Philosopher's/ General Views on the Origin of the
Cosmology: The STUDY of the origins of the universe.
Aristotle: Believed that the universe has always existed and that it will also always continue to exist.
Augustine: Thought that the world was created by God, - and was about 6000 years old! (His teaching was based on his study of genesis in the bible)
Many believe that our world was the result of a big explosion (between 14 and 19 billion years ago) - Although some christians believe our world began far before this.
Christains believes about our world, just like Augustine are based from genesis: that God is our creator and that Adam and Eve were his first created Humans.
Scientific theories about the origins of the world
Scientific knowledge is based on that of the development of theories. - these theories are tested through observations and experiements to either prove or disprove them. A theory that is proven is what we use to provide us with scientific knowledge.
The most well known scientific theory about the origin of the world is the big bang.
Key points on the big bang theory:
- Suggests the universe started from a big explosion.
- This explosion all our galaxies were created as the universe was expanding.
- Evidence: Red shift/ doppler effect and cosmic background radiation.
Evolution ( The theories of Charles Darwin ).
- Charles argued that all life forms started from small simple cells and that over long periods of time they have evolved to what they are today.
- Natural Selection : That species gradually apapt to their environment , this is due to the concept that the 'fittist survive' as the best adapted species to their specific environment are more likely to survive this means their genes are passed onto the next generation.
- Concluded that humans have also evolved, as in the past we are not what we are today ( we infact share some ancestory with apes.) Humans are a well adapted species of animals rather than the religous beliefs that we are unique and set apart from other animals. Scientific support: FOSSILS.- from animals that are now extinct.
Phillip Gosse ( scientist) - argued that God placed fossils in the earth to test the faith of christians.
Christian Teachings about The Origins of the World
- Christians believe that the reason in why our world exists is because of its creation by God
- God created our world with perfect design so it would suit all the needs of human beings and all other forms of life.
- In the account of genesis we learn that when God seems to speak of things they infact come into existance eg ' God said,'' Let there be Light'' - and there was light!
Genesis also speaks of God creating our world in 6 days ( but christians interpret this in different ways), but it is said that humans - Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day.
And that they were made reflecting his personality, complexity and nature and that they are set apart from ALL other animals - ie they have authority over them.
The relationship between scientific theories and r
In the creation story God speaks and the universe forms from nothing, everything that is formed is good. Everything God created had a purpose therefore nothing happened by chance. It makes no mention of the big bang theory or evolution - therefore the creation story contradicts science.
Christians who take the bible as being literally true eg that the world was infact created in 6 days, would therefore most likely believe that the conclustions science portray must be mistaken. They may also believe that people shouldnt take the bibles stories as symbolic or as myths as through their faith they should accept it as TRUTH.
Although many christians believe that the observations of science do infact represent how the universe has originated. - and that the bible story of the worlds creation is symbolic. So the six days that are mentioned are just a representation of periods of time.- in line with scientific beliefs and the evolution.
For these xians the genesis account isnt viewed as a account in history more of a symbolic account that gives purpose and direction to our world.
The place of humanity in relation to animals.
- Christians believe that humans were created in the image of God where as animals were not. They believe whilst humans obtain the characteristics of God animals dont have any physical likeness of God.
- Animals unike humans dont have an soul so therefore do not have an eternal life.
- Christains believe that humans purpose on earth is to praise God and to enjoy his company, so this means that human life is special and unqiue - where as the bible never speak of God creating any other animals as having a potential relationship with God.
- Humans have rights and duties which are not shared with any other of God's creatures. Eg the Ten Commandments.
- Christians believe that God gave humans the right to rule over the world that he has created ( this includes the responsability and authority over all over animals.)
Attitudes towards animals and their treatment.
- Xians believe that because they are rulers over animals its acceptable to use them for human benefit. However this responsability over them means we need to ensure that they are cared for and are kept in good conditions. ( therefore they can not be mistreated or abused)
- Everything God created is Good. Because of this xians may disprove of animals being involved with the testing of cosmetic products aand for clothing which isnt essential eg, fur trade.
The Catholic Church: ' medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.' - However they believe that ant unncessary suffering should never be inflicted on animals.
The Church Of England: Similar to the teachings of the catholic church, they believe that although humans have to care for animals its necessary that we may need to use them for such experiments eg, for a new drug. - when used in medical research suffering should be kept to a mininum.
Christian ideas about stewardship and their respon
- Xians believe that although everything on earth belongs to God, he has given them the role as the earth stewards. - looking after the earth itself and what lives on it.
- Not accepting and not portraying the role as stewards is seen as abusing Gods trust eg overusing natural resources. So being a good steward means protecting the environment and animals from exploitation. So by caring for our world we are preserving it for future generations.
- Examples of being good stewards: recyling, choosing fairtrade foods, using eco friendly energy sources.
A Rocha: Meaning rock , is an example of a christian conservation group, aiming to show Gods love for creation by practical projects and environmental education.
Green church awards - to celebrate what churches and individuals have done to help make the planet a place of safety and justice.
'' The lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being'' Meaning that God formed Man from nothing and that He is our creator.
'' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.'' Meaning that not only did God created humans but he created them in the image of himself - so that they would show his nature, seperating them from all other animals.
'' Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as i gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.'' Meaning that as God made us rulers over all other animals, that everything is our food source - representing the concept of using them for not as such human benefit but the basis of our diet to keep us alive.
'' The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.'' Meaning that as everything in our world belongs to God we should look after it - Be good stewards.