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The Existence of God: AQA GCSE Revision
Religious Experience
An experience which involves God in some way
Arguments AGAINST God's existence
There is too much evil and suffering in the world
Nature can kill you eg Volcanos, Earthquakes etc
Humans commit horrible acts
Moral Argument
God must guarantee a place in heaven as a reward (Kant)
PROBLEMS
Morailty probably evolved in humans as a survival instinct
We are taught how to behave by society, not God
Morality does not exist, it is just a concept
Guilt comes from breaking the rules of society, not from God 'telling us off'
This source is God, so God must exist
This comes from a source outside them, it is instinctive
There must be a reward for beahing well in this life
People have an inbuilt sense of what is right and wrong
Animals hunt and kill other animals
Science has unlocked a lot of the mysteries of our existence
The theory of Evolution suggests that life has developed over millions of years
It was not created in 6 days by God as in the Bible
The Big Bang theory suggests that the universe started with a bang, not God
Belief in God relies on FAITH, believing something that can't be proved
This applies to all the arguments
Others think that miracles are good evidence for God, eg walking away from a bad car crash or getting better from cancer
Miracles, two types: 1) Events that break the laws of nature 2) Coincidental events
Shows God's omnipotence
Healings at Lourdes
Show's God's immanence
First Cause Argument
Therefore, everything has a cause, including the universe
That first cause of the universe was God
God is not 'caused' himself
PROBLEMS
Everything is caused to exist
It assumes the universe has a beginning
Big Bang was a random, spontaneous event, not a result of a god
If everything has a cause, what caused God?
Design Argument
As nature is as complicated as a watch, it too must have a designer
Everything man made has a designer eg. a watch (it didn't design itself)
William Paley
Watchmaker analogy
Modern: Anthropic Principle
Strong anthropic
PROBLEMS
Nature is flawed, there are things wrong with it eg Cancer, poor eyesight etc. Again, NOT good design.
Nature appears cruel, not a sign of good design
Evolution theory explains how nature developed over millions of years
Weak anthropic
God is the designer of the world, therefore he exists
Assumes the world is designed
People often say that their prayers are answered and that this proves God exists eg. asking for someone to get better and they do
This could be through prayer, a miracle, conversion or 'meeting' God (a numinous experience; Otto) or physical (stigmata; Padre Pio)
PROBLEMS
People can hallucinate or dream that they met God. This doesn't mean they actually have.
Experiencing God is a personal phenomena, it is not something everyone can experience
Miracles can not be scientifically proven
Why does God answer some prayers and not others?