RE Revision notes- TOM


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  • Created on: 07-05-13 18:56
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The Existence of God/ The Problem of Evil/ Science and Religion
The Existence of God
Faith and Proof
Faith Believing in something without the need of proof and evidence
o Faith is commitment to something which cannot be proved
o Faith is different to knowledge because knowledge is based on facts and faith is in
the unknown
o If the thing you had faith in was proved you would no longer have faith you would
only have knowledge
Proof Evidence which confirms that something is true
o If someone is openminded and honest to themselves they cannot deny proof
o Proof is usually established through scientific experiments
o The existence of God cannot be proved but can be believed in
People Approaches to Religion
Theist A person who has faith in the existence of God and that God was directly
involved in creation
Atheist Someone who believes that there is no God
AgnosticA person who does not know if there is a good or not and is not convinced by
the arguments for or against
It is difficult to either prove or disprove the existence of God.
o God is not physical and therefore it is impossible to prove that He is here or not
because He could be somewhere were we cannot be
o To prove or disprove that God did exist you would have to search everywhere
which is practically impossible
The First Cause Argument St Thomas Aquinas
The first cause argument can also be known as the cosmological argument. It is a
proof for the existence of God because everything must have a cause and therefore
there must have been something/ someone who/ which were uncaused to start
everything. The uncaused being is believed to be God.
Everything has to have been caused by something else. Nothing can happen by itself other
than the starting point which must have been something incredibly powerful (God). If we are
here today it must have been caused by something else. God has lived forever according to
this argument.
Weaknesses in the First Cause Argument David Hume
o Just because on Earth it appears that everything must have a cause but this does not
mean it applies to the whole universe
o Maybe the universe has always existed, for infinity
o The universe cannot be explained by itself yet God can be explained by itself surely
that is just making exceptions to suit your needs
o Even if there was a First Cause it doesn't have to be God it could be the Big Bang

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The Design Argument William Paley
The Design Argument can also be known as the teleological argument. It is based on
the idea that everything that exists is so intricate and a purpose it cannot have just
happened by chance there must have been a designer, (God).
William Paley compares our eye to clocks. He says that our eye is so intricate and there are
so many things which had to be right to make it work like a clock.…read more

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How do Religious Experiences argue for the existence of God?
A religious experience is when someone encounters something religious and therefore
something to do with God. People believe that religious experiences are used by God to
convey a message to an individual.…read more

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Natural evil happens because of the way the Earth is structured, there are volcanoes
to allow eruptions to happen, there are tectonic plates to allow earthquakes to
happen, etc.
Surely God is the one to be blamed for this if He is what He is portrayed to be.
Moral Evil
Moral Evil ­ The suffering brought upon Human Beings through Human behaviour.
Moral Evil exists through bad choices made by Humans which result in the suffering
of others.…read more

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The reason for natural evil according to this defence is that we live in a `fallen world'. This
may literally mean that Adam and Eve brought suffering into the world through disobedience,
OR metaphorically that all humans are sinful, and do not deserve to live in paradise yet.
Moral Evil the Origins of Evil are not with God
The reason for moral evil according to this defence is that Human Beings with free will make
bad choices which cause evil and suffering.…read more

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Weaknesses in the Soulmaking/ Place of Preparation Defence
The weaknesses include:
o This defence suggests that God did intend us to suffer which then contradicts the idea
that God is allloving
o Why does there have to be so much evil to build our character?
o Couldn't we just be born mature in our next life
The Need for Contrast Defence
Human beings cannot understand or appreciate good without also understanding evil.…read more

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Can't we just start a clean slate with a new life
o Couldn't are punishment be more immediate
The response of the Believer to Suffering
Nearly all of the religions say that followers should help people who are suffering and
in need. Most people realise that there is suffering in the world which they find difficult
to ignore because they believe that God is caring and loving. Most people do help
others who are in need and this shows people's basic attitude to suffering.…read more

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A fundamentalist might say that the Bible is correct in what it is saying although
they might not accept that a day is 24hrs. They do not have a set view and they think that we
do not know enough to know if it is defiantly true or not. Overall, none of the views are
correct, because we don't have enough knowledge to know if it is true or not. It is all down
to faith.…read more

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Religious people believe that we are special, and we were made to look after God's creation.
We were not lucky and the Earth is ours. We share part of God's breath .
The Characteristics of God/ Revelation/ The Afterlife
The Characteristics of God
It is difficult for human beings to be able to describe/ understand God for a number
of reasons
1.…read more

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Brahman The Creator God
2. Vishnu The Sustainer God
3. Shiva The Destroyer God
All male Gods have a female counterpart which makes it easier for male and female human
beings to understand the religion. There are hundreds of Gods in the Hindu religion, each of
them representing a different aspect of Brahman. There are loads of other small religions who
believe in God in many forms.…read more


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