When something is true, it is a certainty of its correctness.
There are four types of truth.: Scientific: these are truths about our surroundings and are proved by experiment. However, they often depend on human analysis and can sometimes be disproved by further experiment.
Historic: these are truths about the past, they can be gathered by documentation and artefacts(archeology), however, these depend on human interpretation and the evidence may fragmented or biased.
Moral: this is whether something is right or wrong, it often depends on abstract reasoning. some people say that it is from the conscience or from God or that we have learnt it. It cannot be proved using empirical evidence.
Spiritual:this is often based on religion and many say it is non-rational. it cannot be proved using empirical evidence. but how do we know that the religious leaders and books are right?
Spirituality may involve: artistic creativity, feelings of awe and wonder, awareness of uniqueness of your indivuality, awareness of the preciousness of the universe and everything in it, awareness of some divine being.
religious people may express their spirituality by:
Belonging to a faith community: Most christians reconise the importance of a faith community, many are part of a church, some christians become monks or nuns and vow chastity, obedience and poverty. In Islam the ummah is a central part of worship and is based on equality shown by wearing the same standing together and having the same simple funeral. the mosque is not just a place to worship but a place to meet and learn.
individual commitment: christians worship by praying and celebrating the eucharist, they also show their piety by going on retreats and using symbols such as rosary beads. many christian artists etc express their spirituality using their creativity. Muslims have to perform Salah and their mosques are beautifully decorated.
Service to others; All faiths teach that without service religion is meaningless. Jesus said that love thy neighbour and love thy God are two of the most important commandments and in John it said that a christian could not claim to love God if he ignored the needs of his fellow humans.
Matters of life- assisted conception
Assisted conception: AIH where sperm is implanted mechanically from the husband or partner to the wife.AID the same but from a donor. surrogacy, where a woman carries and gives birth to a child for someone else. IVF, eggs and sperm are collected and fertilised in lab, embryos checked for viability and then some are implanted in women's uterus.
Roman Catholics oppose because it is playing God, infertility is God's will and couples must accept it, some of it is mechanical adultery, spare embryos could be experimented on which is against the sanctity of life.
Most Protestants support it because children bring joy to a marriage and helping infertile couples is compassionate, it is a good use of god-given skills and knowledge, it is an extension of Jesus's healing powers and is not against nature but putting nature right!
Some Muslims oppose as they see fertility treatment as playing God, only Allah decides when life begins and ends. Muslims see gamete donation as effectively adultery. However many accept IVF and AIH as children are an important part of a marriage.
Matters of Life- Embryology
This is research on embryos often spares from IVF there are strict rules controling this (only up to 14 days, must have consent of both parents, have to be licensed.)
Roman Catholics oppose as an embryo is a person and so destroying it is murder and the research is abusing the rights of the embryo.
Protestants views differ some believe alright as not person yet and it could end up saving lives which is always a good thing.
Most Muslims support as the embryo is not a human until 40-120 days and a embryo concieved outside a women's uterus has no sanctity of life also just destroying embryos from IVF is wasteful.
both Protestants and Muslims agree that the research must be solely therapeutic and alternatives should be sought.
Matters of Life- Genetic Engineering
This can be used for:- correcting a faulty gene, improving a person, creating designer babies, eugenics.
Christian views are mixed as creating a designer baby would be an idoltorus worship of qualities such as beauty, and is playing God .However many believe as somantic-cell therapy saves lives it is worth it. Many alsoworry abot the commercialisation of medicine.
Many Muslims worry that genetic therapy is altering Allah's wishes for humans and that scientist do not know the consequences of their actions. However many support somantic-cell as saving a life is like saving the all of humanity.
Matters of life- Cloning
This is creating a genetically identical copy of an organism.
All Christians oppose adult cell and embryo cloning as wanting a copy of yourself is idoltorus and playing God. Cloning leads to life being seen as a commodity. There are more mixed views about therapeutic cloning most protestants support it as it saves lives, Roman Catholics oppose it because of their views on embryology.
All Muslims see reproductive cloning as commiting the sin of Shirk (claiming Equality with God), they also believe it is idoltarous to want a copy of oneself. They also worry that the status of men might suffer and that the process will be controled by the rich and powerful. Most accept therapeutic cloning as it saves lives and that is rewarded by Allah it is also supported by the view that embryos are only potential humans until ensoulment.
Matters of Life- transplants and blood transfusion
Most Christians suport this as it saves life, giving an organ such as a kidney is seen as compassionate and loving, cadaveric transplantation is seen as something good out of evil. Most Muslims hold these views also. However, Christians and Muslims that believe in bodily resurrection believe that the body must go to the grave whole and so oppose transplantation. There also may be some worry about commersialisation and that the process would be controlled by the rich and powerful. Both religions say that the organ must be free and the decision must be informed with no pressure.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the blood is sacred and belongs to the individual and so will not have blood transfusions, they will have organ transplants if the organ is drained of blood first.
Matters of Death
The defination of death is brain stem death when the brain can no longer send messages to the body.
Christians believe that after death you go to heaven or hell depending on your sins which is eternal .The dying are encouraged to place their trust in God and many take the last rites. Many people pray for the dying or the dead. Muslims are encouraged to trust Allah will be merciful and repeat the Shahdah so that Allah is the last word on their lips. The funeral is immediate and they believe that two angels visit the dead asking questions. Muslims believe that there is eternal life after death called akhirah and you go to Al-janna (paradide) or Jahannam (hell).
Life support. Christians belive in the sanctity of life, that life is sacred, and also that the body is a temple of the Holy spirit however they also believe that it is compassionate to relieve suffering and when there is no chance of recovery most accept turning off life support. Roman Catholics are particularly wary of turning off life support when there is a chance of recovery.Muslims do not believe in unnatural prolongation of life as it is against Allah's will and nature should be allowed to take its course.
Matters of death Old Age
Christians believe that you must respect your parents as it says in the fifth commandment. Caring is a important part of the christian faith and the new testament reinforces that the vunerable must be protected. Sometimes residential care is acceptable in some cases and the christian church provides facilities for the elderly.
In Islam age takes priority over the young and Mohammed said that is you do not respect your parents you are not part of the Ummnah. Muslims often live in extended families. Muslims do not agree with putting their parents in residential care but may use hospices.
Hospices are a movement of societies and charities to provide palliative care and dignity for the teminally ill. It may be day care or residential. Christians support this as they must 'love thy neighbour' and Muslims must be compassionate and loving.
Matters of death
Suicide is not acceptable in Islam. Life is a gift from Allah and rejecting it by suicide is the ultimate insult. Only Allah can decide when a life begins or ends. the Hadith says that tose who have commited suicide cannot go to paradise. Suicide brings shame on the family and suffering is a test of faith from Allah and one should not interfere with Allah's wishes about your life.
Suicide is not liked in Christianity although those who have commited it can have a christian burial. Christians believe inthe sanctity of life and that your body is a temple of the holy spirit. it is sinful because on God have the right to take life and it breaks the sixth commandment. Suicide rejects God's plans for our lives and shows a lack of faith in his goodness and mercy.
Muslims believe that active euthanasia is the same as suicide. However, they accept passive euthanasia as submitting to Allah's will and nature taking its course.All christians accept passive euthansia as it is letting nature take its course but all denominations oppose active euthanasia for the same reasons as suicide and you should protect the vunerable. Some christians support active euthanasia because it is compassionate to let people die in dignity and God gave humans a right to choose.
There are many types of drug, medicinal social (which could be legal e.g. alcohol or in some cases illegal e.g.cannabis) there are also illegal drugs in different classes e.g. Heroin.
Christians believe that the body is a temple of the holy spirit and so we must care for it this means taking medicinal drugs but not harmful drugs like tobacco. Though alcohol can be harmful the Psalms describe wine as bringing joy to life and Jesus turned water into wine. However, the Old Testament states men become foolish when drinking too much wine. Methodists do not drink but taking wine is part of the eucharist in many denominations. They do not take illegal drugs because Christians should have good stewardship and they cause harm and it says in Romans that they should not break the law of the land.
In Islam alcohol is haram (forbidden) as it clouds the mind, Muslims must not pray after drinking and cannot pray in a Mosque 40 days after drinking. Muslims also believe that the body is not theirs but Allah's and so they must have good stewardship and not take harmful drugs such as tobacco. However, both Christian and Muslims are expected to help alcoholics and drug addicts.
Crime and Punishment
Reasons for crime- alcohol and drug addiction, poverty, boredom, peer pressure, bad parental example, emotional reactions such anger or jelousy, rebellion.
Aims of punishment -
reform (changing offender's attitudes towards themselves and society so they wish to do good not harm.)
Reparation ( an offender putting something back into society)
Retribution ( paying for the offence, often called an eye for and eye can easily escalate into revenge)
Deterrence ( discouraging the offender from committing crime again)
Protection (stopping the offender from harming people in society)
Vindication of the Law (showing that the law is just and must be respected)
Crime and Punishment
Sin is a religious offence or crime.
Christians believe that God created humans with an inbuilt moral sense or conscience but many things can lead to crime. They believe that the law of the land should be obeyed unless it conflicts with God's will as the first duty is always to God. Christians believe that punishment should go hand in hand with forgiveness. Christians are not always happy with retribution as it can easily fall into revenge and that completely goes against the spirit of the New Testament although in the Old Testament it states 'An eye for an eye'. All prisons have chaplains and bible groups. Some christians support capital punishment because of the Old Testament 'A life for a life', the Catholic Church accepts capital punishment for grave offences but prefers bloodless solutions. Anglicans and Quakers strongly oppose the death penalty as it serves no purpose and is inhumane.
Muslims believe they should obey the law of the land unless it conflicts with thier faith. Equality is an important part of Islam so everybody must be treated the same in front of the law. Forgiveness and mercy can only be shown to the offender after the victim of the crime has recived justice and so the main aim is retribution. Islam believes in the death penalty for Murder and an attack on Islam from someone who was once a practising Muslim but the family of the victim can accept blood money for murder and the murderer will get a life sentence in prison.