AQA GCSE Religious Studies Unit 3 Key Terms

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Unit 3: Morality Key Terms


absolute moralityWhat is morally right and wrong applies to all circumstances, at all times.
absolute povertyNot having the minimum income level required for the necessities of life, eg food, shelter, clothing.
abuseMisuse of the world and the environment.
active euthanasiaThe ending of a life by a deliberate action, such as by giving a patient a fatal injection.
addictiveCausing a physical or mental dependency on a substance that is very difficult to overcome.
adoptionThe legal process where a person (child) is taken (adopted) into the family as a son or daughter.
adulterySex outside marriage where one or both of the couple are already married to someone else.
ageismPrejudice and discrimination against the elderly.
agnosticA person who believes it is not possible to be sure whether God exists or not.
alcoholAn addictive social drug found in beer, wine and spirits, etc.
anabolic steroidsA drug that helps to build muscle.
apathyA person who has no interest in doing anything.
ASBOAn order issued by a magistrate aimed at preventing an individual from being in certain places at certain times.
average life expectancyThe average age at which people die.
bereavedPeople who have suffered the loss of a loved one.
BlasphemyTalk or behaviour that insults God or the gods.
caffeineA mild legal stimulant found in coffee, chocolate, etc.
cannabisA class B drug which is usually smoked which some wish to be legalised.
capital punishmentForm of punishment in which a prisoner is put to death for crimes committed. The death penalty.
care homeA home for the elderly who are ill and need specialist medical treatment.
charityGiving to the needy/an organisation that does not work for profi t and which usually works to help others.
cold turkeyProcess of trying to beat addiction just by stopping taking drugs.Teacher Resource Bank
communityA group within which a person lives and acts, eg a religious community.
community serviceA form of punishment in which the criminal has to perform tasks useful to society, rather than going to prison.
compassionA feeling of sympathy that makes one want to help.
conscienceThe inner feeling you are doing right or wrong.
corporate responsibilityA community or society takes responsibility for the care of the people within it.
crime against the personWrongdoing that directly harms a person, eg murder, assault.
crime against the stateAn offence aimed at damaging the government or a country, eg treason.
crime against propertyDamaging items that belong to somebody else, eg vandalism.
Day of ResurrectionDay when the dead will return to life.
deathThe end of life which can be determined in several ways but normally when the brain stops functioning.
debtSituation where a person or organisation owes more money than they possess.
dependencyReliance on somebody or something else.
deterrenceTo put people off committing crimes. One of the aims of punishment.
disciplineHaving self control.
drugA substance, which when taken, affects the body or mind.
drug abuseUsing drugs in a way which harms the user.
drug classificationThere are three legal categories by which illegal drugs are classified in British law according to the level of harm they do and how addictive they are.
early releaseWhen a prisoner is allowed out of prison even though they have not completed their sentence, or fulfi lled the criteria for getting parole.
ecstasyA class A recreational drug.
electronic taggingAn offender has to wear an electronic device which tracks their movement to ensure restrictions of movement are observed.
emergency aidAlso known as short term aid. Help given to communities in a time of disaster or crisis, eg food during a famine, shelter after an earthquake.
ensoulmentThe belief that at one moment the foetus receives a soul (some believe it doesn’t).
ethnic cleansingKilling or expelling a certain group or race from a country or region.
eternal lifeEverlasting life after death.
euthanasiaInducing a painless death, by agreement and with compassion, to ease suffering. From the Greek meaning “good death”.
excessive salaryAlso known as ‘fat cat’ who earns a large amount of money in salary and possibly bonuses and share options.
extended familyAll members of a family, including grandparents, cousins, etc.
fineA form of punishment in which an offender pays a sum of money.
forgivenessShowing grace and mercy and pardoning someone for what they have done wrong.
fosteringThe taking of a child from a different family into a family home and bringing them up with the rest of the new family.
finesA punishment whereby a minor offender has to make a payment to the court.
free willHaving the ability to choose or determine one’s own actions.
gamblingTake risks with money in the hope of making better gains, eg by betting or doing the Lotto.
generation gapA difference between the views of young people and their parents.
free willHaving the ability to choose or determine one’s own actions.
gamblingTake risks with money in the hope of making better gains, eg by betting or doing t
Golden Rule‘To love your neighbour as yourself’.
hard drugsDrugs which lead to dependency and cause severe harm to the body.
heavenA state of being with God after death.
hellA state of being without God (or with the Devil) after death.
heroinA highly addictive class A drug.
hippocratic oathAn oath doctors used to swear before practising as a doctor.
homelessnessNot having a place to live.
hospicesSpecial places to which people go to die with dignity.
housing benefitA state benefi t in which the poor receive help to pay some or all of their rent.
human rightsThe things that all humans should be allowed to have in order to live a fulfilled life.
illegal drugsDrugs which are illegal to possess, sell or use, put into three classifi cations according to their potential harm and addictiveness.
imprisonmentWhen a person is put in jail for committing a crime.
individual responsibilityA person who takes responsibility for themselves.
IndolenceA deliberate choice to be lazy and over-indulgent.
Inherited wealthWealth which a person has not earned, but which has been left to them from a family member who has died.
inheritanceWhen a friend or family member leaves you money or property in their will when they die.
involuntary euthanasiaWhen a patient’s life is ended because it is felt that, to keep them alive is to make them suffer, but the patient has not given their consent to the decision.
justiceBringing about what is right and fair according to the law, or making up for what has been done wrong.
lazinessSituation where somebody refuses to work because they can’t be bothered to.
legal drugsDrugs that can be purchased legally. Some have age restrictions.
life imprisonmentA prison sentence that (theoretically) keeps people in jail until they die.
life support machineA machine that keeps people alive when they would otherwise die.
liturgical worshipA church service which follows a set structure or ritual.
materialismBelief in the importance of personal possessions.
medically prescribed drugsDrugs prescribed by a doctor as part of medical treatment.
mercy killingTerm sometimes used for euthanasia.
minimum wageThe national minimum wage is the lowest hourly rate that it is legal for an employer to pay to employees or workers.
moral absoluteEthical statement that is right at all times and in all circumstances.
MoralityA system of ethics, about what is right or wrong.
moral truthThat something is “correct” – this is based upon abstract reasoning.
mourningState of sadness over the death of a loved one.
National Lottery (Lotto)Regular gambling competition, available to all over-16s and which offers large prizes, but also gives money to charity. ‘Lotto’ is now its offi cial name.
nicotineThe addictive drug contained in tobacco.
non-medical use of drugsThe taking of drugs for reasons other than because of medical need.
nuclear familyTraditionally a family comprising of the mother, the father and their own children.
offenderSomeone who has done wrong, eg broken the law.
parental involvementThe extent of the role parents have in the lives of their children.
paroleWhen a prisoner is released without having completed their sentence, because they have behaved well and accepted their guilt. The prisoner is monitored to try to ensure that they do not re-offend.
passive euthanasiaAllowing a terminally or incurably ill person to die by withdrawing or withholding medical treatment that would only prolong the suffering and have no real benefit.
pastoral supportHelp received from religious leaders in personal matters.
peer pressureInfluence exerted by friends on each other.
povertyCondition of being without money, food and other basic needs of life (being poor).
poverty trapNot being able to break out of poverty.
prescription drugsDrugs legally obtained only with a doctor’s consent.
prisonA secure unit to which offenders are sentenced to remove their freedom.
prison reformA movement that tries to ensure offenders are treated humanely in prison.
probationAn alternative to prison where an offender has to meet regularly with a probation officer to ensure that they do not re-offend. Movement may be restricted.
property crimeA category of crime that affects peoples’ property, eg arson, burglary, theft, shoplifting and vandalism.
protectionTo stop the criminal hurting anyone in society. An aim of punishment.
punishmentThat which is done to a person because they have broken a law.
purgatoryA time of spiritual cleansing and preparation for Heaven.
quality of lifeA measure of fulfilment.
rebirthContinuing life in another form.
recreational drugsDrugs taken by people for fun.
reformTo change someone’s behaviour for the better. An aim of punishment.
rehabilitation (rehab)The process by which addicts are helped to defeat their addiction to drugs.
reincarnationBeing reborn again in another form.
relative moralityWhat is morally right or wrong in any situation depends upon its particular circumstances.
religious offenceAn offence against religion, eg blasphemy, sacrilege.
religious principlesLiving by the ethics laid out by a believer’s religion.
religious traditionsEither the principal world faiths or the major Christian traditions (denominations).
reparationAn aim of punishment designed to help an offender to put something back into society.repentance Being truly sorry and trying to change one’s behaviour so as not to do the same again.residential home A large building with individual rooms for the elderly. Meals and a communal room for socialising are provided.
retributionTo ‘get your own back’ on the criminal, based on the Old Testament teaching of ‘an eye for an eye’. An aim of punishment aimed at being proportionate to the offence committed.
sanctity of lifeLife is sacred because it is God-given.
secular organisationAn organisation that is based on non-religious principles.
self determinationRefers to the right to make decisions for oneself in life. It is an argument use by those who agree with voluntary euthanasia.
sheltered housingA complex of small fl ats adapted for the elderly with a warden in case of emergency.
sinThe breaking of a religious or moral law.
social environmentThe background in which a person lives.
social drugsLegal drugs which are still addictive, such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, etc.
soft drugsIllegal drugs that are not believed by the users to lead to dependency or serious sideeffects.
solventsSome aerosols, glue and gas lighter refi lls abused by sniffi ng, which can cause hallucinations and can be fatal.
sources of moral authorityWhere and how believers derive authority for their actions (through scripture, tradition, reason, conscience, religious leaders, etc.).
spiritualityA sense of something which is outside normal human experience.
stewardshipThe idea that believers have a duty to look after the environment on behalf of God.
sufferingPain or distress.
teetotalName given to people who choose not to drink alcohol.
tobaccoUsed in cigarettes and cigars, it contains nicotine, an addictive social drug.
unemploymentBeing out of work with no job.
value of lifeThe value of a person over and above physical value.
vindicationAn aim of punishment that means offenders must be punished to show that the law must be respected and is right.
voluntary euthanasiaA terminally ill person asks a doctor or a friend to help them die peacefully and with dignity. It can be called ‘mercy killing’ or ‘assisted suicide’.
voluntary serviceA person chooses to work with the poor without being paid.
wealthA large amount of money or investments.