Religious Belief: Types, Strengths + Weaknesses

  • Created by: MattyLew
  • Created on: 05-05-18 19:01
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  • Religious Belief
    • Strengths
      • Provides a meta-narrative for one's life
      • It is an expression of culture and creates a social bond
      • It explains the existence of the universe and things science cannot (yet!) explain
      • Provides comfort
        • Explains life after death
      • Provides purpose
      • Provides a moral code and guidance
      • Scriptural evidence: Bible, Quran
      • Helps cultivate the the end of suffering (buddhism)
      • Argument of Probability: Swinburne argues it is the most likely answer that there is a God
      • Evidence of Design, a posteriori nature
    • Weaknesses
      • Logical Positivism: statements about God are not analytic or synthetic, therefore are meaningless
      • Religious experience can be explained biologically/medically: Paul (epileptic fit), 'The God helmet' Persinger, St Theresa hallucinations due to starvation
      • Biblica criticism/analysis: writer's had been influenced by their cultural environment, therefore the Bible does not contribute to proving existence of God
      • The Problem of Evil (Hume's inconsistent triad)
        • Hatred towards religious believers and beliefs "the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike him"
          • distrust of organised religion e.g. illuminati conspiracy
      • Perhaps believers are deluded OR have been deluded by religious leaders for their own purposes e.g. Ghanaian prophet TB Joshua
      • Loss of faith (unanswered prayer, and experiences) e.g. Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal (public vs private image, abuse of power and clericalism, protecting the institution)
      • Contradictoryteachings (hermeneutical issue) = lack of logical coherence
      • Other ways to interpret the world: Science + rationalism
      • Modernism: rejects literal uses of outdated mythical concepts e.g. heaven, hell, demons
      • Contradictory religious texts
        • Religions claim exclusivity... but they can't all be right?
      • Not suitable for the modern age: society is becoming more secular, rational
    • Types
      • Weak Atheism
        • absence of the belief in the existence of God (includes children)
      • Strong Atheism
        • Explicit belief that God does not exist; would argue against a belief in God to show its wrong/dangerous
      • Scepticism
        • Ambiguous/doubtful - critically examines and questions knowledge or beliefs
      • Weak Agnosticism
        • God is not known; but it is possible he may be be known.
      • Strong Agnosticism
        • God is not known and God cannot be known to anyone
      • Limited Agnosticism
        • God is partially knowable; some things can be known, but not all.
      • Unlimited Agnosticism
        • God is completely unknowable;;it is impossible to know anything of God
      • Who holds the burden of proof?

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