Explain religious teaching about what it means to be a human

– Human has a embodied spirit who thinks, act, speaks and desires. Religious teachings say that humans are created in the image of god. They are different from animals because humans have the ability to love, be moral and have free will. Humans life is a gift from god. We must value life. God created us as intelligent beings with the ability to control our actions, urges and emotions.

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Christian teaches that free will is given by God. By free will, we shape our own lives. Bible says Humans are creation of God. God desired humans to exist. God gave us the ability to reason, speak and to live a moral life. Humans are mixture of earth and divine breath. Bible teaches that we are the incarnation of the divine and part of us is drawn from the earth. Everything created by god is perfect and it was intended. Of all the creatures in God’s creation, Humans are the only ones who enter into a dialouge with God which is by prayer. Most christians believe that humans are distinct from the animal word, and that the most important differences between animals and humans have is soul – a divine spark that sets them apart from other living things. This asserts that Christians do not treat animals as their equals, as only humans were made in the image of God. Christians believe in the sanctity of life, that there is something special and holy about life.

Christians believe that humans have a soul which lives on after the body has died, this soul will then be judged and then can join God in heaven. God gave humans dominion over the non-human life, E.g. in Genesis ‘Let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air’ suggesting human life has a higher value than non-human life, this shows God has given humans a big responsibility to life which exempliflies the value.

God made man ‘in his image’ many christians believe that God gave them the brains and the abilities to find cures for humans by experimenting on animals and not to use these abilities would be denying God’s plan for them. Some christians say that this gives them the right to use animals in experiments because humans are of more value. As well in Genesis God said to Adam ‘Rule Over’ all living creatures suggesting animal testing is acceptable. However, Some christians may be very much against this, as when God created the world, he saw that all that was in ‘was good’. Some say this means we should not experiment on animals because they are wonderful part of God’s creation. ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.

Human lives are special because it is a gift from God. Human lives distinct from any other creatures and are in higher positions. Humans have sanctity which relates to their dignity, which has both natural dimension, in terms of rational thought and moral decision-making powers.

“Human beings have complete control over their own life and destiny.” (15 marks) How far might a religious believer agree with this statement?

Everyone has a purpose of being in this universe because we all have a special position that is created by God. Humans make their own choices and lead on their life. But, God is always there to show people the right path. Only God has control over peoples lives. He decides when we die and when we born. Everything is in God’s hand as religious believer will say God created the world. God’s choices are always right. He is capable of carrying out any project to a successful conclusion without the possibility of fault or failure. Nothing in His universe happens by chance or accident. For every effect there is a cause. God is in control. We have freedom to choose within the constraints of who we are and the circumstances we find ourselves in. Yet while God controls those circumstances but does not control us. While God is able to control us, and if he wanted to he could override our freedom, he chooses not to.

The concept of the control of God over everything is called the “sovereignty” of God. Nothing gives us strength and confidence like an understanding of the sovereignty of God in our lives. God’s sovereignty is defined as His complete and total independent control over every creature, event, and circumstance at every moment in history. Subject to none, influenced by none, absolutely independent, God does what He pleases. God is in complete control of every molecule in the universe at every moment, and everything that happens is either caused or allowed by Him for His own perfect purposes. Religious believer might say that God is directing your steps down to the smallest details. He can make things happen that you could never make happen on your own. He is for you, on your side, and what He has purposed for your life will come to pass.

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