In religion and ethics, the inviolability of life, or sanctity of life, is a principle of implied protection regarding aspects of sentient life that are said to be holy, sacred, or otherwise of such value that they are not to be violated. This can be applied to both animals and humans or micro-organisms; for instance, in religions that practice Ahimsa, both are seen as holy and worthy of life. The value is inherent: Life is created in the womb ( or artificial environment to mimic womb). Man does not have ability to create life; thus, man does not have authority to destroy life. It is the only way for humankind to exist.

In Christianity

The phrase ''sanctity of life'' refers to the idea that human life is sacred, holy, and precious. The sanctity of life is inherent as man cannot create life. Therefore, man has no authority to destroy life. It is the only way for humankind to exist. Although the phrase was used primarily in the 19th century in Protestant discourse, since World War II the phrase has been used in Catholic moral theology and, following ''Roe v. Wade'', Evangelical Christian moral rhetoric. The sanctity of life principle, which is often contrasted with the "quality of life" to some extent, is the basis of all Catholic teaching about the sixth commandment in the Ten Commandments.

In Eastern religions

In Western thought, sanctity of life is usually applied solely to the human species (anthropocentrism, sometimes called dominionism), in marked contrast to many schools of Eastern philosophy, which often hold that all animal life is sacred―in some cases to such a degree that, for example, practitioners of Jainism carry brushes with which to sweep insects from their path, lest they inadvertently tread upon them.

In Logic

To expand into other areas of philosophy, ask the following question: "Would you kill Hitler in 1939?". Both possible answers (yes/no) can be seen as contrary to sanctity of life. Answering this question is a clear way to distinguish individuals with a consequentialist or deontological personal sense of morality.

See also

* Abortion-rights movements * Anti-abortion movements * Buddhism * Jainism * Consistent life ethic * Culture of life * Fetal protection * Medical ethics * National Sanctity of Human Life Day (in the US) * Religion and abortion * Right to life * Sanctity of Life Act, US bill, repeatedly introduced since 1995, that has never become law


Further reading

* * * * * * * * * *{{cite book|last=Wildes |first=Kevin Wm. |author2=Francesc Abel |author3=John C. Harvey |title=Birth, Suffering, and Death: Catholic Perspectives at the Edges of Life |location=Dordrecht; Boston |publisher=Kluwer Academic |year=1992 Category:Anti-abortion movement Category:Ethical principles Category:Medical ethics Category:Catholic Church and abortion