IGCSE Religious Studies Edexcel Section B- Ultimate Reality and the Meaning of Life

IGCSE RS- Edexcel.

Section B of Part 1 of the exam, notes on all parts a)-e) in section B. 

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Preview of IGCSE Religious Studies Edexcel Section B- Ultimate Reality and the Meaning of Life

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RS Revision 9/1/11 Section B: Ultimate reality and the meaning of life
a). Ultimate reality
Monotheism: Belief in one God
Polytheism: Belief in more than one God
The nature and character of God:
The natural world can reveal God to Christians because it shows God's everlasting
greatness and presence in the world. The natural world shows patterns and signs of intelligent
design, it could not happen by random chance, and so is a testimony to God's existence and
his way of showing to Christians on earth what he is really capable of. Sir Isaac Newton said
how `In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's
existence' because of it's complex design, there is no other explanation as to how it is like
this, showing God's relevance and depiction in the natural world.
The Bible can reveal God to Christians because it gives us a clear image of God, and sets
him apart from other Gods. It helps Christians to understand their relationship, as humans,
with God. God is searching for Christians through Christianity and so through the Bible God's
selfrevelation. For Evangelical Christians, the Bible can reveal God entirely and give a
complete picture of him and what he expects from us as it is the `word of God'.
Church teachings develop over 2000 years of Christianity, are part of Gods revelation.
Discussing Church teachings enhances the word of God and helps him become clearer and
reveals him to us as Christians. Great Christians understand more of God, and are able to
meet God through the church teachings.
Religious leaders interpret the Bible and meanings of Christianity then deliver their findings
to the congress. This allows the Christians to take what they hear from their leader and apply
it to every day life, allowing God to take a part in how they live. God is revealed through the
morals and sermons delivered by their religious leaders.
Personal God: Many Christians believe that individuals can have a relationship with God,
leading them to talk as if God were a person with human emotions and characteristics, `God
has to be someone I can relate to, I can relate to a person'.
Impersonal God: Maybe God is simply and idea the idea of infinity or the idea of a prime
number (something which cannot be reduced or divided). God is perhaps a force, like
magnetism or gravity, which invisibly influences the Earth. Maybe God is `goodness' or `light'.
At times, God is presented as a dangerous force, catch a glimpse and something terrible will
happen to you. The Bible uses this idea too. `The universe is held together by forces. Maybe
God is one of them'.
As a transcendent God, he is outside or beyond the world or universe, and he created the
Earth and then left it to develop and flourish by itself.
As an immanent God, he becomes both a creator and sustainer. It also allows him to be a
personal God, as if humans on earth can have a relationship with him, he is in the world,
involved in the lives of his creations.
The Trinity God has three persons which Christians call the Father, the Son and the Holy
Spirit. The Father the transcendent `God beyond us' who created the world and keeps it
going. The Son, Jesus the immanent and personal `God beside us' who came to earth and
lived a human life. The Spirit the immanent yet impersonal `God around us' who guides and
inspires Christians from day to day.

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RS Revision 9/1/11 Section B: Ultimate reality and the meaning of life
The Nicene Creed 4th Century AD what does it tell us?: `We believe in one
God' monotheism `maker of heaven and earth' creator of all `we believe in one Lord, Jesus
Christ' one son, very holy, fully God `He will come again in glory to judge the living and the
dead'judgement day `and his kingdom will have no end'eternal `we look for the resurrection
of the dead, and the life of the world…read more

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RS Revision 9/1/11 Section B: Ultimate reality and the meaning of life
belief in many gods. Polytheistic religions include all religions except Judaism, Christianity,
Islam and Sikhism, the only monotheistic religions. A character trait of all monotheistic
religions that has shown up all through history is that they believe that God created all reality
and is totally selfsufficient. Also monotheistic religions are exclusive.…read more

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RS Revision 9/1/11 Section B: Ultimate reality and the meaning of life
possibility of a happy afterlife instead having morals that promote our survival in the most
cooperative and sciencebased ways. Humanists (encompassing atheism and agnosticism
also) believe that we have only one life, and the meaning and purpose of it is to make it a
good life, and to flourish as best as they can in the years they have on earth.…read more

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RS Revision 9/1/11 Section B: Ultimate reality and the meaning of life
Causation: The system of causes and effects within the universe (which suggests a first cause
that started the process)
First cause (God as): (The belief that) as everything has a cause, there must be a first cause
of the world and that must be God
Only possible explanation (God as): (The belief that) the existence of the world/universe
requires an explanation, and the explanation is that God created it
Design (of the world/universe…read more

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RS Revision 9/1/11 Section B: Ultimate reality and the meaning of life
Some people say that the Big Bang must be the cause of the universe. Christian thinkers say
that that is not a good enough explanation. They ask, `what caused it?', and `why was there a
space time singularity (matter and energy in a single point)?'
Why do we have the kind of universe that we have?
2. The Teleological Argument (or the Design Argument)
This is associated with Rev.…read more

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RS Revision 9/1/11 Section B: Ultimate reality and the meaning of life
since the earth has evolved. God is not the only explanation of the universe as science can
prove how it happened whereas the existence of God as a designer cannot.
In conclusion, I do not agree with the statement that `God is the only possible cause of the
universe'. This is because science alone can prove how the universe was created, and how
the universe has evolved.…read more

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RS Revision 9/1/11 Section B: Ultimate reality and the meaning of life
Upbringing Children learn from their parents. as they grow older, they learn from others
around them, but the basic patterns of life have already been laid down in childhood. This
means that although you can decide for yourself what your religious beliefs are, your family
has a big influence.…read more

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RS Revision 9/1/11 Section B: Ultimate reality and the meaning of life
context. An example of a numinous experience is that of Archbishop Anthony Bloom, who was
reading Mark's Gospel, as an atheist, when he felt the presence of Christ with him, and this
certainty never left him. This numinous experience turned Archbishop Bloom into a devout
Christian, as this firsthand experience of Christ confirmed to him that God did exist, and that
he wasn't just a fabrication.…read more

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