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Abortion and Euthanasia

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Introduction

Abortion and Euthanasia The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Human life is sacred. Explain how this teaching influences its attitude to abortion and euthanasia, showing that you understand other points of view. (You should refer to the Bible, to the thinking/writing of Christians and Roman Catholic tradition to illustrate and support what you say). "The greatest gift of God, I would think is the gift of life. The greatest sin of man, it would seem would be to return that gift, ungratefully and unopened" John Powell in the Silent Holocaust Christians believe that Human life is sacred. In today's society many practices undermine this teaching daily, through the likes of contraception, abortion, bullying, terrorism, war, euthanasia and drugs etc... You only have to look at recent atrocities in the United States or the increase in advertisements for contraception, to see examples of such practices. From all of the above you need to ask yourselves why, in fact, do Christians believe human life is sacred? Well you get your answer from various Old Testament teachings one of the first examples, is in the 10 commandments Moses received from God, the fifth one being "Thou shall not kill". New Testament teachings are for example 1 Corinthians 16:17 "I am happy about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus; they have made up for your absence" this quote shows the happiness shown for everyone and anyone. ...read more.

Middle

The declaration said that every man and woman with feeling, and certainly every Christian, must be ready to do what he can to remedy them. Anti abortionists believe that an embryo is a cluster of cells and has the potential to be a human being, not an actual person. Each woman should have the right to terminate her pregnancy if she wishes. Abortion should be legal in order to prevent dangerous and unhygienic 'back-street' abortions. An expectant mother may realise that the task of raising a child would be unbearable, and so it would be better if she did not have it. Abortion should be available for women suffering under extreme circumstances, for example, if a woman becomes pregnant after being raped, or if the mother's life is at risk, she should not have to bear the child. Pro abortionists believe that a human being exists from the moment of conception. This means that the single cell formed at contraception has the potential to develop through all stages of the human lifespan. All human life is of equal value - even a foetus or embryo has rights. Less than one per cent of abortions are carried out solely to protect the mother. The anxiety a mother experiences during pregnancy is not a reliable indicator of how she will feel once the baby is born. ...read more.

Conclusion

If we do not use this gift, then we are simply like robots, living a life, which has already been planned for us - i.e. Predestination or fate. When God gave us the gift of life alongside it he gave us an equally great gift - the right and the freedom to choose how we live or fulfil it. Surely then it is up to the individual to do as they wish. Genesis tells us that human beings are given the gift of free will therefore we must make our own choices and decisions based upon our own knowledge and judgement, if we didn't use this gift we would be like robots. Without free will the essence of life, uniqueness and individuality would be worthless. The gift of free will - gives everyone of us, regardless or prejudices or discriminations, the right to make our own decisions in life, and take the consequences of those decisions After looking at both sides of the argument I've decided that I agree "God gives life so only God can take it away". Issues such as the taking of life (by various forms) are major decisions to make and require our moral and spiritual judgement, and guidance. Therefore though we all have the gift of free will, we are always guided by God. He gives life and he can take it away. Henry Deazley. ...read more.

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