Equality =treating people as equals regardless
Principle of equality= everyone should be treated equally without suffering prejudice or discrimination.
Prejudice= to pre-judge someomne without knowing them, it is a thought.
Discrimination= to act out your prejudices and treat someone differently because of them, it is an action.
- Christians believe that God created everything to be 'in his own image' so in God's eyed everyone is viewed as and intended to be equal.
- Jesus spread the message of love and respect so manking should do the same- 'love one another as I have loved you' and 'agape'.
- Jesus practised the principle of equality and mixed with all walks of life, proteted the rights of women and had disciples who were different to each other- should follow practises of Jesus.
- It is a human right to be treated equally and God treats humans as equals so Christials should to.
- Sanctity of life- Christians believe life is sacred and God-given so should be fulfilled.
Racism= treating someone unfairly due to race
- Believe God created humans 'in his own image' and from 'one human being he created all nations' so if God treats everyone as equals, Christians should too.
- 'God shows no favourtism'.
- ;Do not judge or you too will be judged'
- Good Samaritan- Jesus taught that everyone should be respected ('love your neighbour')
- 'Love one another as I have loved you'
- Martin Luther King- led peaceful protests against racial discrimination in 1950's-60's.
- Desmond Tutu- Worked against apartheid, inspired by faith to fight injustice through peaceful protests.
- John Sematu- first black Archbishop for C of E, worked for racial harmony.
Allows people to form good community links, follow teachings and example of Jesus, remind people of scripture, partake in peaceful protests, campaigns or organisations.
Sexism= prejudice, one gender superior to other
Many Christians believe men and women should have equal rights and roles as this is what their religion teaches but some believe should be different but the roles are equally valuable.
- Christians believe man and woman made 'in God's image' so are equal in the eyes of God.
- In the Bible, both men and women taught congregations, such as Mary and Phoebe.
- 'There is neither man nor woman for you are all one in Christ Jesus'
- Jesus forgave a woman for adultery and appeared to woman after resurrection so did see them as being equal.
- Eve was made as a 'helper' for Adam so is seen to be inferior.
- Traditional roles of men and women- men worked and earned and women were housewives. Although they still had different roles, women were still seen to be equally as valuable.
- Women were not allowed to become vicars or priests until recently.
- Women were initially not allowed to be vicars or bishops until recently, first woman to be ordained as a priest in 2015 for CofE, Catholics still oppose this idea.
Christianity is a proselytising religion (believe it's their duty to tell others about their faith). Generally, they believe people have the right to practise and faith but may argue that Christianity is the religion that tells the truth abou God.
Exclusivist= Only Christians will be able to get to God- '|I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me'.
Evangelism= where Christians spread the message of their faith with the aim of converting people to their faith, believe it is important to spread the word of the Gospel in order to achieve salvation and enter heaven to be with God- 'go therefore and make disciples of all nations'.
Missionaries= Show God's love through his work and example, evangelise overseas.
Inclusivists= Believe all religions contain truth about God but Christianity best way to get to Heaven.
Pluralists= most Christians happy to live alongside other religions, all can get to God.
Responses to other religions
Christians could respond to other religions in several different ways:
- Becoming missionaries- deciding to spend their time encouraging others to become Christians, may be in their own country or developing countries abroad.
- Ecumenism- christian denominations working together.
- Inter-faith dialogue- promotes good relations between organisations and peopl of different faiths. It provides an oppourtunity for linking and sharing good practice, adviced and raises awareness within a wider society of the importance of inter-faith issues and allows religions to work together peacefully.
Forgiveness and reconciliation
These aims are central to christianity alongside love and respect. Both aim to allow peace to happen between God, others and the individuals.
Forgiveness= to not hold a blame or grudge against someone who has wronged you.
Reconciliation= Restoring friendly relations.
- Christians believe that forgiveness is possible because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. They believe God is merciful and shows his love and forgiveness of people by the death of his son- 'for God so loved the world that he gave his only son. Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life'.
- God can only forgive when we repent our sins-acknowledge we have done wrong & apologise.
- Believe that humans are not perfect and will make mistakes but it is God's perfection that allows him to continue to forgive people and their sins.
- Jesus taught than in order to recieve God's forgiveness, need to act the same towards others.
- Forgiveness doesn't mean that people get away with wrongdoing but it does mean that a relationship can be restored with God and others.
- Believe it's better to forgive for the sake of the forgiver & leave judgement in God's hands.
Forgiveness and reconciliation (cont.)
- Sacrament and reconciliation- Jesus gave his discples the power of the Holy spirit to forgive sins on the behalf of God and Catholics believe this is passed on to priests so they can confess their sins to the priest and ask for forgiveness.
Forgiveness in practice
- Gee Walker- forgave her son's killers as she believed that hatred was a life sentence and didn't want that grudge to take over her life as she wanted to remember her son.
- Desmond Tutu- led investigations into crime during apartheid and the trials did no punish people but asked them to tell the truth and seek forgiveness.
Abortion= termination of a pregnancy by the remova
- Generally, Christians believe that abortion is wrong and undesirable besed on the concept of sanctity of life as like is seen to be sacred and God-given.
- Roman Catholics have an absolute view and believe that abortion is murder which goes agains the ten commandmants-'do not murder' and believe it is against God's will so is a sin.
- Catholics believe that life begins at conception and a soul is formed at that point so would be destroying not only a life but also a soul.
- Believe that God has a plan for everyone - 'before I formed you in the womb I knew you' and 'the days are alloted to men' so abortion goes against God.
- Believe that 'God is the giver and taker of life' and humans shouldn't decide when a life ends.
- However, the Roman Catholic church would accept abortion if it was needed to save the mothers life, such as an ectopic pregnancy by applying the doctrine of the double effect.
- Church of England opposes abortion but realises that in some situations, it would be morally acceptable, believe should take relative approach and adapt to modern society.
- Religious society of friends (Quakers) argue the life of an unborn child cannot be valued over that of a woman and believe should be allowed to express free-will, showing agape.
- Believe abortion is wrong but can be accepted as lesser of two evils and may be the most loving thing to do in some circumstances.
Pro-Life= in support of the protection of the unborn fetus.
- Believe that unwanted children could have been adopted by infertile couples.
- Abortion can leave mental and physical scars on a woman.
- Believe that the disabled can still live a fulfilled and happy life and would more than likely choose to live rather than die.
- Believe that abortion abuses the human rights of a child as babies need protection both before and after birth.
- Believe that removing a child could deprive the world of a genius who may have found the cure for diseases that affect millions, such as HIV and cancer.
Pro-Choice= supports the right the woman has to decide what happens to her child.
- Believe women have a right to choose what happens as they carry child for 9 months.
- In the case of ****, the woman should be released from pain and not reminded all the time.
- Babies have a right to be cared for and an unwanted child may be neglected or uncared for.
- Family may alread be large so not able, emotionally or financially, to cope with another child.
- Quality of life for a handicapped child may be low so an abortion is the morally right action.
Embryonic research and cloning
Reproductive cloning= used to produce animal with same DNA as parent (clones). Therapeutic Cloning= single cells taken and reprogrammed to make stem cells which can develop into any type of cell to provide replacement organs/limbs. Genetic Engineering= attempt to modify the genetic make up of cells to treat genetic disorders.
- Believe research into therapeutic cloning is against the will of God and unnatural so is a sin.
- God has a plan for each person and individuality given by God so shouldn't be tampered with.
- Catholic church believe embryonic research immoral and unnecessary and teaches that cloning separates procreation from the sexual act and embryos destroyed- wasted life, against SofL.
- If Church of England class embryo as a human, research and cloning is wrong but if see embryo as developmental, ethical status changes, researc accepted up to 14 days.
- Support use of embryonic stem cells if it is 'absolutely necessary' and if all other options have been explored.
- May believe that humans have recieved God-given intelligence so have a responsibility to care for creation so if research benefits humans, can be accepted as long as it is strictly controlled.
- Some people believe that vit is wrong to try and make life on Earth perfect as only Heaven is perfect and life begins at conception so research would be killing a life and a soul.
Embryonic cloning (cont.)
- In Favour- Embryos are just a bunch of cells and do not resemble a human being or have a soul so therapeutic cloning is acceptable.
- Could allow many diseases to be cured that affect millions, such as Alzheimers as well as fix broken spines and grow transplant organs to help many others.
- Embryos are the best and richest source of stem cells.
- These stem calls give an exact match to the patient.
- There are many risks to this but this is true for most medical procedures and treatments.
- People always argued about advances in medicine that are now accepted, such as IVF.
- Against- Embryos not essential for stem cell research as stem cells from umbilical cord can be used instead.
- Cloning is very expensive and any advances will only benefit the wealthy and influential so money should be spent on current problems that affect millions in poorer countries.
- Societies have the right and responsibility to draw the line in scientific research.
- Experiments have had very mixed results on animals and require hundreds of attempts.
- Serious risks to patients as effects are unknown and could be very damaging.
- Once you experiment on 14 day old embryos, boundaries are going to be pushed.
Fertility treatment= methods to help infertile cou
IVF- eggs fertilised in test tube, several embryos implanted into mother's uterus. AIH- artificial insemination by husband, husband's sperm injected into wife's uterus. AID- sperm from sperm bank or egg donation used to produce an embryo. Surrogacy- when a woman has a baby for another woman, money given for expenses.
- In Favour- No direct teachings as treatment not available at that time.
- Most Christians believe it;s okay to help childless couples concieve, conflict on treatment used.
- Some Christians believe should be encouraged as it brings happiness into a couple's life, seen as an expression of agape, God gave humans knowledge to help those in need.
- Jesus often recorded healing and family is extremely important- 'go forth and multiply.'
- Against- believe God chooses whether people should have children- Story of Hannah.
- God may have a different plan for woman, can serve God in a different way.
- Catholics believe life begins at conception- IVF produces spare embryos-'do not murder'.
- Catholics believe having a baby isn't a Gog-given right but rather a divine gift.
- AID opposed as they believe introducing a third party is a form of adultery.
- All oppose surrogacy as they believe this is adultery.
Suicide= taking of your own life.
May be due to pressure, fear, depression, stress, bullying, bereavement, money issues etc.
- Believe that God chooses when people die- 'God is the giver and taker of life'.
- Suicide is seen as a form of murder so goes against commandment- 'do not murder'.
- Humans play God if they take their own life as God is the only person who should decide.
- Human body should be respected as it's a part of God- 'your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
- Suffering is said to bring people to God and is a test of faith- 'everyone has a cross to carry and a burden to bare'.
- Believe they should show compassion and understanding (agape) towards those who are suffering- 'love one another as I have loved you'.
- Believe they shouldn't judge others on their emotions -'do not judge for you will be judged'
- Believe if they care for sick, will get into Heaven- 'for I was ill and you looked after me'
Christian responses- listen to their problems, chaplain could counsel, allow forgiveness of sin to help with healing process, pray for those struggling, volunteer for Samaritans, fundraise for charities on issue, work in profession that helps vulnerable or raise awareness of MH issues.
Samaritans-organisation, provides confidential & emotional support to those contemplating suicide
Euthanasia=helping someone to die easily
Causes dispute as different views on what constitutes a good death and whether or not someone's quality of life is more important than the sanctity of life. Voluntary Euthanasia= when someone who is terminally ill asks for life to be ended. Involuntary Euthanasia= other people decide it would be best for someone's life to end as they are not able to make that decision themselves. Passive Euthanasia= decision to stop giving further treatments, even though result is death. UK.
- In Favour- can apply the doctrine of double effect, extraordinary treatments that are unlkely to succeed need not be given as patient may suffer.
- Angelican church against but realise people shouldn't be kept alive if suffering intolerable pain.
- Quakers believe they should do the most loving thing in situation.
- Patient has low quality of life and cannot enjoy life/continue with relationships.
- Allows a dignified death before the illness takes over and has right to decide how they die
- Can help shorten the grief the patient's friends and family will suffer.
- Cruel and unloving to force someone to endure long suffering unnecessarily.
- Saves money, money spent on keeping them alive could go on a better cause, find cures.
Vivisection=using animals in medical research
Used for many years to help cure diseases, law states it's accepted if: no alternative method, all details given about research involved & scientists+facilities checked to show no sign of cruelty.
- In favour- traditionally, animals not considered as important as humans as God created animals for humans so should be entitled to use them in any way desired.
- Humans given dominion over God's creation 'rule over the fish of the sea...'
- Many Christians believe that animals don't have souls so no relationship with God, inferior.
- RC+A-consider animal testing for life-saving drugs important, not hurt unnecessarily (LO2E)
- Against- Bible teaches should have role of stewardship, care for God's creation.
- Few Christians believe nature exists to serve humanity, dominion should be about stewardship and partnership rather than domination and exploitation.
- Quakers say if you love God then impose cruelty on his creations you are contradicting.
- Believe everything is interdependent so our treatment of animals reflects on us.
- God made covenant with animals as well as humans so both have same origin in God.
- Animals are seen as weak but Jesus taught humans to be kind to the weak and helpless so should show companionship towards animals.
Responses- campaign for rights, demonstrations, orgainisations like CARE.
- Regard sex as a God-given gift so couples can express love and continue God's creation so should be done within marriage.
- 'Be fruitful and increase in number'- sex strictly man and woman and to continue creation.
- Christianity teaches must be within marriage as 'one flesh', outside marriage=grave sin.
- Priests remain celibate as no distraction from faith or from loving and serving God.
- All churches oppose adultery fornication and homosexuality as seen to be against the purpose of sex given by God- express love and continue God's creation.
- Liberal Christians- accept sex as part of committed relationship if living together.
- Catholic church- accepts homosexuals cannot change their orientation but seen as sin as God created sex for procreation so says they should remain celibate.
Abstinence-to not have sex until marriage, various campaigns support it such as true love awaits and is mainly aimed at young people and reflect beliefs sex was created as expression of love within marriage. Allows people to make a promise to God and reflects self-worth and value but can stop people feeling loved as there is no form of physical compassion.
Contraception-methods to avoid unwanted pregnancy
Natural= techniques that do not involve taking or using anything, e.g. withdrawal. Artificial= uses medicines or devices to prevent conception. Abortifacent= prevents fertilised egg attaching to uterus lining, may kill fertilised egg.
Reasons for use- too young, want to plan when to have family, pregnancy may be harmful, genetic disorders, not able to emotionally/financially provide, family large enough etc. 7