Morals and Ethics


Animal Rights

  • one of the major issues for christians is whether animals have souls or not. many people belive they dont have souls, meaning god created us as superior to them. some people argue that animals are here for our use. 
  • christiany teaches we should treat animals with knindess, but that they can be used to benefit mankind. also thought that excessive money shouldnt be 'wasted' on animals when human beings are suffering
  • the roman catholic church tolerates animal expermentation, but only if it brings benefit to mankind. the catechism of the catholic church says that animal experimentation is allowable so long as it "remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives"
  • some christians think that its always wrong 2 cause suffering to animals jus to increase our scientific knowlede, particularly as medicines dont always have the same effect on humans as they do on animals. the church of england teaches that the medical & technological use of aniamsl should be monitore 'in the light of ethical principles.' 
  • certain denominations opposed to any ill treatment of animals, e.g. quakers are likely to frown on zoos and animal circuses. 
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Fertility Treatment

Infertility means an inability to conceive a child. theres different kinds of fertility treatment that can be used to help:

  • artificial insemintation by the Husband (AIH) - sperm from husband injected into wifes womb 
  • artificial insemintation by donor (AID) - sperm from a sperm bank is used
  • in vitro fertilistion (IVF) - egg fertilised in a test tube & 1 or 2 implanted in mothers womb
  • egg donation - where an egg from a different woman is used as part of IVF
  • surrogacy - where a different woman bearss the child for couple. can involve IVF,using the couples eggs & sperm, or artificially insemintating the surrogte with the husbands sperm 

christianity sees children as a blessing from god 

  • most christian churhces belive its okfor science 2 help childless couples 2 conceive, as long as it doesnt involve anyone else
  • AIH is permissible. couple can be blessed w a child, and the sanctity of marriage isnt interfered w. many roman catholics arent keen though, - sperm comes from 'unnatural' sex act
  • some believe that if AIH fails, a couple should adopt instead. many other christians consider IVF an appropriate treatment if wife's egg & husband's sperm are used 
  • roman catholics opposed to IVF as often creates 'spare' embryos that r wasted
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Genetic Engineering

  • Genetic Egineering: manipulating genes, e.g. moving genes from 1 organism 2 another 2 make an organism w more useful features. 
  • cloning: producing offspring that r genetically identical to parent 

practical issues:

  • creating v successful crop plants is likely 2 affect the number & variety of weeds living in & arounf the crops - could reduce biodiversity
  • not everyone covinced theyll be safe to eat
  • risk that transplanted genes could get out into natural environement 
  • some ppl feel we dont understand genes well enough to know the full effects of tampering w them. could create problems 
  • cloning has problem of reducing gene pool. lots of copies of the same organism mean fewer genes in population. 
  • cloning animals is a difficult process - embryos formed by cloning often dont devleop properly
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