Believing in God

Unit 2 - Religion and Life - Section 1 - Believing in God

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Reasons for believing in God

Religious Upbringing

Children might believe in God because they will always have been told that God Exists and mixed with people who believe in God.

Christian parents are likely to teach their children to pray.

Christian parents are likely to send their children to Sunday schools.

Christian Parents are likely to take their children to church (especially to family services and/or special services at Christmas and Easter)

Religious Upbringing- Christian parents are likely to have their children baptised and encourage them to be confirmed as full members of the church.

Christian parents may send their children to a church school where they will be taught the national curriculum in a christian environment.

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Religious Experience

The numinous this is the feeling of the presence of God, a sense of awe and wonder that something greater than human is present which they belive to be God.

Conversion to change your life and commit yourself to God in a special way. To chanage from one relgion to another.

Miracles, an event that seems to break the laws of nature, so the only explantion of what has happened is that God has caused it to happen.

Answered Prayers, if the person praying feels that God is listening to the prayer, then they have religious experience through prayer. Better still if their prayer is answered.

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Arguments from Design and Causation and Belief in

The Argument from Design and Belief in God

The universe seems to be designed.  Anything that is designed must have a designer.  Therefore, God must exist because only God could have designed the Universe. 

The Argument from Causation and Belief in God

The way everything seems to have a cause makes people think the universe must have a cause, and the only possible cause of the universe is God, so God must exist. 

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Evidence of design in the world

Laws of Science - Some people think th euniverse has been designed is because the universe works according to laws. The laws of gravity electricity, magneticism, motion, bonding, gases etc. all involve complex things working together.

DNA - The structure of DNA and its formation of templates seem to indicate a design or blue print for the structure of organism. DNA seems to be another piece of evidence of design in the world.

Evolution - Some scientists also see evidence of design in the process of evolution where complex lifeforms develop from simple ones.

Beauty of nature - artists see evidence of design in the beauties of nature where sunsets, mountains, and oceans appear to have beauty which an artist would have to spend a long time designing.

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Scientific Explanations

Scientific Explanations of the World and Agnosticism and Atheism

Science says that matter is eternal and that the universe began when this matter exploded.  The solar system came out of this explosion, and the nature of the earth allowed life to develop through evolution.

How one responds to Scientific Explanations of the World

Many Christians accept the scientific explanations but believe they show that God created the Universe through the Big Bang.  Some Christians say the scientific explanations are wrong and the Biblical story of creation is fact because it is the word of God.  Some Christians believe that both science and the Bible are true because one of God’s days could be billions of years. 

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Unanswered Prayers

How Unanswered Prayers may lead to Agnosticism and Atheism

If people do not feel God’s presence when they pray, or if people pray for good things, but their prayers are not answered, this might make some people doubt God’s existence.  If God does not answer prayers, how do you know he exists?

How one responds to Unanswered Prayers

Christians believe that God cannot answer selfish prayers.  However, he answers all other prayers, though not always in the way people expect, because his answers have to fit in with his overall plans. 

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Evil and Suffering

Evil and Suffering

Some people do not believe in God because they think that there would be no evil and suffering in a world created by a good and powerful God.  A good God should not want such things to happen, and a powerful God ought to be able to get rid of them but does not. 

Christians respond to the problem of evil and suffering by:

  •  Praying for those who suffer
  •  Helping those who suffer
  •  Claiming that evil and suffering are the fault of humans misusing their free will
  • Claiming that evil and suffering are part of a test to prepare people for heaven. 


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