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Christian ethics bioethics_hsc MCC resource

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  • 1. Ethics Ethics : Is a study of standards of conduct and practical judgements It overlaps with morality. Ethics refers to a system of thinking wheras morality refers to action.
  • 2. Foundation of Christian Ethics  The foundation of Christian Ethics are based on  A) The Scriptures (Ten Commandments & the Beatitudes)  B) Natural Law ( the Philosophy of Aristotle and St Thomas Aquinas)  C) Natural Law is the Christian belief that God implanted in creation a moral law that can be detected by human intelligence apart from God’s direct revelation. ( Catholic and Orthodox support natural law)  D) Tradition (The Church Fathers)
  • 3. Scripture Foundation of Ethics.  The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20 1-17) is a sources of Christian ethical teaching, since it is part of Divine Revelation  The Ten Commandments state the essential duties for the Christian adherent.  For example: Christian’s arguing against Abortion use the Biblical commandment ‘Thou Shall not Kill’ as justification for their stance.  They hold that since the embryo is human from the time of conception it has the rights as a human and therefore cannot be harmed or killed.
  • 4.  The Beatitudes Matthew 5 1-12 is also a foundation piece of scripture for ethical thinking in Christianity.  ‘Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy’ could be used as an argument for preserving the life of the foetus.
  • 5. Natural Law  Natural law underpins Christian ethical thinking (especially Catholic and Orthodox)  For example Catholic teaching states that humans needs grace and revelation in order that moral and religious truths may be known (Catechism of the Catholic Church)  Natural Law would be used to argue the preservation of life is a good that must be assured in every situation
  • 6. Differences between Protestant and Catholics  Different Christian variants give different weight to each of these sources.  Roman Catholic - faith and reason help to shed light on human good and all sources are integrated within or under the authoritative teachings of the Church.  Protestants - The primacy of the scriptures over natural law or Tradition.  Protestants consider the bible very important (New and Old Testaments)  Protestants are more flexible than Catholics and Orthodox.
  • 7. Bioethics  Bioethics is a science that a system of medical priorities for acceptable survival.  Bioethics is the application of our ethical principles to human life issues such as the dignity of the human person, the beginning of human life at conception. The modern challenges to the natural law such as euthanasia, abortion, human cloning and inappropriate stem cell research.
  • 8. Different bioethical approaches within Christian denominations  There are many differences between the approaches of the various denominations to bioethics.  Orthodox and Roman Catholics state that abortion is wrong. The Orthodox find no reason for agreeing with the Roman Catholic prohibition of conception.  Many Protestants refuse to concur with the Orthodox and the Catholics concerning abortion.  And some Protestants see some grounds for accepting limited voluntary active euthanasia
  • 9. Euthanasia  Suicide is considered the murder on oneself and under the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ is not acceptable.  Euthanasia with the intent of removing pain and distress from a person by the self-inflicted or assisted act of helping someone to die painlessly is more difficult to classify.
  • 10.  Christians are mostly against Euthanasia. The arguments are based on life is sacred and is given by God and that human beings are made in God’s image. Gen1.27-28.  Christians believe that intrinsic dignity and value of human lives means that the value of each human life is identical.  Patients that are old or sick and are near the end of their earthly life have the same value as any other human being.
  • 11. Different views on Euthanasia  Different denominations within Christianity have strongly held differing views.  In general Catholics and more conservative Protestant Churches would oppose Euthanasia while some more Liberal Protestant Churches eg Uniting Church would consider the advantages of the life of the person and suggest a ‘love’ response to the person in pain.  Kenneth Ralph Uniting Church minister. “ Self determination is central to what it means to be a human being”.  (Works for Christian support for Voluntary Euthanasia)
  • 12. Roman Catholic view on Euthanasia  Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human being.  The Roman Catholic Church does not accept that human beings have the right to die.  Pope John II spoke out against what he calls a ‘culture of death’ in modern society and said that human beings should always prefer the way of life to the way of death.
  • 13. ABORTION  All Christians believe that Abortion is wrong based on the Biblical commandment ‘Thou shall not kill’.  The reasoning behind the this belief is different for different groups.  This is because of the different weighting different groups give to different ethical teachings.
  • 14. Anglican view on Abortion  The Anglican Church encourage people to think through the issue of abortion very carefully and recognises that each individual will have different views on the subject.  The Anglican Church combines strong opposition to Abortion with a recognition that there can be strictly limited : conditions under which it may be morally preferable to any available alternative.
  • 15.  In 1993 the Anglican General Synod passed a resolution that in situations where the continuance of a pregnancy threatens the life of the mother, termination of the pregnancy may be justified.
  • 16. Roman Catholic view on Abortion  The Roman Catholic Church says that deliberately causing an abortion is a grave moral wrong.  It bases this doctrine on Natural law and Scripture (The ten commandments)  The Catholic Church believes that human life begins at conception.  On Abortion Pope John Paul writes “I declare that diirect abortion, that is abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of a innocent human being.