Matters of Life & Death

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  • Abortion: The removal of a foetus from the womb before it can survive.
  • Assissted suicide: Providing a seriously ill person with the means to commit suicide.
  • Euthanasis: The painless killing of someone dying from a painful disease.
  • Immortality of the Soul: The idea that the soul lives on after the death of the body.
  • Near-death experience: When someone about to die has an out of body experience.
  • Non-voluntary euthanasia: Ending someone's life painlessly when thay are unable to ask, but you have good reason for thinking they would want you to do so.
  • Paranormal: Unexplained things which are thought to have spiritual causes. e.g. ghosts & mediums.
  • Quality of life: The idea that life must have some benefits for it to be worth living.
  • Reincarnation: The belief that, after death, souls are reborn in a new body.
  • Resurrection: The belief that, after death, the body stays in the grave until the end of the world when it is raised.
  • Sanctity of life: The belief that life is holy and belongs top God.
  • Voluntary euthanasia: Ending life painlessly when someone in great pain asks for death.
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Christian beliefs about life & death

Protestant Christians: Believe that after death, the body will stay in the grave but the soul will go straight to God for judgement. They believe that there is no such place as Hell. They believe that  

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Christian beliefs about life & death

Roman Catholic Christians:

They believe in both the resurrection of the body & the immortality of the soul. They believe that the souls of the Christians who have not sinned since their last confession, will go straight to Heaven. The soul of a Christian that has sinned will go to Purgatory to be cleansed. The souls of people who did not believ in God will go straight to Hell. After this, Jesus will return to the Earth to raise the dead and reunite the bodies with the souls.

They believe this because of the resurrection of Jesus, the teachings in the Bible and that Jesus is seated on the right hand of God and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

This belief affects how Christians treat others and there is hope/comfort knowing that there is a better life. Also, there is a hope of forgiveness.

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Paranormal Activity

What is paranormal activity? - Unexplained things which are thought to have spiritual causes.

Types of Paranormal activity? - Door slamming, lights flashing, things flying around the room, posession, haunting, seeing ghosts, hearing strange sounds, near death experiences.

Euphoria - Deep sense of joy.

  • Ghost - Imagination, medical side effects.
  • Mediums (those who claim to be able to communicate with the dead); lying to get money, mental illness, attention seeking.
  • Reincarnation - Religious upbringing.
  • NDE's - Medical side effects, dreaming, lack of oxygen to the brain.  
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  • The law on abotion in the UK was passed in 1967.
  • Abortion can take place up to the 24th week of pregnancy.
  • 2 doctors must agree that a woman can have an abortion.

They must agree that:

  • The woman's health must not pose a risk to the physical or mental health.
  • If the physical or menatl health of the woman's existing children would be affected by the birth of a new baby.

An abortion is allowed after 24 weeks if the pregnancy is a risk to the woman's health.

  • If there is evidence that the child will be severly hanicapped.
  • Risk of serious physical or mental injury to the woman.
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In favour of abortion:

  • I think that in the case of ****, the child will be unwanted and might cause both the mother and the child itself long-term mental problems. Also, it is a woman's own choice over her body.

Against abortion:

  • There are always loving parent waiting to adopt and who could give the child a loving home at the end of the prgnancy.
  • It is better to give the child a life and then overcome their disability (if they have one).
  • Also, an unborn child's life has the same value as a human being in the world.
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Christian beliefs on abortion

All Christians believe in the Sanctity Of Life (the idea that God gives life and only God can take it away).

Most Roman Catholics & Evangelical are against abortion.

  • They believe that life begins at conception and is created in the image of God.
  • The foetus is alive and murder is wrong according to the Bible.
  • Life is a gift from God and only He can take it away.

The Church of England generally opposes abortion but allows in some cases.

  • In cases of **** or if the mothers life is in danger, they consider it to be 'lesser of two evils.'
  • They strongly appose abortion with a recognition that there can be some extreme circumstances; when no alternative way can be found.
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Christian beliefs on abortion

Other more liberal Christians oppose abortion but consider it 'the lesser of two evils'.

  • Jesus acted with love and compassion and so Christians must do the same.
  • God gave use free will and people must make the right choiches for themselves.
  • Sometimes it is right to kill, especially in self-defence or to save the mother's life.
  • They believ that life begins later in the pregnancy or at birth, not at conception.

In the ten commandments it says: 'Thou shalt not kill' & 'Love thy neighbour'

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  • Euthanasia can put an end to unnecessary suffering.
  • If someone has no quality of life, they should be allowed to die with dignity.


  •  Euthanasia is like murdering someone.
  • It may be misused / not done for the right reasons.
  • It may be used for evil purposes.
  • Death should happen naturally as it is a spiritual journey.
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Christian beliefs on euthanasia

Christians are mostly against euthanasia. The arguments are usually based on the beliefs that life is given by God, and that human beings are made in God's image. Some churches also emphasise the importance of not intefering with the natural process of death.

  • Life is a gift from God.
  • Human life has dignity and value because it was made in God's image.
  • The process of dying is spiritually important and shouldn't be disrupted.
  • All human lives are equally valuable. 
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Media views on Matters of life & death

Should the media be free to criticise religious views on matters of life & death?


  • Freedom of expression: They need a free media so they can be aware of the events of the world and the community and so they can vote in local elections and be alert of the parties.
  • Religious leaders: They are criticise the governments policies on matters of life and death, so they should be prepared to recieve criticism on their own views.
  • Freedom of religious beliefs: The UK is a multi- faith society, so the media has the right to question and criticise contreversial issues like abotion and genetic engineering.
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Media views on Matters of life & death


  • Religious hatred: The Religious Hatred Act of 2006 banned the media from stirring religious hatred by talking about abortion and genetic engineering.
  • Offence: Religious believers want restrictions on the freedom of the media because their criticism causes serious offence to them.
  • Blasphemy: Some religious believers argue that when the media criticises religious leaders, it is close to the crime of blasphemy (offence towards God).
  • Criticising God: Religious believers feel that their behaviour is based on what God says, so they should not be criticised because God is beyond criticism.
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World Poverty

  • Absolute Poverty: These are people who do not have enough money to buy basic necessities of life such as food, clothing and shelter.
  • Relative Poverty: A person is poor when their standard of living is compared with that of the average person living in the same country.

Signs of Poverty:

  • Poor housing
  • Inadequate clothing
  • Low status
  • Poor health
  • No acces to clean drinking water

Causes of World Poverty is Natural Disasters, Corrupt Leaders & Lack of healthcare and education

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World Poverty

Natural Disasters: In many LEDC's, natural disasters occur regularly such as earthquakes and floods that can destroy homes.

Corrupt Leaders: Some governments are corrupt and aid from other countries do not always reach the people who need it.

Lack of helathcare & education: Lack of clean water and lack of birth control leads to too many children being born and using up resources.

Christians feel that they should work to help reduce world poverty because of some of the teachings in the Bible. Jesus thought that his followers should have compassion towards the poor, 'Love thy neighbour as you love yourself'. Also, the Bible promotes justice - the principale that everyone should be treated fairly.

Christians believe in the parables of the Good Samaritan & The Sheep and The Goat.

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Matters of life and death in the media

Eastenders presented Christian views and agreed with euthanasia due to the situation that Ethel was in.

At first, Dot disagreed with her friend by saying 'we don't decide how we come into this world, so we souldn't decide how we leave it'. (Sanctity Of Life).

The programme did represent Christians fairly because they mentioned the Sanctity Of Life. This is something that all Christians believe in.

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