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DEBATE: Abortion Watch

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    I have a debate in biology about abortion. This is scenario: Anna is having a baby bunt a few months into the pregnancy the doctor tells her the child is going to be born with a disease (abnormality) also the when the child is born it will only live a year maximum. Should Anna abort the baby or not? My team is for the abortion. Im struggling for ideas- have the basic ideas like baby suffering in the longterm, trauma, finances, hurts the mother. Could you help me with more points and also how could I argue when the opposition brings up Religion?
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    (Original post by MelissaRobinson)
    I have a debate in biology about abortion. This is scenario: Anna is having a baby bunt a few months into the pregnancy the doctor tells her the child is going to be born with a disease (abnormality) also the when the child is born it will only live a year maximum. Should Anna abort the baby or not? My team is for the abortion. Im struggling for ideas- have the basic ideas like baby suffering in the longterm, trauma, finances, hurts the mother. Could you help me with more points and also how could I argue when the opposition brings up Religion?
    you may find this useful to understand the viewpoint of Religion ?

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/abortion
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    (Original post by MelissaRobinson)
    Could you help me with more points and also how could I argue when the opposition brings up Religion?
    It depends on how it's brought up. Is it being said that Anna subscribes to a religion that views abortion as murder? Unless that's the case, there's no real point in entertaining any religious point brought up by the opposition, assuming that Anna lives in the (mostly) secular West.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    It depends on how it's brought up. Is it being said that Anna subscribes to a religion that views abortion as murder? Unless that's the case, there's no real point in bringing up religion, assuming that Anna lives in the (for the most part) secular West.
    Anna has no religion but I'm rather sure that the opposition will bring up religion and how one should not murder.
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    (Original post by MelissaRobinson)
    Anna has no religion but I'm rather sure that the opposition will bring up religion and how one should not murder.
    It's something of a distraction, then, and you should tell them that. The only context in which a religious objection to abortion could be presented is if the person considering the abortion is either herself religious or lives in a country where abortion is banned or restricted for religious reasons.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    It's something of a distraction, then, and you should tell them that. The only context in which a religious objection to abortion could be presented is if the person considering the abortion is either herself religious or lives in a country where abortion is banned or restricted for religious reasons.
    Good idea, thank you
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    (Original post by MelissaRobinson)
    how could I argue when the opposition brings up Religion?
    You pretty much have a good foundation in favour of abortion.

    If the opposition brings up religion (which is a minefield in its world) there are three things that you could bring up:

    You could bring up the point that some religions have exceptions to abortion. Lutherans and Methodists support abortion in extreme cases like a life-threatening disease and Muslim Scholars have argued that abortion may be allowed in those cases as well.

    If they argue abortion being wrong in the sense that you're "playing God", then by extension, nearly everything in medical practice is playing God. Providing dialysis literally saves many lives; am I playing God? What justifies such actions as immoral or wrong?

    If they argue that abortion is murder, and murder is just morally, ethically wrong, then firstly differentiate the difference between murder and mercy killing, and then ask them why is murder/killing wrong? If they respond "because is says so in the religious texts", then why does it say so in the religious texts?
    The core reason for why people argue killing is an inherent evil is because the action of killing someone causes a harmful death.

    But if the action of killing was to cause someone much less harm than a life of suffering and painful death that follows, then killing is no longer a wrong. Killing is seen as a benefit. That is mercy killing. Murder, however, is an illegal action of killing another with the killer's intention of causing harm. We're not trying to cause harm, we're trying to act (or at least we think we act) in the best intentions of the unborn child.
    Spoiler:
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    Notice that I haven't really talked about religion anyway because ethics and morals comes under philosophy, religion as a whole. Do not let them enter into a debate specifically tailored around religious principles or quotes or whatever, because that's not the point.
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    (Original post by RMNDK)
    You pretty much have a good foundation in favour of abortion.

    If the opposition brings up religion (which is a minefield in its world) there are three things that you could bring up:

    You could bring up the point that some religions have exceptions to abortion. Lutherans and Methodists support abortion in extreme cases like a life-threatening disease and Muslim Scholars have argued that abortion may be allowed in those cases as well.

    If they argue abortion being wrong in the sense that you're "playing God", then by extension, nearly everything in medical practice is playing God. Providing dialysis literally saves many lives; am I playing God? What justifies such actions as immoral or wrong?

    If they argue that abortion is murder, and murder is just morally, ethically wrong, then firstly differentiate the difference between murder and mercy killing, and then ask them why is murder/killing wrong? If they respond "because is says so in the religious texts", then why does it say so in the religious texts?
    The core reason for why people argue killing is an inherent evil is because the action of killing someone causes a harmful death.

    But if the action of killing was to cause someone much less harm than a life of suffering and painful death that follows, then killing is no longer a wrong. Killing is seen as a benefit. That is mercy killing. Murder, however, is an illegal action of killing another with the killer's intention of causing harm. We're not trying to cause harm, we're trying to act (or at least we think we act) in the best intentions of the unborn child.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Notice that I haven't really talked about religion anyway because ethics and morals comes under philosophy, religion as a whole. Do not let them enter into a debate specifically tailored around religious principles or quotes or whatever, because that's not the point.
    Wow thank you so much, this points are really strong and definitely in depth enough to confuse the opposition!
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    (Original post by MelissaRobinson)
    I have a debate in biology about abortion. This is scenario: Anna is having a baby bunt a few months into the pregnancy the doctor tells her the child is going to be born with a disease (abnormality) also the when the child is born it will only live a year maximum. Should Anna abort the baby or not? My team is for the abortion. Im struggling for ideas- have the basic ideas like baby suffering in the longterm, trauma, finances, hurts the mother. Could you help me with more points and also how could I argue when the opposition brings up Religion?
    u can refer to christianity an dsay that god says love thy neighbor and becuz the child aint born he or she wont feel the pain and god dont want u to suffer so u can end it the mother would be at risk
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    (Original post by MelissaRobinson)
    I have a debate in biology about abortion. This is scenario: Anna is having a baby bunt a few months into the pregnancy the doctor tells her the child is going to be born with a disease (abnormality) also the when the child is born it will only live a year maximum. Should Anna abort the baby or not? My team is for the abortion. Im struggling for ideas- have the basic ideas like baby suffering in the longterm, trauma, finances, hurts the mother. Could you help me with more points and also how could I argue when the opposition brings up Religion?
    Doctors' estimations of life expectancy have been known to be wildly inaccurate. It's hard to know, even with genetic conditions wether a child will live a year or 20, or even defy the odds and live even longer.

    A thing to consider might be how well known the disease is to doctors, that can have a big impact on the accuracy of their estimations.

    I can't abide such a fatalistic diagnosis by a doctor, especially when it is predetermined before birth.

    Also, if it's a genetic defect, why were the parents not informed of this likelihood upon regular gp checkups and, subsequently screened for genetic disorders much earlier than the 2 month stage.
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    The above discusses a similar event, maybe it'll help.
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    (Original post by MelissaRobinson)
    I have a debate in biology about abortion. This is scenario: Anna is having a baby bunt a few months into the pregnancy the doctor tells her the child is going to be born with a disease (abnormality) also the when the child is born it will only live a year maximum. Should Anna abort the baby or not? My team is for the abortion. Im struggling for ideas- have the basic ideas like baby suffering in the longterm, trauma, finances, hurts the mother. Could you help me with more points and also how could I argue when the opposition brings up Religion?
    The baby would live their life in pain and aborting the baby would prevent this. The baby wouldn't be conscious and wouldn't know that it would've been born. Is it worth the Mother going through physical, mental and financial strain to keep a suffering baby alive (if it is born)? If they bring in religion: If the Mother doesn't abort the baby, does religion say that it is right to let the baby suffer for it's entire life, never being able to experience any of the joys of life?
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    You say a few months in....I'm not sure of the science without checking but does it even class as a baby then?


    ^ You can use that as a possible point in favour of either option.
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    I am against abortion after 12 weeks there's absolutely no need for it end of story.
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    (Original post by RMNDK)
    You pretty much have a good foundation in favour of abortion.

    If the opposition brings up religion (which is a minefield in its world) there are three things that you could bring up:

    You could bring up the point that some religions have exceptions to abortion. Lutherans and Methodists support abortion in extreme cases like a life-threatening disease and Muslim Scholars have argued that abortion may be allowed in those cases as well.

    If they argue abortion being wrong in the sense that you're "playing God", then by extension, nearly everything in medical practice is playing God. Providing dialysis literally saves many lives; am I playing God? What justifies such actions as immoral or wrong?

    If they argue that abortion is murder, and murder is just morally, ethically wrong, then firstly differentiate the difference between murder and mercy killing, and then ask them why is murder/killing wrong? If they respond "because is says so in the religious texts", then why does it say so in the religious texts?
    The core reason for why people argue killing is an inherent evil is because the action of killing someone causes a harmful death.

    But if the action of killing was to cause someone much less harm than a life of suffering and painful death that follows, then killing is no longer a wrong. Killing is seen as a benefit. That is mercy killing. Murder, however, is an illegal action of killing another with the killer's intention of causing harm. We're not trying to cause harm, we're trying to act (or at least we think we act) in the best intentions of the unborn child.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Notice that I haven't really talked about religion anyway because ethics and morals comes under philosophy, religion as a whole. Do not let them enter into a debate specifically tailored around religious principles or quotes or whatever, because that's not the point.
    I could not disagree more with these points and I am sure they will be met with fierce opposition. For example:

    1) Just because there are exceptions, doesn't make these religions' rulings against abortion any less strong in this case.

    2) There is a massive difference between doing all you can to prolong life, and deciding it is not worth it to give a child life. I am not playing God by deciding to exercise and eat healthily for example.

    3) Mercy killing is legally the same as murder.

    4) Murder is not evil because it causes a harmful death. It is intrinsically evil in that no-one should be able to end someone's life prematurely. Period.

    5) Just because we don't intend to do harm doesn't mean we don't end up doing harm anyway.
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    (Original post by MelissaRobinson)
    I have a debate in biology about abortion. This is scenario: Anna is having a baby bunt a few months into the pregnancy the doctor tells her the child is going to be born with a disease (abnormality) also the when the child is born it will only live a year maximum. Should Anna abort the baby or not? My team is for the abortion. Im struggling for ideas- have the basic ideas like baby suffering in the longterm, trauma, finances, hurts the mother. Could you help me with more points and also how could I argue when the opposition brings up Religion?
    that's none of her business right now the baby has a life. Would you say kill a baby with a fatal form of brain cancer? Or any other cancer? She's a few months pregnant which means that baby is tiny mostly formed human being. She has no right to judge their life.
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    (Original post by RMNDK)
    You pretty much have a good foundation in favour of abortion.

    If the opposition brings up religion (which is a minefield in its world) there are three things that you could bring up:

    You could bring up the point that some religions have exceptions to abortion. Lutherans and Methodists support abortion in extreme cases like a life-threatening disease and Muslim Scholars have argued that abortion may be allowed in those cases as well.

    If they argue abortion being wrong in the sense that you're "playing God", then by extension, nearly everything in medical practice is playing God. Providing dialysis literally saves many lives; am I playing God? What justifies such actions as immoral or wrong?

    If they argue that abortion is murder, and murder is just morally, ethically wrong, then firstly differentiate the difference between murder and mercy killing, and then ask them why is murder/killing wrong? If they respond "because is says so in the religious texts", then why does it say so in the religious texts?
    The core reason for why people argue killing is an inherent evil is because the action of killing someone causes a harmful death.

    But if the action of killing was to cause someone much less harm than a life of suffering and painful death that follows, then killing is no longer a wrong. Killing is seen as a benefit. That is mercy killing. Murder, however, is an illegal action of killing another with the killer's intention of causing harm. We're not trying to cause harm, we're trying to act (or at least we think we act) in the best intentions of the unborn child.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Notice that I haven't really talked about religion anyway because ethics and morals comes under philosophy, religion as a whole. Do not let them enter into a debate specifically tailored around religious principles or quotes or whatever, because that's not the point.
    That's a consequentialist position, as opposed to a deontologist one, which would argue that it is just wrong because that's the way it is!
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    (Original post by xylas)
    I could not disagree more with these points and I am sure they will be met with fierce opposition. For example:

    1) Just because there are exceptions, doesn't make these religions' rulings against abortion any less strong in this case.
    That's not the point. The point is that if you're trying to argue about abortion using religion (or anything for that matter), then you use religious beliefs of both sides of the argument.

    For each religious belief in its own place and time, they have a certain value that is not devalued by any other belief, but when put into context, such as in the case of a debate on abortion, their value, or strength as you put it, alters. That's how a debate progresses, a point is made and others will refute it with counter examples.

    If you're arguing that each religious practice has an inherent, fixed, fundamental truth then what debate is to be had using religion in the first place?


    (Original post by xylas)
    2) There is a massive difference between doing all you can to prolong life, and deciding it is not worth it to give a child life. I am not playing God by deciding to exercise and eat healthily for example..
    The point was targeting the possible argument of saying, "Abortion is immoral as it is a form of playing God". I was trying to show how an argument like that can be flawed, I wasn't trying to argue in favour of abortion then, just that an argument like that doesn't hold substance when going against abortion.

    You're right, there is a difference between trying to extend the life of an individual, and trying to end the life of him/her, but now we're entering the actual debate about abortion which is not the basis of my post.

    (Original post by xylas)
    3) Mercy killing is legally the same as murder.

    You're right. I was thinking philosophically speaking.

    (Original post by xylas)
    4) Murder is not evil because it causes a harmful death. It is intrinsically evil in that no-one should be able to end someone's life prematurely. Period.
    You are arguing that there are some actions that are intrinsically wrong, and right? Then morality becomes arbitrary because it's just based on, well itself, and that would be something we cannot understand. That stems from something called objectivism. You could go a step further and say that murder, lying, and morality must depend on humans as it is part of our perception and consciousness in order for it to exist, unless you also argue that these things exist independent of our minds (in which case that enters an entirely new argument on epistemology and perception).

    You haven't provided substance to the reason why murder is wrong. For what reason can I not end someone's life prematurely? Hence, I supplied (what I believe to be) the core reason which is that death is harmful, both to the person and the people that are related to the person.

    Other reasons include that it we have no right to decide how a person ends their life as it is their life, because through evolution, we've seen that it benefits our species and our community to maximise life, because people see life as a unique gift and should not be discarded so horribly, or because murder provides no benefit that outweighs the repercussions that it brings, or perhaps we have this innate sense of morality that comes with the sense of consciousness that compels us to not murder. Whatever your reason, it should demonstrate exactly why murder and killing is wrong.

    Regardless, my point was that the link between the reason and outcome is usually interpreted in the wrong direction. Opponents of abortion who rest on the premise that killing is wrong argue, as you say, killing is an intrinsic evil, therefore whenever we see someone die as a result of killing, it becomes bad. It's the other way around: dying is harmful, therefore we see killing as evil.

    (Original post by xylas)
    5) Just because we don't intend to do harm doesn't mean we don't end up doing harm anyway.
    Firstly, you're right that for all we know we may end up doing harm, but that is the point of evaluating the case for abortion, or any situation which involves killing to reduce the suffering inflicted. In this situation, it is impossible to achieve zero harm (or it may be possible, I'm not aware of potential abortion practices that could achieve this). The goal is to use the pathway that leads to less harm.

    For example, if I don't abort the foetus, and let him/her live for the 1 year, he/she will endure some a amount of suffering. If I do abort the foetus, then the harm endured may be less than than a, which we'll call b, or it may even be greater than a which we'll call c.
    My intentions are to try and reduce the amount of harm inflicted on the foetus, i.e. to achieve b. If the chances of obtaining b are high, and that c is not that higher than a, then we can be confident that abortion will lead to less suffering.

    For all we know, it may result in c because after all we are never certain of outcomes, but if we acted on this basis, then no actions would come to fruition. I would have to reject abortion and go with a because I can't be certain whether I'd achieve b or c; the fact that we still act shows that we have some level of certainty and we act with evaluated confidence.

    Secondly, when it comes to mercy killing (or perhaps mercy death is the better phrase, but it really can't apply to abortion), i) intention of death, and ii) the outcome being positive, are intertwined features. These are two features which must both be fulfilled when considering actions like these. Yes we may end up, or rather we do end up causing harm anyway but that's not the point; the point is that we realise this and justify our actions despite this.
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    (Original post by MelissaRobinson)
    Im struggling for ideas- have the basic ideas like baby suffering in the longterm, trauma, finances, hurts the mother.
    If the ultimate aim is to minimize suffering, then the abortion makes sense purely because the child dies at a time when it is less aware of itself and its surroundings.

    (Original post by MelissaRobinson)
    Could you help me with more points and also how could I argue when the opposition brings up Religion?
    You can point out that it's irrelevant. What a religion might say about abortion is irrelevant to it's morality.
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    You're giving yourself a bit of an easy ride aren't you? Make it a bit more interesting.

    Try.....Anna has booked a holiday for her and her partner in 8 months time and paid a nonreturnable deposit of £100. She discovers she is pregnant and will be giving birth about the time of the holiday. Even though they have been trying for a baby for some time she could do with a holiday so decides to abort without telling her partner.
 
 
 
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