Believing In God - Key Terms
- Agnosticism- Not being sure if god exists
- Atheism- believing God doesn't exist
- Causation- the idea that everything has a cause and is started off by something else
- Design- When things are connected and everything seems to have a purpose (like the eye is for seeing...)
- Free Will- The idea that humans are free to make their own choices
- Miracle- Something which breaks the laws of science and makes you think only God could have done it.
- Moral Evil- Actions done by humans which cause suffering
- Natural Evil- Things that cause suffering but aren't caused by humans
- Numinous- The feeling of a greater prescence
- Prayer- an attempt to contact God
- Omniscient- God knows the past, present and future
- Omnipotent- God is all powerful
- Omnibenevolent- God is all good
Main Features of Christian Upbringing:
- Parents taking kids to church on Sundays and at religious festivals.
- Parents teaching prayers and moral stories from the bible
People believe in God afterwards because:
- Second nature to them
- You will be told God exixts
- People you respect will also believe in God (parents, vicars...)
- You will have no reason not to believe in God
Reasons from a christian upbringing:
- Parents teach kids to pray, praying will make kids believe God exists
- Parents take kids to church where they hear about God existing
- Parents send kids to S.School where they hear about God existing
- Send kids to christian school
- Encourage kids to be confirmed when ready.
Numinous - If a person is in an amazing place they may feel overwhelmed and realise that there is something greater than them, which may be God. This can aid to belief in God
Conversion - Any other experience may have led them to believe in God so much that they are commited. It can give the feeling of being ''Born Again''
Miracle - A miracle is anything that breaks the laws of science. People believe in miracles because: 1. they believe in God and God must be able to do miracles 2. they believe in the biblical miracles 3. they may have seen miracles happen 4. they believe those who have had miracles happen to them
Prayer - Religious people may believe that they can contact God with prayer. Some people may actually feel God answering them- sometimes through Numinous Occasions or Miracles (E.g they pray for a family member to recover and they do eventually recover)
The Design Argument helps a belief...
- Everything must have been designed, take Paley's Watch, if you stumble across a watch, it must have a designer for it to work correctly. The world is even more complex than a watch so it must have had a designer. God.
- there is lots of evidence to design ( DNA, nature...)
- therefore appearance of design in the world proves the existance of God
The Design Argument prevents a belief...
- Ignores bad things like disease- which must have had a designer
- all the evidence can be explained by science
- No reference to the dinosaurs
Causation leads to belief in God because...
- Everything in the world has a cause (Ice -> Temperature Rise -> Water)
- You can't go back on with causes because all events have a FIRST CAUSE
- The only possible first cause of the universe can be God
- Therefore, Causation proves God exists
Causation prevents belief in God because...
- Why should the causes stop at God? God would need a cause too.
- The Universe itself is eternal and so the causes are infinite and will go on forever (E.g. Who is cause of God? What is that causes cause? What is that causes cause? etc...)
- God's cause may not even be itself, It could be anything.
Scientific Explanation of the Creation of The Univ
Science explains how the world came to be...
- matter is eternal and can't be created or destroyed, only changed.
- 15bil. years ago, matter in the universe was under so much pressure that there was an explosion- the Big Bang
- 5bil. years ago the solar system was formed
- The combinations of gases created some life forms like amoeba. This would eventually mutate
- Over millions of years, creatures evolved and new life forms were produced
- About 2.5mil. years ago humans evolved
Christians respond with
- The BB had to happen at exactly the right moment
- Scientific laws such as gravity do not appear- God must have created laws
- Carbon is needed to form these life forms
- Some christians believe both the bible and science are right as the scientific explaination fits with the Bible Story
Unanswered Prayers & Responses from Christians
Some people do not experience God when praying - This makes them think either they are praying wrong OR there is no God
In Chuches there are a lot of people who's prayers have been answered. But if one's prayer isn't answered then people wonder why God answers some prayers but not others.
Unanswered Prayers may lead to Agnosticism or even Atheism. God is supposed to care for those who worship him
Most christians believe that God will answer all prayers and unanswered prayers can be explained in other ways:
- The prayer was selfish - It is wrong to ask for things for yourself
- If what you pray for is personal, God may have different plans
- God may not give you what you want, like parents don't give their children what they want all the time
- God will do what's best for everyone - the answer may not be direct and more subliminal
Why Evil and Suffering Prevents Belief in God & Ch
The Problem of Evil is.....
- If God is good, he cannot want evil or suffering in his world
- If God is powerful, he could easily get rid of evil and suffering
- There is evil and suffering in the world so God doesn't know everything
- God hasn't removed/stopped evil or suffering in the world so he must not exist.
How Christians Respond....
Q)Can God be loving? Does he care about human suffering?
A) Maybe God there is a purpose for suffering and some form of good can come out of it and humans haven't realised it yet.
Q)Can God be all-knowing? Does he even know there is human suffereing?
A)God sees the whole picture and knows what is the best for everyone