Religion and Human Experience

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 19-02-13 11:01

Religious Teachings on Sanctity of Life


  • God is interested and involved in each humans life
  • Life is sacred and a gift from God
  • Only God should take life away
  • Jesus showed in his teachings that all life should be valued


  • The soul is present in all species of life
  • Everything that grows and lives is interconnected
  • Where there is life and soul there is atman
  • At death the soul enters another body
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Why is life so special?

  • Cannot create is from nothing
  • Religious scriptures show the importance of creation
  • God has given creatures the ability to reproduce - and every life is special
  • We know so much about bodies and the brain but not much about life
  • Life is precious and a unique thing
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Should people have free will to make life and deat

  • No one should ever make a decision about their own or someone elses life
  • Doctors are the experts
  • Its never "my life" because your life affects friends and family
  • No reason why a clear-minded person shouldnt be allowed to make a decision about their life
  • God created all life so he should decide
  • God gave humans free will, when deciding about life and death you should speak to those around you
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What are the moral issues a couple must consider i

  • Are we abusing technology in the decisions we make?
  • Who can end anothers life?
  • Are we playing God in trying to make these decisions?
  • What do our scriptures teach and how can we be true to that teaching in this situation?
  • What is the best thing for the person whom we are deciding?
  • When does life begin?
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How do believers decide what is right in modern me

  • Pray to seek advice from God
  • Consider effect on you and others around you
  • Discuss the matter with other believers, and experts in the religion or 'issue'
  • Think about the ultimate principles in the religion that will have an impact on the issue
  • Search the sacred texts for references or beliefs
  • Analyse intentions and measure them against other relevant teachings
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How do doctors make eithical decisions?

  • Hippocratic Oath
  • Long-term effects on the patient
  • Effects of the illness and treatment on the family
  • Faiths and beliefs are taken into account
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What are the dilemmas faced by scientific advancem

  • Dont use a life-machine if the person is totally dependent on it
  • Some surgery and medical treatments arent necessary
  • Drugs need to be tested to make sure they are safe how do we do this?
  • Donating organs raises a lot of issues
  • Sometimes its not right to preserve life - we have to accept our time is up
  • People with strong beliefs may refuse a treatment because it goes against what they believe in
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How does religion help or hinder people making dec

  • Answers through prayer
  • For some modern ethical issues there are no teachings
  • Its difficult to get agreement from people with the same belief
  • Having clear beliefs makes it hard to make a decision
  • Religious teachings and guidance can help people facing a difficult decision
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Does the issue depend on the situation?

  • Every situation is different - never one decision
  • Religious believers will look for teachings to apply
  • The role of utilitarianism - for the greatest good
  • Cant just depend on the situation - ultimate principles too
  • You need to strike a balance between weighing up the situation and following the teachings that matter to you
  • The role of conscience
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Christian views on abortion

  • Sanctity of Life
  • being people in the image of God
  • All life is precious and sacred
  • Ten Commandments
  • Catholic Churches are normally against
  • Other denominations are against abortions for social reasons, accept certain circumstances (mothers life at risk)
  • Many Christians leave the decision to the individual
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What are the rights of the unborn child?

  • Consider to consider rights of mother and child, one sometimes dominates the other
  • God created all life, even that not yet born
  • An unborn child in the period, which abortion is allowed is not fully human so has less rights
  • Some religions see the start of life at the moment of conception - life is precious and sacred
  • Once the moment of conception has taken place the unborn child has rights as any other human being
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Whose choice should it be concerning the issue of

  • God created all life
  • Faith community of the couple may also have a perspective but still leave it up to the couple
  • Only something the mother and father have a decision about
  • Medical reasons
  • Mothers choice - her body
  • Parents and family should be involved in any decision about the child
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Religious Teachings: Euthanasia


  • Taking a life is wrong - sanctity of life
  • Life is a gift from God, only he can take it away
  • Death is not the final end, but it a 'doorway' to life after death
  • Suffering can have a purpose


  • Ahimsa (harmlessness) Euthanasia is not acceptable
  • Death is a natural part of life, it will come in time
  • Dharma or duty is importrant in life, and should be followed through
  • Sometimes a 'willed death' for purely selfless motives may be acceptable
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Is it ever right to end someone's life?

  • Only God can decide when a person's life should end.
  • No one should ever make a decision to take another person's life
  • Someone should be able to decide the future of their own life
  • Life is sacred
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Religious Teachings: IVF


  • Life is given by God no one else has the right to children
  • Embryo technology is banned becaused it involves throwing away some fertilised eggs, children have a right to know who their parents are
  • But technology is also God's gift although it can be abused to, the cost isnt always justifiable when so many children are starving and it provides happiness to the couple


  • The Law of Manu encourages couples who are infertile to adopt children.
  • IVF is acceptable if the sperm and egg from the husband and wife are used
  • Discarded embryos do not have souls as they are not mature enough
  • Embryo donation is not allowed because caste is passed down through the father
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Is it right to spend so much money on IVF when peo

  • Life is too sacred to place in the hands of human beings
  • Greater quality of life with IVF
  • Importance of families in many traditions
  • Some believe IVF is God given
  • When there are unwanted babies it seems wrong spending so much money on fertility treatments
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