PRE philosophy revision

  • Created by: Emead98
  • Created on: 03-06-14 09:40
What is PRL?
Personal experience, Reliable experience, Logic
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Who came up with the cosmological argument?
Thomas Aquinas
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What does the cosmological argument state?
Everything that exists was caused to exist. The universe exists so it must have a cause. There had to be something eternal that was not caused by anything. That first cause was God, therefore He exists.
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Name one problem with the cosmological argument:
The argument depends on the universe having a beginning- if we believe the universe is infinite the argument fails
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Name another problem with the cosmological argument:
Even if there was a beginning we cannot prove that it was God that caused it.
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Name another problem with the cosmological argument:
The Big Bang- it can be used against the existence of God, if you believe the universe was the result of a random event.
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Name a fourth problem to do with the cosmological argument:
It can be used to support the first cause if you believe that the Big Bang was the way that God created the universe.
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Name the last problem against the cosmological argument:
The argument says that everything has a cause, but then says that God doesn't have a cause. It contradicts itself. Theists would say that these rules do not apply to God as he is outside of the universe.
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What did Thomas Aquinas say about the Teleological argument (Design argument)
Said that things can only be kept in order by an intelligent being. He said that planets, sun, moon and stars rotate in a set pattern and God keeps them in their place.
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What did William Paley say about the design argument?
Said if we found a watch in a field, we would know it had a designer due to how complicated it was. He says the universe is more complicated than a watch and therefore it must have a designer. He used examples of bird wings and fish gills.
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What did Isaac Newton say about the design argument?
Said that the fact we have opposable thumbs is evidence of design. We also have individual thumb prints and Newton saw this as further evidence that each human was planned/designed by God.
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What is the Anthropic Principle?
The fact that our universe is perfect for creation and sustaining human life according to some scientists is proof that the universe was created by God. If the universe had been 1 degree hotter or cooler the universe would not have developed.
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What is one problem with the Design argument?
Even if we accept the universe is designed, it doesn't prove the designer was god. It may have been the work of many Gods.
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What is another problem with the design argument?
Many atheists use the theory of evolution to explain the design of the universe. Some believers may argue back saying that some of the human skills have developed that are unnecessary for our survival, so evolution doesn't explain all of our developm
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What is the last problem with the design argument?
Some people argue that God did not design the world, because no God would design a world with problems in it. Believers would argue that there is an explanation for the problems, we just do not understand them yet.
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What is a miracle?
A seemingly impossible occurrence, usually good.
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What is one type of Miracle?
Events that break the laws of nature and cannot be explained by sciences.
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What is the other type of miracles?
Events in which no laws of nature are broken but a coincidence occurs just at the right time.
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How to believers use the existence of miracles to prove that God exists?
By arguing that there must be a supernatural explanation for what happened. The miracle must have been caused by something outside of God's intervention in the world. Therefore, God exists.
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What is the basic problem with miracles?
Proving the miracles happen. If they don't happen they don't need an explanation. Atheists reject the idea of coincidences as miracles.
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What is one reason Atheists reject the idea of coincidences being miracles?
Science might simply not be able to explain it yet
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What is the second reason Atheists reject the idea of miracles?
Believers want things to be miracles so they make miraculous claims
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What is the other reason Atheists reject the idea of miracles?
Some miracles are fakes or made up by individuals wanting fame or money.
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Why would some theists NOT believe in miracles?
Because they argue that if a miracle occurs, then God picks and chooses who he helps and this doesn't fit with the idea that God is fair and loving.
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Why do other theists think that miracles are the work of God?
They believe that miracles do not just help individuals, the fact that miracles happen prove the existence of a loving God to everybody.
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Why would people be more inclined to believe in miracles?
Some believers think there are too many miracle claims to ignore. Another argument is that miracles are always investigated by religious believers before they are accepted.
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What is meant by a religious experience?
Communicating with God through prayer, Feeling His presence in worship, involvement in a miracle, experiencing a conversion, Feeling God's presence in nature.
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What is prayer and meditation?
Believers say that through prayer they speak to God. Many say that they have felt God's presence during prayer. Some use meditation to feel closer to God.
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Explain God's presence in worship:
Could occur during charismatic worship (when believers say the Holy spirit takes over them). It could occur during a sacrament, like Holy Communion.
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Explain God's presence in nature:
Some believers are convinced that they have felt God's presence when out walking in the countryside because of the feelings of awe and wonder that they beauty of nature can cause.
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Explain experiencing a conversion:
Some theists believe God has contacted them directly and as a result they have converted to that Religion.
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What is a religious example of a conversion?
St Paul, who was on his way to kill christians when he had a vision of Jesus, he converted to Christianity after this experience. (Saul-Paul)
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Why are religious experiences convincing as an argument for the existence of God?
The effects of these experiences are to great to say they didn't happen. For the people that have them, they are direct proof of God's existence. Sometimes several people experience something at the same time - they can't all be imagining it.
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Why are religious experiences NOT convincing as an argument for the existence of God?
Difficult to prove they really happened. Only really evidence for the person having the experience. People may have been mistaken- they might have imagined what happened to them. People might have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
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What is morality?
Morality is our sense of right and wrong.
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What is meant by the term conscience?
Conscience is the inner feeling you are doing right or wrong
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Why does morality NOT prove that God exists?
It's difficult to prove that morality even exists. Atheists say morality is just a part of human evolution, it helps us to survive. Atheists also say that conscience is just the result of following or breaking the rules of society.
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Why does morality prove that God exists?
Morality may be part of our evolution, it was part of God's design for humans. When we have a guilty conscience then it's God telling them that what we have done is wrong.
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How would theists argue that Morality is proof of God's existence?
People have an inbuilt sense of morality. This sense comes from a source outside of them. This source is God. Therefore God exists.
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Why is faith an argument against God's existence?
All the arguments to prove God's existence relies on faith. Many of the arguments will help strengthen the faith of believers. Atheists do not have faith in God and therefore will find different explanations.
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Why is Evil and suffering an argument against God's existence?
Atheists point to the existence of evil and suffering as evidence that God does not exist. They question why a powerful and loving God would allow such horrible things to happen.
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Why is science an argument against the existence of God?
Atheists argue that God has always been an answer put forward for the things that science cannot explain. Atheists believe that eventually science will find the answer to all the unexplained questions about our universe.
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What is death?
When a person's physical body stops functioning and their life ends .
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How might we survive death?
Continue in our genes. Continue in our lives work. Live on in the memory of others. The soul lives on. Resurrection of the body. Reincarnation or rebirth.
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What is a legacy?
Some people believe that we live on through the legacy that we leave behind
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What is meant by the term living on in the memory of others?
Some people survive in the memory of friends and family. However when the last person who knows them dies, memories of that person also dies.
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What is resurrection?
Rising from the dead or returning to life
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When do some believe that resurrection happens?
Some believe it is at death, others believe it will be a future event-judgement day.
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What does christianity say about resurrection?
Teaches resurrection of the body. Most think it's a spiritual body, some think it will be a new physical body. Most believe that christians will be raised, judged and then go to heaven or hell for eternity
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What do catholic christians believe about resurrection?
They believe that some souls go to purgatory first where they will be cleansed of their sins.
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What do Muslims say about resurrection?
Body placed in grave, soul is questioned by two angels. Those that answer correctly will go to paradise. Muslims believe in judgement by God, some believe the soul waits with the body, either in comfort or pain depending how they answered the questio
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What is reincarnation?
Being born again in another form
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What is Karma?
The laws of cause and effect in Hinduism
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What is an Atman?
Hindu's believe that the soul (Atman) is eternal. The soul's aim is to be reunited with God and reach Moksha (freedom from reincarnation)
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How does Karma work?
People who live the right way achieve good karma. The better karma you have the higher the reincarnation you will have.
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What is Moksha?
Personal qualities do not pass from one reincarnation to the next, but the eternal essence of the soul passes on. Hopefully a soul will eventually have such good karma that they go to Moksha.
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What do Buddhists believe about Immortality?
Buddhists do not believe that we a soul. Instead there is an ever-changing individual character which moves fromm rebirth to rebirth.
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What do Buddhists believe happens at the end of a cycle?
There is no God in Buddhism so at the end of the cycle they do not join God. They believe that Nibbana is reached.
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What is Nibbana?
Nibbana is freedom from suffering and individual existence.
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Problems with beliefs about Immortality-Resurrection: How can the body be resurrected when it decays?
One suggestion is that they are given a new immortal body.
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Problems with belief about immortality-Resurrection: Some people believe in the resurrection of the soul, there is no evidence of a soul-
One idea is that the souls cannot be found because it is made of a different substance that cannot be detected in this world.
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Problems with beliefs about immortality- Resurrection: If we are recognised by our physical form, how can we still be the same person with no physical body?
Some would argue that our memories provide our identity not our bodies.
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Problems with reincarnation/rebirth:If we are reincarnated or reborn into a new life after death, then we have not survived death, it is a new person:
Hindus would argue that its the immortal soul that continues to the next life, not the same person. Buddhists would say that there in continuity between the two lives, so the first one never ended.
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Problems with reincarnation/rebirth: Some people say that peoples memories of past lives is evidence of reincarnation or rebirth:
Some argue that this is not proof at all. People may just be remembering information they have gained and interpreting it as a past life.
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What is evidence of immortality?
Scripture, revelation, channeling, near death experience, ghosts,
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What do most religions believe about scripture?
Most religions believe that God revealed himself through holy writing. If it says in the scripture that there is life after death then for the believer there is life after death.
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What is the problem with believing what the scripture says?
If people do not belong to a religion there are unlikely to accept that scripture is true. Scriptural accounts disagree with each other and cannot all be right. Scriptures were written when we had little knowledge of medical science-conflict now.
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In the Christian Creed what does it sat about resurrection?
"Resurrection of the body and the life ever lasting"
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What does the bible state about resurrection?
"I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believe in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever live and believes in me will never die"
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What does St Paul teach christians?
That they will be given a new spiritual body after death
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What is channeling?
Involves communication between the living and the dead. Messages can be passed on to the living through this communication.
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What is the definition of ghosts?
Some say that Ghosts are dead people. Lots of people claim to have seen ghosts. Sightings at the same place, by different people at different times. Some say the fact that they can move through walls is evidence of resurrection of a spiritual body.
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What are the problems with channeling?
Investigations into some mediums have shown them to be frauds. Some appear to be genuine, but they could just be reading body language.
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What are the problems with Ghosts?
Ghosts could just be hallucinations. They could be a hoax. Could be a trick of the light, poor eyesight, etc.
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What is a near death experience?
People who have been clinically dead and then resuscitated. Many describe having a very similar experience- these are near death experiences. These descriptions are so similar that some see them as evidence of life after death.
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What are the common features of a near death experience?
Feeling of moving down a tunnel. Feeling of being out of body-floating. Moving towards a light. Sense of happiness. Not wanting to return.
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What are the problems with a near death experience/
Near death experience are exactly that-near death. The person is not dead, so it's not evidence of life after death. The experience is the result of a lack of oxygen- this causes hallucinations.
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Evidence against mortality: Scripture and accounts of revelation differ-
Because of all the different scriptural accounts about what happens after we die, we cannot accept them as proof.
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Evidence against immortality: Bodies decay in the grave or are burned:
We have proof that the physical body decays, we do not have proof that the dead person receives a new body
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Evidence against immortality: Existence of ghosts, channeling or near death experience cannot be proved:
Although some people do not believe they happen, there is not enough evidence to accept them as proof or immortality.
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Evidence against immortality: Wishful thinking:
All the evidence that religious believers offer of immortality could just be wishful thinking. Also many people are scared by the idea of death and like to think there is life after death.
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What did John Hick say about immortality?
A philosopher who stated the only proof of immortality we can have comes when we die.
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What would atheists say about immortality?
Arguments against immortality support the atheist view that there is no God and survival after death. Some atheists would say life has no purpose, others would say the importance of life is the quality if people's life whilst they are here.
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How is evolution an argument against immortality?
A scientist named Dawkins rejects all ideas of an immortal soul. He believes that every human being is the result of evolution and we are here to pass on our DNA. When we die that is it.
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How is cryonics an argument against immortality?
This is when a person is frozen as soon as they die, with the hope of being resuscitated at a later date. This raises the question of what happens to the soul, does it leave at the moment of death or later.
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How is exploration of space an argument against immortality?
We have been exploring space since the 1960's. If there is an afterlife surely some evidence would have been seen of souls of the dead becoming one with the universe.
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What is materialism?
The idea that our mind cannot be separated from our body. They do not believe in the soul.
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Why do materialists reject the idea of immortality?
Life depends on a functioning brain and physical body. Death involves the destruction of the brain and physical body. Therefore life ends at death.
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What is dualism?
The idea that humans are made up of a physical side and a spiritual side.
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Why do Dualist accept immortality?
Physical part of us may die and decay, but our spiritual side, soul can survive.
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What is Dualism's definition of death?
Dualism goes along with the definition of death as the moment when the physical body decays and the immortal soul continues. It agrees with most religious ideas about life after death.
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Why do some religions disagree with dualism?
Disagree with dualism as it separates the body and soul. Many christians and Muslims believe in the resurrection of the body and the soul. Muslims believe that the soul is not a separate part of us, but the spark which gives the body physical life.
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What do Hindus think about the body and the soul?
Hindus agree that the body and soul come together in life but this does not continue after death- the soul begins a new life in body.
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What do Christians think about Dualism?
Christians believe that God created the whole person and its the whole person that is raised. The problem of the decaying body can be addressed by the fact that many believe we receive a new body. Recreating not a problem for God
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What are the qualities of a miracle?
Something impossible, something that the laws of nature, something that is acts of God, a remarkable coincidence
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What is the miracle of Angel at Mons?
During the first world War British soldiers were in retreat. In August 1914 soldiers reported seeing 3 angels appear in the sky- they claim they protected the soldiers during battle.
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What is an example of miracles from a personal experience?
Many people claim to haven been healed whilst praying at Lourdes.
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What is an example of miracles from scripture and tradition?
Two famous examples from christianity are the parting of the red sea by Moses, and Jesus raising a man called Lazarus from the dead
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Can humans perform miracles?
Most religions say that if humans perform miracles it is only because God gives them power to. Some disagree and think that humans can perform miracles without God's intervention.
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What do Christians think about Jesus performing miracles?
Most christians believe that Jesus who was a human could perform miracles, but only because he was God in human form. Some christians believe that God only worked through the person of Jesus and that Jesus himself did not perform miracles.
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What is the evidence of miracles happening?
Many people see miracles happening. People experience miracles for themselves. Miracles are connected to founders of religion- these were recorded at the time.
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What is the evidence FOR miracles?
Too many miracle accounts for them not to have happened. Miracles still occur today. Some miracles have been investigated and no scientific explanation found. Miracles led to conversion. People believe prayer has medical healing power
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What do we learn about God through Miracles?
His love and care for creation. His immanence (involvement in world). His knowledge and power.
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What does immanence reveal about God?
Miracles show that God is active in the world. Some miracles, like the parting of the Red Sea, show that God has control over our world. Jesus' miracles are proof that God is active in our world.
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What qualities of God are shown when a miracle is performed?
Some theists say the fact that God created the universe is an act of love. Christians believe that God demonstrates his love through the miraculous events linked to Jesus. Healings may also point to the existence of a loving God
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What do miracles show about God's power?
Miracles that break the law of nature show that God can interfere with the natural workings of the world. Miracles show that God's power is not limited. Coincidence miracles could show that God is all knowing- he planned the coincidence.
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How do we know its God that performs the miracles?
Christians would argue that miracles can never be the result of evil as a miracle should always have a good outcome.
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Why could Miracles give the miracle worker too much importance?
People who believe in God would argue that it is easy to tell if someone is after fame and wealth. They say one chosen by God to perform miracles would not seek fame or wealth.
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Why could miracles make God seem unfair?
Some argue that miracles may make God seem unfair as he picks and chooses who he helps. Believers argue hat any miracle God performs is for the benefit of every believer- the message is more important than the miracle.
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What would religious believers say about God being transcendent?
If a believer thinks that God is transcendent (outside of space and time) then how can he act in the world? Believers would say that God is both immanent and transcendent.
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What did David Hume say about miracles?
Said that they were a transgression of the laws of nature (it means they broke the laws of nature) He doubted that they happened. There were four reasons why:
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What is the explanation of Hume's statement claiming that there is 'never enough evidence'?
Laws of nature have been observed over years- to accept that they have been broken the evidence would need to outweigh the evidence that established the natural law in the first place.
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What was believers' response to Hume stating that there was never enough evidence for miracles?
Believers say that if miracles did this they would not be miracles anymore. The whole point of miracles is that they break the natural laws, not change them.
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What is the explanation of Hume's statement claiming that witnesses are unreliable?
The people who claim to have witnessed a miracle cannot be trusted. The people want miracles to happen, so they believe it has happened when it hasn't. They may also lie or exaggerate.
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What is believers response to Hume stating that witnesses were unreliable?
Religions argue that each miracle claim needs to be investigated carefully.
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What is the explanation of Hume's statement claiming that witnesses are uneducated?
Miracles are normally reported by uneducated, primitive people. The accept extraordinary events as miracles, because they do not know any better.
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What is religious peoples response to Hume stating that witnesses are uneducated?
Miracles occur all over the world, so to say they happen to only primitive nations is wrong.
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What is the explanation to Hume stating that religion depends on Miracles?
All religions depend on miracles to be true to prove their claims. But they cannot all be right. The claims from different religions cancel each other out.
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What is religious believers' response to Hume stating the Religion depends on miracles/
Many religions do not rely on miracles to prove their faith- miracles support their beliefs.
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What is natural suffering?
Caused by natural events e.f. Earthquakes and Tornadoes
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Why does natural suffering happen?
Just a result of the way the earth developed. Not much can be done about it. Some people say that God is to blame for natural suffering as he created the world. Believers would disagree and say that although God created the Earth he's not responsible
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What is man made suffering?
Caused as a result of people acting in a way that hurt themselves or others
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Why does man made suffering happen?
People have free will to choose how they behave. Sometimes they will choose to behave in a way that hurts others. Some people blame God, saying he shouldn't have given humans free will. Believers say that God gave free will so that we aren't robots
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What questions does suffering raise for believers?
If God is good why does he allow suffering? Why didn't God create a world with no suffering? Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? What purpose does it have? If God is all powerful and can do anything, why doesn't he prevent suffering?
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What are the two ways suffering can be taken?
Sometimes suffering can seem just as a punishment. Sometimes suffering can seem unjust.
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What do religious people think about suffering?
Might see it as a test of faith. They say that suffering is just part of God's big plan, which we cannot understand. Some religious people believe that suffering is a punishment for sin.
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Does suffering have a purpose?
Suffering is necessary to keep us alive and well- pain tells us something is wrong. Suffering helps us appreciate what we have got. Suffering can make us a stronger person. Sometime we suffer to achieve a goal.
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How do Christians explain suffering?
Adam and Eve brought suffering into this world when they chose to disobey God. Came into this world as a result of human freedom. Some believe it was the devil that tempted Adam + Eve. Jesus repaired the relationship between God and humans on the cro
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How do Christians respond to suffering?
Jesus taught "Love thy neighbour" As a result Christians believe that they should be active in trying to help people who are suffering. Charities like christian aid show this in the work that they do abroad.
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What is evil?
Evil is the opposite of good. Evil normally means an action that is done with full knowledge that it is wrong. Some people say there is no such thing as evil or evil people. Others argue that there are just evil actions.
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Where does evil come from?
Psychological phenomenon. Personal being. God. Impersonal force.
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What is a psychological phenomenon?
It comes from the human mind
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Why would evil come from God?
He created the world with evil in it
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What is an impersonal force?
Draws people into doing wrong. Like a magnet.
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What is the personal being?
The devil. The devil tricks people into doing the wrong thing
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What is the religious response to the question "If God is all good, why did he create a world with evil in it?"
The fact that God gives humans choice shows that he loves them. God allows humans to make mistakes and hopes that we will learn from them.
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What is the religious response to the question "If God is all powerful why doesn't he stop people doing evil things?"
If God interfered every time someone was about to commit an evil act then he would be controlling people and we would not be free.
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What is the religious response to the question "If God is all knowing he must have known that people would choose to do evil-why give us free will"
Others say that everything that happens is not God's will- this would mean we are not really free. God doesn't want evil, but sometimes people will go against his will.
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How do christians respond explain evil?
The world was made perfect. Evil came into the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God- they had freedom to choose between right and wrong. When people rebel against God, evil is the result. Again Christians believe Jesus repaired this broken relations
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How do Christians respond to Evil?
Jesus taught christians to: 'Love thy neighbour" . "Love your enemies." "Turn the other cheek" "Forgive people"
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Who came up with the cosmological argument?


Thomas Aquinas

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What does the cosmological argument state?


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Card 4


Name one problem with the cosmological argument:


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Name another problem with the cosmological argument:


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