HRE4M Grade 12 Religions Exam Notes

Thanks, Jayden!


Religion Exam Review



Terms and Definitions:



  • Moral principle that governs a person’s or groups behavior



  • Seeks the method that will best bring about the goal being sought.
    • Identify the goal
    • Rightness or wrongness of human action is a function of the goodness or badness of the consequences resulting from the action.
    • But: You cannot use evil to get a good end.



  • The normative ethical position that judges the morality of an action based on rules, and these are to be obeyed regardless of the outcome.


Objective truth

  • Consists of factual evidence about something observable
    • Physical laws that govern the world
    • Laws that govern human behavior
    • Truths about life and the universe that exist regardless of a person’s knowledge or even that person’s existence.


 Subjective truth

  • Consists of responses that depend on the feelings of the subject
    • Likes and dislikes·
    • Personal responses to movies, art, books, food, people, situations
    • These responses can change


Ethical Relativism

  • Theory that holds that morality is relative to the norms of one’s culture.
    • That is, whether an action is right or wrong depends on the moral norms of the society in which it is practiced.
    • The same action may be morally right in one society but be morally wrong in another.


  • Just behavior or treatment.


Steward of god

  • A person who looks after god’s creation and tradition, protecting all things and people because all were made by god.



  • The act or an instance of converting or the process of being converted, in this instance to a religion



  • The idea or belief that only natural laws and forces operate in the world.
    • Supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.


  • An inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of ones behavior



  • Critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture



  • The theory and methodology of interpretation, especially the interpretation of biblical texts, wisdom literature, and philosophical text.



  • Another term for second coming



  • A surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way


Apocalyptic literature

  • Genre of prophetical writing that developed in post exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialism early Christians
    • As a genre, apocalyptic literature details the authors’ visions of the end times as revealed by an angel or other heavenly messenger.


Q source

  • A hypothetical written collection of Jesus’s sayings (logia). Q is (part of) the common material found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke but not in the Gospel of Mark. Therefore, the hypothesis is that Luke and Matthew had a secondary source (named Q source) in addition to Mark.



  • The part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.



  • The foreseeing care and guidance of god or nature over the creatures of the earth



  • Is the doctrine that all events have been willed by god, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the individual soul.



  • A strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation



  • The teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church, especially as exercised by bishops or the Pope.



  • A personal follower of Jesus during his life, especially one of the twelve apostles.



  • Courage in pain or adversity



  • A person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of god.



  • Courage in pain or adversity



  • Abstinence from alcoholic drink
    • Moderation or self restraint, especially I eating or drinking



  • The state or practice of refraining from extramarital, or especially from all, sexual intercourse


Human freedom

  • A social concept that recognizes the dignity of individuals and is defined here as negative liberty or the absence of coercive constraint.










Catholic Social Teachings


  1. Dignity of the Human Person
  • All people are sacred, made in the image and likeness of God.
  • People DO NOT lose dignity because of disability, poverty, age, lack of success, or race.


  1. Common Good and Community
  • The human person is SACRED AND SOCIAL.
  • We realize our dignity and rights in relationship with others in our community.
  • It is in our community that we grow and achieve fulfillment.
  • EVERYONE has a right and a duty to participate in society, searching together for the COMMON GOOD and WELL- BEING OF ALL.


  1. Rights and Responsibilities
  • People have a right to life, food, shelter, health care, education and employment.
  • Everyone has a right to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
  • With these rights come duties and responsibilities.


  1. Option for the Poor
  • The MORAL TEST of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members.
  • The poor have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the nation.
  • We are all called to look at public policy decisions (ex. How they affect the poor).


  1. Global Solidarity and Development
  • We are 1 human family.
  • Our responsibilities to each other cross national, racial, economic and ideological (ideas we have or believe in) differences.
  • We are called to work globally and for justice.
  • Our development must respect and promote personal, social, economic, and political rights (including the rights of nations and people).



  1. Promotion of Peace and Disarmament
  • Catholic teaching understands peace as a positive, action- oriented concept.
  • Peace is not just the absence of war.
  • It involves MUTUAL RESPECT AND COLLABORATION between peoples and nations.
  • There is a close relationship between peace and justice.


  1. Stewardship of God’s Creation
  • The goods of the earth are gifts from God; intended by God for the benefit of everyone.
  • We have a responsibility to care for these goods as stewards and trustees, not as consumers and users.
  • How we treat the environment is a measure of our stewardship, a sign of our respect for the Creator.


  1. Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
  • The economy exists to serve people, not the other way around.
  • People have a right to productive work and fair wages.
  • Workers have the right to a safe working condition, the right to participate in decisions that affect them in the workplace and the right to security in case of sickness, disability, unemployment or old age.


  1. Role of Government and Subsidiarity
  • The state has a positive moral function.
  • It is an instrument to promote human dignity, protect human rights, and build the common good.
  • All people have a right and a responsibility to participate in political institutions so that the government can achieve proper goals.
  • The principle of subsidiarity holds that the functions of government should be performed properly.
  • When the needs in question cannot properly be met at the lower level, then it is not only necessary, but imperative (important, must happen) that higher levels of government intervene (become involved).


  1. Free Markets, Economic Initiative, and Private Property
  • Catholic teaching opposes collectivist and statist economic approaches.
  • It also rejects the notion that a free market automatically produces justice.
  • For example, distributive cannot be achieved by relying entirely on free market forces.
  • Competition and free markets are useful elements of economic systems.
  • However, markets must be kept within limits, because there are many needs and goods that cannot be satisfied by the market system.



Sermon on the mount


  • It is an ethics of the kingdom of god
    • Tells us what life is like when god enters human realm
    • A life where god is in charge
    • Kingdom of god is about gods intense desire to be a part of our lives and our history


  • Is an ethic to be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect
    • At the center of the sermon is a prayer to father. Jesus insists that our moral life only makes sense if we have a good relationship with the father
    • Motive of sermon is to teach us that we may be children of our father by following
    • As we are children of god we must love like our father does, without limit and hesitation


  • Its an ethic that makes us righteous
    • Understood as being upright, blameless, morally right
    • Upright people act with justice
    • Righteousness and justice aren’t just what we do but are things we receive
    • Made righteous through the loving action of god
    • To be righteous is both to receive the this gift and to act in accordance with the gift


  • Is an eschatological ethic
    • Means pertaining to the end or fullness of time
    • When god reveals himself in history the present is filled with new possibilities
    • Encounter with god in time makes the time eschatological
    • The present time cannot contain this fullness, but only show parts of it
    • Filled with tension
    • Through Jesus we have a taste of life with god, but the image is still fractured
    • Present time strains us to show what potential we have
    • Distance between gods goodness and our own
    • Jesus places no limits on how far each od us should go to close the gap
    • All gestures of a general heart count


  • To be with god is to be right with one another
    • Our relationship with god is only truly measured by our relationship with those in need and those around us.


  • This is a gospel ethic
    • Spreads the good news
    • New way of relating to god and those around us
    • Jesus invites us to come to him and love as he does
    • Uses language of command but can you command someone to love their enemy or to not worry about tomorrow?
      • Is Jesus leaving us with a heavier burden than was given to the Hebrews at Saini?




Three levels or dimensions of conscience

  • Conscience as capacity
    • Our capacity to know what is good and evil


  • Conscience as process
    • Our ability to perceive accurately the difference between right and different


  • Conscience as judgment
    • The ability to make judgment and decisions of what one must do in any given situation




Kohlberg’s six stages of moral development


Pre-Conventional Level: Focus on The Self

  • Stage one – Punishment and Obedience
    • Physical consequences determine the goodness or badness of an act.
    • Avoidance of punishment is the key motivation.
    • The person submits to power and authority in order to avoid punishment.
  • Stage 2 – Personal Usefulness
  • What is right is that which satisfies one’s own needs and occasionally the needs of others.
  • Human relations and fairness are interpreted in a physical, pragmatic way: what is useful to me?
  • You’ll scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”



Conventional Level: Focus on The Group

  • Stage 3 – Conforming to the will of the group
  • Good behavior is that which pleases or helps others and gets approval from them.
  • One conforms to standard ideas of appropriate behavior.
  • One earns acceptance by being “nice”
  • Behavior is often judged by intention – “they mean well.”


  • Stage 4 – Law and Order
  • One sees obedience to rules for their own sake as necessary to maintain order.
  • Right behavior consists of doing one’s duty and respecting authority.


Post Conventional Level: Focus on Principles

  • Stage 5 – Social Contract
  • Right action is described in terms of general values that have been agreed upon by the whole society.
  • Laws are justified on the basis of general principles.
  • One may work to change the law for the sake of society
  • Right action is seen as a matter of personal values.


  • Stage 6 – Personal Conscience
  • Right is a decision of personal conscience in accord with abstract ethical principles that apply to all persons everywhere.
  • Decisions are based upon universal principle of justice, the reciprocity and equality of human right, and respect for the dignity of human beings as individual persons.




Marriage: Covenant vs. Contract

  • Covenant
    • A sacred bond made between a man, a woman, and god
    • Is a bond that is forever
    • Done in a sacred space with a priest
    • Is done so that a family can be created and a permanent unit formed
  • Contract
    • An agreement between 2 people
    • Conducted in front of a government personal
    • Can be undone with divorce
    • Not permanently binding






S.T.O.P method of moral decision making

  • “S”
    • Search for the facts
  • “T”
    • Think about alternatives and consequences
  • “O”
    • Others: conceder effects on others, listen to advice
  • “P”
    • Prayer: turn to god for guidance




5 Traits of a Covenant


  1. The Preamble
  • The treaty begins with the name, the titles, and attributes of the Great Hittite King and his genealogy.


  1. The Historical Prologue
  • The Great King then gives a historical overview that describes the previous relations between the two contractors. It recounts the many benefits the sovereign has bestowed upon the vassal.
  • The prologue forms and essential part of the covenant.
  • There can be many variations depending on the circumstances at the time of entry into the treaty. For example, the sovereign might point out how he has come to the vassal’s aid when he was threatened by an enemy attack.


  1. The Submission
  • The submission states what the Great King expects from the vassal. This submission often includes a fundamental declaration on the future relations of the partners. It consists in a request of loyalty.
  • This aspect of the submission is expressed frequently by the formula: “With my friend, be a friend! With my enemy, be an enemy!” often at this point the submission details certain conditions that must be met, for example, taxes to be paid, prisoners to be released, etc.


  1. The Witness
  • Every legal document requires witnesses. This is also the case with treaties. In this case, the witnesses are the gods of the two partners, but also the deified elements of nature: the mountains, the rivers, the sea, the heavens and the earth.


  1. The Blessings and Curses
  • The treaty tells what will happen if the vassal remains faithful or is unfaithful to the demands of the treaty.




Conceptual Framework of Action


Question Explanation
Who? (The agent) ·      The “who” of the action, the agent, is the person who makes things happen.

·      Each person has the capacity – the energy or the power – to act.

·      You are responsible for what you do, and you intend to do.

·      Your actions have shaped you: you are who you are largely because of what you have done.

What? (The action) ·      Ethics is about the actions themselves: what the agent does.

·      Your actions shape you: ethics is about reflecting on intentional actions; actions intended by the agent.

Why? (The motive) ·      We all have our reasons for acting the way we do.

·      A motive is a reason for the action.

·      Whenever you give a motive for your action, you justify your action, and you appeal to a value that makes the action right.

How? (With what means?) ·      How you carry out an action also affects you as an agent.

·      Ex. stealing something to help someone else à the stealing affects the goodness as the agent and the goodness in the action.

·      “The end does not justify the means.” The means qualify the action.

Under what circumstances? ·      The circumstances under which you do something also have an impact on your action.

·      Ex. picking on someone with a disability…

Or volunteering at a food bank despite a busy schedule.

·      In this way, circumstances may increase or reduce your responsibility. They must be accounted for when evaluating actions.

With or against whom? ·      When you justify your actions by appealing to a motive, you seek the approval, or seek to prevent disapproval, of someone.

·      Every action is also an interaction.

With what outcome? ·      Are you responsible for the outcome of your actions?

·      The outcome of your actions – intended or not – clearly affects yourself and the people around you for the good, or for the bad.




  • Addresses moral issues related to health care and medicine.
  • Fundamental principles underlying all medical ethical decisions are:
  • Life is a gift of inestimable value. All decisions made in science should start and end with a respect for life
    • Science must be used to benefit people, and must operate with a conscience
    • Human beings are a unity of body and spirit. Any intervention on human body affects not only the tissue but the person itself.
    • Human life begins at conception




The double effect

  • It is morally permissible to preform on act that has both a good effect and a bad effect if all of the following actions are met
    • The act done must be good in itself or at least indifferent
    • The good effect must not be obtained by means of the bad effect
    • The bad effect must not be intended for itself, but only permissible
    • There must be a proportionately grave reason for permitting the bad
  • This principle is used to justify the case where a doctor gives drugs to a patient to relive distressing symptoms even though he knows it may shorten a patients life.
    • The action must be proportional to the cause
    • The patient must be in terminal condition
    • The action must be appropriate
    • We are responsible for all the anticipated consequences
    • Intention is irrelevant
    • Death is not always bad, do the double effect is irrelevant
    • The double defect can produce and unexpected moral result