RS iGCSE Part 1 Sect. D: Rights, Equality and Responsibilities

RS iGCSE Part 1 Sect. D: Rights, Equality and Responsibilities

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Equal Rights and Opportunities

Ideal - everyone born with equal opportunities. All would have same chance to succeed and prosper. You could choose whether or not you were to take the opportunities and do your best with them, or leave them. But that would be an individual choice - the option was there.

People are born disadvantaged - children in Africa are born in an environment with drought, erosion, famine, disease.

People are born advantaged - children in UK are born in a stable economy, water, developed infrastructure, access to education and health facilities.

What we need to do: disadvantaged areas, like Africa, need to find tools to succeed and prosper with what they are faced with:

  • develop and cultive crops which can become plentiful in that climate

Freedom and free will allows us to take our own paths - so we will never be equal (same). But we can have equal opportunuties and do with them as we wish.

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Human Rights

Equality Before the Law - a person's right to fair and equal treatment and protection under the law.

Freedom of Religion - a person's right of to follow/not to follow a religion.

Freedom of Opinion - a person's right to hold any opinion they choose.

Freedom of speech - right to express any opinion with censorship or restraint.

Amnesty International are a global organisation, working in 150 countries, campaigning to end abuse of human rights, and achieve equality through human rights across the globe - have 3 million members and supporters.

Freedom of Speech is sometimes limited due to its ability to harm/insult others.

The Right to go anywhere in the world is limited for criminals in prison, under house arrest, remanded in custody etc.

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Equal Rights

Equal Rights - all people being entitled to fair and equal treatment legally

Equal Opportunities - all being legally entitled to equal opportunities in relation to employment, provision of goods, facilities and services

Gender Bias - regarding/treating either men/women more favourably

Disability - a physical/mental impairment which has a substantial, long-term, adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal everyday activities

Disability Bias - regarding/treating those with disabilities less favourably

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Christianity and Women

2 sexes expected to grow up differently. Expected to show different characteristics in adult life. Because they are genetically different and have been treated differently from birth onwards.


  • Chose 12 male disciples, women there to 'wait on him'
  • Close friendships with Martha and Mary, sisters, very important to him
  • Earliest and most important witnesses to Jesus' resurrection


  • "Man is head of the woman, as Christ is head of the Church"
  • Wife should obey her husband, it is her responsibility to love him
  • Not allow women to play any public role in the Churches he established
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Christian Roles of Women

Methodist & Baptist - always had women ministers

Salvation Army - women officers since its beginning

Roman Catholic - refuse to ordain women priests

Christian Church have improved:

  • allowing women to play leading roles in worship
  • allowing women to become deacons and priests [1994]

Roman Catholics: ordination of women to the priesthood is impossible because Jesus chose only male disciples. The disciples then chose male collaborators to succeed them.

Today's priests are the apostles' successors - cannot be women.

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Medical Model < how we thought about people with disabilities

  • bringing impairment into the foreground risks pushing the person into the background. They become less of a person and more of a collection of symptoms.
  • inspires pity and irrational fear 

Social Model < how we should think about them

  • instead of emphasising the disability, this puts person at forefront and emphasises dignity, independence, choice and privacy

Impairment - something not working properly with the body, mind or senses

Disability - exclusion, due to impairment, from something people take for granted e.g. access a service, get involved in an activity, live independently, earn a living

HELP: Wheelchair ramps, spaces on buses, disabled toilets, signer/loop for hearing aid at a conference, info tape at council meeting, computer access

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Multi-Ethnic Society

Multi-Ethnic Society - many races/cultures living together in one society


  • brings a wide variety into everyday life in music, culture, food, clothes
  • helps people from very different backgrounds/cultures to know/understand each other
  • brings new ideas/ways of doing things into everyday lives of people living in this country


After 2nd World War [1945] > shortage of workers in essential occupations, so government found workers from commonwealth countries (India, Africa, Hong Kong). These had fought for us in war and we owed them huge debt. Some were followed by families who settled to live in UK and formed these societies.

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Racial/Social Harmony

Racial Harmony - people of different races/colours living together peacefully

If there's a hierarchy ordering religions, and one race believes it to be superior to another, there will be discrimination, racial hatred and prejudice. Race should not act a a barrier preventing someone from flourishing due to what matters ie. talent, ambition and effort.

Prejudice, discrimination, racism > ignorance (lack of education, narrow-mindedness, upbringing, experience)

^ Overcome these:

  • Race Relations Act [1976] made discrimination, threatening/abusive language and published works which stir racial hatred illegal
  • Commission for Racial Equality (organisation) has 3 aims to fight against all racial discrimination
  • Education on other cultures and importance of appreciating differences
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Christianity and Racial Harmony

Before: black people not welcomed> African-Caribbean people first came to UK, found Church to be cold and unwelcoming so formed own communities

Now, Christianity teaches:

  • human race is created in image of God so whole human race has a spiritual likeness to God that no other part of the created order shares
  • racial discrimination in any form is wrong
  • Jesus is in favour of racial equality because he teaches the PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN < member of the less favoured race

Christians should be at forefront of those wok ring to bring about racial harmony in a divided society. Recently, most Christian churches have released statements identifying themselves with this position.

The Bible: "There is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women, you are all one in union with Christ Jesus."

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Multi-Faith - Inter-Faith Society

* After war (see previous card), new workers set up religious communities to support the new immigrant communities and the families. *

Multi-Faith Society - different religions living together in one society


  • differences not to be highlighted
  • no ignorance, anger or abuse to be shown towards religious people (atheists) or towards different religions (religious)
  • no hierarchy to be established

Promoting Multi-Faith:

  • encouraging young people and children to take part in extra-curricular activities, outside of school, to meet people from other faiths
  • educate people about other religions
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Christianity and Other Religions - Proselytisation

Proselytisation - trying to convert people to join a religion

Attitudes within Christianity:

  • believe Christianity is only way to come to God
  • all other religions are wrong
  • Jesus said he was the only way to God: "I am the way, the truth and the life".
  • converting their neighbour is a way of showing love by ensuring they get into heaven
  • Jesus: Christians have to convert all the nations

Many believe: people can come to God through different religions but only Christianity has the full truth because it is the teaching of the Catholic Church and the Bible states that salvation comes through believing Jesus. "Outside the Church there is no salvation!"

Bible: God can be contacted by other religions but full truth about God can only be seen in Jesus. People with other faiths are simply anonymous Christians, they do not know it.

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Christianity and Other Religions

Exclusivism - Belief that only one religion is true and avoiding people who follow other religions

  • Christianity alone provides path to God, through Jesus.

Inclusivism - Belief that there is truth in all religions and welcoming and working with other people whatever their religion.

  • many people are living a moral, religious life > are Christians without realising it (anonymous Christians.)

Pluralism - Belief that a multi-faith/ethnic is desirable

  • any way to God is valid.
  • all leading to a reality.
  • reality-centred life in infinitely preferable to a self-centred life.
  • totally free to choose what path to take.

^ Some Christians believe that all religions are just different ways of finding God because they do not regard the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. God is a force like gravity which can be discovered by humans in different ways, they could see other faiths living good holy lives.

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Rich and Poor

Stark comparison between: malnutrition, education, disease, life expectancy.

Poor countries need short-term and long-term aid if they are to develop.

Absolute Poverty - people who do not have basic necessities to sustain life; food, water, shelter.

Relative Poverty - compares those who are considered poor in wealthier countries to the wealthy population in the same country.

Short-term aid - urgently required emergency provisions given when natural disaster hits poor country.

Long-term aid - help given to overcome underlying problems in poor countries; help building hospitals and schools, education on improving soil quality.

SHARING KNOWLEDGE IS BETTER THAN DONATING MONEY (which may feed into corrupt governments...)

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Christianity and Wealth and Charity

1. belief in God and amassing personal wealth can go together

2. to be a good Christian, one must live in poverty amongst the world's poorest, as they trust that this is what Jesus would have done.

* Money is neither good nor bad - what matters is the use to which it is put. *

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: Jesus told his followers to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help the sick as if it were him they were helping.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan: no Christian should ignore the needs of those in great need; help should be extended to all.

The Parable of the Widow and the Mite: whatever you give to charity, no matter what your financial state it appreciated; she gave all she owned and the wealthy laughed

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Giving to Charity is a waste of time?


  • never any guarantee money will reach those who need it (corrupt governments)
  • poverty can't be fixed
  • education is needed
  • if you help first-hand, you cut out the middle man


  • giving to charity is the most convenient way of offering help
  • Jesus said - Christians must follow his guidelines
  • every little helps
  • delays the growth of the gap between rich and poor
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Explain How the Idea of Charity Can Be Applied to

Th wealthy can show their love and concern for others by sharing their wealthy with those who are poor.

Religious people can ensure that they carry out the teachings of their religion about being charitable by helping the poor in their own society and elsewhere in the world.

Sermon on the Mount: Jesus gave people instructions on the sort of behaviour that would lead to Gods' grace. He encouraged people to be selfless and to share all they had. In selecting people to be his disciples, he explained how difficult it would be for a rich person to enter the kingdom of Heaven if they were consumed with their wealth above the well-being of others.

People in developed countries who are comparatively rich can help those in developing countries by individual giving, working for charities, and calling for increased overseas aid.

Governments of developed countries can help developing countries by increasing overseas aid and cancelling debt.

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Non-Religious Attitudes to Wealth and Poverty

  • Have no obligation to give to charity, whereas Christians have a duty from God.
  • May not feel any need/want to give.
  • What is theirs will stay theirs as they need not share.


  • despite having no Bible/God to tell them what is right
  • we have a moral duty to help

Christians are taught to be selfless, but some still refuse to share their wealth.

Likewise, there are selfless and selfish non-Christians.

Dependent on reasons and self-beliefs > strength of moral duty.

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