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Any advice needed for AS/A2 Edexcel Religious Studies? watch

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    Hi everyone,

    I currently teach the Edexcel GCE Philosophy of Religion and Ethics units at AS/A2. If you require any advice please post on here and I will be happy to help.
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    (Original post by cogitoergo)
    Hi everyone,

    I currently teach the Edexcel GCE Philosophy of Religion and Ethics units at AS/A2. If you require any advice please post on here and I will be happy to help.
    Hi, for unit 3 we have done all of philosophy and the first half of ethics (i.e religion&morality and Deon/NML/VE).. Do you have any advice on which questions would be easiest to answer? And do you know what questions are likely to come up this year? Also is the ontological argument always going to be asked or could edexcel leave it out completely?
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    For religious experience - unit 3 when it says examine the features of the argument do they want you to talk about the strengths i.e Swinburne's principle or the different types of religious experiences? x
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    I need some help because I have only been taught situation ethics/utilitarianism/teleological and war and peace and apparently they can link it to other things than I haven't been taught so I just need some clarification on what they may link with what and whether I should revise things I have not been taught.
    Do you think situation ethics is likely to come up this year?
    Thanks
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    Hello Tommck97,

    The topics you have mentioned are above the line and hopefully you have studied Justice, Law and Punishment/ethical language as they are below the line.

    It is difficult to answer the topic you should focus on more as people find different ethical theories interesting and there is no such thing as an easy question. Personally I like the religion and morality unit as not only does it build on what you should have studied at AS (Euthyphro/divine command theory et al), but you can also bring in Dawkins, Freud, Marx and others (like I have done with my group). You could also bring in the Westboro Baptist Church.

    Remember you only need to answer three questions (2 Phil or 1 Ethics or 2 Ethics and 1 Phil). This will clearly have an influence on what you will need to learn but it is not expected to learn EVERY unit you have been taught (assuming you have been taught all of them?).

    For the exam last year, Ontological, religious experience, life after death and religious language came up. For ethics it was religion and morality, examine two concepts (Deon/NML/VE), justice, law and punishment. It is unlikely that the Ontological argument will be left out. Since 2009 it has appeared in every paper. It is one the classical arguments, indeed the only a priori argument for God's existence, and the examiners will want you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of this topic.

    I hope this helps you.

    Best wishes
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    Hello Yasmin,

    It depends on how the question is worded. If it states 'examine the features of the argument of X and comment upon its strengths' then you would need to include Swinburne's principle of testimony and credulity in part (i) as he develops the argument from religious experience. If part (i) also includes 'comment upon its strengths' then you would need to also include it here.

    In the past they have asked for an example of religious experiences in part (ii) and contrasted this with potential weaknesses.

    Let me know if you require any further clarification.

    Best wishes
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    Hello Bobbs,

    Have you been taught any other topics in Philosophy of Religion?

    It is recommended that you study the following in PoR and Ethics.

    Cosmological
    Teleological
    Problem of Evil
    Miracles

    Situation Ethics
    Utilitarianism
    Religion and Morality
    Just War Theory

    In the past they have linked Situation Ethics and Utilitarianism in part (ii) where you were asked to compare the strengths and weaknesses of both ethical theories. Since 2009, all papers have had a question either on Utilitarianism, Situation Ethics, or both. Situation Ethics did NOT come up last year, however on the safe side learn both ethical theories.Just War is relatively straight forward as it always comes up below the line.

    The only thing you need to be careful of is the PoR side of things. They could combine teleological and cosmological as a question and they did this a few years ago. It is unlikely this would happen again, however it would be sensible to learn the cosmological argument. It seems you are going down the ethics route, but I would advise you to learn one other unit in PoR.

    Hope this helps
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    Thanks a lot.
    I'm also confused about ethical language and what things you put in part a and b.
    Is emotivism/intuition and the other stuff solutions or problems to ethical language?
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    Have a look at the attached https://intranet.wellingtoncollege.o...dies/a2-ethics as this is particularly useful site and includes sample essays, revision notes etc.
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    Sorry if I sound ignorant, but what do you mean by The topics you have mentioned are above the line - what line are you referring to?

    (Original post by cogitoergo)
    Hello Tommck97,

    The topics you have mentioned are above the line and hopefully you have studied Justice, Law and Punishment/ethical language as they are below the line.

    It is difficult to answer the topic you should focus on more as people find different ethical theories interesting and there is no such thing as an easy question. Personally I like the religion and morality unit as not only does it build on what you should have studied at AS (Euthyphro/divine command theory et al), but you can also bring in Dawkins, Freud, Marx and others (like I have done with my group). You could also bring in the Westboro Baptist Church.

    Remember you only need to answer three questions (2 Phil or 1 Ethics or 2 Ethics and 1 Phil). This will clearly have an influence on what you will need to learn but it is not expected to learn EVERY unit you have been taught (assuming you have been taught all of them?).

    For the exam last year, Ontological, religious experience, life after death and religious language came up. For ethics it was religion and morality, examine two concepts (Deon/NML/VE), justice, law and punishment. It is unlikely that the Ontological argument will be left out. Since 2009 it has appeared in every paper. It is one the classical arguments, indeed the only a priori argument for God's existence, and the examiners will want you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of this topic.

    I hope this helps you.

    Best wishes
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    The line refers to the exam booklet where you have a choice of questions.

    Please see the attached example http://qualifications.pearson.com/co...-June-2014.pdf
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    Thanks. You say that you don't need to revise all the topics. Are there any that you think should definitely be revised?
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    It depends where you think your strength lies.Are you achieving better results in one area than another?

    For example in my group they prefer Philosophy of Religion than Ethics so I have told them to revise the following.

    Cosmological
    Teleological
    Problem of Evil

    Situation Ethics
    Utilitarianism

    This means they could avoid Religion and Morality and Just War Theory. If they decided to focus more on Ethics, I would suggest they learn it all and also learn any two from the Philosophy of Religion topics.
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    I'm doing unit 3 and probably prefer the philosophy side - I really don't like ethical terms and emotivism
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    In that respect I would learn NML/Deontology and VE. It would also be helpful to learn justice, law and punishment so you have all avenues covered (assuming you answer 2 philosophy questions).
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    Okay, thank you. Also, do I need to learn more than one sociological/psychological/popularist critique for Non Existence and Critiques of Religious Belief or is one of each enough?
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    Yes it would be helpful to learn more than one as it shows wider reading and likely to attain higher marks, most especially in A02.
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    Thanks
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    Hi, thanks for your help.
    We haven't learnt the 'below the line' topics i.e. Punishment/justice/law because we haven't had time to do so.. Also we didn't do ethics at AS we did Buddhism and this year we changed to ethics so all of the ethical concepts are still new to me and they're slightly confusing.
    I think I'm going to focus on ontological argument, life after death and NML/VE/Deon.
    Do you have any help advice on unit 4? I'm doing philosophy i.e. Donovan/Ayer/Westphali and I'm finding it hard to revise for that.
    Thanks
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    (Original post by cogitoergo)
    Hi everyone,

    I currently teach the Edexcel GCE Philosophy of Religion and Ethics units at AS/A2. If you require any advice please post on here and I will be happy to help.
    Hey, I was just wondering what the questions were for the May 2014 AS paper? I can't find them anywhere online, just forums about how people felt about it.

    Thank you for the help,
    Kate.
 
 
 
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