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Religious Ethics A Level at St Peter's Catholic Comprehensive School

Course description

When people are asked, “What does ethics mean to you?” among their replies are often the following:

“Ethics has to do with what my feelings tell me is right or wrong.”

“Ethics has to do with my religious beliefs.”

“Being ethical is doing what the law requires.”

“Ethics consists of the standards of behaviour our society accepts.”

“I don’t know what the word means.”

These replies might be typical of our own. The meaning of “ethics” is hard to pin down, and the views many people have about ethics are shaky.

Being ethical is not the same as doing “whatever society accepts.” In any society, most people accept standards that are, in fact, ethical. But standards of behaviour in society can deviate from what is ethical. An entire society can become ethically corrupt. Nazi Germany is a good example of a morally corrupt society.

Moreover, if being ethical were doing “whatever society accepts,” then to find out what is ethical, we would have to find out what society accepts. To decide what I should think about abortion, for example, I would have to take a survey of American society and then conform to whatever society accepts. But no one ever tries to decide an ethical issue by doing a survey. Further, the lack of social consensus on many issues makes it impossible to equate ethics with whatever society accepts. Some people accept abortion but many others do not. If being ethical were doing whatever society accepts, one would have to find an agreement on issues which does not, in fact, exist.

In Religious Ethics A-Level you will look at Christian ethical teaching and examine the logic of that teaching.

Modern Christian ethics is concerned with four fundamental questions, which relate to the way in which an individual should live. These are:

1. Do good/bad and right/wrong exist?

2. What is meant by the moral terms good/bad and right/wrong?

3. Are there good/bad or right/wrong actions?

4. What ought the individual or society to do in order to be morally good or to do right?

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Peter's Catholic Comprehensive School directly.

Last updated date: 07 November 2014

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 Years

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