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Religious Responses to Embryo Research Christianity.

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Presentation on theme: "Religious Responses to Embryo Research Christianity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Religious Responses to Embryo Research Christianity

2 The Sanctity of Life Many religious arguments against moral issues are based on the argument known as the sanctity of life argument  This is the idea that human life is sacred or holy in some way  It has its origin mainly in the Bible  In the Book of Genesis, God creates Adam in his own image (Gen 2:7)  God breaths life into Adam  Life is therefore a gift from God and makes humans special  All human life, even that of an embryo is sacred “you knit me together in my mother’s womb”  God has a plan for all human beings  Embryo research interferes with that plan as it destroys the life of the embryo

3 Strong and Weak Sanctity of Life Strong sanctity of life  It is morally wrong to experiment on human life at any stage  Life begins at the moment of conception  Embryo may not be a person but has the potential to become one  Embryo must be protected as it is God’s creation  The end does not justify the means  Even if good results, the death of the embryo is not a justifiable sacrifice  Accepts the ‘slippery slope’ arguments

4 Weak Sanctity of Life Life begins after the 14th day of fertilizationLife begins after the 14th day of fertilization The embryo is not a human person until the formation of the primitive streakThe embryo is not a human person until the formation of the primitive streak Before this time the embryo is referred to as a ‘pre- embryo’Before this time the embryo is referred to as a ‘pre- embryo’ Sperm and egg have only the potential to become a human person or no person at allSperm and egg have only the potential to become a human person or no person at all Moral consideration can only be applied after the 14 day periodMoral consideration can only be applied after the 14 day period

5 The Catholic Church’s Response Many religious people believe that life is sacred, this means that it is holy and given by God. To support the argument that life is sacred they could say:  Life is a gift from God  Our life is not our own, it belongs to God  Only God can decide when a person dies  In Genesis 1 Adam (mankind) is created in the image of God  The breath of God gives life to Adam

6 Bible  Psalm 119:73 “Your hands made and fashioned me”  Psalm 139: “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb”  No one can interfere with life or death as no one can know the mind of God  God may have a plan for us, interference with that plan is going against God

7 RCC Response In the Catholic Church, life is no less sacred at the end than It is at the beginning. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: 2258 "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being."56

8 Catholic View  The Church supports the use of adult and umbilical stem cells  But it is opposed to the use of embryonic stem cells because the embryo is destroyed in the process  It is mostly concerned with the protection of innocent life and an embryo is innocent life  Cardinal Keith O’Brien described hybrid embryos as “ a monstrous attack on human rights, human dignity and human life” stating that it would allow experiments of ‘Frankenstein proportion’  Pope JP2 said that the right to life is a fundamental human right


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