Good and Evil, OCR GCSE Short Course Notes

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Good and Evil & Religion and Science
Good and Evil
Epicurus
Epicurus' view was that God cannot be all-loving and all-powerful at the same
time, meaning that God cannot possibly exist; if he is all-powerful, he is not
all-loving as he is not preventing evil on Earth, and if he is all-loving, then he is not
all-powerful as he cannot prevent evil on Earth.
Christian teachings about evil:
God gave people free will ­ the ability to choose between right and wrong
for themselves.
God showed people how they should live (e.g. the Ten Commandments,
Jesus' teachings) but it is their choice whether they follow his instructions or
not.
The Fall ­ humanity's battle with good and evil is told in the story of Adam &
Eve; they chose to disobey God.
Original Sin ­ some Christians believe that as a result of Adam and Eve's first
sins, each human is born with a tendency towards evil.
When Jesus came to Earth (the Incarnation), humans were given a chance
to escape everlasting punishment after death by following the teachings of
Jesus and asking God's forgiveness for their sins.
Jesus died on the cross (the Cruxifiction), and from this the relationship
between God and humanity was restored. This is called the Atonement.
Jesus rose from the dead three days after he had been crucified. (the
Resurrection) From that time onwards, people who followed his teachings
went to heaven.
When Eucharist is celebrated by some Christians, they remember Jesus'
actions and the fact that because of his sacrifice they are forgiven by God.
As well as a power for good (ultimately, God) there is also a power for evil.
This is said to be Satan, one of the archangels who disobeyed God and was
thrown out of heaven.
Most suffering is caused by people's selfishness and wrongdoing ­ for example,
there is enough food in our world to feed everyone ­ yet 1/3 of the population is
hungry. We have all done things to make persecution, war, injustice, pollution and
preventable disease worse.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." ­ Romans 3:23

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Good and Evil & Religion and Science
Suffering is an old problem for religious people, particularly for those who believe
that God is:
OMNIPOTENT = OMNISCENT = OMNIBENEVOLENT =
all-powerful all-knowing all-loving
There are two types of evil:
Natural Evil = suffering caused by events that have nothing to do with
humans, and which are to do with the way the world is, e.g. natural disasters,
such as volcanic eruptions, floods and earthquakes.…read more

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Good and Evil & Religion and Science
Evil and suffering are necessary for us to grow in power, freedom and
knowledge.
We were created imperfectly with the form but not the content of God.
This theory is evolutionary rather than bible-dependent. Evil is teleological ­ its
purpose is to facilitate growth. It defines free will as the means by which man
develops morally and spiritually. God is therefore not responsible for our evil
choices.
It suggests that God's created work was imperfect.…read more

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Good and Evil & Religion and Science
Religion and Science
THE BIG BANG
Raw Materials...
Hydrogen & Helium
Evidence
Galaxies moving apart as if they started at the same point ­ they are
expanding. (The Inflation Theory)
Redshift Theory = the further away a galaxy is, the faster it appears to
travel because the light spectrum is stretched.
Cosmic microwave background radiation = heat and light exposure can be
measured.
When?
15 billion years ago.
Earth is 4.5 billion years old.…read more

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Good and Evil & Religion and Science
Lower back pain
Hemorrhoids
Varicose veins
Weak, exposed veins
Obstetric difficulties
Weak knees
BUT, there is evidence for this, as...
The universe has order, purpose and regularity ­ e.g. the rotation of the
planets, natural law.
The complexity of the universe shows evidence of design.
Such a design implies a designer.
Therefore, the designer of the universe must be GOD.
The Cosmological Argument
Idea of causation = `every effect has a cause.…read more

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Good and Evil & Religion and Science
From this, the concept of stewardship was created.
STEWARDSHIP = the belief that the human species should work with the natural
world, protect it and nourish it, rather than abuse it or work against it.
Evolution
Charles Darwin wrote the book `On the Origin of Species'
Idea that life began from very simple cells and developed by natural
selection into what we see today.…read more

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