Philosophy 2 Topic 1 - OCR Christianity RE

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Philosophy 2 ­ Topic 1: Good and Evil
Good: something which creates a positive effect.
Evil: negative outcomes, causing hurt/suffering.
- God is the `perfect good'
- Mark 10: "no one is good except God alone"
The Devil:
- Origin of Satan is not found in the Bible, it is in the Apocrypha.
- Satan: a fallen angel, cast out of heaven for refusing to worship God.
- Made reference to in Luke 10: "I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven"
Beliefs about the Devil:
- The Devil is a real being: the source of evil in the world.
- Evil is extrinsic: comes from outside the Bible.
- The Devil isn't real: a way of personifying evil.
- Evil is intrinsic: it comes from within (freewill).
In Luke 4, Jesus was "tempted by the devil for 40 days"
- We learn evil is against God, we can defeat the devil by not falling for temptation.
Moral Evil: evil caused by actions of people.
Natural Evil: evil caused by natural events that harm/kill, not caused by humans.
- The Story of the Fall:
- Eve picked the fruit from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, this was forbidden.
- Original Sin was introduced: the way humans are born with a lack of holiness, different from sins they commit
- Some believe being made in the image of God would make us immortal, but this was lost by Eve.
- Jesus died in order to defeat death and sin and so reopened the ways to God.
Redemption: by dying on the cross, Jesus saved humanity for the consequences of original sin.
- The Story of Job shows us that evil & suffering strengthen our faith; we should always trust God.
- Natural Evil and Moral Evil are not always adequate as some scenarios don't fit into either ­ a baby born with
defects. Some argue natural evil is caused indirectly by humans - the effect of environmental destruction.
The Problem of Evil
- Many people believe the presence of evil prove God doesn't exist.
- Epicurus:
God is willing to prevent evil, but not capable: not omnipotent.
God is capable, but not willing: not omnibenevolent.
God is loving and powerful: why permit evil?
God is neither loving/powerful: He is not God.
- J L Mackie:
Inconsistent Triad: omnibenevolence, omnipotence, and omniscience cannot exist as one ­ The God we know doesn't

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Responses to the Problem of Evil:
- Why did God allow Adam and Eve to disobey Him if they were made perfect?
- St Augustine: evil is a lack of good, a life-choice, evil is not a `thing' but what is left when there's no good present.
- Irenaeus: people need to suffer, to choose between good/evil, otherwise they'd be robots, God wants people to
choose to worship him. This doesn't explain the suffering of babies.…read more

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Philosophy 2 ­ Topic 2: Religion and Science
Cosmology: about origins of the universe which most scientists believe was caused by the Big Bang.
Evolution: development of life forms which most scientist believe came through natural selection.
Big Bang Theory: suggests a massive explosion led to the creation of the universe.
Charles Darwin: founder of evolution. Life began with a simple cell and evolved through natural selection.
- Creationists argue that God placed fossils in rock to test the faith of Christians.…read more

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Progressive Creationism
- Believe there was a much longer time frame than 6 days.
- God has directly intervened in life on Earth to create new forms of life (explains
- ACCEPT: estimates for earth's age.
- REJECT: evolution.
- WEAKNESSES: doesn't attempt to work with science.
"Science explains how, religion explains why"
Intelligent Design: new theory, alternative to science, claims the universe is
too fine-tuned to have just evolved without God.
- FOR: intertwined Christian ancient ideas.…read more

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Church of England:
- Humans are part of God's creation, believes in stewardship.
- All of creation is linked to each other.
- Stabilise the population, so humans can live in peace and harmony.
- Investigate how to reduce pollution.
- Concerned with poverty because of their beliefs in equality.
- Believe destruction of good things we have on earth impoverishes
- Workers in the UN who help to support efforts made towards
sustainable development and redistribution of resources.…read more

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Ethical Treatment of Animals
- Animals are not ours to eat.
- Animals are not ours to use for entertainment.
- Animals are not ours to wear.
- Animals are not ours to experiment on.
How can Christians help?
- Greenpeace: an organisation striving to bring peace to the environment
- They work for something everyone would benefit from.
- Provide support by contribution to foundation grants.
- Friends of the Earth: aims to be the human voice of the earth.…read more

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Denominational Views about the Treatment of Animals
Church of England
- Animals made by God, value has always been seen secondary.
- Not made in God's image, recognises need to use in medical
- Responsible Stewardship: requires animals to receive careful and
sympathetic treatment.
- Respect for animals, treated as if they have rights.
- Show a loving consideration for all creatures; seek to maintain
beauty and variety of the world.…read more


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