Key words 1
Agnosticism: Not being sure whether God exists.
Atheism: Believing that God does not exist.
Conversion: When your life is changed by giving yourself to God.
Free will: The idea that human beings are free to make their own choices.
Miracle: Something which seems to break a law of science and makes you think only God could have done it.
Moral evil: Actions done by humans which cause suffering.
Key words 2
Key words 2:
Natural evil: Things which cause suffering but have nothing to do with humans, e.g earthquakes.
Numinous: The feeling of the presence of something greater than you.
Omni-benevolent: The belief that God is all-good.
Omnipotent: The belief that God is all powerful.
Omniscient: The belief that God knows everything that has happened and everything that is going to happen.
Prayer: An attempt to contact God, usually through words.
Main features of a Catholic Upbringing
Catholic parents are likely to:
- Have their babies baptised and promise to bring them up to believe in God.
- Teach children to believe in God.
- Teach children to pray to God.
- Send children to Mass.
-Send children to a Catholic school
How a Catholic upbringing may lead to, or support
It is natural for children who have had a Catholic upbringing to believe in God because:
- Their parents have told them about God, and children believe their parents.
- Catholics pray to God, so they will believe God exists as parents will not waste time praying to nothing.
- Seeing lots of people worshipping at Mass makes them believes God exists.
- They will be taught God exists when they go to school and believe what their teachers say.
How religious experience may lead to belief in God
- Numinous: Someone in a religious building may be filled with the awareness of something greater than them and believe in God.
- Conversion: People experience God and convert to that faith, or re-commit themselves. This makes them believe in God as they feel God is calling them to do something for him.
- Miracle: An event that breaks the law of science and the person believes it is God, therefore believing in God and the faith.
- Prayer: If someone prays they may feel God is listening, so he must exist. They then believe in him.
The argument from design and belief in God.
- Anything that has been designed needs a designer.
- There is plenty of evidence that the world was designed; law of science and DNA etc.
- The only possible designer could be God.
- Therefore the appearance of design in the world proves God exists.
This argument supports belief in God and may lead those who are not sure to believe in God.
The argument from causation and belief in God.
- Cause and effect is a basic feature of the world. If I revise hard (cause) I will do well in the exam (effect).Science has developed through looking at cause and effects, and scientific investigations seem to show that any effects and a cause and vice versa.
- This means everything must have a cause.
- God is the cause of the universe.
- God must exist.
Scientific explanations of the world
- Matter is eternal
- 15 billion years ago, the Big Bang occured that created the universe.
- Gases of Earth formed primitave life.
- Evolution caused us to become the humans we are today.
How this may lead to atheism or agnosticism:
- Science can explain the universe and humans without God, so some people may become agnostic.
- Atheists believe God does not exist, the only evidence for the world is science.
How Catholics respond to scientific explanations o
- Only God could have made the Big Bang at the right time to create the universe.
- Only God could have created scientific laws, e,g gravity.
- Only God could have made gases on Earth react to form life.
- Both the Bible and Scientific explanations are correct.
- The main points of the Bible's story of creation fit in with science.
- One of God's days could have been billions of years.
Why unanswered prayers may lead to agnosticism or
- Unanswered prayers lead people to believe God doesn't exist.
- If , for example, someone is a good Catholic (goes to Mass on Sundays etc) and their child is sick, they will pray to God. If the child dies they believe God is not present and may lose faith.
- If someone prays for the end of suffering in the world (draughts, tsunamis etc) and it does not stop, they may be lead to atheism or agnosticism.
How Catholics respond to unanswered prayers
- If you pray for selfish things, God will not answer them.
- Your prayer may be answered differently then to what you wanted, God may have a plan for you.
- God is our father, he gives us what we need, not what we want.
- God loves people and so they believe God's love will answer their prayers.
Why evil and suffering may lead to atheism and agn
Evil and suffering can take two forms:
- Moral evil: Caused by humans using their free will.
- Natural evil: Not caused by humans, e.g volcanoes.
How this leads to rejecting or questioning belief in God:
- If God is omnipotent he could remove all evil.
- If God is omni-benevolent he must want to remove all evil.
- If God exists there would be no evil.
How Catholics respond to the problem of evil and s
- God must have a reason for allowing evil, we don't know what it is, so we should follow Jesus' example and fight against evil and suffering.
- Humans are misusing their free will so it is their fault, not God's.
- If we are good, kind and loving and fight evil then God will show his omni-benevolence and omnipotence by rewarding us with heaven.
- God has a reason for evil and suffering, we just don't know what it is.