The Nature and Value of Human Life

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  • Created by: tayladave
  • Created on: 11-12-14 20:30
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  • The Nature And Value Of Human Life.
    • Equality and Difference.
      • In principle, Equality is a central idea within Christianity, as all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. 'There is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free for you are all one in Christ' St Paul.
      • Yet, there are many more quotes which could be seen as problematic for the modern idea of inequality. For example, women have not been treated fairly, especially when considering female priests.
      • Race equality can also be an issue in Christianity, reference can be made in the Good Samaritan to show that Christians should treat everyone equally 'love thy neighbour'.
      • The Christian response to disability is more complex. As Jesus healed the sick it suggests that disabled people are in need of 'curing'.
        • For example, a blind man discovers a new world of touch. This means that there is no such thing as 'disability' but purely a discovery of new ways of thinking.
      • John Hull in A Spirituality Of Disability argues that the bible describes Jesus as without blemish and God as perfect, does this mean that disabled people are less close to God than able bodied people? Hull argues that disabled people discover new worlds.
        • For example, a blind man discovers a new world of touch. This means that there is no such thing as 'disability' but purely a discovery of new ways of thinking.
      • Hull quotes Paul in Corinthians: "The plurality (difference) of body parts is preferable to the domination of uniform (same) and the thorn in the flesh is greater witness to the grace of God than the heavenly religious experience.
    • Human Value.
      • Humans were made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26). Their dignity is obvious as they are made in God's image: Imago Dei.
      • Humans must be seen as more important than other animals as they are made in God's image and they are the ones who are given a soul. Animals don't have a soul and are not able to have dignity to make moral decisions or recognise the existence of God.
      • Killing someone is therefore like killing God. It interrupts God's plan for the future and goes against sanctity of life.
      • Sometimes however, killing may be justified. For example if it is self defence. The 'Just War' theory is a theory which is used to decide whether a war may need to be fought if all alternatives have been ruled out.
        • There are rules which must be followed for a war to be just, for example a chance of success and, proportionate force used and no harm of civilians.
      • Some Christians are pacifists (do not believe in war) because of the commandment 'Do Not Kill'.
      • Self sacrifice is also an important idea within Christianity. Christ sacrificed himself, so others should follow this example. In the new testament it says that the best thing you can do for a friend is to lay down your life.


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