Religion and ethics exam questions

Past paper questions

2019 (AS and A Level)

  • ‘Good business decisions are always good ethical decisions.’ Discuss.
  • To what extent is Kantian ethics too reliant on reason in moral decision-making?
  • Assess the view that the approach taken by Fletcher’s situation ethics makes moral decision-making entirely individualistic and subjective.
  • ‘Natural law provides the best approach to sexual ethics.’  Discuss.
  • Assess the view that utilitarianism does not help with business ethics.
  • ‘The terms good, bad, right and wrong reflect only what is in the mind of the person using them.’  Discuss.
  • To what extent is Freud’s psychological approach to conscience the most helpful approach?

2018 (AS and A Level)

  • ‘Voluntary euthanasia is always morally acceptable.’ Discuss.
  • ‘The concept of agape gives no help at all in moral decision-making.’ Discuss.
  • Critically assess the view that utilitarianism provides a helpful way to make moral decisions.
  • Evaluate Aquinas’ theological approach to conscience.
  • ‘“Good” is meaningful.’ Discuss.
  • Assess the view that natural law is of no help with regard to the issue of euthanasia.
  • ‘Kantian ethics provides the best approach to business ethics.’ Discuss.

Other possible questions

  1. To what extent is Aquinas’ natural law a helpful method of moral decision-making when it comes to Assisted Dying? [40]
  2. Critically assess the view that something or someone being good depends on its success or failure in achieving its telos. [40]
  3. To what extent is it fair to say that the universe as a whole – including human nature – is inclined towards the good? [40]
  4. Is  the principle of double effect an adequate defense? [40]
  5. Situation ethics provides the most helpful method of moral decision-making. Discuss. [40]
  6. To what extent does something being good, bad, right or wrong depend on the extent to which, in any given situation, agape is best served? [40]
  7. Is it fair to say that, given his misunderstanding of the Christian concept of agape, Fletcher’s Situation Ethics is merely a version of Utilitarianism? [40]
  8. Situation ethics is an unhelpful approach because it renders decision-making entirely individualistic and subjective. Discuss. [40]
  9. Kantian ethics provides a helpful method of moral decision-making when it comes to Business. Discuss. [40]
  10. Does goodness depend on doing one’s duty? [40]
  11. Critically assess the view that Kantian ethics is too abstract to be applicable to practical moral decision-making. [40]
  12. “Kantian ethics is so reliant on reason that it unduly rejects the importance of other factors, such as sympathy, empathy and love in moral decision-making.” Evaluate this claim. [40]
  13. Utilitarianism is unhelpful when making decisions about sex. Discuss. [40]
  14. The right action is always that action which makes most people happy. Discuss. [40]
  15. Utilitarianism fails because it is impossible to measure pleasure. Critically evaluate this view. [40]
  16. Assess the view that Natural law is a more helpful approach to euthanasia than situation ethics. [40]
  17. The religious concept of sanctity of life has no meaning in twenty-first century medical ethics! Discuss. [40]
  18. To what extent should a person have complete autonomy in medical decision-making? [40]
  19. Is there really a moral difference between killing somebody and letting somebody die? [40]
  20. “Utilitarianism a more practical way of making decisions in business ethics than Kantian Ethics!” Discuss [40]
  21. The concept of corporate social responsibility is nothing more than ‘hypocritical window-dressing’ covering the greed of a business intent on making profits. Critically assess this view. [40]
  22. Capitalism stands against human flourishing! Discuss. [40]
  23. To what extent is it possible to be a good consumer?  [40]
  24. To what extent does globalisation encourage the pursuit of good ethics as the foundation of good business? [40]
  25. Is “what does “good” mean?” the most important question for the 21st Century Moral Philosopher? [40]
  26. Saying that an action is “wrong” is meaningless! Discuss. [40]
  27. Everybody knows what is right and what is wrong! Discuss. [40]
  28. Critically compare Aquinas and Freud on the concept of guilt. [40]
  29. To what extent is Freud’s account of conscience more convincing than that of Aquinas?
  30. Is the voice of conscience the same as the voice of reason? [40]
  31. To what extent is conscience the product of education? [40]
  32. “We are all determined by our genes.” To what extent is this a fair claim? [40]
  33. Religion should have no place in 21st Century sexual ethics. Evaluate this claim. [40]
  34. “Decisions about sex are personal and private; they are nobody else’s business.” Critically assess this statement. [40]
  35. To what extent are normative theories useful in making decisions in sexual ethics? [40]

with thanks to Charlotte Vardy for many of these questions