Philosophy and Ethics (Religious Studies) AS/A Level
|Exam Board||AS units taken||A2 units taken|
|1. Philosophy of Religion and Ethics||3. Philosophy of Religion and Ethics|
|2. Investigations||4. Implications|
Any particular requirements for A real interest in ideas; the ability to present
doing this subject: arguments and to assess them; an open mind!
This includes a detailed study of two of the traditional arguments for the existence of God - the Cosmological and the Teleological, as stated by great thinkers in the past and modern philosophers. We also examine the challenges to religious belief in terms of the Problem of Evil, and the impact of modern theories about the origins of the universe. We investigate the philosophical issues relating to miracle claims.
This involves an introduction to ethical theories, with special reference to Utilitarianism and Situation Ethics. We examine various issues in the realm of applied ethics, including War and Peace and Sexual Ethics.
This unit provides an opportunity for more independent student enquiry. Students are able to undertake individual research into an area in which they are particularly interested. Assessment is by external examination, as with the other units.
The A2 Units are as follows:
Further arguments for the existence of God are studied, including the Ontological and the Argument from Religious Experience. We assess various critiques of religious belief and explore beliefs about the after life, including reincarnation and immortality. The final part of this module is a study of religious language and the problems associated with it.
This unit looks at topics such as the relationship between religion and morality, and more ethical theories, including emotivism, intuitionism, and natural moral law. Are there objective moral standards, or is morality simply based on what individuals feel? In applied ethics, we examine issues relating to crime, justice and punishment.
This focuses on the implications of beliefs and values for religion and human experience, through the study of texts which reflect a range of scholarly views. This unit is designed to stretch the more able students.
Patterns of Work
As with other ‘A’ levels in the Humanities, students must be prepared to put in a good amount of time in reading, note-making and essay preparation. Students will be given much help in the development of essay technique, and they must be willing to work hard at this.
Students will be encouraged to make effective use of the resources in different libraries: School, Sixth Form Theology Department and public. We subscribe to the excellent Sixth Form magazine, ‘Dialogue’, and there is a growing amount of valuable material on the Internet.
Many of those who study the subject in the Sixth Form often play a leading part in the Friday Philosophers, which is a forum for lively debate and discussion.
The Value of the Subject
‘A’ Level Theology is an exacting but fascinating discipline. It will challenge and provoke thoughtful and lively discussion, but it will also develop skills which will be of considerable value in the world after ‘A’ level. It is a worthwhile course of study for those with an interest in the subject and recent Sixth Formers have obtained places on a wide variety of courses at University, including Oxbridge. The philosophical aspects of the course would offer excellent preparation for anyone wishing to study some Philosophy at University.