RE GSCE Revision

Revision Cards on RE GCSE Ethics


The right to life

Every one has a right to live and deserves to be born 

Christians believe that God gives the right to life

non Christians believe your parents give you the right 

Christians believe in the sanctity of life: The belief that life is sacred as it is given by God. 

Key phrases:

  • It is to be able to live a good quality life, as God gave lus life so it is sacred
  • It is an invaluable gift from God
  • Life can never be replaced, we can only improve life 
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What causes crime?

  • crime is an act which breaks the law

A disfunctional family is a family that do not know right from wrong these are the causes:

  • constant argument
  • death in the family
  • illness
  • unemployment
  • divorce
  • economy
  • neglect
  • drug addiction
  • violence
  • Christians blieve that we should live life based on love of neigbour and God
  • Do not take/covet what is not yours
  • Do not lie
  • Be an uphoder of justice and respect the value of human life 
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aims of punishment

Retribution- Revenge for what has been done against the laws of society/ the individual 

Deterence- As a warning to others to try and discourage them form committing the same crime

Reformation- Crime prevention, rehabilitation, treatment and recreation programmes are essential to making punishments effective by changing behaviours

Protection- Protecting society by stopping the criminals from being able to commit the crimes again through prison/other restriction e.g. tagging 

vindication- Making it clear that the law is very serious and that people should always respect it and that the law us right, by punishing those who break the law. 

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Types of punishment


  • Takes away freedom
  • Protects community
  • Lose rights
  • Stops you from commiting crimes

christians agree with prison sentences as long as the prison gives a chance of reformation 

Capital Punishment 

  • The worst punishment a person can recieve
  • When a person is sentenced to death 
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For/Against Capital Punishment


  • It permanently removes the worst criminals which leaves society safer 
  • It is cheaper than incarcarating someone
  • Fear of death could deter others
  • If you have killed you should be killed (an eye for an eye)


  • Contradicts the basic right to life and is very painful
  • Innocent people can be falsely accused
  • It undermines the sanctity of lfe
  • Breaks the commandments
  • Feeds the cycle of violence 
  • Only God can take life as he was the one to give us life
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Effects of Crime

Victim/ murderers family

Economy- costs us in taxes to keep people in prison

Loss of income

Can leave emotional disorders e.g. depression

Stays with you for the whole of your life

Christian response:

  • Breaks 10 commandments
  • Unconditional love- Jesus' teachings
  • Beattitudes- "Blessed are the peacemakers"
  • Greatest Commandment
  • We should respect all human life
  • Jesus said we should forgive 70X7 (forever) 
  • Unwritten Law 
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War and Peace

It is an armed conflict between 2 groups

What causes war?

  • Land
  • Dictators
  • Disagreements
  • Resources
  • Money
  • Greed
  • Religion
  • Power

Just war theory: 

  • taking human life is seriously wrong
  • states have a duty to defend their citizens, and defend justice
  • protecting innocent human life and defending important moral values sometimes requires willingness to use force and violence
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It is the belief that all forms of violence are wrong and acts of violence are wrong 

A pacifist is somebody that believes that all forms of violence are wrong 

Violence is allowed for personal defence not warefare- The use of violence may be acceptable for purposes of personal safety

Neutrality (refusing to get invloved)- Johovah's Witnesses believe that no one who follows God has any right to lay down his life on behalf of the state

Non-violence (a strong pacifist position rejecting all voilence)- Fellowship of reconciliation brings together Christian pacifists from different Churches in the UK 

Non-combatancy (refusal to be involved in military combat)- the 7th day adventist Church took a position in 1807 of non- combatancy with regards to military service

Conciencious Objecters - They refuse to go to War due to beliefs and principles. 

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Use of terror especially as a means of coercian that is forcing people to do something 

  • Intended to create fear
  • Violent
  • Carried out for idealogical goals
  • Disguised 

What causes Terrorism?

  • A grievence - a sense of not having any political influence
  • Political, social and environmental inequality
  • Economic problems and high unemployment
  • Religious extremism
  • Ethnic Conflict
  • religious- They believe in extreme views of their religion and believe all other religions are wrong

Christians believe it prevents reconcilliation, aggravtes problems and tensions and leads to suffering and har, 

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Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear Disarmaments - 2 Countries decide to get rid of amunitions (nuclear weapons)

Britain should get rid of all nuclear weapons, do you agree? (6)

one hand: should keep them

  • We need to be able to defend ourselves
  • national security
  • Stops other countries attacking

Other hand: Get rid of them

  • Nuclear waste 
  • to set and example to others
  • waste of money and resources 
  • can kill thousands of people and destroy habitats 
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It is the termination of a pregnancy at any stage (usually before 24 weeks)

IF you lose a baby while pregnant it is called a miscarriage

If the mother is at risk of death, then some people feel having an abortion is okay

Christians believe under no circumstances should a woman abort a child (right to life)

Some people feel that there are quite a few reasons that are morally acceptable for a woman to have an abortion

In the UK it is legal to have an abortion up to 24 weeks

Christians believe life begins at conception so it is murder

Christians believe that it is an act of man and is great moral evil

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Why do woman have abortions?


When the pregnancy is a risk to the mother

If the mother has been *****

If living in poverty 

If the mother is too young

Having no money (economy)

Cultural beliefs

Ectopic pregnanacy (baby grows in the fallopian tubes)

If they do not want children

genetic diseases 

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For and Against abortion


  • If it risks the mother's health (physica/mental) 
  • if it is a result of crime e.g. ****
  • If the child will have an unacceptable quality of life
  • Social reasons e.g. poverty 
  • government Policy e.g. regulating population size


  • Every child is unique and precious from God so shouldn't destroy this 
  • Defenceless babies cannot stant up for themselves 
  • The rights of the unborn child are the same as the mother's rights
  • Children with disabilites can live a full and rewarding life 
  • Abortion is murder
  • Breaks the hippocratic oath
  • Foetus can feel pain 
  • Children need protection before born
  • The child can be adopted if unwanted 
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helping someone to die

Mercy Killing/ good death

Voluntary euthanasia- The deliberate termination of life. When someone writes a will and asks if they were in a situation they wanted to be helped to die e.g. lethal injection 

Assisted - When a person in the situation does not make the decision e.g. pulling the plug 

Personal opinion- I believe in the right to have euthanasia if the person's feels that they need to have it. 

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For and Against euthanasia


  • God gave us free will so we have the right to end our own life 
  • God wouldn't want us to suffer 
  • Jesus said "Love your neighbour" loving them is letting them die the way they want to
  • God told humans to 'rule over everything'


  • The sanctity of life
  • There is a little bit of God in everyone 
  • Hypocratic Oath
  • God has a purpose in everything that happens
  • Medical advances means that nobody has to suffer
  • It breaks the 10 commandments
  • Genesis- God told people to increase and multiply (Therefore not kill)
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What is a good quality of life?

How good or bad a person's life is

Not being in Pain

Not being poor

Having an Education

Not having a Disability

Having good health

Family and Friends


  • Remeber your loved ones 
  • People expect to have a good quality of life
  • We expect to be healthy
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Medical Technology


For IVF:

  • Couples should have the right to try for children
  • Infertiltiy is like an illness so couples should recieve medical help
  • God askes human to 'go forth and multiply' so using IVF helps those who are infertile to do so
  • If no embryos are destroyed there is no harm 


  • Children are a gift from God, not something that people can buy
  • IVF encourages the idea that children are something that we have a right to have
  • it invloves the destruction of human life
  • new life should only come from natural love making within a marriage
  • There are children in need of adoption
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Types of IVF


Artifical insemination- Placing sperm into the uterus of a female to maker her pregnant without intercourse 


Artificial Insemination by Husband


Artifical insemination by a donor 

  • Christians believe that new life should be from marriage
  • Technology should not be used when making new life
  • Some believe that it is wrong to use donor sperms as it interferes with a marriage and could cause problems later on in the child's life 
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Can AID be justified?

Some Christians believe it is acceptable when the husbanf doesn't want to pass on a de-generative disease but wants to have a child that is related to the mother genetically rather than adopting

Christian beliefs

  • AI is gravely immoral it infringes the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage 
  • it dissosiates the sexual act frol the procreative act 
  • If God does not enable a couple to have their own children they should respect his wishes rather than seek out natural treatments 

For AI

  • Infertility is an illness therefore fertility treatments may offer a cure to this illness and is part of the healing process 
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Alternatives to IVF and surrogacy

  • fertility drugs
  • Adoption
  • Fostering


form of fertility treatment in which a woman's partner/embryo from another couple if created through IVF and planted into the 'host' women and she carries it throughout the pregnancy and give it the couple after birth. 

A surrogate mother is a woman who holds a baby for another woman

It is legal as long as the mother is given allowances to look after her and the child

Some Christians feel it goes against nature if you have gone past menapause or cannot hav children naturally 

It is helping someone that is unable to bear a child

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Christian responses to surrogacy

Some are opposed to surrogacy because it involves another person in the relationship and Christians believe that a child should be created within a marriage through natural love making

It undermines that right of a child to be concieves and carried in the womb of it's mother 

Some believe it is a generous act and is very acceptable

Some people choose to have surrogacy if

  • The woman is not infertile but is unable to carry a child
  • If the woman is too old to have children
  • Fear of childbirth
  • Do not want to ruin their career
  • If their is a risk to the mother's life 
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