Religious ethics

Here are some past questions from the OCR board on religious ethics.

The section of the website deals with Christian ethics, but there’s nothing to stop you studying Islamic ethics or Buddhist ethics (for example).

 Most teachers subdivide Christian ethics between Christian relativism = situation ethics, Christian natural law theory = Roman Catholic official view, and Divine Command theory = evangelical Christianity of a conservative sort.
It is good to do an analysis of past questions to try to understand the mind of the examiner. What connections are being made? Then try producing essay plans and, very important, practise under timed conditions (four questions in one and a half hours = 45 mins per question max). New OCR spec came in for 2009 AS papers (G572). In the old spec there were two papers (foundation G2760 and main G2762). Mark schemes can be downloaded using this number reference from the OCR website.
Currently the OCR board has two papers at AS and A2, each with a choice of four questions, with two questions completed in an hour and a half. Ethics is a popular choice for one of these two papers. For reasons best known to themselves, marks are 35 per question – so each paper is out of 70.
Jan 2006
a) Explain objections to abortion in the religious ethics you have studied.
b) ‘A foetus is a person and should be protected at all costs.’ Discuss.
June 2006
a) Explain how the ethics of the religion you have studied might be considered absolute.
b) How far can a religious theory of ethics be justified?
Jan 2008
a) Explain how the ethics of the religion you have studied might be applied to genetic engineering.
b) ‘Religious ethics are not consequentialist.’ Discuss.
June 2008
AS
a) Explain how the ethics of the religion you have studied might approach issues surrounding euthanasia.
b) “Religious Ethics leaves no room for compassionate treatment of the dying.” Discuss. (Paper 2762 Q6)
A2
How far can the ethics of the religion you have studied be considered utilitarian? (2772 Q2)
Jan 2009 (new spec, two questions)
a) Explain how the Sanctity of Life may influence ethical approaches to abortion. (25)
b) “A foetus is not a person”. Discuss. (10) (Paper G572 Q1)
a) Explain the ethical teachings of a religion you have studied. (25)
b) “Some religious ethics is too rigid for moral decision-making.” Discuss (10) (G572 Q3)
June 2009
AS
a) Explain why a follower of religious ethics might object to euthanasia. (25)
b) “Human dignity does not matter to a follower of religious ethics.” Discuss (10) (Paper G572 Q3)
A2
Assess the view that religious ethics is the best approach to any one medical ethical issue. (35)
Jan 2010 (new spec)
a) Explain how the ethics of a religion you have studied might be applied to abortion. (25)
b) “Religious ethics fails to consider consequences”. Discuss (10) (G572 Q4)
June 2010
 AS
a) Explain the ethical principles of the religion you have studied in relation to war. (25)
b) “War should not be allowed even as a last resort”. Discuss. (10) (G572 Q4)
A2
Assess the usefulness of religious ethics as an ethical approach to business. (35)
 Jan 2011
a) Explain how the followers of the ethics of the religion you have studied make ethical decisions. (25)
b) “Morality and religion are inseparable”. Discuss (10) (G572 Q4)
May 2011
a) Explain the theories of ethical and religious pacifism. (25)
b) Assess the claim that killing in war is more justifiable then other types of killing. (10) G572 Q3
Jan 2012
a) Explain the main ethical principles of the religion you have studied with regard to genetic engineering. (25)
b) “Religious ethics prevents progress in genetic engineering.” Discuss (10) G572 Q3

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