Religious studies



Drugs are a chemical that alter your body and mind or has a reacton when taken. Some drugs are taken for medical reasons and to improve wealth and well-being. These include antibiotics, which are taken for infections. Some drugs are abused and used for other reasons then health. Some drugs are called 'social' drugs. These are taken for a 'buzz'. Some are legal, such as alcohol, and others are illegal, such as cannabis. People take 'social' drugs with friends.

Different drugs have different effects. Caffeine is in tea and coffee. It is a stimulant that keeps people awake and alert. Alcohol is a depressant. Although it relaxes people, in the long-term it causes depression. It makes people drunk and they can lose control and have accidents. Cannabis is often taken as a relaxant. It can be taken for pain relief or for a high. It can cause long-term mental health issues. Cocaine is a stmulant that lasts for 30 minutes. It is highly addictive and expensive. It can lead to heart problems. An overdose can kill. Heroine relaxes people and relieves pain. It is highly addictive. An overdose can kill and diseases can be spread through dirty needles.

All drugs can ruin family life as the pressure on loved ones can be very difficult. It can also lead to money problems.

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Classification of drugs

  • Drugs are classified into A, B, and C catergories. A is the most dangerous with the hardest punishments.
  • Class A drugs inlcude heroine, cocaine and ecstasy.
  • Class B drugs include cannabis and amphetamines.
  • Class C drugs include anabolic steroids and tranquilizers.
  • Class A punishments include up to 7 years in prision for possesion and a life sentence for dealing.
  • Class B punishments include up to 5 years in prision for possesion and 14 years for dealing.
  • Class C punishments varies. People can get 2 years for possesion and 14 years for dealing.
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Religious teachings on drugs

The Christian Bible teaches you "Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit". This suggests you should treat it with respect as it is God made and holy like a temple.

The Bible says "Thou shall not kill" (1 of 10 commandments). Taking and dealing drugs can lead to death and violent crime. Christians would be against this.

Jesus taught people to "Love their neightbour". Selling illegal drugs is not a loving thing to do.

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Alcohol causes over 30,000 deaths a year and costs the NHS £2.7 biliion.

Most Christians drink alcohol. The Bible mentions the "Fruit of the vine".

The Church of England uses alcohol in church. The wine symbolises the blood of Jesus.

Jesus drank wine at his last supper and he also turned water into wine.

Some Christians are against alcohol as the Bible warns not to "ruin yourself with wine".

Some Christians don't drink becuase in the past, alcohol ruined families and the churches had to help out.

Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol as it is against their religion law.

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Smoking kills at least 300 people a day in the UK.

No religions rule against smoking. It is not forbidden in the Bible or Qur'an.

It is your free will to smoke.

However, your body is a holy temple and you should not destroy it.

Passive smoking kills others. The Bible teaches, "Do not kill".

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Death is the end of life.

Death is when the body no longer breathes and has no heart beat. The brain also stops functioning.

Death is the end of all physical or mental life.

Christians say it is when the soul leaves the physical body.

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The Soul

Christains, Jews and Muslims believe in an everlasting soul.

The soul survives after death.

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Christian Beliefs about life after death

Christians believe in an eternal soul. The soul will leave the physical body after death. If the person has been good, they will be with God in Heaven. If they have been bad, they will be in Hell. The Bible says Hell is a "lack of fire". Some christians believe Hell is not a place, but living without a God. You should follow the 10 commandments as well as Jesus's teaching to go to Heaven. Some Christians believe in a day of Judgement. This is a day when God will judge the good and bad. Jesus taught the parable of the sheep and goats. God will seperate the good from the bad just like a shepherd seperates sheep and goats. Christian can be buried or cremated. Roman Catholics prefer burial as your body will be needed in afterlife.

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Buddhist beliefs

Buddhists believe in karma and rebirth.

Good actions have good consequences and these affect you next life.

If you get good karma, you can be reborn in good life.

Buddhists cremate their dead.

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Islamic after life

Muslims believe the body must be buried within 48 hours.

The body must be buried, as it is needed for resurrection on the day of Judgement.

On the day of Judgement, Allah will decide who goes to Paradise and who goes to Hell.

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Christian beliefs about euthanasia

Most Christians are against euthanasia. They believe that God makes life and He is the one to end life. Humans are made in the "image of God" and we should not ruin their image. Euthanasia can be seen as murder and breaks the 6th rule of the 10 commandments. People should be offered care in there suffering. Christians believe in the hospice movement. A hospice is a place where someone can go to die and be cared for by nurses. They die with medical and spiritual support. Jesus performed miracles, a miracle could occur. Some Christians understand passive euthanasia as showing compassion in the way Jesus showed to people. The Golden Rule is where Jesus said "do to others as you would do to yourself". Perhaps if you are in pain, you might want to die and end suffering too.

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The Elderly

Ageism- A term to describe predjudice or discrimmination against someone on a basis of age.

Elderly people are normally stereotyped as moaning about the young, unhappy or unable to look after themselves. However, they may also be seen as wise, caring and full of practical skills.

The young can be seen as "hoodies", yobs and impolite. They do not respect the elderly and take everything for granted. However, they maybe helpful, thoughtful and well mannered. These are neagtive and possitive stereotypes.

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Care for the elderly

The elderly often need extra help in looking after themselves.

They can live alone at home. This gives independance, but also means they can have accidents or be lonely.

They could live with the family. Many Asian families prefer this. The grandparents live with their children and grandchildren. However, this can lead to cramped conditions.

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Religious teachings on the elderly

  • A Christian teaching is, “Honour your mother and father”. This is one of the 10 Commandments and can mean all elderly people.
  • Jesus said you should, “love your neighbour as yourself”. They might be elderly.
  • Jesus’ Golden Rule is: treat others as you would be treated.
  • Buddhists teach that caring for the elderly will give you good karma, which will lead to a good rebirth.
  • Buddhists teach that care for the elderly should focus on metta – loving kindness.
  • Muslims teach that you should ‘rub the nose of those who do not respect their parents in the dirt’ (Hadith).
  • Sikhism teaches that your parents brought you up and you should repay them for that kindness.
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Care for the dying

  • Many people say the dying should be treated in a hospice.
  • A hospice is a place where the dying are cared for. It gives pain relief and makes the terminally ill comfortable.
  • Some hospices are religious and some are not.
  • Hospices deliver palliative care.
  • Religious hospices allow the dying to be with other believers, pray together, receive religious services (i.e Holy Communion) etc.
  • Vicars, priests or monks can explore the spiritual meaning of death with the dying. They can give them hope of an afterlife.
  • Hospices are seen as an alternative to euthanasia.
  • Remember, hospices are not hospitals. People go to hospices to die.
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