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  • Believing in God
    • Religious Upbringing
      • Main features of Christian upbringing
        • Parents may read children stories from the Bible
        • Children may attend Sunday schools
        • Parents may help prepare their children to receive sacraments
        • Children may attend a Church school
        • Parents may teach their children prayers
        • Children may be baptised
        • Parents may take their children to Church on Sundays
        • Children make take part in Christian celebrations like Christmas and Easter.
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      • Ways in which religious upbringing leads to belief in God
        • Trust in parents can make children believe in God
        • prayer makes you feel closer to God
        • Sacraments received by children makes them feel loved by God
        • Having friends who all believe in the same thing. Meeting them regularly can lead to further belief in God.
        • Sunday schools explains what God has done e.g. create the world
        • School gives evidence that God exists.
    • Religious experience
      • Miracle
        • The Bible contains examples of Jesus working miracles such as walking on water and turning water into wine at the Last Supper.
      • Conversion
        • A biblical example is St.Paul
      • Prayer (answered)
        • An example is when God answered Moses' prayer of parting the Red Sea
      • Numinous
      • Lead to BELIEF in God
        • It proves that God exists
        • It changes people's lives
        • There must be a reason why such events occur - people believe this must be God
        • It makes people aware of the presence of God and that he is real
      • Lead to DISBELIEF in God
        • People might be lying about it
        • People might be ill or under the influence of drugs and hallucinating
        • People might be capable of these things and we may not be aware of it yet.
        • Science can explain, or will be able to explain why some things happen.
    • Design argument by William Paley
      • FOR belief in God
        • The universe and the things in it are so complex that they must have a designer. This leads to the conclusion that God must be the designer of the universe because only God is powerful and smart enough to have deigned the world. Therefore God must have designed the world and must exist
      • AGAINST belief in God
        • The world is not very well designed and contains natural things which do not benefit humans in any way.
        • The designer doesn't have to be God
        • Who designed God?
        • The world might not have been designed as it could have just happened by chance
    • Causation argument by Thomas Aquaney
      • The causation argument says that everything in the universe has a cause
        • The universe itself must have a cause
          • The first cause of the universe must be omnipotent (all-powerful) and eternal
            • The first cause of the universe must be God
              • Therefore God must exist
      • Against the argument
        • It is possible that some things might not need to be caused
        • The first cause does not have to be God
        • Mathematical ideas of infinity mean that there does not need to be a beginning
        • If everything has a cause then surely God must have a cause
        • Human understanding is limited so they shouldn't assume anything without evidence
    • Scientific explanations of the world
      • Christian responses
        • God started the Big Bang
        • Many scientists still believe God is responsible for the design of the world
        • Only God could have made sure that the world was made as beautiful as it is(design argument)
        • Some Christians accept the scientific theories and say they do not conflict with belief in God.
        • Some Christians say that the scientific explanations are wrong and the biblical one is correct
        • The biblical story is symbolic - it shows God was the creator and is not meant to be believed literally.
      • The Big Bang Theory
        • The theory that the universe came into existence in an explosion. There is evidence for this as background radiation shows that the universe was once much hotter  than it is today. Red shift also shows that the universe is still expanding.
      • Oscillating Universe theory
        • The idea that the universe expands rapidly and then collapses
        • Some scientists disagree with this theory because it is possible that there could then be a big freeze and the universe would end.
      • The Steady State theory
        • The idea that the universe is steadily developing and remaining equally dense
    • Unanswered prayers
      • Christian responses
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    • Evil and suffering
      • Christian responses
    • Media and religion

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