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Explain the beliefs Christians hold about their responsibility for those at the beginning and end of their lives.

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Introduction

RE Coursework Q1) Explain the beliefs Christians hold about their responsibility for those at the beginning and end of their lives. This essay will clarify the attitudes that Christians hold about their responsibility for those at the beginning and end of their lives. I will do this by looking at the different responsibilities that Christians hold with regard to abortion and euthanasia and show the different Christian views. Abortion is the premature expulsion of the foetus from the womb. Christians have different views on this issue. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that deliberate procured abortion is a serious sin in all circumstances. They believe that they have a responsibility, a moral obligation to protect the foetus. In Catholic theology human life is said to begin at the moment of conception. From that moment, it is sacred and everybody should try to protect it. Pope Paul V1 said 'Human life is sacred'. All men must recognise that fact.' They believe that everybody, (not just Christians) should have a proper respect for human life and human rights. In the Ten Commandments, it says 'Thou shall not kill' and having an abortion is effectively murdering as the baby has equal rights to the mother. The Anglican view on abortion is that although the foetus is specially respected and protected, the life of the foetus is not absolutely sacrosanct if it endangers the life of the mother. ...read more.

Middle

The Bible's command is to 'love one another' and to have compassion for the weak. Therefore a Roman Catholic woman would do as the commandment says. Anglicans and Methodists believe that life does not begin until the baby has a chance of surviving independently of its mother. These Christians believe that an abortion is evil but permit under certain circumstances. The organisation 'Christians for Free Choice' believe that it should be left to the woman's own conscience, conscience is seen as a guide from God as what decision to make. Jesus said 'love your neighbour', which could also be seen as acceptable as some Christians may not be obliged to have an abortion in the same way as a Roman Catholic woman. Pro-choice Christians leave it to individuals to decide whether abortion is right or wrong for them. They feel it is impossible to make rules that apply in all situations, and that individuals are best placed to make difficult moral decisions. The view of the Protestant Churches is that abortion is generally undesirable, but that it may be acceptable in some circumstances. This may influence the woman's decision to have an abortion. She may believe a woman has rights over her own body and has the right to have the abortion. Some Christians in favour of abortion accept that the foetus is not human. It is simply a growth in a woman's body. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is saying that it is not up to a Christian of what they believe is right. We were responsible for our own lives and therefore, should we have the last say to when we die? On the debate discussed above, it has been weighed up the different views of to whether it is a Christian's duty. God wants people to have quality life. If someone has no quality of life, euthanasia might be tolerable. God is love. Stopping agony is a loving thing to do. So euthanasia could bring more glory to God than keeping a suffering person alive. People have been given the freedom ought to be able to use this freedom to end their own lives. However - The person deciding to end their life should not be influenced by anyone, apart from themselves. It is their singular choice, and not someone else's. In a sense, abortion may be seen as acceptable because the person may be too young to have the child and may not have the facilities to bring them up. However, the Christian Churches would say that it is going against God's will and we are all created in the 'image and likeness of God'. I agree that what Christians believe about life is up to them because although abortion and euthanasia are seen as murdering by some groups, every person has a right to decide what to do with his or her lives. Everyone is an individual and should be allowed to make their own choices. ...read more.

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