Wilson: Social and cultural diversity

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  • Wilson: Social and cultural diversity
    • The move from pre-industrial to industrial society brings about the decline of community and this contributes to the decline of religion.
    • In pre-industrial society, shared values were expressed through collective religious rituals that integrated individuals and regulated their behaviour
    • When religion lost its basis in local communities, it lost it's vitality and hold over individuals.
    • Bruce: Industrialisation undermines the consensus of religious beliefs that holds small, rural communities together.
    • Social and geographical mobility not only breaks up communities but brings people together from many different backgrounds, creating even more diversity.
      • Diversity of jobs, cultures and lifestyles undermines religion.
    • Even where people continue to hold religious beliefs, they cannot avoid knowing that many of those around them hold very different views.
    • Small, close-knit, rural communities become large, loose-knit, urban communities with diverse values and beliefs.
    • Even where people continue to hold religious beliefs, they cannot avoid knowing that many of those around them hold very different views.
    • Bruce: Diversity undermines the plausibility of beliefs.
      • Undermines individualism because the plausibility of religion depends of the existence of a practising community of blievers.
    • In the absence of a practicing religious community that functions on a day to day basis, both religious belief and practice tend to decline.

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