AS OCR Religious Studies - Ethics - Whole Revision Pack of the Module

Everything you need to know for the Ethics exam in summer! 26 or so pages packed with revised notes taken from the OCR Ethics AS/A2 textbook. Hope it is useful and good luck with all your AS exams! :) Caitlin 

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Absolutists Theories


Strong Utilitarianism
Natural Law

A `moral law' that is universal and applies in all circumstances

Deontological ­ concerned with the actions and also whether an act is intrinsically good or bad.

Natural Moral Law for example is absolutist as it is only concerned with using reason…

Page 2

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People don't always agree what is right and wrong. Different cultures express different moral
codes of conduct.

Protagoras said "Man is a measure of all things."

Aristotle is a relativist, as he said the forms are in the world and are thus relative.

Not possible to have a general rule…

Page 3

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The Secondary Precepts are said to be Relativist.

Both the intention and the act are important. It is impossible to have a good/bad interior act
and a good/bad exterior etc.

St Thomas believed that God created us Good and wanted us to be with him, but also gave us free…

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5. The Secondary Precepts are teleological and could thus contradict the Primary Precepts
6. Reason can be corrupted and maybe the ethics in the Bible should be followed...
7. Jesus opposed legalistic morality.


Producing the greatest amount of pleasure/happiness for the greatest number of people

It is teleological/consequentialist


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"My interests cannot, simply because they are my own, count more than the interests of anyone

Believed that in any situation the interests of all concerned should be evaluated

For example, someone who doesn't want to die but is killed is wrong (Involuntary Euthanasia). But at
the same time…

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The Naturalistic Fallacy

From the mere statement of psychological fact that people actually desire happiness for its own

One cannot deduce the evaluative conclusion that pleasure is desirable e.g. that it ought to
be desired.
People may desire something that they ought to not to desire, something which is…

Page 7

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Moral requirements are categorical ­ you ought to do such and such regardless of your own

Universalisation ­ Apply maxims to one's actions and then ask whether that particular action

Duty ­ Our actions should be entirely free from self-interests

Never use a human being as a means to…

Page 8

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Strengths of Kantian Moral Ethics:

1. Straight forward and based on reason
2. Clear criteria to what is moral
3. Deontological
4. Categorical Imperative is a rule that applies to everyone
5. Commands respect for human life
6. Justice ­ corrects Utilitarianism which says that injustice can be justified by…

Page 9

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We have been given a conscious which provides us with an intuitive sense of right and wrong (Moral

`The Fall' led to a break of harmony in the world and replaced it with disharmony, death, chaos and
conflict. This can be overcome by entering the covenant with God.


Page 10

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Laws of the Old Testament can be a good example for this theory

If we do good acts simply because out of the obedience to God - are we being good for the right

God commands things which are right and wrong in themselves ­ murder is intrinsically wrong…




Thank you!! This is very helpful :)

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