Features of a Roman Catholic Upbringing
Parents - Influences such as prayer and Bible stories from a young age (values and morals etc)
School - Education, respect and understanding of the religion as well as pastoral support
Sacraments - Baptism, holy communion and confirmation (sense of a faith journey)
Church - Being used the environment, little church and taking part
Belief and Non-Belief in God
- Why do Christians believe in God?
-answers prayers and performs miracles
- Why do Atheists not believe in God?
-Science, not religion explains how the world was created
-There is no physical proof of his existance
-Many theists' versions of events (e.g miracles) can be explained by science or coinsidences
-Evil and suffering in the world go against the idea that God is not omnipotent, omniscient or omnibenevolent
Numinous- the presence of something greater than you. An experience which completely amazes you and words are not enough to describe the experience (e.g a sunset/ the northern lights)
Prayer- an attempt to contact God usually through words- some people believe that God answers their prayers.
Miracle- breaks the laws of nature. Only God could've done it e.g the feeding of the 5000 or the healing of the crippled man.
Conversion- an experience that causes you to change your life and beliefs by giving it to God. An atheist may suddenly become a believer and follower of a religion. E.g St Paul on the road to Damascous or John Pridmore, the gangster turned Christian.
- Design is a result of intelligent thought
- The universe shows evidence of design (e.g gravity/ozone layer)
- This suggests that that a being with intelligence designed the universe
- It is too complex to have happened by chance or be designed by any other being than God
- Therefore God exists
if you were to find a watch in a field you would notice that the details of it conclude that the watch could not have happened by chance. It must have a designer. He applied this argument to the universe, therefore God must be the designer
Evidence of Design-
Human eye / DNA / Ecosystem / Sex life of a bumblebee
Design Argument- Yes/No?
There is evidence of Design...
- There is evidence to show that the world is designed (e.g DNA, Gravity etc)
- All of this shows a purpose and regularity so there must have been intelligent thought behind it and this must be God.
- William Paley and the watch analogy- the complexity and application of the Universe
- The world is complex and simply cannot have just happened by chance- there must be a designer and this must be God
There is not evidence of Design...
- The Universe is expanding all the time- it doesn't have a fixed design, it's chaotic
- We cannot 'prove' God's existence- the argument only SUGGESTS he is a designer
- Things in nature don't require a designer (e.g a spider's web shows years of evolution- it only appears to be designed)
- Many advancements in the field of Science- Big Bang theory and many other discoveries involving the Universe.
- Everything in this life has a cause and effect.
- It's the same with the universe- it must have a cause.
- Scientists would argue that the Big Bang caused the universe
- The Big Bang must have a cause and that cause must be God - 'unmovable mover'
- 13th Century- Thomas Aquinas argued that everything that happened is caused by something else. He argued that there must have been a first cause of the universe. He believed that this had to be God and called him the 'unmovable mover' - he started the universe.
- Against Causation
- The argument cannot be proven
- Even if the world and everything in it seems to have a cause, it doesn't mean the universe has a cause
- It only suggests that God is the cause
- There are other possible causes - The Big Bang Theory
- If everything has a cause then what caused God?
Scientific Origins of the World
Evidence for the Big Bang
- The universe is still expanding today
- Remnant of heat from the Big Bang can still be detected (cosmic microwave background radiation)
Natural Selection- the way in which species naturally select the best characteristics for survival
Is there a God?
Science leads people to doubt God's existence
- Alternate explanations of how the universe came to existence- no reference to God
- Science offers evidence that can be seen and tested.
- God cannot be proven...
Christian Responses to Scientific Theories
Some Christians believe that scientific theories are compatible with God
- Bible's description of the creation of the world is more of a story (six days of creation were 'stages')
- Science = how / Bible = why
Other Christians believe that scientific explanations are wrong because they go against the Bible
- These Christians are called Creationists
The issue with unanswered prayers
1) Prayers are communication with God. If not answered, they may think that God isn't listening
2) Pain Suffering and pray to God (9/11) Omnipotent?
3)Praying for an ill relative and they die. Omnibenevolent?
4)Natural disasters, terrorist attakcs (should've known that person was there.) Omniscient?
Christian Responses to Unanswered Prayer
1. Some prayers are selfish
(E.g an already rich person praying to win the lottery.)
2.Motivated by hate
(E.g hurting a person you dislike.)
3. Test of our faith so we must go on trying
4.God may have made it that way so what it's for the best- long term.
- It's for the best
- Test of our faith
Christian Responses to Evil and Suffering
- God created a perfect world
- Adam and Eve used FREE WILL to disobey God. It allowed evil and suffering to infiltrate our world
- God sent Jesus to overcome the evil in the world and die on the cross for our sins
- Could be due to the fact that God gave us FREE WILL
- TEST FROM GOD- see how we react in times of difficulty
- GOD'S PLAN- we should trust in God and accept he knows why it happened
- JESUS' EXAMPLE- people should strive to do good
- PRAYER- God will provide them strength in times of difficulty
- HELPING OTHERS- becoming a doctor or nurse to help others/ solve the problems
- VOLUNTEERING- support those who are suffering
- STRENGTHENING THEIR FAITH- knowing that God has a plan for them
Media Influence on Belief in God
- Songs of Praise -shows worship in a Church
- Vicar of Dibley-sitcom that deals wth religious issies
- Documentary-Where is God? Questionning the existance of God
- Bruce Almighty- taking of the role of job (understanding)
- shows how we benefit religion
- question God's existence
- Believers are carzy (stereotyping/something wrong with being religious)