Cosmological Arg and Religious Exp Past Papers and sample answers

AQA RELIGIOUS STUDIES

PAST PAPERS FOR 3 YEARS

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Cosmological Argument and Religious Experience Past Papers
May 2013
The cosmological argument
a) Explain the following aspects of Aquinas' cosmological argument:
its basis in observation
the rejection of infinite regress. (30 marks)
b) `The cosmological argument provides no proof for the existence of God.' To what extent do you agree?
(15 marks)
Religious experience
a) Explain the characteristics of mystical experiences, and outline how mystical experiences might be
simulated. (30 marks)
b) `It is necessary to have a religious experience in order to understand fully what a religious experience is.'
How far do you agree?
Jan 2013
The cosmological argument
a) Explain key criticisms of the cosmological argument. (30 marks)
b) `The cosmological argument does not help religious faith.' Assess this claim. (15 marks)
Religious experience
a) Explain the challenges of both philosophy and science to religious experience. (30 marks)
b) To what extent have these challenges been successful? (15 marks)
May 2012
The cosmological argument
a) Examine the different understandings of the role of God found in the cosmological argument. (30 marks)
b) `The cosmological argument shows that it is reasonable to believe in God.' How far do you agree? (15
marks)
Religious experience
a) Explain the argument from religious experience for the existence of God. (30 marks)
b) `Religious experiences cannot prove that God exists.' Assess this claim. (15 marks)

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Jan 2012
The Cosmological argument
a) Explain Aquinas' cosmological argument with particular reference to:
God as the first mover
God as the necessary being. (30 marks)
b) `The cosmological argument proves that God exists.' How far do you agree? (15 marks)
Religious experience
a) Examine the main characteristics of visions and of mystical experiences. (30 marks)
b) `Science has fully explained religious experience.' To what extent do you agree? (15 marks)
May 2011
The Cosmological argument
a) Explain the weaknesses of the cosmological argument.…read more

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Only those who have had a religious experience can fully understand what a religious experience is.' Assess
this claim.…read more

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Commentary from Examiner
AO2 (15 marks)
This evaluation question is taken from the Specification directly and so should be very accessible to candidates. This
candidate demonstrates the problem of getting into the answer and so wastes a paragraph by virtually writing out
the question.
The second paragraph has a clear argument supporting the claim that only those who have had an experience can
fully understand what a religious experience is.…read more

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