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Is the Sanctity of Life to be regarded as a Moral Absolute? Discuss in Relation to Abortion.

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Introduction

Is the Sanctity of Life to be regarded as a Moral Absolute? Discuss in Relation to Abortion. Before I start to discuss whether decisions about abortion can be a morally absolute I shall start by defining what a moral absolute' is and what the 'sanctity of life' means. A Moral Absolute is the theory that there are absolute values. What this means is that it does not depend upon evidence or circumstance, it is either true of false no matter what the situation, there is always a fixed answer for every condition. By linking this to the question, a moral absolute would mean that abortion is wrong no matter what the circumstance, it will always been wrong with no exception. However there are Catholics, Priests Bishops who believe that abortion is right if the mother in danger. Ex Governor Gray Davis was criticised for supporting abortion rights yet he was in the minority. 20 The main rebuttal was that we should never interfere with Gods creation, yet we do with many other things such as cloning, so why not abortion. Therefore, to a Protestant moral thinker the rights of the mother and the exercise of agape (doing the most loving thing - situation ethics) and the rights of the foetus must all be considered. Even Roman Catholics argue that 'indirect abortion' is permissible; an example of this would be in the case of the fetus threatening the life of the mother. The 'sanctity of life' is seen to be sacred because God gave it to us as a gift, "Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness;"1. Therefore many Christians believe that we all reflect the image of God and as such our physical forms are part of God. So God is a part of us and we do not have the right to interfere with his gift of life, nor to make life or death decisions concerning others. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that the foetus' life is just as important as the mother's. 9. Roe v. Wade 10. Philosopher who wrote; Causing Death and Saving Lives 11. Exodus 21:22-23 12. Psalm 139:13 13. A Hebrew scholar. 14. free The focus to abortion on demand is women's rights, her right to decide whether she wants the child. Some decided that a child that is not wanted should never be born, because it is not right that the mother should be forced to have a child contrary to her desires, especially in the case of rape. This is allowed due to the fact that the foetus is only seen as a potential human yet because the mother is a human her rights are more important than the foetus'. And that the child if born and unwanted maybe subject to abuse and neglect, so having abortion is better than the abuse that the child will be inflicted upon The non-biblical views for the foetus being subhuman are that the foetus is not physically dependent. It is completely dependent on the mother and cannot support itself, therefore does not have the right to demand life. The mother is going to have to let it inflict itself upon her for nine months. So because it is imposing on her she has the right to abort it. A different view is that if abortions were not legal then back street ones would be carried out. This would entail danger to the mothers' life, so it is seen as better to save the mothers' life rather than to let both die. It is also argued that to be human you should know yourself that you are human. There are also biblical reasons for believing the foetus to be subhuman. Man only becomes a human when God gives us life. One of the requirements for life is breathing, yet we do not do this until we have been born. ...read more.

Conclusion

Christians would see that the most loving thing to be a way of making it possible for everyone to keep their baby and not be forced in to abortion because of their circumstances. The Cardinal Winning Centre that has recently opened in Glasgow is a good example of Christians who offer practical help and advice and therefore make it possible for some people to keep their babies even if they have very little money. Personalism is the fourth working principle and puts the people involved in the case at the centre of any decision. In any situation involving abortion the mother, father, grandparents, any other children if that couple have any and the foetus should all be considered. In conclusion, situation ethics is opposed to moral absolutism, but attempts to put people first in any situation and reach a decision according to agape. With the use of the sanctity of life being a moral absolute, I have found that this would not be applicable because in some situations it would be a more loving thing to have an abortion. Yet the view that the foetus has the same rights as the mother I believe is right, so abortion should not be considered lightly. Agape should be used in deciding, not a moral belief that in some cases seems unfair and unjust. Books and websites which help me with my research: o The Puzzle of Ethics by Peter Vardy o The Puzzle of God by Peter Vardy o Notes on Philosophy of Religion and Ethics, Evil and Abortion and IVF by Peter Vardy o The Bible o Abortion Donnellan, Craig o Causing Death and Saving Lives by Jonathan Glover o Abortion: A moral controversy by David Smith o Abortion - Whose Right? Kenny, Mary Et Al o Christian Ethics Options and Issues by Norman L. Geisler o http://www.biblebelievers.org/thusabor.htm o http://www.mwillett.org/atheism/abort.htm o http://www.biblebelievers.com/jmelton/abortion.html o http://atheism.about.com/od/abortioncontraception/p/ProLifeRhetoric.htm o http://re-xs.ucsm.ac.uk/gcsere/coursework/outlines/abortion.html Musical Inspiration: o Ben Folds - Philosophy ?? ?? ?? ?? Nick Gibson Page 1 of 7 ...read more.

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