Believing in God

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  • Created by: Diellza
  • Created on: 28-04-13 18:15


The main features of a Catholic Upbringing

Children of Catholic parents will often be:

1. Baptised when they are babies or young children

2. Taught prayers and about saints and the Church

3. Taken to Church

4. Encouraged to make their First Confession and Holy Communion and later be Confirmed

5. Sent to a Catholic school

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A Catholic religious unbringing helps make beliefs in God seem natural because...

1. Young Children believe what their parents tell them

2. Going to Church and seeing people praying to God is likely to make them think that God must exist

3. Going to Children's Liturgy would support belief in God

4. Going to a Catholic School would have a similar effect

5. Being Confirmed would be likely to support their belief

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Reasons for believing in God:

1. Religious Upbringing

2. Religious Experience

3. The arguments from design

4. The argument from causation

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You need to know four types of religious experiences:

1. Numinous

2. Conversion

3. Miracle

4. Prayer

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How religious experiences may lead to, or support, belief in God?

1. A numinous experience may lead them to believe that God is real

2. A conversion experience may convince them God has a job for them - like St Paul

3. If an atheist witnesses a miracle, this may lead them to believe in God

4. A person may feel a sense of joy or peace during prayer, or feel close to God

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Evidence of design in the World

1. Laws - Some people think the universe has been designed is because it works according to laws e.g. gravity

2. DNA - This seems to be another piece of evidence of design in the world

3. Evolution - Some scientists also see evidence of design in the progress of evolution where complex forms developed from simple ones

4. Beauty of Nature - Artists see evidence for design in the beauties of nature

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The argument from design

1. Anything that has been designed needs a designer

2. There is plenty of evidence that the world has been designed (laws of science, DNA, Evolution, beauty of nature)

3. If the world has been designed it must have a designer

4. The only possible designer of something as beautiful and complex as the world would be God. Therefore the appearence of design in the world proves that God exists

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The Argument from Design

1. The only possible designer of something as beautiful and complex as the world would be God.

2. Therefore the appearence of design in the world proves that God exists

3. Paley's watch - An examination of the watch to would reveal its intricacy of 'design', evidence of the existence of a watchmaker. Paley then argued that the design in the watch is the same that exists in the works of nature. The designer of the world could only be God.

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What is Causation?

1. Causation is the process by which one thing causes another

2. Modern science has developed through looking at causes and effects

3. Effects may have more than one cause

4. However Science has shoen that any effect has a cause and any cause has an effect 

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How the appearence of causation in the world may lead to or support, belief in God?

1. Everything we see has a cause. Anything that is caused to exist: must be caused to exist by something else.

2. You cannot cause your own existence. You cannot keep going back for ever eith causes. Any causal chain must have a beginning.

3. So, if the universe has no first cause, there would be no universe

4. The first cause can only be God

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The argument from causation is...

Step 1. Everything must have a cause

Step 2. So the universe must have a cause

Step 3. The only cause of something like the universe is God

Step 4. Therefore, God must exist

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The Scientific Explanation of the Universe

1. Scientists explain the story of creation using the 'Big Bang' theory

2. About 1.5 billion years ago, the universe became so compressed that it produced a huge explosion (the 'Big Bang')

3. Over millions of years new life forms were produced leading to vegetation, then inverterbrate animals, then vertebrates and finally, humans envolved.

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How the scientifc explanation for the world may lead to agnosticism or atheism?

1. Science can explain where the world came from without any reference to God

2. This may lead some people to be agnostic or even atheist

3. The scientific explanation of the world and humans without any reference to God is evidence to such people that God does not exist

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There are two main Catholic responses to scientific explanations of the world

Response 1...

1. Many Catholics believe that the scientific explanation proves that God created the universe

2. The big bang had to be at exactly the right micro second. Otherwise everything would have flown away too fast for stars to form

3. There had to be Scientific Laws such as gravity for the matter of the universe to form solar systems

4. This could not have happened by chance God must have made this happen

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There are two main Catholic responses to scientific explanations of the world

Response 2...

1. Some Catholics believe that both the scientific explanations and the Bible are correct

2. They claim that the main points of the Bible story fit with science. One of God's days could be millions or billions of years

3. They claim that 'God said: Let there be light', is a direct refrence to the Big Bang

4. They also say that the order in which God creates life in Genesis - plants, trees, fish, birds, animals and humans - is the same order as described in the theory of evolution

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Unanswered Prayers

1. People who follow the same religion as others, but never feel the presence of God may feel fustrated

2. People who pray to God for something and don't recieve it, might feel their prayers have not been answered

3. Catholics believe that God will not answer selfish prayers

4. But, he answers all other prayers, though not always in the way people expect.

5. God may be answering our prayer by giving us what we need rather than what we ask for

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Types of Evil

1. Moral Evil - Evil caused by humans misusing their free will (our ability to make choices) is known as moral evil

2. Natural Evil - Things that cause suffering, but have nothing directly to do with humans are known as natural evil

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How the evidence of evil and suffering may lead people to reject God?

1. Some people cannot believe that a good God would have designed a world with natural evil in it

2. They believe God is perfectly good and better than humans, so he would not have made a world with such evils

3. If there had been God, they would not have created a world with natural evils

4. They therefore question or reject God's existence. They cannot believe in a God who allows evil and suffering when when he could stop it if he wanted

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Why evil and suffering may lead to atheism or agnosticism?

Step 1. God is omnipotent

Step 2. God is omniscient

Step 3. God is benevolent

Step 4. So there should be no evil

Step 5. There is evil

Step 6. So God is not omipotent, or not omniscient, or not omni-benevolent or does not exist'

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How Catholics respond to the problem of Evil?

Catholics respond in 4 ways...

1. God has a reason for allowing suffering that we cannot understand. We must help the suffering as Jesus did.

2. God gave us free will. Much suffering is the fault of our choices

3. This life is a preparation for paradise. We nwwd to deal with suffering in order to become good and loving.

4. God is beyond our understanding. We cannot know his reasons.

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