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Unit 1: Different theories of ideology, science
and religion, including both Christian and non-
Christian traditions
Theories of science
Science provides: empirical evidence, objectivity,
quantitative data
Wilson- science is more rational than religion as it
was unable to produce evidence.
Comte +Durkheim- science was the highest form
of human thinking
Boronski- scientific methods include: observation,
experimentation, objectivity.
Feyerabend- Objectivity is impossible as scientists
choose their topic of study.
Giddens- the majority of scientists are objective.
Lyotard- science is another big story about the
world.…read more

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Popper- science is based on the principle of falsfication:
testing to disprove the theory.
Merton- science is an organised activity has a set of
norms.
Communism- knowledged must be shared
Universalism- scientific knowledge is judged by objective
criteria
Disinterestedness- seeking knowledge for its own sake
Organised
Specitism- every theory is open to critics and testing
Woolgar- scientists have to persuade the scientific
community to accept their interpretations of the world
Bierstedt- objectivity, `the conclusions arrived at as the
result of enquiry or investigation are independent of the
race, colour, creed.
Value-laden- beliefs are influenced by the political or…read more

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Theories of ideology
Argues that the class that controls economic
production also controls the production and
distribution of ideas in society.
Religion operates as an ideological weapon used
by the ruling class to legitimate the suffering of
the poor.
Ideas create a false class consciousness- a
distorted view of reality that prevents the poor
from acting to change their situation.
Lenin-describes religion as `spiritual gin' an
intoxicant doled out to the masses by the ruling
class to confuse them to keep them in their
place.
Marx sees religion as the product of alienation.
It involves becoming separated from or losing
control over something that one has produced.…read more

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Evaluation: Marx shows how religion may be a
tool of oppression that was exploitation and
creates false consciousness. BUT it ignores
positive functions of religion such as
psychological adjustment to misfortunate.
Althusser rejects the concept of alienation as
unscientific and based on a romantic idea that
human beings have a `true self'
Religion does not necessarily function
effectively as an ideology to control the
population.
Abercome and Turner: argue that in pre
capitalist society, while Christianity was a
major element of ruling class ideology.…read more

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Feminism- regards religion as patriarchal institution
that reflects and perpetuates this inequality.
Religious organisation are mainly male dominated
despite the fact that women participate more than
men.
Armstrong- sees women's exclusion through the
priesthood of most religious as evidence of their
marginalization.
Places of worship: segregate the sexes. Women's
participation may be restricted. Holm describes this
as the devaluation of women in contemporary society.
Religious laws/customs: give women fewer rights.
Many religious legitimate and regulate women's
traditional domestic and reproductive role. Catholic
Church bans abortion and artificial contraception.
Woohlead argues that the exclusion of women from
Catholic priesthood is evidence of the Church's…read more

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