sanctity of life - imago dei
genesis 1 “So God created humankind in his image”
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sanctity of life - unique
different from other creatures “Breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” ruach – the breath of life
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sanctity of life - Job
• Job ‘I was born with nothing, and will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and the Lord now has taken away’, can’t play God
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personhood criteria
rational thought, feel pain and pleasure, self-awareness, human genetics, survive independently
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juditth jarvis thompson
if the foetus is a person, morally justified to have an abortion, her body and her life
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“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you”, Elizabeth pregnant with John the Baptist ‘the child leapt in the womb’
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ensoulment - aristotle
, Aristotle’s view of the soul as a blueprint for the body, when the foetus shows physical signs e.g. nervous system
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• Aquinas argued for 40 days, Augustine 80 days, Pope Innocent 3rd start of 13th week due to Elizabeth’s story
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quality of life
• Peter Singer – more helpful to focus on the quality of life than the sanctity of life when making decisions
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• Foetus is a person, from conception • Catholic Church bans abortion – ‘direct abortion is gravely contrary to the moral law’
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women are denied rights, potential is not good enough, judith jarvis thompson gives the example of violinist
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doctrine of double effect
abortion may have to happen
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- louise brown - first test tube baby, 1978, normal baby, create and destruct embryos, adultery
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natural law
absolute, preserve life & reproduce, natural process, murder of embryos, doctrine of double effect = catholic accepts too
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happiness and pain of everyone, outcome - reject intrinsic value, pain of embryos, bentham's hedonic calculas - pleasure over pain
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preference utiliatarianism
sanctity of life replaced with criteria for personhood
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kantian ethics
ends not means, mother having an abortion to be free is wrong, universalisation
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christian ethics
sanctity of life, gift from god, christian marriage is sacred so no treatmennt
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catholic church
embryo has a soul from conception
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recognises abortion may be necessary
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ecclesiastes 3:1-3
• ‘there is a time for everything. There is a time to be born and there is a time to die’
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liberal christians
1920s campaigned for female equality, 1960s divorce and abortion
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situation ethics
necessary evil, depends on application of love
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divine command theory
always follow god's word
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Card 2


sanctity of life - unique


different from other creatures “Breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” ruach – the breath of life

Card 3


sanctity of life - Job


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Card 4


personhood criteria


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Card 5


juditth jarvis thompson


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