Matters of Life and Death - a breakdown of the topic

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Why do Roman Catholics believe in the afterlife?

Bible -  Jesus told the robber on the cross next to him that he would be in 'paradise' the same day

Catechism - teaches in Life after Death

Creed - 'I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting'

Jesus - rose from the dead

Purgatory - souls are sent to be cleansed. Those who have committed unforgivable sins will go to hell.

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Effects and Responses to this


  • We try to lead a good life so we can get to heaven
  • Gives us comfort knowing our relatives are in a better place
  • Gives us strength in times of difficulty
  • Gives life a purpose


  • Confession- repent
  • Praying- communicating with God
  • Doing good work- know they will be judged
  • Putting teachings into action- follow the 10 commandments and Jesus' example
  • Vocation- choose to dedicate their life to God (nurse, doctor, nun, priest)
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Non religious belief in the afterlife

Near Death Experience

  • patients who are pronouned dead for a short period of time describe leaving their bodies and seeing themselves. Some reported seeing a bright light.

Paranormal Activity

  • unexplained things which are thought to have spiritual causes such as ghosts/mediums. Evidence could be physical presence or a feeling. There are also mediums who claim that they can contact the dead (e.g psychic Sally)


  • belief that a person's soul is reborn in a new body/ form after death. Sikhs and Hindus believe in this as well as atheists because of deja vu.
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Other reasons why people believe in the afterlife

Death is difficult to deal with

Seems to make life fairer

People feel that their dead loved ones are still with them

Makes sense (those who've lived a good life should be rewarded, those who've not should be punished.)

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Non-belief in life after death


  • no one has returned to prove it.
  • Mediums could be scamming people


  • our bodies decay in the ground- it's impossible to live after we die


  • science explains everything in our world

Religion is outdated -

  • used to control people in the past
  • offers no evidence of an afterlife
  • isn't relevant to today's society
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When does life begin?

  • At fertilisation?
  • When it's capable of living outside the mother?
  • At Birth?

UK abortion laws1967 Abortion Act- abortions must be agreed by doctors

Allowed up to 24 weeks if:

  • physical and mental risk to the mother
  • any existing children would suffer
  • the child is severely disabled

Allowed after 24 weeks if:

  • there is risk to the mother's life
  • baby is severely deformed
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Abortion: For/Against

For- Pro-Choice

  • when having the baby will result in the death of the mother (e.g ectopic pregnancy)
  • baby has a severe disability - wouldn't want to see the child suffer
  • ****
  • Teenage Pregnancy
  • Financial difficulty/single mother- can't support it so it's unfair
  • Woman should have the right to choose- it's her body (Free Will)

Against- Pro-Life

  • Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you..." - Bible
  • "Do not kill..." the 10 commandments
  • "We are all made in God's image" - Bible
  • The catechism teaches against it
  • Church- sanctity of life (only God has the right to take away a life)
  • Embryo has the right to a life- even if it's disabled
  • Adoption is an alternative
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Voluntary Euthanasia - Ending life painlessly when someone in great pain asks for death

Assisted Suicide - Providing a seriously ill person with the means to commit suicide

Non-Voluntary Euthanasia - Ending someone's life painlessly when they are unable to ask, but you have a good reason for thinking that they would want you to do so.

UK Laws

  • all forms are illegal
  • 1993- house of commons rejected a proposal to legalise euthanasia
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Euthanasia: For/Against


  • "Treat you neighbour the way you would like to be treated." - no one wants to suffer a painful death
  • Jesus healed those in pain (e.g the paralysed man)
  • Patient should have the right to choose, it's their body. They should be able to die with dignity (Free Will)
  • Animals are allowed to die with dignity
  • Relief of a family burden
  • Slippery Slope not valid- not been the case in Switzerland


  • "Do not kill..." - The 10 commandments
  • "We are all made in God's image" - Bible
  • Catechism teaches against it
  • "Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit" - St Paul
  • Slippery Slope argument (money, abused, feel like a burden)
  • Hospice care
  • Might not be able to live with what you've done
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Christian Attitudes on Euthanasia

  • Goes against the Sanctity of Life
  • Murder
  • Only God has the right to take away a life
  • Could be used for evil purposes
  • No one should value themselves as wothless
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What Causes World Povery?

War- civil wars, corrupt leaders using weapons against their own people

Debts-  poor countries have loans from the west and are still paying back interest

Poor health care/HIV and AIDS- medicine is too expensive

Unfair Trade- large compnaies take over the land ans use it unfairly

Natural disasters- hurriccanes/ natural disasters

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CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development)

Vaccinate - children against diseases as well as educating them on HIV and AIDS

Wells - clean water

Emergency aid -natural disasters (blankets/food/shelter)

Educate - people on how to grow crops more effectively

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Why Should Christians Help the Poor?

  • Bible

"When I was hungry you fed me..."

"Treat your neighbour the way you would like to be treated."

"We are all made in God's image"

The widow at the temple treasury

Sheep and the Goats

  • Jesus

he always helped the poor and encouraged us to do the same

  • Church

teaches us to help the poor

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Matters of Life and Death the Media

Importance -

  • they affect everyone
  • people hold strong opinions and it's important to be aware of them
  • controversial
  • the law may change (we can't be ignorant)

Should the media be allowed to criticise?


  • No one view should be exempt
  • Religious views can be seen as out of date
  • Important to debate as views are always changing


  • Religious views should be respected
  • Traditional teachings from the Bible which is sacred
  • Media should present- not critisice
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