WJEC RS Questions markWatch
(a) What is meant by ‘soul’?
The soul is believed to be the spiritual part of a human being. It is also believed to live on after death and be a non-physical object. Finally, it is also believed to be the part of a human that communicates with G-d.
(b) Describe the Big Bang Theory of creation.
The Big Bang Theory suggests that the universe was created by an infinitely dense and small singularity that exploded and rapidly expanded into the universe. Presently, the universe is not static but rather it is still expanding. The creation of the earth can also be traced back to the initial event of the Big Bang. Long ago, the earth was covered in a primordial soup of liquids, gasses, etc. that fused together to create life. From this primordial soup also came human beings through the evolution of these basic life forms. Many religious people nowadays accept the theory of the Big Bang as an act of an almighty God. One person who believed in a godless version of the Big Bang Theory was late scientist Dr Stephen Hawking.
(c) Explain from either two religions or two religious traditions, attitudes about abortion.
Attitudes of Christianity to abortion vary due to differing interpretations of the Scripture. For some sects of Christianity, such as CofE, abortion can depend on individual circumstances such as the health of the woman. But in many sects, such as Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, it is forbidden for many reasons. One reason is that in Jeremiah 1:5 God says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you … I appointed you as a prophet”. This shows that God had formed the prophet on purpose for a purpose, which to Christians could illustrate that every foetus is created by God for a reason and therefore it is going against God to end it’s life and therefore stop it from carrying out it’s designated purpose. Some more reasons for banning abortion are that it takes a life and therefore is against the Ten Commandments, and it is also forbidden in the Didache. In addition, for Christians, all life is precious as it is made by God and that some believe only God has the right to take a life.
In Islam , much like in Christianity, abortion can depend on the individual circumstances of the woman, such as her health. Also, Islam also has slight differences in views due to differing interpretations of the Scripture but it is less than in Christianity as Muslims believe the Quran to be the direct word of God. In the Quran 6:151, Allah says that ‘And do not kill your children out of poverty’. Here God explicitly forbids abortion for economic reasons and all Muslims agree upon this as it is again considered the direct word of God. Some Muslims also disagree with abortion as they believe that Allah is the creator of all life and is the only one can end it. Also, some Muslims believe that ensoulment happens at 120 days after conception so they would be okay with abortion before then. Finally, Muslims believe that on the Day of Judgement, a child will have the right to ask why he/she was killed which might influence their view on abortion.
(d) ‘Belief in life after death is the most important belief.’
Discuss this statement showing that you have considered more than one point of view.
Non-religious believers, such as humanists, would disagree with this statement as they don’t believe in an afterlife. However, non-religious believers still consider it important to serve pupil during their own lifetime. This could show that even without a concept of an afterlife, people could still be motivated to do good in their lifetimes. I think that this isn’t a particularly strong argument as this largely depends on the person rather than their belief.
Christians would agree with this statement as, like many religions, it believes that life on Earth decides what happen to you in the next life. This shows that due to their belief in the afterlife Christians rigorously follow their teachings and shows that that belief is the foundation for their lives and religion showing its importance. In addition, one of the most important beliefs in Christianity is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (pbuh). Christians believe that Jesus was killed for the salvation of mankind so that humans could enter Heaven. As Jesus is a part of the trinity, and he had to go to immense suffering for this, Christians would believe that the afterlife is the most important belief as it was important enough for part of God himself to be tortured for it. Some Christians also believe that heaven would be in the presence of God, which makes it very important for them as religious believers. I think that this is a strong argument overall as we can see how Christians live their lives due to their belief in the afterlife which is the only spur that encourages them to abide by the laws of the bible.
Most Muslims would disagree with this statement as they believe that the most important belief is Tawheed or the oneness of God. They would back this up as the Quran states that believing in more than one God is the only sin that God will not forgive numerous times. This would also be proven by the deceleration of faith in Islam which is mainly about Tawheed and stating there is ‘no entity worthy of worship except Allah’. On the other hand, some Muslims would agree with this statement as their work in life and adherence to religion is all based around the eventual goal of securing a place in Jannah (heaven). I think that the first argument is stronger as the main principle of Islam is Tawhid.
Another point to note is that the belief in an afterlife gives many religious believers hope if they are suffering on Earth. This could show that they agree with this statement and could be a moderately strong argument as there most likely would be other things that are more important.
All in all, I think that belief of life after death is the most important belief as it is what separates religious believers from non-religious believers.