Authority - Religion and State Questions

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  • Created by: Sunset
  • Created on: 14-05-13 17:56

b) Human Rights

b) Explain how having a religious faith may influence a view on human rights?

  • A religious believer may follow the example of religious leaders. For example, the Dalai Lama has stood up for the humans rights of Tibetans so Buddhists believe in human rights. The Archbishop of El Salvador Oscar Romero stood up for the rights of the opressed poor.
  • Teachings from the Sacred Text - Buddhists believe in 'upphekha' meaning equality, and the first human right states that 'all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.'
  • Sanctity of Life - this is important to all religions. Christians believe life is sacred because it is made in God's image and therefore it should not be destroyed.
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C) 'There's no point obeying Sacred Texts

C) 'There's no point to obeying sacred texts - they were written so long ago'


  • Some of the practices in them are impossible
  • They don't address modern issues such as Global Warming, IVF and Abortion
  • They were written for a time period which is not relevant today
  • Atheists don't believe they are sacred or important


  • Religious texts have had an affect on modern religious believers - Dalai Lama believes in non-violence because he read the teachings of the Buddha, which are contained in the Pali Canon. Martin Luther King was inspired by the Bible.
  • Many Sacred Texts are considered to be divinely inspired - for example Christians believe the Bible has God's authority because it is the Truth revealed by God.
  • They have authority - for example the Bible has the authority of God, the Pali Canon the authority of the Buddha
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D) Personal Conviction and Authority

  • D) Explain two different examples of when there may be conflict between personal conviction and authority.
  • Conscientious Objectors - refuse to fight in a war because of their religious beliefs. For example, a Christian may refuse to fight because they are pacifist and follow the teaching 'Do not kill' from the 10 commandments.
  • Martin Luther King - he believed that segregation was wrong and black people in 1950/60s USA should have equal rights. He protested non-violently through the bus boycott and 'I Have a Dream' speech.
  • Wearing the Hijab - France is a secular country and does not allow the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols.
  • Abortion - in some countries it is legal but some people believe it is wrong because of religious beliefs, such as the First Precept for Buddhists.
  • Following Practices that are Against the Law - Some Sikhs refuse to wear a crash helmet because they want to wear their turban because they believe this is their religious duty.
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