4. Religion and Non-religion Flashcards Preview

HSC Studies of Religion II > 4. Religion and Non-religion > Flashcards

Flashcards in 4. Religion and Non-religion Deck (27):

Define: Animism

belief that there are active spirits in nature and that all natural things in the world have a soul (e.g. Shintoism)


Define: Polytheism

belief in many gods and goddesses which possess individual powers. Adherents visit shrines in temples and provide offerings (e.g. Hinduism)


Define: Monotheism

belief in one God, who is supreme and creator over all (e.g. Christianity)


Examine Emile Durkheim and his understanding of the place of religion

Emile Durkheim was a 19th century sociologist who believed in the value of religion as a way of thinking. He saw science and religion as complementary binaries. He believed that the most insightful understanding of religion is to consider it from an objective POV and by considering the sacred and the profane


Evaluate the impact of religion in offering meaning and purpose for the individual

1. religions are able to answer the 'great questions of the human existence'
2. provides a sense of identity and belonging in a community
3. gives a sense of purpose and responsibility in life (i.e., Hindus seek to live moral lives to escape reincarnation)
4. provides a holistic sense of spiritual, mental, physical and emotional wellbeing


Evaluate the contribution of religions to social cohesion

1. religion is a powerful force in bringing society together as it can play the role of 'umpire' in some disputes
2. they can provide a legal system or a system of regulations (ie. Australian colonisation)
3. religions provide welfare to the impoverished (i.e. Jewish Ozharvest)
4. religions also provide social disharmony through the contrasting beliefs between itself and secular society, and itself and other religions


Evaluate the contribution of religion to social transformation

1. Many countries are founded on religious beliefs, which influence the origins of a country
2. Religions invite education and instruction of growing moral and social issues
3. Also bring negative transformations due to conservative beliefs


Describe the rise of New Age religions

As societies change with new ideas, some individuals find that their religious system is not adequate and thus seek alternate forms of expression. The rise of new religious expression is often driven by the pressures of social crisis. The basis of this movement is a wariness of traditional religions and a focus on spirituality rather than 'religion'. Often involves syncretism


Outline Rastafarianism as an example of a New Age religion

Rastafarianism is based on the writings of Marcus Garvey and views the Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie as the Messiah. They have a complex set of beliefs due to the understanding that Africans are the descendants of the tribes of Israel, whilst 'white' races are the descendants of Babylon. They thus adopt the laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Their belief in the goodness of God's creation further motivate them them to smoke cannabis as a sacrament.


Describe how new age religions contribute to the search for personal fulfilment

1. New religions are often attractive to individuals who feel 'out of place' with traditional religions
2. Individuals find that New Age religions are better able to respond and adapt to changing social values, whilst religions remain unchanged
3. Rastafarianism provides adherents with a sense of identity and community


Describe how the rise of new age religions contribute to seeking ethical guidelines

1. new religious expressions are better able to adapt to social changes, whilst traditional religions do not readily change
2. they have open and flexible form of religious expression which can more easily adapt to social values, which may better align with their own


Describe how the rise of new age religions contribute to seeking to clarify one's relationship with society

1. new religious expressions allow one to escape from mainstream society. They are motivated by social issues, which are better able to be explored outside of traditional religions
2. Adherents seek answers outside of traditional religions
3. Traditional religions don't always give a supportive community


Explain how the rise of materialism has influenced the growth of new religious expressions

Materialism is the ideology in which individuals value and find their identity in their personal property, as opposed as to in devotion to religion or relationship with others. This belief causes individuals to evade from traditional religions which discourage this, and turn towards other forms of expression


Explain how scientific progress has lead to new forms of religious expression

A progression of religious understanding has caused more individuals to doubt the authenticity and necessity of religion. Professor Eric Sharp believed that as science continues to broaden our understanding of the world, people are less likely to need 'the magical' explanation of the world that religion offers.


Explain how the growth of ecological awareness has lead to new forms of religious expressions

An ecological awareness is an individual's particular value and focus in maintaining and preserving the environment. As traditional religions whilst may value the preservation of the world, is not centrally focussed on it. As a result, individuals seek new forms of religious expression which allow them to find greater focus on ecology


Explain how a disenchantment with religious practice has lead to new forms a religious expression

As individuals perceive traditional religions inability to adapt to social ethical issues, they become disenchanted with their ability to care and look after all individuals. Adherents see the apparent sexism, hypocrisy and child abuse as contrasting religion's core beliefs


Define: Atheism

The disbelief in any form of god or supernatural being. Believes that this is unproven


Define: Agnosticism

Neither the belief or disbelief in God. They believe that there is not satisfactory evidence for the existence or non-existence of God.


Define: Humanism

Emphasises the innate value in the human spirit and human dignity


Define: Rational Humanism

Those that emphasise human reason in providing answers to the questions of life. they focus on the importance of rational human thought and reasoning. They live moral lives due to a value in human life and dignity


Define: Scientific Humanism

Belief that reality can be discovered through scientific research and experimentation. Things that are unseen cannot be regarded as knowledge and truth as they cannot be scientifically proven.


Discuss how Agnostics determine the aspiration and behaviour of individuals

Agnostics argue that human aspirations and behaviours can be determined through the use of human reason. They have a greater focus on self-determination and modern system of thought as they do not rely of God for inspiration. The believe in the importance of ethical behaviour for the harmonious survival of humanity


Discuss how Atheists determine the aspiration and behaviour of individuals

Argues for self-determination, human freedom and ethical behaviour as beneficial to the human individual and society. Without a belief in God, they turn to science for guidance on ethical behaviours. Believe that education is essential to realise aspiration and learn appropriate behaviour


Discuss how Humanists determine the aspiration and behaviour of individuals

Have a similar stance to Agnostics and Atheists. They believe the human reason enables an individual to determine how a 'good' life can be achieved.


Explain the difference between Christianity and Scientific Humanism in relation to a response to the transcendent

Christianity: believes in a transcendent, holy God as three persons. As a response, "the chief aim of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever" (Westminster Shorter Catechism)
Science: rejects the existence of God due to lack of scientific evidence


Explain the difference between Christianity and Scientific Humanism in relation to the human person

Christianity: people are made in the image of God and thus have immeasurable value. Thus believe that all people should be treated with dignity. Believe that God's offers salvation through His Son (John 3:16)
Science: human is a result of millions of years of evolution. and confined to the laws of the universe


Explain the difference between Christianity and Scientific Humanism in relation to social responsibility

Christianity: due to the belief that all people are made in the image of God, people should be treated with dignity and respect. People should be allowed freedom as in alignment with the will and purpose of God. "Love your neighbour"
Science: to be best live if determined through the study, experimentation and reason.