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Author Topic: Formal Debate: Abortion  (Read 48222 times)
Kadoshim
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« on: October 24, 2008, 12:50:27 PM »

We have not engaged in a debate in a while and I feel that it is time to re-ignite this old pasttime.
Abortion is one of the most heated, emotional issues in all of politics, and I would like to know what my fellow meritocrats think of it. Debates on abortion tend to get heated, so remember to fallow all of the rules set by Debate Guidelines found in the Legislative Index of the Athenaeum.
What restrictions, if any, should the government of a nation put on the abortion of embryos and fetuses?
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Shieldelf
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 04:24:02 PM »

I am pretty much completely against abortion, only cases where I find it "ok" (I never find it truely ok) is when the pregnacy was caused by rape or the mother's life is in danger.
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Kadoshim
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2008, 07:16:33 AM »

It is interesting you say that, Shieldelf.
I personally feel that abortion should be legal until the point where the fetus can live outside of the mother's body. I understand the respect for human life that must be involved in the decision and would therefore encourage a mother to abort early in her pregnancy, since surely an embryo is less human than a fetus.
Shieldelf, what are your opinions regarding aborting in cases of incest?
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Shieldelf
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2008, 09:12:35 AM »

Only if the incest was really rape... or there were easily distingishable deformities that could cause the baby harm.
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King Chester
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2008, 12:21:01 PM »

WE will put forward a train of statements, any of which may be argued, but humor US:

Statement 1:  Innocent human life is sacred and should be protected.
Statement 2:  Life BEGINS at conception, as the developing human has it's own unique DNA, apart from it's parents.
Statement 3:  Abortion is murder, unless due to complications it will cause the death of the mother.
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Kadoshim
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2008, 11:53:04 AM »

I hope we can all agree that regardless of our opinions on abortion that all human life is important. The debate here is not about the worth of human life but more along the lines of what beings qualify as human.
Chester, you are correct that when fertilization occurs a zygote with a unique DNA is created. However, it is incorrect, and in some ways offensive to hold a mindless single-celled zygote equal to a conscious born human. There are massive amounts of beneficial cells in your body and my body that have their own unique DNA, known as human flora. These other organisms can be massacred by certain medications that we consume, but I am yet to hear of a group that wishes to protect the lives of these innocent organisms.
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King Chester
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2008, 03:44:22 PM »

WE beg to respectfully disagree with your recent assertion that this debate was to be about what qualifications are for being a human being.  This topic was began as a debate on abortion and if, or how far, a nation state ought to have a say on the medical proceedure.

WE meant no offense to your sensibilities regarding the relative values of a newly conceived human being and one outside of a womb.  That does not mean that WE believed that WE have been offensive.  IF WE were to be offended (and WE are not offended, but if WE were), WE might take exception the to comparison of the human flora (which never develops into anything more than human flora) that you have mentioned to a single cell that contains the plans and the energy to immediately and continuously divide itself for three days, prior to it's implantation into the uterine wall, ultimately into a being with multiple organ systems.

WE have not stated that the human zygote, or morula (at the time of implantation) is capable of independent life outside of the womb.  WE state that it IS alive and it is human life.

WE do not wish to avoid discussion of a pregnancy as a result of rape as a factor in the decision to abort a developing human life, but feel that the broader ethical questions surrounding abortion ought to be wrestled with first.

In most cases of pregnancy, the participants know that a pregnancy is possible and that contraceptive measures are not 100 percent effective.  So, other than planned pregnancies, the male and female parties are engaged in irresponsible behavior and are fools for gambling with sexual practices that can produce children.  Are the zygotes, morulas, embryos, fetuses to be punished/terminated/killed for the irresponsible behavior of their parents?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2008, 03:57:09 PM by King Chester » Logged
Kadoshim
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2008, 05:07:49 PM »

If gambling with sexual practices is an irresponsible behavior, having a baby that one has no intention of keeping is equally irresponsible. The risk of contraceptive methods not working is pretty small, but it is certain that the mother will experience serious pain while giving birth and the odds that the unwanted child put up for adoption has a turbulent, unfortunate childhood are also quite high.
Compare this suffering of two conscious individuals with the quick, painless deletion of a mindless blob of cells, and one can easily see what the more severe punishment is.
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King Chester
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2008, 05:57:41 PM »

Quote
If gambling with sexual practices is an irresponsible behavior, having a baby that one has no intention of keeping is equally irresponsible.
But having a baby results in there being three live persons, rather than two live persons and a corpse.  Many people would like to adopt a child, WE do not know of many persons desiring to adopt a corpse.

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...but it is certain that the mother will experience pain while giving birth....
Which is more important:  pain from which one will likely recover OR  death?

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...and the odds that the unwanted child....
Who is likely wanted by another set of parents.
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... has a turbulent, unfortunate childhood....
And this is better than no life at all?

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... painless deletion of a mindless blob of cells....
WE have heard of persons in a persistive vegetative state, or a coma, or with Alzheimer's disease referred to in such fashion.  Are you also in favor of euthanasia?

WE are reminded of a story:
A person much in favor of the practice of abortion, forgiven in their sins by the blood of Christ, arrives in heaven with questions for GOD.
"The Earth was such a terrible place when I was there.  There was war, famine, disease and senseless death.  Why didn't you do anything about it?"
The LORD sighs, and replies, "I sent persons to the Earth to heal these things, but they were aborted."
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Shieldelf
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2008, 06:07:40 PM »

Quote
a mindless blob of cells

I believe this is a matter of your ideology. I believe that it isn't just a mindless blob of cells, I believe it is alive.
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Kadoshim
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2008, 12:17:09 PM »

Which is more important:  pain from which one will likely recover OR  death?
And this is better than no life at all?
WE have heard of persons in a persistive vegetative state, or a coma, or with Alzheimer's disease referred to in such fashion.  Are you also in favor of euthanasia?
The first two questions are philosophical, personal questions that all people must answer within themselves on specific scenarios. In the case of pregnancy, this decision must be made by the mother because she alone is responsible for her developing embryo. The embryo cannot make the decision for itself and society cannot take custody of the embryo and make decisions for it.
In the case of euthanasia, the same principles apply. A person must decide beforehand and make clear in a legal document if he or she would rather die than live in a vegetative state indefinitely or suffer extreme pain. A person has the right to live, they can choose to not exercise that right.
I believe this is a matter of your ideology. I believe that it isn't just a mindless blob of cells, I believe it is alive.
Scientifically speaking, a zygote is mindless, as it has no brain activity, a blob, before organ systems are set up, and composed mainly of cells.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2008, 12:19:35 PM by Kadoshim » Logged
King Chester
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2008, 06:52:37 PM »

Philosophical questions, eh?  Well, philosophically, would YOU rather experience some pain from which you would recover or would you rather die?

Philosophically, would you prefer to be alive or dead at this time?

Seriously, though, WE believe that your practical decisions in both of these hypothetical situations would result in you being alive.

Regarding euthanasia of persons in a persistent vegetative state, coma, or with Alzheimer's disease, who have been discribed as being mindless, the law protects such individuals, in some cases by assigning an attorney to look out for their best interests.  WE see no reason why society cannot protect the not yet born in such a fashion.

Another arguement against the woman having sole discretion over the life of the not yet born is that the  pregnancy causes fluctuation and changes in the woman's hormones.  Such stress can lead to irrational decisions.  The developing child, with a mother who is possibly operating at a diminished mental and emotional capacity, needs a guardian to look out for it's interests and well being.

Why do you insist on calling the living and developing human organism a "zygote"?  It stopped being a zygote days before it anchored itself to the mother's womb.

WE are amazed at the mechanism in which two microscopic gametes share genetic material, by an unseen force that continues to then draw materials into the developing lifeform, that may eventually survive to explore the mysteries of life and the universe and computer bulletin boards.  More is going on here than just a lump of cells, IMHO  Smiley .
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Robinho
Ephor
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2008, 11:48:59 AM »

apologies for joining late. I would like to ask what the honorable  Kadoshim would view as the cut off date for if the fetus should be allowed to be aborted or not? And even if the fetus would be able to survive will it live a healthy fulfilling life? There is a direct link between the age of fetus and quality of health throughout life (the earlier the worse this is).

Does this fact get taken into account? I know that in britain the age they will attempt to keep alive premature babies is 21weeks (i think) whereas in holland/netherlands they will not attemp to try keep the baby alive unless its a minimum off 23weeks old (a week before the date you are no longer allowed to abort at in the uk incidentally).
Suffice to say in the netherlands premature babies are less likely to have health complications wither it be physical or mental defects than in britain. But there are plenty of cases of babies being born in britain who grow up without any problems, just a higher percentile that do. So intrestingly do you make the cut off date for aborting fetuses when there is a higher chance of survival or do You go lower and run the risk that though the child may be alive it suffers serious defects and thus have a more difficult life?
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hippish people
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2008, 07:13:03 PM »

I am truly sorry this is really late to join the debate but i must interject. King Chester, I must respond to your comment about women not being in the right state of mind when they are pregnant because they are hormonal and therefore their right to have an abortion should be revoked.  On that basis all women should all be locked up in a mental institution every month, revoked all their basic rights, and just become baby breeding machines. You are sliding down a very slippery slope when you question a woman's ability to make rational decisions just because she is hormonal. Such rulings in a court room could be grounds for the reversal of the entire women's rights movement. Furthermore,  to insinuate that a woman is not capable of being in control of her own body and that she would need a guardian to look out for her is no better than slavery. Is that not what slavery is: not owning your own body? Women have worked EXTREMELY hard to get where we are today and this argument pushes all that work back 2,000 years and undermines basic civil liberties. Please for all that is decent in this world watch how you phrase things!
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King Chester
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2008, 10:57:33 PM »

Smiley  WE apologize for that old saw, as a jest, perhaps it was in poor taste.  WE wanted to see if anyone was paying attention.  However, you do bring up an interesting point.

WE shall  assume that humans, including women, "own their own bodies".  But then they do NOT own the body of the baby human developing within them.  In much the same way that the law sometimes stops a landlord from evicting tenants, so then, too, society might also enact laws to stop a mother from evicting a developing baby.  And since the developing baby can't speak for itself, then it makes perfect sense for it to have legal counsel/representation looking out for it's best interests.
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hippish people
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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2008, 05:34:06 PM »

Again you are sliding down a very slippery slope. Though you have a solid argument there, (kudos to you) when is the government allowed to interfere? Only in abortion cases?
Because in that case it opens up the flood gates for legal representation for the baby when the baby is "at risk". For example, if a pregnant mother decides she wishes to smoke or do any type of drugs during her pregnancy is the government to intervene? Because according to the standard which you set that would be permissible. But then what of the rights of the mother? What is considered putting the baby "at risk"? When do women go from thinking, breathing, intellectual beings to just becoming baby making machines?

Life, as I am sure you agree, is precious and important, but what kind of life is it when your body is run by the government? What kind of life is it if you are forced to pay and support another life that you simple can not afford? What kind of life is it if your mother did not want you in the first place and now she is forced to care for you? The answers to these questions are simple. It is definitely not a life anyone would care to experience.
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King Chester
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2008, 10:06:03 PM »

Queen Harmony, WE thank you for your thoughtfulness and civility.

WE do recognize the difficult burden that the expectant mother if facing, regarding the apparent loss of freedom to harm herself through smoking and recreational drug usage while she is supporting an innocent life.  WE would hope, that the expectant mother would feel some compassion for the life that is growing within her.

WE have no wish to de-humanize women and characterize them as "baby making machines".  WE are also not in favor of males being referred to as merely sperm donors, which you did not say but which WE wish to point out that others have.  Sadly, a lot of humans do enjoy using de-humanizing language on one another, to the detriment of the entire human race.

Speaking as an adopted person, WE are very happy to have been alive.  It hasn't always been roses, but challenges build character.
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hippish people
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2008, 07:00:34 PM »

What you say about challenges building character is very true and important to recognize. Life is truly a gift and a true blessing but that is not quite the controversy at hand. No one will dispute that life is precious and that it was good fortune that your mother chose adoption because then I would have been deprived of a marvelous time debating you! The issue at hand, however, is an issue of civil liberties. That if the technology is there it is the government's job to protect the right to use it. Abortion is a choice that an individual must make, and one that is certainly not entered into lightly because of certain risks. It is a personal decision, one that is very difficult, but personal nonetheless.

I certainly condone smoking and drug use during pregnancy and would hope as you put it "that the expectant mother would feel some compassion for the life that is growing within her." However, that 'compassion' and the measure at which she decides to dole it out is her decision not anyone Else's.


Personally, I do not think I could ever have an abortion, but I suppport the right for a woman to make that choice for herself instead of someone making it for her.
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King Chester
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2008, 09:54:59 PM »

WE are most happy to be here to entertain you, Queen Harmony.  Smiley

Not meaning to sound like a broken recording, but doesn't the developing child have any civil liberties?

But perhaps the debate needs to shift focus, mayhap a refreshing?

That if the technology is there it is the government's job to protect the right to use it.

Imagining that the technology were available, that a pregnant woman could have the unborn child transplanted into the body of a woman that desired a child, would that be a better outcome than an abortion?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 10:06:52 PM by King Chester » Logged
hippish people
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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2008, 04:49:19 PM »

That is a truly intresting and thought-provoking question. I suppose from a basic ethical standpoint that would be a smarter alternative though abortion should still be legal regardless. The only question there is the physcological implications of this. If a mother told her child that s/he was not conceived by the mother that gave birth to them it could cause feelings of rejection and lead to possible severe mental conditions. For example, loosely similar instances have been known to foster Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or what is commonly known as multiple personality disorder.
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