RE Unit 8 Rights and Responsibilities

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Moral authority: Bible

The Bible is the word of God - God told the authors what to write so it could be directly his word but it might need to be interpreted by the Church and adapted for modern life

The New Testament has teachings on moral guidance and how Christians should behave

The Bible teaches what Christians should believe

The New Testament has Jesus' teachings - need to follow his example

The Bible comes from God so it is the only thing that can be trusted

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Moral authority: Church

God speaks to Christians through the Church

The Church can interpret the Bible so understand its teachings

The Church is the body of Christ so the teachings of the Church are the teachings of Jesus

The Church provides rules for Christians to follow

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Moral authority: Conscience

The conscience is the inner feeling of right and wrong

Christians believe it is the voice of God

Some Christians will not fight in a war because they believe it is against God's moral code and they are following their conscience

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Moral authority: Situation Ethics

Basing moral actions on the most loving thing to do - follows 'love thy neighbour'

Every situation is judged differently

Love is easy to apply to every situation

You don't know what consequences there are - it might be different for the same situation with different people

The most loving thing to do could be to murder someone who is evil

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United Nations

Encourage conflict resolution - bringing peace to an argument

Make sure that everyone has equal rights

They raise awareness for human rights so that everyone knows - sometimes using celebrities

Promote world peace

Keep peace during elections

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Human rights - Christians


No discrimination - Everyone is created equal, in God's image and God loves everyone equally

Right to life - sanctity of life so only life can be taken by God

Freedom of thought and religion - must have a legal right to be Christian, otherwise could not meet for worship or share beliefs


Some Christians believe they are allowed to discriminate against homosexuals and interfaith couples by not allowing them to marry in church

Right to marry - someone could marry someone of a different faith - believe they should convert everyone to Christianity and only marry Christians

Catholic woman could use right not to be discriminated against to become a priest, could use right to marry

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Electoral / democratic purposes

Voting allows everyone to have a say in how the country is run - some other countries cannot

People elected through voting make important decisions that affect everyone (taxes, health, education, armed forces)

Change can only happen through democratic processes

Suffragettes died trying to get the right to vote for women so we should not waste it

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Christian teachings on moral duties

The Golden Rule

 'do to others what you would have them do to you' meaning we should treat people with respect

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats

God will separate those who have fed, clothed, looked after foreigners, visit prisoners from those who have not

Am I my brother's keeper?

Christians should help others who are suffering

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Genetic engineering

Genes can be changed or removed to cure disorders

Proteins can be produced - insulin can be produced for people suffering with diabetes

Genes can be inserted into animals to grow organs for transplant surgery

Crops resistant to pests and harsh climate can be grown

Non religious beliefs

We do not know the long term effects 

They could be used to produce biological weapons - virus that could kill thousands

Could lead to designer babies

Someone could change genes of something that doesn't affect health - eg eye colour

Ethical issues of using animals to grow organs for transplant

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Christian attitudes to genetic engineering


God gave us power over the earth and the knowledge to save lives (Golden Rule)          Genetically modified crops are allowed because it does not cause harm for anyone and can feed starving people in areas of famine

Jesus healed people so using genetic engineering to heal people from disorders is following his example


Sanctity of life - changing genes is changing God's creation, only God can take life so should not 'play God' - this is a sin

Some Christians believe life begins at conception - some embryos are not used so it is killing a potential life which is murder

Curing defects that do not cause pain (shortsightedness) are a waste of resources when there are people who are suffering

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