Religious Studies Matters of Life and Death

The whole unit of Edexcel's Matters of Life and Death section

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  • Created by: Bex Tott
  • Created on: 13-05-12 15:46

Life After Death - Christians and Muslims

Why Christians Believe:

  • The resurrection of Jesus proves that there is life after death
  • Jesus tells Chrisitians that they will be brought back to life
  • St Paul teaches about life after death and how the body will be transformed from a physical body, to a spiritual one when it is raised

How these beliefs affect their lives:

  • Living purposeful life, avoiding sin, loving their neighbours, living a meaningful life

Why Muslims believe in life after death:

  • The Qur'an and Muhammed state
  • it is one of the 6 fundamental beliefs of Islam

How these beliefs affect their lives:

  • living a purposeful life, following the Shari'ah law, and following the 5 pillars
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Life After Death - Non-religious and against

Non-religious reasons for believing in life after death:

  • Near death experiences
  • Existence of the spiritual world
  • Reincarntion.. people claim they remember past lives

The case AGAINST:

  • Scientific evidence shows that when the body dies, everything decays
  • No one has returned from the dead to tell us
  • It is illogical to speak about it
  • Life support machines show that the brain dies before the body
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Abortion - The Law and Non-religious arguments

The Law - 1967 Abortion Act:

  • 2 doctors must agree that the mothers life is at risk, or the life of already living children is at risk, or the baby is severely disabled
  • Can't take place after 24 weeks of pregnancy

Non-religious arguments in FAVOUR:

  • A woman has the right to choose
  • A child's quality of life is important
  • There are too many people on the planet

Non-religious arguments AGAINST:

  • It is a form of murder
  • Everyone has the right to be born so they can reach their full potential
  • All life has value
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Abortion - Christians and Muslims

Christian teaching:

  • Roman Catholics believe that life begins at conception so abortion is murder
  • Christian teachings in the sanctity of life means every human has the right to live
  • Liberal Christians believe that it is sometimes the most loving thing to do

Muslim teaching:

  • Some allow it up to 120 days, this is when Hadith says the baby gets its soul
  • Some say it is always wrong because the Qur'an condemns murder
  • Some say it is ok if the mothers life is at risk. Shari'ah says her life is more important
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Non-religious arguments in FAVOUR:

  • Suicide is legal, so why not help someone out
  • We put down animals if they are suffering, it is the most humane thing to do
  • It is their life, so they should have the choice to end it
  • It is not fair for relatives to watch their loved ones dying painfully

Non-religious arguments AGAINST:

  • Drugs can be used for pain control
  • It is just a fancy word for murder
  • Doctors take an oath to save life, so should save people when possible
  • People can get better
  • Medical science might find a cure for them
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Euthanasia - Christians

Christian Teachings
1. Wrong but do not want people to suffer

  • God told us not to kill in the 10 Commandments
  • Life is holy, sanctity of life
  • Jesus taught Christians to love and cherish life

2. Evangelical Protestants believe it is WRONG in every circumstance

  • Bible condemns suicide and they follow it literally
  • God says not to kill in the 10 Commandments

3. Liberal Protestants allows LIMITED use of it

  • Jesus said 'love thy neighbour' and helping someone die may be the most loving thing
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Euthanasia - Muslims

Muslim teachings:

ALL are AGAINST but two attitudes exist...

1. Switching off life support is NOT euthanasia

  • if they are brain dead, God has already taken them

2. Switching off life support IS euthanasia

  • See it as suicide which is condemned in the Qur'an
  • View voluntary euthanasia as suicide as well
  • See life as a test, only God can decide when we die
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Life and Death - Media

Media should NOT criticise religious beliefs on life after death because:

  • Might stir up religious hatred
  • Might be offensive to religious believers
  • Criticising what the Pope says could be seen as blasphemy
  • God is beyond criticism

Media SHOULD be allowed to criticise religious attitudes because:

  • A free media is a key part of democracy
  • If religions want to be free to say what they like then the media should have that right
  • Life and death is an important topic that all people should be made aware of
  • Freedom of expression is essential for society to make progres (Karl Popper)
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Matters of Life and Death - Key Words

Abortion - the removal of a foetus from the womb before it can survive
Assisited Suicide - providing a seriously ill person with the means to commit suicide
Euthanasia - an easy and gentle death
Heaven - a place of paradise where God rules
Hell - a place of horrors where Satan rules
Immortality of the soul - the idea that the soul lives on after the death of the body
Near-death experience - when someone about to die has an out of body experience
Non-voluntary euthanasia - ending someones life painlessly when you are unable to ask, but have good reason for thinking they would want you to
Paranormal - unexplained things which are thought to have spiritual causes
Purgatory - a place Catholics believe you go to work off sins before going to heaven
Quality of Life - the idea that life must have some benefits to be worth living
Resurrection - the belief that, after death, the body stays in the ground until the end of the world when it is raised
Reincarnation - the belief that after death souls are reborn in a new body
Sanctity of Life - the belief that life is holy and belongs to God

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