Religious Belief: Alternative Views

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  • Created by: MattyLew
  • Created on: 05-05-18 19:02
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  • Religious Belief: Alternative Views
    • Popularist: Richard Dawkins
      • aims to identify the obvious negative and alarming features of religion (past and present) to persuade people that religious belief is dangerous, outdated and ridiculous
      • Popular media figure, uncompromising strong atheist, UK's leading atheist, 'The Root of all Evil?' cult 2004 documentary, "the God Delusion" 2006
      • is an evolutionary biologist, anti-theist "I want people to stop believing"
      • 1. Not necessary: Darwinian world means God is redundant. Remarkable coincidence of biologythat humans exist is enough, do not need an external force to look to.
        • 2. Faith Claims: "Faith is the great cop out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate the evidence", prevents us from investigating, just settle on supernatural reasoning + offers an impoverished world view; religions presents a "medieval universe"
          • 3. Purpose: lies in humanity itself not externally. This belief closes the door on further investigations
            • 4. Virus of Religion: religion leads to evil, it is a malignant virus which infects human minds "An indulgence of irrationality that is nourishing extremism, division and terror" - particularly fundamentalist Islam + evangelical Christianity
              • Religion affects morality: concerned with fundamentalist islam + evangelical Christians - misleading education (creationism),prejudice + ignorance, inciting fear, child abuse.
                • Religiously motivated terrorism: 9/11 + 7/7
    • Psychological Sigmund Freud
      • religious belief is a form of neurotic illness; developed to cope with psychological turmoil
        • Associated with repressed sexual memories: Oedipus complex, primal horde
        • God is a projection of the memory of one's father; it provides order they felt as a child and crave now
        • Felt humans had to overcome the unhealthy dependency on  religion in order to achieve true happiness
    • Sociological: Karl Marx
      • Man creates God, not vice versa to satisfy emotional needs
        • we prescribe God powers that we already possess - only by loving one another can man regain his humanity
          • social conditions created by humanity had to be revolutionised, then religion would whither away
      • Religion legitimises inequality, an though originated in revolutionary movement it is now used by ruling classes to dominate and oppress
        • religion discourages subject classes from recognising their oppressed situation and rising above it
      • The release from stress religion provides Is false: "the opium of the people"
    • Postmodern
      • philosophy that affirms no objective or absolute truth claims as everything is relative to an individuals belief
        • no global meta-narratives, religious institutions cannot claim monopoly
      • Direct response to failed modernism: that use of reason alone will better mankind
      • A religious belief or claim is just an individual truth - everything is up for debate, against traditions and social norms
      • There is a plurality of truths not one 'correct' one
      • religious, beliefs and practises can be invented, transformed and re worked
      • Eclecticism is encouraged - pick what works within your own system of belief!
    • Feuerbach
      • Contemporary of Karl Marx (influenced),  influenced Freud
      • religion was created by humanity: we take the most admirable aspects of humanity (compassion,justice) and project them onto an imaginary external being 'God'
        • we then imagine ourselves in relation to this being...but really we are worshipping humanity itself
          • we create God in our own image... not the other way round!

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