Atheism and Agnosticism Mindmap

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  • Atheism & Agnosticism
    • Sociological Critiques
      • Marx
        • humanist - his theory is concerned with the quest for true meaning of human nature
        • God was an invention of the human mind to satisfy emotional needs
          • 'opiate of the people' = religion offered a release from distress
        • Ruling class used religion to oppress their subjects (working class)
          • Religion became the "illusion of escape" (gave them false hope)
            • 'opiate of the people' = religion offered a release from distress
          • Religion allowed the ruling class to dominate and repress the lower classes from recognising their real situation and rising above it
        • wanted to have a communist society
          • means that religion would no longer be needing to fulfil the function that a capitalist society forced upon it
      • Durkheim
        • Religion's function is to unite and preserve the community
        • Durkheim was keen to unite people in a civil morality based n the recognition that we are what we are because of society
        • Durkheim  was looking for a functional equivalent for religion in a fundamental non-religious (a-religious) age
          • trying to find alternative functions of religion which would be applicable in the21st century
        • An object becomes "profane" or "sacred" depending on how humans choose to use it
          • "profane" = ordinary
          • "sacred" = special
            • examples: holy water, bread and wine.
              • They are ordinary things but we give them special significance.
              • Give it intrinsic value
        • God and the clan being one and the same
          • a primitive can worshipping 'totem' (a symbol of worship) - no separate 'God' as the totem
    • Psychological Critiques
      • Freud
        • We need a father figure but we mistakenly turned t the idea of a perfect being (God)
          • we need an external force as well as an internal fore (conscience)
        • religion stemmed from primitive tribes
          • tensions rose between dominant male (father) and subordinates (sons) - resulted in the father being overthrown
            • The guilt from doing this manifested and leads the sons to worship him - superego (conscience)takes place of the father
              • represses antisocial behaviours and induces fear and guilt
                • God become the substitute father to help humanity deal with their actions
        • Jung worked alongside Freud but then left to pursue his own ideas
          • Jung
            • religion is a natural process that stems from the archetypes within the unconscious mind
              • Archetypes = 'conceptual matrixes or patterns behind all our religious and mythological concepts, and indeed, our thinking types general'
              • religious experiences force themselves upon the consciousness of the individual, and the source of God is the human unconscious psyche
            • Spirituality is more important that sexuality
        • sexuality is a key driving force in our psychology
      • Jung
        • religion is a natural process that stems from the archetypes within the unconscious mind
          • Archetypes = 'conceptual matrixes or patterns behind all our religious and mythological concepts, and indeed, our thinking types general'
          • religious experiences force themselves upon the consciousness of the individual, and the source of God is the human unconscious psyche
        • Spirituality is more important that sexuality
    • Philosophical Framework
      • based on experience
      • Posteriori, synthetic & inductive
      • Based on probability
      • Does religion exist because God does or because religion serves important functions?
        • Functions of religion includes moral support, security, community, reward & punishment, purpose in life, motivation
    • Difference between atheism and agnosticism
      • Atheism
        • the belief that there is no God
      • Agnosticism
        • Weak atheism = weak agnosticism
          • Atheism
            • the belief that there is no God
        • the belief of uncertainty abut God's existence

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