from the exam, Explain how the religious belief of a person could be challenged by either atheism or agnosticism
so the default is religious that could be challenged.
The main point of contact between science and religion is that both accept that there is order and design in the universe. The world is just too complicated and too beautiful to have happened merely by chance. Take for example the human eye. The eye is a wonder of creation. A person of religious faith...can reflect on the perfection of the human eye and see the hand of God in it's creation. In this way science and religion complement each other (couldn't believe this was in there!)
what year is that book, is it still used?
The copy of Religion For Living that I have is the first edition, from 2005. Written by Connie Duffy, and printed by Alpha Press Ltd.
The answer to the exam question you quoted looks like it came from this section:
Religion For Living wrote:
Challenges to Religious Experience: Materialism
Materialism claims that the only real things are material things.Something is real if we can see it, touch it, hear it, taste it or smell it. If something can be examined by the senses then it is real. If it cannot, then it is not real and does not exist.
Everything around us, in a classroom for example, is real in the materialistic sense. The chair, the desk, the book, the wall, the window, can all be examined by the senses. The people around us are material too. We can see and hear ourselves and others: we are real.
However there are things about us that we cannot see, touch or hear - spiritual things like:
• our ideas.
• our beliefs.
• our feelings.
We cannot see, hear our touch our ideas, our beliefs or our feelings, yet most people would agree that they are real and are a very important part of our lives. Humans therefore are not simply material beings. Humans are both material and spiritual beings.
God, on the other hand, is quite different. We cannot see, hear or touch God. God is not material; God is totally spiritual. Human beings communicate with God through the spiritual aspect of their own nature. Religion is the way that people connect with the spiritual side of life.
Materialism poses a challenge to religion and religious experience. Materialism denies the existence of anything beyond the material. It claims that only material things are real. On that basis the spiritual nature of human beings is not real. God is not real. Religion doesn't matter.
The materialist outlook is very pervasive and has spread everywhere in our society. It has been the basis of scientific thought for over 300 years. Materialists claim that the scientific way of looking at things is the only way. Scientific truth is the only truth. This can undermine people's confidence in other forms of truth, such as religious truth.
There are vast areas of human experience that are not suited to testing by the scientific method. From that point of view of religion the spiritual dimension of life and the search for God is no less real than other aspects of life.
That's half of one page. There are 532 pages. How long would it take to list all that is wrong with that section alone?
Here's a few choice phrases from the previous section entitled Materialism
Materialism is the view that nothing is real except physical matter. Something is real if it can be physically seen, touched, weighed, and measured. This is the scientific method...
From a materialists point of view the way of science is the only way...
On the other hand, a materialistic way of life is about having money, lots of possessions and enjoying oneself as much as possible...
There have been more atheists in the last 200-300 years than at any other time in human history. This is due to the development of science and the use of rationality in the way people think...
Atheists say they don't need any help from God..
People can make a perfect society on earth entirely on their own. They don't need any advice or guidance from God or religion. This is because atheists believe:
• there is no God.
• there is no other life after this one.
• there is no reason why people exist.
Those excerpts were taken out in sequence from that section on Materialism. There's no context implied. There is no need to resort to the context argument with this text. This is typical of the tone of the writing whenever the book deals with anything not Catholic. You can just imagine the way Catholicism is described. But the sheer volume of material on Catholicism makes it clear that this book is not a book about religion, but a book about a
The author, Connie Duffy (M.Ed., B.Sc. (Hons), Dip.Rel.Ed.), is listed on the back cover as 'Formerly Diocesan Adviser for Religious Education, Archdiocese of Dublin.
Talk about having a man on the inside!
("or woman", "Why are you always on about women Stan?")