Theme C - Religious Studies

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  • Theme C - The Existence of God and Revelation
    • Design and Causation
      • Religious or not?
        • 84% of the global population belongs to a religion
          • People want to find out why life is as it is
          • Some people are drawn to the purpose, structure and comfort religion provides, or the desire to have something to believe
          • People's faith is strengthened by the feelings they experience during worship as a part of a religious community
          • People bought up by religious parents or in a religious community are more likely to believe in a god
        • 16% of the global population don't have specific beliefs, or have no spiritual beliefs
          • People may believe there's no proof there's a god
          • Religion causes too much strife between people
          • The evil in the world shows there is no god
      • The Design Argument
        • Belief that God created the universe is a central part of belief in God - not only does the    universe's existence prove God's existence, but believers think it shows some of his characteristics
        • Many Christians, Muslims and Jews believe a god exists because of 'design' agruments
        • The idea is that the intricate workings of the universe can't have come about by chance
        • "In the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day...and...the winds and the clouds...are signs for a people who use reason." (Qur'an 2:167)
        • "since the creation of the world God's invincible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made" (Romans 1:20)
        • Scientists say that the conditions that led to the creation of the universe and life were extremely specific
        • Charles Darwin explain how species developed by adapting themselves to the conditions around them through 'survival of the fittest'
        • Muslims and Jews believe evolution doesn't contradict the design argument-God or Allah must have 'designed' evolution. Darwin didn't see it as conclusive proof against God's existence
        • Some people believe God created the universe but has not  had any further involvement with it. Some may believe that there's no evidence the 'designer' and creator still exists
      • Causation
        • The first cause argument, also known as the cosmological argument, is founded on a chain of logic
        • Everything that happens is caused by something else. As an event now was caused by an earlier event, that was caused by an even earlier event
        • Some think that the 'first cause' was God, as only he is eternal and has enough power to create the universe.
        • People argue that the argument contradicts itself-it says everything has to have a cause, but then says there must be an event that didn't have a cause- the first cause
        • "Allah constructed it" (Qur'an 79:27)
    • Revelation
      • Its difficult to conclusively prove that God exists. So Christians, Muslims and Jews look for evidence to reveal God's presence
      • They believe it is revealed in different ways, including through scripture, the world around us and religious experiences
      • Special revelation is when a revelation is made to a specific person(s). They include revelation through prophethood, visions and miracles. They're direct and personal
      • General revelation are revelations that are available to everyone. They are more indirect and therefore have to interpreted.Many think that the world is an example of general revelation
      • Many Christians believe that the Bible itself was written as a result of revelations, both special and general.
      • "God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways." (Hebrews 1:1-2)
      • Muslims believe that Allah revealed the Qur'an directly to Muhammad. It's a fully accurate record of Allah's final revelation to humankind
      • "We have shown clearly the signs to a people who are certain [in faith]." (Qur'an 2:118). This shows how Allah reveals himself

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