Gateacre RS GCSE -Belief in God

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Edexcel Religion and Life

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Believing in God (or not):

Believing in God (or not) THEISm – THEre IS a God Atheism – God DOES NOT exist AGNOsticism – (A ..G.. No) Don’t know if there is a God

Arguments for believing in God:

Arguments for believing in God Design Paley said no-one would believe a watch just go there by chance, it’s too complex (it has purpose and design ). The world too is full of complex things, like the human eye and DNA . These too must have been designed by someone i.e. God .

First Cause:

First Cause Aquinas said everything that happens (every effect ) in the universe has a cause . This creates a cause and effect ‘ domino chain ’ If you go back to the start of the universe something must have caused it That 1st cause was God – only He is powerful enough to cause something so big

Religious Experiences Involve a feeling of God’s presence:

Religious Experiences Involve a feeling of God’s presence Conversion Miraculous Numinous A feeling of AWE and WONDER of something GREATER than you When someone feels god has ACTED in their life to change their BELIEFS An act which breaks the LAWS OF NATURE and can only be explained by GOD

Religious Experiences:

Religious Experiences All religious experiences convince BELIEVERS that GOD EXISTS because only he is POWERFUL enough to do these amazing ACTS and cause SUCH FEELINGS Lord, please help my nan get better. Oooh, that pain in my back has gone! Answered Prayer (prayer is an attempt to contact God, mainly through words)

Religious upbringing as a reason why people believe..:

Religious upbringing as a reason why people believe.. Taken to church – surrounded by believers Sunday school – taught God exists Taught to pray and read Bible at home Go to religious school –Assemblies & RE lessons All make it natural to assume God exists

Reasons against believing:

Reasons against believing Design? explained by Evolution (the scientific idea that animals have become more complex over millions of years) ( Christian Responses : Some say evolution is wrong (because some plants and animals couldn’t have developed in small steps, e.g. the Venus fly trap) and Genesis is true Others say Genesis tells us why God made the world not literally how he did it, so evolution and the bible are both true) First Cause? If everything has a CAUSE, what caused God? The universe could be ETERNAL (it’s always been there) The Big Bang is a better SCIENTIFIC explanation Answered prayer? Unanswered prayer: Why does God not answer so millions of prayers to end suffering ? e.g. famine or people dying of disease. This could lead to believing God isn’t there or doesn’t care . Reverse the ‘for’ arguments Think : Could God answer all prayers? Prayers to win the lottery or for your football team to win? Is NO sometimes an answer to prayer?

More reasons against believing:

More reasons against believing Evil and Suffering Moral Evil Natural Evil

The Problem:

Christians believe God is omni - benevolent (all good/kind) so he must want to stop evil and suffering and omnipotent (all powerful) so he must have the power to stop it The fact that he doesn’t means he mustn’t exist He’s also supposed to be Omniscient , which means he must have known that creating the world would result in all this evil The Problem

Christian Reponses to Evil:

Christian Reponses to Evil The Fall - the world was created perfect, but evil entered it when Adam and EVE chose to sin and go against God’s rules Christians try to help out by setting up charities to relieve suffering, like

Cont…:

Cont… Free Will (the idea that humans are free to make their own choices) – God wanted people that would follow him out of CHOICE, not robots. Some people use their FREE WILL to disobey him and do moral evil. Christ understands our pain, because He himself suffered on the cross

The Media and God:

The Media and God Yes They make religion more appealing with human interest stories They may contain evidence of religious experiences (e.g. Arthur White’s conversion ) or Miracles (e.g. stories of healings) No They are boring and irrelevant to most people Some religious documentary programmes question belief in God (e.g. “The Tsunami – where was God?” Religious programmes are about religious practice NOT whether God exists Do religious programmes like ‘Songs of Praise’ and ‘Heart of the Matter’ Support belief in God

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