1.1.1 Sacraments are milestones in the Christian
(mainly Catholic) Church. There are seven
sacraments, many of which may lead to or
affirm belief in God.
126.96.36.199.1 The first sacrament; during baptism, a child's parents
will promise to bring up that child as a Christian.
188.8.131.52.1.1 This means that the child will
be continually encouraged to
believe in God.
184.108.40.206.1 The Eucharist, or Communion, is a regular
sacrament usually taken at the end of each
220.127.116.11.1.1 This may lead to a belief in God, as taking
part in the Eucharist will make a child feel
like a part of the Church community, which
will motivate them to learn more about the
18.104.22.168.1 Reconciliation involves repentance and
confession, which is then followed by
22.214.171.124.1.1 Through this, a child will learn Christian teachings on
forgiveness, which may lead them to believe that an
all-loving God must exist.
126.96.36.199.1 Confirmation is the commitment
made by an older child (usually
towards the end of primary school) to
the Church and to Christianity.
188.8.131.52.1.1 As part of this, children are required to study
Christianity, which involves learning reasons
to believe in God.
184.108.40.206.1.2 Some people also claim to have had a
religious experience during the
1.2.1 Christian parents will take their
children to church, where they will see
other Christians worshipping.
220.127.116.11 This may lead them to
believe in God, as they will
see others who believe in
God, and so believe that
such a belief is normal.
1.2.2 Most churches run Sunday schools,
which teach children about God and why
they should believe in Him.
1.3.1 Christian parents will teach their
children how to pray.
18.104.22.168 This may lead to belief in God,
as a child might believe that
their parents would not pray if
there was no God to pray to.
2 Religious Experiences
2.1.1 If a person prays for something and
then gets what they asked for, they may
believe that God has heard their prayer
and answered it.
2.2.1 If an occurrence appears to break the laws of
science, a person may believe that only God could
have caused it.
2.3.1 If a person believes that they can sense the
presence of something greater than them,
then they may believe that this presence is
2.4.1 If a person experiences a life changing event,
they may believe that this is a sign or message
2.4.2 An example of this is the conversion of St Paul.
3 The Design Argument
3.1 The Design Argument suggests that:
3.1.1 1) the world shows a wealth of complex
design, such as DNA or the structure of the
22.214.171.124 2) If something shows design,
someone or something must
have designed it.
126.96.36.199.1 3) The designer of the world must be
God; therefore, God exists.
3.2 An example of the Design Argument
is Paley's watch theory, in which
William Paley argues that the design
of a watch is so intricate that it could
not have come into being on its own -
someone must have designed it.
Similarly, the world itself must have a
3.3 Some non religious
people may argue that:
3.3.1 There is also lack of
design in the world, such
as natural disasters and
3.3.2 Evidence of
design can be
3.3.3 The Universe may have a designer,
but it does not mean that this
designer is God.
4.1 Scientific explanations of how the Universe came
to be dispute the Genesis creation story, and
therefore the existence of God.
188.8.131.52 The fossil record supports the
idea that each species
developed over millions of
184.108.40.206 The existence of variation and
genetic mutations among species
supports Darwin's theory of Natural
4.1.2 The Big Bang Theory
220.127.116.11 The Doppler Effect (Red Shift) is
evidence that the Universe is
18.104.22.168 The existence of cosmic
radiation (CMBR) supports the
Big Bang Theory.
5 The Cosmological Argument
5.1 The Cosmological Argument proposes that:
5.1.1 1) There is clear evidence of the nature of cause
and effect in the world, such as a car stopping
when the brakes are applied.
22.214.171.124 2) Nothing can cause its own
existence, and so it follows that the
Universe must have a First Cause.
126.96.36.199.1 3) This cause must be God;
therefore, God exists.
5.2 Some non religious people may argue
5.2.1 The Universe may
have a first cause,
but this cause
does not have to
5.2.2 If everything must have a cause,
does God not also need a cause?
6 Religious Responses to Science
6.1 Some Christians believe that Science is
6.1.1 They believe that God created the world in a
way which made it look like it was already
billions of years old when it was formed.
188.8.131.52 This is called the "Apparent Age" theory.
6.1.2 They believe that evidence for the Big Bang and
evolution can be explained by the effects of
6.2 Some Christians believe that the scientific
causes of the world were orchestrated by
6.2.1 The Big Bang had to occur at exactly the right time and in
exactly the right way in order to form the Universe, and they
believe that only God has the power to cause this to happen.
6.2.2 The formation of the Universe was highly dependent on the laws of
science, and they believe that only God could have put these into place.
7 Evil and Suffering
7.1 Natural Evil
7.1.1 Natural evil is evil and
suffering which is not
caused by humans, such
as natural disasters.
184.108.40.206 A person may believe that natural
evil disproves the existence of God
because it shows flaws in the
world's design, as well as causing
suffering to large numbers of
innocent people - something an
omnibenevolent God would not
want to do.
7.2 Moral Evil
7.2.1 Moral evil is evil and suffering which
is caused by humans, such as
220.127.116.11 Some people believe that moral evil disproves the existence
of God because an omnibenevolent God would not want
people to suffer, and an omnipotent God would have the
power to stop people from committing crimes or causing
pain to others.
7.3 Some people respond to the Christian idea that suffering is sent by God
to test people's faith by pointing out that an omniscient God would
already know how faithful each person was, so would not need to test
8 Religious Responses to Evil and Suffering
8.1 Many religious people argue that evil
and suffering does not disprove the
existence of God because:
8.1.1 They believe that God gave humans free will,
and so moral evil is the result of people's
choices, and not of God himself.
8.1.2 They believe that God wants them to follow the
example of Jesus by helping those who suffer, as
Jesus taught that Christians should fight evil and
8.1.3 They claim that life on Earth is a preparation for life in
Heaven, and that those who suffer will be rewarded after
8.1.4 They believe that God sends evil and suffering as a
test of a person's faith.
8.1.5 They believe that God's knowledge is infinite, and that humans
cannot possibly understand His reasons for creating evil and
suffering in the world.
9 Unanswered Prayers
9.1 Some people may say that unanswered prayers
disprove the existence of God, because:
9.1.1 Christianity teaches that God hears
all prayers, so if a person's prayer
goes unanswered, they may believe
that there is no God to have heard
their prayer in the first place.
9.1.2 If a Christian does not feel God's
presence when praying, they may
begin to wonder whether or not
God really exists.
9.2 Some Christians may argue that unanswered
prayers do not disprove God's existence,
9.2.1 If a person's prayer is selfish, it would not truly
be in their best interests for it to be answered.
An omniscient God would know this.
9.2.2 They believe that God may have different
plans for that person, and so will not interfere
with these by answering a deviant prayer.
9.2.3 They believe that God's knowledge far supersedes their
own, and so God will judge whether what a person asks
for is truly what they need, and answer prayers
10 The Media and Belief in God
11 Example Exam Questions
11.1 Part A.
11.1.1 What is the meaning of omniscient?
11.1.2 What is atheism?
11.1.3 What is the definition of a miracle?
11.2 Part B.
11.2.1 Do you believe that God is the cause
of the world? Give two reasons for
11.2.2 Do you think that religious
experiences prove the existence
11.3 Part C.
11.3.1 Explain how evil
can lead to a
disbelief in God.
11.3.2 Explain how a religious
upbringing can lead to, or
support, a belief in God.
11.4 Part D.
11.4.1 "Science proves that
God did not create
18.104.22.168 i) Do you agree?
Give reasons for
22.214.171.124 ii) Give reasons why some
people may disagree with