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Bible Class

Graeme Paterson

Stephen Grant

Spending the week in Fortrose Academy. Dealing with ethics and Christian beliefs. These are my questions to answer.       

Secondary 3 - Capital Punishment. 
1.    Can you cast any light on why so many US states, many of them described as being overtly Christian in outlook and located in the Bible Belt, support the death penalty?
2.    Is the death penalty ever justifiable in your view?
3.    How do you think hardened criminals should be punished? 
4.    Are people born bad or do they learn to be bad? Alternatively, are we born neutral or good? 
5.    If God sees and knows everything, why doesn’t S/He step in and stop terrible atrocities from happening?
6.    Can killing ever be justified – e.g. in war or as an act of self-defence?
7.    Do you think some acts are always wrong, for everyone, everywhere at any time, or is everything relative?
8.    Where do you go for guidance when trying to make difficult moral decisions?
9.    Is asking God for an answer to a difficult moral question simply a way of passing the buck and avoiding personal responsibility?
10.    Do you agree with UN Declaration of Human Rights Article 5?
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Secondary 2 - Utilatrarism
1.    How does a Christian make moral decisions?
2.    What if the issue is not talked about in the Bible? e.g. abortion, the death penalty, IVF treatment, human cloning. Where do you look for guidance in these situations?
3.    How important is motive to Christians when making moral decisions? 
4.    Are there some acts that are wrong for everyone, everywhere at any time in history?
5.    Would you agree with Immanuel Kant that utilitarianism is immoral because it justifies acts such as killing? 
6.    Utilitarianists believe that our main goal in life should be to pursue pleasure and avoid pain. What is a Christian’s goal in life? How easy or difficult is that to achieve? Is happiness a by-product of something else? 
7.    What would you do if you had to choose between saving your best friend or five strangers (see below!!! We call this ‘the trolley experiment’.) ? Does Christianity help people make moral decisions like this? 
8.    Is asking God for an answer to a difficult moral question simply a way of passing the buck and avoiding personal responsibility?

Going very well and really interesting conversation and discussion with the teenagers. Prayers appreciated.