Philosophy OCR GCSE (Christianity)

  • Beleif about Deity
  • Religious Experience
  • Religion and Science
  • Good and Evil
  • Created by: Charlotte
  • Created on: 06-06-12 11:32

I dont believe in anything but myself...


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But I have GCSEs to do...


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And you need an A because your doing Religous stud


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And You Skrewed up the last exam...


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Monotheism - One Deity


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Polytheism - Many Gods (Greek Mythology - true bel


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Lets have a sacrifice...To Show Appreciation to Go


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The Truth - Aesthetic

This is the sort of truth that we can find in pictures, novels or films. We are not saying that what we are looking at, reading or watching is actually true. However, we might say that it is 'true to life'. By this we mean that it is believable - it could happen - although it is not actually true itself.

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The Truth - Scientific

Scientists can only say that something is true if they can prove it by experiment; they have to be able to show that each time they conduct the experiment the same thing happens. When the same result is obtained from an experiment that is repeated over and over again, this is known as empirical evidence and is the basis of scientific truth.

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The Truth - Moral

When we talk about moral truth we mean that we 'know' that something is right or wrong. This is almost like an instinct. We know that it is wrong to steal or to kill people. We may also know that we will be punished in some way if we do this but we are saying that we know within ourselves that this is wrong anyway. This sort of truth is linked with the moral argument for the existence of God.

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The Truth - Historical

This is quite straightforward. We can say that we 'know' that something happened in the past even though we were not there and did not see it for ourselves. We know that it happened because we have seen evidence, such as archaeological or films or documents, and from this evidence we can know that certain things happened.

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The Truth - Spiritual or Religious

This is the sort of truth which we find in religion. This sort of truth deals with faith and belief. People may say that they 'know' God but they cannot prove it in a scientific way and, unlike some of the other sorts of truth, it is very difficult to persuade other people if they are sceptical or do not believe themselves.

People who follow a particular religion may say that by doing so they are discovering the 'real truth' about life and about God. This definition of truth is linked with the argument from experience.

One of the problems is that often people from different religions claim that they have ‘the truth’ and that other people do not. This is a difficult situation because it may be almost impossible to convince other people that you are right.

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How can we know if there is something we call God?

There are five main arguments used to give proof that God exists. These arguments are usually applied to Christianity.

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St Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

  • God can be defined as "that than which nothing greater can be conceived". Therefore God (like unicorns) exists in the mind.
  • It is not possible to think of any being greater than God (as God is "that than which nothing greater can be conceived"). Therefore God must exist in reality.
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St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

  • Everything has to come from something. You cannot make something out of nothing.
  • Therefore there must have been a ‘First Cause’ that created the ‘something’ (the universe). That First Cause is God.
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Teleological (or design)

William Paley (1734-1805)

  • If you were walking on a heath and saw a watch on the ground you would assume that its parts had not come together by chance because it is too ordered and complicated. Therefore someone must have designed it or it would not work.
  • Because the universe is also ordered and complicated, someone must have designed that too. That 'someone' is God.
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Religious experience

  • Some people claim that they have had a religious experience eg, a miracle (a fortuitous event believed to have been caused by divine intervention), a vision, or a particular prayer to God answered.
  • Therefore God exists.
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  • Some people say that everyone knows the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. They describe this as having a sense of morality.
  • This sense of morality has to come from somewhere, and the only possible source is God. Therefore God exists.
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What do Christians beleive about God?

Christianity is a Monotheistic religion. They beleive that thheir God is holy, meaning special, seperate and different.

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Qualities that Christians Attribute to God.

  • Omnibenevolent (all loving and good)
  • Perfect
  • Eternal (existing without begginig or end)
  • Creator
  • Loving
  • Has a plan for the world
  • Holy Spirit
  • Trancendent (outside time and space)
  • Son
  • Father
  • Immanent (within the world and supporting it)
  • Omnicient (All knowing)
  • Omnipotent (All powerful)
  • Judge
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The Trinity 1

Christian beliefs about God are expressed in the doctrine of the Trinity. This doctrine is unique to Christianity.

The Trinity is a way of describing the three ways of being God – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It describes the relationship between these three ‘persons’ which are all part of the one God.

This means that Christians believe in three different aspects of God.

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The Trinity 2

Statements about the Trinity are found in the Nicene Creed (the Christian statement of faith):

"We believe in one God, the Father, the almighty, maker of heaven and earth…

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one Being with the Father…

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets."

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The Trinity 3 (God the Father - God in Heaven)

  • For Christains, the image of the father suggestes that God loves human beings
  • God is the creator and cares for them
  • God also acts as a judge and will punish humans if the do wrong
  • God will forgive people if they show that they are sorry
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The Trinity 4 (God the Son - God as Jesus)

  • Christians beleive that Jesus was the son of God
  • Jesus showed people haw to live in the right way so that they could enter the kingdom of heaven
  • Jesus was crucified so that humans could be forgiven for their wrongdoing
  • Christians believe that God showed power over death when Jesus was ressurected
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The Trinity 5 (God the holy spirit - God in the wo

  • After the resurrection, Jesus stayed on Earth for a short time and worked with his disciples
  • He then went to heaven - the ascension
  • And God sent the Holy spirit to guide and support Christians
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The Trinity


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Why do Christians beleive in God?

  • Many Christians would say that the Universe could not have started by  itself. They see God as the creator, who made it according to is plan
  • The worlds seems to be carefully designed - nothings happens by accident. In the 18th centuary, a Christian philosopher, William Paley, suggested that it is like the workings of a watch, created by a skilled artisan. This is known as the teleological arguement. Einstien suggested that the world must have had a helping hand - God
  • For some people, a personal experience of God may have convinced them that God exists
  • Humans have a concience. Some suggest that it is God, Who knows our actions abouve everyone else.
  • Indoctrination
  • The life and work of Jesus
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Jesus came to teach people God’s will for them, and to show them what life would be like in the Kingdom of God. For Christians, the Kingdom of God (Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew’s Gospel) is both an inner change of heart and a symbol of peace on earth.

Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah (Christ) for Christians, is important. He not only taught people about God, he showed them what God is like. Jesus was put to death on the cross. This was the crucifixion.

The cross is an important symbol for Christians. Christianity says that because Jesus (who was God) chose to die because he loved humanity and wanted to save them, all people were forgiven their sins and so had a chance to go to heaven.

Christianity teaches that death was not the end for Jesus. They believe that he rose from the dead on the third day, after being placed in the tomb. This is the resurrection. Christians believe that Jesus was not just a man in the past, but is a living saviour, relevant to their lives today.

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Miricles in Cristianity

A miricle is something really cool and amazing that cannot be explained by any human activity.

Christians believe that it to be evidence of God.

They say that it is because God is omnipotent.

Christians believe that the miricle stories in the new testament are proof of Gods presence and love through the actions of Jesus.

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Miricles of Jesus

Jesus was a bit of a lad. He performed quite a few miricles:

  • Natural miricles
  • Casting out demons
  • Healing the sick
  • Raising the dead

Christians would probably say that Jesus ressurecting is a miricle as well.

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The Holy Spirit

Jesus promised that his followers would receive the powers of the holy spirit to guide them.

Roman Catholics believe that they are actually in the presence of Jesus when they celebrate Mass.

Christian beleifs in the holy Spirit are written down in Apostles creed.

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Miricles in the World Today (Lourdes, France)

Bernadette Soubirous was a poor sherpardess when, in 1858, at fourteen years old, dhe saw an appirition in a grotto - a vision of a beautiful lady. When she told her family, they did not believ her, but she returned to the grotto and, over then next fiive months, the Lady appeared over eighteen times. Bernadette was told to drink from the fountain and although she could see no water, she did as she was told and dug into the earth untill water appeared. This water is said to have a miraculous healing powers. Lourdes  has become a sight of healing and many beleivers go there in pilgraminge hoping for a cure.

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More Miricles

Many people believe that God is a personal being, therefore it is to be expected that God would want to be involved in human affairs. However this can't happen too often, as this would jeopardise people's free will (the ability to choose for oneself). Therefore people believe that God is revealed occasionally and privately in some people's lives eg, miracles (a fortuitous event believed to have been caused by divine intervention), prayer (communicating with God) and worship.

There are many examples of miracles in the New Testament and Christians may see these as proof of the existence of God and of God’s concern for people.

Many miracles are said to have happened in the world, especially at places of pilgrimage such as Lourdes (France), Santiago de Compostella (Spain), the Holy Land (Israel), Rome (Italy), Canterbury (England) and Walsingham (England), and these are seen as God's will being revealed and as an answer to prayer.

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One Topic out of the way.


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Worship is when a believer honours or respects God with love and devotion.

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Public Worship

  • Most Christains worship in a public building, usually a church
  • All Christian places of worship are designed to help beleivers to praise God
  • The most common form of worship is the Eucharist
  • Other forms of Public worship include:
    • hyms
    • bible readings
    • sermons
    • prayers
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Public Worship Continued...

There are many different types of Public Worship as there are different denominations of christians. Different churches, even within the same denomination, will use very different styles of worship. Some will be elaborate, with a choir singing complex music, others will leave the music to the congregation, who sing simpler hyms or worship songs. In fact you could say that the way christians worship is as much a part of their christian identity as who they worship.

Church services on a sunday divide into two general types: eucharist services and services of the world. Both types of service will include hymns, readings and prayers. The eucharistic service will be focused on the act of the holy communion. The service of the world does not include communion, but instead features a much longer sermon, in which the preacher will speak at length to explain a biblical text and bring out its relevenec to those present.

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