Religion Unit Two

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Centring the universe on humans; viewing animals and the environment as having instrumental value, i.e. they are for human consumption and use.
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Representing God as having human form, personality or attributes. Also means ascribing human characteristics to what is not humans, e.g. animals.
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A priori
Are arguments are known without sense experience.
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A posterior
Are arguments known after sense experience.
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A technical team meaning God had no beginning, and is responsible for his own existence.
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Augustine’s theodicy
According to Augustine, evil is privation of good, meaning that evil does not exist in its own right – it is the absence of good. Augustine said the world was created perfect and corrupted by free will.
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The variation in life forms in an ecosystem or in the biosphere.
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Also known as genetic engineering, it involves combining bits of DNA from cells with other bits of cells to potentially cure diseases or produce clones.
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The total sum of all ecosystems in the world, including the atmosphere.
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Deep ecology
A belief that the biosphere is an intricately interlocked system, and that interfering with one part of it can be detrimental to the whole. Deep ecology believes that the use of plants and animals just to satisfy human needs is wrong and that all lif
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The felling and burning of trees in forest areas, which has a damaging effect on the environment and contributes to an increase in global warming.
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Doctrine of the fall
The doctrine that the sin of Adam and Eve has led humanity to be in a “fallen state” from which it has yet to be redeemed by the crucifixion of Jesus.
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Double effect
A principle that says so long as your intention is intrinsically god and you follow the rules, you are not responsible for the unforeseen consequences of your actions (and you may even benefit from those consequences) – this is the “double effect”.
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All the living plants, animals, and micro-organisms in an area together with the non-living things that are part of the same area.
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Efficient cause
The third of Aristotle’s Four Causes, meaning the thing that changes something from one thing to another.
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A word used by Aristotle to mean “complete well being”.
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Final Cause
The fourth of Aristotle’s Four Causes, meaning the purpose of why something is made.
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First Cause
In Aristotle’s/Aquinas’s system, the First system, the First Cause is the First Efficient Cause, which Aquinas identified with the God of Christianity.
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First Efficient Cause
Aristotle claimed this cannot itself be made of matter (otherwise it would need an efficient cause to exist) and must be non-material and would be in the form of a mind, i.e. a non-material mind.
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First unmoved mover
According to Aristotle, the First Unmoved Mover, must be a mind which changes and moves things in the universe by desire.
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Term used by Aristotle to mean the knowable, permanent, scientifically definable part of a thing.
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Formal Cause
The second of Aristotle’s Four Causes, meaning the pattern, or shape of a thing.
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Freedom of choice
In Christian ethics, it is assumed that humans have free will to respond to God and to be moral beings.
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Gaia Hypothesis
A scientific version of Deep Ecology put forward by James Lovelock which believes that the planet behaves as if it is self-aware and regulates all life forms interactively to encourage the flourishing of all those life forms, and not just humans.
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Global warming
The gradual rise in overall temperature of the Earth caused by burning of fossil fuels.
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Meaning “salvation history”, i.e. the record, mainly in the Bible, of God’s saving acts on behalf of humanity.
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Hypothetical imperative
A command with limited force. A recommendation to act or behave in a certain way.
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Irenaeus’ theodicy
A philosophy begun in the second century by St Irenaeus and developed in the 20th century by John Hick, who argued that God created humans at an “epistemic” distance from him, meaning humans do not have direct evidence of the existence of God, only i
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Meaning the law of cause and effect.
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Material Cause
The first of Aristotle’s Four Causes, meaning the matter out of which a thing is made.
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Term used by Aristotle to mean the element of changeableness in things. Things can change by 1. Transformation (degeneration or regeneration) or 2. By being moved.
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Meaning freedom from the “wheel” of reincarnation known as “samsara”.
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Natural theology
A branch of theology developed by Aquinas that claims that reason can show us that God exists.
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Ockham’s razor
The principle that suggests that “one should never multiply entities unnecessarily”, i.e. where two or more solutions of equal merit exist to solve a problem, the simplest should be selected.
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Practical reasonableness
The process of bringing one’s intelligence to bear on seeking out the seven basic goods. There are nine principles of practical reasonableness – nine methods of working by which we try to achieve the seven basic goods.
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Primary precepts
Rules that help us to develop a common human purpose – according to Aquinas these are to reproduce; to preserve life; to preserve the innocent; the acquire knowledge; to live in an ordered society and to worship God.
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Principle of Plenitude
An idea put forward by St Augustine in the fourth century, that having a diversity of living creatures in the world is better than just having a few species.
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Process theodicy
A philosophy of A N Whitehead that assumes that God is not all-powerful but is still developing.
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Process theology
The view that evil is a process within matter. God has two natures: one material (the universe) and one spiritual.
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A modified version of Natural Law Ethics which argues that certain acts are wrong because they go against out common human nature, but there can be exceptions to a rule whenever a “proportionate reason” justifies the exception.
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Forests with an annual rainfall of 1750-2000mm, which contain up to 50% of the world’s species. They also supply up to 30% of the world’s oxygen.
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The wheel of constant reincarnation.
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Secondary precepts
These are worked out from the list of primary precepts and are absolute rules that should govern how people live their lives.
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Seven basic goods
According to John Finnis, these are a set of seven things (natural goods) that all rational people accept as being good: life, health, knowledge, play, friendship, religion, and aesthetic experience.
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Term used by Aristotle to mean “things” such as beds, trees, and people.
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Summum Bonum
The highest good – the combination of the perfect completion of duty with a perfect reward (in an afterlife).
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A Hebrew word meaning “good” or “perfect”, which God uses to describe the world after the major acts of creation.
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Halfway between land-based and aquatic environments. Wetlands are home to large numbers of species and are valued for their biodiversity.
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Card 2


Representing God as having human form, personality or attributes. Also means ascribing human characteristics to what is not humans, e.g. animals.



Card 3


Are arguments are known without sense experience.


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Card 4


Are arguments known after sense experience.


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Card 5


A technical team meaning God had no beginning, and is responsible for his own existence.


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