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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 the 'sanctity of life' and what a 'moral absolute' is. 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 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. Members of the Medical profession make life and death decisions as part of their job, so many Christians might be concerned when these decisions are about abortion. "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you are."2. Paul said that your body is a temple because for the Jews the temple was the most sacred place so to say that their bodies are like God's temple is emphasising that their bodies are sacred because god both gave them to you and his spirit is within you. Now before I go any further I need to explain what a 'Moral Absolute' is. Moral absolutism is the theory that there are absolute values. This is to affirm bivalence; the statement can only be true or false and does not depend on the evidence. A realist who holds a correspondence theory of truth would believe that the sanctity of life is a moral absolute i.e. it cannot be changed, there are no 'grey areas'-it is always wrong to tamper with life or violate its sacred nature. ...read more.

Middle

or mental, and in what proportions it is in, and there is no suitable definition of the quality of life the definition is often vague. A different problem is who defines what the quality of life is, a patient, doctor or the general public. And does everyone get this treatment and if not, who does not? Is it 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. Fourteenth Amendment. due to age, sex, race or religion? And how do we know that any particular action will improve the quality of life, there are so many concealed factors that we would have to be God to know their result. The focus to abortion on demand is women's rights, her right to decide whether she wants the child. They decided in some American states 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; the foetus is not physically dependent. Until viability the foetus acts like a parasite, 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 this 'parasite' inflict itself upon her for nine months. So because it is imposing on her she has the right to abort it. ...read more.

Conclusion

This means that any decision made must be a practical possibility, e.g.: a teenage facing an unwanted pregnancy could reasonably argue that abortion was the only practical solution. The problems of trying to earn money, finding accommodation and support a baby would seem in surmountable to most young people. Fletcher's second point of relativism rejects absolute statements. Decisions can only be made for each individual case and it makes no sense to say, "Abortion is always wrong". This means that every situation must be judged with no pre-conceived ideas of right and wrong but with the one rule of agape. Positivism was very important to Fletcher it puts Christian faith and belief in a God of love at the centre of every decision. 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. Word count: 4350 Charlene Lee Page 1 of 7 ...read more.

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