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Abstract 摘要

Daoism, one of China’s major philosophical and religious traditions, emphasizes such notions as holism, organicism, and naturalness, promoting the idea of living in line with the rules and patterns of nature. This essay examines the Daoist ethics of living naturally with special attention given to abortion. It points out that for philosophical Daoism, abortion is not acceptable because it is considered an “artificial” action for a self-serving purpose, such as aborting an unwanted baby girl after a sex test on a fetus. For religious Daoism, abortion is not acceptable because the fetus has a spirit and a soul. Both traditions maintain the importance of the sacredness of all life. Yet the language of rights and choices is absent in Daoism, and the aim of the essay is to present the basic teaching of Daoism and show that it is relevant to contemporary bioethical issues. With the increasing use of modern medical technology that makes the control or manipulation of the human body much easier, it is utterly important for humanity to think about the nature of human beings and the relationship between itself and the natural world. The essay also contends that Daoism offers a perspective to reflect on the one-child policy in China that has been practiced in the past few decades.

道家思想尊重人性、堅持貴生輕物、生命至上,維護人的發展。道家對待生死的態度是遵循自然本性,主張順其自然。從這一觀點出發,墮胎不是自然而然,而是通過人為的手段達到其他的目的。道教除了順其自然的思想外,還強調陰陽平衡、尊道積德。道教認為,胎兒具有靈性,因此是有生命的,殺死胎兒屬於殺生惡行。道家和道教對待墮胎的態度無疑對於當今審視中國墮胎政策,富有一定的啟示意義。雖然,道家和道教沒有使用“權利”這樣的倫理語言,但卻反映了對生命的尊重。

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