RS Unit 6 Mock Revision

  • Created by: PaulineN2
  • Created on: 24-11-20 10:57


-Explain Christian teaching about sanctity of life (sacredness of life)

Christians believe that:

  • All life is sacred and created by God
  • only God should decide when human life begins and ends
  • all human life should be valued and protected
  • CATHOLIC TEACHING- Chatechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)- 'Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative actio  of one can....destroy an innocent human being'
  • Pope Francis - 'From conception, childhood,adolescence,adulthood, old age, as well as those moments when it is 'fragile and sick. wounded, offended, demoralised, marginalized and those cast aside' is 'always human life'.
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- Explain biblical teaching about the sanctity of human life

• Humans are the only species created in the image of God (Genesis 1:28) so human life must be respected and not disposed of in the way animal life might be treated.

• Only God has the right to decide when a life should end; life and death decisions must be left to God.

• The Bible teaches that human life is special to God even when a baby is in the womb. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet before he was born (Jeremiah 1:5) and Luke describes how John the Baptist recognised he was in the presence of someone greater, when Mary visited Elizabeth (Luke 1:41).

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“Quality of life is more important than sanctity of life.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.

• Some people feel that they would not want to continue living if illness or disability seriously affected their quality of life.

• Reference may be made to the idea of autonomy; many people feel that they have the right to decide what happens to their body.

• A person has the right to control his or her own life and decide when and how they should die; this is already acknowledged in UK law with the use of advanced directives (or ‘living wills’).

• The law in the U.K. already accepts that people have the right to end their own life, as suicide is no longer regarded as a crime; a person who cannot physically end his or her own life has the right to be assisted in this.

• Some might argue that doctors are ‘playing God’ if they keep a person alive with medical intervention when there is no hope of recovery.

On the other hand:

• Christians maintain the ‘sanctity of life’, that all human life is given by God and only he has the right to end it.

• Any deliberate killing of another human being is wrong, whether through abortion, euthanasia or capital punishment.

• Humans are the only species created in the image of God (Genesis 1:28) so human life must be respected and not disposed of in the way animal life might be treated.

• If doctors and relatives could legally decide when a life should end, then there is fear that this could be abused; elderly people or those who are terminally ill might feel pressured into euthanasia.

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On the other hand:

• Christians maintain the ‘sanctity of life’, that all human life is given by God and only he has the right to end it.

• Any deliberate killing of another human being is wrong, whether through abortion, euthanasia or capital punishment.

• Humans are the only species created in the image of God (Genesis 1:28) so human life must be respected and not disposed of in the way animal life might be treated.

• If doctors and relatives could legally decide when a life should end, then there is fear that this could be abused; elderly people or those who are terminally ill might feel pressured into euthanasia.

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- What is abortion? Premature expulsion of the foetus from the womb.

Abortion and the law- legal in England, Scotland and Wales since 1967 when The Abortion Act was passed.

  • A new upper time limit of 24weeks was passed in 1990 under The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act.
  • In NI abortion was illegal until 2019 until the passing of The Northern Ireland Formation Act.
  • Since  March 2020 in NI, abortion is legal for those who under a medical professional, are willing:

        - unconditionally allowed up to 12 weeks (11 weeks + 6 days)

        - Up to 24 weeks if continuation would risk mother's physical / mental health

        - No time limit in cases of fatal foetal abnormality or if mother's life is at risk / grave permanent injury to mother's  physical or  mental health is likely

  • Medical professionals who can perform an abortion = doctor, registered nurse/ midwife.
  • Conscientious objection- professionals can object to performing an abortion and someone else can take their place.   
  • Abortion in Eire is legal under The Health Act 2018.It is permitted during 1st 12 weeks of pregnancy and later where the woman's life/ health is at risk or in the case of fatal foetal abnormality
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-The status of the embryo

  • Embryo = fertilisation to 8 weeks
  • Controversial argument about when it is sufficiently human enough to deserve human rights
  • Medicine, theology and philosophy all disagree
  • Range of ideas from moment of conecption rigt throughto when the featus can breathe on its own (age of viablity), latter is criterion used by most governments
  • Catecism of Catholic Church'' Human life must be respected and protected absoulutely from the moment of conception''
  • Pope Pius XI declared a foetus is a human person from the moment of conception so abortion is always murder.
  • a foetus is a person from conception = supported by the presence of all genetic material at conception and the continuous development from then to birth and on to adulthood. We wouldn't consider killing a child because they weren't a fully developed adult


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  • WARNOCK COMITTEE recommended no embryo research beyond 14 days as they argue that human embryos below this are not worthy of respect as they lack rationality or capacity for relationship since the neral nerve network does not begin to develop until  day 10
  • Others argue for later limits for continuing research, saying that breathing movements only start at 12 weeks, 'quickenning' at 20 weeks (fluttering feeling of baby moving). Some even say that first breath outside the womb should be the cut off point
  • Others argue that since embtyos have a high mortality (40-70%) they are not worthy of respect. But the value of human beings cannot be decided by their chance of survival. We don't say e.g refugees or. AIDS sufferers are less important, nor do we say that someone likely to die of a disease should be euthanised
  • Others say embryos don't have souls (religious reason). This is based on an ancient Greek idea that body and soul are separate. It has no biblical support.
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Pro- Choice GroupsArgue:

  • intentional abortion is acceptable
  • Abortion Righs = a national pro-choice campaign set up 2003 was the merger of 2 campaigns- The National Abortion Campaign (NAC) and the Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA)
  • These groups want to build support for women's right to choose and they encourage individuals and organisations to get involved


We aim to:
Oppose any restrictions in women’s current rights and access to abortion.

Improve the current UK abortion law for women, to make abortion available on the request of the woman.

Improve women’s access to, and experience of , abortion – ensure all women in the UK have equal access to safe, legal, and free abortion.

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Pro- Life Groups


  • Intentional abortion is always wrong
  • Foetus is innocent and defenceless and should be protected
  • Examples: The Society for Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC

                        Precious Life

  • These groups try to convince ordinary people / politicians/ governemnts
  • They also provide support for women and children
  • SPUC - values the lives of all human beings - and also campaign against other direct threats to the lives of vulnerable individuals, such as euthanasia and embryo abuse.Promote the life and welfare of mothers during pregnancy and of their children from the time of conception up to, during and after birth
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Arguments For Abortion

  • A woman has the right to choose. It is her body
  • In the case of ****, it would be lacking in compassion to deny an abortion
  • Age- the woman may be too young - may be difficult emotionally and physically and may interrupt education
  • The woman's health and welfare is more important than the embryo/foetus
  • A woman should not have to incur the cost of having to go to another country for an abortion
  • The embryo / foetus does not have the same rights as the mother- she is not just a carrier for a foetus
  • The quality of life of the mother/ woman's other children may be adversely affected by the birth
  • Stopping legal abortions could cause a retirn to 'backstreet' abortions which are dangerous. Legal abortion may be the leser of two evils here.
  • Aborting a foetus is better than bringing a severely disabled child, with a poor quality of life, into the world


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Arguments Against Abortion

  • Roman Catholic believe that life begins at conception. All abortion is murder
  • Some Protestants believe that life begins after the first 14 days. Abortion after this is murder
  • All human value is of equal value- even a foetus. A foetus has a right to life because it s a human being with potential from fertilisation
  • There are alternantives to abortion e.g. adoption
  • Abortion makes life appear cheap and disposable. This affects the quality and value of life and contradicts the Hipocratic Oath taken by doctors to protect all life from conception
  • People born with disabilities can live full and happy lives
  • Abortion can damage the lon-term physical and emotional health of a woman
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Biblical teaching on abortion

The Bible does not have any direct references to abortion. However, it does have passages which emphasise that human life is special as it is created by God. (i.e the sanctity of life)

  • All these passages imply that human life is God-given and important right from the moment of conception.
  • Exodus 21:22 - states that if a person causes a miscarriage then they would have to pay a fine. This shows that the foetus is important to God snce a fine is imposed.
  • Genesis 1: 27: ' So God created human beings, making them to be like himself.' - All life, including the unborn is sacred because God created it.Only he has the right to decide when it should end. 
  • Psalm 139: 'For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.'-  teaches that God knows all about each person in minute detail, as he has created each one of us
  • Jeremiah 1:5, God says to Jeremiah ‘I chose you before I gave you life, and before you were born I chose you to be a prophet to the nations.’ - God has a plan and a purpose for all of us even when we are in the womb.
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  • Luke 1:41-44 : 'When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.' - The unborn son of Elizabeth recognized the unborn baby Jesus in Mary's womb, and he was so very excited and overcome with joy that he jumped in Elizabeth's womb! A sign of the sensitivities and value of life before birth
  • Luke 18: 16: 'But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. ' - A message of the value placed on children by God
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Church teaching on Abortion

  • All Christians believe in respect for life and that life begins in the womb. No church is in favour of abortion but views vary on if and when it is acceptable.
  • Cathlolic Church- Abortion is always murder

Pope John Paul II - ''From the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.''

Catechism of the Catholic Church- ''Human life must be respected and protecte absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognised as having the rights of a person- among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.''

  • Presbyterian Church-

''Human life begins at conception and from that moment the human embryo should be treated in a manner in accordance with full human dignity...We argue that abortion is justified when a pregnancy endangers the life of a mother.We are not convinced abortion is justified on the basis that an unborn child has a life limiting condition.'

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  • Anglican Church

''No abortion is ever desirable- at most it can only be described as the lesser of two evils, and undertaken with a profound sense of sadness and regret........We must offer spiritual, emotional and practical support as they rebuild their lives.'

  • Methodist Church

'We believe that abortion on demand is wrong........However, we also believe that abortion is a permissible choice in a small number of very specific cases'

- risk of injury to health of mother, cases of **** or incest, gross abnormality of foetus where incapable of survival

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Alternatives to abortion

  • Keep the baby - no shame nowdays. More government suport available e.g. child and housing benefits
  • Adoption- An individual / couple become a child's legal parent(s) after its birth. Adoption passes these rights and responsibilities to someone else.
  • Fostering- A child is placed in temporary care of another family until the parent(s) can look after the child. The child is legally still the parent's. The government pays foster parents.
  • Practical support to keep the baby- some organisations provide financial support to encourage keeping the child.
  • Counselling- help to think it all through - also available to wider family
  • Choose to have the baby at risk to the mother's life- soem women suffering from life-threatening illnesses choose to ignore advice and continue pregnancy 
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What is euthanasia? The intentional ending of a life; usually with the purpose to relieve suffering.

Active euthanasia - Something done to a person to make them die more quiclky e.g. giving drugs with the intention of causing death

Passive euthanasia- any form of treatment that might extend a person's life is withdrawn e.g. a life support machine turned off, or feeding tube removed. This is legally allowed in the UK, so would not be called euthnasia

Voluntary euthanasia- a person asks for their own life to be ended

Non-voluntary euthanasia- a person cannot make a decision about euthnasia or cannot make their wishes known, and so someone else, e.g. a doctor or a family member, decides that it would be in the person's best interest if their life was ended. E.g. if a person is in a coma


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Involuntary euthanasia- A person wants to live, but someone else, e.g a doctor or a family member, decides it would be in the person's best interest if their life was ended. E.g if a person had an accident that would lead to imminent and painful death

Assisted suicide- deliberately assisting or encouraging another person to end their own life

A living will- A document that sets out a person's wishes regarding how they want to be treated if they become seriously ill and unable to make or communicate their own choices. It is not an instrument for euthnasia, but a request to doctors in advance, not to give certain medical treatments

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definition of capital punishment When a person receives the death penalty or execution for crimes committed.

Reasons for crime in society today -Criminal behaviour can be caused by:

  • a person's free choice
  • a person's environment. E.g. a broken home or failure at school could be a catalyst for the change to becoming a criminal
  • seeing it as the only option for a person if they are unable to conform to society
  • being associated with other criminals

Types of crime existing today

  • violences against the person e.g domestic violence/ child abuse/ murder
  • sexual offences e.g **** 
  • robbery e.g bank, burglary
  • offences against vehicles
  • other theft offences e.g shoplifting / mugging/ identity theft
  • fraud and forgery
  • criminal damage
  • drug offences
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Legality of the death penalty

  • illegal in UK - abolished for murder in 1965 and all crimes in 1998
  • Uk has agreed not to restore the death penalty so long as it is part of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • In countries where it is legal it aims to -  protect society

                                                                  - deter others from commiting crme

                                                                  - compensate victims of crime (reparation)

  • Most executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan in that order
  • Legal in USA 


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Christian Teaching - Arguments for and against capital punishment


  • It helps to maintain order and protection in society
  • The Bible sets down the death penalty for some crimes, so it must be acceptable to God. This is often seen as retribution
  • The Church of England has not repealed the statement in its Thirty Nine Articles which says  'The laws of the ealm may punish Christian men with death for Heinous and grievous offences'
  • Saint Thoma Aquinas argued that peace in society was more important that reforming the sinner. He reflects the Roman Catholic Church's teaching that the protection of the whole of society is more important than the individual.
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  • Some argue that it can never be justified
  • Jesus came to Earth to reform sinners, as he did with the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11 (Those who have not sinned may cast the first sin)
  •  Jesus amended the Old Testament teaching on retribution in Matthew 5 : 38-39 when he said ' You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.'
  • Christians believe in the sanctity of life- this means life is holy and belongs to God, therefore only God has the power to take life. In Romans 12: 17-19 it states, ' Do not repay anyone eveil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to revenge; I will repay, says the Lord.'
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Arguments in favour of capital punishment

• It gives society protection from a dangerous criminal.

• It is cheaper than keeping someone in prison for the rest of their life.

• It can deter others from committing the same crime.

Arguments against capital punishment

• The Bible teaches that any taking of human life is wrong. Only God has the right to take life.

• The death penalty could be seen by some people as an easy way out. It would be better for an off ender to be imprisoned for life and have to live with the guilt of what they had done.

• Mistakes can be made and innocent people could be sentenced to death.

• The death penalty makes the state as bad as the criminals they are trying to punish.

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Bible Teaching on capital punishment

• The Old Testament supports the death penalty: ‘Human beings were made like God, so whoever murders one of them will be killed by someone else’ (Genesis 9:6).

 • ‘Do not commit murder’ (Exodus 20:13) affirms the seriousness of the crime of murder.

• The Old Testament teaches the principle of limited revenge: ‘Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth’ (Exodus 21:23). This teaches that retribution is an appropriate aim of punishment.

 • However, Jesus taught that revenge should not be taken and emphasised the importance of forgiveness rather than punishment. ' But now I tell yoy, do not take revenge someone who wrongs you.' Matthew 5 :39

• Paul writes that the state has the right to carry out punishment on God’s behalf against wrong-doers: ‘Everyone must obey the state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission’ (Romans 13:1)

• The Bible does not give a definitive approach on the issue. Capital punishment is allowed for murder in the Old Testament: ‘Whoever murders a man will be killed by his fellow men’ (Genesis 9:6) and ‘Life for life, eye for eye and tooth for tooth’ (Exodus 21:23). On the other hand, Jesus supported a more compassionate approach, leading to differences of opinion among Christians

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Causes and types of prejudice and discrimination, including race, religion, gender and disability

• Discrimination involves acting unfairly towards a person or group of people; to put prejudice into action; to exclude people from equal treatment.

• Prejudice is the act of pre-judging someone. • Judging another person in an unfavourable way. • Making a judgement based on little or no actual knowledge.

Name two groups of people who may be disadvantaged in our society and may face discrimination.

• The homeless. • Ex-prisoners. • Migrant workers/immigrants. • The elderly. • People with a disability.

 Name one reason why some people are prejudiced towards others.

• Prejudice has been learnt from their parents. • They have been influenced by the area where they live. • ‘Scapegoating’ – the need to have someone to blame.

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Explain why some people are prejudiced towards those of a different race or religion./ other groups

• Some people have been brought up with prejudiced opinions, learnt from their parents.

• Some prejudice is the result of ignorance and misunderstanding about the culture of others or  fear of that which they don't understand

• A person may have had a bad experience with someone of a different religion or race which leaves them with a negative impression.

• Some people may believe that their religion is the only way to God.

  • Some people are affected by their experience which leads to prejudice e..g an elderly prtson badly treated by a group of teenagers may become fearful of all teen agers
  • Scapegoating- when things are wrong in a person's life or society, people often look for someone to blame. This is often unfair e..g. in high unemployment, foreigners may be blamed for stealing jobs. In Nazi Germany, Hitler blamed the Jews for the bad economy
  • Media- bombarded by opinion by opinion through TV, newspaper, social media etc. Some info may be biased and can reinforce prejudice against certain groups of people.
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Examples of prejudice and discrimination

  • RACISM -THE HOLOCAUST- systemic state- sponsored persecution and murder of 6  to million Jews by the Nazi regime. The Germans who came to power in 1933 believed that Germans were racially superior to Jews, Roma (gypsies), disabled , Slavic people (Poles, Rssians and others) and targetted these groups and others as being racially inferior and an alien threat to the German racial community. It was ethnic cleansing
  • SEXISM - TREATMENT OF WOMEN- Lots of female foetuses are aborted in India and baby girls are deliberately neglected and left to die.Husbands in Egypt and Bahrain can forbid their wives to leave the country for any reason.
  • RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION- FREEDOM TO PRACTISE FAITH- The Prime Minister of Canada discriminated against religious people by launching summer scheme jobs that forced employers to endorse abortion. This posed roblems for faith based summer camps for kids
  • DISABILITY- WHEELCAHIR ACCESS- 1/3 of trains running on a major route in N.England will not be able to take wheelchair users due to the temporary re-introduction of 45-yr old carriages.
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Trocaire as an organisation fighting poverty and injustice

  • The overseas development agency of the Catholic Church
  • Established by bishops of Ireland in 1973 to support the most vulnerable peolpe in the developing world whilst raising awareness of development at hime in NI
  • Works in over 20 countries
  • it envisages a peaceful world  where:

-people's dignity is ensured and rights are respected

- basic needs are met and resources shared fairly

-people have control over their own lives and thise in power act for the commmmon good

  • works to provide long-term support to people who live in extreme poverty, enablng themto work their way out of poverty
  • Provides assitance to people in most need in emergencies and enables communites to prepare for future emergencies
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Ways in which individuals and comunities can respond to and support both fair trade and campaigns for justice 

Fairtrade is a movement for change that works directly with businesses, consumers and campaigners to make trade effective for farmers and workers. It sets standards -This includes protecting worker's rights and the environment  and companies have to pay the payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community projects of the community's choice.

The mission is to empower farmers and workers to combat poverty, strengthen their position and take more control over their lives

We can 

  • purchase Fairtrade goods
  • Support Fairtrade campaigns financially
  • Campaign for Fairtrade products to be sold in your school/ lcal shops etc.
  • Read up on Fairtrade Foundation and fundraise to support them
  • Ask teachers to educate your tutor group
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For other justice issues

  • attend peaceful rallies in support of justice
  • read up on the issues and speak up to challenge those who speak against justice
  • vote for politicians who promote change to challenge injustice
  • embrace diversity and support schemes to help ethnic minorities feel welcome and safe 
  • learning about religions in school will help generate respect , peace and understanding  in our communities 
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