Religious Views On Abortion Essay

Religious Views On Abortion Essay

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RELIGION & ABORTION In examining religious opinions on abortion, one must find common ground on which to form a foundation of comparison. With most of the religions to date, that common ground lies on the argument of whether or not a fetus is an actual person. Some religions protest by saying a fetus isn’t a conscious being – ;therefore there is no loss in doing away with it. But for those religions that do believe there is a life –
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;or any spiritual being -- in a fetus, it is clearly a crime to have an abortion. Through research an overall conclusion can be provided that most earlier religions, that is those before 1400 A.D., relied on the opinion of the doctor to determine whether abortion was right or not. If abortion would harm the mother, or the child, or both, then the abortion was acceptable. In Christianity, this was only true in some denominations, such as Baptists and
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Methodists. In these cases, a woman was not disgraced after having an abortion unless she went against the advice of a professional. However as Christianity has developed, this opinion has remained constantly opposite in Catholicism. Catholic theorists in particular have expressed intense, concrete views on the subject. These views clearly have more to do with a change in attitude regarding the moral status of a fetus than a change in attitude regarding sex. It is important not to confuse the
Religion or woman right to chose
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two. The question “Why was abortion condemned in Catholicism?” ;was answered by Catholic theorist James McCarthy: “Many people believe that the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion stems from its conviction that a new human person exists from the first moment of conception and that this newly formed person has as much right to exist as anyone else. It is clear that this is not now, nor ever been official Church teaching on this matter….Roman Church leadership has sought
Religion Or Woman Right To Chose
Marina Shubin Religion or women right to chose More than 200 diverse religious groups in the United States have different and mutually inconsistent views about abortion. But do religious views ...
to maintain, in one form or another, a link between sexual activity and procreation, and thus it follows that even if the fetus were not a human being, Catholics would still view abortion as evil” ;(Dombrowski 18). So from this we can safely say that Catholics view, and have always viewed, abortion as evil. Then again, we are relying on something uncertain – ;how you determine the humanity of a being. Clearly Catholics do not view a fetus as a
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human being. This being known, it doesn’t make sense that a Catholic church should practice fetal baptisms, which were practiced primarily in the 1700s. They were obviously practiced by churches with views much less forward than McCarthy’s. This is simply one instance where a religion contradicts itself: McCarthy, an acclaimed Catholic theorist, claims that a fetus is not a human being. Yet fetal baptisms are performed on miscarriages (Dombrowski 93). Miscarriages – ;thought not fully developed, are apparently human enough
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to undergo baptism and be saved by Jesus Christ. Once again it is necessary to state that most of the religious opinions are based on when human life begins. In the case of Hinduism, there is no acceptance of abortion. According to the Vedas, abortion is a sinful activity. There is no question of when a fetus becomes a person. Or even when morality is reached (when a baby is actually born). Abortion in Hinduism is evil in all cases,
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despite all circumstances. However, some denominations and modernized Hindu groups approve of the practice. Judaism has some quite interesting views as well, incorporating legal status of the embryo/fetus. According to Jewish Law, a fetus is not considered a full human being and has no personality of its own. While recognizing the potentiality of becoming human, the Talmud states clearly of the fetus ‘lav nefesh hu—it is not a person.’” ;(Miller). Apparently in Judaism there are many more factors aside
Hemingway
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of the legal status of the embryo or fetus. Also significant are the time of ensoulment, and conditions under which a therapeutic abortion may take place. In terms of ensoulment – ;at what moment does the soul enter the body? In Jewish legal tradition, there are several theories. The most famous is from the Talmud and concerns a very strange conversation between Roman Emperor Antoninus and Rabbi Judah the Patriarch, the compiler of the Mishna, the first post-Biblical compilation of
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Jewish law and tradition. An excerpt from the conversation: “Antoninus asked Rabbi Judah: ‘From When is the neshamah (soul) endowed in man: from the time of birth, or from the time of conception?’ ;Rabbi Judah answered: ‘From the time of the birth.’ ;The Emperor then asked. ‘Can meat remain three days without salt and not purify?’” ;(Miller). As odd as this dialogue seems, Rabbi Judah apparently understood it. According to the Talmud, it can take as long as three
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days from the moment of intercourse until the ovum is fertilized. What then, keeps the sperm (i.e. meat) alive during that time? There must be a vitalizing life force (i.e. salt) present. From the conclusion of their discussion, it appears that due to the emperor’s questions, Rabbi Judah changed his mind and adopted the position that ensoulment occurs at conception. Secondly in Judaism, conditions for therapeutic Abortions are a
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