Religious Studies GCSE (1)

Hindu and christian beleifs.

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Believing in God: Key words

Conversion: When your life is changed by giving yourself to god

Miracle: Something/an event that happens which defies the laws of science and makes you think god must of done it

Numinous: The feeling of the presence of something greater than you

Agnosticism: Being unsure whether god exists

Atheism: Not beleiving in god

Free Will: The idea that humans are free to do make choices of their own

Natural/Moral Evil: Suffering caused by nature such as earthquakes / By humans

Omni-Benelovent: The idea that god is all loving

Omnipotent: The idea that god is all powerful

Omniscient: The idea that god is all knowing

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Believing In God: Religious Upbringing

Religious upbringing may lead to belief in god because:

  • Parents might teach their children to pray which would make the think God exists
  • Parents might take their children to church where they would hear the teachings of God
  • Parents might send their children to Sunday school where they would be encouraged to believe in god
  • Parents might encourage their children to be confirmed and they might feel gods presence in the vows and prayers
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Believing In God: Religious experiences

Numinous -The feeling of something greater than you which can happen when you enter a church or look up at the stars. However, this might not prove that god exists because they might mistake the numinous feelings as awe of the great architecture etc..

Conversion- When someone eperiences god and changs religion beacuse of it. this is of ten called being 'born again'. St paul was converted because he heard god and stopped peresecuting christians.

Miracle- People who  experience miracles may believe that god is acting in the world. However, coincidences could be mistaken as miracles. Also, if god exists, why doesn't he grant them to people who need them. Miracles seem like god has favourites which cant be true if god is omni-benevolent.

Prayer- Some People believe that god will answer prayers but some believe its just a way to be in Gods presence. If somebody feels like somebody is listening to their prayers and their prayers are answered, this might to lead to belief in god. However, some people might miss the signs of answered prayers which leads to not believing in God.

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Believing In God: The Design Argument

'The watch'- William Paley said: If you looked at a watch, you would think something so well designed must have a creator. So therefore something so well designed such as the earth must have a creator

Evidence of Design in the world

DNA                     Natural Beauty                    photosynthesis                 Human eye

Proves god exists: There are somethings in the world that are well designed (natural evils). Evolution and the 'red shift theory' explains the way the universe was created without God. It could be lots of gods who created the universe. What designed God?

Doesn't Prove God Exists: Anything that is designed needs a designer. The human eye is too well designed just to happen by chance.The only possible designer of the universe is God, so therefore he exists.

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Believing In God: Causation Argument

Causation is where one thing causes another much like dominoes.St thomas Aquinas was famous for arguing that the world we lived in could not come from nowhere and must have a cause. He felt the only thing powerful enough 'to knock down the dominoes' was god.

The Causation Argument Might to lead to belief in god: Everything in the universe has a cause, eg fire needs fuel to burn. Nothing just appears from nowhere so the universe must have a cause. St Thomas Aquinas argued that you cannot go back and back forever. The only thing powerful enough to cause the universe is God is because he is omnipotent.

The causation argument might not lead to belief in god: If everything has a cause, something needed to cause God. Maybe the universe goes back for infinity and has no cause.

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Believing In God: Explanations of the (atheist ve

Big Bang Theory- The big bang theory is meant to have happened 15 million years ago. It was matter that was all compressed and then blew up in a HUGE explosion. As the matter flew away from the universe, the solar system was formed. The gases on the earth's surface caused life. These life forms began to change and mutate and suited to their environment. They continued to evolve to the stage of evolution we are at now.

Evidence- Red shift effect proves the big bang theory because as the planets move away from earth so does the light which changes colour. Fossils show the volution of animals over many years

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Believing In God: Christian Comebacks to Science

1) Scientific explanations may be true but they do not prove that God doesn't exist. The big bang happened at the right time with the perfect conditions. God must of caused big bang .

2) Science is wrong and the bible is right. God created the world in 7 days. The evidence of evoltuion and big bang can be explained by the story of 'Noah and the flood' which would of changed rock formations.

3) Both science and the bible are right. This is because some parts of the bible match up to stages of creation. If god created the world in 7 days, each day could of been millions of years. When God said 'Let there be light', he could of been referring to the bible.

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Believing In God: Unanswered Prayers

How prayers might lead to atheism or agnosticism: 

  • Not feeling gods presence when praying
  • Unanswered prayers
  • If god was omni-benevolent, he would answer all prayers

Christian Responses to Unanswered Prayers:

  • Some people might ask for selfish things which would be unfair to others
  • God may have another plan which is why he didn't answer the prayers
  • God only gives us what we need, not what we want
  • People may miss the signs god has sent
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Believing In God: Evil and Suffering

Evil and Suffering may lead to atheism:

  • A benevolent God would not create a world with natural evil in it.
  • If god is omniscient, he must know about evil in the world but chooses to do nothing about it
  • If God is omnipotent, he would be able to stop suffering and evil. but suffering does exist so therefore god probably doesn't
  • There are good people suffering but bad people who doesn't suffer at all.

Christian Responses:

  • Maybe God has another plan for those who suffer
  • God gave humans free will so if he rid the world of evil, he would brake their free will.
  • People who suffer will be rewarded in heaven
  • God wants humans to learn from their own mistakes
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Believing In God: The Media's Influence

Bruce almighty encourages people to beleive in God

  • It shows that god does answer prayers
  • When Bruce is struggling in life, god sends him signs to try and help him
  • It makes god out as a character people can relate too
  • It shows god knowing everything about everybody and him performing miracles

Bruce almighty discourages people to believe in God

  • Shows God performing pointless miracles
  • God cannot stop the bad things that happen from Bruce's actions
  • Makes god seem to human which some people find unrealistic
  • God doesn't help Bruce at the start when he needs it
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Matters Of Life and Death: Key Words

Immortality of the soul- The idea that the soul lives on after the body has died

Paranormal - Unexplained things which are thought to have spiritual causes

Resurrection - The idea that, after death, the body stays alive until it is raised

Reincarnation - the belief that the soul is reborn into another body after death

Near-Death Experiences - When somebody is about to die and has an out of body experience

Abortion - The removal of a foetus from the womb before it can survive

Sanctity of Life - The idea that all life is sacred and belongs to god

Assisted Suicide - Giving someone the means to kill them self 

Euthanasia - The painless killing of someone who is suffering from a painful disease

Voluntary Euthanasia - Ending someones life when someone in pain has asked

Non-Voluntary Euthanasia - Ending someone's life painlessly when they are unable to ask

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Matters of Life and Death: Christians Beliefs Abou

Why Christians Believe In Life After Death

  • If Jesus rose from the dead, there must be life after death
  • Jesus taught he would come again for the final judgement when he would decide who would go to heaven or hell
  • All Christian churches teach that there is life after death
  • Christians believe that they are made from a body and a soul. when the body dies, the soul goes to heaven or hell
  • It gives their life meaning and something to work towards
  • There is evidence of paranormal activity
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Matters of Life and Death: How Life After Death Af

Christians Guideline to Life

Christians will try to live a good life and follow the teachings of the bible so they will got heaven rather than hell after the die.


One Way of living a good life is going to church and learning Jesus's teachings


Jesus taught, in the parable of the goat and the sheep, that only those who fed the hungry and clothed the poor would get into heaven


Christians go to confession because those who have unforgiven sins go to hell

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Matters of Life and Death: Hindus Belief About Lif

Why Hindus Believe In Life After Death

  • Hindus believe that Brahman revealed information about life after death in the Vedas
  • The Hindu book 'Upanishads' also writes about life after death 
  • The 'bhagavad gita' teaches about life after death, this book is meant to contain the ultimate truth.
  • Life after death gives Hindus purpose such as to achieving Moksha.
  • There is evidence of reincarnation from people who can remember their past lives.
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Matters of Life and Death: How Life After Death Af

Hindu's Guide To Life

Hindus try to be good to gain good karma to break samsara and and achieve Moksha. so that the Atman in them can return to Brahman.


Hindus Also follow their Dharma to achieve the Ashramas so they can also get to Moksha.


Some Hindus  beleive the only way to gain Moksha is to spend alot of time in worship and to devote themselves to krishna


Other believe Moksha can only be gained through meditation so that they are at one with Brahman

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Matters of Life and Death: Non Religious Reasons f

Near Death Experiences - When people have near death experiences, people say they experience a feeling of joy;peace;floating above the body or entering another world

Evidence of A spirit world -  Some people claim to have come in contact with ghosts. Mediums claim the gift of communication with the material world and the spirit world.

Evidence of Reincarnations - Taranjit Singhhad claimed that he had been by a scooter in the past life. He was tested and tests revealed that his handwriting was the same as the dead boy he claimed to be

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Matters of Life After Death: Why People Don't Beli

Non belief about life after death

If there is no god, there is nothing non material. there is no evidence of a spirit or a soul

too many holy books so people are confused about what to believe

There seems to be evidence for all religions about life after death

How would people recognise souls without bodies

Some people are brought up not believing in life after death

There is no place that life after death can be - there is no heaven above the sky and no non material world on earth

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Matters of Life and Death: The Nature of abortion

Abortion Act 1967

2  Doctors must agree so that abortion can be carried out if:

  • Mothers life is at risk
  • Risk of injury to mothers mental/physical health
  • Another child is put at risk
  • if the baby born would be severely disabled

Abortion can only take place before 24 weeks unless the mothers life is iat risk or tests reveal that the baby is in serious physical danger

Against Abortion: many people argue life begins at conception; some people believe the foetus has a right to life;some people argue the foetus can feel pain;some medical staff dont want to agree to abortions

For Abortion: A woman has the right to decide what happens to her baby; that there should be no conditions and it should be the mothers choice; a baby should not be considered alive until its capable of living outside the womb

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Matters of Life and Death - Christian Attitudes to

Catholic Views:

  • Life is holy and belongs to God, so therefore he can only end life
  • Life begins at conception. The ten commandments teach murder is wrong
  • Every person has a natural 'right to life'
  • Abortion can lead to trauma and guilt for women
  • If the baby is a product of ****, the baby could be a good thing to come out of a bad thing- adoption should be considered

Protestant Views

  • Abortion could be the most loving thing
  • Life doesn't begin at conception
  • The sanctity of life can be broken at times such as war so it can be broken for abortion
  • medical tests now reveal abnormalities
  • If abortion was illegal, people would find alternative dangerous methods
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Matters of Life and Death: Hindu Attitudes to Abor

Traditional Hindus

  • Some gurus say abortion is wrong
  • The believe in the sanctity of life and taking life brings bad karma

Modern Hindus:

  • Ahimsa (non violence) should only be used as a last resort which abortion might be
  • The sanctity of life does not apply if its endangers another life
  • In the 'Gita' it says that the atman can not be harmed and therefore abortion is not murder
  • Life does not begin until birth
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Matters of Life and Death: The Nature of Euthanasi

UK law says that positive euthanasi can lead to the charge of murder. However, passive euthanasia (depriving a person of food, water and medical treatment) is not.

Argument against euthanasia: People might abuse it, know off nanny by for her money. Modern medicines might find a cure for the illness, The role of doctor is to save lives not end them, Somebody might change their mind when its too late,what safeguards would there to be to decide whether euthanasia is wanted or need

Argument for Euthanasia: People can have such a poor quality of life and modern medicine is just prolonging it. The NHS cannot afford to keep someone on a life support machine and it should be freed for someone who has a chance. Judges have said doctors can deny treatment which is the same thing, many people think its a basic human right to decide when they did

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Matters of Life and Death: Christian Attitudes to

Catholics Believe:

  • It says 'thou shall not kill' in the ten commandments
  • The sanctity of life, its up to God when people die
  • If an overdose of painkillers kills someone by accident does not count as murder as the intention was to relieve pain
  • The catholicchurch teaches that to deprive someone of medical treatment is okay

Other Christians:

  • The bible bans suicide
  • Switching of life support or denying treatment is playing god.
  • They believe in the sanctity of life
  • The ten commandments say 'thou shall not kill'

Few Christians ( some protestants): Lesser of two evils

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Matters of Life and Death: Hinduism Attitudes to E

Traditional Hindus:

  • Ahimsa means any violence to humans is wrong
  • Killing a person would be killing a part of Brahman
  • Laws of manu denies euthanasia
  • It is wrong to play God

Modern Hindus:

  • If someone is brain dead, God has already taken their soul
  • Keeping someone alive is denying Atman to reach Moksha
  • Denying death when someone is in pain could be cruel
  • The teachings of the 'Gita' say the soul cannot be harmed
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Matters of Life and Death: The Media and Matters o

The media shouldnt criticise what religions think:

  • Criticising a religious attitude can be counted as blasphemy
  • God is beyond human criticism
  • The media can cause serious offence to beleivers
  • Can stir up religious hatred

The media should criticise what religions think:

  • The media should have freedom of expression in a democratic country
  • In a multi faith society there must be freedom of religious belief
  • Human expression is essential for society to progress
  • Religions often criticise government policies so they shouldnt dish out what they cant take
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