Religion, Peace & Justice - OCR B604

Revision Notes for Religion, Peace & Justice

GCSE OCR R.S. Philosophy & Ethics B

- Attitudes to war

- Law & justice

- Crime & punishment

- Social injustice

Exam: Tuesday 14th June - Good Luck!

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B604 Ethics 2 Exam Revision
Religion, Peace & Justice
Attitudes to War
Pacifism
Pacifism ­ The idea that war and physical violence are wrong under any circumstance
Pacifists believe all disputes can be settled peacefully, and that violence goes against the teachings
of Jesus.
Jesus encouraged his followers to lead a pacifist lifestyle, and that every act of violence should be
returned with an act of love.
"You have heard that it was said `an eye for an eye and tooth for tooth'. But I tell you: Do not resist
an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."
THIS VIEW WORKS FOR INDIVIDUALS, BUT CAN IT BE APPLIED TO CONFLICTS AND INJUSTICE BETWEEN COUNTRIES?
Just War
Although Christians are `anti-war', many accept that a war can be just if it satisfies these conditions:
Proper Authority: War must be declared by a proper authority, such as the government
Just Cause: A war must be defensive and prevent damage which would be `lasting, grave and
certain'
Last Resort: All other ways of resolving the conflict must have been tried first [TO WHAT EXTENT IS THIS
APPLICABLE?]
Achievable Aim: A war must have a reasonable chance of success, fighting a war with no chance of
winning is a waste of lives
Proportionality: Any harm caused by fighting must be less than the harm it will prevent
Other Religions
In Judaism, war is hated but is sometimes needed to bring about peace; this means that pacifism is
not promoted, violence is sometimes very necessary, one example of this is if a Jew sees someone
attempting to kill someone else, they must do all they can to stop the attacker.
In Islam, Muslims have a duty to protect themselves and their family, however wars must only be
fought as a last resort.

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B604 Ethics 2 Exam Revision
Law & Justice ­ Attitudes to Violence
Justice: The idea of each person getting what they deserve, and maintaining what is right. In the
context of the law this means ensuring the guilty are punished and innocent protected
Teachings of the Bible
The old testament is full of conflict, the people of Israel are on many occasions called into battle, and
encouraged that God was on their side ­ that they were fighting a `Holy War'.…read more

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B604 Ethics 2 Exam Revision
Punishment & Treatment of Criminals
Punishment can take a variety of forms, from community service or a fine to flogging or capital
punishment
There are five main objectives that most forms of punishment are there to achieve:
Retribution ­ Making a person pay for a crime they have committed, `paying the debt' that that
person owes to society. THIS IS SEEN AS A WAY OF REVENGE BY SOME PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY CHRISTIANS, WHO SEEK
MORE CONSTRUCTIVE METHODS OF JUSTICE.…read more

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B604 Ethics 2 Exam Revision
Some Christians argue that you lose your right to life when you kill someone else, and so capital
punishment is acceptable for murderers.
Social Injustice
Social Injustice can mean:
Groups of people being unfairly disadvantaged, so they don't get the same opportunities in
society as other groups of people
An uneven distribution of the benefits of society, such as wealth
The first type refers to discrimination based on race, gender, religion, class, age, etc.…read more

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