Religion and Life


Religious upbringing

Main features of Christian upbringing

  • babies baptised and promise to bring up children to believe in God and be good Christians
  • teach children to believe in God
  • teach children to pry to God
  • teach children to worship God at church
  • send children to a Church school

Leading to a belief in God

  • parents told them, they believe their parents
  • pray to God, why waste time praying to nothing
  • so many worshipping in church leads to belief
  • taught God exists at Sunday school, believe their teachers
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Religious experience


  • feeling of presence of God or awareness of a greater presence
  • in a religious building or whilst looking up at the stars on a clear night


  • experience so great that people change lives and commit themselves to God
  • God is calling them to do something


  • breaks laws of science and only explainable by God
  • when only explanation is that it is a miracle


  • make contact with God and feels God listening
  • answered prayers such as sick person recovering lead to belief
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Design argument

  • anything that has been designed needs a designer
  • evidence of world being designed such as DNA, gravity and magnetism
  • if world has been designed, there must be a designer
  • only possible of universe would be God
  • appearence of design proves that God exists
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Cosmological argument

  • cause and effect are a basic feature of the world, any cause has an effect and any effect has a cause proved scientifically
  • means universe, world and humans must have had a cause
  • God is the only logical cause of the universe
  • God must exist
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Scientific explanations leading to agnosticism or

  • matter is eternal
  • 15 million years ago the universe exploded, red shift in light shows universe expanding
  • matter flying away fromed stars and our solar system
  • gases on surface produced primative life
  • genetic structure of primative lifeforms lead to evolution of humans about 2.5 million years ago

Leading to agnosticism or atheism

  • science explains universe without God
  • turn to agnosticism as no longer need God to explain why we are here
  • atheism as if God existed, he made the world, but there is an explanation without God
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Christianity response to scientific explanations

Response one

  • only God could make Big Bang at exactly right microsecond to form universe
  • only God could make laws of gravity which matter needed to form solar system
  • only God could make the gases rect in a way to form life

Response two

  • when Adam was made it would have looked billions of years old
  • science is wrong and the Bible is right as word of God (creationism)

Response three

  • both science and Bible are correct
  • main points fit with science and one God day could be millions of years
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Why unaswered prayers lead to agnosticism or athei

  • when they do not feel God's presence they don't feel that anyone is listening to prayers
  • unaswered prayers lead to disbelief even more so
  • if praying for a child to be cured of cancer and no answer they will stop believing
  • God could not exist if he let this happen
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Christianity response to unaswered prayers

  • selfish prayers are answered in different ways such as not helping to pass a test
  • God has different plans, such as wanting someone to enter heaven
  • God loves people so will answer in the best possible way, not always directly
  • answered in the best way for the person praying, not always as expected
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Why evil and suffering lead to agnosticism and ath

  • if God is omnipotent he must be able to remove evil and suffering
  • if God is omni-benevolent he must want to remove evil and suffering
  • if God exists there should be no evil and suffering
  • there is evil and suffering, God either doesn't exist or isn't omnipotent / omni-benevolent
  • if omniscient he must have known evils and sufferings that would have been created
  • evil and suffering challenges belief in God
  • evil and suffering becomes a problem if experienced such as their child dying in earthquake
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Christianity response to evil and suffering

Response one

  • God must have a reson so should follow Jesus and fight against evil and suffering
  • praying for those who suffer or become doctors / social workers

Response two

  • evil and suffering are due to people misusing their free will

Response three

  • life is preparation for paradise
  • part of a test by God to improve souls and become good people

Response four

  • people cannot understand God because he is divine
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Christian beliefs about life after death

Why Christians believe in life after death

  • Jesus rose from the dead in Gospels and New Testament
  • St Paul teaches that people will have a resurrection
  • major creeds teach that Jesus rose from dead and they must believe creeds
  • Christian Churches teach life after death
  • gives life meaning and purpose because they will be judged and rewarded

How it affects their lives

  • try to live good Christian lives and follow Bible and the Church
  • love God and praying / worshipping God every day
  • loving neighbour is helping anyone in need so join charities such as CAFOD
  • sin prevents heaven, so will not commit any sins
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Judaism and life after death

Why they beilieve in life after death

  • teaching of Tenakh which is inspired by God
  • teaching of Talmud, which is teaching of rabbis
  • one of Thirteen Principles of Faith, which is part of Jewish creed
  • gives life a meaning, they will be judged and rewarded

How it affects their lives

  • God decides what happens based on how they live so try good Jewish lives
  • observe Torah, halakhah, pray three times a day, fast on Yom Kippur, and other festivals
  • follow mitzvot such as kosher and dress laws
  • Orthodox Jews confess sins before death and keep shiva so aware of death
  • gives life a meaning and purpose so less chance of depression
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Non-religious reasons for life after death

Near-death experiences

  • clinically dead and comes back to life
  • feelings of peace, floating and bright light

Evidence for a spirit world

  • mediums claim to communicate with spirit world from our material world
  • gives information from relatives that would be impossible without contact

Evidence of reincarnation

  • Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists believe in reincarnation and have evidence
  • people remembering previous lives
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Why some people do not believe in life after death

  • if no God, there is no spirit world for this to happen in
  • religions all contradict each other, if real they would say the same thing
  • holy books contradict each other and you cannot decide which are true or false
  • paranormal has been challenged by scientists
  • mind and soul live on without body, mind cannot live without brain so it must die too
  • no place for heaven as shown in space expeditions
  • people brought up by atheists will not believe
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The nature of abortion

Why abortion is a controversial issue

  • life begins at moment of conception, so it is murder
  • life begins when foetus can live outside of mothers, so it is not murder
  • women has a right to do what she wants with her body, no different from unwanted tumour
  • unborn's right to life outweighs the mothers rights
  • time limit should be reduced to 18 or 20 weeks due to medical advances
  • should medical staff have to carry out abortions
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Christian attitudes to abortion

Catholic Church and Evangelical Protestant Churches

  • life belongs to God so only he can end pregnancy
  • life begins at conception so is murder and banned in Ten Commandments
  • follow teaching of Catholic Catechism that it is murder
  • Counselling, help and adoption can help sufferers of **** to make good of evil

Liberal Protestants

  • life does not begin at conception
  • Jesus' command to love thy neighbour means they should remove suffering
  • sanctity of life broken in wars so why not abortion
  • medical test show medical problems in babies so abortions should be allowed
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Judaism and abortion

Some Jews

  • life begins at conception so is murder
  • sanctity of life, only God can take a life

Many Jews

  • sanctity of life so abortion is wrong
  • Torah allows killing in self-defence, so allowed if mothers life is at risk

Some Jews

  • Torah says life begins when foetus can survive on its own
  • Torah says Jews must prevent suffering
  • self-defence argument
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The nature of euthanasia

Remain illegal

  • doubt over if it is what a person really wants
  • disease could not end life if a cure is found
  • doctors save lives not end them, makes them untrustworthy
  • people could change their mind too late
  • have to check if they really wanted and needed it

Be made legal

  • discoveries mean people are being made to live in agony and have the right to die
  • doctors switch off life support machine and let people in comas die already
  • have right to commit suicide so should ask doctors if too weak to do it themselves
  • judges have said that doctors can stop treatment
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Christian attitudes to euthanasia

Catholics and Liberal Protestants

  • sanctity of life means only God can take a life
  • euthanasia is murder and banned by Ten Commandments
  • brain-dead means thay have already died so switching off is what God decided
  • painkillers that kill the person is not murder as you intended to remove their pain

Some Christians

  • take Bible literally and Bible forbids suicide
  • includes switching off life-support, refusal or extraordinary treatment and painkillers
  • all forms are murder and banned in Decalogue
  • sanctity of life

A few Christians

  • medical advances mean we are unsure of God's wishes are
  • Jesus taught to love you neighbour and is most loving thing to do
  • basic human right to have control of your body
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Judaism and euthanasia

Many Jews

  • Torah bans suicide
  • voluntary euthanasia is same as assisted suicide
  • euthanasia is murder and banned by Ten Commandments
  • Tenakh says sanctity of life

Some Jews

  • some rabbis say switching of life-support for brain dead is not euthanasia
  • if brain-dead, God has already taken their life
  • keeping someone alive stops God from taking their soul
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The media and matters of life and death

Media should not be free to criticise religions

  • stirring up religious hatred and banned by Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2007
  • freedom should be limited due to offence caused (riots in 2006)
  • close to crime of blasphemy
  • based on what God says and beyond human criticism

Media should be free to criticise religions

  • freedom of expression is basic human right and people need to know what is happening
  • religious leaders use media to make statements so should prepare for criticism
  • multi-faith society means media has right to criticise religious beliefs
  • life and death issues are important but everyone needs to know the full story before deciding
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Changing attitudes to marriage and family life

How attitudes have changed

  • people have sex before marriage
  • couples cohabit rather than marry
  • average marriage age has increased
  • most marriages do not take place in a church
  • more divorce so more single-parents and re-constituted families
  • more extended families with mothers in paid employment
  • children being brought up by cohabiting families
  • society treats homosexual and heterosexual sex the same
  • two people of the same sex can now form a civil partnership
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Reasons for changing attitudes to marriage and fam

Cohabitation and marriage

  • contraception makes sex safer before marriage
  • fewer people went to church so not discouraged from sex
  • media and celebrities make cohabitation look respectable
  • media showed sex out of marriage look normal


  • new laws made divorce cheaper and easier
  • increased equality for women means they divorce husbands if treated badly
  • women no longer depend on husbands wages but are financially independent
  • change in how long people are going to be married
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Reasons for changing attitudes to marriage and fam

Family life

  • more families with unmarried parents
  • increase in divorce means more re-constituted families
  • mothers in paid employment with retired grandparents to look after children
  • increase in divorce means more single-parent families


  • easier to be openly homosexual due to awareness
  • medical research shows it is natural leading to acceptance
  • media coverage of gay celebrities means greater acceptance
  • gay rights organisations means greater acceptance of equal rights
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Christian attitudes to sex outside of marriage

  • God gave us sex for procreation of children to be brought up Christian
  • Bible says sex out of marriage is sinful
  • Catechism says pre-marital sex is wrong
  • against adultery as it breaks wedding vows
  • adultery banned in Ten Commandments
  • adultery condemned by Jesus
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Judaism and sex outside of marriage

  • forbidden by Torah
  • Talmud says sex should only take place in marriage
  • sex is for procreation
  • adultery banned by Ten Commandments
  • adultery breaks marriage contract that both adults signed up to
  • adultery harms family as children should learn about Judaism
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Christian attitudes to divorce

Catholic Church

  • allow civil divorce but cannot re-marry as still married in the eyes of the Church
  • Jesus taught divorce is wrong
  • couple has made covenant with God which cannot be broken
  • Catechism teaches a marriage cannot be dissolved
  • no re-marriage as there can be no religious divorce so it would be bigamy
  • allowed annulment when they can prove there was no real Christian marriage

Non-Catholic Church

  • allow divorced people to remarry
  • Jesus allowed divorce in Matthew 19:9 for adultery
  • in broken marriages effects of not divorcing would be a greater evil
  • can be forgiven and given another chance if they repent and confess sins
  • better to divorce than live in hatred and quarrel
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Judaism and divorce

Some Jews

  • Talmud teaches divorce is an offence to God
  • children need to be brought up as good followers or Judaism for faith to survive
  • rabbis have taught that divorce is wrong because of harm it causes family

Orthodox Jews

  • Torah has various statements that permit divorce
  • marriage in Judaism is a contract that can be broken in circumstances
  • halakhah says only men can apply to Bet Din for a get

Reform Jews

  • Torah and halakhah need interpreting to fit modern life
  • men and women should have equal rights in religion and divorce
  • divorce is lesser evil than living in hatred and bitterness
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Why family life is important to Christians

  • purpose of marriage is to bring up children in Christian environment to become good
  • teaches that family was created by God as the basis of society
  • teaching on divorce shows that family is too important to be broken
  • without it, children wouldn't learn right from wrong
  • important as it brings children into the faith
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Judaism and family life

  • mitzvot for Jewish people to marry and have children
  • only children of married Jewish parents are automaticallyJewish so no continuation
  • children will not learn the difference between right and wrong
  • where Shabbat is observed and festivals celebrated
  • importance is commanded in the Ten Commandments
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Christian attitudes to homosexuality


  • Bible condemns homosexual sexual activity
  • tradition of Church that sex is for procreation
  • teaching of Magisterium and discrimination is like racism and sinful
  • Church teaches you cannot control orientation but control sexual activity

Evangelical Protestant

  • Bible says it is a sin
  • salvation of Christ removes all sins including homosexuality
  • all Churches have taught that homosexuality is wrong

Liberal Protestant

  • Bible condemning it shows beliefs of thime rather than wishes of God
  • major belief in love and acceptance means they must be accepted
  • if they feel Holy Spirit they must be accepted
  • Christians should be open and honest, you should have to pretend if you are gay
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Judaism and homosexuality

Orthodox Jew

  • Torah condemns homosexual activity
  • Torah and Talmud declare that only lawful sex is with man and woman
  • sexual activity should be done for procreation
  • mitzvot to marry and raise a family

Liberal or Reform Jew

  • Torah should be re-interpreted in the light of modern society
  • scientifically proven to be natural so given by God
  • treat others as they would like to be treated themselves
  • labelling as wrong can lead to evils of racism
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Christian attitudes to contraception

Catholic Church

  • Pope Pius XI condemned all artificial contraception
  • Pope Pius XII said natural methods were allowed
  • Pope Paul VI and Catechism said only form are natural methods
  • Church says sex should be unitive and creative
  • some contraceptives bring about early abortions
  • leads to promiscuity, broken families and STDs

Non-Catholic Christians

  • Christianity is love and justice and contraceptives improve female health and living standards
  • God created sex for enjoyment and to strengthen the marriage
  • Bible doesn't forbid contraception
  • Church of England said it can be used to limit family size
  • condoms are the best way to combat HIV/AIDS
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Judaism and contraception

Ultra Orthodox Jews

  • God's command to be fruitful meant large families
  • Torah says sperm is sacred and not to be killed
  • rabbis teach sex created to create children

Orthodox Jews

  • Torah, Talmud and rabbis teach that health of the mother comes first
  • femal contraceptives don't kill sperm
  • mitzvot to have family and having two children obeys that

Liberal or Reform Jews

  • God expects people to use technology to prevent unwanted things happening
  • Torah needs updating and contraception should be available to men and women
  • better than having unwanted children
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Changing attitudes towards gender in the UK

  • women can now keep property seperate from their husbands
  • women can vote and become MPs
  • women can recieve the same pay as men for the same work
  • 1975 - Sex Discrimination Act
  • women still do most of the housework

Why attitudes have changed

  • suffragette movement showed they were no longer second class citizens
  • world wars saw women taking on and outdoing the men at male jobs
  • development of equal rights in others countries
  • social and industrial developments in 50s and 60s meant more workers
  • feminist movement
  • Labour governments of 1964-70 and 1974-9
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Christian attitudes to equal rights in religion

Traditional Protestants

  • in Bible, St Paul says women should not speak or teach in church
  • St Paul says men have more rights because Adam was created first
  • Jesus had women followers but only men as twelve apostles
  • tradition of Church than only men are leaders

Modern Protestants

  • male and female created at the same time in God's image so of equal status
  • Paul teaches men and women are equal in Christ
  • women disciples stayed ant cross and first to see Jesus, also some female priests

Catholic Church

  • male and female created at the same time in God's image so of equal status
  • teaching of Catechism that they are equal
  • male priests as apostles were men and priests successors of apostles
  • male priests as Jesus was a man and they represent Jesus in Mass
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Judaism and equal rights to women in religion

Orthodox Jews

  • women keep kosher home and sit seperately from men in synagogue
  • teaching of Torah, Talmud and rabbis
  • mitzvot only applies to men so cannot have equal rights
  • women cannot form a minyan so cannot have equal rights
  • women cannot be witnesses in a Bet Din court so cannot be equal in Jewish laws

Liberal or Reform Jews

  • male and female created at the same time in God's image so of equal status
  • Torah needs to be interpreted for todays world
  • denying equal rights is saying God prefers men to women
  • Judaism should relate to attitudes of the modern world
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The UK as a multi-ethnic society

The benefits of a multi-ethnic society

  • different ethnic groups get to know each other and intermarry
  • more progress made with new people and ideas of doing things
  • life is more interesting with a greater variety of food and culture
  • aids people working in multi-national companies and economic interdependence
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Problems of discrimination and racism

  • prejudiced employers won't give jobs to certain ethnic groups or religious groups
  • prejudiced landlords refuse accomodation
  • prejudiced teachers mean students don't achieve the results they should
  • prejudiced police officers stop and search people for no reason


  • people are treated unfaurly and begin to work against the society
  • politicians think young black people turn to crime as they can't get well-paid jobs later
  • young Muslims turn to extremist groups as no chance of success in British society
  • BNP stirring up hatred and violence
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Government action to promote community cohesion

  • making community cohesion part of National Curriculum
  • appointing cabinet ministers from ethnic minorities
  • Race Relations Act nakes discrimination unlawful
  • Crime and Disorder Act means racial hatred crimes are severely punished
  • Racial and Rligious Hatred Act banned threatening words
  • Equality andHuman Rights Commission which rids discrimination for good relations

Why it's important

  • different groups have different ideas leading to violence and rioting (Oldham 2001)
  • 7 July 2007 bombers had lost allegience to Britain
  • without it, violence becomes a way of life
  • impossible to co-operate the way modern civilised living needs


  • avoiding bad effects of prejudice and discrimination and encourage groups to work together
  • ensure respect and loyal citizens in same society
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Why Christians help to promote racial harmony

  • Parable of Good Samaritan, Jesus showed that races should love each other as neighbours
  • Jesus treated people of different races the same
  • St Paul had vision saying not to discriminate as he favours no races
  • St Paul taught all races are equal in Christ since God created all races in his image
  • Christian Church has members from all races (70% are non-white)
  • Christian Churches made statements condemning racism
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Judaism and racial harmony

  • Torah teaches racial harmony as all humand traced back to Adam and Eve
  • rabbis teach God is one and humanity is one as created by one God
  • Tenakh teaches God cares for the oppressed and wants justice in the world
  • special responsibility to show God's laws and responsibility
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The UK as a multi-fath society

Benefits of living in a multi-faith society

  • can learn about other religions and what they have in common
  • some may practise their own religion more seriously after seeing other religions
  • people understand why people have different beliefs and take their own seriously
  • people become more understanding and respectful
  • religious freedom will help stop religious conflicts
  • people think more as they come across new ideas
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Issues raised for religion in a multi-faith societ


  • believe their religion is the only true religion
  • believe the only way for followers of others religions to get to heaven is by converting them
  • holy book teaches them they should convert non-believers
  • conversion is discriminating against other religions
  • cannot say another religion is wrong without researching it
  • trying to convert can lead to arguments and violence

Bringing up children

  • religions encourage parents to bring up their children as that religion
  • religions teach only people who follow their religion have a good life after death
  • social and peer pressure means parents force children to stay in the faith
  • children in state schools are tempted towards a non-religious life
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Issues raised for religion in a multi-faith societ

Interfaith marriages

  • both couples have to be members of same religion to have religious ceremony
  • which religion the children will be brought up as
  • what will happen to the couple after death
  • parents and relatives often feel betrayed
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Ways in which religions work together for communit

  • working to discover what is the same about religions
  • helping with interfaith marriage
  • making sure that all children learn about different faiths
  • joining local and national groups to promote community cohesion
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