Religious Studies - Rights and Responsibilities

GCSE Religious Studies

Topic - Rights and Responsibilities

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Rights and Responsibilities
Key Words
Bible The holy book of Christians
Church The community of Christians (with a small c it means a
Christian place of worship)
Conscience An inner feeling of the rightness or wrongness of an action
The Decalogue The Ten Commandments
Democratic The ways in which all citizens can take part in government
Process (usually through elections)
Electoral Process The way in which voting is organised
The Golden Rule The teaching of Jesus that you should treat others as you
would like them to treat you
Human Rights The rights and freedoms to which everyone is entitled
Political Party A group which tries to b elected into power on the basis of
it's policies (e.g. Labour, Conservative)
Pressure Group A group formed to influence government policy on a
particular issue
Situation Ethics The idea that Christians should base moral decisions on
what is the most loving thing to do
Social Change The way in which society has changed and is changing (and
also the possibilities for future change)
Using the Bible to make moral decisions
Why many Christians only use the Bible to make moral decisions
Is the word of God, so is God's guidance to help make moral decisions
Gives God's teachings on how we should behave. The Decalogue gives very
clear guidance on things like stealing, murder, adultery
Contains Jesus' teachings on how to live. Jesus is the son of God so should
follow his teachings about moral decision-making
Contains letters from leading disciples of Jesus about how Christians should
behave, believe the writers knew Jesus and were guided by the Holy Spirit
Why some Christians don't think the Bible is the most important guide to
make moral decisions
Was written by humans inspired by God, so many of it's attitudes need to be
re-interpreted for the modern day (e.g. St. Paul's attitudes to women and slaves)
Need to Church to tell them what the Bible means today
Use own conscience or reason to decide whether to follow the Bible today

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Authority of the Church to make moral decisions
Is the Body of Christ ­ Jesus working in today's world ­ so must have same
authority as Christ
God speaks to the world through the Church
Following the guidance from the Church prevents any confusion of what to
do and assures that you are doing the right thing
Catholics believe the Magisterium gives perfect guidance on making moral
Role of conscience to make moral decisions
Why some Christians believe they should follow their conscience
Voice…read more

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Bible is God's word to Christians about how to live, so should be the basis for
making moral decisions
Believe they should follow the 10 Commandments and The Sermon on the
Mount rather than relying on their own ides
Church knows better than individual Christians
You can never be sure of the consequences of a choice because you can
never have all the facts of a situation, so it's better to follow the Church or Bible
Why human rights are important for Christians
Importance of…read more

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You pay income tax on your wages and VAT in what you buy, voting gives you
some control over this
The national gov. is responsible for making decisions on things like armed
forces, schools, NHS, benefits and pensions. Voting gives you a say in how they're
Your ancestors fought to have these rights so you should use them
If people in the UK don't use their rights, a small number of people could
elect a gov.…read more

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Different Christian attitudes to genetic
engineering and cloning
Liberal Protestants support it because:
Jesus showed you should do all you can to cure disease
Finding genetic cures is no different to finding drug cures
Embryos aren't foetuses until 2 weeks
No difference between creating cells and creating people
Roman Catholics, and some others, agree as long as it doesn't involve the
use of embryos because:
Life begins at the moment of contraception, whether in a womb or test-tube
Killing an embryo is killing a human…read more


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