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Edexcel Exam Board

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Fred Clayton
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Bowlby's Theory of Attachment
Jessica Phillips
English Language Revision
Cell Structure
1 The Concept of miracles
1.1 What is a miracle?
1.1.1 The unexpected and unusual manifestations of the presence and power of God - M.Cook
1.1.2 Three Basic Attributes Against regular experience - breaking the laws of nature Has a purpose and significance Possible to ascribe religious significance
2 Is the Evidence Reliable?
2.1 David Hume
2.1.1 A transgression of a law of nature by a particular violation of the Deity
2.1.2 Concentrated on experience, observation, evidence and probability Claimed that it was not reasonable to believe in the existence of miracles because the evidence was totally unreliable Miracles are violations of the laws of nature Firm and unalterable experience has established these Improbable events need witnesses of greater reliability Miracles are improbable events Miracles need very strong evidence from witnesses Witnesses to miracles are invariably unreliable and their testimonies cannot be trusted Miracles do not occur
2.1.3 Four reasons why there was insufficient evidence for miracles 1) Not enough reliable witnesses 2) Human nature wanted us to believe in miracles 3) Sources came from unreliable places 4) Miracles carried out by different Gods cancelled each other out
2.1.4 Inconsistent Triad A) Miracles Occur B) Miracles are claimed in all religions C) Religions claim exclusivity If A) was accepted as true, then either B) or C) can be true but not both. However the three claims can be true if the occurrence of miracles within a variety of religions is independent of claims made by an religion to have exclusive possession of the truth
2.1.5 The definition is problematic as we are not sure if we know all of the natural laws and therefore God may not be breaking them meaning that miracles do not occur Ambiguous Language, he is not very descriptive so can be interpreted in many different ways Only religious believers see miracles so that makes their testimonies unreliable Miracles cancel each other out as they can't be performed by many different gods
2.2 Swinburne
2.2.1 Three types of historical evidence that can be used to support miralces Our memories The testimony of others The physical traces left behind by the event in question
3 Do Miracles prove the existence of God?
3.1 Swinburne suggests - If there is a God, one might well expect him to make his presence known to man, not merely through the over-all pattern of the universe in which he placed them, but by dealing more intimately and personally with them
3.2 For those who do not believe, it is impossible for miracles to occur
3.2.1 Peter Atkins - There is a sharp contrast between the impenetrable prose of theological comprehension, which is largely pretentious gobbledegook and the shark, limpid explanations of science
3.3 Miracles prove nothing convincingly, they neither prove or disprove the existence of God. Neither does science

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