B604: Ethics

Religion and the Media


Media – “a means of mass communication, especially television, radio and newspapers collectively”

Gratuitous Violence – Unnecessary or over the top violence that may be used to gain views

Censorship – the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be consider objectionable, harmful, sensitive or inconvenient to a particular group or organisation

Freedom of speech – the belief that people should be entitled to freely express their ideas

Influence of the media

Violence in the media

Exodus 20:13 “Thou shall not kill”

Matthew 5:39 “Turn the other cheek”

Murder of Jamie Bulger

The murder of Jamie Bulger was reminiscent of the film Childsplay 3 (18).  In this film the doll is covered with paint and then ran over by a train. It was this that the children were thought to have been copying as they had watched it the night before.

Sex in the media

Type of Media

Sexual Content


Music/Music Videos

Nudity, dancing(twerking), sexual lyrics

Young children copy their role models by acting in a sexual way


Uncensored Pornography

Profile Pictures – Sexual Posing

Pornography may distort views and expectations of sex

Mobile Phones

Sexual advertising/spam, sexting

“spam” could lead to curiosity

Sexting could lead to blackmail

Computer Games

Show sexual violence

Makes player less empathetic and more accepting of violence

Corinthians 6:19 “Flee from sexual immorality … your body is a temple for the holy spirit”

7th Commandment ‘Do not commit adultery’

How Christians use the media



Evangelical Protestant (the Life church)

Use of the media to promote Christianity

The Portrayal of Christianity in the media




Freedom of speech

Law in UK



Religion Peace and Justice

Jeremiah 50:21 “Purse, kill and completely destroy them”

Matthew 5:39 “Turn the other cheek”

Matthew 26:52 “those who live by the sword die by the sword”

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers for they are Gods children”

Just War Theory – Thomas Aquinus

War is justified if you have:

These conditions were added later by Franisco de Vitoria in the 16th Century:

Alternatives to Just War Theory

Pacifism and Nuclear Pacifism

 Pacifism – the belief that peace should be the central value that people pursue

Nuclear Pacifism – the belief that the use of nuclear weapons can never be justified

Mahatma Gandhi

Conscientious Objectors

Aims of Punishment

“Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong and this is no favouritism” Colossians 3:25

Capital Punishment

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” Gandhi

In Favour Of Reintroducing The Death Penalty

Against The Death Penalty


People argue that wrong-doers must suffer for their crimes. They also say that people should suffer in a way appropriate for their crime and that for murder this is death. Christians that believe in this back it up with the quote “an eye for an eye” (Exodus 21:24).


Capital punishment is usually backed up with the idea that executing convicted murderers will deter other people from committing murder.


Some Christians believe that when put under the pressure that you are going to die people find it easier to confess their sins and escape punishment in the next life

Prevention of re-offending

If you kill someone there is no way they can re-offend

Closure and vindication

It is often argued that the death penalty provides closure for victims' families.

Incentive to help police

If the death penalty the criminal has the largest incentive possible to give information to get a lighter punishment

Value of Human Life

One argument is that life is too valuable to waste and that bad actions cannot complete make someone valueless, so we would gain nothing by killing them.

Right to Live

Some people believe that everybody has an undeniable right to live and that even murders cannot have this taken away from them, so it is wrong to kill them.

Execution of the Innocent

The most common argument is that innocent people will unavoidably be killed. Because where capital punishment is used such mistakes cannot be put right. Some people argue that this is wrong and that one innocent life is not worth it.

Retribution is wrong

Some people argue that retribution is flawed morally and is just a form of vengeance. They also argue that it is just murder that is treated as “an eye for an eye” situation. For example rapists are not sexually assaulted as a form of punishment.

Failure to deter

Some people argue that capital punishment is not in fact more deterring than life imprisonment. This is because there has not been any statistical evidence to prove it one way or another.


In the USA it costs them a lot to administer the death penalty. For example, the cost of convicting and executing Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City Bombing was over $13 million.

Elizabeth Fry

Religion and Equality

Equality- The idea that everyone should be treated the same with the same rights

Prejudice – The is the act of prejudging someone based on little or no actual knowledge

Discrimination – Bad treatment of people based on prejudice

Declaration of Human Rights

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” Article 1

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration” Article 2


Xenophobia – A dislike and/or fear of that which is unknown or different from oneself

Apartheid – A policy of racial separation that operated in South Africa from 1948-1994. This meant that people of certain races were not classified as citizens with the same rights and opportunities as white individuals. This included the right to access medical care, education and other public services.

Racism – The belief that each race has distinctive intrinsic attributes. The belief that one race is superior to all others. Prejudice or discrimination based upon race.

Christian Responses

“You shall love your neighbour as yourself” Matthew 22:39

“Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” John 13:34

“There is neither Jew not Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Galatians 3:28

Martin Luther King Jr

Sexism in Christianity

“Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman”

Christian Attitudes to other religions


“I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6

Proselytising – Trying to teach and convert people to your religion




“For us and for our salvation he came down from Heaven” The Nicene Creed (not bible)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16


Sin – Doing something against God

Redemption – The idea that sins can be forgiven and a person can be redeemed

Atonement – Paying the price of your sins

Repentances – Sincere regret or remorse for ones actions

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” Lord’s Prayer

“If you forgive others their sins your heavenly Father will also forgive you” Matthew 6:14

Gee Walkers son was killed and she chose to forgive his killers so as not to harbour anger and revenge.