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The Bible
· The Christian holy book · The only source of moral authority?
­ Collection of 66 books ­ The word of God; how God wants
­ Old and the New Testaments people to live their lives and worship
· The Old Testament ­ The leaders of the early Church; St
­ Before Jesus Peter and St Paul, gave moral guidance
­ Ten Commandments and teachings (second half of the Old
Testament, after Jesus' death)
­ The Law of Moses
­ The laws of God; how people should
· The New Testament act, the Ten Commandments
­ The teachings of Jesus ­ The teachings of Jesus; follow Jesus'
­ The beginnings of the Christian teachings and example, the Sermon on
Church the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5-7),
· Carries authority- inspired by God
· Not all Christians understand the Bible
­ Decision making in the same way
­ Sometimes only for making moral ­ Fundamentalist Christians
decisions ­ Needs to be interpreted by the Church
­ Inspired by God- contains spiritual
truths, has to be adapted…read more

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The Church
· Guides Christians · Why does the Church have
­ Bible can be difficult to understand authority?
and no answers to modern moral ­ God speaks to them through the
dilemmas Church
­ The Church help their members: ­ The Church is the Body of Christ
talking, praying, worshipping, the ­ Jesus acts through the Church
priest/vicar, the authority of the
­ The teachings are Christ's teachings
­ The Church is a community of
· Different `Christian denominations' believers in God
different way of how moral issues are ­ So they believe that God guides the
solved church in moral teachings
­ Debating in an assembly, the Church ­ Christians trust their priests,
of England assembly is called the archbishops etc that what they are
`General Synod' telling them is God's will
­ Leaders make decision, Roman ­ Teachings are important because
Catholic Church, the Pope and everyone then knows what the
Council of Bishops act as the `rules' are
`Magisterium', offer moral guidance
through the Catechism or letters from · Christians should therefore follow
the Pope called `encyclicals the Church's teachings as they are
inspired by God…read more

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· What is a conscience? · Conscience and obedience
­ Every human has one ­ Significant for Christians
­ Given by God to us all ­ Christians consult Bible and Church
· What does it do? on moral issue then follow their
­ Way to judge your moral actions conscience
­ Feel guilt in wrong actions ­ Never act against their conscience
­ Inner part of a person where the ­ `Conscientious objectors'
sense of right or wrong is developed ­ `A human being must always obey
­ Kind of guardian prompting to act the certain judgement of his
rightly to their moral code conscience...'- Catechism of the
­ `the voice of God within us' Catholic Church
· Some say · Acting on conscience
­ Conscience is not a perfect guide ­ Moral dilemma, I.e abortion
­ Useful tool to decide right or wrong ­ Does the end justify the means? I.e.
If God told a Christian to kill Hitler,
­ Does not always work properly
they would not…read more

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Situation Ethics
· What is it? · Moral decisions
­ A Christian approach to making ­ Many Christians use other ways of
moral decisions making moral decisions as well
­ Put forward by minister Joseph · Only situation ethics
Fletcher (1960s, time of big social ­ Similar to Golden Rule
­ Most people want to be treated in
­ Make moral decisions based on love that way
­ Good action is the most loving one; ­ Jesus followed situation ethics
`My command is this: Love each
­ He suggested that an adulterous
other as I have loved you' said
woman's accusers search their
Jesus (John 15:12)
conscience (John 8:1-11)
­ Only obey by the rules (Bible or
Church) is it is the most loving · Does it work?
option ­ Every situation is judged
individually and has a Christian
· The New Testament: intention
­ `Do unto others as you would have
­ Depends on prediction of what will
them do unto you' (Matthew 7:12)
· Agape love ­ Anything could be justified as the
­ Love enemies and act lovingly to most loving thing to do
undeserved people ­ Easier to apply Situation Ethics in
extreme cases, not everyday life…read more

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Moral Authorities
· Four different authorities: · Spirit or society?
­ Laws and teachings of the Bible
­ Different authorities also
­ Teachings and guidance of their provide guidance for life
­ Good actions are important to
­ Conscience living a moral life
­ Situation Ethics ­ Put their faith into an action
· Some will use one of the above, others (charity, voluntary work)
more to help them · Christians form Pressure groups
· Consulting the authorities available to ­ Campaigns for or against an
make the best decision issue
· Behaving the way God wants is most
· Other Christians
­ Believe that Christianity and
­ Living life according to God's will
moral development should be
­ Different views because different concerned with spiritual (and
Christians believe God's will is in not social) issues
different authorities
­ Concentrate on having a closer
relationship to God through
prayer…read more

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