BELIEFS IN SOCIETY: TOPIC 2

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1. It upholds traditional beliefs about how society should be organised
2. It stabilises society and maintains the status quo.
Religion's conservative beliefs
They have traditional conservative beliefs about moral issues and many of them
oppose changes that would allow individuals more freedom in personal and sexual
matters.
They uphold "family values" and often favour a traditional patriarchal domestic
division of labour.
Traditional conservative values also predominates male domestic authority and the
practice of arranged marriage.
Religion's conservative values
It functions to conserve or preserve things as they are and maintain the status quo.
Religion and Consensus. Functionalists see religion as a conservative force because
it functions to maintain social stability and prevent society from disintegrating.
Marxists and Feminists see religion as an ideology that supports the existing social
structure and acts as a means of social control, creating stability in the interests of
the powerful.
Religion and Capitalism. Marx sees religion as a conservative ideology that prevents
social change.
Religion and Patriarchy. Feminists see religion as a conservative force because it acts
as an ideology that legitimates patriarchal power and maintains women's
subordination in the family and wider society.
Religious beliefs of Calvinism helped to bring about major social change.
Modern capitalism is unique, because it is based on systematic, efficient, rational pursuit of
profit for its own sake, rather than for consumption ­ "the spirit of capitalism".
Calvinist beliefs
Predestination ­ God had predetermined which souls would be saved.
Divine transcendence ­ no human being could possibly claim to know his will.
Asceticism ­ this refers to abstinence, self-discipline and self-denial
The idea of vocation or calling ­ a calling to serve God.

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Hinduism and Confucianism
Weber was NOT arguing that Calvinist beliefs were the cause of modern capitalism,
but simply that they were one of its causes.
Argues that ancient China and India were materially more advanced than Europe, but
capitalism did not take off there.
The failure of capitalism due to lack of a religious belief system like Calvinism.
Evaluation
Marx saw economic or material factors as the driving force of change, whereas
Weber argues that material factors alone are not enough to bring about capitalism.…read more

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The New Christian Right
They wish to make abortion, homosexuality and divorce ILLEGAL.
Believes in the traditional family and traditional gender roles.
Unsuccessful in achieving its aims, Bruce suggests:
- the "Moral Majority" was never a majority but 15 % of the population.
- campaigners find it difficult to cooperate with people from other religious groups.
- lacks widespread support and has met with strong opposition.…read more

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