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Abstract 摘要

The West generally focuses on whether a fetus is a human being when discussing its moral status. However, a carefully reading of the Taoist scriptures indicates that this question is less important and may not be the best way to consider the status of the fetus in Taoism. Therefore, this study focuses on the Taoist scriptures, using the approaches of the theory of attributes and the theory of relationships, to determine whether a fetus has a moral status and what it is. It is found that it is not necessary for a fetus to be a human being to have a moral status as an adult. Indeed, in the Taoist scriptures, the definition of a fetus is divided into two categories: 1. A fetus is a hierophany parallel to the structure of the cosmos, a process of repetitive creation of the cosmos in which gods and goddesses live. Based on the theory of attributes, a fetus has the same sacred attributes as an adult and therefore has the same moral status. 2. A fetus has a relationship with the mother as enemies and creditors of past lives. Based on the theory of relationships, a fetus has a physical and spiritual relationship closely related to the mother and should therefore have a moral status equal to that of a complete human being.

西方對於胎兒道德地位的討論,以胎兒是否人類為焦點;然而細讀文本,即可發現胎兒能否算是人並不是道經最關心的問題。討論胎兒是人與否可能未必是最適合於分析道教的胎兒觀。因此,本文嘗試以道經文本為起點,以屬性論和闢係論為進路,考察胎兒在道教中是否及如何具有道德地位。本文發現胎兒在道教中不必被明言被定義為人,也能獲取與成人相同的道德地位。因為道經中對胎兒的定義可分為兩大類:一是以之為反映宇宙空間結構、重覆宇宙創生過程、寓居萬神的顯聖 物。從屬性論的進路分析,可見此等胎兒具有與成人一樣的神聖屬性,因而也與成人一樣具有同等的道德地位;二是胎兒與母親有宿世冤仇的關係。從關係論的進路分析,可見此等胎兒與其母親具有密切的身心聯繫,因而也應與其母親一樣具有同等的、完整的人的道德地位。

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