OCR Philosophy & Applied Ethics: Ethics

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Religion and Human Relationships

Roles of Men and Women

- There are 2 differing creation stories regarding the creation of humans:

        1. God created man and woman together (Genesis 1:27) - This passage is often used to argue for gender equality within the church

        2. God created man first, and then woman (Genesis 2:7 & 2:21-22) - This passage is used to justify arguments that women are lesser than men.

- In the Old Testament, many women are seen in positions of importance such are leader/rulers

- Jesus' attitude towards women was that he saw them as equals

- In the New Testament, there are also some examples of women in position fo power within the early church

- Neither the Roman Catholic Church, nor the Orthodox church allow women to be ordained


- It is seen as a gift from God

     - 'Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man seperate'

- The words of a marriage ceremony stress that the promises made are done so in front of God.

- At the beginning of the ceremony, the priest reminds the couple of the seriousness of marriage.

     - Symbolises the relationship between Christ and the Church

- The couple answer these vows: 'Will you love..., comfort..., honour and protect..., be faithful..., as long as you both shall live?'

-'For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish, till death do us part, according to God's holy law?'

- The couple may exchange rings, the circular nature reminding the couple that God/love has no end

-For Roman Catholics, marriage is seen as a sacrament (and outward sign of inner grace)

Civil Partnerships

- Formal ceremonies for same sex couples that grant them the same legal status as a heterosexual married couple

- Roman Catholic church and the Church of England are opposed to Civil Partnerships because Christianity teaches that marrigae is the proper place for sexual activity and in a same sex marriage, procreation cannot take place.

- Roman Catholic church sees homosexual activity as essentially masturbation

-The Methodist church will not bless Civil Partnerships

- Only Quakers full accept homosexual couples in their meetings

Divorce and Remarriage

- Divorce is not welcomed in Old Testament teachings (God says in Malachi 'I hate divorce')

- Jesus says divorce was wrong, but also says that a man may divorce his wife she commits adultery

-The Roman Catholic Church says that people can be leaglly divorced, but are still seen as married by the church because a sacrament cannot be undone

-However, in certain cases the Pope can grant annulment

Sexual Relationships

- Sexual acts must take place exclusively within marriage

- Outside marriage, sexual activity always constitutes a grave sin

- St Paul wanted everyone to be celibate

- Agape - Slefless, non-sexual love, unconditional

-Christian churches are all opposed to adultery, fornication and (with few exceptions) homosexuality


- Chirstians believe that life is a


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