Matters of Life and Death. Key Words. Heaven -. A place of paradise where God rules. Hell -. A place of horrors where Satan rules. Immortality of the soul -. Idea that the soul lives on after the death of the body. Purgatory -.
A place of paradise where God rules.
A place of horrors where Satan rules.
Immortality of the soul -
Idea that the soul lives on after the death of the body.
A place where Catholics believe souls go after death to be purified.
After death the body stays in the grave until the end of the world, when it is raised again.
2. The creeds teach that there is life after death. Christians should believe what they say.
3. Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox and Pentecostal churches have differences in what life after death will be like but they all teach that it exists.
4.Belief in life after death gives a meaning and purpose to life. Makes no sense for everything to end when you die.
An afterlife where the evil are punished gives justice.
Unexplained things that are thought to have spiritual causes e.g. ghosts, mediums.
There are three forms of paranormal evidence.
Near Death Experiences (NDE) – when someone about to die has an out-of-body experience.
Happens when people are clinically dead for a time and are brought back to life.
Research by Dr Sam Parnia found that 4 out of 63 people to survive a heart attack had a NDE. Similar results seen all over the world.
Floating out of the body
What is an NDE?
Meeting dead relatives
Seeing a bright light
Entering another world
‘(research on NDE’s)…is very good…but it proves absolutely nothing about the soul.’ Dr Sue Blackmore
‘It is possible that these experiences happened during the recovery or just before the cardiac arrest. There is little evidence it happened when the brain was shut down.’ Dr Chris Freeman
Some see ghosts and ouija boards as evidence of peoples souls surviving death. Clearest evidence may come from mediums.
Also called psychics or spirit guides. The help the dead to contact the living.
Robert Thouless left a coded message when he died. 100 mediums tried to solve it and failed. A computer solved it easily. So there appears to be no after life.
Belief that after death souls are reborn in a new body.
Taranjit Singh (1996) born to a poor family. Said he had been killed in a scooter accident 10/09/1992. Taken to the village where the accident was and it was confirmed. Taken to old parents and recognised them. Could write English and Punjabi alphabets despite being illiterate and his handwriting matched that of the dead person.
In only 11 of 1,111 rebirth cases has there been no contact between the two families in question. Of these 7 were seriously flawed.
Sanctity of life -
The belief that life is holy and belongs to God
‘While we are alive, we are living for the Lord, and when we die, we die to the Lord: and so alive or dead we belong to the Lord.’ (Romans. 14:8)
Meaning – God made us and only he can decide when our life should end.
Meaning – who are we to interfere with what God has designed and made.
Exodus.20:13 – The 10 Commandments ‘Do not kill.’
Meaning – these are God’s direct laws that should be followed by Christians.
The removal of a foetus from the womb before it can survive.
1967 Abortion Act – 2 Doctors must agree that:
1990 Act – can’t happen after 24 weeks, unless mother’s life is at risk
2 different views:
Doctrine of double effect -
Take one action to achieve an effect knowing it will lead to another means I can’t be blamed for the second effect. E.g. mother has cancer. Chemotherapy would kill the baby. Primary aim is to stop the cancer; the death of the baby is secondary (the double effect). This means that an abortion has not occurred.
‘Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception…The law must (punish)… every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.’ (Catholic Catechism)
2) Other Christians = abortion is wrong but should be allowed under certain circumstances e.g. mother’s life at risk, handicapped or social reasons.
‘Methodists would strongly prefer that…all abortions should become unnecessary. But termination as early as possible in the course of pregnancy may be the lesser of two evils.’
Statement of the Methodist Church in England and Wales
Assisted suicide -
Providing a seriously ill person with the means to commit suicide.
The painless killing of someone dying from a painful disease.
Idea that life must have some benefits to be worth living
Quality of life -
Ending someone’s life painlessly when they are unable to ask, but there is good reason to think they want death e.g. switching off life support machine.
Voluntary euthanasia -
Ending life painlessly when someone in great pain asks for death.
There are different ways of providing euthanasia e.g. voluntary, non-voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide. British law sees all of these as a crime.But removing food and water is not.
Some countries e.g. the Netherlands has made it legal if it is agreed to by the patient, patient’s family and at least two doctors.
Passive Euthanasia –
Withdrawal or withholding of treatment.
Positive Euthanasia -
This is actually bringing someone’s life to an end.
Want it made legal because…
Doctrine of double effect -
Take one action to achieve an effect knowing it will lead to another means I can’t be blamed for the second effect. E.g. give large amount of pain killer to ease suffering, knowing it will shorten the dying person’s life means I can’t be blamed for their death as all I meant to do was relieve their pain.
It is wrong but there are different attitudes.
‘The use of painkillers to alleviate the suffering of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, ca be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed…’ Catholic Catechism
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord. Romans.14:8
2) Evangelical Protestants believe any form of euthanasia is wrong because…
Wanting to stay alive causes problems. Drastic chemotherapy is painful and may give only a few weeks of life. However, stopping all drugs could be seen as direct euthanasia.
What do we need to know…
Arguments which say that the media should no be free to criticise what religion says about these issues.
Arguments which say that the media must be allowed to criticise what religion says about these issues.
MEDCs – more economically developed countries or First World e.g. USA
EDCs – economically developing countries or Second World e.g. Mexico
LEDCs – less economically developed countries or Third World e.g. Bangladesh