Instigator / Pro
Points: 12

Should Abortion Be Illegal

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 3 votes the winner is ...
Ragnar
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Health
Time for argument
One week
Voting system
Judicial decision
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Unrated
Characters per argument
12,000
Contender / Con
Points: 21
Description
This challenge to debate abortion with you, Ragnar, is a result of the match between Caleb and you. Based on the three points Cabel cited in his first round, I did not find your arguments and rebuttal particularly convincing; in fact, I thought your logic flawed and in need of further exploration. Thus, I want to exploit your reasoning further by challenging you to a debate on the same three foundational points formulated by Caleb in his opening round (R1) plus your position on slavery and dispute any other areas that may arise from these four contentions.
These contentions are,
1. The unborn child is very much alive and very much human;
2. Abortion is murder ;
3. Abortion causes the value of life to become subjective;
4. Your position on slavery
I want to change the point order slightly and add a few adjustments to the wording:
1. Concerning human beings, the unborn from conception is very much alive and very much a human being;
2. Abortion causes the value of human life to become subjective.
3. Abortion is murder (except when the woman's life is threatened such as by a tubal/ectopic pregnancy that will result in her death if not terminated) ;
4. Slavery association with pregnant women.
***
Four Rounds.
First Round is reserved for opening statements
No new arguments in the final round.
Round 1
Published:
I thank the judges for accepting the invitation to judge the debate and my opponent for the opportunity to debate him in what many Christians consider a crucial issue.

Pro or Instigator is me.
Con, Contender, or 'my opponent' is Ragnar.

***

The American College of Pediatricians identifies that "the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism."

When?

"At fertilization."

They also recognize that the difference between an individual in its "adult stage and... zygotic stage" [of development/life] "is one of form, not nature."  [1]

***

Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris, was the discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down syndrome. Dr. LeJeune testified to the Judiciary Subcommittee, “after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being.” He stated that this “is no longer a matter of taste or opinion,” and “not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.” He added, “Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.” [8]

1. The unborn is a human being

In my opponent's last debate on abortion (R1), the point was made by the Instigator that the unborn is "very much human and very much alive." [2]

In Round 1, it was unclear to me what my opponent thought of that argument (the unborn is a human being). He identified the unborn as human cells and non-intelligent life, called it human, and yet he failed to "see the significance of human cells or even non-intelligent human life."  [2] (More on the significance later)

In Round 2, he "dismiss[ed] the importance of non-intelligent human cell clusters." [2] What does this mean? Does it mean he regards the unborn as a human being or less than a human being? I believe the latter, yet I will let my opponent clarify. Does he understand the difference between human cells and a human being (see Myth 2 and 4 in the link [3])? Further, does my opponent think the stages/level of development changes what the unborn is? These are serious and pivotal questions that need exploring and answering with any debate regarding illegalizing abortion. I believe that being a human being is a crucial point. If the unborn is not a human being from conception/fertilization, it does not matter if it is killed, but if it is a human being, then I would argue it matters immensely.

My position: Since the sources are both from human beings (sperm and ovum/oocyte) the unborn is a genetically unique, individual, separate human being; it cannot be anything other than a human being. Many highly respected embryologists [3][4], medical experts [5], and scientists [8] recognize the unborn to be a whole, unique, living human being from the moment of conception/fertilization. At fertilization, twenty-three chromosomes from the male (sperm) and twenty-three chromosomes from the female (ovum) combine to produce a whole, living, genetically unique human being (46 chromosomes, with exceptions such as Downs Syndrome). Scientifically, the beginning of a human being (a zygote) starts at fertilization. The unborn is so much more than just living human cells. It is a whole human being that will mature into what it is by nature, through growth. The sperm and oocyte differ from the zygote in that they do not direct the growth process as the zygote does internally, as a whole living organism. Sperm and ovum are not individual human beings. They are only parts of human beings like a hair cell, skin cell or heart cell. When my opponent likens the unborn to 'human cells' and diminishes its life as insignificant/unimportant, he seems misinformed (or does he understand?) on what is growing in the woman because it is a complete/whole human being, not just a bunch of parts. 

2.  Abortion causes the value of human life to become subjective and diminished

Does my opponent think that some human beings are worth more or worth less than other human beings?  To me, it appears so, based on what he has said in his last debate on abortion (i.e., human cells and human cell clusters).

What is the issue here? The argument is that not all human beings are being treated equally. When a woman can choose to kill another human based on her subjective feelings, something is wrong. When one class of human beings (the unborn) are diminished in value because some do not want to recognize them for what they are, there is a danger, and something is wrong.

Either all human beings have intrinsic value and are equal in value (as the UN Charter stated under Article 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, [6] yet failed to apply that philosophy in the case of the unborn, per Article 1), or there is no significance for some and in some cases no consequence of what some can do to one class or group. It is just subjective preference, as my opponent claims. If that is the case, subjectivity, then why does my opponent feel, object, or point to school shootings as wrong, or make a case for treating illegals with dignity, or that slavery is wrong as applied to the woman? His position seems inconsistent to me. Inconsistency very often spells irrationality or confusion. He argues that objective morality is invalid by contrasting different subjective values then tries to make a point that some things are wrong like slavery. If there is no objective, absolute, universal standard and measure, then my opponent is pushing his preference. That raises several questions and flags to my mind.

i. In his previous debate on abortion [2], my opponent uses subjective (relative) values as his basis for the qualitative value of life if he believes there are no objective values. That, IMO, totally undermines his argument since how are his subjective values on the topic any better than Pro's counter values? It begs the question of what my opponents standard is for subjective morality concerning the unborn - whose? Why does that make his views better? Better implies there is an ideal, to my mind, yet subjectivity can never reach the ideal. It is always revising and changing the standard because it is not fixed but shifting. 

My opponent needs to establish what his arbitrary, subjective standard is.

ii. If he believes the unborn are human beings, he treats some human classes/groups (i.e., women) as more valuable than others (the unborn). If he does not think the unborn are human beings, scientifically, he needs to establish what they are.

iii. Given the unborn are human beings (ii), my opponent seems to place (intrinsic) value on some human beings (the woman) yet ignores others (the unborn). He puts a value on the woman's right to choose over the value of the unborn's life. How is that equal? (No equality; no justice) He associates a woman in pregnancy to slavery for those who feel so. He defends her 'right' to kill it as if slavery matters while stating no human life or value is intrinsically valuable (just subjective) at the same time making the woman's value worth more than the unborns. In virtue of the kind of thing that the unborn is - a human being - do human beings have value? If not, then what is wrong with slavery in a culture?

iv. My opponent seems to confuse moral values with moral preferences. Statements such as the following illustrate:  "Value has always been a subjective term because different people want different things." How does wanting or liking something make it morally right or wrong? Is that value statement subjective too? 

If values have always been subjective, then what makes his statement "better" than any other? It is just another subjective opinion and preference.

3. Abortion is murder

Given that a) the unborn is a human being and that b) all human beings are intrinsically valuable, abortion intentionally kills an innocent unborn human being and devalues or takes away the intrinsic value and equality of life. Killing an innocent unborn human being has been identified by some as murder. If so, it is the greatest genocide to date in the history of humanity. [9] 

Since those in power legislate laws, the laws often reflect unjust practices if they do not recognize such a thing as objective moral values, equality, or a fixed measure. Without an objective, ultimate standard anything can be called 'right' but can it be lived?

Does my opponent think it is wrong to kill an innocent human being intentionally?

4. Slavery equated to the pregnant woman

Slavery can be equated to many things.

In virtue of the kind of thing that the unborn is - a human being - do human beings have value? If not, then what is wrong with slavery in a culture? Why can't we enslave a woman based on subjective value systems? (Or does my opponent see slavery as an objective value?)

My opponent claimed in R2 of his previous abortion debate, "Forcing unwilling women into servitude as chattel for another, is by definition making her a slave." [2]

If a woman does not want to subjugate herself to what my opponent calls slavery (for people are often enslaved to whatever controls them, and whatever they cannot overcome), there are options to avoid this taking place like birth control, a hysterectomy, a vasectomy, or abstinence to prevent pregnancy. If a woman chooses to have unprotective sex, she should recognize she is taking on responsibility if pregnancy occurs. As I mentioned in a previous debate, "One or both are responsible. The crime, the unwantedness, if any, is on one of them, either because one forced the other, or one or both did not take precautions, and in their negligence, the biological sexual function resulted in the conception of the unborn, HER offspring." (R4) [7]

What happens in slavery is similar in some ways to what happens to the unborn. Abortion is (mostly) the choice of the woman to destroy the unborn and diminish its worth. The same devaluing of human life took place with slavery in America. First, the elite ruling class thought more diminutively of a particular group of human beings to exploit them. They systematically discriminated against them until the idea became the norm. Once the value of these people (eg., African Americans) was diminished, they could be persecuted and treated as inferior or less than human, property, even destroyed by those in control. That happened through legislation in some instances (I.e., Nazi Germany enslaving the Jews, then executed over six million). The same happens with the unborn (7-2 decision [10 - see 'Supreme Court Decision'] to give the woman the choice). These unborn human beings are diminished, dehumanized, devalued, discriminated against, demonized, to death. The question is, should we treat human beings who oppose us getting what we want as less equal? Should we be allowed to kill them?

I await my opponent's answers!


***

Please clarify:

What is the unborn? Is it a human being or just human cells?

What is my opponents standard of reference for subjective values regarding the unborn, and why is this subjective standard morally superior?

Why should a woman's choice override the life of the unborn?

***

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: by Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, 39085 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 206, Sandy, OR 97055, 503-668-5200, www.epm.org, www.randyalcorn.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/randyalcorn, www.twitter.com/randyalcorn




Published:
By the rules of this debate: “First Round is reserved for opening statements,” thus I shall not be making any real arguments or rebuttals here (to do such would be a conduct violation to say the least), instead I shall merely give a quick preamble.

This is something of a follow-up to a previous debate on laws within the USA [1]. There is no need to read that debate, as this is a fresh one merely borrowing some points of contention. By the rules of this debate, we shall also “dispute any other areas that may arise from these four contentions”; to which I expect the US Constitution to become of vital importance to affirming and negating Burden of Proof in relation to the resolution. Within the scope of slavery, I do plan to include common medical issues suffered during their main period of subjection.


My Perspective:
Put simply, I don’t hate women. This causes me to be in favor of their continued rights.


Sources:
  1. https://www.debateart.com/debates/1024
Round 2
Published:
To the Readers and Judges
My concern with this topic of debate is what kind of life are we destroying when we kill an unborn whose "parents" are human beings, and if that life is human life, does human life have intrinsic value? If there are no intrinsic values, what else will be done with human beings who are not liked or not wanted is of little relevance, especially to those in power who make the rules of preference binding. To some, I would argue, intrinsic value only becomes meaningful when it becomes personal and something terrible is happening to them or their loved ones. Then objective morality seems to matter. Then some things are certainly wrong to them. 

To My Opponent
I believe science establishes the unborn is a human being from fertilization forward. So, my questions for my opponent ('Con' from here on - it is shorter) are what is the unborn under discussion, and when does a new human life/being begin? Does he know? 

I wait for my opponent to establish what he believes the unborn to be and so direct and determine in which way this debate will be driven!

Rebuttal of Round 1 (R1)
While I recognize it is my opponents choice on whether or not to supply an opening statement, it generally introduces the argument from their perspective. Thus, I have very little to refute from R1. 

Opening statements usually put forth an argument. I do not follow Cons comments here:

" I shall not be making any real arguments or rebuttals here (to do such would be a conduct violation to say the least), instead I shall merely give a quick preamble." [1]
I do not follow how an argument in an opening statement violates conduct unless he is referring solely to rebuttals? He included both as taboo.

Here is the format again:

Four Rounds.
First Round is reserved for opening statements.
No new arguments in the final round. [1]

Nowhere did it state no arguments in the first round. I feel the first round often sets up the course of the discussions by its arguments. Furthermore, in my opening statement (R1), I listed my concerns and identified some disputes against Cons arguments in his previous debate on abortion, from my perspective. His opening statement would have allowed Con to address or clarify his meanings.

***

Con said:

"My Perspective:
Put simply, I don’t hate women. This causes me to be in favor of their continued rights." [1]
Neither do I hate women, but what does this have to do with the debate? It is irrelevant. I'm for women's rights also, except when those 'rights' involve killing another human being.

What rights are we speaking of that recognizes the 'right' of one group of human beings (women) but denies the rights on the other (the unborn)? It is certainly not equal rights if the unborn are human beings. It would be considered murder but for a group of Supreme Court justices in a 7-2 (subjective) vote giving the woman the power to choose if the unborn lives or dies. One minute after birth, she would be charged with murder. I do not see anything just about the choice to kill the unborn if the unborn is a human being, and innocent at that. I believe it is my opponents burden of proof to establish that it is not a human being, or if he feels it is, to justify why some human beings have more value than others (the value he gives to the woman).  

It is my burden of proof to provide evidence that the unborn is a human being (if Con disagrees that it is). So, let's define what we are speaking of in regards to the unborn as I asked in my opening statement of Con. 


1. What is the unborn?

Is it a human being?

Additionally, does my opponent believe that a human being starts its growth cycle at fertilization or at some other time?

2. Are human beings intrinsically valuable or are morals completely subjective?

If human beings are intrinsically valuable because of what they are by nature, what does it say of our values when one group is singled out and killed? If they are not, what does it matter what one human being does to another? It is just a matter of subjective moral opinion and preference. I contend that it very often becomes the preference of those in power who set up what they like (their preference), not necessarily what is right. I also submit that intrinsic values matter very much even to Con. In his last abortion debate, I believe he showed he believed in them in his argument against slavery.

Are subjective values capable of determining right and wrong in regards to the unborn? I keep wondering why my opponent's subjective opinion is any better than his opponents, or mine if subjective values are the criterion in which he, me, we judge right and wrong. I need him to justify his stance.

Again, my opponent needs to state how he arrives at right and wrong from his contention of subjective values regarding the unborn.


3. Murder is a moral wrong.

Is killing an innocent human being murder? I am not arguing the legal meaning/definition currently given in the previous debate regarding the unborn in the USA, but the natural, ethical and philosophical meaning since governments can adopt many unjust practices into "law." (Nazi Germany is a prime example of the propaganda and discriminatory laws [2] enacted by what many would consider an unfair society).

If a woman was to kill her innocent one-day-old or one-week-old newborn, would my opponent consider that murder? If so, why? He seems to concur that it would be regarded as murder per his reference in R3 of his previous debate, here:

"Given that pro keeps repeating the word murder, I wonder if he [is] speaking out against murders risked if abortions do not occur; AKA, she first gives birth and then terminates it for “inconveniencing her” as pro mentioned… I think we both agree [it] would be a crime, but a crime to which pro’s proposal would directly increase whatever low rate of occurrence. Thus this part of pro’s case favors abortion to prevent these murders he is warning us about." [3]

What difference is there between the unborn one minute before birth and one minute after birth in what it is by nature? Yet Con advocates depriving the one of life while granting the other full rights as a human being. If all human beings are equally valuable, then abortion should be outlawed except when the woman's life is threatened, and the result would be the loss of her life if the unborn is not aborted. If Con does not agree that all human life is equally valuable, would Con object to his being the first life taken? Again, the point is how inconsistent is he in his beliefs regarding values?

4. Is pregnancy slavery?

I ask Con to define what he means by slavery.

"Slavery Law and Legal Definition" [4]
i.  A person owned by someone.
ii. A state of being under the control of someone in which a person is forced to work for another.
iii. Slave considered as the property of another and is purchased by another or owns them from birth.
iv. A slave does not have the right to leave the owner.
v. A slave does not receive enumeration.

I could make much of this 'slavery' definition as fitting not the woman but the unborn. 

I would ask these questions as they apply to the legal definition:
i. Is the woman owned by the unborn or is the situation somewhat reversed? It seems to me that the woman owns the unborn in that she determines a) how it will be treated and b) what will become of it. Since the unborn does not appear to have (legal) rights of its own, how can it be classed as an owner (I would argue if the unborn is a human being, then the unborn should have natural rights in light of what it is, a human being)?
ii. Does not the woman control the unborn? She determines whether it lives or dies.
iii. Is the woman the property of the unborn who has no concept yet of what property is or what it means. It is innocent of the whole branding. Once again, does the situation seems somewhat reversed from what Con claims? Does the woman not consider the unborn property since a) it resides within "her space" (the womb) and b) she can do what she wants with it, based on the "it's my body" argument?
iv. Does the unborn have the right to leave the woman? Not until a specific timespan within the pregnancy or it will die. Not only that, it does not have the ability or capability.

Is slavery or involuntary servitude [5] applicable to the pregnant woman? If so, should pregnancy be banned in the USA as pregnancy is understood as slavery or involuntary servitude to some? How can it apply to some but not others? I would argue this type of condition is self-induced slavery (a slave to their own situation). So, yes, it can be thought of as slavery for some women and a joy for others but I do not see how it equates to the type of slavery that makes the innocent unborn the culprit.

Abraham Lincoln, in his reasoning against slavery (Fragments: On Slavery), made much on slavery being turned on the oppressor just as easily as the oppressor turn slavery on the oppressed in regards to racial bigotry or the colour of a person's skin, or because of their intellectual capacity, or just because it was in their interest to do so. [7]

I believe the unborn have been discriminated against on the basis of four areas in which they differ from the newborn human being or fully developed human being. These areas are covered under the acronym SLED. [8]
1. Size,
2. Level of development,
3. Environment, 
4. Level or degree of Dependency.     

***

The UN Declaration on Human Rights

Article 4.
"No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms." [6]

Article 16, subsection 3, states that the family unit is

"the natural and fundamental group unit of society"
that is

"entitled to protection." [6]
What about the unborn? Why is it left out of the definition of being a member of a family unit or group?

Article 25, subsection one, states "everyone" has a right to an adequate standard of living for self and family, including the right to security. Everyone, surely, would include the unborn. Subsection two states mother and child have the right to special care and assistance. What about the unborn? [6]

What kind of equal rights are those that deny the most basic natural right (the right to life) to the most innocent and helpless? 

***

Published:
I will not be responding to the numerous Ad Hominem attacks...


Q&A:
My opinions do not supersede legal precedents, but to answer some of pro’s 64 questions (if a tiny 200 characters were used per question, just answers would take 12,800 characters, which is in excess of the allowance for this debate; so Gish Gallop [1] much?)...

  1. “What is the unborn?”
    Some collection of cells which have not been born, and without intervention may or may not ever be born.

    In context, at some point late in pregnancy one could be considered a viable human being. However, I disagree with insistence that every fertilized embryo in a lab is a living human being “equal in value” and significance to all human beings; which given that pro insists otherwise (“from conception is very much alive and very much a human being”), we’ll have some argument points about it.
     
  2. “Why should a woman's choice override the life of the unborn?” & “what does this have to do with the debate? It is irrelevant.”
    Pro actually insisted women’s rights are “irrelevant” to a debate about controlling their bodies against their will. In 98.7% of abortions the fetus has not reached the phase in development where pain is possible [2, 3], but guaranteed undue hardships befall the mother should she be forced to proceed with a pregnancy (see: Slavery).
     
  3. “Are human beings intrinsically valuable or are morals completely subjective?”
    That is pretty blatant false dichotomy [4], so neither.

    Humans (especially by pro’s definition which does not necessitate persons) can have a massively varied value (MLK vs a random and potentially non-viable embryo in a lab for example), and objective evil like rape do not become ok under any circumstances.

1. “The unborn is a human being”:
Pro wishes for such a broad definition of human that non-viable embryos in labs are “fully human and fully alive,” I will point out that it’s too broad to be meaningful, but that’s his right.
 
I will say that he has a definition from which arguments can be based and challenged, but not a contention onto itself from which the US constitution could be overturned.
 
 
2. “Abortion causes the value of human life to become subjective and diminished”:
Due to pro’s problem with subjective value I will focus on a verifiably quantitative standard... The net worth of a newborn is $0, the net worth of Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s founder and CEO) is $131 billion [5]; so of course some people are greater in value than others.
 
Pro is welcome to suggest a different quantifiable measurement. To which he would still need to prove diminished value of everyone uniquely caused by abortions. I point out the unique problem due to such things as wars, the death penalty and related innocents killed [5], etc.
 
 
3. “Abortion is murder”:
This is a legal debate, to which I will legally prove that abortion is not the crime of murder. According to USLegal.com: “A person commits the crime of murder if with intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of that person or of another person” [6]; additionally the US Supreme Court already determined and repeatedly upheld that “the word ‘person,’ as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn” [7].
 
This common piece of anti-choice rhetoric is a colossal non-sequitur fallacy [8]. Since murder is already illegal, were abortion murder it would already be illegal, making it impossible to then make it illegal. 
 
Feeding back into the previous contention while highlighting the differing value which makes one murder and another not, I’ll show a quick Sophie’s Choice analogy [9]: A fire breaks out at a fertility clinic with a connected daycare, and you must choose between rescuing the kids or ten times as many frozen embryos. I assume every judge would rescue the children, likely for such reasons as not wanting children to painfully burn to death, nor the families to suffer the tangible loss. In contract, the destroyed embryos feel no pain, nor have the families invested as much time in them, etc. Clearly these two things (even with both being made of human DNA) are not of equal importance.


4. People Are Not Property:
Before getting into this, pro seriously asked why he can’t “enslave a woman based on subjective value systems?”... First, because slavery is universally evil [10]. Second, because people are not property; and yes, women are people.
 
Slavery is illegal by the thirteenth US constitutional amendment, which reads: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction” [11]. Note that it includes a ban on the very existence of involuntary servitude, which is defined as “being forced through coercion to work for another. The term is sometimes equated with slavery, however, it does not necessarily imply the complete lack of personal freedom that accompanies slavery” [12]. Finally, in common English usage Indentured Servant and Slave are synonymous [13].
 
One thing pro does understand is that an unborn not being a legal person, would not be considered a slave owner. As seen with Roe v. Wade, she did not sue the fetus inside her, rather she sued the local district attorney whom was using coercion to force his will and/or the will of his friends upon women in direct violation to the US constitution.
 
This argument of course applies to unwilling pregnancies (particularly before the third trimester). And yes just like with sex, consent may be withdrawn [14]. To deny her ability to withdraw consent (which she may or may not have given to begin with), creates a situation that if not pure slavery than certainly highly analogous to slavery and is without a doubt indentured servitude. In fact the UN insists that slavery includes any “system of compulsory labour, public or private, paid or unpaid,” under the rational of the need for “a more expansive and comprehensive definition of slavery that would include not just the forms of slavery involved in the African slave trade but also practices of a similar nature and effect” [15].
 
Fourteenth Amendment:
It’s a good thing to live in a civilized country instead of a theocracy. Citizens of the USA enjoy protections from government intervention as outlined in the constitution and its amendment.
 
As seen in the fourteenth amendment: “Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” [16]; the government can nether deny someone their rights to include health care decisions, nor force them to surrender their liberties by having abortions or rounding all the men up to be neutered to prevent abortions (less invasive on the men...). Given the history of abused powers even when it violated the constitution, there is no reason to doubt removing these limitations would lead to even greater abuse.
 
Negative Health Effects:
Women’s health suffers greatly from pregnancy, often with long term lasting effects. Some of the common ones during pregnancy: Anemia, Depression, Gestational diabetes, High blood pressure, Hyperemesis gravidarum, Placenta previa, Placental abruption, Toxemia [17]. In contract, a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded “abortions have no long-term consequences on women's physical and mental health” [18,19].
 
Plus, according to the UN: “Countries with restrictive abortion policies have much higher unsafe abortion rates. The average unsafe abortion rate was more than four times greater in countries with restrictive abortion policies” and “Countries with restrictive abortion policies have much higher levels of maternal mortality. The average maternal mortality ratio was three times greater in countries with restrictive abortion policies” [20]. Thus, grievous harm is inflicted by making it illegal to include death, and there is no benefit gained for all this harm wantonly inflicted on women.

Negative Economic Effects:
The price tag on a hospital birth is roughly $12,638.31 [21]. For going through with a pregnancy they will be paid far less for equal work the rest of their lives [22]. Of course it’s also their children whose lives are damaged, as was reported in the Journal of Pediatrics: “existing children of women denied abortions had lower mean child development scores and were more likely to live below the Federal Poverty Level” [23].
 
 
5. “The UN”:
Pro had a lot to say about the United Nations, some of which I’ve already leveraged, but for the sake of clarity on issues which seem very important him...
 
The UN doesn’t care about abortions
As pro complained about, the UN does not apply his interpretation of their values into the realm of abortion: “failed to apply that philosophy in the case of the unborn.” That pretty well concedes that they are not going to do anything about abortion in the USA; better yet, they outright seem to believe safe legal access to abortion improves a country [20].
 
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
It does not make a single mention of unborn or abortion, in fact Article 1 begins: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Note the word “born.”
 
 
Sources:
Round 3
Published:
When Con cites a website, I request that the citation identifies the specific point in the article he is mentioning. (i.e., page number, subsection, headline. Eg., [7] - subsection X)

***

Cross-examination and Rebuttal of R2

Con:
"I will not be responding to the numerous Ad Hominem attacks..."
Without providing the proof of such charges, Con is attacking my credibility by assertion, not by evidence. Although what he said could be valid, just making assertions does little to enhance his point.

My witness in forums, an ad hominem claim is sometimes used to villanize an opponent just by mere inference.

***

Q&A:
Con critiques my "64 questions" as "Gish Gallop."

It is easy to dismiss an argument by claiming gobbledygook. If Con believes I am stating untruths, then expose some, which is the art of argumentation, rather than assert them (eg., His R2 23 citations [Gish gallop?]; only 12,000 characters).

Questions serve several purposes; to learn and understand reasoning; cross-examine; emphasize a point; get answers; get commitment; engage the reader in the issues; show absurdity; as rhetorical devices.

1. What is the unborn?

Con:
"Some collection of cells which have not been born, and without intervention may or may not ever be born."
What does that mean? How are cells born?

Con too is a collection of cells. Does that make Con less than a human being? If not, why would it make the unborn less than a human being?

The unborn, from conception, is more than a collection of human cells (see R1). If Con thinks otherwise, then establish biologically precisely when a human being begins. Unless he determines that, he should err on the side of caution by allowing its humanity and life.

*** 

Con: 
"In context, at some point late in pregnancy one could be considered a viable human being."
Note: - could be considered a viable human being "late in pregnancy."

What does could be a 'viable human being' mean?
a) That until the unborn is viable, it is not a human being? Is viability Cons timeline for when human beings begin?
b) Biologically, is it a being at conception and fertilization or not? 
c) Alternatively, is Con saying that he disregards its importance until it is viable?
d) "Could be" reveals indecision, something unknown. 
e) "Considered" by who? What is Cons stated authority; subjective personal opinion, SME/science, appeal to authority or popularity, something else?

***

Con:
"...I disagree with [the] insistence that every fertilized embryo in a lab is a living human being "equal in value" and significance to all human beings..."
Con states his opinion.

That statement brings up some red flags.
a) Is the embryo living?
b) Is the embryo a being?
c) Is the embryo the product of human beings?
Again, I appeal to the readers and judges, if the embryo meets these criteria (i.e., yes), how can it not be a human being?
d) What gives human beings value?
e) When do individual human beings begin to be?

Points four and five are critical. Readers, judges, please note them.

If not all human beings are equal in value, why is Con being inconsistent in insisting that slavery is UNIVERSALLY evil (a moral wrong applied to all)?  What does it matter if one human being or group is unequal and what one human being does to another if all moral values are subjective as Con stated (he shows it matters to him)?

(Again, I contend that in unwanted pregnancy the woman is enslaving herself).

The DOI declares that all "men" (human beings) are created equal (by nature).

***

"Why should a woman's choice override the life of the unborn?" & "what does this have to do with the debate? It is irrelevant."

Con:
"Pro actually insisted women's rights are "irrelevant" to a debate about controlling their bodies against their will."
Con misrepresents my thoughts (the context is on hating women). I never said a woman's choice is irrelevant in controlling her body. The objection is when a woman controls her body at the expense of another [innocent] human life. That is the crux of the argument. Killing the unborn is very relevant to the argument on abortion and its legality.

What is killed?

***

Me:
"Are human beings intrinsically valuable or are morals completely subjective?"
Con:
"That is pretty blatant false dichotomy [4], so neither."
Morality and value tie together. Con believes moral values are subjective.

Intrinsic value (equality of all human beings under the law) is the heart of justice. It is also part of the Declaration of Independence (DOI: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,...") [2]

***

Con:
"Humans (especially by pro's definition which does not necessitate persons) can have a massively varied value (MLK vs a random and potentially non-viable embryo in a lab for example), and objective evil like rape do not become ok under any circumstances."
Sure, humans can and do have varied values. Does that necessarily equate to no objective values? No. I believe objective values are necessary for making sense of morality. 

I am on record as stating that the unborn is a person (by its nature it is a personal being). [3]

Does Con know when personhood begins? Are humans beings personal beings by nature of being human? Con seems to judge them by function, not nature. The DOI identifies humans by nature, not function. Functionally, humans are not equal.

Agreed, rape is wrong, yet killing the innocent unborn because of rape is not justifiable. It adds another injustice. 

***

1. "The unborn is a human being"

Con:
1. "...non-viable embryo in labs
Vs.
2. "fully human or fully alive" ...[is] too broad to be meaningful" 
Broad definition? Again, the language is discriminatory and devaluing if all human beings are equal. I ask the readers and judges, is a human embryo by nature a human being, part/half-human being, another kind of being, or non-being? Is it alive or dead? I believe Con mistakes the unborn's functionality with its development as disqualifying it from being fully human or fully alive. Its environment (the lab or womb) should not disqualify it either.

2. “Abortion causes the value of human life to become subjective and diminished”

Con:
"Due to pro’s problem with subjective value..." 
A=A.

My problem with subjective values is that they mean different things to different people. I believe values need an objective, absolute, unchanging reference point. If Con does not have one, why are his values any better than mine? In most instances, he is using a "better" comparison without an ideal or fixed reference point (a best). That begs the question of how he arrives at "better"?

***

Cons "verifiably quantitative standard" equates monetary worth to human value. It is equivocation and a weak analogy. Value is being equated in two different senses. If I have one dollar and Con has zero dollars, does that give me the right to kill him? Con is suggesting that the one with no money is more expendable or of lesser worth than the one with more? Second, Con equates a quantitative standard to a qualitative standard. The two have different measurement requirements, one physical/tangible, the other abstract/intangible. The relationship is vague at best.

3. “Abortion is murder”

Con: "This is a legal debate,..."

It encompasses more than legality. What is and what should be are often two different variables. The heart of the issue is what the unborn is. That is a legal, scientific, and philosophical issue.

***

Con:
"...prove diminished value of everyone uniquely caused by abortions."
Not treating all human beings equally under the law is an injustice. 

Scientifically [4] and philosophically the unborn is a human being from conception. This is reasonable to believe.
The UN Declaration on Human Rights, as well as the US Declaration of Independence (DOI), agree that all human beings have equal value. That applies to their nature, not their function. Thus, killing or discriminating against an innocent human being is discriminatory, unequal, and unjust treatment. 

***

Con:
"...in direct violation to the US constitution."   
Where does the Constitution mention abortion? 

***
Unjust Laws

Some Constitution framers were acquainted with Aristotelian thought and philosophy and the rule of law [5]. Ethics and politics were closely linked. [6] Aristotle believed that the end goal of politics was to produce noble actions in people. Politics should not be used to gain power by the governing body. A functional democracy can turn into the oppression of the majority.  

James S. Witherspoon, Re-examining Roe, made many excellent points [7].
 
In Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court ruled,
1. The unborn are not "persons" protected by the 14th Amendment,
2. States need not protect the unborn, under the 14th Amendment, by prohibiting abortion. [7 - p.30]

The Court's conclusion was based on "assertion of historical fact" claiming the 19th-century State common and statutory law did not recognize the personhood of the unborn. [7 - p.30-31]

James Witherspoon regards the historical assertions Justice Blackmun penned as flawed in Roe vs. Wade [8]. Blackmun cited two articles by attorney Cyril Means regarding the Fourteenth Amendment. (i.e., Means believed "19th-century abortion laws weren't really about protecting the unborn" [9]).

Texas passed a bill banning abortion and identifying the unborn as a child, deserving the rights of protection.

The Penal Code of the State of Texas, 1857 [10]
ART. 535. If any person shall, during parturition of the mother, destroy the vitality or life in a child, in a state of being born, and before actual birth, which child would otherwise have been born alive, he shall be punished, by confinement in the Penitentiary, for life, or any period not less than five years, at the discretion of the jury.

1849 - 18 of 30 States had enacted antiabortion laws. [7 - p.33]
1854 - New Mexico viewed attempts to kill a viable unborn as murder.
1857 - Penal Code of Texas
1864 - 27 of 32 States had enacted antiabortion laws.
1866 - Dr. Horatio Storer, in 1866, recognized the unborn alive from conception. [7 - p.38]
1867 - the Medical Society of NY calls abortion "murder." [11]
1868 - 14th Amendment ratified, and 30 of 37 States passed antiabortion laws. [7 - p.35-36]
23 of the 37 State laws described the unborn as "child." [11]
1869 - AMA demanded protection of the unborn. [11]

Means and James Mohr claimed [12]:
1. Abortion was not a crime before the enactment of the 19th-century laws banning abortion. (Wrong - It was thought a crime even in colonial times) 
2. Abortion was safe. (Wrong)
3. Abortion was primarily to protect the woman. (Wrong)

Witherspoon noted these framers of the antiabortion laws considered the unborn a valuable human being, naming it a child in their legislature. They saw it in light of the 14th Amendment deserving the right to life and protection under due process. 

[3] https://www.debateart.com/debates/241 (i.e., R1, Definitions; R2, "When Does a Human...?"; R3, "Viability and Personhood.")
[4] https://www.epm.org/resources/2011/Apr/27/when-does-life-begin-quotes-many-sources/ (quotes from embryology, science, when life begins)
[5] http://www.nlnrac.org/classical/aristotle (eg., 1st two paragraphs)

Published:
Q&A:
More Gish Gallop from pro (addressed in greater depth under the heading “Conduct Issues”). I have already given several answers, to which pro responds with first 4, then 5, then 6 more questions... He even requests that I teach him basic biology of the birthing process.
 
Given I am not the topic of the debate, but rather the law within the USA is; this section can be summarized with what I preceded my answers with previously: “My opinions do not supersede legal precedents.” Beyond that, everything relevant is addressed thematically under the argument headings.
 
 
1. “The unborn is a human being”:
Pro complains my “language is discriminatory and devaluing,” yet were all human beings equal and “unchanging” as he claims, it would be literally impossible for my language to arbitrarily change their value.
 
Put simply, pro has not bridged the gap to proving that non-feeling, non-thinking, non-contributors are people for which the law applies. If this is confusing, just remember that while all oranges are fruit, not all fruit are oranges; similarly each person is a collection of human DNA, but not all collections of human DNA are people (earlier I legally proved this with the US Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter). The next section directly addresses if the unborn share the same value as people.
 
 
2. “Abortion causes the value of human life to become subjective and diminished”:
Pro has effectively dropped this core area of his case.
 
Standard of Measurement
Con has offered no value alternative to net worth for weighting this claim. Instead he complains that he believes “values need an objective, absolute, unchanging reference point,”but has no such value measurement to suggest.

His case calls for proving that the greatest men and women are of precisely equal value to non-viable embryos which do not think, do not feel, and do not contribute anything to society. He has not met his Burden of Proof on this.
 
Pro does offer a particularly lame straw person [1], by claiming that I am okaying murdering people if they have less money. What I have actually shown here was that people have differing value, refuting pro’s big claim to harm done by legal abortion. The issue of murder was already addressed under its own heading.
 
Diminished Value
Pro continues to refuse to reveal any way value is diminished. Instead he does circular reasoning [2] by claiming the value is lowered because it’s such an injustice that the value is lowered, without the value actually being shown to be lowered for said injustice to occur. He goes on to again cite the UN Declaration on Human Rights, which is a concession given that I already raised it stipulates only applying from birth onward (see R2 heading “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”).
 
Further, I have proven (under multiple other headings) that denied abortions harm people; women and children both, which could be said to be an injustice.
 
 
3. “Abortion is murder”:
Extend arguments. Pro has dropped that the unborn are not people, and that the specific crime of murder relates to solely to people. And no reason murder should relate to non-people has been shown; specifically, ones that experience no harm by their destruction and failing to destroy them would inflict harm on various people (at least when mothers are unwilling to continue pregnancy).
 
Going further on this, murder inflicts harm. Harm experienced by people. No harm has been demonstrated to be suffered by the unborn. In fact, as I previously cited: “In 98.7% of abortions the fetus has not reached the phase in development where pain is possible.” This becomes important because for pro’s ban applies from the moment of conception, to include embryos which will never be placed inside a womb.
 
Sophie’s Choice
Pro has dropped that individual people are worth more than even a multitude of the unborn, along with the fact that people experience harms during and related to said destruction to which the unborn do not.
 
 
4. People Are Not Property (AKA Slavery):
Pro has dropped this broad area, so extend all.
 
A small note, pro previously mentioned “If a woman chooses to have unprotective sex, she should recognize she is taking on responsibility if pregnancy occurs.” And insists that same applies to rape victims. He anchors this by comparing women to Nazis [3], to poison the well [4], rather than finding some actual harm experienced by the unborn (ideally one greater than the harm inflicted on people as a result of denied abortions).
 
Fourteenth Amendment
This is the sole part of this section pro did not quite wholly drop, instead inquiring “Where does the Constitution mention abortion?” As already clear by the context and should be well known by anyone familiar with Roe v. Wade, the Fourteenth Amendment excludes the government from interfering in people’s private medical decisions to include abortion; which I already explained: “the government can nether deny someone their rights to include health care decisions, nor force them to surrender their liberties by having abortions or rounding all the men up to be neutered to prevent abortions.”
 
I should also remind judges that the Fourteenth Amendment limits what the state can do without due process, not the actions of free people.
 
 
5. “The UN”:
Pro has dropped this, to include that the apparent universal value of a humans only begins at birth. As a reminder, it is pro who brought them into this debate, and continues to repeatedly cite them as a valid authority on this.
 
 
6. “Unjust Laws”:
Pro cites that back when slavery was legal (pre-1865) various states had (now long overturned) anti-abortion laws. However, he offers zero suggestion as to why any should be applied today. He further mentions things like back then (the better part of 200 years ago) abortion was not safe like today; ironically while demanding abortion return to being unsafe (as I proved with data from the United Nations). In summary, this section from him is just a fallacious appeal to tradition [5].
 
 
Conduct Issues:
Ad Hominem Attacks
Con denies having made any Ad Hominem attacks, which are defined as “attacking the claim-maker, rather than engaging in an argument or factual refutation of the claim” [6], if his denial is true his R1 (prior to me making any arguments or comments on this debate) would not have accused me of suffering “irrationality or confusion,” nor would such off topic attacks have come up again “Again, the point is how inconsistent is he in his beliefs regarding values?” 

Additionally, the Q&A feels designed to call me a hypocrite, rather than address the legal resolution in question.
 
Gish Gallop
As a reminder, “the Gish Gallop is the fallacious debate tactic of drowning your opponent in a flood of individually-weak arguments in order to prevent rebuttal of the whole argument collection without great effort” [7]. Pro denies having done this, stating that I must individually prove his untruths, to include the literally 30 more questions he asked this round, which is him tripling down on Gish Galloping.
 
He goes on to commit a Tu Quoque [8] (similar to Whataboutism) by asserting that me citing my sources was the real Gish Gallop.
 
 
Sources:
The main relevant part is each is the limited content above the table of contents.
  1. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Straw_man
  2. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Circular_reasoning
  3. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Nazi_analogies
  4. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well
  5. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Appeal_to_tradition
  6. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_hominem
  7. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop
  8. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Tu_quoque
Round 4
Published:
Two critical questions:
1. What is being killed?
2. Why does it matter?

  1. Science/biology, philosophy, and logic affirm the unborn is a human being by nature, from fertilization. Con continually confused "functionality/ability" with capacity, level of development, and nature. Functionality does not alter the nature of a human being. I previously argued that human cells are different from a whole human organism which the unborn is by nature, biologically. Con has not directly disputed these two claims nor the evidence I presented.
  2. It matters what the unborn is as both the Declaration of Independence and US law regard human beings as equal under the law. For justice, equality is necessary. The law should protect the freedom of every American, every human being, or else there is no justice.
In the Description, I said, "I want to exploit your reasoning further"  in regards to his language in the Caleb/Ragnar debate. For three rounds, Con failed his burden of proof despite my pleading. He has not defined his terms. He neglected questions to clarify meaning about the unborn, continually talking around the issue. Specifically, the language he used is vague and interpretive in two divergent ways. I still do not know if he regards the unborn as anything more than grouped human cells, or a complete human organism/being by nature. Determining when a human being begins is crucial to an abortion debate on whether abortion should be illegal because of what is being killed. If the unborn is a human being from fertilization, I believe Con realizes his argument is weak and unsustainable. It would mean there is no equality under the very foundation of American law; the law he is upholding as just. Not only this, Con says all moral value is subjective. His words betray the statement. He treats some human beings (the woman) as more valuable and stated slavery as a universal. At best, he is inconsistent in this matter.

 What is being killed? It is a human being.

***

R.C. Sproul defined authority as "the right to impose an obligation," as the law does. Authority is essential in deciding and enacting the truth. An "authority" not recognizing truth or fact is not one to believe. How do subjective moralists determine the truth? Why should I find Cons subjective moral values, his feelings towards abortion, are valid? He has given me a reason, abortion is legal. Legality does not necessitate just and right, especially when subjectivity is the rule (7-2 decision). 

Con stated, "Value has always been a subjective term because different people want different things." (Thus morality is subjective to him) 
First, he confused preference with right and wrong (R1, IV; R2, 2). Second, the Roe v. Wade law is an authority his subjective morality accepts. Not all laws are just. Subjective moral value [1] is grounded in the individual or culture of like-minded preferences, not mind-independent truth. 
Truth does not depend on Cons belief system. His standard is iffy. Qualitative value has different criteria than for quantitative value. He sees his dog and factually knows that his dog is or is not, at present, lying on the couch. Yet he does not know (just feels) if it is right or wrong to kill innocent human beings.

Equality for justice is a necessary, self-evident truth. All human beings should be equal under the law.

Rebuttal
Q&A and Conduct Issues
Tu Quoque: Con wants the judges to subtract conduct points for ad hominems (which he finally identified). Does he recognize the same conduct issue would apply to him? The fact is that he charged me with ad hominems without defining them in R2. In its own right, and by his provided definition, it meets an ad hominem attack (Con: "I will not be responding to the numerous Ad Hominem attacks..."). The claim attacked my character (i.e., He claimed I attacked his character) without any "factual refutation of the claim."

The claim qualifies as Begging the Question [2]

***
Regarding Ad hominems:"In arguments where the character or circumstances are relevant to the substance of the argument, no fallacy occurs." [3]

Since he has now identified some ad hominem contentions, I will make my appeal.

I did not understand whether Con was referring to the unborn as mere human cells or whether he understood it to be a human being (my constant theme). His language confused me. I asked for clarification. The obscurity came by Con not defining his terms or identifying when a human being begins. He compounded the fuzziness with more language that inferred to me that he viewed the unborn as not a human being.

My point was also valid in saying, "My opponent seems to confuse moral values with moral preferences." I then explained the difference between a preference and a moral right. Preference/choice applies to a subject person, "Joe likes ice-cream." It is not binding on others since it is his subjective taste. Morals are obligations or oughts under the law that apply to everyone. "Joe likes to kill people who eat ice-cream" is something no one ought to do.

Strawman: Con says he is "not the topic of the debate, but rather the law within the USA is." His contentions are part of the debate by saying that all moral value is subjective. Not all laws are just laws. Thus, I wanted him to identify whether the unborn is a human being, and when it begins to exist as a human being. 
Con eluded the subject, the heart of the debate. I pointed out that Roe v. Wade relied on an interpretation of antiabortion law history that was inaccurate. It did not represent what the framers and legislators thought about the unborn. Justice Blackmun's decision was legally, biologically, historically, philosophically, logically, and morally wrong/unjust. The reason; not all human beings are deemed as equal under the law. The most basic fundamental right, the right to life is denied the unborn. The woman does not want it (subjective feeling), for whatever reason.

Sophies Choice
Appeal to Emotion/Red Herring: Hypothetical and saving one above the other does not mean one is a less valuable human being. [4]

1. "The unborn is a human being."
Con: "Pro complains my "language is discriminatory and devaluing," yet were all human beings equal and "unchanging" as he claims, it would be literally impossible for my language to arbitrarily change their value."

I am stating that neither Con nor Roe v. Wade uses the same standard prescribed by US law under the Declaration of Independence or State legislators by treating the unborn equally due to its nature.

Regarding equality, USA laws are directly involved. Are all human beings treated equally? No, they are not, if the unborn is a human being. I have reasonably established it is, and note, Con has not established otherwise. Thus, I argue an unjust law is mistreating to the unborn by devaluing and dehumanizing it.

Cons words diminish the worth and value of the unborn if it is, in fact, a human being. Through three rounds he has disregarded its human nature. He veiled its humanity by calling it "human cells, insignificant, a non-contributor," and compared its worth via analogies to monetary values as equalling zero.  He continues to paint the unborn in expendable, subhuman, and dehumanizing terms. I would not object IF the unborn were not a human being. 

Con: Bridging the Gap
I have bridged the gap Con claims I missed. I sought to understand why the unborn are unequally treated under the law, by pro-choice advocates. I appeal to the readers and judges to think of how functionality/ability disqualifies the unborn from its humanity or being equally human by nature and capacity.  

Standard of Measurement
My objective measurement is self-evident; justice must be equal for every human being. 

3. “Abortion is murder.”
Unless Con demonstrates biologically a person begins at birth, the argument stands.

Pain nor development are a basis unless Con proves those with congenital analgesia or the undeveloped are not people/human beings.

4. People Are Not Property (AKA Slavery)
Con never met my argument in R2. There is nothing to drop. The argument stands.

Con: Rape
My argument stands. One evil does not justify another. The unborn is an innocent victim. The offspring shares the woman's genetic code.

Con: Women compared to Nazis = Nazi fallacy and Poisoning the Well
I gave a legitimate example not comparing the woman here (as Con claims) but laws and culture that discriminate against people, "That happened through legislation in some instances (I.e., Nazi Germany enslaving the Jews...)" I ask, is that an accurate statement? [5] The similarities between the unborn and abortion to the American culture of slavery plus the Nazis laws leading to the holocaust are discriminatory [6]. The woman does decide to abort her offspring influenced by a culture condoning and propagating dehumanizing language [7] regarding the unborn. 


Often my observation on forums is a "truth-value" [8] claim referencing Hitler, or the Nazis, is taboo. Immediately, fallacies are listed to poison the well without the claimed fallacy adequately explained. Poisoning the well is used to create "a conceptual framework" to influence the audience to fall into a "conceptual trap," as noted by Robert Ruiz. [8] If the reader or judges think I poisoned the well rather than identify discriminatory practices, I request they read more about slavery or Nazi laws and their dehumanizing language.

Con: Harm to Women
The harm to the unborn is irreversibly greater.

Fourteenth Amendment
Please see my argument on Blackmun above under "Strawman." 

Adverse Health Effects/Negative Economic Effects
They do not justify killing an innocent human being.

5. “The UN”
The value and equality of a human being begin when it begins or else there is no justice. The "First Principles of Morals and Justice" [9] identifies justice and equality as a self-evident and necessary truth. I concur. I ask the readers and judges how can there be justice if not everyone is treated equally? Blackmun did not apply justice equally in his decision if the unborn is a human being and person. Con never proved otherwise

6. “Unjust Laws”
Con claims I offered zero suggestions on why the laws of yesterday should be applied today. That is not true. I offered various reasons under the heading. The constant theme is that both then and now the unborn was/is a living human being deserving equality under the law.

Gish Gallop
See R 2. Questions serve a purpose; rhetorical devices, engage thinking, seek answers, emphasis points.

My example illustrated many things can be claimed "Gish Gallop" including inundation of links referencing volumes of non-specific information (R2) = linkwarz [10] 

***

This is my last opportunity to defend against Con claims. Thank you to the Judges and Con for the participation! I enjoyed the battle.

I hope others will share in the compassion for the unborn and not stay silent!

[2] https://philosophy.lander.edu/scireas/begging.html (i.e., D. "the statements are suitable paraphrases of each other, and each depends upon the other for its truth." -> P. "He has committed ad hominems." C: "I will not respond to them.")  
[9] Especially Chapter IV, On Necessary Truths and The Existence of Morals 
[10] http://www.onlinedebate.net/index.php?page=odnrules (See: Quoting External Sources)
Published:
In summary, this debate started on July 2nd and it's now August 12th. For over a month pro has failed to identify any harm caused by abortion, and neither contest nor mitigate the grievous harms inflicted by denied abortions.


Q&A:
Pro continues to outright ignore when answers are already given, but I’ll answer these last two he highlighted...

“1. What is being killed?”
See previous answers: “Some collection of cells which have not been born, and without intervention may or may not ever be born” ... “specifically, ones that experience no harm by their destruction and failing to destroy them would inflict harm on various people.” Remember that “in 98.7% of abortions the fetus has not reached the phase in development where pain is possible.” ... I am uncertain how many more ways I need to say “not people,” to fit pro’s criteria for answering his ad nauseam question [1].

Despite my repeated reminders, pro has failed to find any harm experienced by these unborn but wants to continuously harm women and children for the entirety of their lives. He even explicitly targets rape victims.

“2. Why does it matter?”
To anyone not emotionally invested in the individual pregnancy and its unique circumstances and complications, it should not.

Ironically here pro insists “the law should protect the freedom of every American,” yet is outright endorsing stripping the freedom from unwilling people, reducing them to slaves or indentured servants. Further the details of this will ruin their health, future livelihood, and directly harm the development of their existing children while also forcing said children into poverty; creating a generational damage effect as seen with the African slave trade. It was pro who wrote: “Once the value of these people (eg., African Americans) was diminished, they could be persecuted and treated as inferior or less than human, property, even destroyed by those in control.” So, his argument boils down to an effort to artificially decrease the value of certain groups of people in the very way he cautioned against.


1. “The unborn is a human being”:
Pro has again dropped that his definition of the unborn as human does not equate them to being people. Further he insists that by his “objective, absolute, unchanging reference point” some random person online (me) is arbitrarily capable of fundamentally altering said absolute unchanging value any time at a whim.

Bridged the Gap
I pointed out that pro has failed in “proving that non-feeling, non-thinking, non-contributors are people for which the law applies.” He claims to have already proven that those are not marks of personhood but refuses to share with myself or the judges where he did this.


2. “Abortion causes the value of human life to become subjective and diminished”:
Pro has extended his drop of this core area of his case.

Standard of Measurement
As a reminder, “His case calls for proving that the greatest men and women are of precisely equal value to non-viable embryos which do not think, do not feel, and do not contribute anything to society. He has not met his Burden of Proof on this.”

He claims that “justice must be equal for every human being,” yet demands injustice be inflicted upon whole families for generations. If people were somehow only equal to the unborn, that damage would outweigh any short-term damage to the unborn.

Diminished Value
Pro drops that there is no diminished value, and worse that by his odd standard it would be outright impossible for diminished value to occur. Extend.


3. “Abortion is murder”:
Pro has decided not to challenge my arguments, particularly the harms for judges use in their impact analysis. As for personhood beginning at birth, I proved it in a host of ways, to include flipping the pro’s own provided Universal Declaration of Human Rights which went directly against his own case.

Dropped Highlights:
  • “Pro has dropped that the unborn are not people”
  • “that the specific crime of murder relates to solely to people”
  • “no reason murder should relate to non-people has been shown”
  • That the unborn “experience no harm by their destruction and failing to destroy them would inflict harm on various people (at least when mothers are unwilling to continue pregnancy).”

Sophie’s Choice
Pro asserts that one being valued higher than even a multitude of the other is an off topic Red Herring [2] to discussion of their comparative value, and vaguely cites a Christian fundamentalist blog rather than making a real argument.

As I explained earlier, everyone in possession of a conscience:
“would rescue the children, likely for such reasons as not wanting children to painfully burn to death, nor the families to suffer the tangible loss. In [contrast], the destroyed embryos feel no pain, nor have the families invested as much time in them, etc. Clearly these two things (even with both being made of human DNA) are not of equal importance.”
Pro argues they’re semantically both human, but I’ve shown that does not mean they’re both people or even of comparative value to people.


4. People Are Not Property (AKA Slavery):
Pro blatantly lies about the debate content, claiming that my R2 did not contain the lengthy section “People Are Not Property.”

Rape:
Pro actually claims that not forcing the rape victims into slavery (and to suffer the various harms I’ve shown) would be evil. He even extends my analysis that he believes the reason for this is her apparent choice to be raped... Since he has failed to prove women are not people (or worse not ‘human’ since that’s his golden standard), this would be a violation of every conceivable ethical system.

Women compared to Nazis
Pro cites such things as discretionary abuse, and demands we inflict those upon women. He further continues to refuse to show some actual harm experienced by the unborn (ideally one greater than the harm inflicted on people as a result of denied abortions).”

He at least leaves it up to the judges if his Nazi comparison was intended to poison the well. He sadly follows this by insisting if anyone side against him on this, they are uneducated.

Harm to Women
Pro says the harm to the unborn is greater but refuses to demonstrate said harm.

Negative Health Effects
Pro asserts that these do not justify preventative action but fails to explain why it would not.

Negative Economic Effects
Pro asserts that these do not justify preventative action but fails to explain why it would not.

Fourteenth Amendment
Key thing, pro leaves dropped that his legal changes would empower politicians to inflict abortions (the very thing pro is against) and sterilizations on members of any group they dislike.

Pro’s brief rebuttal (oddly under the heading “Strawman”) both misses that Roe v. Wade has been repeatedly upheld due to us not living in a theocracy which practices slavery (that the law forbids him from kidnapping and enslaving random women has been something he’s repeatedly complained about). His case against Justice Blackmun's Roe v. Wade decision is dependent on long overturned slave era laws and outdated medicine, as I already identified in R3 under the “Unjust Laws” heading. In short, he’s got “just a fallacious appeal to tradition,” to which he has doubled down on instead of demonstrating why those already rejected slavery era traditions should be applied today.


5. “The UN”:
Pro’s reply here does not even address anything about the United Nations, and it claimed to be proven by a non-existent source. I think he was just testing out the Chebacco Defense [3], rather than trying anything on topic.

Again, pro brought into this debate that by his cited authority the apparent universal value of a humans only begins at birth.”


6. “Unjust Laws”:
Mostly already tackled under the Fourteenth Amendment heading, but in gist: Pro leaves dropped that this section from him is just a fallacious appeal to tradition.” Plus, he also dropped that abortions would not be stopped by his suggested legal change, they would just return to being unsafe,”increasing the harm for zero benefit or prevented harm. As a reminder from one of my unchallenged data bits from R2:
“Countries with restrictive abortion policies have much higher unsafe abortion rates. The average unsafe abortion rate was more than four times greater in countries with restrictive abortion policies” and “Countries with restrictive abortion policies have much higher levels of maternal mortality. The average maternal mortality ratio was three times greater in countries with restrictive abortion policies” -United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs [4]
This alone would prove that abortion bans are wholly unjust laws designed to harm women.


Conduct Issues:
At the start of R2 I tried to gently steer this debate away from focusing on conduct, but pro wants to make it a centerpiece... He even falsely insists that there’s no evidence of his words just circular reasoning, yet for that fallacy to occur the quotes from him would not exist to verify. If in doubt, each fallacy I’ve identified from him can be run through a simple Modus Ponens [5] test (which was the logic I used, just not previously put directly in this form):
P1: If someone says X, they’ve committed fallacy Y.
P2: Various quotes from pro which say X.
C: Therefore, pro has committed fallacy Y.

Ad Hominem
Extend. Pro can cherry-pick [6] the definition down to an out of context five words of it to continue the attack on my character, but it doesn’t change that he’s off topic to distract from the debate.

Tu Quoque
He repeats this for the Ad Hominem section, while failing to prove he wasn’t wholly fallacious in the Gish Gallop accusation that citing sources was the real crime.

Gish Gallop
That pro’s questions served a purpose, does not change that purpose was a fallacious attempt to Gish Gallop away into the sunset [7], so extend.


Sources:
On sources I should note that pro is engaging the selective use of evidence fallacy [5], via selecting a different website each time he wishes to point out a perceived fallacy. To quote Einstein [6], “If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!”
 
The main relevant part is each fallacy link is the limited content above the table of contents.
  1. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_nauseam
  2. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Red_herring
  3. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Chewbacca_Defense
  4. https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/policy/AbortionPoliciesReproductiveHealth.pdf highlights on page 1.
  5. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Modus_ponens
  6. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Cherry_picking
  7. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop

Added:
--> @Ramshutu
Thanks for voting!
Contender
#18
Added:
--> @FaustianJustice
Thanks for voting! And I'm sorry it wasn't an enjoyable read like last time.
Contender
#17
Added:
For the record, I read the RFD offered after I suggested mine own, and WhiteFlame does a pretty good job on giving a word choice to my concerns.
Judge
#16
Added:
--> @Ragnar
No worries, I should be sitting down to review this tonight.
Judge
#15
Added:
--> @whiteflame
Thanks for voting, doubly so for such a long and detailed one with so much thought put into it. At 13,490 characters, it surpassed our 12K limit, and was in fact almost twice the length of my R3.
Contender
#14
Added:
oooh I'm excited to see how this plays out
#13
Added:
--> @Ragnar
I've read through it, haven't had much time to sit down and write out an RFD just yet. Should be working on that this weekend.
Judge
#12
Added:
--> @Ragnar
I will be voting, in starting to ramp back up after a really busy few weeks; however weekdays are when I am most active voting :)
Judge
#11
Added:
--> @Virtuoso, @bsh1, @whiteflame, @FaustianJustice, @Ramshutu
Given that it's the start of the weekend, I figure now would be an ideal time for a vote reminder. So please vote...
Of course if not voting, any debate feedback would still very much be appreciated.
Contender
#10
Added:
I would've asked him to clarify what he means by "women" when states "Put simply, I don’t hate women. This causes me to be in favor of their continued rights."
All women or just certain women? "Woman" technically is an adult female. So is he implying there are some females he does hate, and thus would be in favor of eliminating their rights? This is a huge question with huge implications.
- if you love X (i.e. don't X), then it follows the very first thing would be to allow X to continue to exist (live). After all, how could you say you love "X" but want it to not live (continue existing).
It also follows that if you love (don't hate) X, you would want those things that develop into X to continue to do so.
#9
Added:
A typo of note from me in R3 was: "Con has offered no value alternative" which should have read "Pro" instead of con (as I was con referred to pro). Anyway, I don't expect S&G to become an issue on this debate.
Contender
#8
Added:
Ragnar could lose!
(I don't care who wins, but it looks even and this will be Ragnar's first loss EVER)
#7
Added:
--> @bsh1, @Ragnar, @whiteflame, @FaustianJustice, @Ramshutu
Clarification:
To make other materials fit I deleted a portion of my response in R3. This contained a citation [1]. Instead of reassigning all citations I started with [2]. There are only eleven citations instead of twelve (i.e., 2-12).
Instigator
#6
Added:
--> @Mharman
That is a fascinating opinion, given that you haven't read the arguments.
Contender
#5
Added:
Pro should win this.
#4
Judge
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
I will be honest and start off with saying that pros style here somewhat let him down. Pro appeared to rely heavily on asking questions to make rhetorical points: many of these felt like loaded questions, and felt like appeals to emotion - which are fine in some mediums, but don’t make it east to disentangle in this one.
Pros central argument upon which everything else seemed to be based, is that an unborn child, fetus, or embryo is a human being, and thus should be treated with the value and all the rights of a human being.
As a starting point, this seems reasonable: but con makes substantial inroads here by driving a wedge between extremes:
Contrasting MLK and embryos in a lab; or living, breathing, contributing humans to embryos that will not survive was an excellent appeal to intuition, that showed that pros argument wasn’t adequate to describe the nature of reality.
How con seemed to turn this debate on this point; was to show that the value of embryos and that of real living humans isn’t the same - thus pros value cannot apply, without having a good value with which to determine the relative worth of an embryo - this to me eroded the central plank of pros argument.
Pro mostly responded simply by trying to restate that embryos are humans, that humans have differing values - but the same objective value.
By the end of this inherent exchange, I was left in the position where I wasn’t sure what the value of an embryo is, nor how to really measure it : as while I’m prepared to buy pros premise, con showed that pros black and white approach is less inherently intuitive with cons more nuanced issues.
Cons central plank, is that forcing a woman to nourish and nurture and unborn child against her will is effectively slavery.
Con provides an explanation of why he feels a Woman carrying a fetus against her will is slavery - and pro largely appears to fully concede this point.
Pros main objection to the slavery point here - is to argue that just because something is evil, doesn’t mean it should be solved with another evil.
This all requires me to buy into pros values: which as explained, I don’t fully.
Pro indeed tells me that it’s wrong to fight one evil with another, and I think this point put a nail in the coffin: this appears to be exactly what pro is doing: suggesting that the evil of slavery is okay to fight the evil of rape, or other issues pro suggests - but the evil of termination is not.
If I had a good way of measuring the value, I may have come down a different way: but cons effective rebuttal to this point was to suggest that if one were to decide between two evils, slavery has a definitive harm, cost, and negatives - while the termination option is largely without any associated impact. I would have liked to see this point challenged with more than a dismissive line that seemed to miss the point con appeared to be making.
As pro tied everything back to his personhood claim - a point which I felt sufficiently muddied, this raised pros slavery claim: as he very much highlighted the harm, and essentially relied on a similar value case to pro (real people and humans that are born and are alive suffer and are harmed by this); because of all of this, arguments go to con.
I am going to tie all other points; while I considered conduct, I don’t feel this was clear cut enough for me to warrant an award.
Judge
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Okay. I was not a fan of this debate, at all. I am not going to award sources, or grammar, as they both pretty well were relevant to what was being relied upon. Pro had ground to make, Con didn't really -have- to do anything, argumentation wise.
I am not going to award conduct, because frankly "Wow, neither conduct was great" isn't present.
I was able to understand the instigator's concept. A fertilized egg was now a person/human being/human. This, however was challenged in the legal forum in which currently it doesn't hold. What I wanted was a convincing argument as to why I should consider (as Con relates through Sophie's Choice hypothetical), why is the batch of fertilized and frozen embryos panned? I know I did a little moral calculus and determined I am rushing the day care to save kids. I don't know if most would, regarding asking for a citation, but that is the measure of a convincing argument. I think Con did a lot to answer questions (some efforts in good faith, some in the interest of at least ham-fisting what was already believed to be answered), but that hypothetical I feel was a lynch pin in the moral framework that Pro wanted to build. It was avoided.
What I also wanted was an internally consistent argument if it insists upon itself to be true, that being outlawing abortion is not slavery.
This is real tough to reconcile, as Con pointed out:
"If a woman chooses to have unprotective sex, she should recognize she is taking on responsibility if pregnancy occurs."
"I never said a woman's choice is irrelevant in controlling her body."
"Agreed, rape is wrong, yet killing the innocent unborn because of rape is not justifiable. It adds another injustice."
Simplified:
A woman accepts responsibility for pregnancy if she chooses sex.
A woman can control their body.
A woman cannot terminate a pregnancy (control her body) she didn't accept responsibility or choose sex.
... but its not slavery? Um...
This collection of terms unequivocally states that a woman on the matter of carrying a child has no rights. Indeed, she is obligated to carry to term a child she has no desire for, no responsibility in creating, compounding the usurpation of autonomy she already lost. IE, no, she is not allowed to control her body. Were all people to be created equal, this to doesn't hold.
All that said, I feel this debate was mostly to people eloquently talking past each other. Pro insisted on something with no reason given as to why, repeated the same questions which I feel were answered. Con clearly was not interested in a philosophical debate on the nature of man, and it showed even though I think that is what Pro was initially auguring for but wasn't clear on.
Judge
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
RFD given here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qxbpf0qsdHFRyyYGUeCP8tYQBzr-fvTSHZFGYVo-WKY/edit?usp=sharing