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Argument: Is Life A Discretionary Status/Title

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Argument Question: Is Life A Discretionary Status/Title?

Background and Context

This is a argument question for abortion debates (see: Debate: Abortion, Debate: Human life as beginning at conception). Mind you that this is not a "When does life begin?" or "Where does life begin?" argument question but simply is asking this:


  • 1: IF we can give the status/title of "living/having life/alive" to certain fetuses but not others (or in such cases babies but not fetuses) then is the status of alive discretionary?
  • 2: IF the status/title of "living/having life/alive" is discretionary what constitutes the deeming of the term being bestowed upon a human?


Of course as you might have reasoned by now this is a argument question because if life is a discretionary status/title then abortions could easily be acceptable because the baby/fetus is too young to be deemed alive.
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  • This argument page divided not into pro/con on questions but on sides so you can easily differentiate which side this is coming from and ensures the least amount of confusion and the maximum amount of readability and comprehension. Left side of the page is the side saying life isn't a discretionary status/title, and the right side of the page is the side saying life is a discretionary status/title.


Main SubQuestionA: What Constitutes "Life" (in general)?

Side: Life Is NOT Discretionary

  • In general, life is the functioning of any organism despite the size.
  • The dictionary definition of "life" according to Webster's New World College Dictionary 4th Edition, Copyright 1999 is:
    • 1. that property or quality of plants and animals that distinguishes them from inorganic matter or dead organism; specifially., the cellular biochemical activity or processes or age and use of energy, the excretion of wastes, growth, reproudction, etc.
  • The sustainability argument is narrow and would put children up until the age they are able to get a job under the category of "unliving" because apart from their parents they can't sustain life under their own strength because they still rely on their parents for food, shelter, protection, clothing, money, etc. basically until they become legal adults.
    • Using that logic all non-working humans are not "alive" because they can't sustain themselves apart from another person/other people (i.e. friend, parent, charity, organization, etc.)

Side: Life Is Discretionary

  • In general any organism deemed "living" must be able to sustain itself apart from another person or another people. Embryos and fetuses are completely dependant on the mother so can't be "living".


Main SubQuestionB: What Constitutes "Human" Life?

Side: Life Is NOT Discretionary

Side: Life Is Discretionary

Evidence, Facts, Citations, etc.

Side: Life Is NOT Discretionary

Side: Life Is Discretionary

External links

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