Week 3 Assignment

Simply put, natural meant the sense of right or wrong or what is just that is common to all that is derived from nature and not from any rules or creed of man. It is more of a philosophical theory than a theological and helps us understand which human actions are construed to be right or wrong, just or unjust in the moral sense through the process of human reasoning. It is more grounded on our knowable nature of what construes as good and bad for us, both as an individual or a collective society. And if properly practice, natural law could be a transcending and ideal guide for a pluralistic society because all of its members are human beings and therefore can be subjected to the natural law.
The issue about abortion is highly contemptuous both from the legal, philosophical and more especially theological perspective. While current law tends to be more liberal with the legalization of abortion in some states and some countries, the controversy and debate about its propriety is still as heated as before. The argument whether it is right or wrong has not yet settled and confounded by the equally heated discourse about the woman’s right to choose with what to do with her own body and the fetus/zygote right to live.
The arguments about abortion are grounded on several philosophical and theological premises. First is the argument about when did life begin? Some posits that life begins at conception while others argue that life already begun at implantation. The Catholic Church brings forth the argument of its foremost theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas who believed that life actually begins at 40 days for male and 80 for female. He based this theological basis of his from the Greek’s view about fetal development. It became more acceptable however that life begun when the fetus acquired personhood and/or “ensoulment” which has the same value and right as any human being to live. Having accepted this standard of where life actually begun, limits the argument to the point of when a fetus gains personhood. Development in science has helped to settle this dilemma for it provided that the fetus is already a viable human life at the end of second trimester of pregnancy. But even if personhood or ensoulment is already established, there are however circumstances that would make abortion morally acceptable. This particularly true when the pregnancy and/or is threatening the mother’s life that continuing the pregnancy would induce the death the mother. Thus, in this instance, abortion becomes acceptable by using the principles of “double effect” which holds that good actions which may possibly cause a bad effect can be morally justified in cases where the following conditions are met. a)that the act is either morally good or not b) that the negative effect is necessary to achieve the good effect c) that the real intention is to achieve the good effect and that the bad is only the unintended effect and d) that the anticipated good effect must at its minimum equal to the importance of the bad effect.
John T. Noonan, Jr summarized the various arguments of moral analysts about abortion on what motivated and what are the parameters of their moral judgments. He indicated that for Christians, it is in accordance with the divine mandate as contained in their Bible to love others as one would love himself or herself. The fetus, once has acquired his or her own humanity must be valued equal to one’s own life and therefore should not be aborted.