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Give four examples of how a religious upbringing may lead to belief in God?

Bible stories- children learn how God has always been involved in history ∴ learn about God at a impressionable age
Baptism- parents promise to bring up children as Christians ∴ children will follow their example
Prayer- children encouraged to talk to God ∴ believe that God is listening to them
Church school- children taught religious beliefs and lifestyle ∴ surrounded by other children and authority figures who also believe in God and encourage them to ∴ more likely to


What are the five main types of prayer?

Adoration: praising God
Thanksgiving: thanking God for what he's done
Intercession: asking God to meet needs of people
Petition: Asking for god's help for your own needs
Confession and penitence: asking for forgiveness for what you have done


How do religious experiences lead to belief in God?

•If a person had a conversion experience, e.g. St. Paul on road to Damascus, they would feel God calling you to do something ∴ change life. If he didn't exist people would have conversion experiences
• miracles, e.g. Feeding 5000, raising Lazarus provide direct ev for existence of god and his powers
• numinous experiences, e.g. Being in a church and feeling of something wholly other mean you feel presence of some external being
• mystical/NDE e.g. Visions or light at end of tunnel show that there's life after death which must be cause by god


What is one of the miracles in the Old Testament?

Moses partings he sea to allow the Jews to escape from Egypt and slavery.


What are some of the miracles in the New Testament?

Nature: Jesus walking on water, calming a storm, feeding the 5000
Healing: Jesus healing a blind man, a leper, a deaf man


What did Bultmann mean by 'demythologising the bible'?

If we remove the miraculous/supernatural we are still left with useful material.


Why can't miracles be real?

They only happen in some cases, so:
• It's all a coincidence
• God is not omnibenevolent and won't help all
• God is not omnipotent and can't help all


What is a numinous experience?

• Feeling of something wholly other
• inspires wonder and awe
• Something outside yourself


How can the design argument lead to belief in God?

• Paley: watch is so complex and purpose ∴ must have watchmaker. World even more so ∴ need universe-maker
•World is so complex e.g. Fibonacci sequence seen in leaves, snail shell, this designer must be God(omniscient+potent)
•appreciation of beauty not useful for survival e.g. Music, poetry, however we have it ∴ life not down to chance- omnib god wanted us to enjoy life
•World is perfect for humans,which is extremely low possibility ∴ loving God must have designed the universe for us


How can the causation argument lead to belief in God?

• Only God has enough knowledge to create universe
•The first cause must be eternal because universe started w uncaused motion, only God is eternal
• god is omnib ∴ he would want to create world and people to occupy his time with
•Only God is powerful enough to create universe
• The universe exists, proven by us, and must have a first cause, as it is illogical to an infinite regression with no cause ∴ must have a uncaused beginning that caused everything- God


How may questioning life lead to belief in God?

Questioning the meaning of life will lead people to think that the purpose of life involves life after death where good are rewarded, and bad are punished.
Only God would provided an afterlife and decided who should be rewarded/punished.


How can religion lead to belief in God?

• People have always had religious beliefs
• 86% of the world believe in religion
• Something must have caused all these beliefs, this must be God


What are some example of media?

Social media, newspapers, TV, books, radio, theatre, advertisements


Is religion portrayed fairly in the media?

+•BBC and other outlets provide objective, true info
• Can be informative, e.g. Snapchat had a live feed of Eid and Diwali
• Generally, media doesn't tell you to believe in a specific religion
-• Media can manipulate language to make media sound worse
• Some forms of media mock religion, e.g. Father Ted
• Unregulated people can say what they want about religion
• media can be unbalanced, and only use extremist example, e.g. Daesh rather than beauty of Isla,


Is it the media's responsibility to provide a fair outcome?

+• people are paying, e.g. BBC, so it should deliver quality i.e. Accuracy and balance
•Media is pervasive and influences everybody, so media has moral obligation to be fair
-•Media is just a business, and controversial content is more popular
•Individual's responsibility to interpret and find balance, not media


What are the scientific explanations for the origin of the universe?

Big Bang: universe created by huge explosion, set dust and matter everywhere, which formed everything. Still moving away from each other. Proved by red shift+leftover background radiation.
Evolution: organisms w better traits reproduce, whilst others die out ∴ better genes passed on and organisms improve


Why do scientific explanations lead people not to believe in God?

• How could an omnibenevolent God make some of his creatures worse so they die out, through natural selection?
• We don't need a supernatural explanation for creation, as we already have an action big enough
• religion is based on faith, which not everyone agrees on, whereas science is based on undeniable evidence tf more reliable
• matter can't be created. Since the universe is made of matter, it can't have creator ∴ we don't need an external God
• we only created God ∵ we didn't know how things worked. Science has shown that materials can come into existence wo god, e.g. Water ⇒ wine ∴ god isn't necessary


How do Christians respond to scientific origins of the universe?

Liberal: Believe in God+BB. Genesis story myth, but w good messages + important bc tells them God behind creation. God created BB and evolution, allows universe to develop independently.
Fundamentalist: reject scientific views. Believe in creationism(God made universe in 6 days, all organisms made distinct, humans have special place), as it's in Bible, which is word of God, so must be true.
• some believe in science as there is ample evidence, but others believe science can't tell uswhat happened after the BB accurately. Also, it's just theories- not proven


How do unanswered prayers lead people to not believe in God?

• might think nobody is listening, so why bother?
• loving God would answer prayers, if doesn't answer not omnibenevolent ∴ why bother?
• people pray for suffering to end but it doesn't, and if God is omnipotent he would have power to end suffering, so why have faith?
• people can't feel presence of God, feel unrecognised, maybe nobody is there?


How do Christians respond to unanswered prayers?

• god answers prayers in his own way and does what is best "ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find"
• God has plan, prayer may not be part of your plan
•Prayers can conflict, if God omnibenevolent he can't do either
•God wants us to have free will, so can't answer all prayers, or we'd be puppets. Also, God wants us to pray bc we love him, not be he has power
•God won't answer prayers that don't benefit us, as process of solving problem more important than solution.


How can evil and suffering lead a person not to believe in God?

• God is said to be omni-benevolent, and omnipotent. If God is omni-benevolent he would want to remove evil. If God is omnipotent he would be able to remove evil and suffering. if God was omniscient he would know hot to stop evil. Therefore, both God and evil cannot exist. Evil and suffering do exist. Therefore, God cannot exist.
• natural evil is caused by a world which God made
• people pray for suffering to end, but it doesn't ∴ they stop believing
• God doesn't protect believers from evil ∴ cant exist


How do Christians respond to the problem of evil and suffering?

• God gives us free will so our choices are meaningful ∴ bad things not God's fault
• all humans from Adam+Eve, we all did original sin ∴ we all need punishment. Hwvr God sent us Jesus to help us
• All natural process have good+bad effects, so would be bad for God to intervene ∴ natural evil just nature that God allows to take place
• Suffering is a test to see if we lose faith in God


How do miracles lead to belief in god?

• show power over nature, for example feeding of 5000, walking on water. This normally can't be altered ∴ some v powerful thing bust be altering it
• power over death, e.g. Ressurection of Lazarus ∴ must be LaD ∴ must be a god who created this
• power over evil, e.g. Exorcising demons ∴ shows that where there is evil/darkness there is also good/light acting to oppose it


Why don't religious experiences lead to belief in God?

• could have other causes, e.g NDE caused by lack of oxygen in brain ∴ not necessarily from god
• could be a persons imagination
• could be explanations humans don't know
• miracles don't prove as don't happen in every case ∴ coincidence, or g not omnib/p (against bible)


Do you think there are no solutions to the problem of suffering?

For: • it it had solution there'd be no suffering, yet it exists
• souls need evil and suffering to become good
• we have no control over natural evil
Against: • people can provide solutions by charity work
• if goes worked together suffering would be eliminated
• religions teach people they should try to end suffering