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Causation

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If everything that begins to exist has a cause - musn't God have to exist, as the unmoved mover? GCSE RE asks this question

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Causation

  1. 1. How could causation lead someone to believe in God?
  2. 2. In this lesson we are going to learn: <ul><li>What causation is </li></ul><ul><li>The strengths and weaknesses of causation </li></ul><ul><li>How might causation lead someone to believe in God? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definitions: <ul><li>Causation - The process whereby one thing causes another, and each thing eventually links back to one uncaused cause </li></ul><ul><li>Begotten – has always existed </li></ul><ul><li>Uncaused – nothing created/caused it </li></ul>
  4. 4. Aquinas’ Quote: <ul><li>“ Everything happens, has a cause. If we follow everything back to the beginning, we come to a first cause that started everything off. This cause was God.” </li></ul><ul><li>... What does this quote mean? </li></ul>
  5. 5. The argument Explained: <ul><li>Everything that begins to exist, has a cause </li></ul><ul><li>If we keep going back, we will eventually come to a first cause that started everything off </li></ul><ul><li>This cause, was God </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key Points (note down): <ul><li>The way everything seems to have a cause makes one thing that there must be some ‘uncaused cause’ </li></ul><ul><li>You can’t keep going back forever, you must eventually come back to one begotten, uncaused thing </li></ul><ul><li>St Thomas Aquinas’ quote (everything happens has a cause...) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Snooker ball analogy: <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GA3ySz4el4 </li></ul><ul><li>In the same way the snooker balls are reliant on their first cause – the universe must be reliant on its own first cause </li></ul><ul><li>The first cause must have always existed – because it didn’t need a creator itself </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion: </li></ul><ul><li>God is the first cause – and he is begotten/ uncaused </li></ul>
  8. 8. Pros and Cons: <ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><li>Infinite regression is a void explanation for the existence of contingent, mutable beings </li></ul><ul><li>If everything finite needs a cause – there must be some infinite first cause </li></ul><ul><li>Analogies such as the snooker balls </li></ul><ul><li>“ Everything happens, has a cause. If we follow everything back to the beginning we come to a first cause that started everything off – this cause was God.” </li></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><li>The cause may not be God </li></ul><ul><li>If everything needs a creator – then who created God? </li></ul><ul><li>Why can’t everything just go back forever? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Potential Exam Questions: <ul><li>A) What is causation? </li></ul><ul><li>B) Do you think God is the cause of the universe? Give two reasons for your point of view </li></ul><ul><li>C) Explain how the argument from causation may lead to belief in God </li></ul><ul><li>D) ‘The argument from causation provides that God exists’ i) Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion ii) Give reasons why some people may disagree with you </li></ul>

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