Matters of Life and Death revision This unit is based on Christianity and Islam
Write down the answers then check your work by clicking the mouse Resurrection A: The belief that after death the body stays in the grave until the end of the world when it is raised Immortality of the soul A: The idea that the soul lives on after the death of the body Sanctity of life A: The belief that life is holy and belongs to God Abortion A: The removal of the fetus from the womb before it can survive Non-voluntary euthanasia A: Ending someones life painlessly when they are unable to ask, but you have good reason for thinking they would want you to do so e.g. switching off a life support machine
Non-religious reasons for believing in life after death Many people claim to have seen ghosts The idea that once someone dies, that can just be it, nothing else The use of Ouija boards and séances The use and claims of mediums People claim to have had deja vu Near death experiences The fact that some people remember past lives which may be a sign of reincarnation
Near death experiences are just hallucinations as the brain is starved from oxygen There is no scientific proof of a soul so there is nothing to go on anywhere else once the body dies The idea of life after death is contradictory. A person is either dead or alive. Scientists would say that nothing can survive death. If there is an afterlife, where is it? It cant exist as there is no where for it to be. However, some people dont believe there can be an afterlife because:
What Christians believe: 1.Some Christians believe in resurrection This is the idea that when the body dies the soul waits until God ends the world. At this point both the dead and the living will face God and are judged on their faith and actions while living. 2. Some Christians believe in the immortality of the soul. This is the idea that when people die, their souls live on in a spiritual realm after being judged by God on their good and bad deeds. The good will go to heaven, the bad to hell. 3. Some Christians who believe in the immortality of the soul think that hell does not exist as the Bible says that God is loving and forgives all sins. 4. Roman Catholics believe in a place called purgatory This is a kind of waiting room where a soul does time for all the sins that person committed before going to heaven
Reasons: Resurrection 1.It happened to Jesus which is recorded in the Bible 2.The Creed (statement of Christian belief) talks of it Immortality of the soul 1.The Lords Prayer talks of heaven 2.The belief in life after death is a comfort 3.The Church teaches that there is life after death 4.When Jesus was on the cross he said to the criminal with him that there would be paradise straight after death Purgatory 1.The Roman Catholic Catechism says that there is 2.This would make sense of the fact that the Bible talks of both resurrection and immortality of the soul No hell 1. God is all loving and so there cant be such a place
Islam and the Afterlife Muslims believe: 1.When a person dies the soul is taken to a waiting area before it is judged on the Day of Judgement. This is called resurrection 2.The Quran says that on the Day of Judgement (which is at some point in the future that only God knows) a book is opened which has recorded the good and bad deeds of everyone 3. Everyone will be judged by Allah based on their actions 4.Allah will send those who are good to heaven and those who are bad to hell forever
The reasons Muslims believe there is an afterlife: 1.Every Muslim prophet, including Muhammad, taught that there was an afterlife 2.It is reasonable to expect Allah to reward good behaviour and so there must be an afterlife 3.It is part of the Shahadah (the 7 main beliefs all Muslims have) that there is a life after death 4.The Quran says that there is.
Test yourself 1.What does the word paranormal mean? 2.Give 3 non-religious reasons for the belief in life after death 3.Give 4 religious reasons for the belief in life after death 4.What is resurrection? 5.What are 3 different Christian attitudes to what happens after death? Give 1 reason for each. 6.Give 2 reasons why Muslims believe there is a life after death
The Sanctity of life Both Christians and Muslims believe in the sanctity of life and this should be used in religious questions about abortion and euthanasia!!! It is the belief that life is special and so should be treated with care This means that Christians and Muslims believe that it is wrong for people to take away life in abortion and euthanasia
Abortion Until 1967 abortions in the UK were illegal. This meant that before this time women put their lives at risk by having backstreet abortions. The UK law currently allows abortions up to 24 weeks as long as 2 doctors agree on one of the 4 conditions: 1.The mothers life is at risk 2.The mothers physical or mental health is at risk 3.It is thought that this child will be born with severe handicap 4.There is a risk of health and welfare of the mothers existing children. In reality any woman who wants an abortion under 24 weeks gets one, usually under condition 2 – her mental health is at risk. Many people want the time limit shortened to at least 22 weeks as wanted children who have been born prematurely at 22 weeks have been known to survive thanks to our advances in medicine
Non-religious arguments for an against abortion For 1.Its a womans right to choose what happens to her body 2.It may be the kindest thing to do if a foetus is known to have severe disabilities 3.It can be used as population control 4.If conception happened due to rape then surely continuing with the pregnancy would only cause more distress to the woman Against 1.The foetus should be valued as a life, not just an inconvenience 2.Any people with disabilities have productive lives e.g Mozart 3.Abortion seems to be treated as contraception 4.Even if the woman is raped, it is not the foetus fault and it is still a part of her
Organisations SPUC is a pro-life group who are against abortions. They campaign that women have other options and feel that once life is created it is precious. They think that unwanted babies could be adopted or that their mothers just need extra help and support
Christian teachings on abortion All Christians are against abortion however some Christians think that in some circumstances may be it could be the best thing to do When answering a question on abortion you must make it clear that all are against it but there are 2 attitudes
Attitude 1: Some Christians (Roman Catholics) are totally against it in every circumstance Reasons they think this: 1.The 10 Commandments say Do not kill and they think that life begins at conception 2.They believe in the sanctity of life 3.They believe that all life belongs to God – He gives life so he should be the only one to take it away Attitude 2: Other Christians (Church of England) also hate abortion but do accept it in EXTREME circumstances such as rape (never say that they think its ok because they dont) Reason they think this: 1.Jesus taught that people should do the most loving thing and in the circumstance of rape, allowing abortion may be the most loving thing to do 2.Jesus said Love thy neighbour and allowing an abortion could be an act of love
Muslim attitudes to abortion Attitude 1: Most Muslims believe that abortion should never be allowed 2 reasons: 1.The sanctity of life 2.The Day of Judgement - No-one knows for certain when Allah puts the soul in to a body and so not allowing abortion protects people from killing another and being punished for it on the Day of Judgement Attitude 2: Some Muslims agree with abortion if the mothers life is at risk 1 reason: The Quran teaches that the mothers life is more important than the unborn childs. Attitude 3: Some Muslims (but not many) believe that abortion can happen up until 120 days old 1 reason: This is because they believe that Allah puts the soul in to the foetus at 120 days and so abortion before this is not murder
Test yourself 1.What does abortion mean? 2.Give 3 non-religious arguments against abortion 3.What is the name of the pro-life (anti-abortion) group? 4.Give the 3 Christian attitudes to abortion 5.What reasons are given for these attitudes? 6.Give the 3 Muslim attitudes to abortion 7.What reasons are given for these attitudes?
What do the following mean? Write them out then check your answers by clicking on the mouse Euthanasia Gentle or happy death and refers to prematurely ending the life of a terminally ill person Assisted suicide Providing a seriously ill patient with the means to commit suicide Voluntary euthanasia When someone terminally ill asks the doctor to end his/her life painlessly Non-voluntary euthanasia Ending someones life when they cant ask you to do it but you have good reason to believe that they would want you to e.g. when someone is on a life support machine
The legal view It is currently illegal in the UK In special cases doctors may be allow passive euthanasia (withdrawing treatment or the life support machine and so the patient dies naturally). This is usually for people in comas and on life support machines Some terminally ill people recently have travelled to Switzerland where it is legal under strict conditions If a person helps someone die (assisted suicide) in the UK they can be put in prison for it
Non-religious arguments For 1.It could stop many people dying an agonizing death which is a kind thing to do 2.It would give the patient control over their life – if they choose it, what is the problem? 3.It would save the NHS millions of pounds on treatments for people who will die any way 4.It would relieve the emotional and financial stress of the patients family and friends (it is hard to watch a person you love in pain) Against 1.The UK has many hospices where people can to die. They have excellent pain relief programmes 2.Not all terminally ill people die. If it was legal then some people may make the decision too quick 3.When they qualify doctors have to promise that they will do no harm and euthanasia kills 4.Pressure may be put on patients who do not want to die but dont want to be a burden to their families
A possible solution: The Hospice Movement These are places where terminally ill patients can go, where the surroundings are different to hospitals and their families can often stay with them. Trained medical staff can give pain relief and the person can die in peaceful surroundings. Hospices say that most pain can be made manageable and so people do not have to commit euthanasia to avoid an agonising death. Hospice care aims to improve the lives of people whose illness may not be curable. Hospice care can be provided in a number of different settings and can be for days, weeks or years.
Christian teachings on abortion Attitude 1: Some Christians (Roman Catholics) are totally against euthanasia even in cases where people are in pain 2 reasons: 1.The sanctity of life 2.The Commandment Do not kill 3.The belief that God gives life and so only God should take it away Attitude 2: Some Christians agree with passive euthanasia i.e. switching off a life support machine 2 reasons: 1.Jesus taught that people should do the most loving thing and this can be the kindest thing when there is no chance of recovery 2.Turning off a life support machine does not kill, God could still save that person if he wanted to Attitude 3: All Christians believe that euthanasia is wrong in all other cases including those in pain
Muslim teachings Attitude 1: Most Muslims do not accept any form of euthanasia 3 reasons: 1.Sanctity of life 2.The Quran says that murder and suicide are forbidden 3.They think that life is a test from Allah which includes suffering Attitude 2: Some Muslims allow a life support machine to be turned off 2 reasons: 1.Religious laws can be relaxed in some cases if it is to stop pain and suffering. 2.It does not kill a person and so Allah could still allow that person to live if he wanted to
Test yourself 1.What is assisted suicide? 2.What is passive euthanasia? 3.Give 2 non-religious arguments for and against euthanasia 4.What are Christian attitudes to euthanasia? 5.Why are most Muslims against euthanasia? 6.What is a hospice? Note! In exam questions do not give non-religious answers for questions about religious views, or talk about the sanctity of life etc if asked about non-religious views
The Media and matters of life and death This is a new topic for this exam and so you may be asked a question on it. Be careful to answer what is asked and DONT just describe what happened in a programme you saw. You need to know arguments for and against the media being free to criticise what religions say about matters of life and death.
Types of media include: Newspapers e.g. we studied the case of the Jehovahs Witness who refused a blood transplant and so died TV documentaries e.g. we watched The Right To Die which was about euthanasia, and My Foetus which was about abortion Soap operas e.g Eastenders had the storyline of Danielle making the decision to, and having an abortion
Should the media being able to criticise what religions say about matters of life and death? Yes because: 1.We live in a free society and everyone has the right to give their opinion 2.People who watch or read the criticisms do not have to agree with what was said/written No because: 1.The media can interfere in peoples private lives and dont care what harm they do 2.Only sensationalised stories are reported as they want to sell papers or get viewers (e.g Jehovahs witness woman and Right to Die) 3.Sometimes the facts selected or the way it is told only give half the story 4.It is unfair because it can prejudice peoples views
If asked to comment on a particular issue you should: 1. Write a sentence saying what issue was featured e.g. say that a Jehovahs witness mother died after refusing blood because her faith told her this was not allowed 2. Add a sentence giving your view about how the media handled the issue. - Was it fair? - Did they favour one side more than the other? - Were they too critical? Try to use examples to develop your answer and get full marks 3. Add a sentence saying why you think it is good for people to be informed about issues like this.