These two GCSE RE revision quizzes help you test your knowledge and understanding of Religion & Identityread more...»
These two 10-question GCSE quizzes look at the topic of multicultural societyread more...»
These two GCSE RE revision quizzes help you test your knowledge and understanding of religion and relationshipsread more...»
These two 10-question GCSE quizzes look at the topic of religion and miraclesread more...»
Try these two revision quizzes for GCSE RE on Religion and Workread more...»
Here are two 10-question GCSE quizzes on Environmental & Medical Issues:read more...»
Try these two 10-question GCSE revision quizzes on Believing in Godread more...»
Try these two GCSE revision quizzes on Matters of Life and Deathread more...»
Test your knowledge and understanding of the topic of animal rights with this GCSE revision quiz from our sister company Zondle! There are 20 questions in this quiz - how many can you get right?read more...»
Mississippi is the latest state to introduce new anti-abortion legislation. This could shut down its one remaining abortion clinic thus ending the possibility of abortion in that state. This action on the one hand “ensures the lives of the born and unborn are protected” (Governor Phil Bryant) yet on the other it appears to go directly against a womans basic right to an abortion as enshrined in the Roe vs Wade ruling of 1973. Click here for the link to the article in the LA Times
Recent press interest on abortion has ranged from doctors signing off abortions for women they have never met to whether ‘After Birth Abortion’ can be morally justified.
BBC Moral Maze discusses abortion, considering the issue from all angles.
Click here for BBC Moral Maze - The morality of abortion.
Should we worry about the niceties of the judicial system when it comes to terrorism?
Click here for the link
What, if anything should Britain do about Libya? Or Syria? Although events have moved on in Libya much of the discussion is still relevant when it comes to considering what could make war just.
Click here for the link to BBC Moral Maze
Horizon asks the question ‘Are we born good or evil?’
BBC Horizon looks at genetics and brain function to establish if there is a ‘moral molecule’ inside of us. Click here for the link to BBC Horizon If we all have a general sense of morality, as the scientific research cited in this episode seems to suggest, then was Plato right in suggesting that we are born with an innate sense of ‘good’ and ‘right’? Should we be looking towards a moral absolute? Is relativism still relevant if morality has a genetic basis and linked to brain function? Is Sam Harris right? Can science answer moral questions and provide us with objective and absolute results?
Michael Sandel has produced an excellent series on Justice. As well as being generally pretty interesting, it also contains some really useful descriptions of Virtue Ethics, Kantian Ethics and Utilitarianism.
A conference in Newcastle this week has posed the question “Is religion responsible for keeping women in their place?”. Daphne Hampson, Professor of Divinity at the University of St Andrews argues that religion has proven to be hugely damaging to the equal rights of women. Last week Cheri Blair argued that over the years modern religion has fallen foul of fallible, masculine interpretation of key texts. However, Hampson argues that it is not simple a question of reinterpreting masculine versions of faith, but religion itself that is the problem. A transcendent, male divinity and a gendered hierarchy reflect all that is wrong with the patriarchal ideologies presented by the Abrahamic faiths. In her view religion has been central to modern day culture and has legitimized patriarchy.
Imagine that you are Spiderman and have just discovered that you have special powers. Do you have a moral obligation to use your new found powers to help other people?
Is Spiderman a consequentialist? Does Spiderman really have to use his powers to do good? Why is he considered to be good? Could he choose any other course of action? Click here for the link to the complete article.
Who says that the Nativity Story is dated?
click hereor the digital version of the nativity
A 31 year old Jedi has received an apology from the manager of his local Jobcentre after being asked to ‘dehood’ on a recent visit. However, Chris Jarvis does not believe this goes far enough and is now planning to sue for discrimination after feeling neither his religion nor beliefs had been treated with respect. Jedi-ism is supposedly our fourth most popular religion according to the national census, however the Equality and Human Rights Commision (EHRC) does not include Jediism as a religion on the grounds that it is not “heartfelt”. This could prove to be an interesting debate. Tesco, now seemingly having elevated itself to the status of Debretts on dress code, has commented that “We would ask Jedis to remove hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all went hoodless without going to the Dark Side.”
Click here for the complete article
In his recent TED talk Sam Harris argues that science can and should be used to answer moral questions. He talks about the relationship between science and human values. Usually it is thought that science can help us understand what we value but never tells us what we ought to value in the first place.
It is often said that science deals with facts and facts and values seem to belong to different spheres. Sam Harris argues this is untrue. He believes that values are a certain kind of fact. If questions affect human wellbeing then they do have answers whether or not we can find them, by admitting there are right and wrong answers that affect how humans florish will change the way we talk about morality.
Click here for the link
Have a look at the discussion underneath the TED talk as well.
According to a recent survey having a rival in love is likely to make you feel more religious. According to Yexin Jessica Li, Arizona State University, the statistics seem to suggest that people vary in religiosity depending on the perceived mating market.
Click here for the link to the article.
Nidhal Guessoum, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the American University of Sharjah, in the UAE, told a science conference on Saturday that in many places students and academics believed they had to make a ‘binary choice” between evolution and creationism. He went on to argue that teachers from high schools through to university are misrepresenting the facts and theories of evolution by mixing it up with religious ideology.
click here for the article in the Times
Oprah Winfrey has announced her retirement from the tv chat show arena. Heralded as the mother of shows like Jerry Springer, Jeremy Kyle, Vanessa and even Richard and Judy, Oprah was a phenomenon that changed the world of tv ‘entertainment’. Sarah Churchill, in an interview with Steve Hewlett, discusses whether for some people the Oprah show took the place of religion. Sarah points out that there were elements of confession, worship (albeit of celebrities), morality, and ‘working through’ all contained within her show. Is this what accounted for her cultish following?
click here for the link to the Radio 4 interview - The Media Show
A hip hop musical introduction to creation and evolution- it describes the main events of the creation and then sets out the theory of evolution and the notion of the Big Bang.
Well - at least it’s different!
Click here for the link..
The Newsnight panel discuss Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’.
This contains an interesting debate between Rev Richard Coles, Margaret Atwood, Ruth Padel and Richard Dawkins about why people still resist the theory of evolution.
Is it human behavior, is it the threat to religious authority or scriptural authority, is it due to an emotional barrier?
Click here for the link
Are you struggling to make sense your text book? Watch this!
click here for the link
If you haven’t come across this before it’s a pretty funny introduction to the major philosophers of our time.
click here for the link to the Monty Python Sketch
Darwin shook the status quo but never went as far as publicly denying God. According to James Secord, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, “It is easy to make Darwin out to be like Richard Dawkins, and to see Darwin as an acid that eats through our belief and faith, but Darwin didn’t see it like that”.read more...»
Just incase you hadn’t noticed Creation opens next Friday. Its billed as being about the man Darwin, his life and his legacy. It’s got to be worth a look!
click here for a review
The charity Survivors Fund (SURF) is undertaking a preliminary survey amongst UK teachers to develop a greater understanding of if and how the Rwandan genocide is taught in schools. Your input into this research will be greatly appreciated, if you can spare the time to answer the following brief ten questions via the link here. Thank you.
The Times reports that Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, is helping to launch the first atheist summer camps. They will rival the summer holiday schemes usually run by church groups, scouts or guides. “Budding atheists will be given lessons to arm themselves in the ways of rational scepticism”.
Reverend Billy Talen, a preacher from America, is launching his UK tour “The Shopocalypse” with his gospel choir called the Church of Life After Shopping.read more...»
Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of what might be represented in the Analogy of the Cave by the
1) the prisoners, the shadows, the cave itself, the
outside world, the sun, the journey out of the
cave and the return to the prisoners.
click here for a useful ink outlining the major issues and problems arising within this topic.
click here for a briefer discussion of the issue. Very accessible. Mentions the key players in the debate.
click here for a far deeper discussion of the issues. Has useful chapters with links so that you can focus upon certain areas.
The theme of the film is the conflict between religion and science. It has met with mixed reviews. Whilst it is not as sacrilegious as The Da Vinci Code, there is still plenty to offend ones religious sensibilities. However, interestingly the Vatican describes the film as ‘harmless’.
click here to read the Times review
check this website out for a brief overview and loads of links
click here for the link
Check out this web site for useful links and synopsis of the topic.
click here for the link
Robert Wright’s book The Evolution of God is out next month in America. It is a non believers exploration of how religious doctrine and practice have changed and evolved through human history. The book expounds the view that our evolving view of God can be understood as the evolution of the human understanding of truth, that the evolving doctrines and practice of our faith might merely indicate humankind’s slow understanding of the real nature of the divine.read more...»
Asians and Africans see religion as most important in their daily lives. Europeans are less of the belief that faith matters. 99% of people in Bangladesh agree that religion is part of their daily lives, whilst only 29% of those in Britain are of the same view.
click here for the link to the complete list of statistics from the recent Gallup poll.
According to a recent article in the Times there are economic benefits to being a Christian. There arppears to be a link between religiosity and upward economic mobility in the United States. Jonathan Gruber, a secular economist from MIT has argued that church going produces a boost in income.read more...»
Weber and Durkheim predicted the secularization of the world. Freud saw religion as neurosis. Neitzche stated confidently that “God is dead”. In fact, ever since Darwin, educated western though has considered religion to be a dying phenomena - ” the refuge of the ignorant, the superstitious”. In 1959 C. Wright Mills argued that “in due course the sacred realm shall disappear altogether, except possibly, in the private realm”.
So why is religion making a come back? Did it ever really go away?read more...»
The Times reported this week that a poll conducted by a Christian charity has identified religion as the new social evil of the 21st century.
A prize winning quantum physicist says a spiritual reality is veiled from us and science offers a glimpse behind that curtain. The bizarre nature of quantum physics has attracted some speculation that that it is compatible with a ‘spiritual view of things’.read more...»
Dr Alan Billings comments on the sheer precariousness of human life. He argues that to put your trust in God is to abandon all hope that life will go well simply because you are a person of faith. Drawing upon the experiences of those in Italy Dr Billings links the problem of suffering with the experience of Christ on the cross.read more...»
Can religion really comment on economics? Does Christianity have anything relevant to say about the credit crunch?read more...»
OCR is bringing in a study of Creationism into the GCSE biology from September. The spokeswoman for OCR said “candidates need to understand the social and historical context to scientific ideas both pre and post Darwin. Candidates are asked to discuss why the opponents of Darwinism thought the way they did and how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence”
click here for the link to the full article in the Times
This is an interesting look at some of the experiments Darwin created when investigating his theory of evolution.
click here for the iplayer link
Darwins Dangerous Ideas.
Thurs 9pm. BBC2
I can’t recommend watching this enough. This is an excellent account of the origins of the science vs religion debate.
Click here for the iplayer link
Russells Celestial teapot analogy was designed to refute the argument that the burden of proof lies with the non-believer to disprove the claims of religions. It has been used more recently by Richard Dawkins in his book “A Devils Chaplain”. Dawkins has also reformulated the argument to be an Invisible Pink Unicorn in The God Delusion (2006).
For an interesting discussion of the flaws in Russells Celestial Teapot argument click here.
This BBC Thought for the Day is a useful introduction to the issues.
Rev David Wilkinson 12th Feb
Click here for the link
Poet Laureate Andrew Motion has raised concerns that many students are coming unstuck because they do not understand their bible references. Test your knowledge with this quiz from the Bible Society. Click here
In todays ‘Thought for the Day” Akhandadhi Das spoke about research presented last week to show that Monkeys express empathy and offer help when a fellow animal is in trouble. These findings seem to suggest that animals have a moral sense, thus calling into question the idea that humans are unique. Does this have implications for the Moral Argument as a proof for the existence of God?read more...»
Strange but true -
A board game simulating a football match between French and German Philosophers.
If you fancy a go then click here for the link. It contains all of the rules and everything you’ll need to play!
Love- every language has a word for love. Love is a basic human emotion.read more...»
The Headless Professor explains Deductive Logic using Venn diagrams really clearly.
Click here for the link
Headless Professor ‘Logic Stacks’ is also another very clear presentation of the way in which Deductive Logic works. Click here for the link. This is a good kinesthetic activity if you want to have a go yourself!
An excellent overview of the areas of Logic for the ToK course. This contains links and definitions. A great resource for students and teachers. Click here
The Richard Dawkins Debate - article from the Times Monday 16th Feb
click here for the link
Loads of links to watch/read/listen to.
An article from The Economist containing some interesting facts and figures.
Click here for the link
A stimulus sheet - pictures / buzz wordsread more...»
Here are three very different takes on evolution and the science/ religion debate.read more...»
Religion and Science Terms
A fairly basic visual ‘dummies guide’ to the terms required for the AS OCR
Science and Religion
A visual approach to ‘who thinks what’
Relevant to both the TOK course and the RE AS
Four Philosophical questions to make your brain hurt
An interesting introduction to some of the issues that are relevant to the Theory of Knowledge IB Course.
A.J. Jacobs My Year of Living Biblically
He follows ALL of the laws in the Bible for a year. Its pretty interesting seeing the reactions he provokes in others.
He has a humorous way of making a serious point about following things literally without asking why?.
It is possible that the Bible writers are trying to explain something more fundamental to humanity itself rather than just be recounting historical/ scientific detail about the events. Is it important whether the creation took place exactly as it says in the bible or ought we be looking for other interpretations of the account?
Recent bus adverts from the humanist society have been telling people to stop worrying and enjoy life because there probably isn’t a god anyway. Dr Stephen Unwin would beg to differ. He has worked out the mathematical probability that God exists is exactly 67%.
Abortion is the premature termination of a foetus from the womb, legal up to 24 weeks with the agreement of two doctorsread more...»
John Hick defined evil as “physical pain, mental suffering and moral wickedness” For Hick, the consequence of evil is sufferingread more...»
The word ‘Telos’ is Greek for purpose. The Teleological argument thus argues that the universe is being directed towards a telos, an end purpose, and the a posteriori evidence of an apparent intelligent design in the world implies the existence of an intelligent designer, God.read more...»
The word ‘ontos’ means ‘being.’ The Ontological argument thus attempts to prove the existence of God a priori by focusing on the nature of his existence or being. St. Anslem (1033-1109) was the Archbishop of Canterbury. His argument was first presented in the form of a prayer in his book, ‘Proslogion,’ directed at the fool of the Psalm (Psalm 14) who says in his heart that there is no God.
There are two forms to Anslem’s Ontological argument:read more...»
The word ‘cosmos’ refers to the universe as an ordered, harmonious and holistic entity. The Cosmological argument therefore argues for the existence of God a posteriori based on the apparent order in the universe.read more...»