Edexcel IGCSE section B

Note: no resources have yet been uploaded for section B.

Ultimate Reality:

Religious beliefs/teachings about the nature and character of God; religious beliefs and teachings about the ultimate reality which do not include reference to God; non-religious attitudes to the idea of an ultimate reality. Monotheism and polytheism, and reasons why people believe in one God or many gods.  Christian beliefs/teachings about God as the Trinity, as reflected in the Creeds, with particular reference to God as Father, Creator and Judge; and to God’s nature as omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent.

The meaning and purpose of life:

Religious beliefs/teachings about the meaning and purpose of life; salvation; liberation; and how these goals may be achieved. (Differing) views about whether life can only have meaning and purpose for religious people. Non-religious ideas about the meaning and purpose of life. The view that questions about the meaning and purpose of life get in the way of living it to the full, and making the world a better place.    

Christian beliefs/teachings about eternal life; the Kingdom of God; salvation; Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour; and about how salvation may be achieved, with particular reference to the grace of God, faith, worship and love.

Belief, uncertainty and unbelief:

Reasons for believing in/factors that may lead to, or support, belief in the existence of God/an ultimate reality: arguments from causation in the world to God as first cause; arguments from the existence of the world to God as the only possible explanation of its existence; arguments from the appearance of design in the world to God as designer; the search for meaning and purpose in life; religious nurture; the appeal to religious authority; and such experiences as conversion. Reasons for/factors that lead to, or support, being unsure of (agnosticism), or not believing in (atheism), the existence of God/an ultimate reality: lack of clear evidence that God exists, or takes an interest in the lives of human beings; scientific explanations of the origin and operation of the universe; advances in science and medicine, human beings’ ability to control their environment; conflicting religious teachings about God/ultimate reality and the purpose of life; and a non-religious upbringing.  

Christian beliefs/teachings about, and responses to, reasons for/factors that may influence belief in God, including Christian nurture and formation; and to reasons for/factors that may lead to agnosticism or atheism.

The problem of evil and suffering:

Religious beliefs/teachings about the causes and existence of evil and suffering in the world; why the existence of natural evil, moral evil and suffering raises questions for people who believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent, and may lead some people to reject belief in God; attempts by religious people to explain why God created a world containing suffering and/or allows it to continue; non-religious explanations of the causes and existence of evil and suffering in the world; and religious and non-religious responses to the reality of evil and suffering, and views on how to cope with them.  

Christian beliefs/teachings about evil and suffering in the world, and how they relate to the purpose of life, with particular reference to suffering as punishment for sin and proof of faith; the questions evil and suffering raise for Christians about God’s omnipotence, omniscience and benevolence; and Christian attempts to explain why God created a world containing suffering and/or allows it to continue.

The sanctity of life, abortion and euthanasia:

Religious beliefs/teachings about the sanctity of life; non-religious beliefs about the value of life; the particular value that religious and non-religious people attach to human life; and religious beliefs/teachings and non-religious beliefs about the importance of relieving suffering. The nature of abortion and euthanasia; current legal arrangements (in any named country) which permit or prohibit them; differing attitudes to abortion and euthanasia among religious and non-religious people and within particular religious traditions.  

Christian beliefs/teachings about the sanctity of life, the particular value of human life; the importance of relieving suffering; euthanasia; and abortion.

Key vocabulary for section B:

Abortion: The removal of a foetus from the womb before it can survive

Agnosticism: Not being sure whether God exists

Atheism: (The belief that) God does not exist

Benevolent (of God): (The belief that) God has goodwill towards all beings

Causation: The system of causes and effects within the universe (which suggests a first cause that started the process)

(Religious) conversion: An experience (or experiences) which changes a person’s whole outlook on life (and religious belief)

Design (of the world/universe by God): When things within the universe appear to be connected in a way which suggests purpose and a designer

Designer (God as): (The belief that) God is the designer of the world/universe, because it appears to have been designed

Euthanasia: An easy and gentle death, usually associated with release from incurable disease

First cause (God as): (The belief that) as everything has a cause, there must be a first cause of the world and that is God

Liberation: Being set free from the cycle of rebirth

Monotheism: Belief in one God

Moral evil: The actions of human beings which cause suffering

Natural evil: Natural features of the world which cause suffering, and which have nothing to do with human beings

(Religious) nurture: Being brought up to follow the teachings and practices of a religion

Omnipotent (of God): (The belief that) God is all-powerful

Omniscient (of God): (The belief that) God knows everything (past, present and future)

Only possible explanation (God as): (The belief that) the existence of the world/universe

requires an explanation, and the explanation is that God created it

Polytheism: Belief in more than one God

Salvation: Being released from the limitations of human existence and sin to eternal life with God

Sanctity of life: (The belief that) life is holy and belongs to God