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The religious times Matters of...



By Jack Riley

Non religious arguments for life after death Reasons for people believing in life after death: 

All religions teach that there is such thing as life after death, all those people can’t be wrong can they?

The mind is separate from the body, so it could survive when the body has died

People have had near death experiences

Mediums and spiritualists claim to be able to contact those who have died

People have seen ghosts, which suggests that people live on, after death, in some way

With all these reasons and many more, surely there is such thing has life after death?

Although there are also reasons against the belief of life after death: 

There is no actual evidence, and most days people believe only what they can see

Death means “the end of life” which is a contradiction to suggest there is something after the end

Technology has shown us the far reaches of the universe but it hasn’t found anything like heaven. Where could life after death be?

Evidence of the paranormal

Religious arguments for life after death Christians belief on the resurrection of the body: 

The body stays in the grave until the end of the world.

Then God will raise all bodies.

Everyone will come before God to be judged.

Those who have lived good lives will be rewarded by going to heaven forever.

Those who have not lived good lives will be punished by going to hell forever.

Some Christians believe this because:   

Jesus rose from the dead with a physical body. St Paul taught that Christians would be resurrected. It says that this is what happen in the Apostles’ Creed (a statement of important Christian beliefs).

Immortality of the soul The belief of the soul being immortal is when: 

The body dies but the soul lives on after


The soul goes straight to God

God judges all souls

Some believe that souls go to heaven or hell,

depending on God’s judgment

Many Christians who believe in immortality do not believe in hell. Instead, they believe all souls go to heaven, but what they experience there will reflect the way they lived their life. Heaven will be different for different people.

They believe this because: 

Jesus said the criminal on the cross would be with him in paradise straight after death. Jesus said that God’s house had many rooms (for all kinds of people).

Catholic beliefs Some catholic beliefs about life after death are: 

Souls who have not sinned go straight to heaven.

Most souls go to purgatory to be cleansed before going to heaven. They ‘make up’ for their mistakes in life.

Souls who committed major sins in life, go to hell.

At the end of the world, God will reunite souls with their bodies.

They believe this because:  

Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus said the criminal would go straight to paradise. Church leaders and the Catechism say that this is what happens.

Views on abortion Abortion is allowed in the UK if: 

2 doctors agree to it.

There is a risk to the woman’s mental or physical health.

There is a risk to any existing children.

There is a strong chance of major mental or physical handicap.

The woman’s life is at risk.

Abortion cannot take place after 24 weeks of pregnancy (Except last 2 reasons). The man who fathered the child has no right to be consulted. Some Christians, like Catholics, believe that abortion is always wrong because: 

Life begins at conception so abortion is murder

Murder is forbidden in the 10 Commandments which are God’s laws. God does not approve of abortion

ALL life is a gift from God and it should be respected and protected

Teachings on the sanctity of life state that life is holy and belongs to God

Only God, the creator, has the right to end life early

Euthanasia  Life is sacred and holy. It should be respected and cared for, but NOT ended early.  Life is a gift from God. Only He can decide when it ends.  Euthanasia is an insult to God who created us.  The 6th of the 10 Commandments forbids deliberately ending life (“Do not commit murder”).  The Bible teaches that decisions about life and death should be made by God alone.  Church leaders have said that life belongs to God and only He can decide when it should end.  They believe that doctors should save lives, not kill. Keywords ABORTION– The removal of the foetus from the womb before it can survive ASSISTED SUICIDE– Providing someone with the means to commit suicide EUTHANASIA– The painless killing of someone dying from an incurable disease VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA– Ending a life painlessly when someone in great pain asks for death NON-VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA– Ending someone’s life painlessly when they are unable to ask, but you have good reason for thinking they would want you to IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL– The idea that the soul live son after the death of the body NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE– When somebody about to die has an out of body experience PARANORMAL– Unexplained things which are thought to have spiritual causes, e.g. ghosts and mediums QUALITY OF LIFE– The idea that life must have some benefits for it to be worth living RESURRECTION– The idea that after death souls are re-born into new body REINCARNATION– The belief that after death the body stays in the grave until at the end of the world it is raised SANCTITY OF LIFE– The belief that life is holy and belongs to God

Matters of Life and Death magazine  

Revision material with all the key term, beliefs and areas of study.

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