Theme C God 2

  • Created by: Sia11
  • Created on: 27-09-21 17:37
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  • Theme C God
    • Evil and suffering
      • Against God
        • Atheists argue that all-loving, all-powerful God cannot exist if evil exists.    
        • Mill said there is too much injustice and extreme suffering to be a test.
        • Dawkins said “the fact that there is evil proves that God does not exist.”
        • If God loved us he would want to stop evil and if he was powerful he could stop it.
        • Evil evidently exists (eg moral and natural evil) so God cannot. Put forward as the inconsistent triad.
      • Religious responses
        • Augustine’s theodicy – blames the Fall for suffering. Moral evil is our misuse of free will. Natural evil “cursed is the ground.” God loves us and provides atonement through Jesus’ death. 
        • Irenaeus’ theodicy – God allows moral evil and deliberately creates natural evil to help us appreciate good and to grow in to His “likeness.” We will all be saved in the end – universalism.
    • Science
      • Against God
        • God of the gaps: eventually science will answer all questions
        • Evolution: life isn’t created by God is evolved like all other species
        • Big Bang: universe exists due to random chance, billions of years
        • Empiricism: can be observed, tested and provide evidence
      • Religious responses
        • Science has been wrong/ some things it won’t ever cover eg morals
        • Muslims/ Liberal Christians believe God caused the Big Bang
        • Liberal Christians believe in theistic evolution
        • Revealed knowledge is given by God as is more reliable than science
    • Enlightenment
      • Enlightenment as a source of knowledge about the divine
        • Enlightenment is the gaining of true knowledge either about God (Hinduism) or the self (Buddhism). 
        • By meditation and self-discipline we can purify our karma and come to a full understanding of how to escape samsara.
        • For Buddhists, this means to detach oneself completely from attachment and desire and to cease existence. This is called nibbana, a state of permanent peace.
          • The Buddha meditated for years before finally seeing all of his previous lives and reaching enlightenment
        • Both these religions aim to achieve enlightenment in order to escape the constant cycle of suffering and pain that is samsara (reincarnation/ rebirth).
        • For Hindus this is to fully understand that the material world is an illusion and that the only true reality is Brahman. When Hindus are enlightened they will reach moksha and “merge into” Brahman rather than being reincarnated.
          • Hindus spend the final stage of their life dedicated to gaining this knowledge through worship, scripture or meditation.
      • How enlightenment explains the nature of the divine 
        • Personal: In their path to moksha, Hindus understand Brahman through deities. EG Vishnu represents preservation of life. He is represented in a human-life form to help understand God.
        • Immanent: Brahman is within all living things. Hindus spend their lives trying to understand that this is the only eternal thing.
        • Omniscient: The Buddha is not a God but through enlightenment he gained all knowledge and understanding of the universe and how to escape suffering.
        • Impersonal: Brahman is a mysterious divine force/ energy in the universe and in all life. We cannot understand or connect with this force until we reach enlightenment (moksha).
        • Omnipotent: Hindus might come to learn the power of Brahman and recognise this in the Trimurti: the deities responsible for creation, preservation and destruction of the universe and life.
        • Transcendent: Brahman is the one thing that exists beyond the material world. Everything else is temporary. 
      • The Value of Enlightenment
        • Enlightenment for Hindus helps them reach their goal of “merging in to” Brahman and reaching moksha where their souls are free of being reincarnated in to a physical body.
      • Problems of different ideas 
        • Buddhism is the religion most linked to enlightenment and Buddhists do not believe in the divine. For them enlightenment is about escaping suffering.
      • Alternative explanations
        • For most who reach enlightenment this happens after death so we cannot be sure about it.


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