CreateDebate


Debate Info

Debate Score:68
Arguments:69
Total Votes:84
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 
  (43)

Debate Creator

Mack(536) pic



Why is it wrong to kill a newborn baby? (If it is)

Can someone give a logical reason why killing a newborn (e.g. less than a few months old baby) is wrong.  (No dogmatic reasons like quoting the bible please)  The whole abortion argument seems to come down to what makes murder wrong, and does this apply to unborn fetuses?  I can only come up with reasons why murder is wrong that don't apply to either newborn babies, or fetuses that are still in the womb.  I'm struggling to figure this one out.  

Please don't accuse me of wanting to kill babies, I don't.  Also, please keep things civil (no name calling, etc), or I'll ban you.
Add New Argument
4 points

Based solely on the idea of personhood, we can say that it is more immoral to kill older fetuses than younger fetuses but that there is no discernible difference between killing a newborn and killing a fetus just before it is born. The reason why killing a newborn baby is more immoral is because of the shared values exemplified by how we view other types of killings.

My points are:

1) Some killings are more immoral than others.

2) Abortion has all the qualities that make a killing less immoral.

3) From Fertilisation to around 9 months, killing a baby becomes increasingly more immoral.

Taking life, without justification is immoral. Although "justification" varies depending to culture, it is an almost universally accepted truth. However, a fallacy arises when we say that all unjustified killings are equally as immoral. Christians, as well as the politically correct, will tell you that we cannot place different values on different lives: but we do. Killing some people is worse than killing others. In the USA, killing a police office could get you the death penalty, kill a prostitute and you probably won't. Kill a child: it is a worse crime. Kill a pedophile: barely a crime at all.

It is important to establish the qualities of why some killing are more immoral than others to be able to determine whether it is justifiable to make the act illegal. So... why are some deaths more immoral than others? This is my hypothesis and a potential explanation for why this could mean that a killing a fetus, rather than a newborn, is less immoral:

a) The impact of the death on those still alive. We see that if the victim has close family the perpetrated is likely to receive a harsher sentence - this explains why those that kill socially excluded people such as many prostitutes receive less harsh sentences. Also, why vigilantes also receive relatively lenient sentences. In the case of abortion, it actually improves the qualify of life of those living. Killing a newborn baby, even if the mother desires it, has a detrimental effect on the family.

b) Pain. There is a very narrow criteria in UK law for when someone can be given a whole of life sentence for murder. One of those is that the crime is sadist. In the case of abortion, there is no pain to the fetus. Although admittedly, a newborn baby could also be killed in a pain free way. However, this is not what we imagine when we imagine someone killing a newborn baby so the is a disparity between what we perceive murder of a newborn baby must be like compared to killing a fetus.

c) Parasitic nature - many argue that a newborn baby is also "parasitic" because it requires care. However, the mother can choose to give the care her baby to another. The way a embryo attaches to the ovarian wall is the same way a cancerous cell does, it penetrates and damages the embryo. It is not a symbiotic relationship: the embryo can make the mother quite ill - they are two organisms competing for resources. Killing a parasitic fetus is fundamentally different to killing a baby in that way.

Finally... to me the greatest argument for why abortion is justified is because the fetus doesn't have a sense of self as well as other qualities that define what it means to be a person. A sense of self can be defined as fully developed around 9 months where the baby can identify themselves in a mirror and seems to be aware of the idea that they are separate from everything around them. It is a challenge to define what personhood truly is but it is best seen as a continuum from fertility to childhood.

1 point

Good points, you've answered my question quite well. Thanks.................

2 points

Youre welcome. That is the first real response I have given on this site in months haha.

Jace(4706) Disputed
1 point

But why is there ethical significance to the: (a) degree of (perceived) impact on the living; (b) degree of pain experienced; (c) existence of alternatives; (d) existence of self concept. Certainly, people seem responsive to these elements in a descriptive sense... but that doesn't prove that they should be (or, if it does, then ethical theory is redundant).

2 points

You use the term newborn and the reason it's deemed wrong is because the newborn have rights existing under international laws

If you are talking about a fetus a woman is not morally obliged to carry a pregnancy to term .

Mack(536) Clarified
1 point

I understand it is deemed wrong because of those laws, but laws in and of themselves don't make something morally wrong, just legally wrong. I'm looking for a more philosophical reason, outside of laws, a good reason for the laws to exist in the first place.

I think I agree with you that a woman is not morally obliged to carry a pregnancy to term, but I'm not talking about a fetus here for the main question, I am talking about an actual baby.

Dermot(5461) Clarified
1 point

Okay , so why then is it deemed morally wrong to kill a baby ?

The new born is entitled to a life just as you or I are and the laws are there to protect that entitlement

2 points

Pro-Abortion Elizabeth Warren Now Wants Congress To 'Fight' For Helpless Babies

“Every Senator – no matter the party – should step up and fight for the millions of babies like Peter who can’t speak for themselves.”

Apparently, Senator Elizabeth Warren only finds a premature baby worth saving when it suits her political purposes.

Senator Warren is one of the biggest advocates in the Senate for abortion. Both Planned Parenthood and NARAL have given her 100% ratings for her support of these issues. The Senator is even in favor of taxpayer-funded late-term abortions.

On her Twitter account Tuesday, Senator Warren posted a video about a little boy named Peter. Peter had to be born prematurely when his mother developed Pre-eclampsia. The Senator said, “Every Senator – no matter the party – should step up and fight for the millions of babies like Peter who can’t speak for themselves.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren thinks your baby is a clump of cells until their story happens to fit her daily talking points.

Leftist are now fighting for Babies ?

1 point

You are taking the converstation to areas where the Left does not want to tread.

You are correct when saying a new born is no different than a late term baby.

The selfish pro abortion people differentiate by simply relying on a "law" made by selfish men.

They say it is the law of the land to protect a newborn. They say it obviously has the same right to life as you or I.

But when it comes to that same baby a week from birth? They say is it the law of the land that the same baby has no right to life. ROFLOL, these are the types of inhuman fools who said it was the law of the land to have slaves!

It was the law of the land in Germany to kill Jews!

So I guess humanity is now based on the whims of men in power, declaring that some vulnerable group of people, who have no voice, no longer have a right to life.

Gee I wonder where that man made power leads? This is why our nation needs it's Christian heritage to protect all innocent life. Man is doing it's best to separate our heritage so he can determine the value of a human life simply by it's inconvienence.

It is wrong to kill a newborn and it is wrong to kill an unborn baby. It's so obvious, but in this selfish world, groups of people are constantly being killed for sake of convienence.

You ask why? Really? You have to ask why it is wrong to take an innocent life, but not take your's?

Is this a joke debate?

Atrag(5444) Disputed
4 points

You ask why? Really? You have to ask why it is wrong to take an innocent life, but not take your's?

Is this a joke debate?

That is what philosophy is - it is the question most fundamental ideas to truly understand what we hold certain views. If you cant engage in it, fuck off, but dont be surprised when people ask the question "why" to anything and everything. That is exactly what we should be doing.

2 points

You are taking the converstation to areas where the Left does not want to tread.

You are correct when saying a new born is no different than a late term baby.

I've said this to you like 100 times.

The selfish pro abortion people differentiate by simply relying on a "law" made by selfish men.

The law of the land also states that even if you are the only thing that can keep another human being alive, you cannot be legally obligated to do so—i.e. if your kidney is the only thing that can save my life, you aren't obligated to give it to me.

You can say that you personally think it is imperative that you be legally required to give me your kidney. But I think to require that by law is really problematic, even if I were to agree that it's the moral thing to do.

outlaw60(14189) Clarified
2 points

Pro-Abortion Elizabeth Warren Now Wants Congress To 'Fight' For Helpless Babies

“Every Senator – no matter the party – should step up and fight for the millions of babies like Peter who can’t speak for themselves.”

Apparently, Senator Elizabeth Warren only finds a premature baby worth saving when it suits her political purposes.

Senator Warren is one of the biggest advocates in the Senate for abortion. Both Planned Parenthood and NARAL have given her 100% ratings for her support of these issues. The Senator is even in favor of taxpayer-funded late-term abortions.

On her Twitter account Tuesday, Senator Warren posted a video about a little boy named Peter. Peter had to be born prematurely when his mother developed Pre-eclampsia. The Senator said, “Every Senator – no matter the party – should step up and fight for the millions of babies like Peter who can’t speak for themselves.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren thinks your baby is a clump of cells until their story happens to fit her daily talking points.

Leftist are now fighting for Babies ?

So what's up with the Fake IndianWoman ?

FromWithin(6951) Disputed Banned
1 point

What you just said has NOTHING to do with abortion.

The mother is not asked to give any organ to the baby that would hurt her own life.

No one is denying life of mother abortions.

Stop wasting our time!

Dermot(5461) Disputed
1 point

You say ...... This is why our nation needs it's Christian heritage to protect all innocent life...............

But your god fully agrees with abortion according to the good book you really should give it a read sometime 👌

Hosea 9:11-16 Hosea prays for God’s intervention. “Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer. Give them, 0 Lord: what wilt thou give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. . .Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.” Clearly Hosea desires that the people of Ephraim can no longer have children. God of course obeys by making all their unborn children miscarry. Is not terminating a pregnancy unnaturally “abortion”?

Numbers 5:11-21 The description of a bizarre, brutal and abusive ritual to be performed on a wife SUSPECTED of adultery. This is considered to be an induced abortion to rid a woman of another man’s child.

Numbers 31:17 (Moses) “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.” In other words: women that might be pregnant, which clearly is abortion for the fetus.

Hosea 13:16 God promises to dash to pieces the infants of Samaria and the “their women with child shall be ripped up”. Once again this god kills the unborn, including their pregnant mothers.

FromWithin(6951) Disputed Banned
0 points

ROFLOL, you keep bringing up old testament Jewish law and trying to take it out of context and try to say God wants people to kill their babies.

If you are going to use old testament verses, also use the one where God says a man will be punished for ACCIDENTALLY causing a woman to lose her unborn baby.

Have I lately said YOU FOOL?

Christians lives by the new testament and it's so funny how you never bring up New testament verses to spew your deception.

IGNORE!

Atrag(5444) Disputed
1 point

It was the law of the land in Germany to kill Jews!

As someone who lives in Germany: no, no it wasn't the law of the land to kill Jews in Nazi Germany. Please don't make comparisons the Nazis if you know so little about them.

Jace(4706) Disputed
0 points

So I guess humanity is now based on the whims of men in power, declaring that some vulnerable group of people, who have no voice, no longer have a right to life.

How else do you suppose it happens? Power is the only determinant to rights and privilege. Without it, ideals are just wet dreams.

1 point

Whether it is the case of killing a child or a new born it is killing a human who can have one a trillion if not zero chances of harming a hair on another person.It is one of the worst possible murders period and it is WRONG WRONG WRONG.

Mack(536) Disputed
2 points

Could you give a logical reason for why it is wrong, rather than just assert that it is wrong. Just because you think they probably won't go on to harm anyone doesn't make it wrong in and of itself. Thanks.

San101(105) Disputed
2 points

What harm can a newborn baby do? Nothing and killing or hurting a human who can do no wrong is downright illegal and immoral.

Dermot(5461) Disputed
1 point

One of the worst possible murders ? Yet no one is doing 'life 'in prison for these dreadful murders , whys that ?

By saying something is WRONG WRONG WRONG is not an argument is it ?

San101(105) Disputed
1 point

An occultist or a cult person in India was given capital punishment for beheading a baby. A baby is an innocent human and legally killing innocent humans will get you jail or capital punishment based o the law of that place.

Jace(4706) Disputed
0 points

What makes them a human?

San101(105) Disputed
2 points

You were once a newborn baby like anyone else and your a human as well. All humans go through that stage hence the new born baby is a human. Going by your dispute you would be asking if a 10 year old, a 20 year old, and a 70 year are deemed human. What kind of a dispute is this anyway?

1 point

Killing a newborn baby is wrong based on:

1) The strong (adult) preying on the weak (newborn)

2) The squandering of life potential

3) The risk to society that killers will kill again, and depending on your beliefs, possibly

4) Because your religion taught you it is wrong.

Those are all very good reasons why it would be wrong to kill a newborn.

Now, for comparison, let's talk about reason it would be right.

1) If ending one life saves many others (for example, the crying of the baby is about to draw a superpredator to find a whole group of people and kill all of them including even the baby. Silencing the baby may save all).

2) If the baby were born in excruciating agony which was never going to go away (medical reasons).

3) Extreme vengence (which is an ugly ugly reason to do it, and I don't endorse this one, but this is what a military dictator might do to subjugate rebellious factions after conquering a territory). And, depending on your religious beliefs, possibly

4) Because you believe it's the antichrist or a demon.

1 point

killing a baby is infanticide, and infanticide can be broadly classified as homicide .

And homicide is illegal ,thus, its wrong

Mack(536) Clarified
2 points

To clarify, I was asking why it is morally wrong, not just legally wrong. Thank you anyways for the clear explanation of why it's illegal.

On a slightly unrelated note, I was looking at google's definition of human being: "A man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance." A newborn baby doesn't have any of these qualities, except that one may call it a child (a fetus wouldn't even have that). If infanticide is equated to homicide, that equates babies to humans. I know (lexical) semantics aren't a proper way to argue a case like this, but I thought this was interesting enough to point out.

0 points

Nothing is wrong, but presuming it were...

Adopting the criteria of self-concept for determining what constitutes murder (i.e. wrongful killing) is coherent with moral cognitive patterns which require a self for the harm to adhere in. We erroneously project the existence of self onto newborns who are not psychologically developed enough to have a sense of self, and this is the basis of resistance to the idea of moral and legal permissibility to killing infants (also the brain dead, etc.). However, there is no person for the harm to adhere in.

Moreover, if one repudiates self-concept as a legitimate criteria for differentiating murder from other killing then it is unclear how some forms of killing remain permissible. Such as... the brain dead, other animals, plants, bacteria, etc. Even killing in self-defense becomes somewhat questionable. What is the basis of justified killing if not in reference to existence and valuing of the extant self?

Mack(536) Clarified
2 points

"What is the basis of justified killing if not in reference to existence and valuing of the extant self?"

You are right in that killing would never be justified if the value of the extant self was nothing, but killing wouldn't be a bad thing either. Just an act with no meaningful consequences, at least to the individual being killed. When combined with the info that "newborns are not psychologically developed enough to have a sense of self," I suppose that the conclusion to be made is that (whether or not the sense of self is worth anything) it isn't wrong to kill a newborn, when there are no secondary consequences, like parents being sad. Of course this would mean abortion is okay in all circumstances, as the only consequence is that the fetus loses life, but if self-concept is the only thing that matters here (no secondary consequences, like pain) then abortion is okay too.

This leads on to the question of: Is the loss of self-concept the only consequence to the deceased that makes killing bad? And the other question of: Does the loss of self-concept qualify as a reason murder (of someone with a sense of self) is morally wrong?

Typical philosophy, one question answered, two more opened up. :)

Jace(4706) Clarified
1 point

I agree with your observations, up until the possible introduction of additional consequences for consideration. The potential harm of emotional bereavement is not a consequence of the death, but of attachment. The potential harm of a painful death is a confusion of pain inflicted before death with death itself, and how we evaluate the infliction of suffering I think is an independent matter. And so on and so forth. Frankly, no further consequence strikes me as desirable of inclusion. The value and prioritization of the self is sufficient to my mind, though I'd invite further disagreement on the point.

I would also clarify that I don't think it's the loss of self-concept to the deceased that would make killing bad. The deceased do not exist, so there is no harm to them. Rather, it is a pragmatic valuation; if we value the existence of self-concept that makes us more secure in our own selves. Put otherwise, the moral wrong would be constituted because of the harm effected to the security of selves which continue to exist rather than of the non-existent harm effected to a self which no longer exists.

An answer producing more questions... that's the joy of philosophy to me. Thanks for the intriguing line of enquiry. :)