion is killing that person. This is, (stated exceptions aside) murder -meaning that CON wins.

Here comes the tricky part.
PRO argued that being alive is a prime component of what it means to be Human. You can't be human and not alive. Therefore his only argument was that we are not alive until we are birthed.
(CON seemed to have a lot of problem accepting this logic. I don't understand why. It seemed pretty clearly explained to me.)

CON's contention was that Human is defined more from other things - Unique DNA for example. Life is defined as the moment a cell has all of these things. Since an unborn baby has irrefutably human DNA and that DNA sets that baby apart from the Mother's, then that Baby is alive and human and killing it is murder. (Exceptions aside)

The reason that PRO gets this narrow win is that their explanation of when life begins is clearer, and is supported by CON's own source, the Oxford dictionary -which states that it is the period between Birth and Death.
CON's explanation was totally viable, and would have been easier for me to accept, but for the fact that one of the biggest evidences he produced actually stated the opposite.

Since I was not able to be convinced that human life begins before birth, and since Abortion happens before birth, I have to give this to PRO.
I am extremely torn on this debate because I feel like CON was hitting all around the mark without actually nailing the one knock out punch I knew was there but wasn't given.


Feedback:
Both debaters - This was a long debate. Lots of text. The reason I stopped reading every word of it was the sheer number of arguments that were not centred on the topic!

CON: You really lost this debate because you failed to effictively attack the one actual important part of this resolution, and instead let yourself go on several rabbit trails! Many of these rabbit trails were due to a poor interpretation of PRO's points! Sometimes I felt like I was reading this debate closer than you were!
Specifically, I'm referring to where CON clearly states that a 4 yr old is reliant, but not on his mother - a fact which makes it different to an unborn baby; and you ignore this and argue that it is still reliant on SOMETHING so therefore it's the same thing. It's clearly not!
Your point would have been far better had you used an example of a true symbiote -multicellular would be best, Lichen, Fungi, the Acacia tree, Tube worms, Larvae etc etc. Creatures and plants that are still considered to be alive, despite not having the ability to survive without the host.
I'm not saying that this would have been a winning point, it's just that it wouldn't have been on task.

I was waiting the whole debate for you to argue that there are legal inconsistencies that would be more clearly defined if we were to accept that unborn babies are still considered alive. You wouldn't have had to argue that life begins at conception, (a much harder case) you could have argued the easier case of life beginning at a later date, but still prior to Birth.

You were right to argue that the baby was human and that it was distinct from the mother. This was important, relevant and well handled I thought.

I think you should have attacked his contention that "Human" and "Life" were the same thing - much harder. It's not that you didn't make the point, it's just that it would have made his case look weaker every time you brought it up.

The final blow was when you posted that dictionary definition of Life as being from Birth to Death - exactly what PRO was advocating. You should have used a different source for that. It muddied your argument.

PRO: I don't know man, this was a case that spiralled out of control. I'm not sure what you could have done to arrest it. It actually probably worked in your favour though so maybe it was deliberate.
I was extremely disappointed to see you spell it "Mom" instead of "Mum". Sellout.

Very nice summation in the final round. I didn't think you NEEDED to address half the arguements from your opponent that you did -but as I said, that might have been strategy, and even if it wasn't, I can understand why you don't want to leave those things uncontested, even if they're not relevant.

Nice to see a lot of work gone into this guys. Like I said, I'm genuinely torn here. I sort of feel like CON might have had the required points for the win, but the case was so hard to follow and brought up so many bad examples and irrelevant points, I suspect the winning ones might have gotten lost in there somewhere.
In the end, I feel like PRO's argument that Life begins at birth was better stated.
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