The Existence of God: The Nature of Reality Flashcards
What are four of the main arguments for the existence of God?
The design argument
The anthropic principle
The cosmological argument
The moral argument
Why are arguments about the existence of God valuable?
They enable people to consider whether belief in God is reasonable. Christianity requires faith, but the arguments also demonstrate logical ways for God to exist. This allows for discussion about his existence.
What is the teleological argument?
The natural world is so complex and intricate that it could only have been achieved through intelligent design. This means there must be an intelligent being who designed it: God. It is also known as the design argument, and is supported by other arguments like Paley’s watch.
How can experiences of awe and wonder support the teleological argument?
The observation of the natural world can create fascination and awe, which can be a revelation. It is intricate and complicated, so it can move some to a belief in a designer God.
What is Paley’s watch?
If you were walking and found a watch, you would see how intricate it is. All the parts work together to meet a purpose. This could not be the result of an accident, and the reasonable conclusion is that it is the work of a designer. The same is true of the world and nature, so the world must have a designer: God.
How did Mill refute the teleological argument?
John Stuart Mill said that there is cruelty in nature, such as animals efficient at killing others. There are also natural disasters as a result of faults in the Earths structure. He said this was evidence of bad design, so if God existed, he would be cruel and deserves no worship.
What is the anthropic principle?
The world is so perfectly structured to ensure that life would develop. Evolution is further evidence for a designer, producing increasingly complex life forms, eventually with a conscience. Evolution was guided by God. The chance of humans existing by chance is so low that there must have been a creator.
What is the cosmological argument?
There is no event in the natural world without a cause; everything is created by something else, like an arrow shot from a bow. The universe must therefore also have a cause. There must be a ‘prime mover’ or first cause, who himself has no cause. We call this person God.
What is the moral argument?
When we do something wrong, we have a sense of guilt. This is the voice of God speaking through our conscience, enabling people to know what is right and wrong. Because of free will people can ignore their conscience, but God’s voice reminds us we are responsible to him. Without God there would be no inner sense of right and wrong.
What is the soul-making argument?
Humans make decisions about what is right, learning from suffering and evil to act in a way to please God. This process would continue after death. Through moral decisions a person’s soul can develop. Some Christians reject this as it does not fit with the belief that God judges people after death.
Why do Christians choose to live an ethical life?
They want to show obedience to God and please him, in order to demonstrate the authority and worth they give to God. Jesus helped people on Earth so Christians follow him.
How do some Christians choose to live ethically?
Buying products with recycled materials Buying Fair Trade produces Using renewable energy sources Promoting reforestation Giving to charity
How is God revealed through scripture?
The Bible is written by many people, but to many Christians it is the Word of God. There are different interpretations on how much influence God had on the Bible.
What is a literal interpretation of the Bible?
The Bible is literally God’s words recorded on the page. There are no mistakes and it is all true, as God is infallible. When it contradicts with science, the Bible takes authority. Christians like this are fundamentals or literals. Some Christians try to live strictly according to the Bible, such as the Amish community.
What are conservative interpretations of the Bible?
The Bible writers were inspired by God but were only human, so there may be mistakes. They were writing from a point in history, so it needs to be interpreted to today. Some stories may be myths in order to teach a message. The authority of the scripture still comes from God, not through the Church. Decisions conflicting with biblical teachings should be rejected.
What are liberal interpretations of the Bible?
Bible stories are mythical and symbolic. Scientists have a better understanding of the world than anything in the Bible. The Bible is an account of the writers’ lives and encounters with God to provide guidance and inspiration. There is no claim of it being without errors. Each person’s interpretation is important.
How is God revealed through Jesus?
Jesus is God incarnate. He was on Earth and showed us what God is like. It showed his love for humanity, as he took on limitations to teach people, provide an example and show God’s love. He was perfect and fully God still. Humans could understand Jesus, so God has been literally seen and recorded in the New Testament.