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Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue.

David Hume

Having examined the nature of virtue and sin in previous sessions, participants in the fourth session confront the fact that the line between good and evil is often thin and unclear. Telling right from wrong is not always easy.

Activities begin with a competitive review of the meanings of virtue and sin. They continue with an exploration of "Amazing Grace," the theme music used by the curriculum, music that tells of a sinner finding grace through belief in God's word. Participants hear about texts that some religions use to teach what is right and wrong. They experience a Buddhist story, "When No One Is Looking," which brings up the idea of conscience. They review some ideas from the faith segment of Amazing Grace: Exploring Right and Wrong as they express some of their own beliefs. Finally, they look for virtue in two kinds of ice cream and speak together of ethical eating.

This session is the fourth in a series of four that focuses on faith as it relates to right and wrong. It concludes by asking for youth reaction to some belief statements that reflect all four faith sessions.

As in Session 2, Curious Faith, Ethics Play is here as an alternate rather than as a basic activity. If your group has been enjoying the game, you might wish to find a way to move it into the core of the session.

Several activities in this session call for opinions from participants. You might need to remind youth to respect the opinions of others.


This session will:

  • Review understanding of virtue and sin
  • Introduce the concept of grace
  • Explore the idea of conscience
  • Recap and complete the faith segment of Amazing Grace: Exploring Right and Wrong.


Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Develop a vocabulary of synonyms for "virtue" and "sin"
  • Learn the story behind the hymn "Amazing Grace"
  • Recognize versions of the Golden Rule from different religions
  • Continue to examine the role conscience plays in ethical decision-making
  • Express and reflect on their own beliefs about faith and right and wrong
  • Explore the concept of ethical eating.


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