Tag: Adam and Eve

Is it possible that God could have created the Universe? Higher Origins Essay Help

Is it possible that God could have created the Universe?

Higher Origins Essay Help

The VIEWS Structure

This guide will follow the VIEWS format; which is a good example of how to structure essay paragraphs.

Viewpoints

Interpretation

Example

Weaknesses

Strengths/ Rebuttal

Some may find it easier or more logical to switch the weaknesses and strengths around, finishing on the weakness. Or as I have done below started with a strength, given a weakness then given a rebuttal.  This will help you consider evaluation, analysis and knowledge points. Make sure you always answer the question and link back to the question.

Is it possible that God could have created the Universe? Discuss

There are many different approaches to this question and it is not as straightforward as it seems. This guide aims to look at four different responses to this argument.

  1. Yes, because the Bible says he did. (Creationists Christians)
  2. Yes, because the Bible says he did and this can be backed up with science. (Creation Scientists)
  3. Yes, because there are many scientific theories that are explained by God. (Liberal Christians)
  4. No, because there is scientific evidence to say God was not required to create the Universe. (Scientific Materialists)

Viewpoint 1 –  Creationists

Christians would look to the Bible for guidance and help in their life. However, it is up to personal faith and belief as to how you interpret the Bible. Many take a literal approach and believe every word of the Bible to be the truth. These people are called Creationists. They believe the bible is a Special Revelation from God and is his exact words and therefore the ultimate truth. This means that when they are looking at the Book of Genesis which details the creation stories they believe this to be a complete truth.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”

Creationists would take the seven-day creation story literally and so believe that because the Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, this is the only evidence that they need. Some may say that the Bible is not enough evidence to prove God created the Universe, especially because it was written thousands of years ago and there has been scientific research that claims otherwise. However, by only looking at the Bible and discrediting any other theories or evidence requires a lot of faith and belief and so this could be seen as a strength. Therefore Creationists Christians believe that God is the only answer for the creator of the Universe.

 

Viewpoint 2 – Creation Scientists

Creation Scientists hold a similar belief in that they believe the Bible to be a literal account of the creation of the Universe, but they would also back this up with scientific evidence. This means that they believe the Universe is only a few thousand years old and it was created in 6 days. The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is a research group set up by Dr. Henry Morris, sets out to find Scientific Evidence to back up the Creation story as found in the Bible. For Example, the ICR claims that Fossils cannot date back millions of years old as there is still soft tissue present in it. They also have used Science to back up their theory that the Universe is only several thousands of years old because of the lack of sodium in the world’s oceans. By taking the story from the Bible and backing it up with scientific findings that follow the scientific method, Creation Scientists are able to prove the possibility of God creating the Universe. Their hypothesis has been taken from the Bible and they have used testing and verification to conclude that their theory was correct. Many would argue a weakness of this viewpoint is that Creation Scientists are only taking into account the parts of science that fit their theory and discrediting other scientific ideas. Creation Scientists would rebut this saying that Atheists who discredit the idea of God are ignoring evidence such as the Bible and other ways in which God has revealed himself. Therefore Creationists Scientists would believe that it is fully possible to believe that God created the Universe.

Viewpoint 3 – Liberal Christians

There are many that believe that scientific theories such as the Big Bang Theory can work with the Biblical Account of Creation. Christians who interpret the Bible in a metaphorical way, believing the Bible to be a story to help explain God’s power, would believe that the creation story of Genesis and the Big Bang Theory could work together. For example, in Genesis 1 it says that there was immense darkness before God said: “Let there be Light”. This can be compared to the Light that was emitted when the Big Bang started and so it could be argued that God was the cause of the Big Bang. The process of the Big Bang could fit in with the process of the Big Bang and the 6-day creation story could instead be interpreted as 6 stages or time periods. A strength of this argument is that allows Christians or theists to believe in God and have their faith backed up with scientific theories. Scientists do not know for example what started the Big Bang and so for many Christians, this something is God. Scientist E. O Wilson who is an atheist agrees that it is possible that religion and science can work together. A weakness of this approach, however, is it is not clear as to how much of the Bible should be taken metaphorically. This could cause people to pick and choose parts of their own religions. However, Liberal Christians would argue this is all part of the free will that God has given them, the ability to make reasoned judgments based on his guidance. Overall Liberal Christians believe that it is entirely possible that God created the Universe.

Viewpoint 4 – Scientific Materialists

There are many who do not believe it is possible for a God to have created the Universe, these people are referred to as Scientific Materialists. They look to scientific theories to explain the origins of the universe. Scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins would argue that there is no need for a God. They would look at the Big Bang Theory and summarise that it does not require a God. There are many instances of spontaneous, unexplained actions that can happen in the Universe that can cause a chain of events. It is argued that one of these unexplained combustions could have caused the Big Bang and therefore requires no God. A strength of this is that it is using the evidence available to come to a conclusion and is not relying on faith or religious revelation, which cannot be verified. However, it could be argued that scientific theories such as the Big Bang Theory are only ever theories, based on the evidence available at that time. Science is continually changing and developing and so theories can change. However, for many atheists who do not believe in God, science seems to be the only logical approach to questions about the Origin of the Universe.  For Scientific Materialists, it is impossible for a God to have created the Universe.

Conclusion

In your Higher exam – it is recommended you bring together all of your ideas and summarise your arguments and answer the question. You can answer the question and add your personal opinion using phrases such as “in my opinion”,as an overall conclusion I would say that” or “I agree to a certain extent…”

When writing an essay, use the skills phrases to help you which are available on the https://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/RMPSCourseSpecN5.pdf

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Original Sin

Original Sin

You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything, until you go back to the soil from which you were formed. You were made from soil, and you will become soil again.

(Genesis 3: 19)

The Fall

The story behind original sin is told in the Old Testament book of Genesis:

God originally made a perfect world. He created Adam and put him to live in the Garden of Eden – a blissful place where he had nothing to do but take care of the garden.

God told Adam that he could do anything he wanted, except eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Later, God created Eve to be Adam’s wife. Eve was tricked by the serpent into eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of life and death. She gave some of the fruit to Adam and he ate it too.

Adam and Eve realised that they were naked and hid in shame. When God next visited the Garden he realised that they had disobeyed him.

God banished them from the Garden of Eden into the harsh world outside.

God also banned them from eating the fruit of the tree of life, and so death entered the world.

What is Original Sin?

Original Sin, refers to above passage in Genesis in the Bible, where Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden for disobeying God’s commands. This can also be known as The Fall. Many believe this is a literal story and this is how sin was brought into the world. Others believe it is a story or analogy used to explain why there is evil in the world, because humans have gone against God’s word.

Augustine, a theologian believed that because of this all humans are born sinful. We all have the capability and capacity to sin.

What does this mean for humans?

Augustine developed the idea of what has come to be known as ‘original sin’. Due to Adam and Eves actions in the Garden of Eden, the whole of humanity carries the same stain of sin and suffers and dies. Humanity needs God to save them from the suffering.

Christians believe that God gave them freewill and his word through teachings in the Bible, Jesus and preachers show Christians how God would like them to live their lives but it is up to each individual to make that choice.

An explanation for the evils of the world

Some Christians believe that original sin explains why there is so much wrong in a world created by a perfect God, and why people need to have their souls ‘saved’ by God.

A condition you’re in, not something you do

Original sin is a condition, not something that people do: It’s the normal spiritual and psychological condition of human beings, not their bad thoughts and actions. Even a newborn baby who hasn’t done anything at all is damaged by original sin.

Original sin affects individuals by separating them from God, and bringing dissatisfaction and guilt into their lives.

On a world scale, original sin explains such things as genocide, war, cruelty, exploitation and abuse, and the “presence and universality of sin in human history”.

The Fall and the Origin of Evil

Christians believe that when Adam and Eve sinned in Eden and turned away from God they brought sin into the world and turned the whole human race away from God.

The doctrine absolves God of responsibility for the evils that make our world imperfect by teaching that Adam and Eve introduced evil to a perfect world when they disobeyed him.

An alternative understanding of the story of the fall emphasises that Adam and Eve did wrong because they ‘gave in’ to the temptation of the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

These two versions offer radically different ideas about the origin of evil:

  • in the first version Adam and Eve bring evil into the world by disobeying God
  • in the second version evil already exists, and Adam and Eve bring sin to humanity by giving in to it

This second understanding fits well with human psychology. Looking at it this way, original sin becomes the tendency for human beings to ‘give in’ when tempted by the prevailing evils of the society around them, rather than standing up for good, and it helps explain why each individual finds temptation so hard to resist.

A third understanding teaches not so much that Adam’s sin brought sin into the world, but that it removed from humanity the gift that enabled people to be perfectly obedient to God.

Getting rid of original sin

The only way a person can ‘cleanse’ their soul from sin is to:

  • accept that Christ’s death on the cross atoned for this sin
  • accept that only God’s grace can cure this sin
  • confess their sins and ask for forgiveness
  • be baptised

Many churches accept that infants can be cleansed of original sin by being baptised soon after birth. The other elements required are carried out by adults on the baby’s behalf during the ceremony.

 

Read more about Original Sin here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/beliefs/originalsin_1.shtml