RE - Section 1 - Believing in God

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  • Created by: kateq
  • Created on: 05-05-13 12:45

1.1 Religious Upbringing

Main features of a Christian upbringing:

  • have babies baptized
  • teach children to believe in God
  • teach children to pray
  • take children to worship God in church

How a religious pbringing may lead to/support belief in God:

  • parents tell children about God - will believe parents
  • parents would not waste time praying to nothing - so God exists
  • Seeing the number of people worshipping in church
  • taught of God's existance in Sunday/church school
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1.2 Religious Experience

  • religious experience strengthens belief in God - direct contact with Him
  • The numinous - a feeling of the presence of something greater than you (that something can only be God)
  • Conversion - an experience of God which is so great that people will want to commit themselves to God
  • Miracle - an event that breaks the laws of science and can only be explained by God
  • Prayer - an attempt to contact God, usually through words. If they feel God is listening/God answers their prayer, this will lead to belief in God
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1.3 The Argument from Design and Belief in God

Design argument:

  • anything that has been designed needs a designer (like a watch is designed by a watchmaker)
  • a lot of evidence that the world has been designed
  • only possible designer of the world is God as the world is very complicated, but God is omnipotent
  • Therefore God exists.
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1.4 The Argument from Causation and Belief in God

Causation argument:

  • cause and effect - everything must have a cause
  • the universe/world/humans must have a cause
  • that only cause can only be God - omnipotent
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1.5 Why scientiic explanations of the world may le

  • The big bang theory - explanation without God
  • if science can explain the universe and humans without God, it can lead to someone being agnostic as they don't need God as an explanation of our creation
  • Atheism - if God existed, he must have made the world and been the only explanation - now science can explain it, He doesn't exist.
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1.6 How one religion respons to the scientific exp


  • only God could have made the big bang at the exact time it happened
  • only God could have made the laws of science (e.g. gravity)
  • only God could have created life
  • evidence for big bang theory and evolution can be explained by bible account of creation - 7 days to create earth
  • creationism
  • some believe that both explanations are correct
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1.7 Why unanswered prayers may lead to agnosticism

  • no presence of God while praying - no God listening to them - leads to agnosticism or atheism
  • unanswered prayers - God could not exist
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1.8 How one religion responds to unanswered prayer


  • selfish prayers are answered, but not in the way the person is expecting (e.g. passing an exam without revision - God will answer by not helping so next time you do work)
  • God has different plans (ill person to go to heaven)
  • God loves people - He answers their prayers in the best possible way, even if it is different to what they are expecting.
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1.9 Why evil and suffering may lead to agnosticism

Main points:

  • moral evil - caused by humans
  • natural evil - suffering not caused by humans

How evil and suffering cause people to question or reject belief in God:

  • omnipotent - ability to remove evil and suffering
  • omni-benevolent - want to remove evil and suffering
  • if God exists - there should be no evil and suffering
  • as evil and suffering exists, GOd is either not all-good/powerful, or he doesn't exist.
  • omniscient - must have known that there would be evil and suffering, and done something about it
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1.10 How one religion responds to the problem of e

  • God must have a reason for allowing evil and suffering
  • follow example of Jesus and fight it
  • pray and help for those who suffer
  • become doctors/social workers to reduce the amount of suffering
  • evil and suffering caused by humans, not God
  • misuse of free will
  • evil and suffering not a problem - preparation for paradise
  • face evil and suffering to improve souls
  • God shows omni-benevolence by rewarding the good in heaven
  • God is divine - no way to understand why he allows evil and suffering
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1.11 Songs of Praise - how it could affect a perso

Songs of Praise:

  • a show about various churches around the UK and many hymns are performed

Things that were said that might make people believe in God:

  • Midlred Cooper expressing faith through art
  • David fishes to express his faith - makes him realize the wonder of creation
  • Robert's faith in God increases as he gets older

Things that were said that might make people disbelieve in God:

  • someone dropped her faith and her life went well
  • when loved ones die which makes people reject God

Who might "Songs of Praise" appeal to, and why?

  • people who have faith in God/older generations
  • death is inevitable; gives more reason to believe in God
  • people who need support - God appears to strengthen people

Do you think watching this could result in someone believing in God or strengthen an existing faith?

  • yes - seeing people filled with joy
  • encourage people to believe
  • especially all the songs and kind words about God - good impression
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1.11 Only Fools and Horses - how it could affect a

Only Fools and Horses

  • Religious theme: miracles
  • Del is afraid that God sees everything because he worries God is watching him commit sins

Was the treatment to religious people fair? Explain.

  • no, because when Rodney and Albert found out that del went to church, they joked about it

Do you think watching this programme would lead people to believe in God or strengthen an existing belief in God? Explain.

  • No, because miracle was a lie (statue crying)
  • this could make people think that miracles actually have a true reason behind them rather than God - not miraculous any more
  • shows that priest is corrupt - selling the "miracle" for money as donations
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