Secularism Flashcards Preview

Ethics > Secularism > Flashcards

Flashcards in Secularism Deck (30):

What is secularism?

-Secularisation is a theory that links the deadline in religion to modernisation
-It is the principle of separation follow the state from religious institutions


Jose Casanova

'Rethinking secularisation'

3 ways people talk about secularisation

1. 'Decline of belief and practice in modern society'
2. 'Privatisation of religion... where religion should be private and should not be seen in public'
3. 'The secular separations of spheres of state, economy, science, which are free from religious institutions'


Jose Casanova


Maybe yes according to the 2014 British social attitudes surgery more people claim to be nob-religious than Christian


Joes Casanova


Maybe no because major national events such as Remembrance Day still involve religious organisations


Jose Casanova


Maybe no because the Queen is still head of state and head of Church of England and bishops of CofE sit in House of Lords


Is there a challenge of secularism?

Steve Bruce

-Sociologist of religion, describes Christianity in Britain as a place shadow of its former self


Is there a challenge?

Paul Meelas and Linda Woodhead

-Identify growth in alternative spiritualities (e.g. Mindfulness)


Is there a challenge?

Western Europe lead way

-1960s sociologist suggested Western Europe would lead way in secularisation and rest of world would follow


Is there a challenge?

Did Europe lead the way?

-Majority of world's population still claim to adhere to a religion and due to immigration this has grouch many new faiths to Britain


Is there a challenge?

Charles Taylor

'Secular age'
-The presumption that a gov. Will be Christian and so will the state and the people within it has been replaced with a plural religious situation
-No. people following Christianity may be decreasing but secularisation of Britain not happening fur to many other religions


Sigmund Freud

The unexplained

-Religion and modern religious beliefs delusion that exists the protect us from nature and fate
-Religion provides information that humans scarce about things that. Annoy be discovered through a study of reality


Sigmund Freud


'The religions of mankind must be classed as amongst the mass delusions'


Sigmund Freud


-religion produced by anxiety about something beyond our control
-Religion represses desires that are destructive to society such as sexual violence and theft
-This religious delusion is unreliable and unhealthy
-These feelings as the reason people turn to religion, which becomes unhealthy delusion


Richard Dawkins


'Somebody else must be responsible for my well-being and somebody else must be to blame if I am hurt. Is it similar to infantilism that really lies behind the need for a god?'

God delusion


Richard Dawkins


-Is it a problem with humanity or religion?
-Is it God's fault the human beings point the finger and need something or someone to blame for problems like evil?
-If God didn't exist would humanity just find someone else to blame?


Dawkins vs Religion

-Thinks life should be meaningful without reference to religion
-Human need for God is infantile and an adult should be able to find meaning in life from other sources than religion
-It is repressive such as religious dress codes (burqa)


Is Christianity a major cause of personal and social problems?


-Christianity can be seen as having a negative influence on society
-According to Dawkins it has played part in criminalisation of homosexuality and anything else that differs from moral absolutes
-Negative on sanctity of life and attempts to restricts women's access to abortion and contraception


Is Christianity a major cause of personal and social problems?

George Bush

-While Bush governor of Texas he oversaw 1/3 executions under fealty penalty and at the same time was preventing medical advancements using embryonic life


Is Christianity a major cause of personal and social problems?

Difficulty using multiple examples

-When generalisation of the whole faith is made
-Why ignore other examples e.g. In 19th century churches established schools for poor, civil rights etc


Education and religion

British Humanist association

-Campaigns against schools with religious character saying
'We aim for a secular state guaranteeing human rights with not privilege or discrimination on ground of religion of belief'
(Paying for education)
Instead 'young people of all different backgrounds and beliefs can learn with and from each other'


Education and religion

Dawkins adds

-Religious schools replace evidence based approached to understanding our world with superstitions
-Teaching education alone site other theories, such as creationism in science classes, fails to credit the evidence of evolution


Defending religious schools

Christopher Dawson

-Secular education problematic, points out that where education systems were consciously anti-religious (communist countries), religion becomes endangered
-Bh removing religion from culture it deprives religion and people who are trying to make sense of their own culture


Defending religious schools

Professor James Conroy

-Religious schools have an important role in a liberal democratic state - provides parents with choice and provide counter-balance


Indoctrination of children


-Religion is something everyone needs to escape from
-Most concerned about how children are 'hijacked by religious faith' causing them harm
-Uses extreme examples to illustrate point such as sexual abuse and forced baptism
-Children before consent being considered religious is form of long term psychological abuse


Indoctrination of Children

Dawkins quotes Nicholas Humphrys amnesty lecture 1997

'In short, children have a right not to have their mind addled by nonsense and we, as a society have a duty to prevent them from it'


Jo Marchant
Science Journalist
'A journey into the achieve of mind over body'

-Religious belief can be psychologically helpful rather than damaging
-Does not seek to demonstrate religion is true but uses interviews and gathers data to question view that it is psychologically harmful
-Compelling evidence to suggest practices e.g. Meditation and social gatherings bring about benefits
-Life after death helps overcome loneliness and people live happier and longer lives


Christianity should play no part in public life

-Secularity means a sense of church in gov. And state, means absence of religious involvement in government and public matters
-Found In countries such as France and turkey
-Idea that religion should have no. bearing influence on public world, Need not be neutral in religious arguments but any decisions that affect public (schools) should be based on democratic foundations
-Can be seen bubbling under surface (religious dress)


Secularisation theory

-Belief that religious belief would progressively decline as democracy technology advance
-Ford Casanova state atheist ideologies e.g. Communist sought to write out elisions from civilisation


Secularisation theory

Spiritual values

-Arguably these values (justice) are human, not just Christian values
-Not all values easily explained e.g. Self-sacrifice
-Therefore spiritual values are better than human values
-God represents both


Secularisation theory

Government and religion

-Some argue gov. Should be entirely separate. As a coe state inflates the many other faiths and beliefs in Britain
-However other faiths are not excluded from House of Lords (chief Rabbi for Jews and Duke of Norfolk for Catholics)
-Doctors who don't want to carry out procedures