The argument of the sanctity of life lies at the heart of all ethical
debates on embryo experiments, abortion and euthanasia. In 1967, a
nationwide debate was instigated in Britain, regarding whether
abortion was a violation of the sanctity of life. Pro-life groups were
angered by the legalisation of abortion, many believing that abortion
was to destroy a sacred gift from God. Pro-choice groups, on the other
hand, welcomed the reform, as they believed women should have the
freedom to decide what is best for themselves.
The debate continues today, and these groups have not subsided with
their vigorous, vivid, and, at times, violent campaigns.
To attribute sanctity to a life – as opposed to value, is to ‘connect
it with a deity’ . It is of ultimate importance, as the value of
life exceeds all other values. Life is a sacred gift from God,
according to the Christian Church, so is therefore holy, and is set
apart from everything else. It is argued that the human race is
obliged to preserve or protect anything that is alive. This is where
the question of sanctity of life as a moral absolute is raised.
Someone who is an atheist can not believe in the sanctity of life as
they do not believe in God. Therefore, those who argue sanctity of
life is a moral absolute are religious. This is important to
acknowledge, as it means that those who may enter into this ethical
debate, are split into religious and non-religious groups. Therefore,
opinions and beliefs are very different, which has resulted in the
difficulty of these groups compromising in any way.
Alasdair Macintyre suggested an imagin...
... middle of paper ...
 Oxford dictionary definition.
 Macintyre, Alasdair. ‘After Virtue’.
 Luke 1:41
 Jeremiah 1:5
 St. Augustine. ‘De Libero Arbitrio, Book I’.
 Bowie, Robert. ‘Ethical Studies, 2nd Edition’.
 Arkes, H. ‘First Things’.
 Didache. (obtained from www.bbc.co.uk)
 M.M. Azamis. ‘Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature’.
 Thompson, Judith Jarvis. ‘A defence of Abortion’.
 Glover, Jonathan. ‘Causing Death and Saving Lives’.
 Bowie, Robert. ‘Ethical Studies, 2nd Edition’.
 Knight, Jill. House of Commons debate, 1966.
 Bentham, Jeremy. ‘An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and
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