Skip to main content

Religious Education: Area of Study 1: Ethical decision-making and moral judgment

Resources to support senior religious education curriculum.

RE Unit 2 AOS1

Ethical decision-making and moral judgment

In this area of study students are introduced to the nature of ethical decision-making in societies where multiple worldviews coexist. Ethical decision-making involves the selection of methods which have guiding concepts, principles and theories. Students explore concepts that underpin ethical decision-making and influences on practical moral judgment.

Methods of ethical decision-making such as ‘ought’ ethics, character ethics and outcome ethics are discussed, as well as theories leading to and derived from these methods. These methods and their supporting theories are based on various sources of ethical authority. Ethical methods and practical moral judgment are subject to varying emphases on factors such as duties, outcomes, laws (secular and religious), divinity, social order and social norms, tradition, reason, love, fear, absolutism, relativism, subjectivism, emotionalism, social justice, institutions, the common good, natural law, poetic justice, anarchy, ‘scientism’, and pragmatism.

RE Unit 2 AOS1: Ethical decision-making and moral judgment

U2 AOS1: Key knowledge

  • concepts used in ethical decision-making
  • how the aspects of religion relate to ethical decision-making
  • a variety of methods of ethical decision-making and the theories that support them
  • a variety of principles derived from concepts and theories found in ethical methods
  • the role of various influences involved in the process of forming practical moral judgments, including ethical methods of decision-making and other factors, such as reasoning, conscience, intuition, commonsense, assumptions, authorities, worldviews, values, codes of behaviour and the competing rights and responsibilities of individuals, groups and society.

U2 AOS1: Key skills

  • define concepts used in ethical decision-making
  • explain a variety of methods of ethical decision-making and the theories that support them
  • identify a variety of principles derived from concepts and theories found in ethical methods
  • explain the role of various influences involved in the process of forming practical moral judgments
  • interpret, synthesise and apply primary and secondary source material.