The first section of the Edexcel Religious Studies IGCSE course looks at various issues to do with the place of human beings in the world.
Below is the specification for each topic area within section A and a link to the specific notes for that topic.
The full specification can be found at the Edexcel website.
Religious and non-religious beliefs/teachings about the origin of the universe and the place of human beings in it; religious beliefs/teachings about its purpose; (differing) views as to why people believe that human beings have a responsibility for the planet; and the different ways in which they can exercise this responsibility. Religious and non-religious beliefs/teachings about the relationship of human beings to other creatures, including (differing) views about the commonality of all living beings; the dominance of human beings over all other creatures; how human beings should treat animals; and animal rights. Christian beliefs/teachings about creation; stewardship; and the uniqueness of human beings.
Go to summary notes for the universe and the place of humans in it.
Religious and non-religious beliefs/teachings about the nature of human beings. (Differing) views about immortality and the soul; why some people believe that human beings have a soul, while others do not; and why some people believe that the real world is nothing more than the physical world (physicalism). Christian beliefs/teachings about the nature of human beings, with particular reference to the body, the spirit and the soul.
Go to the summary notes for human nature and the human condition
Religious and non-religious beliefs/teachings about human selfishness, greed, ignorance and sin; selfishness, greed, ignorance and sin as the root causes of human wrongdoing; and whether they can be overcome. (Differing) views about human responsibility for hatred, injustice, violence and war in the world; and whether hatred, injustice, violence and war are inevitable features of a world inhabited by human beings. Christian beliefs/teachings about selfishness, greed, ignorance and sin, and the nature of sin.
Go to summary notes on selfishness, greed, ignorance and sin.
Religious and non-religious beliefs/teachings about free will, determinism and predestination. (Differing) views about whether human beings have free will and its limitations; whether determinism means that human beings’ choices and actions cannot be free; the extent to which human beings should be held responsible (and punished) for their actions; and whether God decides their fate. Christian beliefs/teachings about human freedom and its limitations, and predestination.
Go to summary notes for free will, determinism and predestination
Religious and non-religious beliefs/teachings, and (differing) views about death and human destiny; whether or not there is an afterlife; and why some people believe in life after death, while others do not. Religious beliefs/teachings about the nature of life after death; linear and cyclical views of human existence; resurrection; rebirth; judgement; and the law of cause and effect in relation to life after death. Christian beliefs/teachings about heaven and hell; judgement, resurrection; and the Last Judgement.
Go to summary notes for death and life after death
Afterlife: Continuation of existence after death
Animal rights: (The principle of) treating animals fairly
Commonality (of all living beings): (The belief that) all living creatures are part of the same process of development
Cyclical (view of human existence): (The belief that) time has no beginning or end and that the soul of human beings is reborn again and again
Determinism: (The view that) every event has a cause, which may also involve believing that human beings cannot have free will, as their choices and actions are caused
Dominance (of human beings): (The belief that) human beings have been given the right to exercise control over all other living beings
Free will: (The belief that) the human will is free, so human beings can choose and act freely
Greed: An excessive desire for things, such as wealth or food, which bears no relation to actual needs
Human destiny: The future of human beings/what happens to them when they die
Ignorance (in relation to wrongdoing): Not knowing or understanding the difference between right and wrong, or what makes actions wrong
Immortality: The idea that the soul lives on after the death of the body
Judgement (by God): The decision of God about the destiny of human beings
Law of cause and effect (in relation to human actions): (The belief that) every human action has an automatic consequence
Linear (view of human existence): (The belief that) time has a beginning and an end, and that human beings live only once on earth
Physicalism: (The belief that) the real world is nothing more than the physical world
Predestination (by God): (The belief that) God has already decided the fate of human beings
Rebirth: (The belief that) the soul is reborn into another body
Resurrection: (The belief that) after death, the body stays in the grave until the end of the world when it is raised
Selfishness: Self-interest and concern with individual needs/wants which excludes considering those of others
Sin: Behaviour which is against the law of God
Soul: The spiritual or non-material part of a person