That abortion is morally acceptable.
The topic of this debate thread is 'that abortion is morally acceptable.'
I'll be arguing in the affirmative - that this statement is true.
The rules are just general stuff for a better debate. If someone has a complaint please direct it to a mod, or if you want send me a pm so you can tell me specifically where I didnt respond to your properly or if you have another grievance with me in my argumentation. So I'll expect people generally try to avoid ad-hominem arguments, non-sequiturs and any other logical fallacies that arise during debates.
Life of any kind only acquires value where it has an interest in its existence. Because of this fact, killing a fetus is morally acceptable because the fetus has no interest in its own existence.
Definition of abortion:
/əˈbɔrʃən/ Show Spelled[uh-bawr-shuhn] Show IPA
Also called voluntary abortion. the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy.
any of various surgical methods for terminating a pregnancy, especially during the first six months.
So for this debate, abortion refers to the termination of a fetus when it is still in the whom. All other topics are thus irrelevant and all other applications of the term abortion and or perceived relevant meanings are not apart of this debate.
Defining morality is essentially defining what is ethical, ie what is 'right action':
ethicsplural of eth·ics (Noun)
1. Moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior.
2. The moral correctness of specified conduct.
It is therefore necessary that people articulate a code of ethics to which they acquire the conclusion of abortion's moral acceptability.
What is moral/ethical action: right and wrong.
To think ethically is to make the realization we are not the only beings in the world. Since we pursue various interests, as do other creatures, is it not logical that we mutually assist or recognize each other in this mutual quality. That is, if I have an interest in being alive and another person wants to be alive, is it not logical to both help keep myself AND the other person alive? This is the foundation of right action: where we consider the interests of those who exist alongside us. It must be noted though that to have an interest in the most elementary, such as life, requires certain characteristics, namely rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness etc. Without these mental faculties, one cannot value their life or have an interest in their existence. Aside from what I have just said, which is what Peter Singer calls the principle of 'Equal consideration of interests,' all other concepts of right action appear to be no more than socially contrived codes of thought - not objective logical observations and reasoning. Consequently, immoral action is that which rejects the logical principle of the equal consideration of interests. Violating the interests of another then (in cases where it is not to achieve shared interests, for example taking money from the rich to save the starving) is almost always wrong on this basis.
Using this principle of morality in the abortion debate has rather obvious implications. First, when applying this idea, we need ask who is affected and whose interests are in play. Chiefly, the only beings affected are the mother and fetus. However, and here's the crucial part, only the mother has interests because only the mother has the mental capacity to maintain self-awareness and self-consciousness to the point of realizing and valuing her existence. A fetus is devoid of these faculties. Thus, the mother's interests are the only one's we need, morally speaking, take notice of.
Killing a fetus is fine because the baby has no interest in its own existence. This is because it has no a consciousness or mental function that allows it to think and comprehend its existence and its life. A fetus has no interests as it has no mind - no conception of space or time, rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness or awareness of itself or of anything within the confines of reality. In fact a fish has greater conscious capacity than a fetus under three months of growth. This is why killing a tree amongst other things is fine because it has no self-conscious interest in its existence. This is why when we bleed, we need not mourn for the loss of blood cells or skin cells because none of these organisms, like the fetus, function on a level that allows them to comprehend any notion of life and existence. A fetus has feelings in the most primitive sense of physical sensations sure, but that does not constitute an interest or evidence that the mind has developed to keep an interest in living.
You can find medical and philosophical justification for this position in the writings and research of Peter Singer and Michael Tooley amongst many others.
A question to Lifers:
The lifer position rests on this syllogism:
It is wrong to kill an innocent human being.
A human fetus is an innocent human being.
Therefore it is wrong to kill a human fetus.
My question is simply then, why is it wrong to kill an innocent human being? This question does not mean to say any human life is free to destroy, since as we have seen, humans with interests should be considered. But how can one possible say human life, in and of itself, is special?
Incidentally, my position poses huge problems for the liberal position also, since it is entirely correct for one to say a fetus is a human being and this fact does not change between conception and birth. The only thing that does is conscious ability and mental capacity to care about its existence.
Last edited by MegadethFan; Feb 17 2012 at 06:33 AM.
I'm willing to change my position at any time on any issue. I have done so in the past. All you need is a logical, provable case, and I'm all in. The question is, have you got what it takes?
Oh, and just so you're not confused, I'm an apatheist libertarian.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." --Noam Chomsky