A patent is defined as an award or grant made by government upon which it discusses the maker of an invention given them the exclusive right to sell, exploit and make that particular invention for a certain duration (Pipers Intellectual Property, n.d). It is a set of specific rights which are given to inventors for a restricted duration and they in turn have to make the invention public. Simply put, a patent refers to personal property or assets and can take the form of the property belong to the inventor which can be quite costly to individuals who have them. There are different kinds of patents which are accessible to inventors, for instance, patent to file processes referred to as Utility patent. There are also a couple of reasons inventors might patent a process though this is not restricted to the privilege of selling an idea to customers who are interested.
A patent is also known as a set of restricted rights which are given to individuals who are inventors or owners of material or product. These rights are given by independent state. The attorney offering clients the processes needed to have patents is referred to as patent attorney. Patent attorneys are supposed to have all the needed merits so they can be entitled to offer patent rights to individuals. The processes of patent provision however vary widely between nations depending on their laws and other global settlements.
The individual that performs the task of pursuing patent registration for an inventor or holder before the Patent Office power is referred to as a patent agent. Essentially, no opportunity is given out for patent agents under the Patent Law though these might differ from one state to another. This post, however can also be referred to that of patent attorney in various states according to their laws. Any individual applying for the post of a patent agent must first pass a qualifying exam each year which is provided by Patent Office as it is required by law (Lemley 1501).
Granting exclusive or specific rights to an inventor is anticipated to encourage investment of resources and time for purposes of developing new and helpful discoveries. Restricted domination which is issued by a patent is encouraged and lawful under the United States Jurisdictions as well. As such, patents can be and are very important. A large number of individuals have made large sums of money from patents while others have not.
The Requirements for Patentability
There are 5 primary patentability requirements and these are:
- Patentable subject matter-This addresses the type of inventions that should be reviewed for protection. A god example of the subjects that can be patented and those that cannot is products of nature and fabricated inventions. The law of opposition to stuff that is patent printed still holds force though the printed stuff can as well be patentable if its affiliation with physical invention is useful and new.
- Utility-This means the invention has to be a useful one. Reliability utility obliges that logic and fact should support affirmation of utility or that someone with ordinary talent in art would make the admission the invention has the capability of accomplishing its stated use. The utility is supposed to be specific to an area that is under discussion and common utility that might possibly be applicable to a range of inventions. Considerable utility on the other hand necessitates the invention should be comprised of a genuine definite world use, a claimed utility that is comprised of carrying out further research in order to substantiate or classify use in perspective of the real world.
- Novelty-This requires that the invention should be original. This means it should not have been used by others prior to its invention by the claimant of the patent. In order to enjoy this obligation, the new invention must be new in difference to the art that lies ahead.
- Non-obviousness-The test used for this requirement is establishing whether the matter needs to be patented and the preceding art are such that the matter of the subject as one would be clear to have ordinary talent in art during the period of invention.
- Enablement-This is an obligation that is directly connected to the revelation or requirement which can be incorporated as a component for each of the patent application. Enablement is viewed as having 3 distinguishing revelation which include; enablement necessity, written description necessity and best mode necessity. Each application of patent needs to include specification that tells the invention mechanisms, as well as one or more claims at the stages of closing of specification that states the exact legal meaning of invention. In order to meet this requirement, the specification or design need to illustrate invention with adequate distinctiveness that someone has ordinary talent in art has the capability of using and making the claimed invention which is devoid of any “unnecessary experimentation”.
Process of Obtaining a Patent
Prior to following the procedure to obtain a patent, an inventor is supposed to ensure all the products meet the 3 lawful requirements which include non-obviousness, utility and novelty. Innovations make it possible for the process to be distinct in the market. The law as well entails invention ought to be different before the products or technology gets into the market. The last legal requirement that must be met is utility. This entails the process should provide significant intention.
There is the suggestion that inventors should take the following processes before they start the process of seeking a patent: Maintain an invention record, comprised of specification, diagram as well as other adjustments that are made along the way. Other investors might also come up with typical examples. As necessity, the invention should attain the merit for patent application. This includes that it should be outstanding, able to measure up to other products and the application of patent should occur within the scope of a year from when the product is publicized. Inventors are supposed to assess the market to establish invention capability before they use time and money to go through the procedure of application. Inventors are also supposed to carry out complete investigation of patent. One can start this process of getting a patent through visiting the Web.
The primary process of getting a patent starts with making the specifications. This provides a description of invention which is specified to allow an individual with knowledge in the area to make a duplication of the invention without going through experimentation. Specifications are also supposed to show the best techniques for creating then putting the invention to use. Regularly, these credentials are comprised of several components such as the title of the invention, background, summary and brief introduction.
These are complete declarations that brief what the invention is about. Majority of people take this process as one of the most significant steps to getting a patent. The inventor is supposed to provide boundaries within their creation. This helps to draw awareness on other inventors in case they should cross the line and breach the legal rights of the inventor. The language claims, including words and phrases and manner in which they are put together is of great importance.
Normally, drawings are a requirement for demonstrating the manner in which individual invention operates. They are supposed to plainly demonstrate characteristics documented in the claims made regarding the invention. There are precise provisions for drawings that the inventor must follow. If invention is illustrated and translated through use of a drawing, then the drawing becomes necessary to be part of the patent application.
Filing the Application
The last stage that is part of the process in obtaining a patent is filing the actual application. This can be filed through use of electronic system and mail. The inventor is supposed to create copies of each page given out in the application. The inventor can also receive evidence of receipt; fasten a self-addressed official postcard to the first age of patent application. The card is supposed to contain comprehensive information regarding the inventor; the information might be in the form of; name, date when the filing was done and completed as well the title given to the invention. The card is also supposed to have all documents integrated with application and number of pages for all documents.
A patent makes it possible for the holder to enjoy exclusive privilege. It can be imposed against or sold licensed such that an infringer pays damages or acquires an injunction. It can be worth a large amount of money too as well. A good example of large grants in patent infringement lawsuits is C.R Bird v. W.L. Gore case where the jury awarded to Bard an amount that totaled to $ 371 million (Pritzker n.p).
On February 10th 2012, in a 2-1 judgment, the Federal Circuit of Appeals drew the “ultimate curtain” over a decade’s long patent battle between CR. Bard Inc. and W.LL. Gore & Associates. The landslide win for Bard came after a row that lasted for 38 years and which had been presented before the Federal Circuit three times. In the final ruling, the Federal Circuit make the ruling that Peter Cooper, the Gore plant manager, who apparently worked with David Goldfarb, a researcher, to test prospective use of Gore-Tex as a prosthetic blood vessel was not co-inventor of the medical patent that was in contention. The Federal Circuit, in addition further ruled that the lower court judge made the appropriate action within her jurisdiction in doubling compensation award taking into account the discovery by the jury regarding the willing fullness and continued violation of the patent by Gore regardless of losing repeatedly in court (Quizon, 2012).
Steven Cherny, a couple of weeks before his selection as C.R.Bard, Inc.’s new trial attorney in the violation case against W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. had a brief panic attack. The response was a logical one. Ideally, if the Fish & Neave associate, had actually figured out what he was becoming part of while joining the Bard case in 2004, he would have being frightened. He would have being aware of the long history the case had. For three decades, Gore had been fighting for the ownership of fabricated blood vessel, referred to as vascular graft, which changed the face of vascular surgery. Barely after a twelve year contentious court proceeding aimed at establishing the actual inventor of the device and two trips to United States Federal Circuit, Gore’s ownership claim was rejected by the Patent and Trademark Office eventually in 2002. Gore, however, would not give in to defeat.
The corporation, which was making tens of millions of dollars every year from sale of the grafts declined to make payments to Bard for licensing fee, claimed without concession to the squabbles irony regarding the patent it had fought for thirty years to attain as actually invalid. Lastly, in order to have power over the patent rights and the privileges, Bard was able to file a suit for infringement against Gore. Cherny was not deterred by the extent of time as he had already worked on other long running suits. He was not worried about the technological complication of the case (Frankel, 2009).
In 1983, 9 years after the clashing patent submissions of the vascular graft were filed, the Patent Office affirmed “interference”. The assessor of the patent, in other terms ascertained that the graft was a patentable innovation and both Goldfarb and Cooper had filed for the legit applications.
The intrusion, which was to be done by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences office, would have to determine whether Cooper or Goldfarb were the actual inventors. It took another 12 additional years for a decision to be reached-making it the largest interference in the history of Interference proceeding. This led to a 15,000 page as well as one extremely sad encounter. The lawyer hired by Bard for the Interference, Lawrence Green, and ousted Peter Cooper as Gore’s purported inventor. Cooper had managed to cash out of Gore shortly after his name was attached to the patent application of the vascular graft.
Where there was substantial evidence available to support a verdict that an individual had infringed the vascular patent the Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals in Washington made a ruling that included royalties, fees and interest like for instance, when Gore owed $ 783 million as of June, Bard, in a regulatory filing dated the previous year.
A case involving dispute over a tube that aids in maintaining the shape of blood veins through use of same substance as that of DuPont Co.’s Teflon, in 2003 was similar to the patent held by Gore. The ruling attracted a penalty of close to $ 1 billion for Bard, adding $ 1 a share yearly pay as stated by Raj Denhoy, an analyst with the New York based Jefferies & Co. in a note to clients. Though the proceedings are not anywhere close to finished. Bard is close to the end line.
At the close of New York trading, Bard roe to a higher percentage which was the highest since 30th November. Later, the Federal jury in 2007 found Gore has infringed a Bard patent and awarded $185.6 million in damages. The U.S District Judge, later doubled this amount on the basis of the jury discovering the infringement was done on purpose.
The judge, told Gore to start paying royalties of 12% to 20%, based on the type of Gore grafts. The 3-bench judge appeals committee made the argument that Murguia acted within her powers in order to decline the request made by Bard to stop sales of Gore.
Murguia passed the judgment Gore should have the capability of retaining sales on the market since it was public opinion to allow competition in the medical products field. While initially Bard laid complains in 2003, the court of appeal said the dispute dated back to 1974, which meant that the matter was not recent. Initially, the patent requested in 1974 and issued in 2003 indicated there was a dispute as to who was the first to make the invention.
The Federal Circuit, which initially passed judgment that a researcher with Gore was not the primary inventor. Another patent issue is that of Falana v. Kent State University. In the dispute, the Federal Circuit made the declaration that the court’s ruling that Falana was the primary inventor of the patent argued a genus of chemical substance. The Circuit as well concluded it lacked jurisdiction of arriving at a prize of attorney fees because the district court was yet to state the amount of that prize as such, not finalizing it. Alana took legal action against the University and mentioned the inventors on face of the U.S 789 patent, searching for correction of inventor ship.
Falana also said he had inappropriately not being included among the inventors of the ‘789 patent which was associated with chiral additives for liquid crystal displays. While working at Kent Research organization, Falana thought of finding upgraded chiral additives with the aim of including temperature independence. He also came up with the technique for synthesizing novel class of naphthyl a version of Compound 7. The compound failed to attain required target for temperature independence but it was seen as a great improvement. Later, in 2000 after Falana left, the stated inventor used the technique applied by Falana to synthetize Compound 9 which was able to attain the target for temperature independence.
At the judgment, the court realized Falana was part of the inventors. The defendants said the argument needed high temperature independence but the district court refused as they did not find any help in such a position in the light of the arguments. The Federal circuit made the declaration that it approved the claim of language enclosed a genus of chemical compounds that were not restricted by temperature independence. The court also approved inventor ship final decision giving overall direction on conception of chemical genus. Falana’s lack of specific involvement with compound 9 failed to put him off from the list of investors of broader genus which was covered by the claims.
The district court stated the case was outstanding and offered Falana his attorney’s award but never valued them preceding the appeal. The Federal Circuit finalized it insufficient jurisdiction to come up with a fee award since it was not final. The Federal Circuit, in the ruling failed to practice pendant appellate jurisdiction. The court as well gave the ruling under jurisdiction which allowed interlocutory appeals of fee awards that were not valued in infringement cases which were not applicable to the inventor ship dispute.
The Federal Circuit in the end concluded the trial court prohibited some of the documents which were revealed allegedly by Falana were not novel and was a harmless mistake where the stated originator was permitted to provide details to the allegations.
Dyanna, Quizon, “Federal Circuit Affirms Huge Award for Bard in Decades-Long Suit” February 15, 2012. Web. November 7. 2013. <http://blogs.findlaw.com/federal_circuit/2012/02/federal-circuit-affirms-huge-award-for-bard-in-decades-long-suit.html>
Lemley, Mark, “Rational Ignorance at the Patent Office. Northwestern University Law Review, Volume 95, Issue. 4, 2001.
Randy, Pritzker, “ Building and Monetizing a Patent Portfolio,” Wolf Greenfield. Executive Counsel-December 2010.
Pipers Intellectual Property, (n.d). Patents – Protecting New Innovations and Inventions. Retrieved on 9 November 2013 from http://www.piperpat.com/page/new-innovation-patents
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Jewish Views on Cohabitation
Cohabitation is a practice that is significantly finding its way into the society today at a very fast rate. In fact, there are quite a number of couples who are today living together in the way that husband and wife should, but not married. The practice is on the rise and is committed by both the youth and older people. However, it should be noted that according to Jewish laws, cohabitation is not permitted since it is considered to be a sinful act.
The reason why cohabitation is highly regarded as a sin in Jewish law is because it violates the principles of marriage as detailed in the Torah. When a man and a woman decide to start living together before marriage, there are several acts reserved for married couples that they will be engaging in like sexual intercourse among others. The act of cohabitation exposes the two people who are involved to several other practices that are prohibited outside marriage. It denies marriage the kind of special treatment that it should be accorded since at the time that the couple may be thinking of getting married, they will have nothing new to experience in the holy matrimony.
Matrimony is a form of promiscuity or adultery since there is every reason to believe that when two people who are in love decide to start living together, they will engage in sex. This is an immorality that the Jewish traditions prohibit. In the Bible, it is detailed that for a man and a woman to be considered as married or begin to live as husband and wife, they require the Blessings of God that can only be cast upon them when they declare marriage vows. Among those who cohabitate, this does not take place because in most occasions, two people wimple decide to begin living together.
Jewish teachings point out that cohabitation or living together without marriage bypasses the soul since it is an act of disobedience to God. When a man and a woman begin living together before they are married, they do not honor the commitment to hard work that is crucial to every choice that we make in life. Jewish teachings point out that God does not like lazy people who do not want to work hard towards achieving the good things that they desire in life. Cohabitation bypasses commitments and accountability, the two pillars of an ideal relationship.
Cohabitation in all its forms advances the ‘use and discard,’’ ‘easy come, easy go’’ mentality that is prevalent in today’s society. From the perspective of Jewish traditions, living together before marriage reduces the relationship to a casual encounter, which is against the treatment that God requires us to accord to the union.
In conclusion, it should be noted that cohabitation is a gross violation of the requirement to be holy. It is a sinful act that Jews avoid as much as they can. In fact, Orthodox Jews even tend to marry much earlier in order to avoid falling into the trap of cohabitation.
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Jewish View on Marriage and Divorce
Torah is the fundamental source of all Jewish beliefs, and the point of reference that they always look up to in order to find answers with regards to maters touching on the aspects of life like marriage and divorce. However, it offers very little guidance regarding the procedures of marriage. Information on the method to be applied in finding a spouse, the form of the wedding ceremony, and the nature of the marital relationship are illustrated in the Talmund.
According to the traditional Jewish beliefs, marriage is regarded as a contractual bond that is commanded by God, whereby man and woman come together to form a relationship. God is directly involved in every marriage relationship. A Jewish marriage is expected to fulfill the commandment of child bearing through procreation. When a man and a woman come together in a union of marriage, they become one soul. In fact, man is considered to be ‘incomplete’ if he is not married, according to Jewish beliefs.
Jewish law requires that every marriage plan should begin with engagement (shidukhin). This refers to a contract between a man and a woman where the two mutually promise to marry each other sometime in future. Besides, the engagement also aims to set out the terms of the marriage. The promise may either be made by the intending parties or even their respective parents, or other relatives on their behalf. This promise is documented in a formal document known as the Shtar Tena’im (The Document of Conditions). It is then read, then the mothers of the bride and groom to-be break a plate.
The Jewish tradition and beliefs dictates that there are marriage rights and obligations that must be observed by both parties. These are clearly set out in the Holy Bible. Traditionally, the husband is obligated to provide for the wife and family. A detailed report of all the rights and obligations of the two are spelt out in the Ketubot in the Talmund.
Divorce is viewed as a spiritual amputation in Jewish culture. In the event that it takes place, the husband and wife are separated from the one soul that they became during their wedding. Based on how painful divorce is, it is considered as a last resort when issues between the two cannot be resolved. Even though it is not looked at favorably in Judaism, it is not prohibited and at times encouraged. Rabbis of the Talmund considered marriage to be a holy matrimony or contract, such that the decision to divorce would be an unholy act.
Regarding divorce, rabbis of the Talmund quote prophet Malachi, ‘’the Lord has been witness between you and your wife of your youth against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, the wife of your covenant.’’ According to the Holy Bible, a husband has the right to divorce his wife, but a wife cannot begin the process of divorce. According to Jewish law, marriage is not dissolved until a bill of divorce; get is exchanged between the husband and wife.
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Hinduism Views on Marriage and Divorce
In Hinduism, marriage is viewed as a sacred and lasting bond that brings together two individuals for a lifetime. Hindus believe that it is through marriage that spouses are able to pursue dharma (duty), artha (possessions), kama (physical desires) and moksa (ultimate spiritual release). When a man and a woman come together in marriage, the two are joined into one entity to secure the above highlighted aims as one. Hindus are joined together through a ceremony called Vivar Samkar that marks the start of a new stage in life known as Grihistha Ashrama. The ceremony marks the commitment of man and wife to start up a new family.
According to Hinduism teachings, marriage is an important duty or both men and women to fulfill. The choice to stay alone or lead a celibate life is not encouraged in Hinduism. In most occasions, arranged marriages, have been very common with parents sourcing for brides and grooms for their children since marriage also brings together two extended families. Weddings in Hinduism are scheduled according to the horoscopes of the two partners.
For a man and woman to be marriage in Hindu tradition, the ceremony has to be presided over by a priest. To show that the two are joined in holy matrimony, the priest lights a fire in honor of the god Agni and recites mantras in Sanskirt (a holy language of the Hindu scriptures). The groom then presents offers to the fire and asks for blessings to descend upon the marriage in the form of children. Besides, the two also perform other rituals while offering prayers asking for blessings of food, strength, wealth, good health, friendship, wisdom and happiness.
One thing that should be noted about marriage in Hinduism is that there are strict guidelines over status and class regarding who can marry whom. Only members of the same caste system are allowed to get married. However, women of a lower caste system can marry men in the upper castes.
Based on the seriousness with which marriage is taken in Hinduism, divorce is not considered to be an ideal option in the event that the couple has issues. According to Hindu traditions, there is no concept of divorce. Hindus consider marriage not as a choice but destiny. The two are regarded to have deep a deep connection, in this life as well as the past and future, hence divorce is almost viewed as a taboo. Divorce in Hinduism comes with stigma that can be very difficult to escape. However, democratic principles of religion allow a man and a woman who are married to pursue divorce in the event that they can never live as one.
Just like it is in other religious communities, Hinduism encourages spouses that are considering divorce to first sit down and find a way of solving their issues to avoid breaking the holy matrimony, marriage. If the two are unable to reach a consensus, divorce should be the last option. However, just like at the time of marriage, both parties must formalize the separation in writing.
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Hindu Views on Cohabitation
The traditional teachings in Hinduism recognized and acknowledged that the most basic instinct of all was the need for companionship, thus, founded an honorable institution called marriage. The early Hindus set out certain guidelines to ensure that the union is a permanent one capable of bringing happiness to the man and woman, and also provide them with a balance such that the family could enjoy the fullness of life within the framework of Dharma, the Hindu code of right conduct.
Self-control is a crucial aspect of Hindu teachings and tradition. At the time stage of Brahmacharya stage in life that is generally form birth to around 25 years of age, young people are expect to concentrate on their education. Sexual relationships at this stage would be a great distraction; they are encouraged to avoid them. Today quite a number of young people are engaging in cohabitation including even Hindus and even from other religious communities. Despite the teachings, it has been very difficult for young Hindus to steer clear of such sexually exploitative relationships.
A live-in relation is currently a major form of lifestyle that is slowly creeping into Hinduism. In the ancient Hindu traditions, though marriage was a general norm, the scriptures give a description and admit that premarital relationships existed as well. Manu details that premarital relationships existed in the Vedic period and even in the times that followed. However, it occurred rarely.
The concept of cohabitation is not new among Hindus, in the ancient times it was referred to as maiti-karar whereby a written agreement was to be prepared between the man and woman so that they would be joined in holy matrimony, marriage. Only if that was done were the two opposite sex expected to live together as friends and take care of each other as husband and wife.
In Gandhavara marriage, one of the Hindu marriages, there are incidences that resemble those that are found in cohabitation. This concept is not defined in the dictionary or in law. Cohabitation refers to a man living with a woman as husband and wife for a reasonable period, without marrying her. These relationships are considered not holy as required by the Hindu traditions.
Despite the plenty of information regarding cohabitation among Hindus, the concept of the institution of the marriage is inherent in every man. The fact is evident from the fact that marriage is a concept that has evolved and exists in every religion and civilized nation. The need for marriage is deeply rooted in the man’s urge for certainty and for achieving stability in life. Such kind of stability and certainty can only be achieved through marriage even if it means cohabitation.
Among modern Hindus who engage in cohabitation, whenever a new relationship between a man and woman is kindled, it is bound to acquire the form and characteristics of a marriage. This is the similar case in live-in relationship. In the early times, it began as something different from marriage, but has gradually evolved into a scenario with the traits of marriage.
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Church of England Views on Homosexuality
The Church of England has so far been a major player in the development of the debate on homosexuality in the Anglican Communion as well as the English society. While being clear that homosexual acts were not morally upright, the Church of England in the 1950s led the call to decriminalize male homosexual acts. Until 1967, all homosexual acts were considered as criminal offences. Despite the legalization of gay marriage in the UK in March 2014, the Church of England that account for the largest population in the area maintains that homosexuality is a sinful act.
In a document declared by the House of Bishops in February 2014 entitled; Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage, the Church of England asserts that any form of homosexual behavior is a sin. However, the bishops of the church point out that the Church of England is of the belief that those who are experiencing same-sex attractions are beloved by God and are not to be dismissed out of hand as sinners who are despised by God. The Church of England reminds the church of the virtue of chastity and the need for regulation of sexual appetites in accordance with right reason, which is God’s design for mankind.
According to the traditional teachings of the Church of England, it is not morally upright for people of the same sex to develop attractions towards each other. However, the latest utterances from some of the bishops points out to a contradiction. Some bishops have noted that they would not issue any sanctions on clergy who are entering into same sex relationships. On the other hand, the Church of England allows for the ordination of gay priests provided that they are celibate.
The issue of Church of England views on homosexuality has elicited heated arguments among the followers and even bishops. In fact, it is still a bone of contention between the bishops with some for it and others against it. In 2003, Canon Jeffrey John was appointed as Bishop of Reading despite his pro-gay views. This is a move that has led to continuous criticism of the Church of England with many saying that the church is secretly advocating for homosexuality since it cannot say that the act is a sin when a number of its bishops are gay. Despite Cannon Jeffrey standing down as Bishop-elect of Reading, he was subsequently installed as Dean of St. Albans, meaning that he still serves the Church of England.
Archbishops of the Church of England seek to distinguish between the teaching authority on moral issues that surround same-sex marriage and the pastoral needs of Christians who posses attractions to the same sex. Despite stating that homosexuality is sinful, the Church of England clearly states that it doors are open to same sex couples who have the need to worship. Besides, the church will not hinder the baptism of their children. Homosexuals are welcome to participate in the activities of the Church of England as full members.
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Church of England Views on Divorce
According to the Church of England, marriage is a blessing that should never be broken. However, it is also cognizant of the fact that there are situations whereby divorce can be allowed. The Church of England teaches that if at all there is a problem between married couples, it is important that an amicable solution is found to avoid breaking the holy matrimony that is joined by God. Despite the wishes of the church that two married couples should live a lifetime of love that grows within the protection of God, it is not blind to the fact that there are situations when certain marriages do fail.
The decision for divorce according to the Church of England can be arrived at due to a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons why divorce can be pursued between two people who are married can be adultery, unreasonable behavior, the parties have lived apart for at least two years and both consent to the divorce among others. Despite the reason for misunderstanding between spouses, it is always recommended that the two need to first engage each other and settle the differences.
The Church of England was formed or rather started by Henry VIII who broke away from the Roman Catholic Church. The reason why Henry VIII broke away to form the Church of England is because the Catholic Church would not allow him to divorce his wife; Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. In this regard, he was paving way for anyone who felt dissatisfied in matrimonial union to seek divorce without any restrictions.
The Church of England teaches that marriage should be for life. In fact, this has been its long standing position until very recently. In 2002, the synod of the church passed a motion stating that in exceptional circumstances, a divorced person may again marry in church during the lifetime of a former spouse. For any act to be termed as divorce, both parties have to be present and sign a document confirming that they have officially separated. In the event that one of the spouses is reluctant, the church may come in to compel him or her if the alleged reasons for divorce are genuine.
Just like it happens during marriage, the two parties that are getting divorced need to sign a document confirming that they are legally separated. The Church of England provides a way through which people who have divorced can be married again in the church. However, there is no automatic right to do so since it views marriage to be a lifelong commitment. It is left to the discretion of the Priest to decide if a person who has been divorced can remarry in church.
Before one who has divorced can be able to marry again in the Church of England, they must talk to their Vicar concerning their past and hopes for the future. It is then that a decision can be made for re-marriage.
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Church of England Views on Cohabitation
The Church of England affirms the centrality of marriage to the stability and health of society and for procreation to bring up children. While doing so, it also recognizes that there are certain issues of hardship and vulnerability for those people who are in relationships that are not based on marriage, and that such cases need to be addressed through the creation of new legal rights.
According to the Christianity sthat the Church of England is also party to, human relationships proceed from the knowledge that God is love and one who is recognized in relationships. This is detailed in the doctrine of the Trinity and the biblical idea of the covenant which exemplifies love, respect and mutual self giving. Besides, it also applies in particular to our understanding of intimate relationships like marriage. However, the Church of England is concerned that the society in England is changing. The church point out that civilization has brought with it several changes in the society such that it is of great value if certain teachings are re-evaluated.
According to the latest arguments by the Church of England, marriage has never been permanent since divorce has been in existence since the biblical times, although it was specifically condemned by Jesus. Besides, it has never been even part of the English civil law and ecclesiastical law that marriage is indissoluble. The Church of England further argues that until recently, fidelity in marriage was only required of the woman. Before 1923, no woman could be allowed to obtain divorce as a result of the adultery of her husband unless she proved beyond reasonable doubt desertion and cruelty in addition to the allegation.
The Church of England asserts that even though marriage is, without doubt, a legally sanctioned union between a man and a woman, it is not the only possible relationship of that kind. It is concerned that the response of the church seems to be against other forms of legally sanctioned relationships like cohabitation. From these arguments, you can clearly see the avenue that the Church of England is pursuing with regards to cohabitation. It tries to stress that just like marriage; cohabitation is a form of relationship that should not be ignored even in the construction of legislations that govern marriage and divorce.
According to the Church of England, denouncing cohabitation is like denying minorities their rights of association and enjoyment. It is of the opinion that men and women who are cohabiting should be given the right to exercise their relationships as they wish since some end up in marriage. This stance by the Church of England has in the recent past elicited heated debate from various Christian religious groups especially the Catholic Church that have condemned it for approving cohabitation rights.
In 2006, the Catholic Church expressed its opposition to the Church of England’s support of the government’s proposal to offer unmarried cohabiting couples legal rights that are similar to those of married people.
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Cohabitation is defined as two unmarried individuals of the opposite sex sharing a household and a bed. According to the teachings of Christianity, it is sinful to engage in cohabitation. In the Roman Catholic Church, engaging in premarital sex, that is part of the cohabitation is a sin and those who are involved are not allowed to take communion. Other Christian religious groups do not specifically prohibit cohabitation but view it as a sin and will often, exert pressure on the couple to pursue the commitment of marriage.
Judaism, which is part of the Christian faith, also disapproves of cohabitation. According to Jews, cohabitation can take several forms that even extends to a Jewish man marrying into a different faith without a traditional Jewish wedding. According to the Bible, the main point of reference for Christian beliefs, one of the Ten Commandments is that one should not commit adultery. Adultery is defined in the Bible as having sex with someone who you are not married to. Thus, it is in order to state that cohabitation is a sin in Christianity considering that it is a major cause of premarital sex.
Cohabitation contributes to living together between a man and a woman outside the spheres of marriage which is sinful in the eyes of God. In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, there is evidence of God’s plan for marriage and a consistent witness against the sexual immorality that occurs with the engagement in sexual relations outside marriage. In Hebrews 13: 4, the Bible states that, ‘’Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.’’
In Ephesians 5:3, the Apostle Paul says, ‘’But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.’’ The Apostle further writes the story of a man in Corinth who was having sexual relations with his father’s wife in 1st Corinthians 5:1-3. He describes such an act as sinful because there was no marital union, an example of the kind of sexual immorality that takes place with cohabitation. In 1st Corinthians 7:2 Paul encourages church members to marry in order to stay clear of sexual immorality.
Christianity outlines harsh judgment on those who engage in sexual immorality that is the main sinful act resulting from cohabitation. In 1st Corinthians 6:9-10, the Bible states, ‘’Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.’’
Today, some Christian religious societies or churches permit cohabitation in the hope that the two will soon get conviction to get into holy matrimony, that is marriage. However, in most cases, the expected results are never achieved since a good number of such relationships last just for short periods of time.
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Cohabitation is defined as the act of living together between a man and a woman before marriage. It describes the relationship of a man and woman who are sexually active and share a household despite not being married to each other. According to the Christian faith which the Catholic Church follows, sexual relationship is only reserved for men and women who have been married. Any involvement in sexual intercourse before marriage is thus, regarded as sinful and against the Christian teachings. Cohabitation is a sign of disrespect for the sacrament of marriage, the sacredness of sexual intercourse and human dignity.
The Catholic Church, just like other Christian societies cares for its members the way a parent cares for his or her beloved son or daughter. Having the knowledge that cohabitation increases the chances of failure in marriage; the church is interested in offering protection and preservation of happiness. Besides, there are quite a number of men and women today who simply start cohabitating based on physical attraction. They do not evaluate the reasons they give for justification of their decisions.
According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, every sexual act is intended by God to express love, commitment and openness to life in the gift of marriage. Engaging in sex outside marriage is an immoral practice that does not express the intentions of the Creator. Cohabitation passes a false message that the couple is committed yet they are not because that can only be shown through marriage. Cohabitation is more like pretence that is highly disregarded by God; it is an act of cowardice. Two people who are choosing to cohabit are afraid of making life commitments to live with each other as husband and wife even though they convince themselves that they are one.
According to the catechism of the Catholic Church, some couples claim that they have a right to live together if they intend to get married later on. Even though the couple may be sincere in their decision, the Catechism stresses that human love is incompatible with trial marriages. Cohabitation is more like standing in the middle in order to first weigh out options so that if things fail to go according to your expectations, you can easily jump ship. God does not require people who test the waters since in the process; we break a lot of laws that include engaging in sexual intercourse among others.
Unlike the marriage covenant, cohabitation is a temporary arrangement that is compared to a business deal that can either succeed or fail. In fact, studies that have recently been conducted on cohabitation show that most of those who are involved end up in heartaches. As much as the Catholic Church teaches that people who are interested in getting married need to take some time to know each other well through courtship, it does not advocate for cohabitation. However, cohabiting couples cannot be denied the chance to marry in the Catholic Church.
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Buddhist Views on Marriage and Divorce
In Buddhism, marriage is regarded as a personal and secular affair, and not a religious duty as it is in other religions. Buddhist teachings reveal that marriage is a social convention and personal concern that is instituted by man for his own happiness and wellbeing. Besides, it further points out that man institutes marriage to distinguish the human society from animal life and also maintain order and harmony in the procreation process. Despite this, Buddha still gave several teachings on marriage and even declared in the Blessing Sutra that, ‘’to care for one’s wife…This is the highest blessing.’’
Even after a man and a woman come together in marriage, Buddha outlines the proper way in which the two are required to relate to each other as husband and wife. In the Sigalovada Sutra, Buddha declares that, ‘’in five ways should a wife… be ministered to her by her husband: by respect, by courtesy, by faithfulness, by handing over authority to her (in the home), by providing her with adornment. In five ways does the wife act in sympathy with him: her duties are well performed, she knows hospitality to kin of both, is faithful, watches over the gods he brings, and shows skill and artistry in discharging all her business.’’
Since marriage is not viewed as sacred duty in Buddhism, monks do not preside over wedding ceremonies. However, the can bless the couple during or after the ceremony has been conducted. In certain instances, they can even perform the blessing without any ceremony. There are no religious laws in Buddhism that compels a person to be married, to remain a bachelor or to lead a life of total chastity. Neither are there any laid down rules that Buddhists must produce children. The religion gives each individual the freedom to choose for himself the avenue to pursue with regards to marriage.
Buddhism does not prohibit divorce; however, the necessity would barely arise if the Buddha’s injunctions were followed strictly. Men and women are at liberty to separate in case they are unable to agree after marriage. Divorce is preferable in order to avoid living miserable family life for a long period of time. Buddha urges old men to avoid having young women as their spouses since the two are most likely incompatible.
According to most Buddhists, divorce can be viewed as an integral step towards self-knowledge. Just in the same way that the religion views marriage as an individual choice, divorce is also regarded as a choice that one can make if they feel that they are unhappy in the married life. Buddhism points out that man and woman who have been living as wife and husband are free to divorce on grounds that the first, third or fourth precepts (killing, lying and sexual misconduct) are broken and also where the amount of suffering arising from the marriage becomes disproportionate. If the husband and wife are content that divorce would alleviate that suffering, they are free to pursue the course.
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Islam is a religion that holds its values and teachings on all junctures. Many of the things that Muslims do on daily basis are governed or based on the writings of the Quran and the prophet Mohammad’s Sunnah. Islam and homosexuality is an issue that has been raising eyebrows now and then. Debates on whether homosexuality should be legalized have been making headlines on daily basis. Fortunately, Islamic views on homosexuality clarify everything. Sexual behavior towards a partner of same sex or gender is not only a sin, but a crime under the Islamic law.
The Islamic Sharia law is extracted from both the Quran and the Muhammad’s Sunnah [found in the Hadith and Sira]. Islamic study of laws and principles on which laws are based is an expansion of the laws contained within them by Islamic jurist. Thus, Muslims see them as laws of the Allah. Homosexuality under the same laws is a sin and crime against God. Views on homosexuality vary within the four leading schools of Sunni jurisprudence these days. Nevertheless, they all agree that homosexuality is worthy severe consequences.
In the common Hanafi doctrine, homosexual is first punished through harsh beating and if the involved individuals repeat the act, death penalty is worthy. When it comes to the Shafii philosophy, the homosexual receives the same punishment as adultery, if married or fornication, if not married. This means that, if the homosexuals are married, they will be stoned to death or be wiped 100 times if not married.
Another school of thought based on the Quran and various Hadith, hold the opinion that the homosexual should be stoned to death or be thrown from a high building as the best punishment for the act. Scholars maintain the belief that, these individuals should also be imprisoned until death. Another view on homosexuality is that between the two males, the active member should be lashed 100 times if unmarried and killed if married, while the passive partner should be killed regardless of his marital status.
Many champions of the rights of homosexual shift the blame on the harsh treatment of the involved persons onto “the adoption of European Victorian attitudes towards new westernized elite”. However, all the support for the act falls in deaf ears. Within the Islamic school of thought, this attitude was instigated by Prophet Muhammad and it is here to stay as all mainstream Muslims find it to be a perfect example [Uswa Hasana]. Hence, many Muslims find this harsh treatment against homosexuality as justified.
Many Islamic leaders have also condemned homosexuality in history. For instance, Shaykh Muhammad Salih-Al-Munajid claimed that homosexuality is the key cause of diseases such as AIDS and related conditions that affected mankind. Even for the small percentage of Muslims living in more-developed countries see homosexuality as abominable and unacceptable in the society. A Gallup survey carried in 2009 showed that British Muslims have zero tolerance to homosexuality. In accord to the Zogby International survey taken from American Muslims on 2001 shows that, a massive 71% was against the idea of allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.
The ongoing harassment of homosexuals by Muslims globally rarely makes it to the mainstream newsrooms. The free world has been silenced by the fear of offending Islamic sensibility and the population opposing this act. Many apologists have come out and aired their views on the issue, but it remains a crime and vile in many Islamic countries.
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Hinduism Views on Homosexuality
The terms lesbians and gays have been making news on daily basis. Whether there are apologists all over in the streets in many parts of the world or its news penalties on individuals who have violated certain rules has become a way of life. Homosexuality has always been seen as a sin from the religious perspective. Hinduism is one of the common religions that have contributed a lot on how many cases of homosexuality should be handled. Views on homosexuality have also differed among many people in the world.
The issue of homosexuality in Hinduism is quite contentious among Hindus in countries where sexual behavior towards partners of same sex and gender is generally accepted. The Hinduism views on homosexuality are diverse and vary greatly because the accepted Hindu religion writings do not clearly mention homosexuality. Because of the many types of religious life, homosexuality matter has become quite complex among Hindus. For instance, the twice-born Hindus are forbidden from any homosexual acts.
Surprisingly, the legendary Kama Sutra asserts that homosexuals should engage and enjoy the act for their own sake and as one of the arts. Hence, Hindu evaluation of homosexuality depends on the context. All in all, there is a complex history on homosexuality in India. The ancient texts like Rig Veda [1500BC], effigies and vestiges clearly depict sexual acts between women as revelations of a feminine world where sexuality was based on fertility and pleasure.
There have been unmatched variances between Hindus as to where homosexuality is an accepted behavior. The debated has always been immense and based on the background of Hinduism’s teachings on love, marriage and sex. In Hinduism, love is depicted as an external force, devotion between two people whether romantic or nonsexual. On top of this, erotic desire of kama in Hinduism was believed as one of the most legal pleasures of the world. Notably, this did not allow Hindus to engage on lustful behaviors.
Premarital sex is disregarded in Hinduism while extramarital sex is illegal. Sex is promoted in the context of heterosexual where a couple is able to express its desires without any societal shortcomings. In today’s India, transgendered men “Hijras” are known to have sex with men. They are religiously identified as a separate third sex where many have to undergo ritual castration. In India, a man who penetrates a Hijras is not seen as or defined as gay. In Kama Sutra, sexual acts involving homosexuals are acceptable in some backgrounds and not in others.
Many opponents of homosexuality in Hinduism argue that romantic love is only natural between opposite sex and it is not possible for two men or women to experience similar kind of love. Since romantic love is experienced between men and women, any acts of homosexual are due to lust and lust is wrong. Marriage in Hindu community plays great roles and Prajaa [the offspring of perpetuation of one’s family] is one of great roles. For homosexuals, it is hard to procreate after marriage. Premarital and extramarital sex is wrong and so homosexual cannot marry and so they should not engage in any sexual acts.
For the supporters of homosexuality they argue that nowhere in Hindu sacred texts is romantic love excluded to all but man and woman. There are no religious grounds to make a statement to the contrary. Due to the fact that homosexuals can experience romantic love, homosexual relationships are all not products of covetousness. Supporters of homosexuality also argue that Prajaa is not a key factor in Hindu marriages; it can also be interpreted in ways that do not involve procreation. At last, proponents also argue that, sexual expression within a loving affiliation is spurred by Hinduism as it is not an expression of lust. Hence, homosexuals should be allowed to enjoy and express their love sexually.
Indeed, homosexuality is a conflicting issue in Hinduism, but the involved parties should come up with great ways to tackle this issue at hand. Both Hindu leaders and religious leaders need to lay proper framework on solving this issue on Hindu perspective but not by following social customs blindly and copying the other religions.
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Christian Views on Euthanasia
Euthanasia is an issue that has been creating a lot of debates among the religious communities. It refers the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to alleviate pain or suffering. Laws on euthanasia vary in each country and religion. This act can be categorized as voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary. Since 2006, euthanasia has been one of the most active areas of research. Christian views on euthanasia are diverse and vary greatly.
The Christian perspective on the subject of euthanasia or assisted death is straightforward. Many Christians believe in blessedness of life from the moment of birth until natural death. There more than 60 passages of scripture in the bible that relate to the importance and sanctity of life. “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is one of the common passages of the scripture in the holy book. Christians believe that God is the give and take of life, but it should not be done under the will of man. For many Christians euthanasia is not the best way to end life and they are against it regardless of the pain or suffering one may have endured.
The bible does not specifically mention about euthanasia, but it addresses issues that related to it closely. Christians have used the bible to make judgments on euthanasia. Many of the Christian views on euthanasia are based on a number of things, and they include;
- Life is a gift from God- Christian’s belief that it is God who gives and takes life and death and life are part of the life processes created by God. Therefore, every person in the world should respect them and no human as the right to take life another person or his or her own life.
- Human beings are valuable and made in the image of God- Man possess an intrinsic dignity and value, because he was created by God in his own image. To propose an euthanasia for an individual is to judge that life and the individual concerned are not worthwhile. No one should ask for assisted dying because no one has the right to value anyone or himself worthless.
- The process of dying is spiritually important and should not be perturbed- Christians believe that the time before death is quite imperative. Many think that it is wrong to interrupt the process of dying as you will also disrupt the soul or spirit from reaching towards God.
- All human being’s lives are equally valuable- Christians believe in the value of human lives. Even patients, who are in persistent vegetative state, still remain to be human beings like any other whether healthy or seek. No person should treat any other as worthless and view them as “would be comfortable dead”. Even people with mental handicaps are valuable like any other healthy person.
There also some exceptions on the opinions that we have on euthanasia. Christians need to respect every human being and if we respect a person, we should also respect their decisions to end life. Possibly, we should accept their rational decision to object any burdensome, expensive or discouraging treatment that may even offer a week to live.
Regardless of the situation or circumstances one may be in, Christians should invariably oppose euthanasia. We should offer the best care to those suffering, let them have opinion on many issues affecting community and face death and dying with honesty and support as community by helping them prepare for death and meet Gods will
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Buddhist Views on Sex
Sex education is an area that has been receiving a lot of airplay and being discussed in openness. However, many wonder, what views do Buddhists have on sex. Like many other religions, Buddhism has its own take on sex or sexual conduct. Buddhists have the third precept; for avoiding sexual misconduct or not to misuse sex. Nevertheless, for the laypeople, the early scriptures are hazy about what sexual misconduct sets up.
During the monastic laws, many monks and nuns abided to the many rules of the Vinaya-pitaka [a Buddhist collection of texts]. For instance, from the text, monks and nuns who engage in sexual intercourse are expelled automatically from the order. In case of any seductive comments towards a woman from a monk, the community of monks is supposed to meet and address the wrongdoing. Monks should also shun appearance of indecency by being alone with a woman while nuns should not let men touch, fondle or rub anywhere between the knees and collarbone [sexual misconduct]. Currently, many Asian schools abiding to Buddhism still rely on Vinaya-pitaka for guidance except in Japan.
Buddhists in Japan have a different perspective on sex. It all started with Shinran Shonin, the founder of the Jodo Shinshu school of Japanese Pure Land. He married and authorized the priests in the school to marry. Many centuries later, marriage for Japanese Buddhist monks was not a law; it became a not-occasional exception. During the Meiji era, Buddhist monks and priests [but not nuns] were allowed to make their own decisions on whether to marry or not. In japan today, monastic celibacy is the in-thing in the school of Buddhism.
Buddhism shows us that it is easy to release our greed and selfishness to do anything and become more kind and compassionated. This leads to growth and development of a moral society and people. Hence, we are able to shun any sexual ways that can disregard and exploit other people in the society. To Buddhist, sex is a core expression of what craving [tanha] brings to suffering [dukkha] in its train and so we should be able to bring it into control. There are many other sexually related areas that Buddhists look at while discussing sex. These include;
- Homosexuality- There are diverse views and opinions about homosexuality. Buddhism teaches us that sensual enjoyment and desire are hindrances to enlightenment. There are many anti-homosexual texts in schools of Buddhism. In some teachings Buddhism, discourages sex between men and men, but not between women.
- Marriage- Many religions like Buddhism draw a clear line around the issue of marriage. For some religion sex outside marriage is uncouth and immoral. Sex inside the marriage line is good for the couple. Buddhism draws its teachings on sex between couples who love each other and morally whether married or not. On other hand, marriages can be abusive and lead to separation, divorce and suffering of innocent children.
- Desire- Buddhism provides loads of manuscripts on desire. For instance, the second noble truth teaches us that suffering is a tanha [craving] and it should not be stifled but controlled aptly. Our passions should not control our lives.
Sex is a powerful force that can make us happy or create a lot of suffering. According to Buddhism we should avoid sexual misconduct and leave according to the Buddhist teaching of better social norms. We have to condemn any sexual activities that may influence our morals or religious affiliations.
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