Religious Studies GCSE (Taught by Mr D Proctor, Mrs K Davies and Mr D Roberts)

Year 9

  • Christian beliefs What is God? The problem of Evil Religious and Scientific understandings of the origin of the universe Incarnation Atonement Crucifixion Resurrection Christian understanding of after life
  • Christian practices Different types of liturgy Seven Sacraments Pilgrimage Christmas Easter
  • Relationships and Families Sexuality and contraception Marriage and Family Parenting Divorce Gender equality

Year 10

  • Buddhist beliefs Life of Buddha Four Noble Truths Dependent Arising Three Marks of Existence Theravada and Mahayana Arhat and Bodhisattva Pure Land Buddhism
  • Buddhist practices Types of Meditation Ceremonies for the Dead Wesak and Parinirvana Day Karma Six Perfections Five Moral Precepts Karuna Metta
  • Crime and Punishment Reasons for Crime Types of Crime Aims of Punishment Treatment of Criminals Forgiveness

Year 11

  • War and Peace Issues Justice and Peace Terrorism Reasons for War Nuclear War
  • Just War Pacifism Religious response to suffering in War
  • Issues relating to life after death Origins of the universe Value of human life Use and abuse of the environment Use and abuse of animals

 

Philosophy A level AQA (Taught by Mr D Proctor and Mrs K Davies)

In A level Philosophy we study four topics:

Metaphysics of God

In this unit we examine the philosophical issues relating to the concept of God. The topics are as follows:

  • Cosmological, teleological and ontological arguments for the existence of God together with the criticisms of David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell
  • Whether or not the concept of God is coherent. Here we look at the Parable of the Stone, Plato’s Euthyphro dilemma and the problem of the possibility of free will in relation to God’s omniscience
  • Religious Language: we consider the philosophies of AJ Ayer and Antony Flew who together argued that religious language was meaningless. But were they right?
  • The Problem of Evil: if God is all powerful and benevolent then how is it that there is evil in the world?

Metaphysics of Mind

In this section of the course we consider the nature of the mind and its relation to the physical world, especially the body. We look at and assess six points of view. They are:

  • Substance dualism: the idea that a human being is made up of two separate substances. This is the idea of Plato and Descartes.
  • Property Dualism: the idea that the mind is a property of the body.
  • Behaviourism: the word mind refers to a set of physically observable behaviours and nothing more.
  • Mind/Brain identity theory: the mind is identical to the brain
  • Functionalism: this suggests that the mind is what the body does, it is its function.
  • Eliminative materialism: this suggests that there is actually no such thing as mind. It is an outmoded concept like God.

Epistemology

Here we look at the nature of knowledge and what it means to know. We consider three different subjects:

  • The status of the external world: how can we know that the world we see is the world as it really is? How can we know whether or not the world exists independently of our perception of it? Could the world as we see it be just a dream image?
  • How do we know that we know something? When we say that we know something how can we be sure that we actually know it? To what extent can we be certain of anything? Here we evaluate Plato’s definition of knowledge as ‘Justified True Belief.’
  • Where do our concepts come from? We know that the concept tree comes from our observing trees. But what about beauty and goodness? Where do these concepts come from as we never actually see beauty or goodness?

Ethics

Here we look at the difference between right and wrong? How do we know what a good action is? In this section we consider three ethical theories and a variety of moral problems. The ethical theories we consider are: Virtue Ethics, Utilitarianism and Kant’s Deontological ethics. We consider these theories in relation to different ethical situations.

There are two exams in this subject.

 

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