• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the view that science has replaced religion as the main ideological influence in society today. (33)

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Assess the view that science has replaced religion as the main ideological influence in society today. (33) Following the period of the Enlightenment when scientific and evidence-based rational thought was seen to be increasingly replacing religion in explaining the world, one might have predicted that religion would one day be displaced by science. However, in the twenty-first century, while science has gained in influence and knowledge, it would be wrong to say that religion has been displaced, as it still plays an important role. In addition, in an increasingly postmodern world, many individuals are seeking sources of spirituality through new religious movements, while for fundamentalists religion is as relevant today as at any time in the past. Therefore the debate surrounding religion and science is one of fluctuating beliefs. Comte saw the growth of scientific explanation as a feature of modernity. And today its achievements in many basic features of daily life such as, transport, communication and economic productivity has raised our standard of living. Also its achievements in medicine have eradicated fatal diseases. This success has led to a widespread faith in science. However even though science has gained respect by increasing our standard of living with its achievements it has created its own manufactured risks. ...read more.


He was ridiculed out of his profession. Then why should science by the main ideological influence in society today when science is not open to discuss theories, this shows that it can be a closed belief system. But Kuhn explains that, when enough respected scientists challenge the paradigm, there is scientific revolution. This therefore shows that when a new theory is backed up by enough people with the right evidence then change can occur. Interpretivist sociologists have developed Kuhn?s ideas further They argue that all knowledge is socially constructed. It is created by social groups using the resources available to them. In the case of science, their ?scientific facts? are a product of shared theories or paradigms that tell them what they should expect to see. Therefore science and religion both have the same amount of ideological influence in society today as neither are the full truth and just both are socially constructed metanarratives. Globally, the religious influence is still very strong with billions of people identifying with the major religions as well as superstitious beliefs in many less developed countries, such as Voodoo. The functionalist perspective highlights how religion performs many important functions that science is simply incapable of doing. ...read more.


Other postmodernists, such as Jean Lyotard, refuses to accept science and ideology as meta-narrative. Science is just another meta-narrative that falsely claims to possess the truth. Marxists would say it?s just another way of thinking that is used to dominate people. Others argue that the validity of science has also been discredited by the falsification of evidence and some scientists are seen as serving the interests of their paymasters e.g. Governments. However, scientists would nonetheless point to the significant contribution of research and growing acceptance of scientific explanation in a technological society. In conclusion, it is unclear that religion has been displaced by science in society today. This is due to the problematic nature of measuring religious influence, despite the growing influence of science and rational thinking. Science and religion can be viewed as competing ideologies in society. While ideas of secularisation support the growth of influence of science, the debates surrounding globalisation, beliefs in postmodern society and fundamentalism all support the continued influence of religion. But I personally believe that Bruce?s argument of secularisation shows people are no longer being influenced by religion leaving a gap in the market for science to step in and take the main ideological influence in society today. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Asses sociological explanations for the increasing number of religions & spiritual organisations and movements ...

    the 1980's and 90's has seen the growth of these so called New Age movements - the majority of which are cults based on such things as spiritual healing, paganism and ecology.. They tend to be client and audience style cults.

  2. Can and should sociology be a science?

    Science has built-in checks against the influence of personal bias. Science is provisional and studies are often repeated. Many scientists holding different values whom reach similar conclusions, we can be reasonable confidant that he conclusions are not biased by personal values.

  1. Outline and Assess Whether stratification is either inevitable or beneficial to individuals and society?

    For example the rich have their own clubs an bars which are all really expensive that other status groups cant afford. People can belong to different classes but belong to the same status groups. When Weber mentions party he is talking about the exercise of power by pressure groups and political parties.

  2. Assess the view that cults, sects and new age movement are fringe organisations that ...

    Many people are more likely to try out many new religious movements to find a belief system which makes sense to them, while rejecting that of traditional religions. Next in terms of women many do join NRMs to get way from a patriarchal society which modern society is based upon.

  1. Assess sociological explanations for the increasing number of religious and spiritual organizations and movements ...

    They tend to be client and audience style cults. Many of these movements are hybrids of different belief systems and rely on the media to get their message across.Heelas argues that there are two common themes that characterise the New Age and these are self spirituality, this is when new agers seeking the spiritual have turned away from traditional

  2. Assess the nature and extent of secularization in society today. Evidence surrounding church attendance ...

    The church can still influence politics and carries out some educational and welfare tasks. Bellah argues that the decline in religious attendance may not be due to secularization, but as a result of religion becoming based on a more individual form.

  1. Sociological Theories

    Parsons sees social stratification as both inevitable and functional. Inevitable because it derives from shared values which are a necessary part of all social systems and functional because it serves to integrate various groups in society. Marx however sees class as a social group whose members share the same relationship to the means of production.

  2. Functionalist view about the role of religion in today society

    They claim that religions justify inequalities in society and are actually a conservative force to control people. Functionalists also ignore cases when religious institutes can promote social change. For instance, the beliefs of Calvinists helped stimulate the growth of capitalism in Europe.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work