Religious Studies- Believing in God

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  • Created by: Emily1
  • Created on: 10-05-14 11:32

Religious upbringing

Christian parents are likely to have their babies baptised when they promise to bring up their children to believe in god and be good Christians

Will teach their children to believe in god

Will teach their children to pray to god

Will take their children to worship god in church

May send their children to a church school

How a religious upbringing may lead or support belief in God

Children ho have had a Christian upbringing may feel it is natural to believe in god because:

Their parents will have told them about god and they will believe their parents

Cristians pray to god, so so they will believe in god because their parents would not teach them to pray to nothing

Seeing so many people worshipping god when they go to church will lead them to believe god exists.

They will be taught that god exists when they go to Sunday school, or church school and will believe it because their teachers say it is true.

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Religious Upbringing- For and Against


A religious upbringing helps to keep a family together as parents and children join together for religious activities

A religious upbringing gives children an understanding of what is right and what is wrong, giving them good morals

A religious upbringing gives children a sense of belonging and community, giving them emotional stability


A religious upbringing means children are brought up following a religion they have not chosen themselves

Some people think that a religious upbringing can take away a child's human rights to freedom of religion

A religious upbringing can reinforce and continue religious prejudices which are harmful to society.

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Religious Experience

Many religious believers will find the experience makes their belief of god stronger as they have had direct contact with him
Numinous is the feeling of the prencense of god. When people people are in a religious building, looking up at the stars or in a beautiful place, they may be filled with the awareness that there is something greater than them, which they may believe is god. Such feelings are likely to lead you to believe in god.
Conversion is used to describe an experience of god, which is so great that people experiencing it want to change their life or religion and commit themselves to god in a special way. Conversion experiences make people want to believe in god because they feel that god is calling them to do something for him.
A miracle is an event that breaks the a law of science and can only be explained by god. If you experience something that seems to break the laws of science, you will look for an explanation and if the only explanation you can think of is a miracle, you will start believing in god.
Religious believers think that they can make contact with god through prayer. If the person feels that god is listening to the prayer, then they are likely to believe that god exists. An answered prayer (e.g when someone prays for someone who is sick and then recovers) will lead to belief in god.

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The Design Argument- For and Against

There is plenty of evidence that the universe has been designed eg laws of science
If something has been designed, then it must have a designer
Only god could design something as wonderful as the universe
Therefore god must exist.
William paley- just as a watch needs a watch maker, the universe needs a designer.
No designer would have created things like volcanoes and earthquakes
Science can explain the appearence of design without needing god
The arguemtn does not explain how things like dinosaurs could have been part of a design plan for the world
Even if the argument worked, it would only prove that the universe has a designer, not god.
Darwin- theory of evolution and natural selection

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The Causation Argument- For and Against

The argument makes sense of ourselves and the universe because it explains how and why we are here
The argument fits in with our common sense. We cannot believe that something can come from nothing and the argument shows that everything came from god
The argument fits in with science which tells us that every effect has a cause and so the universe must have a cause (god)
We believe that things must have started off, they must have a beginning; and the argument explains that god started off the universe.
If everything needs a cause then god must need a cause; why should the process stop with god?
It is possible that matter itself is eternal and so was never created. That would mean that the process of causes could go back for ever.
Just because everything in the universe needs an explanation, does not mean that the universe needs one. The universe could have just been there for ever.
Even if there was a first cause it would not have to be the god of any particular religion. It could be good, evil, a mixture of good and evil, several gods, etc.

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How Christians Respond to Unanswered Prayers- For

Your prayers may not be answered in the way you expect because god has different plans. For example, he may want and I'll person to enter heaven.
Just like a human parent, god may answer our prayers by giving us what we need rather than what we have asked for.
Christians believe that god loves people and so they believe gods love will answer their prayers in the best possible way, even though it may not look like a direct answer.
Christians believe that god is their loving heavenly father who will answer their players, so if he does not answer them, he cannot exist.
Christians arel told about answered prayers. For example, people being cured of terminal cancer by prayer, but far more people have their prayers unanswered. A good god would not answer a few prayers for a cure and not answer lots of prayers for a cure. Therefore it is unlikely god exists.
If there was a god, he would answer the prayers of good religious people, and there would be no wars, starvation etc. the prayers of such people are clearly not answered, so god cannot exist.

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How Christianity Responds to the Problem of Evil a

Response 1)
Many Christians believe from the bible that god must have a reason for allowing evil and suffering, but humans cannot understand it, so the correct response of Christians is to follow the example of Jesus and fightbevilmand suffering. Jesus fought evil by healing the suffering, sick and challenging those who were evil. Christians do this by praying for those who suffer and helping those whose suffer. Many Christians therefore become doctors, nurses and social workers.
Response 2)
Many Christians claim that by giving humans free will, god created a world in which evil and suffering will come about through humans misusing their free will. So evil and suffering us a problem caused by humans, not god.
Response 3)
Many Christians believe that the evil and suffering in this life are not a problem because this life is the preparation for paradise. If people are to improve their souls they need to face evil and suffering innordernto become good, kind and loving. God will show his omnibenevolence and omnipotence by rewarding the good in heaven.

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