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

Social Darwinism: Herbert Spencer and The Catholic Churc

Extracts from this document...


Social Darwinism: Herbert Spencer and The Catholic Church Herbert Spencer: Englishmen (1820-1903) Jamie, Samantha, and Jeff Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer was the most important Social Darwinist of the 19th Century. He was the first to begin thinking about evolutionist long before Darwin came out with his book on the "Origins of Species". He had many theories such as that everything evolves from one basic creature and then breaks off into more diverse species (Haberman (Hab.), 171). His theory was that social, political, and intellectual movements were caused by the development from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous. Spencer once stated, "If the advance of man towards greater heterogeneity is traceable to the production of many effects by one cause, still more clearly may the advance of society towards greater heterogeneity be so explained" (Haberman 2 (Hab2)) ...read more.


Spencer strongly believed in the theory of survival of the fittest where only the fit will survive and the weak will perish, this would lead to a lot of competition. It is needed in order for the fit to stay on top of the economic and social struggle (Sweet). Spencer played a large role in the 19th century and the effects on society, religion and politics that would later affect our world today. The Catholic Church As the Catholic Church and its beliefs were still strong in the 19th century, it was about to be challenged like never before in it's history. A man named Charles Darwin did this through his views on nature, also challenging biblical theology and raising debates about the beliefs of people. ...read more.


However to many, including the Protestants, Darwin was thought to be "The Devil" because of his atheistic views. The Catholic Church dealt with Social Darwinists in a way that was different from past methods, they did not condemn Darwinism, as it felt that it did not challenge basic Catholic Dogmas (Hab, 172). It however did attempt to resist social Darwinism and the influences it would surely have on its society. Pope Puis IX denounced the modern world and all of its changes stating that " (It is wrong) that every man is free to embrace and profess the religion he shall believe true, guided by the light of reason"(Hab, 172). This would lead to the first Vatican Council in over 300 years to proclaim the doctrine of papal infallibility as dogma in matter of faith. Forever changing the way society perceives religion and it's principles. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work