Posible Meanins of 'the image of God' - 'imago dei
- Physical resemblence - God's appearence to ours
- Human life in relation to God - the love we share is love from God
- Human Domination & Freedom - we resemble God's power through our lives
The Creation Acounts
God created the heavens, night/day and then "God created man in his image"
Adam was created first, then all of nature
It was decided Adam needed a partner, so Eve was made for Adam
Gen 1: Men & Women created at the same time after evrything else
Gen 2: Adam first and Eve was created as a partner for Adam
Christian Theology suggests that humans have a unique nature in creation & are superior over all types of creation
This is because it is said humans have sanctity as we are made in the image of God
As a human we have 2 dimensions:
- Natural dimension - moral decisions & rational thought
- Supernatural dimension - where our ultimate aim is to be with God
God has given us purpose and therefore we should act upon it, and share God's love with our neighbours
Lactantius a Christian thinker said - God made us sacred so we had dignity in comparision to nature
Humans could reject God's love, but they would then be going against their own purpose - and then therefore flawed/imperfect
Protestants - Dignity can be lost when acting sinful
Catholics - We have a stain of sin after Adam & Eve ate the apple
Human Condition & Ethics
God intended us all to enjoy life together
But Adam's choice of eating the apple meant we have been seperated from God, meaning there is now a gap between us and God
Throughout time we have tried to reach God through work , but we failed to fill the gap
So, God sent Jesus to build the bridge between us and God
Meaning we now see God through the acceptance of Jesus Christ who was sacrificed to let us reach God again
It is suggested, after the actions form Adam & Eve we have agined original sin which has stuck with us through out humanity
This sin led to men having to work and women having painful childbirth
Because of this original sin (a condition we're born with) we are more inclined to sin, despite having free will to make decisions
- When baptised the vicar washed away any of the original sin that we have
Free Will - the ability to make our own decisions
Evidence we have Free Will:
Adam & Eve chose to eat the apple
Made in the image of God so we have the power to make decisions
St. Augustine - Dignity is God given
Aquinas - "man choses not of necessity but freely"
Problems... God is omnipotent and can tell what we are going to do
Fatalism - the view that everything is predetermin
Evidence to support Fatalism:
Psalm - "The lord guides us in the way that we should go"
Hebrews - "There is nothing that can be hidden from God"
Anselm & Descartes - If God is omniscient then our choices aren't truely free
Problembs...We can not have free will if God is omniscient as he already knows our decisions
MUSLIMS - We have a choice, but God has the final say
Predestination - Our actions are already predeterm
Evidence to support Predestination:
"God works for the good of those who love him..those he justified, he also glorified" - (Protestants agree) - God chooses how peoples lives are planned - "I knew you before the womb"
St Augustine - "The potter has authority of the clay" - God is the potter& has control over us as humans
SKINNER - WE LIVE THE WAY WE DO DEPENDING ON THE CULTURE WE LIVE IN, we don't make a true choic as it depends on the way you have been bought up
Equality - Race
Equal - "There is neither jew nor greek we are all one in christ"
We are all made in the image of God
Story of good samaritan - treat all equally
Not Equal - Dutch Reformed Church,
races are not equal - God was the divider
Equality - Gender
Equal - God says he loved everybody
"There is no longer male and female as we are all one in christ"
Not Equal - Historically women are expected to stay at home
Roman Catholics + Eastern Orthodox don't allow women vicars
Equality - Disability
Equal - New testement God is a 'wounded healer'
We have all decended from Adam and Eve
Not Equal - Bible describes Jesus as 'without a blemish'
Disability - a punishment from God?
The Value of Human Life
Value of human life = the worth of our lives
Intrinsic - Life is valuable in itself
External - Life is valuable because of its effects, i.e. on nature
Christian views on Life
John Paul ||
Man was made to be in a relationship with God,
this is a gift for us as we can share our lives with God
- due to God sacrificing Jesus, because he loved us and wanted us to have the chance to be with him again
Value Of Life
We are created in imago dei, so life is sacred
Some christians are pacifists & feel killing is never justifiable as life is sacred
"If a single life is saved, it's as if the whole of humanity is saved"
We must take care to look out for the vulnerable
Life may be taken in self defense, but God should only take a life | We are made to have a relationship with God |
Speciesism & Singer
Singer felt that animals and humans should have the same rights and values to life
Why should we be able to harm animals who also feel pain, they are none the wiser not to kill unlike us - we should treat animals the same as we treat other humans because we are all the same