RE purple section

Matters of life and death - all the note for the purple section, Christianity and Hinduism

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: catherine
  • Created on: 04-04-13 16:47

Religion and Life - Section 2: Matters of Life and


Abortion: Removing the foetus from the womb before it can survive on its own

Assisted Suicide: Giving someone who is seriously ill the means to end their own life

Euthanasia: Painlessly killing someone who is in pain and dying

Immortality of the soul: The idea that after the body dies the soul lives on

Near-death Experience: When someone who is about to die has an out of body experience

Non-voluntary Euthanasia: Painlessly ending someone's life when they are unable to ask for it but it is what they would have wanted


1 of 13

KEY WORDS - Part 2

Paranomal: unexplained things thought to have a spiritual cause eg. ghosts, mediums...

Quality of life: The idea that life must have benefits to be worth living

Reincarnation: The belief that after the body dies the soul is reborn into another body

Resurrection: The belief that the body and the soul remain in the grave until the end of the world when both of them are raised

Sanctity of Life: The idea that life is holy and belongs to God

Voluntary Euthanasia: Painlessly ending someone's life when they are in great pain and ask for death

2 of 13

2.1 - Christian beliefs about life after death

Why Christians believe in a life after death:

  • Jesus rose from the dead according to the Gospels and the New Testament
  • St Paul teaches about resurrection
  • Major creeds teach about it
  • Churches teach about a life after death
  • A life after death gives their lives meaning and purpose

How these beliefs affects the lives of Christians:

  • They follow the teachings of the Bible and the Church so they have a good after life
  • They try to love God by praying and worshipping God
  • They try to be charitable by feeding the hungry, clotheing the naked, befriending strangers and helping the sick like Jesus did
  • Sin prevents people going to heaven so Christians avoid comminting sins
3 of 13

2.2.3 - Hinduism and life after death

Why Hindus believe in life after death:

  • It is taught in the Vedas
  • It is taught in the Upanishads
  • It is taught in the Bhagavad Gita
  • They believe in reincarnation because they feel that for life to end at death doesn't make sense
  • There is evidence for reincarnation which strengthens their beliefs

How Hindu's beliefs affect their lives:

  • The aim of Hindu life is to reach moksha and paradise by escaping the cycle of samsara
  • They follow the rules of the four stages of life to reach moksha
  • They spend their whole life trying to earn good karma to move up the samsara cycle
  • Some Hindus devote their lives to Krishna and spend a lot of time worshipping (puja yoga)
  • Some Hindus believe moksha is achieved by deep meditation (jnana yoga)
4 of 13

2.3 and 2.4 - Non-religious reasons for believing

Non-religious reasons for believing in life after death:

  • Near death experiences - people claim to see and experience wierd, unexplainable things when they are dying or in opperations then they wake up
  • Evidence for the spiritual world - ghosts and mediums are evidence for things beyond the explaination of science
  • Evidence for reincarnation - people claim to be able to remember their previous lives, like the little boy in Scotland

Why some people don't believe in life after death:

  • They do not believe in God so don't believe there is a life after death with him
  • Different religions contradict each other about life after death so it must not be true
  • There is no scientific evidence for it
  • There is no where for a life after death to take place
5 of 13

2.5 - The nature of abortion

The law on abortion:

  • 2 doctors have to agree that - the mother's life is at risk, the mother's health is at risk, the child will be born severely handicapped or there would be serious effects on the other children already in the family
  • There can be no abortions after 24 weeks of the pregnancy unless the mother's life is at risk or the foetus has severe handicaps


  • People disagree on when life begins (at conception or at birth or somewhere inbetween)
  • Different people have views on who should have the final say in the abortion
  • There is talk about reducing the cut off time for abortions to 20 or 18 weeks
  • There is disagreement about who should carry out the abortion
6 of 13

2.6 - Christian attitudes to abortion

Catholic and Evangelical Protestant views:

  • Abortion is murder so therefore wrong
  • Only God has the right to end life as it belongs to him
  • Catechism says abortion is wrong
  • There are other options to consider instead of abortion such as adoption or counciling

Liberal Protestant views:

  • Abortion is allowed in some cirumstances
  • Life doesn't begin at conception so it's not murder
  • Abortion can remove suffering which follows Jesus' teaching of Love Thy Neighbour
  • Sancity of Life can be broken for a just war so why not for abortion?
  • Medical advances such as testing for medical conditions of unborn babies mean it should be allowed
7 of 13

2.7.3 - Hinduism and abortion

Some Hindus believe:

  • Abortion is always wrong
  • Some Gurus have said abortion is wrong
  • Taking a life brings bad karma

Other Hindus believe:

  • Abortion should only be allowed if the mothers life is at risk
  • Hindu teachings on ahimsa say that violence can be used as a final choice
  • If the foetus threatens the sanctity of the mother's life abortion is acceptable

Some British Hindus believe in the UK law on abortion because:

  • The teachings of the Gita mean the abortion won't affect karma because it doesn't damage the soul of the foetus
  • Life doesn't begin until the foetus can survive outside the womb on it's own
8 of 13

2.8 - The nature of Euthanasia

Euthanasia is a gental death to someone who is dying with little quality of life

It can be done by - assisted suicide, voluntary euthanasia or non-voluntary euthanasia

British laws forbid all forms of euthanasia as it is murder, except for passive euthanasia in the form of withdrawing nutrition or treatment so the person dies of whatever is killing them

Why people think Euthanasia should remain illegal:

  • There isn't a way of truely telling if this is what a person wants
  • The person may recover from the disease they have been told they are dying of
  • Doctors are there to save lives not to end them
  • People may change their minds about ending their lives but it might be too late

Why people think Euthanasia should be made legal:

  • People are being kept alive in pain which isn't fair
  • Doctors already can switch off life support machines which is a form of euthanasia
  • People have the right to end their lives if they wish to, so people who are unable to do it themselves should be able to get help
9 of 13

2.9 - Christian attitudes to euthanasia

Catholics and Liberal Protestants believe:

  • Assisted suicide, voluntary euthanasia and non-voluntary euthanasia are all wrong but switching off the life support machine and withdrawing treatment is ok
  • They believe in the Sanctity of Life where only God has the right to choose when you die
  • Euthanasia is murder which is forbidden in the Ten Commandments
  • If someone is brain-dead then they are dead already so switching off life support is ok
  • Painkiller remove pain but don't kill a person so it is ok

Some Christians believe:

  • All forms of euthanasia are wrong, including switching off life support
  • They take the Bible teachings literally which means suicide is forbidden
  • Only God has the right to end life
  • Euthanasia is murder
10 of 13

2.9 - Christian attitudes to euthanasia

A few Christians believe:

  • Euthanasia is acceptable
  • Medical advances means it's hard to tell God's wishes
  • Jesus says Love Thy Neighbour, which can be interpreted as accepting assisted suicide
  • It is a human right to decide what happens to your own body
11 of 13

2.10.3 - Hinduism and euthanasia

Some Hindus are against all forms of euthanasia because:

  • Teachings of ahimsa means that if is unacceptable
  • It damages the soul causing bad karma
  • The Laws of Manu say murder is wrong and euthanasia is murder

Other Hindus believe euthanasia is acceptable in some circumstances:

  • If someone is brain-dead it is ok because God has already taken their life
  • The Gita says the soul can't be harmed
  • Refusing euthanasia when there is no quality of life is an act of violence so is wrong
  • Keeping someone alive prevents the person's soul  from reincarnating and reaching moksha
12 of 13

2.11 - The media and matters of life and death

The media should be allowed to criticise what religions say about life and death because:

  • Freedom of speech is part of living in a democracy
  • Religion can say what it likes about the media so the media should be allowed to say what it likes about religion
  • The public has the right to be fully informed of all the points of view on a subject without things being held back from them

The media shouldn't be allowed to criticise what religions say about life and death because:

  • It can stir up religious hatred and unrest
  • It could be offensive to religious believers
  • God is beyond human criticism so should not be judged by humans
  • Vies from the media could be biased against religion
13 of 13


No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Life and death resources »