Matters of Life and Death

  • Created by: kati
  • Created on: 10-05-19 21:21

Sanctity of Life

Christians believe that human life is holy and sacred because it is a gift from God and therefore belongs to him.

The Bible teaches Christians that God made humans in his image, meaning they are special and different from the rest of creation: God breathed life into them in a different way.

The sanctity of life teaching is important today because: it will determine their beliefs about issues such as euthanasia and abortion, they will value human life and this will have an impact on the way they live, and it will guide them when making decisions and determine how they treat others.

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Human Origins

Theory of evolution is based on Charles Darwin's theoried that the original human life was through the gradual development of species over millions of years. Individulas who were better adapted to the environment survived to pass on their genes to the next generation (survival of the fittest). Over time, this meant life evolved so only beings with the desirable characteristics survived.

Some people belive that the theory of evolution conflicts with what Christians claim about God creating everything in the universe. Also, it could not be used as evidence that God does not exist, as evolutionn suggests due to chance that things may have evolved to their current form.

Some Christians feel evolution is not compatible with the Bible and reject it, whilst others see no conflict between religion and science, viewing evolution as part of God's plan. These different views can cause conflict among Christianity.

The Special Agenda IV Diocesan Synod: this document attempts to bring together ideas of evolution and traditional Christian teachings on creation. It aims to show they are not in direct conflict but can work together.

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Life after Death

The Bible and the Gospels talk of the death and resurrection of Jesus (this is evidence there is life after death). Jesus taught Christians that there is an afterlife (John 14:2, "My Father's house has many rooms"). Jesus taught that God sent Him to Earth so that humanity may have eternal life in heaven.

Remembered lives: people may believe they have flashback memories of previous lives, suggesting that death is not the end - Christians believe that life after death is in heaven, so memories of previous lives are mistaken.

Logic: some may think it is logical there is an afterlife, to give life meaning - Christians might respond that it is more than logic, as evidence is given in the Bible.

Comfort: the idea that life after death can give people hope and make them less afraid of death - Christians agree but also believe they will be reunited with God in heaven.

Significance: Christians will try to live their life well and please God so that they acieve eternal life in heaven, Christians are comforted that their loved ones live on after death, it helps to cope with death - it is not the end, to have a purpose - to live as God intended so they can be rewarded after death.

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Against euthanasia: the sanctity of life argument says all life is sacred, the slippery slope argument shows that if it was legalised it could lead to situations such as infanticide being allowed, hospices provide palliative care meaning euthanasia isnt needed, murder is against the ten commandments, examples in the Bible such as Job show that although faith may be tested, suffering has a purpose and euthanasia is wrong. 

For eurhanasia: it allows a person to die a gentle, pain-free death, the patient dies with dignity, it can save medical costs, it relieves the burden on the family and society generally, if it is what a person has asked for, it is abiding by their wishes.

Some atheists and humanists would argue that the kindest thing might be to let a person end their life, if it is what they want and they are in pain. Some may argue using the principles of situation ethics. Most Christians would say that euthanasia is always wrong due to teachings from the Bible and belief in the sanctity of life. They may also argue that suffering has a purpose even though we don't know what it is.

Voluntary euthanasia: person's life ended deliberately and painlessly at their request. Assisted suicide - person is given means to end their own life. Non-voluntary euthanasia: ending person's life without asking but has good reasoning and is thought to be what they would want.

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Sources of Authority and Wisdom

Sanctity of Life: 1 Corinthians 6:19, "...your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit...".

Human Origins: Genesis 1:27, "So God created mankind in his own image...".

Life after Death: John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life".

Euthanasia: Job 2:10, "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?".

Universal for this topic: Exodus 20:13, "You shall not murder". 

                                      Genesis 2:7, "Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the  ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.".

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