• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

People with disabilities are less valuable than able-bodied people. To what extent must religion reject this view?

Free essay example:

Aleksander Filipczak        Religious Studies

3b. ‘People with disabilities are less valuable than able-bodied people.’

To what extent must religion reject this view?

Within Christianity, all human beings are made in Gods image, and at the same time, thus all, those with disabilities and not, are equal and as valuable.( As seen in Genesis 1:27 - So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female.) Therefore Christianity goes against the statement of disabled people being less valuable than able bodied, which can be seen in the following arguments –

Firstly, we are all Gods’ children, created in his image. God does not judge us depending on our race, gender or bodily ability, as we are all created in his image, therefore we share his righteousness not his physical image. We are judged upon our oneness relationship with God, and how we accept Gods’ righteousness and grace. Therefore, just because society defines disabled people as abnormal, such as lepers who are looked down upon in the New Testament, they do not distort the image of God because of their physical image, and as long as they experience Gods’ grace and engage in a relationship with God, they are equal in Gods eyes. As we all are the children of the Lord, we should all be respected and looked at in the same way, and not as lesser, as we are all unique due to the fact that we are created by God.

Some can argue against, as in many sources, and especially the bible, disabilities are seen as less valuable assets. Firstly, within the bible, there are many references to people with leprosy, and are seen as people which have sinned or are out of Gods favour. As people with disabilities are only ‘copies’ of the able bodied people, they might be linked to less value. In Leviticus 13, Lord talks to Moses and Aaron, and tells them that those who are diagnosed with leprosy are to be announced ‘unclean.’ This suggests that people with disabilities are not as equal as able bodied people.

Nevertheless, within the Bible, Jesus is seen helping the disabled, and even touching them, which is seen as out of normal, due to the reasoning that disabled are cursed by God and should not be contacted, let alone touched. In Matthew 9:1-8, Jesus heals a man who was crippled, 27 a blind man is healed so he can see, Mark 3:1-5 a man with the withered hand was healed  and Mark 7 :31-37 a deaf man is cured and is able to hear and speak. Jesus’ interest in helping not only the able bodied , but also the disabled not only suggests that we as human beings are all equal, but also that disabled or not, we are all people of God, who need help in one way or another, and who are able to find help in Gods’ grace.

Nonetheless, there are reasons to believe that disability is a punishment from God as a result from unbelief and ignorance. In Leviticus 26:14-16, as a punishment for Israel’s disobedience, God says that he will spread disease which will drain away life and close your eyes. This suggests that people possess disease and disability such as blindness due to the consequence of disobediences and disloyalty towards God. There are also many sources within the bible that suggest that blindness is a form of punishment, such as in Judges 14-16 or Acts 13, where people which cause sin, are cause to have or obtain blindness. (Prov. 30:17 warns that the eyes, which are disrespectful to parents, will be plucked out by birds of prey.)

Lastly, within the gospels, there is evidence to suggest that disability is equal , if not more equal than others. Firstly, not only we are all made in Gods image, disabled or not, Jesus came and helped the disabled, improving their physical image, suggesting inequality as ‘normal’ people were not ‘tweaked’ or ‘fixed’ in any way. Secondly, in John 9: 2-7, a disciple asks Jesus why was a man born blind, “because he sinned or his parents?” and Jesus replied “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” This suggests that whatever you’re body state, as long as one can find grace and light within the Lord, one will be saved. Lastly, in the parable of the Sheep and Goat, Jesus tells us to care for the poor, feed the hungry, help the disabled (ill), as what we do to others, we do to him. Therefore, this suggests equality within disabled people.

Overall, the Christian belief shows that all human beings are created in Gods image and nevertheless of ones bodily state, disabled or not, all are equal and as valuable.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

(?)
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Related AS and A Level Religious Studies & Philosophy Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. (a) Examine the reasons why some argue that morality is linked ...

    The lawgiver is, of course, God; the guilt and fear that we feel when our consciences prick us is the voice of God.

  2. Humans are Eternal Beings

    Descartes believed, as another dualist, that both mind and body were separate. To understand Descartes' need for certainty, and his subsequent statement of 'cogito ergo sum', it is important to contextualise him. The 16th century was a time of great upheaval; the many paradigm shifts of the scientific community, and the morality-inducing Thirty Years War had many questioning their morality.

  1. The arguments for and against the view that morality is dependant on religion, and ...

    However this theory, of Gods authority being absolute to moral actions, comes from many religious texts. Text which can be very subjective and contradictive. Texts such as the bible or the Qur'an are open to interpretation; do you take it as absolute?

  2. Capital Punishment

    Christians often base their views on texts from the Bible and teachings from valued speakers and preachers with an authority background such as church priests and high valued figures such as the Pope. Although when basing views on the Bible many texts contradict themselves, this is a main cause of the division between Christians in modern debates regarding Capital Punishment.

  1. Outline the reasons why it may be claimed that morality and religion are linked. ...

    religious people act morally with the knowledge that they will receive a reward in return for their behaviour, whereas non-religious people do not. Some have argued that morality is in fact based upon religious commands, and that it is virtually impossible to separate the two.

  2. To what extent is conscience fixed?

    right or wrong but on the basis of the tranquillity in our hearts. However it does back up the idea that conscience is not a fixed force. The secular belief that we must tackle the reality that we decide what is right and wrong and not God is the idea that, deciding consciously is better than deciding unconsciously.

  1. Is there a link between Morality and Religion?

    You neighbour might start torturing their pet, you however refused saying you cared for you pet and would not want to hurt it. Would you consider yourself and neighbour to have equally moral principles just because a deity claimed there was no problem with torturing you pet?

  2. Modern life-prolonging technologies have sharpened some ancient dilemmas on the value of life.

    The ultimity condition has several variants which should be kept distinct. Here are three of the most important: Absolute SL: Life is of absolute value. No other value is absolute. Hence, no other value ever overrides the value of life, except possibly more life.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work