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What is your understanding of the human right to life?

As Catholics, we know that God is the sole provider of life and the only authority to take it. Having the right to life for me means that everyone is entitled to exist, regardless  of their background, upbringing or attitude. This truth alone makes it challenging to be a Christian. You have to treat everyone with respect to honor their right to life. How about you? How do you understand the human right to life and what makes it a challenge for you?


  • I have no issues honoring everyone's right to life. There are people in this world that I dislike, but I don't wish bad upon them. I'm not going to understand everyone throughout my life. I respect everyone's beliefs and think that they should all have a chance to live through their life and be happy. 
  • The right to life means that we should not allow abortions or the death penalty. Many see those as justified, but they are no different than killing an innocent person. Abortions quell a beating heart. I understand it more if the mother will be harmed, but it is still not following the "right to life" way of thinking because if the mother dies that would be God taking the life. The death penalty is especially difficult to condemn because it is mostly for murderers and seen as an eye-for-an-eye type of thing. I believe it is wrong. I never really thought about it until I went to a Catholic conference and a group was handing out stickers that said "Who would Jesus execute?" That phrase, along with Dead Man Walking, has always stuck by me when I think about the death penalty. 
  • I think we should consider holding to the human right to life as an all-around "pro-life" stance. Abortion should not be considered unless there is a significant health issue. The death penalty should be avoided because it is not something done in self defense or defense of others. Like, paigeswan said, it is an "eye-for-an-eye type of thing," and these are not the way of Jesus. 

    I cannot go so far as to say that killing is never justified, though. It makes me uncomfortable, but I think most people agree that--in a wildly hypothetical situation, for example--if someone was going to kill your friends or family, and the only way to stop the person was to kill them, we would be justified in the act. 

    I suppose the question might be: Is the death penalty based in love? I think it is quite clearly not. Are the decisions to have abortions based in love? Often I think they are not. Are the recent police shootings based in love? It doesn't seem so.

    Most of the time, destroying a human life seems to be a decision based in fear, not love. We must make our choices based on the principles of Christ. 
  • I don't think there's anyone out there who's pro-abortion. They're just fighting for a woman's right to her own body. There's something distasteful about unmarried men (who will never know how it feels to carry a child) making decisions about a woman's body. I apologize if I offend anyone, although I don't think there's a way to discuss this issue without offending someone. Of course abortion is distasteful and heinous. Of course it goes against everything decent human beings (not just Catholics) believe in. But in our quest to save these innocent angels, I hope we don't forget that the women carrying them need saving, too. They, too, deserve our respect and consideration.
  • The human right to life is the right of every human being to be treated with respect and in equal terms with his fellowmen because he too is made from the image and likeness of God. And because of this nobody has the right to take the life of another for He alone is the taker since He was the one who gave humans life in the first place. God bless and more power to all of us.
  • I'm not trying to be controversial but if I recall correctly, God was very serious (old testament) when it came to life giving and taking. I strongly believe that the woman who has her life at risk should be ok to have an abortion if that new life growing inside her is going to kill her. I believe that if a man takes a life by murder, for example, he has given up his right to his life. It's not ok just to say no to death penalty and no to abortion. There are debatable situations I know if a good and righteous God will understand. The old testament God (same God now) would take your life if you took the life of someone else. What's the real deal?
  • It is a divine right to do good and receive good. Enjoy what you have and do not take what is not yours. Try to love everyone you can and never hate those who hate you. It maybe seems like something from the bible but the truth is we all need to understand we are not the most important creatures on planet. We decided to be like that and for a butterfly we are just sounds and colours and not important CEOs. If we realize we should cherish the trees, oceans, animals at least  as much as we cherish our precious laptops and cell phones the world would be a place human had some legal right to live. My first sentences are easy to understand and in combination with these you can see the contrast of things we should do and things we actually do.
  • God IS the giver of life. And all life deserves rights. We don't get to say who does and doesn't deserve life.
  • In the case of a woman getting pregnant as a result of  violent sexual attack, I must admit that I have very mixed emotions. Did she ask for that? No she did not? Did she willingly participate in the activity? No she did not. Should she have the right to decide whether or not she carries this child for nine months, goes through a painful labor, see the face of a child who may only be a reminder of the torture she went through? Yes she does have that right to decide.
  • Posts: 129
    The right to exist starts where life begins.There was a debate not too long ago about the zygote (not sure if this is correct) where before it was the fetus what was the start of life and now it is the zygot. And if you remove the zygote or repress its growth then that is abortion already. From what I remember, that is the stand of the Catholic church. I agree with that but sometimes if complications arise, I guess there would be some exceptions. Like a rape victim who suffered extreme trauma should be allowed to have an abortion because if the baby lives that would be a reminder of the traumatic experience.
  • I understand we hold a pro-life point of view being Catholic and whatnot. However, some laws in certain countries actually approve abortion under certain circumstances: 1) The child would have an extreme malformation, 2) The mother was raped 3) The mother would die if the child was born. (To mention a few of them).
    I still have a personal moral debate because I truly wouldn't ever understand how a woman would feel of having a baby after being raped. It's clear that the child is not guilty however what impact can this have on the mother?
    Each women is different, different thoughts, different values. Perhaps the option should be left open and if a mother has the strong will that her Catholic principles demand of her, then she should be morally praised. However if a mother can't bear with all the trauma then she should be left peacefully alone without us heavily judging her, it's her well-being that matters.
  • I believe in 90% of cases, this is correct. YOU should not be able to decide if another human inside you lives or dies. Who are you to decide someone elses fate? Its not right. You chose to do the deed, you can let that child (who did not ask to be born) have a life. In other cases (defects or rape) it may be different. 
  • Posts: 18
    Well we all know that this is a touchy and sensitive subject for a lot of people out there, so I will process with caution.  To be completely honest I am still not really sure where I stand on issues like this, because I get both sides.  I happen to work in an environment that really speaks to the other side of things, like the suffering that comes from unpleasant living conditions and unwanted pregnancies, whatever the reason.  It is certainly interesting to think about though, and I appreciate all the responses above.  Thanks for sharing.
  • Posts: 44
    If this topic is about abortion and euthanasia I am torn in those issues. With abortion it is a no-no for me. But with euthanasia it would depend on the agony of the person who would be needing a mercy killing to end the pain. Even in our dogs I once had seen the pathetic condition that I agreed to putting our first dog to sleep. With humans I probably would prefer euthanasia to spare the person of extreme agony. 
  • Posts: 28
    I interpreted your post as coping with the desire to kill. Is it? I really wouldn't be bothered with the existence of others unless they are pestering me, harming me or they want me dead. I wouldn't really want to kill them, I just wish to be removed from their presence once and for all.
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