Religious education

6th February 2004 at 00:00
KS34: an ethical issue - can the cost be justified in a planet with global warming and starving people? Religious issue - if or when we find signs of life or former life on another planet such as Mars, what does it do to belief in God?

KS45: Tennyson's question, echoing Hume: "Why is all around us here As if some lesser god had made the world But had not force to shape it as he would?" It can be useful in Christian studies RE to study the "Prologue to the Gospel of John (1.1 to 14)" which sets Jesus within a universal and not just a Palestinian setting, along with the lyrics of the Sydney Carter song "Every star shall sing a carol" (even though Mars is not a star the words apply). Hinduism offers quotes such as "I am the beginning of creations, and the end, and the middle too" ("Bhavagad Gita, 10.32"), "In the beginning this universe was just BeingI" (Chandogya Upanishad 6). Dark connotations of Mars in ancient writing - fear, dread, war, death - can be discussed as attributes of the unknown, linking in to pupil attitudes towards unknown parts of the universe. What are our fears about space? Will humankind one day go too far? How would we feel if we lost contact with a space vehicle containing humans? What if alien life forms are found? Have we lost a sense of wonder?

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