The Role of religion in the abortion debate
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AbstractThe argument which claims that the anti-abortion position has a merely religious basis has strong appeal in North America, where the separation of church and state is highly valued. This thesis will seek to investigate nonreligious arguments against abortion which can be used by Christians, non-Christians, and atheists, thus showing that the assertion that anti-abortion arguments are merely religious, and therefore irrelevant to legislation, can be challenged. I will examine the central question debate: whether or not the fetus is in the abortion a person. An examination of the concepts of personhood indicates that the fetus is not a person, but neither are many ex-utero humans whom we choose to protect from harm. If we protect human non-persons from death, excepting those who lack any potential to be persons, such as brain-dead humans, it would follow from already existing laws and ideals that the life of the fetus should not be taken. This would constitute a non-religious argument that could, nonetheless, be put forth by a Christian. I will go on to examine how philosophical, non religious arguments against abortion may be applied by the Christian within his or her particular religious framework. I will argue that these arguments need not jeopardize, and may even enhance, a Christian's acting out her faith in the private sphere. The Christian may have a religious obligation to help women with unwanted pregnancies, an obligation which can be justified by the example of Jesus as well as the commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself. The aid could take the form of psychological, and financial and legal assistance. The Christian may also need to change his attitude towards women who become unwillingly pregnant, especially unmarried women.
Bibliography: p. 126-139.
CitationSpivak, G. (1988). The Role of religion in the abortion debate (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/12031
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