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Modern Britain is a secular society . To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence agree with this view

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Introduction

Modern Britain is a secular society . To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence agree with this view In this essay I will look at the work of various sociologists and analyze and evaluate them to see what extent they agree with the fact that modern Britain is secular society. Martin 1978 believes that the term secularization has become almost meaningless because everyone has different interpretations of it. He also feel that other sociologists work is highly influenced by their own views and ideas. Martin found that the degree of religious pluralism in society , the relationship between state and religion and the extent to which religion helps provide a sense of national or regional ethnicity the three main factors which determine the strength of religion in a modern society. Furthermore he found religion continues to flourish in societies where there is a high degree of religious pluralism, also a strong relationship between religion and nationalism and strong in under developed countries. Martins evaluation of secularization was that religion was no longer associated with the rich and elite and had been accepted by more people in lower classes. ...read more.

Middle

However, in Capitalist societies, Marx argued that religious influence was linked to the material conditions under which people existed since religious belief provided both an ideological legitimation of Capitalist exploitation and a form of relief from economic degradation. Weber believed that religion would decline through the process of rationalization and due to the fact that people are more informed . All this meaning that the world has become demystified and people no longer need to turn to religion for the answers of the unknown. Berger and Luckmann claim that a sociology of knowledge is impossible without a sociology of religion, and vice verse. They claim that in all societies there exists a universe of meaning, which becomes institutionalized and is seen as the true and objective way of seeing the world. They claim that in the past, religion has probably been the most important source of legitimation for any universe of meaning. It is, they argue, only relatively recently that the scientific worldview has posed a serious challenge to the religious worldview. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, for a religious view of the world to exist, it must have a firm base. Berger describes this base as a plausibility structure. Destruction of this plausibility structure implies the collapse of the universe of meaning. A redefinition of reality becomes necessary. The plausibility structure might be destroyed quickly. Berger suggests in the west through gradual secularization is happening. So, secularization can be seen as an effect of the declining of one knowledge system and the rise to prominence of another. While scientific rationalism has clearly triumphed over religion in some areas, religious values, ideas, norms and so forth still provide people with moral guidelines by which to live their lives. Other factors of secularization can be argued through the fact The Church is no longer as closely associated with the State and the political machinery of government. The growth of scientific ideologies has meant that the Church no-longer has a monopoly of knowledge. In this sense, the Church is no-longer able to sustain a unique, unified and, plausible, ideology. Overall to come to my conclusion I feel the argument for secularization is particular strong and believe it is currently taking place. ?? ?? ?? ?? Usman Gohar Usman Gohar ...read more.

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