Congratulations on your promotion to chief moderator by the way.
First, my opponent has conceded that he supports killing a human life.
Moving on to his contention one A
The conditions for moral personhood
- I reject wholesale the notion that simply because you are dependent on someone else for survival (even someone else's body) that you are therefore disqualified from moral personhood. I need my opponent to explain exactly why that is. After all, If I'm in a coma I am reliant on a doctor's body to keep me alive. But the law and the harm principle my opponent uses in his framework insists that I not be randomly murdered by a passerby. Why then is personhood denied to a fetus in a similar situation?
- I also reject the idea that moral personhood is determined via sapience. Note that I already addressed this argument preemptively in my first post and my opponent did not provide even a singular rebuttal. This argument creates an internal logical inconsistency wherein we should be able to stab comatose patients but as I said before my opponent's own framework precludes this possibility. At least I hope that my opponent doesn't think that it's acceptable to murder a comatose person seeing as it's horrendously immoral and violates his own framework.
The oft-cited thought exercise of the famous violinist is in many ways fundamentally flawed. most egregiously, It assumes that you have no connection to the violinist and had nothing to do with his condition. You were just randomly kidnapped by the music appreciation gang and hooked up to machines for nine months. This is not the case in the vast majority of pregnancies. Consider these changes to the thought exercise and how they impact the moral calculus. First, the violinist is not a stranger, he's your son. And he didn't just randomly come down with a medical condition, something you did caused it. Now, as a parent, you have a moral obligation not to allow your own son to die because of your mistakes. Moreover, in my opponent's version of the thought exercise, affirmative action was taken by the music appreciation gang to put you in that situation. In reality, affirmative action was taken. But in the overwhelming majority of cases that affirmative action was taken by you. You hooked yourself up to the violinist and are now wanting out killing your own son in the process.
Let’s consider that a person volunteers to be plugged into this violinist. Would it be morally permissible for that person to change their mind and unplug that person? I’m sure that we would agree that yes, it is morally permitted.
No, we don't agree on that. Not at all. If you voluntarily become someone else's only chance at life then you don't get to just revoke your consent and kill them. You made your decision and now you have to live with it. It's like if you agreed to give someone else a kidney then the kidney you kept starts to fail, you are not morally justified in carving your old kidney out of the recipient.
Let’s move onto point 2. An entity should only be considered a person if it has consciousness. Again, I think we can agree on that. A frozen embryo, while being fully genetically a human, should certainly not be considered a legal or moral person because it is unconscious.
No, we don't agree on that and you still haven't explained why personhood is tied to consciousness. Only asserted that it is.
The right to life is not absolute
every single one of the examples my opponent gives has one common factor. They are all one person taking action to harm another or threatening to harm another. A fetus is not attacking the mother. They aren't a convicted murderer and they aren't threatening to kill the president. While the right to life is indeed not absolute, the fetus does not meet the criteria necessary for its forfeiture. As for my own position, I hold that both the life of the mother and the right of the fetus are equal. In the face of imminent death as a result of pregnancy, it is appropriate for the mother to choose her own life over the life of the fetus. But in the overwhelming majority of pregnancies (virtually all in the U.S.), this is not the case.
pregnancy is risky
In short, no it's not. of the 3,853,472 births in the U.S. in 2017, 700 resulted in death. that's 0.01% and most of those were not due to the inherent risks of pregnancy but rather to negligence on the part of doctors. My opponent even states that choice is required when there is a significant risk. a 0.01% chance is not significant.
abortion criminalizes miscarriages.
Nonsense. My opponent can point to no abortion law that says miscarriages are illegal and the examples he gave have nothing to do with abortion. As for his first example where a woman was shot my opponent has neglected to provide the full story. So I will. Referencing my opponent's own source we see that the woman in question assaulted someone when she was 5 months pregnant. In the course of the fight, the fetus was killed. In Alabama, fetuses have rights. This is legally no different than if you start a fight and a random passerby is caught in the crossfire and killed which has robust legal precedent. It had nothing to do with abortion laws. This was a dishonest distortion of the truth. My opponent wanted you to believe that this woman was the victim of assault and prosecutors wanted to charge her for the death of the fetus because of abortion laws. Which is not what happened and is not what his source says. As for the second case, this is less indicative of abortion laws and more drug laws. She was not charged because a random stillbirth happened. She was charged because it was possible that her cocaine habit killed her baby. Which is the same as I said before. My opponent is attempting to use a slippery slope logical fallacy and is manipulating the truth to fit his argument. There is nothing here to suggest that random miscarriages will be criminalized if abortion is criminalized. That's utter nonsense.
abortion bans force rapists babies to be born.
Yes. Absolutely. Because we don't kill people for what their parents did. This is the fundamental disconnect between our two positions. You see two people. Rapist and victim. I see three. Rapist, victim, and baby. Rape is evil and those men that commit it should face the harshest penalties constitutionally permissible. Babies are not evil and had no part in their mothers assault. As such it is a further act of evil to kill them for their father's crime.
Abortion bans create unsafe abortions
We as a society cannot condone the slaughter of millions of babies because some women might choose to foolishly and dangerously kill their offspring themselves. As sordid as that may sound, it's true. Just because someone breaking the law to pursue an immoral course of action might be dangerous does not mean that we as a society should condone that act and allow it to happen legally on a massive scale. The best we can do is educate women on the dangers of illegal abortions so they won't pursue that course of action and will instead carry their children to term then give them up for adoption or raise the child. Or, they could just not have sex. Then the vast majority of the time they don't have to worry about it.
my body my choice
I already refuted my opponent's claims in previous arguments which my opponent dropped. specifically his argument that the fetus is a part of the mother's body which is scientific nonsense. If it's not your body then it's not your choice. And I've already proven that it's not your body.
My opponent's rebuttals.
In his rebuttals, he concedes most of my case and drops most of the rest.
He concedes my scientific argument in its entirety and drops my personhood arguments. Merely stating the opposite position and ignoring all of my arguments that directly refute yours is not a valid argument. As for the Rights of Man, see my previous statements.
The current legal status of unborn children is of no consequence as the changing of that status is the subject of debate.