Religious Studies 1

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Rights and Responsibilities

Bible = The Holy book of Christians, with 66 books split into the Old Testament and the New Testament

Church = The community of Christians (with a small c, it means a Christian place of worship)

Conscience = An inner feeling of the rightness or wrongess of an action

Situation Ethics = The idea that Christians should base moral decisions on what is the most loving thing to do in a situation

Proportional representation = The voting system where seats are distributed accoding to the proportion of votes each party gets

National Government = The government, which headed by the Prime Minister, governs the whole country,

Local Government = The local council, which looks after local issues such as education and refuse collection,

Decalogue = The Ten Commandments,

Golden Rule = The teaching of Jesus that people should treat others as they would like to be treated

Pressure Group = A group formed to influence government policy on a particular issue,

Social Change = The way in which society has changed and is changing,

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Rights and Responsibilities

Why some Christians use only the Bible as a basis for making moral decisions?

  • Christians follow the Bible because it is what Jesus taught, it contains Gods teachings on behaviour (the decalogue)
  • The Bible is not the word of God but written by people who were inspired by God, the Bible is God's guidance to his followers,
  • The Bible answers everyone's problems,
  • If everyone followed the Bible, the world would be a safer place,
  • The Bible contains teachings of Jesus on how to live. As Christians believe Jesus is the son of God, they should follow his teachings and they believe his examples must be the best one to follow,
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Rights and Responsibilities

Why some Christians use only the Church's teachings as a basis for making moral decisions?

  • Church leaders are given a responsibility of expanding on the meaning of the teaching held on the Bible and relating that to modern life,
  • Church is the body of christ = how Jesus works in the world -> has the same authority as Jesus,
  • Most Christians believe God speaks through the Church. By following the church's guidance, people can be sure they are doing the right thing.
  • The Pope has also been believed to have been chosen by God so has supreme authority
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Rights and Responsibilities

Why some Christians believe conscience is the most important guide in making moral decisions?

  • God speaks to Christians, its like a voice inside their head, the voice of your conscience = voice of God,
  • Christians should follow their conscience as if it were the voice of God,
  • Christians should use their conscience as the final part of moral decision making,
  • Conscience is God directly speaking to certain people, the Bible and the Church is not,
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Rights and Responsibilities

Why some Christians only use Situation Ethics as a guide for moral decision making?

  • Jesus followed situation ethics,
  • Jesus said that its better to do good than to follow the law,
  • Its wrong to ignore the consequences of your actions - do what would have the best outcome,
  • Jesus said the only laws are to love God and your neighbour, you should do what will have the most loving results,
  • Christianity is based on love and forgiveness, make decisions based on love, not war,
  • The ability to forgive is endless, Jesus taught that we should forgive 77x7 times,

Situation Ethics = what the most loving thing to do is depending on the situation that you're in, what you think is the best thing to do.

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Rights and Responsibilities

Why some Christians use a variety of authorities in making moral decisions?

  • There are more options,
  • Its easier and quicker to make decisions,
  • In a more modern situation, people may be more likely to use a variety of authorities for example, contraception. Its hard to use the Bible to search for an answer so they may consider what the church says as well or listen to their conscience,
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Rights and Responsibilities

Human Rights in the UK

Human Rights = what every human being is entitled to by law

The Second World War saw many people mistreated and abused, the military prisoners were tortured and civilians were imprisoned or murdered. The International community wanted a set of principles to set out basic human needs and establish MINIMUM ENTITLEMENT. On 10th December 1948, the United Nations produced the Declaration of Human Rights.

In 1998, the "Human Rights Act" was created, these 15 rights were created to give UK citizens the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. If any of these were abused, you have a right to go to court to restore your right or receive compensation.

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Rights and Responsibilities

Why Human Rights are important for Christians?

Sanctity of life = Life is Holy and belongs to God, only he has the right to take it away.

  • The 58 countries who still agree and go ahead with the death penalty are going against the "sanctity of life" and also goes against your Human Rights,
  • Man is made in the image of God; we should treat everyone equally as we are all God's creation,
  • For example, the "golden rule" can be used here (treat others how you would want to be treated). Also, segregation completely ignored this because the Blacks were treated as more inferior to the Whites.

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Rights and Responsibilities

Why it is important to take part in democratic and electoral processes?

  • People then have more freedom; more choice, more rights,
  • They have more choice; more of a say in how things are run,
  • More control over local issues on a day to day basis,
  • A say in the decisions that are made, national government are responsible for many things,
  • Not all countries have a democracy, their citizens have no say over how the country is run or who will lead them,
  • The term "democracy" means "a government of the people, by the people, for the people".

Electoral Processes = The way in which voting is organized

Democratic Processes = Ways in which all citizens can take part in government

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Rights and Responsibilities

Christian Teachings on moral duties and responsibilities?

The Golden Rule: Treat other people as you would want them to treat you, in every situation, when Christians vote, they should look at policies and try to work out whether they will affect other people or not, they would have to put themselves in another persons shoes to see how they would react and whether its fair.

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: People who are respectful and treat others will be happy and lead a good life but people who are disrespectful will have eternal punishment, good and bad must be separated or people will mix with the wrong crowd, these teachings should affect how a christian votes and participates in politics.

Am I my brother's keeper?: God created humans to be each others "keeper" therefore making sure to love and care for each other, Christians have a duty to look after everyone in need as the main principle in Human Rights and political processes.

Love one another: Always love one another and care for each other, no jealousy or you will be punished, Jesus taught everyone to not be like Cain who became jealous when his brother was righteous

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Rights and Responsibilities

The nature of Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering = The deliberate alteration of a person by changing or destroying parts of a human genetic make up in the embryonic stages of life in order to cure or prevent dieseases and disabilities in human beings.

Gene Therapy is used to enable changes to be made to the cells that pass on the defective information from one generation to the next.

PGD, also known as Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, is used to remove the defective genes from embryos so women at risk of passing on diseases produce healthy babies.

Stem cell research, which is the most recent form of genetic research, can be used to create new organ cells to replace the diseased ones. They are harvested from either embryos created by IVF, bone marrow or blood. Gender, eye colour, hair colour, even sexual orientation can be chosen by stem cell research, eventually.

HFEA = Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

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Rights and Responsibilities

Christian attitudes to genetic engineering and cloning?


  • Christians believe in the sanctity of life so if one embryo is killed to save millions, it is the lesser of two evils,
  • Genetic engineering can improve the quality of life
  • Jesus was a healer who encouraged his followers to cure the sick,
  • Creating cells is not working against God, rather working with him,
  • Genetic engineering is another form of medical science like medicines and surgery which we allow,


  • God made everyone in his own image and that shouldnt be changed,
  • It is tampering with potential life,
  • It goes against the sanctity of life,
  • Only God has the right to end life,
  • Christian believe life begins at conception, classed as murder,
  • God has a plan for everyone
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