a) Explain what is meant by the sanctity of life. (25marks)
Sanctity of life is the belief that all human life is intrinsically valuable because it is holy and belongs to God. The teaching of the sanctity of life holds that all life is sacred, worthy of respect and reverence and intrinsically worthwhile. People therefore have a duty to preserve life. The basis of the argument stems from the belief that God is the creator of life, this general view is supported throughout the old and New Testament and so various Christian and non-Christian groups believe this to be true.
This however poses the question: do we see some lives as being more valuable than others? Within the Christian tradition the views may be roughly divided into strong sanctity of life arguments and weak sanctity of life arguments.
Those who hold a strong sanctity of life view are often called pro-life and appeal to the biblical basis of their ideas: God is the giver and creator of life and people have no right to destroy what he has given. People are seen as created in the ‘image of God’ – imago dei – so humans are set apart from other animals and have a ‘spark’ of divinity within them – the breath of life was breather by God into Adam. The incarnation, according to Christian teaching, reaffirms the sanctity of human life as God himself became human. Genesis 1:2 states: “So God created humankind in his image.” Therefore, the sanctity of life argues that as humans are made in the image of God, taking life is intrinsically evil and unborn life is to be protected. So those who believe in the sanctity of life will be against euthanasia and abortion.
The concept doesn’t consider circumstances of the individual involved, even extreme situations where someone may be suffering from a disease…