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Flashcards in Challenges Of Religious Belief Deck (10):
1

What is weak atheism?

Scepticism about God existing

2

What is strong atheism?

An explicitly help belief that God doesn’t exist

3

What did Freud say about religion?

- it is an illusion that answers our inner needs
- it arises from a fear of a chaotic world
- religion is a form of neurotic illness that arises from the unconscious mind

4

What did Freud say about religion and the primal horde?

- the most dominant male in the horde would have the pick of females to breed with
- he would become the leader and the younger males would become jealous
- they would plot to kill this father figure
-this is echoed in the family where a son is jealous of his father for taking away the affections of his mother ( Oedipus complex)
- After the fathers death, members of the horde would idolise him and he becomes a totem as a way of controlling their guilt
- religion is a form of idolising the father figure to divine

5

What are criticisms of Freud’s idea of religion and the primitive horde?

- the Oedipus complex is denied by modern psychology
- how could guilt felt by the primal horde be inherited?
- in some tribes, males played role of nurse, not hunter, so god is not necessarily a symbol of this male

6

What are Jung’s psychological explanations of religion?

- there are 2 parts to the unconscious= personal and collective
- collective= sharing of a series of images and archetypes from society
- religion provides many of these images and individual shares in the cultural life of their group
- God= archetype - exists as a psychic reality - prevents neurosis

7

What is Emile Durkheim’s sociological explanation of religion?

- religion = series of beliefs and practices, which unite into a single moral community- church

- religion gives a framework for societal values

- God does not exist independently of people who practice it

- community created strengthens society

- God is a projection of the strength of society

8

What are criticisms of Durkheim’s idea?

- religious believers are often loyal to God, not community
- some believers go against society rather than adhere (Martin Luther king)
- society constantly changes, unlike religion

9

What is Marx’s sociological explanation of religion?

- religion is part of the oppressing structures that alienate society

- sees religion as ‘the opium of the people’

- a mid repression, people seek hope in God, rather than empowering themselves

- individual > God

10

What are criticisms of Marx’ explanation?

- Christianity embraces the idea of socialism
- religion and the state are more separate in some countries than Marx acknowledges