Religious Education

The Bible as a basis for making moral descisions

  • They believe that the bible is the word of God. This means the Bible is God's guidance to humans so it has absolute authority for christian decision-making.
  • The Bible contains God's teachings on behaviour, which tells christians to behave. This can be seen in the decalogue which gives christians very clear moral guidance.
  • The Bible contains the teachings of Jesus on how to live. Christians believe Jesus is the son of God so they should follow his moral decisions on how to live. For example in the Sermon on the mount where Jesus explained the 10 commandments.
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The Church as a basis of making moral decisions

  • They believe the Church is the body of christ. By this they mean that the Church is how Jesus works in the world. 
  • They believe that God has not stopped speaking to them, he still speaks to the world today through the Church.
  • The Church is the community of Christian believers. Therefore it must be guided by God and so be able to make decisions on moral issues.
  • Christians expect the church to give them guidance on the Christian life, and making moral decisions is a part of Christian life.
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Following conscience as a guide for moral decision

  • Christians believe that God speaks to christians. The conscience is like a voice inside peoples heads telling what to do and what not to do. They believe that the voice is Gods voice so they should follow it.
  • The Church says that christians should follow their conscience as if it was the voice of God, and christians are expected to follow the teachings of the Church.
  • St Paul and St Thomas Aquinas taught that Christians should use their conscience as a final fart of moral decisions.
  • The teachings of the Bible and the Church do not come directly from God. The Bible has been translated and often needs interpreting. However the conscience is God speaking to individuals so must be followed.
  • Although...
  • Some people have been mistaken about the voice of God. For example the Yorkshire Ripper claimed that God had told him to kill prostitutes.
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Situation Ethics

  • Jesus seemed to follow situation eithics because he over-ruled what the old testament said when he thought it was un-loving. Eg healing paralysed man on the Sabbath even thought the law said you should not work on the Sabbath.
  • They believe christianity is a religion of love and forgiveness and so christians should make moral decisions on love not laws.
  • Some say its wrong because:
  • They think God wouldnt have given laws in the Bible if they were not to be followed.
  • They believe they should follow what all other christians agree is the right way to behave eg the 10 commandments, rather then rely on their own ideas.
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Human rights in the UK

  • The right to life-the law must protect you from being killed. The right is claimed by asylum seekers who will be killed when they go back to their counties.
  • Freedom from torture and degraded treatment.
  • Freedom from slavery and forced labour.
  • The right to liberty- free to do anything if not against the law.
  • The right to a fair trial
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Why Christians believe human rights are imprortant

  • Sanctity of life- life is holy and belong to God and should only be taken by God

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Moral Duties

  • The Golden rule- "Do to others what you would have them do to you" Matthew 7:12
  • The parable of the sheep and the goats- "christians duty to help others" matthew 25:31-46
  • Am i my brothers keeper?- be responsible for others John 3:11-18
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Cloning in Christianity

  • Liberal protestants believe genetic engineering is good which should be supported by the church as long as it is done to cure a disease and not to create "perfect humans"
  • Jesus was a healer who showed christians should do all they can to heal a disease.
  • There is a difference between creating cells and creating humans.
  • It can be used to improve human life which is part of what God wants humans to do as stuwards of his creation.
  • However mainly catholics believe:
  • Life begins at the moment of contraception whether in a womb or a glass dish
  • Killing an embryo is killing huiman life which is banned by the Bible and the Church.
  • God has created genetic make up for each person messing with that is messing with Gods will.
  • They believe its worng to try and make earth perfect only heaven is perfect.
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