Unit 3.2 Matters of Life and Death- Revision Cards GCSE RE

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2.1-Catholics & life after death

Why they believe in life after death

  • Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed: "I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come."
  • John 11:25: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he die, yet he shall live."
  • Jesus' second coming.
  • Creeds-communion of saints; part of church is in heaven.

How it affects their lives

  • They'll only get into heaven if they lived good Catholic lives-try to be good Catholics.
  • Go to mass and pray often, showing love of God-one of the greatest commandments.
  • Loving their neighbour-helping anyone in need, like CAFOD, SVP. Good Samaritan.
  • Parable of the Sheep and the Gosts-feed the hungry, etc.
  • Avoid sinning so they don't go to purgatory or h ell
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2.2-Non-religious belief in Life after Death

  • Near-death experiences-claims of seeing a tunnel or bright light or seeing the medical staff from the ceiling. 8% of cases of people clinically dying for somet time have had a near death experience. No proof against it.
  • Paranomal-mediums claim to be able to contact the dead, which was a custom around in the Old Testament; it was condemned in Leviticus. If a ghost is seen, there must be life after death or it wouldn't be there.
  • Reincarnation-Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists believe in this. Deja vu-memories of past lives is the only evidence of it.

Against non-religious reasons of life after death

  • Near death experiences-scientists claim that they are products of patients' brain due to chemical changes.
  • Paranormal-many mediums have been proven to be fake.
  • Science-mind can't live without brain, so when the brain dies, so does the mind.
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2.3-Non-belief in Life after Death

  • Athiests-no God, no spirit world for life after death.
  • No scientific or empirical evidence-no one has come back from the dead to inform us.
  • We can't see where it physically could be-it can't exist.
  • Body rots after death, it can't be brought back to life.
  • Different religions contradict each other-if there was life after death, they would all say the same thing.
  • Science says that the mind can't live without the brain.
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2.4-The Sanctity of Life

  • Genesis: "in the image and likeness of God"-life is sacred and holy.
  • Commandment: "Do not kill"-life is sacred.
  • God created life, and so it is sacred. Ecclesiastes: "There is a timy for everything. A time to be born and a time to die."-only God takes and gives life.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19 "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit"
  • Abortion=destroying God's creation; Christians should not control life.
  • Euthanasia=murder; destroying life that God has made.
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  • Law:
    • It can take place before 24 weeks if 2 doctors say that the existing kids of the mother could suffer, if it would risk the health of the mother, and if it would be seriously disabled.
    • After 24 weeks if: it would pose a risk to the life of the mother, and if there is evidence of the baby being seriously disabled.
  • Why it is controverisal:
    • Life begins at contraception, so abortion is murder. Or does life begin at birth?
    • Women have the right to choose what they do with their body, but is the child's human right to life greater?
    • The mother may be unprepared for motherhood, economically or is too young. The child could also be a result of i ncest or r ape, which could affect the mother and child mentally if the child is unwanted. However, the child could be given up for adoption.
    • Disabled children have the same importance as healthy children; they are equal. But perhaps the mother doesn't want the child to suffer by living.
    • Some say that the time limit should be reduced to 18/20 weeks, due to medical advances.
    • There are arguments on whether medical staff should carry out abortions
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2.6 Christian Attitudes to Abortion

Catholic and Evangelicals-never.
Life begins a conception; a foetus is made in the image of God and is alive.
Ten Commandments-no killing, so abortion is wrong.
Catechism: "Abortion is a horrible crime...a deliberate violation of the child's rights."
One shouldn't interfere with God's plans-adoption could be a better option.
If it's due to disability-there are disabled people living fulfilling lives. Paralympics.
However, in the case of the Doctrine of the Double Effect: ectopic pregnancy could occur, where the egg attaches itself to the fallopian tube. This would kill the mother and child, and therefore the doctors would intend to save the mother. Therefore acceptable in this case.

Church of England-okay sometimes
If it is the most loving thing to do, due to pregnancy being a result of sexual assault, then it should be allowed; "love thy neighbour"
Life doesn't begin at conception.
Sanctity of Life break in a war, so it should be allowed when the mother's life is at risk.

Liberals-okay as the lesser of two evils.
Love thy neighbour, free will. Medical advances allow early detection of problems, which prevents suffering.

For abortion: Life begins at birth-view of Gradualist. Prevents suffering; everyone suffers if mother doesn't want them or can't afford it. Unwanted foetus=unwanted tumour.

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  • Law: Assisted suicide, voluntary and non-volunatry euthanasia is illegal.
  • Active-deliberate action. Passive-lack of action to keep them alive.


  • Against:
    • Job of doctors-to save lives, not end them.A cure to the disease could be found.
    • Patient-doctor relationship would change; is the doctor doing everything possible to save?
    • Hospices provide full and adequate care for the dying.
  • For:
    • Discoveries in medicine; people who would be dead are alive and in agony. Would save medical costs.
    • People can die with dignity and family don't have to watch them die painfully and slowly.
    • People can commit suicide; why not give them the right to ask assistance if too weak?
    • Doctors can switch off life-support machines if the patient is brain-dead-euthanasia already allowed.
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2.8-Attitudes to Euthanasia

Catholics, Evangelicals and most conservatives: always wrong.

  • Ten Commandments-don't kill.
  • Sanctity of life-image and likeness of God; life is sacred, only God takes life.
  • Catholic: A.H. CLough: "Though shalt not kill: but needst not strive officiously to keep alive"-painkillers can be used even if it shortens life-aim is to improve the quality of life.
  • Allowed in cases like brain death, as it isn't really euthanasia.

Some Christians

  • The Bible bans suicide, and every form of euthanasia is suicide, so it is wrong.
  • Ten Commandments-Don't kill=no large pain killer doses or switching off the machine.
  • Bible says that only God controls life and death.

Some Liberals

  •  Allow some passive Euthanasia-Bible doesn't say that they should be kept alive at all costs, so if it is the most loving thing to do, then it should be done.
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2.9-Causes of World Poverty

  • LEDC-Less economically devloped country.
  • Dirty water-risk of dying of dehydration or from disease.
  • War-buildings destryoed. Communities and families are broken up, with no work or education, which causes them to become refugees. The country they seek refuge in could be affected due to having to support a sudden, large amount of refugees.
  • Natural Disasters-Buildings and crops are destroyed and the fragile economy can't fix it. They then grow cash crops to see and pay towards debts rather than feeding their own people.
  • Corrupt governments-government leaders receiving aid and assistance from other countries-money doesn't reach people in need. Also, they allow populations to suffer as they don't have enough resources to threaten the government.
  • HIV and AIDS-medicines are too expensive and it gets spread everywhere very quickly. This stops people working, creating orphans and families without incomes, and then the older children have to make a living for the family which means that they miss out on the chance of education.
  • Debt-borrowed money from other countries and struggle to repay as interest rises-the money the country makes goes towards the repayments; the country can't develop or work its way out of poverty.
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2.10-CAFOD and ending poverty


  • It is a Catholic charity that follows Jesus; humans have a right to dignity and respect and the world's resoruces are a gift to be shared equally.
  • They believe that God created the universe and appointed them stewards-they have a duty to protect and give everyone the opportunity to share in resources.
  • Good Samaritan-love your neighbour.
  • Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."-Matt.
  • Parable of the Sheep and th Goats.


  • F-inding a voice for those unable to-dropping debts of poor countires, speaking out for the poor and promoting social justice.
  • E-ducation-this gets people out of poverty.  Also educate the UK about the needs of the poor.
  • E-mergency aid-aid for disasters like blankets, food, medicines and water.
  • L-ong term aid-to help people out of poverty-teaching alternative farming methods so crops survive.
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2.11-The Media

  • The Vampire Diaries- A character, Damon Salvatore, quickly kills his friend, Rose, who is dying from a painful disease. This could influence people into believing that euthanasia is right to do in order to allow a person to die with dignity.
  • Million Dollar Baby- a young woman who was having a very fulfilling career in boxing and was doing really successfully became paralysed from the neck down and made an attempt to end her own life due to being in pain and having a poor quality of life, and in the end her life support machine was switched off by her manager, who could not stand to see her in pain.
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