Philosophy 1 Topic 1 - OCR Christianity RE

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Philosophy 1: Topic 1 ­ Beliefs about deity
Myth: a story, not factually true, but contains an important message, or truth.
Symbol: a way of explaining the unexplainable.
Analogy: using everyday words to suggest a deeper meaning.
Why do we use this type of language?
- Aids understanding
- We don't know what God is really like.
> Disadvantages:
- People may take it literally.
- It can be ambiguous.
- Some people prefer to describe God by saying what He is NOT like: cruel, jealous etc.
God's "nature": characteristics, attributes, qualities.
Words to explain God:
- Omnipotence: God is all-powerful
- Omnipresence: God is everywhere at the same time
- Omnibenevolence: God is all-loving
- Omniscient: God is all-knowing
- Transcendence: God is above all
- Immanence: God is within all
Monotheism: Belief in ONE God
Atheist: Belief in NO God
Theist: Belief there IS a God
Personal: Like a friend, concerned about feelings
Impersonal: Mysterious and Holy
Eternal: Existing throughout time
Judge: Makes decisions
Perfect Good: Nothing is better

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What does it say in the Bible?
- `Image of God'
- Psalm 139 `Lord, you have examined me and you know me. You know
everything I do...'
- John 1:29 `Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world'
- Genesis 1:23 `the Everlasting God'
- Job 33:4 `God's spirit made me and gave me life.…read more

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Arguments for God's Existence
The Telelogical Argument
- Thomas Aquinas
- William Paley
- Isaac Newton
What is it?
- The idea the universe is fine-tuned and complex, so it's unlikely to have happened by
- It must have been designed, by some intelligent, supernatural being: God.
Aquinas: invented the argument in 1274
- Believed every living thing has been designed with a purpose.…read more

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The Cosmological Argument
- Thomas Aquinas
What is it?
- Nothing is self-caused and this chain cannot go back forever (infinite regress)
- There must be a first-cause: something un-caused or self-caused = God.
God doesn't need something to happen to make Him act.
Key Words:
- Contingent Being: something which depends on something else for its existence.
- Necessary Being: something which is `self-caused' (God).
- Infinite Regress: something which goes back and back forever.…read more

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St Anselm
What is it?
- God is the greatest thing that can be imagined, and something which exists is better than
something which doesn't.
- For God to be the greatest thing: He must EXIST.
Support Against
- Logical to an extent - Proves human knowledge is limited, NOT
- Reaffirms what people already believe the existence of God.
- 11th Century: it is outdated.
- Immanuel Kant: not everything that exists
is automatically better, sometimes it's
better to only imagine.…read more

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St Paul
- Rudolf Otto
What is it?
- The argument that God can be, and has been experiences, and therefore must exist.
How can God be experienced?
- Miracles/having prayers answered.
- Meditation
- Being relieved of suffering
- Conversion (like St Paul)
Rudolf Otto: used the word numinous to describe the feeling of awe and wonder, leading
people to believe there is something greater than themselves.…read more

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The Argument from Morality
- Cardinal JH Newman
- St Augustine
What is conscience?
- a moral sense of right and wrong felt by a person and affecting their behaviour.
- an inner feeling as to the goodness.
What is it?
- Moral laws exist; felt by everyone, they must have come from somewhere.
- There is some kind of law-giver: God.
St Augustine: "conscience is the voice of God whispering to us inwardly"
JH Newman: "we are frightened at ignoring the voice of conscience...…read more

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Why did he make us imperfect and incomplete?
- Evil exists; he cannot be omnibenevolent/potent.
Agnostic: a person who believes it is impossible to know whether or not God exists.
Atheist: a person who doesn't believe in God
- Some say faith is blind, and irrational: God was once the explanation for things, but it is
now God who needs explaining.
Why be an Atheist?
- Universe come about by chance just as easily.
- No reliable evidence.…read more

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Walking on water
- Incarnation
- Resurrection
Types of Miracles in the New Testament:
- Power over nature, evil, sickness, death.
Mark 4 ­ Jesus Calms the Storm
- Jesus and the disciples were on a boat, there were strong winds and waves, water went into the boat.
Jesus commanded the waves to stop and they did.
- Jesus could take control over anything ­ even nature.…read more


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