RELIGION & HUMAN EXPERIENCE

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Religion & State Keywords

Duty: something a person is expected to do because it's the law or part of a contract, eg - keep laws of the land.

Justice: where everyone has equal rights and opportunities, eg - human rights.

Human Rights: basic entitlement of every human being, what people are expected to have, eg - declaration of human rights.

Authority: someone/something with power over others, eg Bible for Christians.

Personal Conviction: something a person feels strongly about, eg - feelings strongly that everyone deserves human rights.

Punishment: ways to make someone suffer as a result of wrongdoings, eg - deter them so they don't do it again.

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Religion & Conflict Keywords

Conflict: clashes and breakdown of relationships, eg - fighting.

Interfaith Dialogue: exploring common grounds between different faith groups, eg - Corrymeela.

Just War: a war that can be justified according to certain conditions, eg - a good cause.

Paficism: belief that any form of violence/war is unacceptable, eg - refusing to fight in wars.

Non-Violent Protest: showing disapproval without damaging property or using violence, eg - marching/petitions. 

Reconciliation: making up and apologising after a dispute and working together again, eg - forgiveness. 

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How can Peace be made and kept?

UN - Organisation set up in 1945 to promote peace international security.

Ecumenically - where there's conflict within a religion and people work to resolve these issues.

Interfaith - where there's conflict between different religions and people work to resolve these differences.

Ecumenical Centre (Corrymeela) - aims to build peaceful relations between Protestants and Catholics in N. Ireland and also works around the world helping others who are experiencing problems due to divisions.

Corrymeela: main aim is reconciliation and provides safe environment for dialogue between communities. 

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What is the Nature of Suffering?

Moral - refers to suffering humans chose to do with their free will. 

Natural - refers to events of nature like earthquakes, floods, etc. They are evils we have no control over and not products of human will.

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What is the Purpose of Suffering?

Fate: our lives were planned and suffering we endure/cause was always going to happen.

Freewill: we make our own choices in life and some people make bad choices against their conscience so suffering occurs.

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Religious Viewpoints on Freewill & Fate

Christians

  • God gave all humans freewill and they have the choice to do good or evil. With God's help, they can overcome evil.
  • Through confession and forgiveness, you can amend for bad choices.
  • Don't believe in fate.

Muslims

  • All good actions come from Allah and all bad ones come from man so people can co-operate with Allah and do good or go against Allah and choose evil.
  • Don't believe in fate but believe that actions are predestined but personal responsibility for the actions is still applied - you need to co-operate with Allah. 
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Religious Viewpoint on Suffering

Christians

  • Suffering and evil exist due to issue of free will.
  • God made perfect world.
  • Idea of free will and disobedience is shown in Book of Genesis (the Fall).
  • God gave us freedom to make our own choices (free will).
  • If people follow his teachings and listen to their conscience, we will achieve everlasting life.
  • Suffering occurs when people turn their backs on God. 
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Christian Support for Suffering

L'Arche

  • Community where people with and without learning disabilities live and work.
  • Offers accommodation, care and support.
  • Offer opportunities for people with learning disabilities to take part in range of craft activities. 
  • Spirituality encompasses prayer, pilgrimages, singing, shared meals, celebration and reflection time. 

CAFOD

  • Catholic Agency for Overseas Development
  • Follows teachings of Jesus to love each other.
  • People can help by donating money, etc. - Christians believe when they do this, they also help God as there's a part of God in everyone and that suffering can be reduced through good will and faith in action.
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Islam Minimising Suffering

  • Following 5 pillars - through prayer (Salah) and giving to charity (Zakah).

Islamic Relief

  • Muslim charity which helps people in need, especially in times of disaster.
  • Provide water, sanitation, health, nutrition, education, employment, training and emergency relief.
  • Muslims believe Allah made everything as part of the Ummah (worldwide Muslim community), they have a duty to care for others.
  • Zakah - Muslims donate 2.5% of wages to charity.
  • Sadaqah - Muslims give gift of money and time to help others.
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The Just War Theory

  • Designed to stop Chirsitans feeling guilty for going to warm - makes war justifiable by meeting certain conditions.
  • Developed by St. Thomas Aquinas.

Must meet conditions as follows:

  • War must be started by government.
  • Must be a good reason to justify amount of death.
  • End result must be peace.
  • Should be last resort.
  • Methods must be fair for both sides.
  • Innocent people's lives should be spared.
  • No nuclear weapons.
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