Religion and Non-Religion Flashcards Preview

Religions HSC 2021 > Religion and Non-Religion > Flashcards

Flashcards in Religion and Non-Religion Deck (63)
Loading flashcards...

what is the religious dimension?

ow humans have explored the forces or powers that could explain why the world is the way it is


What is the religious expression?

the way people show a belief in the powers of forces in the religious dimension


What do animism, polytheism and monotheism all share/

belief in a spiritual dimension and have a relationship with it


What is animism?

The belief that all-natural objects including people, animals and the wider environment possess a soul and are animate
Because everything has a soul, all-natural things should be treated with respect
The souls, or spirits, of each natural object, control the day-to-day activities of the natural world e.g. the way the trees sway in the breeze


Animism examples:

Aboriginal Spirituality (belief in the dreaming) or Shintoism (belief in Kamis)


What is polytheism?

Belief in the existence of a God or Gods
Many polytheistic religions believe that different gods or goddesses have control of specific aspects of the universe
Gods or deities resemble humans in the sense that they have their own personalities, interact and hold grudges against other Gods


Polytheism example:

Hinduism- they believe in 330 million deities


What is monotheism?

One God who is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent
Created the universe and gave humans morals


Monotheism example:

Semitic religions: God revealed itself gave humans the universe, revealed in sacred texts (Christianity, Judaism and Islam)


What does the religious dimension provide to human history?

social cohesion
social transformation
meaning and purpose for the individual


Meaning and Purpose:

Answers: Origins, Purpose + destiny
Provides answers to the big questions
Origins + Purpose: religion provides life with meaning by answering the big religious questions
Origins + Destiny: Religion gives life structure and consistency
Origins- sacred texts outline creation story
Purpose- each religion celebrates important stages e.g. Bar Mitzvah
Creates cultural identity and sense of belonging
Destiny- act morally, obey God e.g. Akhira


How does religion provide purpose? example

Bar Mitzvah marks important stages in life


How goes religion provide answers to destiny?

Akhira tells us to act morally, obey God


Social Cohesion:

The way society works together and forms communities
Religion provides people with a sense of community because it ties life to something more stable and constant e.g. laws, dress codes, architecture (churches) and public holidays
Provides a common purpose
Between religions and sects, there are differences which can result in disharmony


Social Cohesion examples:

Provides laws: e.g. do not commit murder
Provides a common purpose: social justice
Disharmony: Sunni and Shia


Social Transformation:

Change while maintaining traditional views
Religion can transform society: stability, security, rituals, tradition, constancy
Religion can influence the rate of progress in society


What are the two aspects of society social transformation influences the most?

Social justice and education


social transformation: social justice examples

Poverty (Caritas)
Environmental destruction (Islamic plan for climate change)
Natural disasters (Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief)
Conflict (John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris)


social transformation: education examples

Religion can prevent progress: science vs religion
Religion is supportive of new technologies: (IVF)
Willing to correct their understanding: (HIV/AIDS)
Religion has acted as a means for change by helping the less fortunate: e.g. Tikkun Olam repair the world by looking after the environment and taking care of less fortunate
Religion has prevented change by maintaining traditional views: gay marriage


List the five major religious traditions largest to smallest:

Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism


Global Distribution of Christianity:

31%- 2.2 Billion People
USA, Brazil, Mexico and China
Declining in the Western world
Countries with the majority: Ireland, Canada, Poland, Philippines, USA, Brazil, Germany, South Africa
The Philippines has the largest Christian population


Global Distribution of Buddhism:

6%- 488 million people
China, Thailand, Japan and Myanmar
Countries with the majority: Thailand, Japan, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Burma/Myanmar
Majority of the world Buddhists live in the Asia Pacific region


Global Distribution of Islam:

23%- 1.6 Billion people
Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh
One of the fastest-growing religions in the world
Countries with the majority: Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Dubai
Majority of the world Muslims live in the Asia Pacific region (outside of the middle east)


Global Distribution of Hinduism:

15%- 900 million people
India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
Mostly stayed within India and the surrounding area
Fastest growing religion in Australia
Countries with the majority: India, Nepal, Bangladesh


Global Distribution of Judaism:

0.22%- 14.9 million people
USA, Israel, France and Canada
After WW2 Israel was handed back to them by the United Nations


Briefly outline the reasons for the rise of NRE's:

seek personal fulfilment, seek ethical guidelines, seek to clarify relationship with society


What is personal fulfilment?

Living a purposeful and satisfying life


NRE's and personal fulfilment:

NRE aims to foster individual fulfilment in the form of personal happiness, health and meaning in life
Dissatisfaction with traditional forms of religion in creating a meaningful understanding of life
Easy and simple ways for people to become happier without making a major commitment to a traditional religion


How do NRES help with personal fulfilment? + example

Relaxation- people want to take a break from a fast-paced society. Many NRE focus on mindfulness and relaxation that make them appealing

Personalisation- people may feel easily disconnected and a lack of relevance of religious traditions in modern society. NRE allows people to focus on the individual, provide healing, eliminate stress and bring about peace.
Acupuncture and meditation


Seek ethical guidance

Outdated= traditional views don’t allow for ethical independence and initiative

People find it hard to apply ethical guidelines to modern problems e.g. homosexuality
Religious guidelines can be vague to modern concerns with many modern problems not being addressed in sacred texts
People often update their understanding to fit the modern world
Tolerance, universalism and environmentalism


What is moral relativism?

Moral relativism: not one true set of morals, NRE's encourage this


Seek to clarify their relationship with society:

In the past worship achieved this
Still want ritual significance, NRE offer alternate rituals and celebrations e.g. Naming ceremony instead of baptism
NRE allow a meaningful relationship with society and give back to society

People no longer have to take part in worship to connect
Astrology: movements of planets influence our society
It allows a connection to society without all the baggage or belief systems traditional religions may bring

As concerns over social and environmental issues arise people are searching for new paradigms to work within and contribute to society


Define individualism:

Individualism: being independent and no longer relying on institutions


What is materialism?

The obsession with having ‘things’ and ‘possessions’
Material objects provide people meaning and fulfilled over intellectual or religious thoughts


Rise of materialism:

Culture of consumerism: people enjoy buying products, people want what is now. NRE focus on experiences that can be bought and sold
· Individualism: things that are personal and perfect for them. They bring satisfaction. NREs focus on materialism they also rely on individualism to sell objects and ideas that seem personal
·This is part of peoples quest for fulfilment
·Traditional religions aren’t offered material possessions and are turning to NREs


Rise of materialism example

Crystals – used by a variety of NRE's
Bring healing power, good luck and good karma
Spirituality and materialism collide


Scientific Progress:

·Rapid scientific progress can raise some questions about religious perspectives
The more science explains the operations of the world, the less likely people are to need religious explanations for how the world works


How are people reacting too scientific progress? example included

Some people abandon religious thoughts all together while others become spiritual but not religious
These are people who don’t like traditional religious practice but still want a source of meaning and purpose in their lives
·Science and spirituality can coexist to fulfil, their spiritual needs
Eg, yoga, meditation, mind-body-spirit festival wellbeing and spiritual guidance


Growth of ecological awareness

NRE focus on caring for and having a relationship with the earth

We are more than inhabitants; the earth is profoundly sacred, and we should protect the earth


Growth of ecological awareness: Caring

Caring: they provide a platform to be active in caring for the earth. They foster attitudes of respect and gratitude


Growth of ecological awareness: Relationship

Relationship: some expressions focus on having a spiritual relationship with the earth. This relationship has a personal and environmental benefit
Eg. Many new-age spiritualities are based on the philosophies of ancient expression
Spiritual ecology: the belief to treat the earth. As if we have a spiritual relationship with it


Define disenchantment:

Combination of disappointment and dissatisfaction


How are people being disenchanted? brief:

Way of worship and perception of religion


Disenchantment: Way of worship

Way of worship:
unexciting – formal ways of worship can be dull and not dynamic. Many people are uninterested in traditional forms of worship
Too strict: the lifestyle and ethical rules people are told to live by can be outdated and too prescriptive. It does not provide a meaningful support system in the modern world


Disenchantment: perception of religion

Perception of religion
Religious affiliation: used to be a way of life and it was rare to be irreligious
Having no religious affiliation in modern Aus. is completely unacceptable. This makes being spiritual – not religious an appealing option
Negative attention: multiple factors are causing peoples views of religion to transform
E.g. Abuse of power in the catholic church and radicalism in Islam. People are becoming easily disillusioned by injustice


Disenchantment and NRE's statement

Despite people turning away from traditional practice, individuals still long for spiritual meaning in their life.



A non-religious worldview. The disbelief in a god or any transcendent power
Some have an inherent inability to believe in god. Believing religious teachings can seem implausible.
There is significant scientific evidence against any god's existence



The idea that we don't know if a god or transcendent being exists.
God’s existence can neither be proved or disproved
We will never know everything about the universe


Rational Humanism:

Human reason is the highest form of authority in existence
Humans are the most intelligent creatures in the universe
The human mind is the most reliable guide for understanding and decision making
The human experience is sufficient enough to provide morals. We don’t need external sources of moral authority such as sacred texts.


Scientific Humanism:

Belief humans are the ultimate authority
They place a large emphasis on the power of science and problem solving
Scientific methods are viewed as keys to solving the world's problems
Although science cant provide the answers to everything is it the best we have access too.


Atheism: aspirations and behaviour of individuals

Education and Science: keys to a functioning society, reach their human potential, discover the universe.
Complete freedom: we determine our own destiny, live a full life on earth, as there is nothing after physical death
Ethics and morals: relative to the individual, intuitive


Agnosticism: aspirations and behaviour of individuals

Living ethically: is important and it is the basis for good relationships and lack of conflict and war
Being ethical is human duty: a meaningful life can be achieved through human reason and freedom
Behaviour should focus on bettering ourselves and society as a whole rather than being obedient to a higher power


Humanism: aspirations and behaviour of individuals

The goodness and potential of humans. Human potential is greater than the current achievements.
We get our morals empirically: morals arise from observation and experiences, not from sacred texts or other sources.
There is no afterlife: we should reach our full potential on earth. We should preserve the environment. Social Harmony and individual happiness should be a priority.


Define transcendent:

anything beyond our regular human experience. Things or ideas that transcend our physical world.


Christianity and humanism: Transcendent

Christianity is based on a belief in the transcendent, primarily through the idea of a God and heaven. Humanism rejects the transcendent and favours living a full life on earth.


Christians transcendent:

Christians have a strong belief in the transcendent. It is based on the belief that there is a God who holds the ultimate power of the world
Lifes meaning and purpose is derived from God
Christians believe in an afterlife


Humanism Transcendent:

Humanists reject the concept of the transcendent
Our physical life and the material universe is all we have. There is no continuation of life after death
We determine our own destiny


Christians Human person:

Humans are made in the image of God, comprised of the mind, body and spirit
Humans have an obligation to create peace and harmony
Humans are of a high value


Humanism human person:

Humans have succeeded through logical adaption and inherent superior knowledge
We learn our ethics through experience
We have an obligation to maintain peace and harmony for the good of humankind


Social Responsibility:

How we treat others, community involvement and how we give back to others.


Social responsibility humanists and Christians:

Humanists and Christians share many of the same responsibilities. However, the reasoning and sources of these are different.


Social responsibility humanists:

Humanist believe in protecting the earth because it will better the quality of life for humanity
Charity and kindness are crucial to make the most of our time on earth


Social responsibility Christians:

Charity is an important obligation because we are all good creatures
Caring for the environment is critical because it is God’s creation