Good & Evil

OCR Specification

  • Good and Evil
    • Concepts of good and evil
    • God and the Devil (Satan)
    • The Fall, original sin and redemption
  • The Problem of Evil
    • The concepts of natural and moral evil
    • Approaches to why there is evil and suffering in the world
    • Responses to the problem
  • Coping with Suffering
    • Understanding ways of coping with suffering
  • Sources and Reasons for Moral Behaviour
    • The Bible
    • Conscience
    • Faith in Christ


  • BIBLE - the Christian scriptures, consisting of the Old and New Testaments
  • CONSCIENCE - a person’s moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one’s behaviour
  • DEVIL - the supreme authority in charge of evil
  • DISOBEDIENCE - refusal to follow laws or someone in authority
  • ETERNAL LIFE - a life that never ends
  • EVIL - extremely immoral or wicked
  • FAITH - strongly held belief in a religion, rather than proof
  • THE FALL - the downfall of humanity into a state of sin, from Jewish and Christian theology the story of Adam and Eve's disobedience as described in Genesis
  • FREE WILL - acting according to one's own free choice
  • GOOD - possessing or displaying moral virtue. To show kindness or to follow the rules
  • MORAL EVIL - actions that humans freely choose to do that cause harm and suffering
  • NATURAL EVIL - an event caused by nature that causes great amounts of harm and suffering and is not brought about by humans
  • ORIGINAL SIN - the Christian idea that all humans are born with sin that comes from the actions of Adam and Eve in Eden
  • PROBLEM OF EVIL - a philosophical argument that concludes that God and evil cannot co-exist; the evidence of evil seems to contradict the attributes of God, which suggests that he doesn’t exist
  • REDEMPTION - the action of saving or being saved from sin
  • SALVATION - being saved from sin and its consequences through faith in Jesus
  • SATAN - the supreme spirit of evil
  • SUFFERING - going through pain, stress or hardship
  • THEODICY - a philosophical argument that concludes that God and evil can exist at the same time
  • VIRTUE - behaviour showing high moral standards

These keywords are specific to Belief about Deity. To find out more about keywords and command words, see our page on Exam Preparation

Practice Questions

'A' Questions

  • What is meant by redemption?
  • What is meant by salvation?
  • What is meant by disobedience?
  • What is meant by Moral Evil?
  • What is meant by Conscience?

'B' Questions

  • Give two examples of moral evil.
  • Give two examples of natural evil.
  • Suggest two causes of evil in the world.
  • Describe one way in which Christians might try to cope with suffering.
  • Give two examples of actions a Christian might consider evil.

'C' Questions

  • Describe Christian beliefs about God being good.
  • Describe Christian beliefs about the devil.
  • Describe Christian beliefs about the power of evil.
  • Give three ways in which Christians might try to behave morally.
  • How does the idea of free will explain why there is evil in the world.

'D' Questions

  • Explain how Christians respond to the idea that a loving God allows evil and suffering to exist in this world.
  • Explain how Christians might find out the answer to a moral problem.
  • How might Christians explain the purpose of suffering?
  • Explain Christian beliefs about the devil (Satan).
  • Explain Christian responses to the problem of evil.

'E' Questions

  • "Suffering is caused by the devil." Discuss this statement.
  • "Suffering shows that god does not exist" Discuss this statement.
  • "People should make their own moral decisions without thinking about religion." Discuss this statement.
  • "If people suffer it is usually their own fault." Discuss this statement.
  • "Theodicies are the best way of solving the problem of evil." Discuss this statement.

Usually the 'E' question statements are followed by the instructions: "Discuss this statement. You should include different, supported points of view and a personal viewpoint. You must refer to Christianity in your answer."

For the sake of this book these instructions will be reduced to, "Discuss this statement".

Key Quotes

  • Good & Evil - God and the Devil
    "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."(Genesis)
    "Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."(Peter)
  • The Fall, original sin and redemption
    "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.Romans
    "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive"(Corinthians)
    "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)
  • Problem of Evil
    "After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before."(Job)
  • Coping with suffering
    "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."(Peter)
    "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."(Corintians))
  • Sources and reasons for moral behaviour
    "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."(Peter)
    "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength ... love your neighbour as yourself."(Mark))
Get More Help with GCSE Religious Studies for OCR B
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