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Believing in God This unit is based on Christianity only.

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2 Believing in God This unit is based on Christianity only

3 What you need to know: Key words agnosticism, atheism, conversion, free will, miracle, moral evil, natural evil, numinous, omni-benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient, prayer The main features of a religious upbringing in Christianity and how it may lead to belief in God. How religious experiences, as seen in the numinous, conversion, miracles and prayer, may lead to belief in God. The argument from design and causation and how it may, or may not, lead to belief in God. Why scientific explanations of the origins of the world may lead some people not to believe in God and how Christians responds to scientific explanations of the origins of the world. Why unanswered prayers may lead some people not to believe in God and how Christians respond to the problem of unanswered prayers. Why evil and suffering may lead some people not to believe in God and how one religion responds to the problem of evil and suffering. How two television and/or radio programmes and/or films about religion may affect a persons attitude to belief in God.

4 Match up the keywords 1.Omniscient 2.Benevolent 3.Omnipotent 4.Agnostic 5.Atheist 6.Theist a.God is all loving b.The belief that God exists c.God is all knowing d.The belief the God does not exist e.God is all powerful f.A person who is not sure if God exists or not

5 Religious upbringing and how it can lead to belief in God Just after birth many Christians choose to baptise their children in to the faith. This is where parents promise to raise the child in the Christian faith. Children will be taught how to pray and will be brought up hearing stories from the Bible and so will hear from a young age that God exists, and that He is good. Children may go to youth organisations such as girl guides and scouts which teach children how to live a good Christian life by helping others. Children may go to faith schools which teaches children about God along side the usual school things. When becoming a teenager a Christian may be confirmed as a Christian which is when they confirm that they take seriously the promises made on their behalf at their baptism.

6 1. Miracles – when something happens which goes against nature and is thought to be impossible e.g Jesus walked on water. It must be God who does these things because he is omnipotent and can do the impossible. 2. Conversion – when a person changes religion from another or no faith. In the Bible St Paul was converted from being a Christian hater to a person who spread the faith. A person gets an overwhelming feeling that God exists and must be followed. 3. Numinous – a feeling that there must be something greater than us e.g when someone looks at a great building or landscape. This something is God. How experiences can lead to belief in God 4. Prayer – this is a personal way of communicating with God. It can vary from praising God to asking for help. It may lead to belief, especially if they seem to get a response to their prayer. More on answered and unanswered prayers later on!

7 Reasons people do Not believe in God Suffering from natural disasters! How could God allow it to happen? Scientific theories such as the Big Bang have proven that God did not make the world God is supposed to care but he does not seem to answer prayers If miracles happen why doesnt everyone get one? Surely God loves us all?

8 Unanswered prayers Not everyones prayers get answered but if God was omnipotent he should have the power to help no matter how big the request is. If God was omni- benevolent he should show his love by answering prayers. Many prayers are from those wanting to stop suffering yet most seem to go unanswered. People may come to believe that God CANT exist if their prayers are not answered because:

9 What Christians may say in response to unanswered prayers: Not all prayers need answering – some are prayers praising God Some prayers contradict others e.g. if a football supporter asked for their team to win, what is God to do if a supporter from the opposite side prays for the same thing? Some prayers ask for bad things so God cant answer them e.g. wanting God to hurt or kill someone God may have actually answered a prayer, but in a way that was unexpected. God has a plan and so wont answer prayers that dont fit with this plan, no matter how it may seem to us

10 Creation arguments Many people argue that creation theories either do or dont prove the existence of God. There are 4 main ideas: 1. The scientific Big Bang Theory 2. The Cosmological Argument 3. The Design Argument 4. The Christian Creation story

11 The Big Bang Theory Many scientists believe this although they can not actually prove it is true. They only think that it is likely, some dont actually agree. Billions of years ago a singularity (smaller than an atom) exploded creating matter the size of a grapefruit Over time this expanded and cooled down Gases clumped together Over millions of years the gases formed planets Millions of years ago Earth was formed and eventually life evolved Not all scientists agree on this, it is only a suggestion!

12 The Design Argument If a C question asks you to explain why God may exist based on the argument by Design, these are the 4 points you need to make: 1.Complex things arent a random chance, they have a designer. William Paley said this about a pocket watch – if you had never seen one you would not assume it came together by chance 2.The world is complex too and so cant be random chance, it must have had a designer. Complex things such as they eye, the human body, the eco-system seem too perfect to be random 3.Only a thing know that is big enough and powerful enough to have made a world is God 4.Therefore there must be an assumption that God exists

13 The Cosmological Argument This can sometimes be called the causation argument or the argument for God based on cause and it goes like this: 1.Everything has a cause, including Earth 2.Either the cause of Earth goes back forever to infinity OR there must have been a first cause which itself did not have one 3.Logic says that there must have been a first cause at some point (called the uncausable cause) 4.Religious people says that this must be God as he is the only thing capable of being this powerful (omnipotent) and so God must exist Many Christians argue that God is the cause of the Big Bang, based on this argument

14 The Creation story This is the Christian version of how the world was made and is recorded in the first book in the Bible – Genesis. Many Christians believe that it did not literally happen, it just represents what God did. However, others believe this is exactly how it happened and that God put fossils in the earth to fool people This story says that God created the world in 7 days. He formed the earth and made day and night He created the plants and trees He created the animals, and lastly he created humans to look after everything On the 7 th day he rested

15 Test yourself! 1.What does numinous mean? 2.How can experiences lead to belief in God? 3.What is conversion? 4.List 3 things that Christian families do to raise their children as Christians which can make them believe in God 5.Give 2 reasons why people may not believe that God exists 6.What is another name for the cosmological argument? 7.What did William Paley say about design? 8.Give examples of things in nature that some people say are too complex to be random chance 9.What do Christians think about the Big Bang theory?

16 The problem of evil and suffering Many people question the existence of God based on the problem of evil and suffering. They may ask: If God was omnipotent (all powerful) couldnt he get rid of it? He would surely stop natural disasters from happening??? If God was omniscient (all Knowing) wouldnt he know what was going to happen and stop it? Surely he would warn people of natural disasters or moral evil?? If God was benevolent (all loving) wouldnt he want to stop people suffering? Surely he wouldnt let children die of diseases etc??? This is a problem as all of this makes people question if God exists and lead to some no longer believing.

17 Natural Evil: suffering caused by natural disasters Volcanoes, floods and drought etc cause thousands of people to suffer each year. They are usually in the poorest regions and people have no control over them Over 200 million people a year die of malnutrition, they have no control over where they are born or the circumstances they are in Many people all over the world die of incurable diseases such as cancer

18 Moral evil: suffering caused by people Murder Rape Assault Theft

19 The Christian response to suffering Suffering is a consequence of human sin in some cases e.g. getting lung cancer through smoking. Sin was only introduced when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the book of Genesis in the Bible – it was not part of Gods plan. Suffering was part of Gods punishment. Suffering comes from an evil power opposite to God. Christians call this power Satan. (In argument to this some ask where this opposite power came from?) Only God knows the meaning of suffering. Some Bible passages show us this e.g. in the book of Job, in the Old Testament, Job was tested by God, and Job still showed complete faith to God even in the worst of times. Suffering is the beginning not the end. God did not leave humans on their own to suffer, he sent down his son Jesus. God shared in suffering in this way. Jesus suffered on the cross, but this was only so that humans could then find an end to suffering once they die and reach heaven. Death itself means that people can be united with God.

20 Test yourself 1.What is natural and moral evil? 2.Why is evil and suffering a problem to some people when considering if God exists? 3.Explain 4 Christian responses to evil and suffering (why do they say God can exist even though suffering exists?)

21 How two television and/or radio programmes and/or films about religion may affect a persons attitude to belief in God. Songs of Praise This programme is weekly and shows hymns, sermons and discusses how to be a good Christian. It is a Christian programme aimed at Christians It may affect a persons belief in God because: It features people saying how God has helped them, or made their lives better It shows many people worshipping so may inspire people to believe that he exists It shows people singing hymns which say how good and loving God is which may lead people to want to know more It teaches about Christianity and what it means to be a follower

22 Root of all Evil This is a documentary presented by atheist Richard Dawkins. It may affect a persons belief/attitude towards God because it is very biased that God does not exist: It uses emotive language which pokes fun religious people and hints that they are or have the potential to do evil. It calls followers sheep and deluded. It gives examples of bad things religious people have done in the past but does not mention any good things that religion does. It tries to show that religion is not based on anything which can be proven e.g. says that official teachings were made up by popes, that the Creation story is wrong based on scientific evidence of evolution The tone of the presenters voice implies that it would be wrong and silly to be religious

23 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 Who Wants to be a R.S - Believing in God Millionaire Instructions: click once to get to the next slide and wait for the Q and possible answers. Click again to find out the correct answer 50:50

24 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

25 A: A Christian C: Someone who believes in God B: Someone who does not believe in God D: Someone who is not sure if there is a God or not 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 What is an atheist?

26 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

27 C: Someone who does not believe in God B: Someone who believes in God D: Someone unsure if they believe in God or not 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 What is an agnostic? A: A Christian

28 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

29 A: The Cosmological Argument C: Big Bang Theory B: The Design Argument D: The Creation story 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 What is this theory called?: Nothing happens by itself, everything needs a cause. Therefore the universe must have a cause. As the universe is so big only God can be the cause, therefore God exists

30 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

31 A: A scientist C: All religious people B: A Christian D: No one 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 Who believes in the Big Bang Theory?

32 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

33 A: Religious upbringing C: Education B: Conversion D: Miracles 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 Which is the odd one out?

34 This is because the others often lead people to believe in God, yet education only (or should) teach people about what religious people think and do.

35 Congratulations! Youve Reached the £1,000 Milestone! Congratulations! C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s !

36 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

37 A: RS lessons at school C: Being prayed for B: Baptism and Sunday School D: Praying at meal times 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 Which event/s will most likely help someone having a religious upbringing believe?

38 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

39 A: Awe C: Miracle B: Conversion D: Numinous 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 What means an experience which arouses a deep spiritual feeling?

40 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

41 A: A pocket watch C: A radio B: A clock D: A tv 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 In the Design argument, what did William Paley compare the design of the world to?

42 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

43 A: The Bible C: Suffering and evil B: People D: Not going to church 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 What can lead some people to question if God exists?

44 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

45 A: suffering from car crashes C: Mental illness B: when people hurt each other D: suffering from natural disasters e.g floods 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 What is natural evil?

46 Congratulations! Youve Reached the £32,000 Milestone! Congratulations! C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s !

47 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

48 A: Benevolent C: Omniscient B: Omnipotent D: Strong 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 Which word means that God is all powerful and nothing is beyond his power?

49 One way to remember this might be to remember the Ps Omni P otent = P owerful

50 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

51 A: God alone knows the meaning of suffering C: God cant stop suffering B: Suffering comes from an opposite power - Satan D: Suffering is a result of sin brought in to the world by humans 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 Which is NOT a Christian response to suffering?

52 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

53 A: Deal with it – its life C: Suffering is all part of the Bible and its what God wants B: You have to have downs to feel the ups in life D: God joined in suffering by sending Jesus 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 What is 1 Christian approach to suffering?

54 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

55 A: Songs of Praise C: Bruce Almighty B: East is East D: Coronation Street 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 Which is a programme we studied which may affect someones attitude towards God?

56 £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100

57 A: Bangladesh cyclone C: 20 million dying of malnutrition B: Rhys Jones shot D: Children born with incurable diseases 50: £1 Million £500,000 £250,000 £125,000 £64,000 £32,000 £16,000 £8,000 £4,000 £2,000 £1,000 £500 £300 £200 £100 Which is the odd one out?

58 This is because the others are forms of natural evil, yet Reece Jones being murdered is an act of moral evil


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