8. 1 Religion: rights and responsibilities 2 Religion: environment and medical issues 3 Religion: peace and conflict



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Unit 8


  • 8.1 Religion: rights and responsibilities

  • 8.2 Religion: environment and medical issues

  • 8.3 Religion: peace and conflict

  • 8.4 Religion: crime and punishment


SECTION 1 RELIGION: RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES

(1)

(a) What does conscience mean? (2)

Conscience is an inner feeling of the rightness or wrongness of an action



(b) Should everybody’s human rights be protected?

Give two reasons for your point of view. (4)

I agree that everybody’s human rights should be protected because as a Christian, I believe ‘we’re all made in God’s image’ and therefore we should protect everyone’s human rights and be treated equally. Also I believe that everyone’s human rights should be protected because Jesus protected peoples’ human rights, for example when he stood up for Mary Magdalene whose human rights were being abused and I think we should all follow his teachings and protect human rights. Finally, I believe everyone’s human rights should be protected because everyone should be entitled to the same rights and freedoms no matter who they are or where they live. The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights states that all humans should be treated equally.
*(c) Explain why some Christians use only the Bible when making moral decisions. (8)

Some Christians only use the Bible, their Holy Book, when making moral decisions because they believe that the Bible is “God’s word” and so they take every word literally. Also, it contains rules about our behaviour such as the Decalogue(10 commandments) which guides Christians on their behaviour in everyday life. Furthermore, it contains Jesus’ teachings such as the Sermon on the Mount and Christians believe that they should always follow Jesus teachings. Finally, it tells the story of Jesus’ life and some Christians ask themselves

“What would Jesus do?” to help them decide how to act when making a moral decision.
(d) “No Christian should agree with cloning.”

In your answer you should refer to Christianity.

(i) Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion. (3)

(ii) Give reasons why some people may disagree with you. (3)

I agree with this statement because Christians believe that cloning is playing God and that humans should not interfere with His creation. Also, I agree with this statement because we do not know the long term consequences of cloning and therefore we should not risk it. For example, “Dolly” the sheep died prematurely and had health problems. Finally, I believe that Christians should not agree with cloning because we should not try to make the world perfect because only God is perfect.

Some people may disagree with the statement that ‘no Christian should agree with cloning’ because they believe that God gave us the scientific knowledge to create cloning therefore we should put it to good use. Also they may disagree because cloning can help lead to a cure for diseases and also Jesus was a healer, cloning is acceptable. Finally, they disagree with this statement because cloning can lead to helping life in the long term and making it better for the next generation which is what God wants Christians to do.


(2)

(a) What is meant by Situation Ethics? (2)

The idea that Christians should base moral decisions on what is the most loving thing to do


(b)Do you think people should be forced to vote?

Give two reasons for your point of view. (4)

I agree that people should be forced to vote because our local government is responsible for things which affect our daily lives like roads, dustbin collection, etc. and if we don’t exercise our right to vote how can we have any say on these matters? Also, people have fought for the right to vote in the past and therefore i believe we should be made to vote. Furthermore, there are countries where people do not have these rights and they are treated badly. We, in the UK, have the right to vote and should be made to use our vote to ensure we contribute to the running of the country.
*(c) Explain why some Christians agree with genetic engineering and why others do not

Liberal Protestants think genetic engineering is a good thing as long as it aims to cure diseases rather than produce “perfect humans” because Jesus used all his powers to cure diseases and so should we. Also, God wants us to find out as much as we can about His creation and if we have been given the scientific knowledge to do so why don’t we use it. Furthermore, creating cells is not like creating people and is seen as not working against God but rather working with Him.

Catholics think genetic engineering is only OK if it is for curing diseases and is not using human

Embryos because Catholics believe life begins at the moment of conception whether it be in the womb or a glass dish. Also, killing an embryo is like killing any other human and counts as murder, and is banned in the Bible and by the Church. Finally, the embryos are produced in ways which the Catholic Church disagrees with.


(d) “Christians should always follow the teaching of the Church.”

In your answer you should refer to Christianity.

(i) Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion. (3)

(ii) Give reasons why some people may disagree with you. (3)

I agree that Christians should always follow the teaching of the Church because the Church is the “Body of Christ” in the world and therefore should be followed. Also, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead Christians into all truth and this happens through the Church’s teaching. Finally, if everyone made their own mind up, there would be no clear teaching, so it is safer to follow the Church’s guidance
Some people may disagree because they may think that it is more appropriate to follow the teaching and words of the Bible as they believe that this is the exact word of God. Also, some Christians may believe in listening to their conscience as they believe that this is God in direct communication with them. Finally, others may use Fletchers situation ethics because Jesus said to love thy neighbour and acting in the most loving way in a situation is surely following Jesus teaching.
(3)

(a) What is a pressure group? (2)

A pressure group is a group formed to influence government policy on a particular issue.



(b)Do you think we should always treat everyone as we would like to be treated?

Give two reasons for your point of view. (4)

I agree because it is Jesus’ Golden Rule and Christians should follow the teaching of Jesus. This would mean we were always showing love to our neighbours and therefore showing love to God. Also we would be a good example encouraging others to treat people well. Finally when we act in this way we display Gospel values and the parable of the sheep and the goats tells us we will be rewarded with salvation (going to heaven) for doing this.
*(c) Explain why human rights are important for Christians. (8)

Human rights are important to Christians because they believe that God created us all to be equal, therefore no man has more or less rights than any other. Also, there is the idea that we are all made in God’s image and as God is just, so are we called to be just and human rights are an essential aspect of the modern justice system. Furthermore, in the Bible, Jesus did not condone the exploitation of the weak and he stood up for people’s human rights. Finally, Christians also believe that on Judgement Day, we will be judged by the way we have lived our lived on earth and therefore we should treat others fairly and respect their human rights.

(d)“Christians should support genetic engineering.”

In your answer you should refer to Christianity.

(i) Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion. (3)

(ii) Give reasons why some people may disagree with you. (3)

I agree because many Christians would say that Jesus taught Christians to relieve suffering. Also, genetic engineering could lead to cures for genetic diseases. With regard to crops, it could increase crop yields and / or the quality of the yield. Finally, some Christians would also say that creating cells is different from creating life so it is not playing the role of God.

Some people may disagree because if genetic engineering uses embryos for research this can be seen as the same as abortion since they are destroyed. Also it is playing God by creating life. Another problem is that once the genetic make-up of an organism is changed it cannot be undone. Finally, the long term consequences of genetic engineering are unknown.

(4)

(a) What is the Bible? (2)

The holy book of Christians



(b)Do you think a person’s conscience comes from God?

Give two reasons for your point of view. (4)

I disagree that a person’s conscience comes from God because sometimes people say that their conscience told them to do bad things and blame this on God speaking to them but they are mistaken. For example, the Yorkshire Ripper. Also, if we follow the teachings of the Bible & the Church we are doing what all Christians agree has come from God.
*(c) Explain why the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats is important for Christians. (8)

The parable of the Sheep and the Goats is important for Christians because it shows them how to treat other people and the consequences of those actions after death. It is also important to Christians as they recognise parables as a direct teaching of Jesus and they are stated in their Holy book. Furthermore, Christians use this parable as a guide and how they follow it leads to their fate on judgement day, whether they go to heaven or hell. Finally, this helps Christians believe that in helping others, they are in fact helping Jesus.


(d)“Christians should support all human rights.”

In your answer you should refer to Christianity

(i) Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion. (3)

(ii) Give reasons why some people may disagree with you. (3)

I agree that Christians should support all human rights because they believe in the Sanctity of Life, meaning that life belongs to God, so we all have a right to life. They believe this because we are all made in God’s image. Also, Jesus Golden Rule supports Human Rights, that we should treat others as we would like to be treated. Finally, Christians don’t want to be discriminated against, human rights bans all discrimination.
Some people may disagree as some Human Rights cause problems for Christians because some Christians think homosexuality is a sin and think homosexuals should not be allowed to have Civil Partnerships, adopt or raise families. This obviously goes against human rights but also against religious beliefs and some people chose their religious beliefs over human rights. Finally some Christians do not allow women leaders which is a form of discrimination and again this poses a problem for some Christians.
(5)

(a) What is meant by social change? (2)

The way in which society has changed or is changing.



(b) Do you think genetic engineering is a good idea?

Give two reasons for your point of view. (4)

I disagree that genetic engineering is a good idea because we don’t know about the long-term consequences and it is irreversible so any mistakes are permanent. To embrace something without knowing what the consequences are going to be is in my opinion high irresponsible. Some Christians may think that this is playing God, which is wrong. I also disagree with genetic engineering because it means people could be screened so that those with genetic weaknesses would find it hard to get jobs, insurance, mortgages etc. This in my opinion is a form of discrimination and a violation of a person’s human rights.
*(c) Explain why some Christians use Situation Ethics to make moral decisions and some do not. (8)

Some Christians agree with Situation Ethics because it allows them to follow the Golden Rule taught by Jesus. Situation Ethics introduces flexibility and allows the reaction to be appropriate to the situation. Also Situation Ethics is fair because it takes into consideration the consequences of any action when deciding what to do. Doing what is the most loving thing is a simple rule that people find easy to understand. Situation Ethics allows them to adapt biblical morals for a changing society.
Some Christians may disagree and will not use Situation Ethics because they say that it has the same problems as relying on your conscience - you can make mistakes. These Christians believe that the Church and Church leaders have a wealth of teachings to draw upon when offering moral guidance. Also for many Christians the Bible has absolute authority as the Word of God. Finally, some Christians believe that the most loving thing to do can cause them to act against their conscience e.g. in the issue of “Euthanasia.”

(d) “The Bible is not relevant today.”

In your answer you should refer to Christianity.

(i) Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion. (3)

(ii) Give reasons why some people may disagree with you. (3)

I agree because for some Christians it was written a long time ago and does not deal with modern problems like euthanasia. Also it contains rules that would be impossible to enforce today. In addition, there are many atheists and agnostics for whom the Bible holds no meaning. Finally, people of other religions would find their own Holy Books more relevant.

Other Christians may disagree because it contains universal laws that will always be relevant whatever the circumstances or time. Also, the moral teachings of Jesus are a good example to follow. Finally the laws of the land are based on Christianity which takes its rules from the Bible and 80% of the population of the UK claim to be Christian.
(6)

(a) What are Human Rights? (2)

The rights and freedoms to which everyone is entitled



(b) Should humans be cloned?

Give two reasons for your point of view. (4)

I disagree because it is playing God and interfering with God’s plans and we as human beings have no right or authority to act in this way. Human life is sacred partly because God made each and everyone one of us unique. Also it removes variation from the population as all people would be genetically the same – and they say ‘variety is the spice of life’. Finally, the process of cloning is irreversible and no-one knows the long term consequences of cloning.
*(c) Explain why some Christians use only the teachings of the Church to make moral decisions and some do not. (8)

Some Christians only use the teachings of the Church to make moral decisions because they believe the Church is the “Body of Christ” in the world and therefore should be followed. Also, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead Christians into all truth and this happens through the Church’s teaching. Furthermore, if everyone made their own mind up, there would be no clear teaching, so it is safer to follow the Church’s guidance. Finally many Catholics believe that the catechisms (teachings) of the Church provide the best guide to good living in today’s world.
Some Christians don’t only use the teachings of the Church because they may think that it is more appropriate to follow the teaching and words of the Bible as they believe that this is the exact word of God. Also, some Christians may believe in listening to their conscience as they believe that this is God in direct communication with them. Finally, others may use Fletcher’s situation ethics because Jesus said to ‘love thy neighbour’ and acting in the most loving way in a situation is surely following Jesus teaching.
(d) “Using Situation Ethics is the best way to make a moral decision.”

In your answer you should refer to Christianity.

(i) Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion. (3)

(ii) Give reasons why some people may disagree with you. (3)

I agree that using situation ethics is the best way to make a moral decision because it is based on Jesus’ summary of the law, Love thy neighbour. Also, Jesus broke the rules of the Old Testament e.g. healing on the Sabbath because he believed that Christianity should be a religion based on love, using situation ethics is following Jesus example. Finally, following Situation Ethics should produce good results.
Some people may disagree because some Christians think that God put rules in the Bible for a reason and that they should be followed instead. Also other Christians believe the Church has the authority to decide moral issues. Finally, those whose oppose situation ethics claim that it is impossible to know all the facts about a given situation, so it is impossible to decide what the most loving thing to do is or the most loving thing to do may involve breaking the law, Euthanasia.

SECTION 2 RELIGION: ENVIRONMENTAL & MEDICAL ISSUES
(1) (a) Want is meant by natural resources? (2)

Naturally occurring materials such as oil or fertile land which can be used by humans.



(b) Do you think pollution will spoil the planet?

Give two reasons for point of view. (4)

I agree that pollution will spoil the planet because emissions from cars and aviation are polluting the earth and also causing global warming. I think that pollution will spoil the planet because pollution does not only cause the earth’s temperature to rise, it also affects the environment and the different species that live on the earth, for example, the ice caps are melting which is flooding poor regions and killing arctic animals. Also, I believe pollution will spoil the planet because it is a never ending problem that affects everything in it and it causes problems for everything on the planet that was once nice.
*(c) Explain why Christians should look after the environment. (8)

Christians should look after the environment because ‘God was pleased’ in Genesis when he created the planet, therefore Christians should take care of what God has made. Also, Christians should look after the environment because they believe that on Judgement day, God will judge them on their attitudes towards the environment and punish them if they have damaged it. Furthermore, Christians should look after the environment because they were put on the earth as stewards, ‘then God placed man in the garden of Eden to guard it and cultivate it.’ This shows Christians that they should look after the earth because that is their job. Finally, Christians believe that they should look after the environment because the Parable of the Gold Coins teaches Christians that they should leave the earth in a better state than when they entered it and Christians should look after the environment because in the Sermon on the Mount given by Jesus it teaches Christians to share the earths resources fairly.



(d) “Religious people should donate their organs when they die.”

In your answer you should refer to at least one religion.

(i) Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion. (3)

(ii) Give reasons why some people may disagree with you. (3)

I agree that religious people should donate their organs when they die because Christians are taught that they should make sacrifices in their life because Jesus sacrificed his life for us on the cross. Also religious people should donate their organs because Christians are taught to do the most loving this and helping someone live by donating an organ is following this rule. Finally, other religious people such as Muslims should donate their organs because the Quran tells them to help those who are suffering and also to keep Allah’s holy creation alive and by donating organs they can do this.
However, some religious people may disagree because some Christians and many Muslims believe that you will need your full body for resurrection. Also some Christians would disagree because it is seen to be playing God and interfering with his plan for us all. Finally, many Muslims disagree with donating organs because the Shariah Law states that nothing should be taken out of the body after death.
(2)

(a) What is infertility? (2)

Not being able to have children



(b) Do you think natural resources will run out?

Give two reasons for your point of view. (4)

I agree that natural resources will run out especially the non-renewable resources such as coal, oil and gas which humans are increasing their demand of year on year. If we carry on like this then of course they will run out. Also, people need to recycle more in order to prevent natural resources running out but many people are either incapable or simply not interested in doing this.
*(c) Choose one religion other than Christianity and explain why some of its followers are against transplant surgery and some are not. (8)

Most Muslims disagree with all Transplant Surgery because the Shariah Law says it is wrong to remove anything from the body after death and Muslims must be buried as soon as possible and no post-mortems can be held. Removing organs for transplant breaks this rule. Also, Muslims believe it is playing God which is a grave sin in the Quran. Furthermore they believe only Allah has the right to give or take life. Finally some Muslims (modern ones) allow Transplant Surgery from a living donor because lawyers have argued that it is allowed and it is helping someone in an extreme situation where the ordinary rules may not apply.
(d) “All religious people should live lifestyles which do not harm the environment.”

In your answer you should refer to at least one religion.

(i) Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion. (3)

(ii) Give reasons why some people may disagree with you. (3)

I agree with this statement that all religious people should live lifestyles which do not harm the environment because wasteful lifestyles are destroying God’s creation and this goes against basic Christian teachings. Also, stewardship says that religious people should look after the environment and that it is our duty to do so. Finally, it would provide a good example for others even non-religious people should be able to see the benefit of living a good lifestyle.

Some people may disagree as religion teaches that people can use the earth’s resources for the benefit of humans. Also, individuals cannot affect pollution on their own; it has to be a global and united effort of all people both religious and non-religious. Finally, a religious person’s lifestyle may be necessary for their job.
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