Believing in God- Key Notes


Key Notes on 'Believing in God'
Maya Khangura
Flashcards by Maya Khangura, updated more than 1 year ago
Maya Khangura
Created by Maya Khangura over 8 years ago

Resource summary

Question Answer
Three reasons why someone may believe in God. Religious Upbringing Religious Experience Argument from Design/Cause and Effect
Name three things that may happen to a religious child growing up. Going to a religious school (Sunday school/masjid) Learning how to pray Initiation into religion (Baptism/Aqiqa)
Why can a religious upbringing lead to belief in God? children are taught that God exists and they spend most of their time with people who believe God exists. Also makes believing in a God natural because it reinforces what their parents told them
Three religious experiences. Answered Prayer Numinous experience- feeling in awe and wonder Miracle- Amazing event that cannot be explained by science
Other possible explanations for a religious experience. An illusion- people want to believe and are ready to accept these experiences are real Science is constantly developing- what cannot be explained now may be explained in the future
Why would someone who has a religious experience believe in God? Feels like they have had direct contact with God. This can lead them to believe in a God or strengthen their connection.
What is the Argument from Cause and Effect? Thomas Aquinas saw that everything moves in a cycle of cause and effect. Each effect has a prior cause. Something must have started it all off, follow the chain back, we get to the beginning of the universe, which was caused by God-must have been God that started the cause because God is omnipotent. Creation story in the Bible shows this too.
Give two weaknesses of the Causation argument. No first cause- The universe is eternal, the universe has no beginning and no end, there is no first cause. Why stop at God? If everything has a cause, then who caused God?
What is the Design argument? William Paley- the world around us is very complicated and shows evidence of design e.g the human brain. It could not be this complicated by chance, must have been designed like this, therefore their must be a designer. God is the designer because he is omnipotent and it says so in the Bible.
Give two weaknesses in the design argument. Lack of design- ignores lack of design E.g volcanoes Science- The elements of design can be explained by science
Three reasons why someone may not believe in God. Existence of suffering Unanswered prayers Scientific understandings of the origin of the universe (Big Bang)
What is an unanswered prayer? Religious people often pray for God to help them. If that prayer appears not to have been answered people question if there is a God.
Two religious responses to unanswered prayers. God does respond but we do not always understand it. Not in Gods plan.
What is the Big Bang? Cosmology-Study of the origins of the universe States that the the universe began in an explosion of energy and matter. Supported by the fact that the universe is still expanding today.
What is Evolution? How living things came to be. In 1959 Darwin wrote a book 'Origins of the species' which outlined this idea. Idea that all life originated from simple cells, as these cells developed they became more complex. Life on Earth evolved by Natural Selection meaning that species can adapt and change themselves to the natural changing environment.
Two reasons that prove the Big Bang happened. Universe is still expanding outwards In space, objects that are moving away emit a 'red shift' light, and things in this universe emit this. There is also Cosmic Radiation left from the Big Bang.
Two ways that Big Bang/Evolution show God may not exist. Neither idea involves God, shows that God was not necessary to understand the beginning of the universe. The bible suggests that God made life forms as we find them today, but evolution shows that they have evolved from something different.
How may religious people argue that you can have God and the Big Bang/Evolution? Many Christians say that the Creation account is a story/parable, with a meaning. As many people may not have understood how the world was created a symbolic story was created. They still believe that God is responsible for everything- the universe and all the life forms that have evolved.
What are the two types of evil? Natural Evil- nature E.g- Earthquake Moral evil- humans E.g- 9/11
What are the three things Christians believe about God? Omnipotent- all powerful Omnibenevolent- all good Omniscient- knowing
Why do Christian beliefs about God cause a problem in the light of evil in general? If God is all good he would want to get rid of evil/suffering. If God is all knowing he must know about evil but not want to do anything about it. If God is all powerful he must be able to get rid of evil. Therefore because there is suffering god must not be as great as Christians believe or there is no God.
Why is moral evil a problem for believers? If humans were made in the image of God, then his image must be one that can murder and perform evil acts on other human beings.
Why is Natural Evil a problem for believers? If the world was created by God- why did he create it with things that would cause suffering. And because God is all knowing he should have known what (e.g volcanoes) would do in the future. Secondly natural evil does not discriminate against those who have sinned- punishes everyone.
Two ways a Christian may respond to the problem of suffering/evil. Free Will- God gave humans free will to decide what to do, evil is therefore not a fault of God. E.g- Adam and Eve story World is not meant to be perfect- paradise is meant for heaven. Suffering is part of the test to see if we will go to heaven or hell.
:) the words of readings and hymns could make you realise all the gifts that God has given us – the world, our lives, family etc. :( the programme could make you doubt the existence of God because the church service just likes people ‘going through the motions’ and doing Christianity without really believing
:) God represented as ‘cool’ (Morgan Freeman); perhaps God does exist and he cares! Much more ‘real’ than traditional representations :( Makes fun of Christianity e.g. parting of the red sea; implies belief not to be taken seriously
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