christianity philosophy of religion

Revelation

Revelation- when the truth is revealed, in christianity this is when god reveals his presence to humanity.

 Examples-

In the story of Noah, God reveals himself by creating a covenant with God, promising to never destroy the world with a flood again

Also God made a covenant with Abraham to give him a son, if he and all his descendents worshipped God.

Importance- revelation helps christians understand the characteristics of god.

'In the past god spoke to our ancestors throught he prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last dayshe was spoken to us by his son'

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Visions

Visions- something a christian see’s that may connect to god. This can include the appearance of angels, saints or messengers.

Examples- Joseph received a dream about god where an angel came and told him that Mary was pregnant.

Saul, a persecutor of christians was struck blind by a flashing light and the voice of jesus. It convinced him of the existence of god.

Why this might lead to a belief in god-

-people may believe that god is contacting them

-People may think it connects them to god

-It helps christians to understand god better

Non-religious arguments about god-

-the visions are not real

-they could be dreams or hallucinations

-they cannot be scientifically proven

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Miracles

Miracles- events that the laws of science and nature cannot explain

Importance to christians-

-they prove the existence of god                         'unless you people see signs of wonders,' jeus                                                                           told him,'you will never believe' 

-they prove god’s power

-show that god cares for his creation

-provide comfort to people that god is close

Examples- Sometimes, people suddenly recover from severe illnesses without any explanation, some christians would call this a miracle. In jesus' lifetime he performed many miracles, these include walking on water, rising from the dead and turnng water into blood.

Why this may lead to a belief in god- there is no scientific way of proving it so it must be god

-shows his omnipotence and omnibenevolence.

 

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Religious experiences

Religious experiences- where someone experiences god in some way, this can include revelations, visions and miracles.

Non-religious arguments-

-lack of evidence

- those who experience it may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol

-hallucinations

-some people may be so desperate that they interpret normal events as religious

'there the angel of the lord appeared to him in flamesof fire from within the bush'

 

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prayer

Prayers

Why prayer leads to a belief in god-

-people recieve answers

-it shows that god cares about his creation

- people may develop a personal relationship with god

'therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,believe that you have recieved it, and it will be yours' this quote suggests that if you believe in god then he will reply to your prayers.

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The design argument

The design argument tries to prove the existance of god by arguing that the universe was designed. This leads some people to believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing eternal creator who designed the universe.

The design argument can be used to confirm-

- thay god is omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolant and unknowable. 

Non religious arguments for the design argument-

-Design may be the result of evolution

-there is no scientific proof for god designing the universe

-if god created the world, surely he would have created a perfect one without floods or natural disasters,

'For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

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The cosmological argument

The cosmological argument tries to prove the existance of god by showing that everything happens for a reason. It is based on the idea of cause and effect.

Sr Thomas Aquinas' first 3 ways-

Motion- Everything that moves must be put in to motion by something else. There must be a 'first-mover' and god is the eternal being who could have done this.

Cause- Every effect has a cause. There must be a first cause as the chain of causes cannot be infinite. This means it must be god.

Contingency- Everyhing that is contingent relies on something else to exist. All things are brought in to the wprld by a 'necessary being', this necessary being cannot rely on anything else for existence so must be god.

Non religious arguments- 

- the big bang

-who caused god?

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Religious upbringing

Many people believe in god because they have been raised within the faith.

How do christian families encourage their children to believe in god?

- Baptism- this welcomes a child in to the faith 

-school- some parents may send their child to a school which educates the child on their faith.

-worship- children attend sunday school to learn about jesus and god.

-Community- by being included in religious clubs, meetings or other events they ar eoffered a sense of belonging. 

' start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old thye will not turn from it;

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