Believing in God

The main topics in C1 that will most likely be questioned on.

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C1: Catholic Upbringing

When children are baptised, parents vow to bring their child up as a Catholic as part of the sacrament. Parents also vow to provide them with a home of love and faithfulness.

For parents to bring their child up as Catholics, they are likely to:

- teach their children prayers

- take their children to church (Sunday school/children's liturgy)

- send their children to Catholic schools where the National Curriculum and RE are taught in a Christian environment

- encourage their children to carry out follow-on sacraments e.g. first holy communion, confirmation

A Catholic religious upbringing and seeing so many people praying and believing in God helps the child to realise that God must exist. All the teachings of the overall faith help to broaden the child's understanding and belief in Christianity.

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C1: Religious Experience

Four types of religious experience:

- Numinous

- Conversion

- Miracles

- Prayer

Religious experience can lead to or support in the belief of God because:

- if an atheist or agnostic witnesses a miracle, their first instinct would be to look for a natural or scientific explanation, if they cannot find one it will lead them to believe in God

- if they have a numinous experience, it may lead them to believe in God since the experience will lead them to believe that God is real

These religious experiences may lead to conversion.

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C1: Design

The design theory by William Paley simply states that since everything around us is so complex and made for a purpose e.g. an eye, a watch, someone must have designed everything to fulfill whatever purpose it holds. The designer is believed to be God.

- anything that has been designed needs a designer

- there is plenty of evdience that the world has been designed (laws of science, DNA, beauty of nature)

- the only possible designer or something as beautiful and complex as the world would be God

- therefore the appearance of design in the world proves that God exists.

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C1: Causation

The causation arguement is the theory in which one thing causes another, often known as cause and effect. An example that sums up the causation arguement is a row of dominoes can be left in a room untouched and it will not fall causing the rest pf the dominoes to fall. If a mouse runs across the room and knocks the dominoes, it is therefore the cause of the fallind dominoes. Everything has a cause and an effect.

It is believed that:

- God is the only logical cause of the universe

- whatever we do has an effect

- any effect and any cause has an effect

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C1: Evil and Suffering

Moral Evil

This is evil caused by humans misusing their free will (or breaking the law). everyone has a choice in whether they do good or bad, moral evil sums up the actions carried out by people who choose to do bad. Rape, murder and burglary are examples of moral evil.

Natural Evil

This is sufferening that has not been directly caused by humans e.g. volcano eruptions, hurricanes, earthquakes. Natural evil results in a massive amount of human suffering.

Some people believe that a good God should not cause any forms of suffering and therefore are left questionative, however, others believe it is a test from God or the earth is evolving therefore leading to accidents. Some people cannot believe how God could allow so much evil in this world when he could easily stop it since he is omnipotent, benevolant and omniscient. This issue is very often linked with atheismn and agnosticismn as people question if God really is omnipotent, benevolant or omniscient.

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