Religious Studies (Philosophy 2) - OCR - Christianity

Word Document containing all notes needed for OCR RS philosophy (second unit)

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Philosophy 2 Revision
Religion and Science
Big bang theory
o 14 billion years ago, idea put forward by Catholic priest Georges LeMaitre
o Collision causes the formation of gases which then cool to form the planets
and stars
o No mention of origins of the universe within the bible so it can be interpreted
the big bang never happened, Genesis is literal in that God spoke
things into existence and `ex nihilo' 6000 years ago (creationists)
God caused the Big Bang (progressives)
That it doesn't matter as long as God is there (liberals)
Or that God doesn't exist; the scientific explanation is the best.
o Evidence includes background radiation and red-shift (planets and stars
moving away from a point in the universe ­ point of big bang)
Origins of humanity
o Conservative creationists believe that the genesis story is literal and that God
formed `adam from the dust on the ground and eve from Adam's ribs'. There
is no room for interpretation because it says all of this in the bible, which is
the word of God. It was 6000 years ago ­ no dinosaurs, they are a test of
faith put there by the Devil.
o Progressive Creationists may accept that God is in control of evolution, but
he created the world and humanity - evolution is his way of creating humans.
The problem is that humans have a soul, so at what point during the
evolutionary cycle is the soul introduced? They may simply say that humans
were created separately and therefore not part of mainstream evolution. They
also allow for an interpretation of the genesis story in that the world may
have been created in 7 periods of time as opposed to 7 literal days.
o Liberal Christians would say that it does not matter how God created humans,
instead it matters that he exists and we can worship him. They are happy to
accept evolution because of the scientific evidence supporting it, however
they would say that God oversees this. Genesis is a creation myth, so doesn't
hold historical truth.
o Humanists/atheists would say that humans exist purely because of evolution
and natural selection ­ it began with simple single celled organisms which
gradually evolved into various species including humans. Within each species
there are mutations, and the best of these are passed on when the animal
with the mutation reproduces since they are most able to survive (survival of
the fittest). They would accept no religious theories since evolution is the
only theory with credible evidence. The problem with this would be the idea of

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­ as soon as one part/mutation is taken away
the organism would cease to function. This argument is used by intelligent
design proponents such as conservative creationists. An atheist would simply
say that science is yet to disprove irreducible complexity.
People and animals
o Dominion ­ humans have altogether control of animals and can use them
however they want to ­ this is backed up by the biblical quote `rule over every
living creature of the earth'.…read more

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Types of evil
o Natural evil ­ suffering caused by forces of nature, for example earthquakes.
Some natural evil can be indirectly caused by humans e.g. global warming
causes floods ­ humans burning fossil fuels
o Moral evil ­ suffering caused by humans using their conscience, e.g. murder,
theft etc.
Inconsistent Triad/Problem of Evil
o God is said to be omnipotent and omnibenevolent, however he cannot be
both of these whilst evil exist.…read more

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Christians will accept that it is part of God's plan and will therefore try to keep
faith in God and know that it will end up well with them entering heaven if
they continue to believe.
o Another way they cope is to realise that suffering is part of being human, e.g.
even Jesus went through suffering on the cross. Therefore they would try to
emulate jesus and continue to have faith in God's plan.…read more


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