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12
1666
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Topic

Abortion is, on balance, immoral.

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All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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0
Sources points
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4
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2
2
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2

With 2 votes and 4 points ahead, the winner is ...

Bones
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Extended Resolution = The procedure of which is used to terminate pregnancies is based on invalid moral principles.

==

I0_0I = Pro life

Opponent = Pro Choice

==

Rules

1. No new arguments in the last round.
2. Burden of Proof is shared.
3. No Kritik. This is a debate purely about whether abortion is moral or not.

Round 1
Pro
Prologue

Thanks Nevets for accepting this debate. My first case is outlined by the following syllogism, valid via modus ponens. 

Major Premise: Murder involves the intentional killing of a human being. 

Secondary Premise: A fetus is a human being 

Conclusion: Abortion is murder.

==

Argument from syllogism

1. Major Premise: Murder involves the intentional killing of a human being
 
- Oxford Languages 

NOLO Legal Encyclopedia

-Farlex Dictionary 

- Merriam-Webster Dictionary 

- Law.com, Legal dictionary 

The general consensus is that murder is "the killing of a human being unlawfully". Thus premise 1 being, murder involves the intentional killing of a human being, is affirmed. 

==
 
2. Secondary Premise:  Abortion involves the intentional killing of a human being.
 
Human life begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”
Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.
 
“Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.
Signorelli et al., Kinases, phosphatases and proteases during sperm capacitation, CELL TISSUE RES. 349(3):765 (Mar. 20, 2012)
 
“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”
Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Mueller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2000, p. 8
 
"Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote."
Princeton Education 
 
Development of human beings with fertilisation a process by which the sperm from the male and the egg from the female unite to give rise to a new organism which is the zygote”
Dr. T.W Sadler
 
"It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoon and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual." (1)
-EPM.org

"It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception” 
-Dr. Michelle M. Mathews-Rohs, from Harvard Medical School, 

“We can accept that the embryo is a living thing in the fact that it has a beating heart, that it has its own genetic system within it. It’s clearly human in the sense that it’s not a gerbil, and we can recognize that it is human life
-Ann Furedi, Chief executive of British Pregnancy Advisory Centre, the UK’s larger independent abortion provider. 

“I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don't know that abortion is killing. So any pretence that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus
-Faye Wattleton, longest reigning President of Planned Parenthood

“This (life beginning at conception) all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t a part of the common knowledge
-Alan Guttmacher, former President of Planned Parenthood, (1933)

The general scientific consensus regarding the nature of when human life begins is harmonious. The lack of physical/psychological characteristics not a valid rebuttal against the inalienable rights a fetus should possess, as human development is a continuous process. Moreover, although the unborn are reliant on a mother to survive, the fact remains that they are a human being and ought to be preserved, like a man's life is preserved when he is contingent upon a life support machine. It is an objective scientific fact that a fetus is a human being.

Thus, premise 2 being, a fetus is a human  being, is affirmed. 

Conclusion: Abortion is murder.
 
Hence, the conclusion is valid via Modus Ponens. IF murder is the intentional killing of a human being AND a fetus is a human being THEN abortion, which  involves the intentional killing of a human being is murder. 

==

Argument from ethical framework 

A discussion regarding abortion simply cannot occur productively if the framework for why murder is wrong isn’t laid out. The heart of the abortion debate is not whether abortion is wrong, but whether our framework for why murder is wrong is sound, and whether it includes abortion. In order for a strong case to be made by either side, the question of why murder is wrong must be addressed. 

The wrongness of murder can be understood in terms of the effects that being killed has on us. When individuals are murdered, they are deprived of a future and suffer the misfortune of a premature death. When one is killed, they are deprived of life.

Consider the following scenarios. In one, I fall into a comatose state in which no foreseeable treatment can bring me out of unconsciousness. In the later, I die instantaneously. Most can agree that the later does not underline a more terrible situation than the former, both seem to be terrible fates. Therefore, it can be concluded that the deprivation of biological function does not underline the misfortune of death. The loss of conscious life seems to be a more appropriate answer. 

However, conscious life is still not the perfect answer. Suppose that I have central pain syndrome, a condition which makes me feel like I am burning from the inside. Suppose that this agony dominates my biological life. In this situation, death would not be a misfortune, it would be a blessing. Thus, the misfortune of premature death consists of the loss to us of the future goods of consciousness.

This then leads to a discussion of what is “good”. One common, but flawed answer is to satisfy one’s desires at a present moment. This answer does not account for aspects of my life which are unknown to me e.g. the future, and it also assumes that I am right about what I want at a given moment. Of course, what is valuable to me may not have the same value to me in 30 years time. Thus, it is wrong to define these goods as what I value at present. The correct answer is that it is the thing which makes my future valuable are the things which I will (or would) value when (or if) I experience them, whether or not I cherish them now. 

This answer also accounts for why our attitude towards suicidal people is correct. We believe that we should support suicidal people because they have misjudged their value and made an error in their judgment. This means that in some situations, a person cannot properly dictate what is best for them, and that they can be wrong about what they want. 

Thus, we can conclude that killing is wrong because it causes premature death. Premature death is a misfortune because it deprives an individual from striving for what is good about their life. What makes murder wrong is that, on balance, it deprives us from having future value. Thus we can conclude that what makes murder wrong, prima facie is that it deprives a being from having a future like ours. I shall refer to this as FLO

  • Further support of the FLO
The worst crimes argument 

The FLO account of why killing is immoral correctly explains why murder is one of the most severe crimes. The act of being killed deprives the being of more than what being robbed, beaten or harmed in any way does, as being killed deprives one of all their values in the future, not merely a part of it. 

The appeal to cases 

  • Medicine 
The general consensus amongst the population that it is not wrong to deliberately end the life of an individual who will be permanently unconscious. The FLO account of why murder is wrong explains why this is the case. A patient who is permanently unconscious does not possess an FLO which means that killing them does not remove an FLO, thus, there is nothing, ceteris paribus,  morally reprehensible about killing them. By contrast people almost always believe that withdrawing medical treatment from a temporarily  unconscious being is highly immoral. The FLO too accurately accounts for why this is the case.

  • Infanticide 
A major respect in which the FLO is superior to competing concepts of why murder is wrong regards the morality of infanticide. Notice that the wrongness of killing infants can be explained in the absence of an account of what makes the future of an individual sufficiently valuable so that it is wrong to kill that individual. 

Thus, it is sensible to conclude that the act of intentionally killing a human being is immoral, because it deprives the being of a future like ours. If we apply this ethical framework 

If the FLO account is the correct theory of the wrongness of killing, then because abortion involves the killing fetuses and fetuses have FLOs for exactly the same reasons that infants have FLOs, abortion is presumptively seriously immoral. 
==
 
The case against  “Personhood”

Those in favour of abortion assert that their is a key difference between a biological human being and a human with personhood, the latter exclusively possessing a right to life. Fundamentally, the expression “right to life” is already quite a solemn one, it suggests that the right in question concerns the continued existence of a biological organism. Nevertheless, the distinction between a person and human being is a weak one. The following segment aims to deconstruct the "personhood" position. 
 
  • Argument from the uncertainty principle
In order for abortion to be justified, there must be absolute certainly that it does not kill a human person. Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College, points out that there are only four possibilities with regard to abortion. They are as follows 

  1. The fetus is a person, and this is known
  2. The fetus is a person, and this is not known.
  3. The fetus is not a person, and this is not known .
  4. The fetus is not a person, and this is  known.
Now consider each of these ramifications in actual practice:

  1. You have intentionally killed an innocent human person, thus you will be charged with first-degree murder. 
  2. You unintentionally killed an innocent human person, thus you will be charged with manslaughter 
  3. You have intentionally risked killing a human being, thus you be charged with criminal negligence 
  4. You have done nothing wrong, thus no charges. 
Notice that the only scenario in which abortion is justified is one which cannot occur in the real world. It is impossible to say with absolute certainty that abortion does not kill a human being. At best, one can be absolutely convinced, but they will have no capacity in proving their belief, as their metrics and reasoning  are indistinct and immeasurable. 

  • A fetus must logically be a person
There are two essential questions regarding abortion which are constantly debated. 

  1. Is a fetus a human being?
  2. Should they be recognized as persons under the law?
The first is a matter of plain objective science. There is no intelligent debate on this point. Fetuses are individual humans from the point of fertilization. If this were not true, the term personhood would not even be necessary as pro-choicers could simply assert that fetuses are not humans thus killing them is not wrong, it is only with the insurmountable pressure from science they are forced into rewriting the dictionary. 

The second, however, yields more fruitful discussion. We can establish that human beings should be recognised as persons under the law because humans are persons. 
Should humans be recognized as persons under the law? Yes, because humans are persons. Something is a person if, by nature, it has the capacity to develop the ability to think rationally, express emotion, make decisions, etc. This capacity is something that a person has as soon as he or she begins to exist, since it is part of his or her nature. Because humans have a personal nature, humans are persons. As for the fetus, since it is a human (something with a personal nature), it is a person. Just as a cat qualifies as a feline simply by being a cat, a fetus qualifies as a person simply by being a human. It is impossible for a fetus to not be a person.

  • Argument against function
At this stage, some people define "person" in terms of function. This is known as the functional view of persons. They claim that something can only be considered a human if it is capable of certain abilities, such as reasoning. However, this concept of personhood is flawed. It does not take into consideration that 

  1. Individuals who are, by definition, persons may be unable to perform certain actions required to be viewed as a person.
  2. The functional view of personhood does not consider certain minority groups 
Regarding the first point, consider patients who are temporarily unconscious. The fact that a person can be unconscious instantly means that physical and mental actions cannot be a sound criteria for personhood (decision making, empathy, reaction to environment)

Regarding the second point, consider the following example. If you had a cat that couldn’t purr, couldn’t chase mice, and couldn’t climb trees, you wouldn’t say that your cat isn’t a feline—though you should if you define "feline" in terms of function. Instead, you would say that your cat is a cat that can’t purr, chase mice, or climb trees. In the same way, if a human being cannot think rationally, there is no reason to say that this human is not a person.

==

Conclusion

My argument has demonstrated that, on balance, abortion is seriously immoral. The deprivation of an FLO explains why killing adults and children are wrong. Abortion results in the intentional murdering of a human being, thus making it immoral. Hence, the resolution is affirmed. 
Con
Prologue (Abortion is not murder according to Bones own legal and official sources)

Thank you Bones and welcome to your first debate. Good luck.

Bones wrote...
Conclusion: Abortion is murder.
Since Bones used Oxford Languages,  a Legal Encyclopedia, two dictionaries and law.com to set the definition for murder, let me use the legal system of those countries the links pertain to in order to find out if those definitions for murder also include embryos. And no they do not. 

In the USA a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion was legal, and therefore Bones own reputable and official sources do not agree that murder extends to an unborn embryo.

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973),[1] was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. It struck down many U.S. federal and state abortion laws,[2]
Oxford languages

And would the university of Oxford be in official agreement that abortion constitutes murder? No, not within the first 24 weeks, according to the Abortion Act 1967.

As indicated above, in England and Wales and Scotland, section 1(1) of the Abortion Act 1967 now reads in full:[8]
Subject to the provisions of this section, a person shall not be guilty of an offence under the law relating to abortion when a pregnancy is terminated by a registered medical practitioner if two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith – (a) that the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family;

Human life begins at fertilization (not concluded)

Bones produces Keith L. Moore, Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Mueller, Dr. T.W Sadler, Dr. Michelle M. Mathews-Rohs, Ann Furedi, Faye Wattleton, Alan Guttmacher, and a few others, in order to claim that they are an authority on the subject and announce that it is affirmed that human life begins at fertilization.

However, it is by no means confirmed. Because for every person and source Bones produces there are persons and sources which can be produced to show that it is currently "unconfirmed" whether or not human life beginning at fertilization should be the defining factor over that of personhood.

According to philosophy professor Mary Anne Warren there are five criterion need to be met before a foetus can be defined as a person.

  1. Consciousness (of objects and events external and/or internal to the being), and in particular the capacity to feel pain;
  2. Reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems);
  3. Self-motivated activity (activity which is relatively independent of either genetic or direct external control);
  4. The capacity to communicate, by whatever means, messages of an indefinite variety of types, that is, not just with an indefinite number of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics;
  5. The presence of self-concepts and self-awareness, either individual or racial, or both.
Stanislas Dehaene

According to Stanislas Dehaene, professor of experimental cognitive psychology at the College de France, speaking to Forbes,  human consciousness does not begin to form until the 6th month of pregnancy.

Therefore, it is now at the very least debatable whether or not abortion before the sixth month period should be considered immoral or not, and certainly not affirmed as Bones declared.

The cortex, the epicenter of human consciousness, starts to form by six months gestation.
Hugo Lagercrantz

The above is supported by Hugo Lagercrantz from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, speaking to New Scientist, whom says that a foetus can't be aware of its surroundings, feel pain, or be conscious, before the joining of the cortex to the peripheral nervous system at around 25 weeks.

The key issue seems to be when the peripheral nervous system joins up with the cerebral cortex, the region of the brain responsible for higher thought processes such as memory, attention, thought, awareness and language. “Without this kind of sensory input you can’t be aware of your surroundings or pain or be conscious,” says Hugo Lagercrantz, a neonatal researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The joining of the cortex to the peripheral nervous system provides that vital link between the outside world and the higher brain. This should have occurred by about 25 weeks of pregnancy – or today in my case.
Richard Rokyta

Richard Rokyta, writing for the National Library of Medicine agrees that the 26th gestational week is when reflexive reactions become conscious reactions.

The fetus reacts to nociceptive stimulations through different motor, autonomic, vegetative, hormonal, and metabolic changes relatively early in the gestation period. With respect to the fact that the modulatory system does not yet exist, the first reactions are purely reflexive and without connection to the type of stimulus. While the fetal nervous system is able to react through protective reflexes to potentially harmful stimuli, there is no accurate evidence concerning pain sensations in this early period. Cortical processes occur only after thalamocortical connections and pathways have been completed at the 26th gestational week.

Argument from ethical framework 

Bones wrote...
A discussion regarding abortion simply cannot occur productively if the framework for why murder is wrong isn’t laid out. The heart of the abortion debate is not whether abortion is wrong, but whether our framework for why murder is wrong is sound, and whether it includes abortion. In order for a strong case to be made by either side, the question of why murder is wrong must be addressed. 

The wrongness of murder can be understood in terms of the effects that being killed has on us. When individuals are murdered, they are deprived of a future and suffer the misfortune of a premature death. When one is killed, they are deprived of life.
Bones failed to establish in his prologue that the termination of a foetus should be treated as murder, and his sources would not officially agree that it should be, yet Bones wishes to continue and explore the ethics regarding the rights and wrongs of murder, when the rights and wrongs of murder are quite simply not in dispute.

Murder is wrong! Why is it wrong? In the words of confuscius, below.

"What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others."
Ethical concerns

However, not every ethical concern needs to come down to murder or not. Take for example the ethical debate regarding the practice of withholding and withdrawing life support in critical care settings. It is quite simply not established that every time a doctor refuses treatment or switches off a life support that it necessarily must be regarded as murder.  The same goes for the ethical argument revolving around abortion. Whilst the debate continues, it is far from conclusively established that abortion amounts to murder.

The right to refuse medical intervention is well established, but it remains unclear how best to respect and exercise this right in life support.

The worst crimes argument 

Bones wrote...
The FLO account of why killing is immoral correctly explains why murder is one of the most severe crimes. The act of being killed deprives the being of more than what being robbed, beaten or harmed in any way does, as being killed deprives one of all their values in the future, not merely a part of it. 
Bones continues with his previous arguments by merely including that "murder is the worst crime".
I then have no choice but to "repeat" my previous argument that Bones has failed in his prologue to establish that abortion should be defined as murder.

I will however include a survey to find out if the general population regard abortion as murder, and in a democratic world it is supposed to be the majority that decide, and it just so happens that according to a new Ipsos Global Advisor survey, seven in ten adults around the world are in favour of allowing abortion.

Would Bones argue that this equates to seven in ten adults around the world being in favour of murder?

Globally

Globally, seven in ten adults favor allowing abortion

Medicine - Spot the difference

Bones wrote...
The general consensus amongst the population that it is not wrong to deliberately end the life of an individual who will be permanently unconscious. The FLO account of why murder is wrong explains why this is the case. A patient who is permanently unconscious does not possess an FLO which means that killing them does not remove an FLO, thus, there is nothing, ceteris paribus,  morally reprehensible about killing them. By contrast people almost always believe that withdrawing medical treatment from a temporarily  unconscious being is highly immoral. The FLO too accurately accounts for why this is the case.
It is not in dispute that withdrawing medical treatment from a temporarily unconscious person is immoral. But why is a temporary unconscious person with a  peripheral nervous system joined up with the cerebral cortex being compared to an embryo that has yet to experience any type of life? There are huge differences between the two comparisons, making them incomparable.

Infanticide

Bones wrote...
A major respect in which the FLO is superior to competing concepts of why murder is wrong regards the morality of infanticide. Notice that the wrongness of killing infants can be explained in the absence of an account of what makes the future of an individual sufficiently valuable so that it is wrong to kill that individual. 

Thus, it is sensible to conclude that the act of intentionally killing a human being is immoral, because it deprives the being of a future like ours. If we apply this ethical framework 

If the FLO account is the correct theory of the wrongness of killing, then because abortion involves the killing fetuses and fetuses have FLOs for exactly the same reasons that infants have FLOs, abortion is presumptively seriously immoral. 

Once again Bones is trying to compare a consciously aware person with a peripheral nervous system joined up with the cerebral cortex, with that of a reflexive embryo that has yet to experience or witness life.

Two things which are not the same can't be accurately compared.

Argument from the uncertainty principle - Bones declares abortion could be justifiable and not immoral

Bones wrote...
In order for abortion to be justified, there must be absolute certainly that it does not kill a human person. Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College, points out that there are only four possibilities with regard to abortion. They are as follows 

Notice that the only scenario in which abortion is justified is one which cannot occur in the real world. It is impossible to say with absolute certainty that abortion does not kill a human being. At best, one can be absolutely convinced, but they will have no capacity in proving their belief, as their metrics and reasoning  are indistinct and immeasurable. 
To begin with, Peter Kreeft refers to the foetus as a person, not a human-being.

Secondly, Bones has just admitted that can it be confirmed that an embryo has not reached personhood when it is terminated then this would not be immoral. Therefore, Bones agrees that should Stanislas Dehaene, professor of experimental cognitive psychology at the College de France, and, Hugo Lagercrantz from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and, Richard Rokyta, writing for the National Library of Medicine, all be correct regarding their assertion that a foetus can't be considered consciously alive until the peripheral nervous system joins up with the cerebral cortex, then an abortion is justifiable.

Also, using the same logic, Bones also admits that it is inconclusive whether or not abortion is, on balance, immoral, or moral. 
If it can't be concluded that a foetus is a person or not, then how can it be concluded that it is moral or immoral? It is then currently inconclusive.

A fetus must logically be a person

Bones wrote...
The first is a matter of plain objective science. There is no intelligent debate on this point. Fetuses are individual humans from the point of fertilization. If this were not true, the term personhood would not even be necessary as pro-choicers could simply assert that fetuses are not humans thus killing them is not wrong, it is only with the insurmountable pressure from science they are forced into rewriting the dictionary. 

The second, however, yields more fruitful discussion. We can establish that human beings should be recognised as persons under the law because humans are persons. 
Should humans be recognized as persons under the law? Yes, because humans are persons. Something is a person if, by nature, it has the capacity to develop the ability to think rationally, express emotion, make decisions, etc. This capacity is something that a person has as soon as he or she begins to exist, since it is part of his or her nature. Because humans have a personal nature, humans are persons. As for the fetus, since it is a human (something with a personal nature), it is a person. Just as a cat qualifies as a feline simply by being a cat, a fetus qualifies as a person simply by being a human. It is impossible for a fetus to not be a person.

Bones throughout this round has repeatedly turned to "Science" to support his/her argument without actually providing any solid evidence that science supports him/her.
So let's have a look at exactly what science has to say on the subject. Let's take a look at the headline below.

Abortion Bans Based on So-Called “Science” Are Fraudulent
Abortion is safer than childbirth

According to the CPC website, abortion is more dangerous than childbirth. Yet Harvard says the opposite is true.

But consider this statement obtained from a CPC website in California:
“Abortion is more dangerous than childbirth.”
Abortion is in fact safer than childbirth.
The foetus can feel pain?

Let's now see what scientist David Robert Grimes speaking to the Guardian newspaper has to say.
According to David Robert Grimes it is a "myth" that a foetus can feel pain.

One of the most inflammatory arguments against abortion is rooted in the assertion that the foetus can feel pain, and that termination is therefore a brutal affair. This is extremely unlikely to be true. A foetus in the early stages of development lacks the developed nervous system and brain to feel pain or even be aware of their surroundings. The neuroanatomical apparatus required for pain and sensation is not complete until about 26 weeks into pregnancy. As the upper limit worldwide for termination is 24 weeks, and the vast majority of pregnancies are terminated well before this (most in the first 9 weeks in the UK), the question of foetal pain is a complete red herring.
Reducing access to abortion decreases demand for abortion?

Now here is one for Bones.
According to David Robert Grimes, reducing access to abortion does not actually reduce abortion, but quite simply makes abortion less safe.
I read this as David Robert Grimes saying that it will just drive women to seek quacks instead of professional doctors.

Anti-abortion campaigners often operate under the implicit assumption that additional hurdles towards obtaining abortions will decrease the number of abortion performed; this is demonstrably false. Reducing access to abortion doesn’t quell the demand for abortion, and making abortion illegal simply makes abortion less safe. 

Argument against function

Bones wrote...
At this stage, some people define "person" in terms of function. This is known as the functional view of persons. They claim that something can only be considered a human if it is capable of certain abilities, such as reasoning. However, this concept of personhood is flawed. It does not take into consideration that 

  1. Individuals who are, by definition, persons may be unable to perform certain actions required to be viewed as a person.
  2. The functional view of personhood does not consider certain minority groups 
Regarding the first point, consider patients who are temporarily unconscious. The fact that a person can be unconscious instantly means that physical and mental actions cannot be a sound criteria for personhood (decision making, empathy, reaction to environment)

Regarding the second point, consider the following example. If you had a cat that couldn’t purr, couldn’t chase mice, and couldn’t climb trees, you wouldn’t say that your cat isn’t a feline—though you should if you define "feline" in terms of function. Instead, you would say that your cat is a cat that can’t purr, chase mice, or climb trees. In the same way, if a human being cannot think rationally, there is no reason to say that this human is not a person.
Again, Bones is making comparisons that are incomparable by trying to compare an embryo that has yet to experience or witness life, and with a peripheral nervous system that is disconnected from its cerebral cortex, with a temporarily unconscious person that has witnessed and experienced life and is otherwise capable of reasoning, empathy and decision making.

Conclusion

Bones wrote...
My argument has demonstrated that, on balance, abortion is seriously immoral. The deprivation of an FLO explains why killing adults and children are wrong. Abortion results in the intentional murdering of a human being, thus making it immoral. Hence, the resolution is affirmed. 

Bones failed to establish in his prologue at the very beginning that his/her definitions for murder stretch to including embryos, which they do not.
Bones claims that it is affirmed that abortion is immoral, when it has been shown that it is actually highly inconclusive.

Thank you Bones
Good luck for round 2.
Round 2
Pro
Thanks Nevets. 
 
==

Prologue

OBSERVATIONS: 
 
  • My opponent has not provided their own ethicalmodel of why murder is wrong. How he attempts to win a debate regarding whetherabortion is murder without even stating why murder is wrong is simply beyondme.
    •  The FLO account for why murder is wrong was ignored. 
REFUTATIONS:

Definitions

In response to my definitions provided by a legaldictionary, my opponent refutes it by supplies a legal case to show why I amincorrect. However, conflating legal definition and legal case isa lethal mistake on my opponents part. To make the claim that my definition of murder is wrong because because X court came the conclusion that abortion is right is both a blatant appeal toauthority, and use of non sequential argumentation.

  • An argument from authority is aform of argument in which the opinion of an authority on a topic is used asevidence to support an argument. A court ruling consists of a judge voicingtheir opinion on a certain case. To say "abortion is wrong becauseX judge says so" is a textbook example of such a fallacy. 
    • The term non sequitur refers to a conclusion that isn't aligned with previous statements or evidence." RECALL that at this stage, we are discussing the definition of MURDER, not the ethics of abortion. The following is the syllogism my opponent has adopted. 
      • p1. PRO has provided a definition for murder
      • p2. The definition provided would result in abortion being wrong 
      • p3. A court has stated that abortion is right
      • c1. The definition must be wrong. 
    • The premises my opponent has used are correct, however, they stumble at the conclusion. They make a statement that abortion is wrong, and conclude that my definition must therefore be wrong. However, the foundations of this syllogism rests on the "fact" that abortion is right. They have failed to a) demonstrating the legitimacy of the courts ruling or b) investigating the actual ethics behind abortion.  
    • Consider the following syllogism, which magnifies the issue which my opponent falls into. 
      • p1. CON has provided a definition of assault. 
      • p2. The definition provided would result in beating people up to be wrong. 
      • p3. Osama Bin Laden believes beating people up is right
      • c1. The definition must be wrong. 
    • The issue is that, underlying this syllogism is the belief that beating people up is right, even though this claim is never supported.
Human life begins at fertilization
 
Bones produces (sources) … in order to claim that they arean authority on the subject and announce that it is affirmed that human lifebegins at fertilization.
 
… Because for every person and source Bones produces thereare persons and sources which can be produced to show that it is currently"unconfirmed" whether or not human life beginning at fertilizationshould be the defining factor over that of personhood.
The following syllogism is what my opponent hasadopted. 
 
p1. PRO has used a source to support his claim. 
p2. CON can find a contradictory source. 
c1. PRO's case is invalid. 
 
The issue with this syllogism is that 1) your whole rebuttal consists of not critiquing my argument, but throwing sources at me, 2) the syllogism does not take into account validity of the initial source against the one being proposed, 3) what your sources are actually saying and 4) the validity of the fundamental claim being asserted. 

  1. Even though you can find a source which contradicts my conclusion, in order to win the debate, you must point out which part of your study actually debunks my claim. You cannot just say "my conclusion is right therefore yours must be wrong". Citing people who agree with you does not disregard my argument. PRO must specifically point out a statement made by me, refer to his article if he wishes and then state "CON's claim is incorrect". The point of articles and studies is to provide warrant to your claims, and an individual concluding that my position is wrong, is not enough there. This is not a battle of who has more sources, this is a battle of logic and reasoning. Otherwise, I could simply do the same to you, just throw an expert’s opinion that agrees with my position at you. That is not how debating works. You have failed to point out why my sources are incorrect. 
  2. Referring back to my opponents syllogism above, the argument further fails as it does not take into account the validity of the source and who is asserting the source. Who would you trust, a single professors claim or Princeton educations research department? Do both opinion's weigh equally evenly? Even if debating is about clashing as many sources as we can instead of intellectually deconstructing your opponents arguments, I would like to point out that I have provided more sources so I would win this hypothetical clash. 
  3. All the sources I have provided are directly related to this debate,  and the premise which is supports. "Human life begins at fertilization", "The embryo is a living thing", “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being"Your claims, however, lack clarity or relevance. Richard Rokyta states "Cortical processes occur only after thalamocortical connections and pathways have been completed at the 26th gestational week". Part of the complication is that sure, you use dozens of sources, but never actually voice your belief. When do you believe it is wrong to abort a baby? You assert that the joining of the cortex to the peripheral nervous system occurs at 25 weeks, you state that the cortex starts to form by 6 months gestation and you also reference Mary Anne Warren's personhood criteria. Which on is it? Is it wrong to kill a fetus after the point of which the cortex is connected to the nervous system, or is it when the gestation period is over, or is it when the fetus is capable of the "personhood criteria"? This issue persists when you summon Rokyta, Lagercrantz and and Dehaene. Sure, they disagree with me but you never point out which part of their disagreement contradicts my syllogism, and, in the quotes you have provided, they never actually state why abortion is wrong. Cool, you've asserted that a fetus linked up to it's nervous system in week 24 but what does this matter if you cannot point out the relevance of this fact? You are left to answer the question of why this linking is of any significance to the development of human life. 
  4. The fourth and most glaring issue is that you never investigate or critique my source. In a constructive debate, you do not simply contradict my view with a source. As I have stated prior, this is not a battle of sources. To be successful, you should engage with the argument I have provided and point out how it is not sound all fallacious. This is something that you didn't do, and also exactly the thing which I am about to do with all the sources you have provided, as a good debater would. 
  •  Mary Anne Warren
  1. Consciousness (of objects and events external and/or internal to the being), and in particular the capacity to feel pain;
  1. Reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems);
  2. Self-motivated activity (activity which is relatively independent of either genetic or direct external control);
  3. The capacity to communicate, by whatever means, messages of an indefinite variety of types, that is, not just with an indefinite number of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics;
  4. The presence of self-concepts and self-awareness, either individual or racial, or both
1. An unconscious person is deserving of life but is notconscious. 
2. An unconscious person is deserving of life butcannot reason 
3. An unconscious person is deserving of life but isnot self motivated 
4. An unconscious person is deserving of life butcannot communicate
5. An unconscious person is deserving of life but isnot self-aware. 
 
  • Stanislas Dehaene
human consciousness does not begin to form until the 6thmonth of pregnancy.

There are multiple issues with defining the beginning oflike as consciousness. Using the uncertainty principle, there is no way thatyou could assert with certainty that 1) consciousness marks the start of lifeand 2) when exactly consciousness is developed. If you wish to markconsciousness as the beginning of life, you are left to demonstrate why this isthe case. Why not the first heart beat? Why not the first breath? Why notfertilisation, a claim supported by scientific community? 
 
Moreover, if you wish to select a criteria which cannot bemeasured in any accepted metric, you are bound to make at least a smallpercentage of mistakes, meaning that you will likely,  by even yourdefinition, kill a certain number of human beings.
 
  • Hugo Lagercrantz
a foetus can't be aware of itssurroundings, feel pain, or be conscious, before the joining of the cortex tothe peripheral nervous system at around 25 weeks
As stated above, being aware of ones surroundings, feelingpain or being conscious are not things that unconscious patients can do, thoughthey are most certainly deserving of a life. Moreover, you cannot assert withcertainty that agent A is conscious while agent B isn't, which, as theuncertainty principle states, will mean that you will have committed criminalnegligence, even if the fetus isn't a person.
 
  • Richard Rokyta 
Cortical processes occur only after thalamocorticalconnections and pathways have been completed at the 26th gestational week.
Why does cortical process mark the beginning of life? Youhave propped up a claim and not given a second of evaluation. What is soimportant about the cortical processes? Why does this process mark the beginning of life? Your own source does not even state " X has happened at 26 weeks which marks the start of life", they've simply stated "X has occurred". 

==
 
Reaffirming the FLO
 
Murder is wrong! Why is it wrong? In the words of Confucius, below.
It is rather frustrating that, when confronted with my ethical model of why murder is wrong, my opponents seems to completely miss the ball. To recall, this is what I stated in round one. 

RECALL: Thus we can conclude that what makes murder wrong, prima facie is that it deprives a being from having a future like ours

So to answer your question of why murder is wrong ^^

according to a new Ipsos Global Advisor survey, seven in ten adults around the world are in favour of allowing abortion.

Would Bones argue that this equates to seven in ten adults around the world being in favour of murder?
\    /|---  ---- 
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Globally, seven in ten adults favor allowing abortion
If you time travelled back to the Roman Catholic days and asked 10 civilians if they were in favour of slavery, 10 of them would say yes. Just because a lot of people say something doesn't mean it is true. 

In response to the medicinal sub-argument that I provided in support of the FLO, my opponent stated the following 

It is not in dispute that withdrawing medical treatment from a temporarily unconscious person is immoral. But why is a temporary unconscious person with a peripheral nervous system joined up with the cerebral cortex being compared to an embryo that has yet to experience any type of life? There are huge differences between the two comparisons, making them incomparable.
  1. Why is a peripheral nervous system so important? What does it signify? You are yet to prove this. 
  2. You have accepted that withdrawing medical treatment from a temporarily unconscious person is immoral. This is all this sub-argument aimed to achieve. The reason that this argument is under the "appeal to cases" sub title is because it is not a primary argument. The point is that I draw to your attention to how withdrawing medical treatment from a temporarily unconscious person is immoral BECAUSE of the FLO. I show that the FLO is applicable and consistent to this particular moral dilemma, thus solidifying it's validity. If you actually read my FLO argument, I state that makes murder wrong, prima facie is that it deprives a being from having a future like ours.
To clarify, my infanticide and medicine arguments are not supposed to directly show that abortion is wrong, they are supposed to show that the FLO is accurate. If we can accept that the FLO is accurate (you seem to agree with me here) then you can apply the theory to abortion to determine whether it is immoral. The point of the FLO is to provide a criteria for which we can determine whether abortion is wrong. You cannot simply say " but the fetus not linked up to it's nervous system", for the whole point of the FLO is to prove that abortion is wrong without the need for physical characteristics. 

==

Uncertainty Principle

To begin with, Peter Kreeft refers to the foetus as a person, not a human-being.
And with one statement we know that my opponent has not grasped the uncertainty principle. The uncertainty is not an argument for abortion, it is a pre-emptive rebuttal against the common pro-choices "personhood" argument. Peter Kreeft refers to a fetus as a human being as a person because he is rebutting the stance that human beings are persons. If you actually read the argument, he shows that it is impossible for this term to be of any relevance. 

Secondly, Bones has just admitted that can it be confirmed that an embryo has not reached personhood when it is terminated then this would not be immoral. Therefore, Bones agrees that should Stanislas Dehaene, professor of experimental cognitive psychology at the College de France, and, Hugo Lagercrantz from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and, Richard Rokyta, writing for the National Library of Medicine, all be correct regarding their assertion that a foetus can't be considered consciously alive until the peripheral nervous system joins up with the cerebral cortex, then an abortion is justifiable.
Again, my opponent baselessly makes the assumption that the connection of the peripheral nervous system and the cerebral cortex create personhood. They have not provided a condition for which a being becomes a human being. Moreover, the sources that you have provided do not state that human life begins at the connection of the peripheral nervous system and the cerebral cortex, they simply state that this process occurs a week 25. Nevertheless, even if you all these people assert that the connection of the cerebral cortex and the nervous system, the uncertainty principle still swoops it up. 

RECALL: 

  1. The fetus is a person, and this is know.
  2. The fetus is a person, and this is not known.
  3. The fetus is not a person, and this is not known .
  4. The fetus is not a person, and this is  known.
Now consider each of these ramifications in actual practice:

  1. You have intentionally killed an innocent human person, thus you will be charged with first-degree murder. 
  2. You unintentionally killed an innocent human person, thus you will be charged with manslaughter 
  3. You have intentionally risked killing a human being, thus you be charged with criminal negligence 
  4. You have done nothing wrong, thus no charges. 
The position you hold will ramify to number three, criminal negligence. The joining of the NS and the CC cannot be measured in any recognised metric with certainty, nor can it be scientifically agreed that this process has any relevance to the beginning of life (you are yet to affirm this). 

Bones throughout this round has repeatedly turned to "Science" to support his/her argument without actually providing any solid evidence that science supports him/her.
So let's have a look at exactly what science has to say on the subject.
First of, if the following isn't science 

Human life begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”
—Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.
 
“Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.
—Signorelli et al., Kinases, phosphatases and proteases during sperm capacitation, CELL TISSUE RES. 349(3):765 (Mar. 20, 2012)
 
“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”
—Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Mueller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2000, p. 8
 
"Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote."
— Princeton Education 
 
Development of human beings with fertilisation a process by which the sperm from the male and the egg from the female unite to give rise to a new organism which is the zygote”
—Dr. T.W Sadler
 
"It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoon and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual." (1)
-EPM.org

"It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception” 
-Dr. Michelle M. Mathews-Rohs, from Harvard Medical School, 

“We can accept that the embryo is a living thing in the fact that it has a beating heart, that it has its own genetic system within it. It’s clearly human in the sense that it’s not a gerbil, and we can recognize that it is human life
-Ann Furedi, Chief executive of British Pregnancy Advisory Centre, the UK’s larger independent abortion provider. 

“I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don't know that abortion is killing. So any pretence that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus
-Faye Wattleton, longest reigning President of Planned Parenthood

“This (life beginning at conception) all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t a part of the common knowledge
-Alan Guttmacher, former President of Planned Parenthood, (1933)

then I don't know what is. 

Let's take a look at the headline below.

Abortion Bans Based on So-Called “Science” Are Fraudulent
Again, Con seems to have missed the point. At the bottom of the article, states the following 

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

With the authoritative "Scientific American" title stripped away, let's consider Nicole, Gretchen and Jane's opinion. Does solely citing these people opinion excuse Pro of all arguments? Of course not, Pro must specifically point out some statement in the article which directly rebuts a claim made by me or my scientists.  The point of articles and studies is to provide warrant to your claims, and an individual concluding that my position is wrong, is not enough there. 

Otherwise, I could simply do the same to you, just throw an expert’s opinion that agrees with my position at you. That is not how studies work. Again, this is not a battle of who has more sources, this is a debate. 

But consider this statement obtained from a CPC website in California:
“Abortion is more dangerous than childbirth.”
Abortion is in fact safer than childbirth.
How can we possibly discuss the effects of abortion without even coming into agreement what abortion is? This question is useless without first confronting the question. This would be like asking whether capital punishment should be employed to murderers without first defining what murder is. We cannot possibly derive an answer without defining the terms. If abortion was moral, than the fact that abortion is safer than childbirth would be a valid point to make. However, if abortion was wrong, then it would not matter how safe childbirth is, as abortion would be murder and that alternative would be cancelled out immediatly. We cannot make an intelligible conclusion without first defining what abortion is. 

Reducing access to abortion decreases demand for abortion?
Now here is one for Bones.
According to David Robert Grimes, reducing access to abortion does not actually reduce abortion, but quite simply makes abortion less safe.
There are very subtle and cheeky things wrong about this article. 
  • If you inspect the article, you find that the author is proving a different thing to what they are asserting. "Evidence suggests that the abortion rate is approximately equal in countries with and without legal abortion". Does this take into account economic levels in the country? No. Does this take into the political state of the country? No. Does it take into account the crime rates in the country? No. Does it take into account the population of each country? I invite voters to actually click onto the source that my opponent has provided.
    • Even though countries such as China allow abortion, 74% of abortions are still unsafe. What happened here? 
      • According to the statistics provided by my opponent, 94% of abortion's provided in developed countries are safe, while 
        • 44% of abortions provided in undeveloped countries are safe. Notice the difference?
      • My opponent has attempted to compare statistics from an undeveloped nation and a developed one. There are so many difference that this comparison is almost laughable. The following is the faulty syllogism that my opponent has adopted. 
        • p1. Countries with no anti-abortion laws have less abortions. 
        • p2 Countries with anti abortion laws have more abortions. 
        • c1. Countries should up hold their abortion laws. 
          • To provide more context to each point, consider the following 
        • p1. Developed countries have less abortions 
        • p2. Undeveloped countries have more abortions. 
        • c1. Countries should up hold their abortion laws.
          • Completely non-sequential.  The following would be an acceptable syllogism and conclusion. 
        • p1. Developed countries have less abortions 
        • p2. Undeveloped countries have more abortions
        • c1. Countries should develop. 
      • The conclusion that my syllogism has come to is as valid as the one my opponent comes to. However, both of them suffer a flaw. They do not expand upon whether the law (or in the case of my syllogism, development) are the actual reason for the abortion rates being higher because of restrictions. From a logical point of view, surely the fact that a country is undeveloped, has no social stigma against abortion is a far more compelling and believable answer to why the rates in countries with strict laws have higher abortion rates. 
      • Think. An undeveloped nation has far more to worry about than ethics and abortion, they have more important goals such as keeping food on the table and surviving the cold winters. Do you really think that they have time to consider what they are doing when abortion a baby? They can't even keep themselves alive, much less a separate human life. 
The foetus can feel pain?

Let's now see what scientist David Robert Grimes speaking to the Guardian newspaper has to say.
Quite frankly, I don't really care about what David has to say, as I never asserted that feeling pain was a necessary criteria for life. 

Regarding the first point, consider patients who are temporarily unconscious. The fact that a person can be unconscious instantly means that physical and mental actions cannot be a sound criteria for personhood (decision making, empathy, reaction to environment)
Again, Bones is making comparisons that are incomparable by trying to compare an embryo that has yet to experience or witness life, and with a peripheral nervous system that is disconnected from its cerebral cortex, with a temporarily unconscious person that has witnessed and experienced life and is otherwise capable of reasoning, empathy and decision making.
Again, a completely baseless assertion. Why can I not make the connection? You fail to tell me. Why is the NS connecting with the CC so important? You fail to tell me. You are essentially affirming the consequent here. Consider the syllogism you are adopting. 

  • p1. My opponent makes a comparison between a born and unborn human being 
  • p2. I believe that an unborn human being is not alive
  • c1. My opponents syllogism must therefore be wrong. 
You cannot deny the whole comparison by pointing out your belief. That would be like if I asked you why abortion was wrong, you replying "because you typed it". Sure I typed it, that is a characteristic of my debate, but it is not relevant, just like how you point out that the NS joins  with the CC. This is not relevant either, unless you provide explanation,  which you haven't. 

==

Conclusion:

My opponent fails to rebut anything I have stated. The rebuttals that they do provide are full of fallacies and irrelevant. Though the sources they provide may seem convincing, remember that debating is not about baseless throwing sources at each other. My opponent CTRL C and CTLR V's sources very well indeed, but they do not evaluate, investigate, or explain why their sources are superior, or even that they are sufficient for contradicting my sources. To bring about some structure, I would appreciate if my opponent could answer the following questions in their reply. 

  1. Do you agree with the general scientific consensus that a human life starts at fertilisation?
    1. If not, explain what it is about these scientists studies which is wrong. Refer to the studies when you do this. 
  2. Do you agree that what makes murder wrong, prima facie is that it deprives a being from having a future like ours?
    1. If not, explain what it is about this theory which is wrong. Refer to the theory when you do this. 
  3. etc. Rebut all my arguments by drawing out something which I stated, and pointing out what is logically wrong with it. 
As, in opponents first round, they have failed to adequately rebut my argument, all arguments stand. 

Back to you, Nevets. 
Con
Concession.

I originally accepted this debate by accident. I thought I could still argue it but have learned that arguing against ones own opinion is not easy.

Vote Bones.

Round 3
Pro
Concession.
Self-evidently my opponent has conceded the debate. I congratulate them on their attempt to play the devil's advocate, and advice them to read the description properly before accepting a debate. 

Good luck with your future debates. 

VOTE PRO
Con
Thank you Bones for the debate.

Congratulations on your victory.