The Big Bang Theory is a term for a theory that is centuries old although is on record as being term the ‘Big Bang Theory’ by Fred Hoyle in the 1920s. There are many different parts to the Big Bang Theories and some disagreements within the scientific community as to the cause and effect of the Big Bang but it is widely agreed that:
The Universe had a definite beginning.
The Universe continues to expand and cool down.
The Universe isn’t reliant on something or some being for it’s existence.
There is no universal agreement on what caused the Big Bang to begin or what will happen to the universe eventually.
Below is a quick guide to the Big Bang (Excuse me if anything is inaccurate, feel free to send any corrections to me!)
The Big Bang started at a single point when the universe burst into existence. Before this it was complete darkness as light did not exist neither did space. When the universe began there was an ultra hot fog of energy.
Within a trillionth of a second the universe stretched from the size of an atom to and orange and began cooling down. Within 100 seconds the universe was the size of our solar system. As the universe was cooling down, matter and anti matter were created. When matter and anti matter collide they destroy each other. This was happening constantly and only 1 in 1 billion matter particles survived. It is from these particles that everything was formed.
“We are made of the smoke of the Big Bang”
The radiation from the Big Bang can still be seen and heard on earth. For example in television and radio waves.
Gravity is the cause of everything. The discovery of gravity is attributed to Sir Isaac Newton. Gravity is the pulling of everything together. Because some matter was denser and less effective when pulled by gravity it meant that there were imperfections in the universe. These imperfections were what created the universe.
Hydrogen gas was the first element created. It is extremely powerful and it is what gives stars their power and energy. If hydrogen is compacted down it will heat up and cause nuclear fusion. This process is what caused helium to be created. This process is what took place in order to create more elements. This is a long process.
Gravity can also be dangerous and cause black holes. A black hole is created when a massive star begins to dies and becomes unstable. It shrinks and gets denser and denser until the core starts collapsing in on itself. Black Holes give off radiation and this is what galaxies rotate around.
How were planets formed?
Our solar system is about 6 billion years old. A Star exploded and we can see evidence of this in the nebula in the solar system. Nebula is a thick fog full of different elements. Gravity pulls these elements together. The pressure of the hydrogen gas led to an explosion and a formation of a new star (our sun). This blast gave off a radioactive dust that pushed any excess dust. From these elements and dust planets began to form.
Did this all happen by accident?
All questions about the Big Bang ultimately lead to questions on whether this was a ‘perfect accident’. Christian Scientists who believe that the Universe was created by God. They use the examples of
The earth being the exact positions away from the Sun that it is not too hot or too cold.
All the elements required for life are present on the earth.
The imbalance or imperfection that was required for life to begin was a 1 in a billion chance.
Stephen Hawking refuted this explaining that for the size of the universe and the 1 in a billion chance it is inevitable that at least of the billions of planets would have life on them.
The Four Sights are the 4 things that Siddhartha Gautama saw for the first time when he left the palace after living a sheltered life. When thinking about the four sights you need to try to think of it from the perspective of never seeing these things before and how your eyes would be opened to the truth.
My S3’s recently completed a task where they created eye’s that explained the sight and the significance of it inside. The Eye being opened symbolised the Truth being revealed. Here are some of their ideas.
First Sight – An Old Man
The first thing that Siddhartha saw was an Old Man – weak and frail. This is a major revelation as Siddartha would have come to the realisation that you are not young, fit and healthy forever. It is something that no one can escape.
Suffering is caused by old age because your body becomes weaker and sore and daily tasks may become hard due to this.
It is significant because it told Siddhartha that one day he too will become old and not live forever and be able to do everything he wants to do.
Second Sight – A Sick Man
The second sight was a sick man. After seeing the old man this would also be a shock as Siddhārtha had been sheltered from this and had never come across the concept of people getting sick, ill, helpless and even so ill they die.
Suffering is caused by the person being sick and not able to function. Suffering is also caused but the family worrying about this person.
This is significant because it shows that illness can affect everyone no matter what your circumstances are.
Another pupil put it:
sickness is inevitable and abnormal for someone who had never seen it. To see someone sick would be extremely alarming and confusing as they were unaware the body could do this.
Sickness is still a huge problem in society whether it is something as unforgiving as cancer or something as small as a cold it still affects us. It can happen to anyone, of any age, including Siddhārtha.
Third Sight – A Corpse
The third thing that Siddhartha saw was a corpse on a funeral pyre. This would have been a shock as this would be an awakening that life is not a continuous event. Think about it when people get a diagnosis of only a few months to live they change the way they live their lives some may write a Bucket List of things that they want to achieve before death. It changes their perspective.
“Death also affects the family of the loved one. If Siddhārtha never knew his family were going to die he may take them for granted. Whereas if he knew his family would die he would protect them and cherish the time he had with them.”
Fourth Sight – A Holy Man
After the first three Sights, Prince Siddhartha realises he has been duped throughout his life. He has been surrounded by luxury, shielded from suffering and true reality by his father. It is the fourth Sight which first awakens him to other possibilities and an escape from suffering. He sees a wandering holy man, a Sadhu, who appears happy in the midst of the suffering.
“The wise man is at peace with the world even though he has no possessions. This shows Siddhartha that he does not need material things to be happy. Siddhārtha feels betrayed by his family and so feels he must go find the truth.”
Did Siddhārtha really never experience these things?
It is highly unlikely that Siddhartha went through his whole life not experiencing any of these four sights. His teachings often take the form of stories with deeper meanings behind them and it is thought that this is such a story. Siddhartha is getting the point across as if you had never witnessed these four sights before in order to show the impact they have had on his life. He is emphasising the sheltered life he has lived.
Siddhartha returned to the palace. He went to see his father and asked, “Why have you lied about the existence of suffering, sickness, poverty, old age and death. Suddhodana said that if he had lied it was because he loved his son. But Siddhartha said that his father’s love “had become a prison, how can I stay here when there is so much suffering in the world, I have to do something about it”.
Siddhartha visited his wife and son as they slept to say good-bye. He could not wake them, for if he did, his love would not allow him to go. His heart was aching but he realised he had to leave them. The whole palace had fallen into a deep sleep, and a mysterious mist had descended. Only the great elephants were awake, and Siddhartha and Channa.
What does it mean by Going Forth?
He had reached the point where the conventions, the pattern of life that had been laid out for him was stifling. So he had to get out. In the story, Siddhartha resolved to take the example of the Sadhu to heart, and leave the palace and seek answers to his questions of why there is poverty, old age, disease and death. He had to Go Forth – to find the Truth.
Siddhartha realised that he had to separate himself from the demands of the group of which he was a part – he had to go his own, individual way. He needed to get away from the roles he was expected to play and that he did not choose. He felt that he had caught a glimpse of something richer, of new possibilities and that his old life was holding him back.
Siddhartha realised that he literally had to leave home. He therefore leaves parents, wife, child, tribe – and he goes at night. Siddhartha steals away from the group, he just slips out, otherwise they won’t let him go.
Going Forth is about is starting to control and determine your own identity yourself, and not letting others do it for you. This is what “leaving the group means”.
What Does Going Forth Mean?
Everyone has set roles that they fit into. We have to act a certain way in the different groups we are in.
In the family you function in a role, as son, daughter, mother, etc. The danger is that we over identify with a familial role as if this is just ALL you are, which is how families can become stifling. Often only when you have left home do you really relate to your parents as people, see them perhaps as fallible or funny, and have a much richer and perhaps more loving relationship with them.
Other groups that one may Go Forth from are your social scene, its fashions, its jargon, and its chitchat. Then you may go forth from an obsessive, unhealthy sexual or emotional relationship – one that is based on mutual emotional dependence and exploitation.
Then there is the Going Forth from the economic group and perhaps your job. There is the danger of over identifying with what you do. People ask, “What are you”…and you give them a job title, a role. You play or live a role.
Prince Siddhartha was raised a Hindu and had readily accepted the caste system. The caste system was a structure in society which was heavily related to the religious beliefs of reincarnation. It was strongly felt that actions in this life determined the life you would lead in the future – if you were evil and nasty you would be reincarnated into someone who suffered, if you were kind and good you were reincarnated into someone rich. This strong belief meant that many people felt you ‘deserved’ the life you had and that whilst you could still be kind to others there was no obligation to support the most vulnerable in society.
The Caste System
People were born into the caste system and then had to choose professions accepted within the caste system, which usually meant following your family’s jobs. You could not work your way through the castes, or marry someone from a different caste. If you broke the caste system you were rejected from society – you became an ‘out-caste’. This system had been heavily reinforced for thousands of years. (If you think about the different factions in Divergent with the factionless being like the Out-Caste)
The very bottom of the caste system was the ‘Untouchables’ to have any contact with this group immediately made you impure. You can see the broad strata in the image on the right.
Buddha was opposed to this structuring and said it was wrong to assign someone to a caste for their whole life. He said people should be judged on ‘merit’ (what they could do) rather than what they were born into. He changed his beliefs from his previous Hindu upbringing to something which was seen as completely radical for his time.
Buddha also believed that everyone could be on a path to enlightenment and could do things to improve their chances of achieving enlightenment, whereas Hinduism mainly left the religious roles to the Brahman’s, Buddha said everyone could find a spiritual path to enlightenment.
The Buddha also departed from Hindu beliefs about God. For the Buddha the aim of existence was to cease existing, to end suffering you had to end your own rebirths because you could never escape suffering.
Buddha believed there was no God which radically departed from Hindu beliefs. In Hinduism there was one God reflected in many other gods e.g. god of fertility, god of life, god of harvests etc. For the average Hindu householder they picked a god who would best serve them and built shrines to worship them, e.g. a farmer would choose the gods of rain, sunshine and fertility and worship them.
Buddha changed his life dramatically – from a wealthy prince ready to rule over a large empire established by his father to a wandering ascetic looking for truth. His previous life was full of luxury and material goods but his new life was austere and spiritual. With this change in circumstances there was a change in attitude and beliefs.
The 3 Dimensions of Going Forth
Going Forth’ can be broken down into three parts:
The Physical Journey. Prince Siddhartha physically leaves the palace, his life of luxury, his family, friends and the life he knows in search of something unknown. He rides out on his horse beyond the palace walls in search of truth.
The Emotional Break. Prince Siddhartha has to break his emotional ties to his family, his culture and his own identity. He must go forward independently and open his mind to new ideas and experiences.
The Psychological Shift: Prince Siddhartha has been awakened to a different reality and this changes the way he thinks. He wants to end suffering for all, he wants to find peace for himself, he has been challenged to think differently. He has had a culture-shock and he starts to question cultural values. So he goes in search of truth and an end to suffering.
Karma and Path to Enlightenment
Buddha’s idea of karma was also different. In Hinduism there was a linear approach to karma – a person would do something and immediately there was a consequence or an identifiable trace between cause and effect. However, Buddha saw Karma as much more complex and working in more challenging ways.
Buddha also accepted many ideas prevalent in Hindu culture – encouragement to be vegetarian and not to harm other living beings, ideas about searching for truth by looking within, the practices of meditation and yoga and so on. So whilst he went forth and revolutionized some beliefs, he also stayed true to many cultural beliefs.
Buddha taught his followers in many different ways and encouraged them to find their own path to enlightenment. He used stories, teaching, meditation, self-denial and other methods to show that there were many paths towards enlightenment. This was different to the Hindu tradition which prescribed particular practices.
Christians believe that God created the Universe. He chose to create it out of love for humanity. Some may argue that he created it because he wanted to be worshipped, therefore it was selfish his creation however Christians would debate this. They would argue that as God is Omnipotent he doesn’t need to be loved.
One of the main theme running through Christianity is the theme of Love. God is full of Love as we should all be.
For Christians it is not important how God created the Universe, as they believe that is beyond their own imagination and for them it doesn’t really matter. This is their faith. There are different arguments for the compatibility of God and Science. Read about them here. There are two versions of the Creation story in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 1 is also known as the 7 Day creation story. This is the story that God created the Universe in 6 days and rested on the 7th.
Genesis 2 is the story of Adam and Eve. Where God created humans first and placed them in a Garden. This provides an account of how sin entered the world
There are different types of Creationist Christians (You can read about this in more depth here) In general they believe that the story in the Bible is the literal truth.
Liberal Christians take these as stories or parables. Stories that help tell a more complex idea. This is how many Christians would then link in these ideas with Scientific Theories like the Big Bang Theory and Evolution.
The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate your ability to apply your skills and knowledge and understanding to research a religious, moral or philosophical issue of your choice. This may be related to areas you have studied in class if you wish, but you are free to research any relevant topic or issue. For help with topics see here.
The assignment is worth 20 marks. The marks contribute 25% of the overall marks for the Course assessment. The Course will be graded A–D. This means that it can have a massive impact on your final grade.
The assessment for the assignment will be in the form of a report of your research and findings. You must complete this report within one hour.
The Resource Sheet
You will have the RMPS Resource Sheet which you can refer to as you produce a report of your findings. This will help you produce your report of your assignment. You must use only one side of this single sheet and be no more than 200 words.
The Resource Sheet will not be marked; you will only be awarded marks for what you include in your report. You must not use it to pre-write your report, however it is fine to copy quotations in full. No marks will be awarded for directly copying extended pieces of text/narrative from the Resource Sheet.
What are we marked on?
A. Identify an appropriate religious, moral or philosophical issue
How you can do this
Identify a religious, moral or philosophical issue. Your issue can be religious or moral or philosophical or any combination of these. Your issue should allow you to:
¨ find relevant factual information and relevant viewpoints
¨ comment on the significance or impact of the issue
¨ come to a conclusion which you can support with reasons
B. Comment on the significance or impact of the issue
How you can do this
Your comment should focus on the significance or impact of the religious, moral or philosophical issue you have been studying.
This means you need to show you understand the issue or topic you have chosen. You are showing the marker you know that the issue is important. Perhaps this would be referring to current debate, recent news articles, how important the issue is. Obviously this would depend completely on your chosen topic as to what would be appropriate to include.
C. Use information from different sources
How you can do this
You will need to:
¨ collect information which will help you come to a conclusion on the issue
¨ find out about facts and viewpoints
¨ take a note of where you found this information
You should collect evidence relevant to the issue, from a range of sources. This may include, for example:
¨ newspapers/magazines (print or electronic)
¨ religious texts
¨ visits or fieldtrips
Taking a note of the sources you have used
When presenting evidence from sources, you should say where the information comes from.
It is useful to reference the sources you have used. You can quote directly or put it in your own words. For example:
1 Corinthians 13 states that….
In The Blind Watchmaker Dawkins argues that….
The Buddhist Wheel of Life shows….
The BBC Religion and Ethics website states that…. (full URL for websites are not required)
It is important to think about the reliability and appropriateness of the sources you use.
D. Use knowledge and understanding to explain and analyse aspects of the issue
How you can do this
Use accurate knowledge to explain key aspects of the issue. Explaining and analysing the issue could require you to make links between factors or different aspects of the issue, and show that you have understood how these different factors affect each other, for example:
¨ People who believe in a literal interpretation of religious creation stories will reject scientific accounts of the origin of the universe. This may lead them to mistrust science in general, which in turn may affect…
¨ Religious people may agree with non-religious people that the issue of mankind’s responsibility for the environment is a moral issue, because they believe that…
E. Present a conclusion about the issue
F. Support the conclusion with reasons
How you can do this
Present a conclusion which is supported with valid reasons.
Your conclusion may be presented at any point in your writing, for example, as you present your evidence or at the end.
Concluding that you are unsure is fine, providing you can support your view with clear reasons.
This assignment is worth 30 marks out of a total of 90 marks for the Course. The marks contribute approximately 33% of the overall marks for the Course assessment. The Course will be graded A–D. This therefore can have a massive impact on your final grade!
As with the N5 Assignment you need to choose an appropriate issue and topic. Complete research on it and analyse and evaluate the debate surrounding the topic. There are 3 things that you will be marked on.
AKnowledge and Understanding (12 marks)
Researching the issue
You should use a range of sources of information, to which you should refer to in your assignment. (See above for examples of the different types of research you could complete)
Demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the issue
You should use your knowledge and understanding to support your response to the issue.
This is where you show off what you have learned about the topic.
B Analysis (10 marks)
Analysing the issue
Analysis involved identifying parts, the relationship between them, and their relationships with the whole. It can also involve drawing out and relating implications.
Synthesising information in a structured manner
You should draw together a range of information in response to the issue. Bring together your arguments and support draw links between your different pieces of information.
Explaining the significance or impact of the issue
You should explain the significance or impact of the issue. Explain why it is such an important topic or issue.
C Evaluation (8 marks)
Evaluating different viewpoints on the issue
You should evaluate different viewpoints on the issue. Evaluation involves making reasoned judgements.
Presenting a detailed explanation of supporting information and potential challenges/counter-arguments
You should comment on arguments, challenges and/or counter-arguments in terms of, for example: validity, quality, strengths, weaknesses, consistency, etc.
Presenting a reasoned and well-structured conclusion on the issue
You should draw and present a reasoned conclusion on the issue. Your conclusion should include an overall judgement about the issue.
Use the support on this website and come on a Tuesday after school to get extra help!
Is it reasonable to believe that God Created the Universe? (20 Marks)
Below is a model answer of the above question. I have added in some links to help with additional reading.
This is a question that has been widely debated for years and as scientific advances happen, fresh debates also happen. In order for something to be reasonable, it must have evidence to back up the claim. When looking at the Existence of God, many would look to evidence to support their argument. However Religious people, such as Christians would also say that belief in something also requires Faith. There are different types of truth, which depend on faith. (Read more about this here. )
Christians fundamental belief is that God must exist because the Universe exists and he is the Creator of everything. For them, God reveals himself in different ways. Sometimes this may be directly communicating with people – for example giving the Ten Commandments to Moses. Those who believe Jesus was an incarnation of God, also believe that this was God revealing himself to humanity. There are many different types of revalation that God has used to show himself to humanity. Christians believe that this therefore is proof that God exists and created the Universe because there is evidence of him in the Bible, History and in the world around us.
Critics of this argument would say that because the word exists and there are instances of God revealing himself do not actually prove God exists or that he created the Universe. There are questions raised about the physical appearance of God so much in the times of the Old Testament but not anymore. Scientists would argue that the Bible cannot be used as a source of Scientific knowledge as it is full of inaccuracies and contradictions. It was written by humans about their understandings of God. Scientists would argue that therefore it is not a divine revelation, instead interpretations of a divine revelation. What one person experiences is not valid scientific evidence because it is a personal experience that cannot be verified. This is where the argument of the difference between faith and reason comes in. God is so powerful and mysterious that he is beyond human comprehension, therefore depending on your own faith and reason it could be reasonable to believe that God created the universe.
The Christian creation story of Genesis 1 can be used to support beliefs in God. This is the story that God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. This can be interpreted in different ways. Creationist or Literal Christians believe that this is true in every way. They believe that the Bible is God’s word and so we must accept everything that is in it as the truth. Therefore for literal there is no debate when asked if God exists. God is Omnipotent and can do anything. Some Christians would say that this literal view is not compatible with some scientific evidence and therefore would see the creation story as being symbolic. They still believe that God created the world but not in the 7 24 hour time periods that are described in the Bible. By interpreting the source in this way Liberal Christians can look at scientific evidence and interpret the source with other developments that humans have found to be true. Therefore many would argue that the Genesis story can either prove or at least support the belief in a God as a creator.
The Cosmological Argument is an argument first put forward by Thomas Aquinas. The argument suggests that everything that exists must exist because it was caused by something else. Everything in the universe must have a cause. There must have been a first cause to cause everything. This cause must have been an uncaused cause to start everything off. The only thing that is eternal and powerful enough is God. Therefore God must be the first cause and God must exist. This gives a philosophical reason for the existence of God and gives reason to the argument that God exists. Christians use this argument to support their belief that God created the universe.
There are flaws with the Cosmological argument as an explanation for how the Universe began. For example, the premise of the argument that everything must have a cause does not include God. For many there is the argument that if God does not need a cause why does the universe? This argument also only links to the conclusion that there must be a uncaused cause, this doesn’t necessarily mean it is God. Scientists would use the Big Bang Theory to explain how the Universe began. The Big Bang was the start of the Universe: Matter, Space and Time. There was nothing before it. Quantum Physicists suggest that matter can appear and disappear spontaneously and does not require a cause. There are many different pieces of evidence that Scientists use to back up the theory of the Big Bang. For example theory proposed by Hubble and Einstein explain that there must be a limitation to the energy in the Universe this can be seen in the Red Shift, which shows the Universe is expanding. Although there is a lot of scientific evidence that supports the Big Bang there is no conclusive explanation for why it happened. For many Christians and other religious groups this cause has to be God, as to them it is the only logical explanation. Some Creationist Christians may argue against the Big Bang Theory and instead would only accept the word of the Bible, and the 7 day creation story.
The Teleological Argument is another argument used to support the argument about the existence of God. First proposed by William Paley, the argument suggests that the world is so perfect that it must have been designed. For example the Earth is the right distance away from the sun for life to survive. There are also examples within the complexities of nature, for many the only logical answer to how this could be would be the existence of a God. However there are critics of this argument such as Immanuel Kant, he argues that the structure and order on Earth is imagined. We want to see a perfect world so that is what we see. Hume also critiques this argument saying that the order of the world does not prove a god created it. It could be a group of gods or perhaps something other than God. An Argument is merely a theory and is not proof that something exists. This theory of a perfect world also does not fit in with the idea of evolution, which has been scientifically been proven by scientists such as Darwin. Many would however argue that Evolution was all part of God’s overall plan. As with most arguments about God, it is up to personal interpretation and faith. There is enough evidence to support either side of the argument and it could be proven either way. It is up to an individuals faith in God whether or not he exists and created the Universe.
To conclude, many would argue that it is indeed reasonable to believe that God created the Universe as belief in God requires an element of Faith along with reason. The idea of God can work with scientific theories such as that of The Big Bang Theory. For others the revelation of God through his creation and holy word is enough evidence. It does require an element of faith and that is down to personal interpretation.
Everyone has their own idea of why criminals should be punished. Some say it should be to protect the rest of society, some say to make an example of the criminal, some say it should be to help the criminal change their ways, some say its revenge.
When punishing someone there are moral debates raised about whether we should take into account the criminals personal circumstances, history, criminal record, family situation. Others say this is irrelevant all criminals should be treated the same.
People will look to religious teachings and texts for guidance on how they should respond to punishment, others may think from their own perspective, some may use a non-religious way of thinking such as Utilitarianism and Humanism.
There is a good summary of the arguments for and against Capital Punishment here.
“An Eye for an Eye, A Tooth for a Tooth… A Life for a Life”
This quote is often used as religious justification of retribution, in the Bible, Qu’ran and Torah there is similar teachings, that criminals should get a punishment fitting of their crime. In the UK, retribution can be found in Community Service, Fines and outside the UK – Capital Punishment is a form of retribution.
Some argue that this is not a positive response to punishment and should not be the main aim of punishment.
Although others argue that it shows criminals that crimes will not be tolerated.
Many believe that it is important to forgive, and they believe that punishment should be an opportunity for criminals to show remorse and forgiveness should be given. This is key in many religions such as Christianity. Jesus taught it was important to forgive.
This is how many people would approach punishment.
Essay Questions on Purposes Punishment
If you are asked about the Moral debate surrounding the purposes punishment in an exam you can approach this question in many ways. You can look at the different purposes of punishment, the arguments for and against each punishment and why people may debate on whether it is an appropriate aim. You could also look at religious and non- religious perspectives on punishment. Why do religious people hold views on punishment, what influences them.
The Noble Eightfold Path consists of eight ways of thinking, speaking and behaving that the Buddha said people should follow if they want to reach Nirvana, the end of suffering.
Some would argue that it may be too difficult to follow. See below at each of the steps and challenges it may present.
Right Understanding understands the teachings on karma and rebirth, the Three Universal Truths, the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. However, this is not just an intellectual understanding. Rather it is where you actually feel those things to be true in your heart and they influence the way you see and do things at a day-to-day level. This could prove difficult for some.
Before we do anything we usually think about it; first we develop the INTENTION to do something then we do it. Sometimes our intention is a selfish one, where we decide to do things just for the sake of our own happiness. Sometimes we even do things with the negative intention of harming others.
Right Intention means doing things for the right reasons. Instead of thinking about doing things for him or herself, a Buddhist thinks about doing things for others. Instead of thinking about how they can harm others, Buddhists think about how they can help others. Basically, Right Intention is stopping doing things for bad reasons and instead doing them for good ones.
Right Speech means (1) not lying, (2) not swearing, (3) not gossiping and (4) not saying things that cause other people to fall out. A Buddhist always tries to do the opposite of these things: he or she tries to tell the truth, to speak pleasantly and about meaningful subjects. Finally, he tries to speak in ways that cause harmony between people. This may be hard to follow through for many at all times.
Right Action means (1) not killing or injuring any living being, (2) not stealing, and (3) not committing sexual misconduct (simply put, this means not being unfaithful to your partner).
A Buddhist must never make their living in a way that is harmful to others. This means that he or she can never work selling (1) weapons, (2) meat, (3) slaves,
(4) harmful drugs or (5) poisons. A Buddhist could be a chemist because the drugs he sold would not harm people. He could not own a pub though!
Some Buddhist’s may have difficulty working in the cigarette or alcohol industry or in the manufacturing of weapons. Also jobs that exploit animals or damage the environment should be avoided.
Right Effort means making an effort to abandon negative ways of thinking such as proud, angry, or jealous thoughts and instead making an effort to develop positive ways of thinking such as humble, generous or compassionate thoughts.
To be mindful of something means to remember it. We all have mindfulness but it is usually mindfulness of something meaningless like the pop song we can’t stop singing or the girl or boy we can’t stop thinking about. Buddhists learn to be mindful of a calm and peaceful state of mind so that when something that causes a strong sense of ‘self’ suddenly appears to the mind, be it a thought, a feeling, a sensation, or an object, they remember or are ‘mindful’ of that calm and peaceful state of mind.
Right Concentration is the ability to keep the mind totally concentrated on a calm, peaceful state without becoming distracted. It is very similar to Right Mindfulness, indeed the two work together very closely. While Right Concentration remains focussed on the calm and peaceful state, Right Mindfulness notices when the mind starts to get distracted and pulls it back to the object of concentration. By keeping the mind concentrated through Right Concentration, and preventing distraction from arising by practising Right Mindfulness, a Buddhist gradually dissolves their mind into deeper and deeper states of meditation until eventually they reach Nirvana. Here, because they have gone beyond the sense of ‘self’, they achieve the End of Suffering, (the Third Noble Truth).
What are the benefits and difficulties when following the Eightfold Path?
The benefits of following the Eightfold Path are:
Helps overcome suffering.
Gives guidelines on how to live free from craving
Helps to overcome attachment and gain good Karma
Helps to free ones self from samsara
It brings calm and peace to a person and helps gain wisdom
Creates a freer and more tolerant society
Some difficulties of trying to follow the Eightfold path are
It is hard to keep to the path. Responsibilities of work and family take up time
Pressure of work and the time work takes, can keep people from following the path.
Other attachments and cravings which we are exposed to in the modern world hinder our progress.
Sometimes the path might not seem realistic in the busy modern life.
Some Buddhists believe that you have to withdraw to a monastry to progress along the path quicker.
Is he a old man with a white beard living on a cloud? Is god a woman? Does God have a physical form? There are many interpretations of what God is like.
Christians believe that God is every where, knows everything and you are able to have a personal relationship with him.Hindus believe that God takes many different forms, each of these forms represents a different attribute of God.
Most religions have their own interpretations of what God is, but they do have some ideas in common. Here are some words that are used to describe God.
For your National 5 exam it would be good to know at least four of these definitions.
There is no one singular answer to this question. People make decisions in a variety of different ways, people may not even know the process that they go through to make decisions. Some religious people may look to their own holy books or teachings for guidance. But what about non religious people? Where do they go for guidance?
This is a non religious group of people, who do not believe in any god, life after death or religion. They believe life is to be lived and there is no further purpose. This website here explains a little more about their beliefs and how they come to making decisions. http://understandinghumanism.org.uk/uhtheme/ethics/?age=14
Utilitarian is a way of thinking based on doing the best to make the most people happy. There are different types of Utilitarians and this video explains how Utilitarians make decisions.
If in an exam you are asked about how non- religious people make decisions. These are two examples you can use.