Religious Studies OCR Christian Ethics Essay Points

This is for those who are studying Christianity for the Religious ethics section


-Natural Law

-Divine Command theory

-Situation Ethics

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  • Created on: 12-05-13 13:21
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Explain the main principles of the religion you have studies (25)
1. Today there are a large number of different denominations, each with a different perspective
on the Christian faith
2. There are some ethical teachings that are universal to all Christians
3. The life and teaching of Jesus is central to the ethical principles of Christianity, one of the
fundamental principles of Christianity is to respect for each other
a. Shown in Genesis 1:26 `Let us make man in our image, in our likeness'
b. Shown in Jesus' Sermon on the mount Matthew 22:37-40 `Love your neighbor as
4. The `love your neighbor as yourself' is known as Jesus' Golden Rule
5. Many Christians follow Natural Law; arguing that God's creation reflects his divine will and
therefore the people should follow the pattern God made for the universe (his Natural Law)
6. Thomas Aquinas developed Natural Law, inspired by Aristotle and the Bible
7. Natural Law is still central to the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church today
8. Aquinas asserted that there were certain fundamental goods in nature to which all human
beings, being made in God's image, are inclined
a. Preservation of life
b. Human procreation
c. Advancement of knowledge and learning
d. Living in a peaceful community
e. Worship of God
9. From these absolute primary precepts Aquinas argued that secondary precepts or specific
laws could be deduced using reason via rational debate
10. For example a secondary precept would be the rejection of suicide as it goes against the primary
precept `to preserve life'
11. Protestant scholars generally say that the Bible is the ultimate source of moral authority
12. Most conservative Protestants argue in favor of Divine Command Theory; what God wills, a
Christian is obliged to do
a. D. Z. Phillips said `To a Christian, to do one's duty is to do the will of God'
13. Therefore Protestants look to the Bible when making moral decisions; specifically the Ten
Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount
14. Liberal Christians reject the absolutist moral values of both the Divine Command Theory and
Natural Law
15. The Gospels record Jesus as being loving and caring to sinners and breaking the law sometimes
to do the most agapeistic action
16. The Liberal approach is therefore relativistic and Liberal Christians argue that all moral situations
should be judged by the sole criteria of the Law of Love
17. Situation Ethicist, Joseph Fletcher, said that agape should be the basis of all ethical
18. Situation Ethicists would say that abortion depends on the situation and what is most loving

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All Christians value the individual for two reasons;
a. God made humanity in his image ­ Genesis 1:27
b. God became man through Jesus Christ
20. All Christians therefore value the golden rule `love your neighbor'
21. From this common principle come other ethical beliefs;
a. Giving to charity
b. Care for the poor and oppressed
22. There are many sources for Christian morality, Natural Law, Conscious, Priests, the Bible and
23.…read more


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