What is the main function of religion?

What is the main function of religion?

The main function of religion is to provide a code of conduct for its members of society. ” Assess the sociological arguments and evidence to support this view in society. A working definition of religion is that it is an organized collective of individuals who share a specific fundamental system of beliefs. These individuals have a set of approved activities and practices which they follow. Some would say that it could also include a belief in a superior or supernatural power that is above nature and cannot be explained scientifically.

On the other hand, Marxist theorists see society as a u persecute which consists of a set of institutions; including religion. These institutions reinforce the ideology of the economic base. They believe that society isn’t peaceful and is based on conflict and exploitation. According to Marxism, religion creates an obedient society and gives people a place in the social order. This code Of conduct provides as a distraction for the proletariat in which they are blind to the true effects of the Bourgeoisie – creating false consciousness.

Karl Marx believed that religion is a form of “opium” which dulls oppressive pain, providing a sedative effect against capitalism and a ensue of hope for the working class who are exploited. In Mar’s view, religion uses its ethical systems to govern the way people behave and then reinforces this behavior with the threat or reward of the afterlife. As a result, suffering is made a virtue and those who suffer will be rewarded with a place in eternal bliss. This is almost rectifying injustice on earth -? allowing the proletariat to accept their social class as inevitable and divinely ordained.

For example, in Christianity, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. These ideas create false consciousness and prevent the proletariat from challenging their class position. Marxist also believe that religion teaches the ideas of hierarchy and justifies social order -? making it difficult for the oppressed to rebel. Some religions even believe in the concept of reincarnation and karma which teach that if you behave well in this world by accepting the rules, you will be reincarnated into a higher position in the next life.

However, Marx ignores positive functions of the religion such as it providing a network of emotional and psychological support. Neo- Marxist see aspects of religion as assisting the development of class consciousness. Neo-Marxist Otto Matador believes that religion is usually oppressive, but can be a vehicle for revolution. For Neo-Marxist such as Matador, religion maintains a ‘relative autonomy from the economic base and is free to challenge capitalism. Religion has some independence from the economic base as it has its own semi-independent base.

It is not always a conservative force, however at times it can be the only successful vehicle for revolution. For example, in South America in the 1 sass ND ass, Liberation Theology is one of the fastest growing and most popular interpretations Of Christianity. It is the idea that people can be made free through religion. This means understanding their own condition and the reason for it, and responding accordingly. Another example of religion being a driving force for revolution is the Iranian revolution in 1975 where Islamic fundamentalism played a revolutionary role under the leadership of Ayatollah Shoeing against the Shah of Iran.

However, religion can act for change but theory still credits a mass of population with little independent action. This supports the neo-Marxist theory of religion and contradicts Mar’s idea that religion is the “opium of the people”. Also, former Archbishop of Canterbury told Western societies that he supports anti- arms activists. This opposes the Marxist view of the Proletariat rising up against the capital class; however, it supports the neo-Marxist view of religion being a force for revolution. Neo- Marxist Bryan S Turner disputes the Marxist claim that religion is always a tool used by the Bourgeoisie to control the proletariat.

He denies that religion was an integrity force in feudal Britain. Serfs and peasants had little interest or involvement in religion as their primary focus was on survival. The ruling class used religion to legitimate the concept of patrimonial primogeniture – which was the key to maintaining viable estates. Feminists agree with Marxist to the extent of religion acting as an instrument of domination and oppression but not for the ruling class -? for men. They believe that We live in a patriarchal society that legitimates female subordination. They criticism the sacred texts as in almost all the world’s religions, the gods are male.

Supernatural beings and religious leaders are overwhelmingly male, and in many religions, women play a secondary role in worship. In strong religious societies, women tend to have fewer options and less favorable treatment, and women’s bodies and sexuality was felt to be ‘dangerous’ by many religions. However, in the days when people worshipped the gods of nature, the female sex was seen as closer to nature, as they represented the mysteries of life and fertility. Patriarchal attitudes have meant that women have been barred and excluded from religious hierarchy.

However, in today’s society, the position of women in religious institutions is improving as more women are being anointed as priests. Also, last week, the Anglican Church had appointed Pat Storey as the UK and Ireland’s first woman Bishop. Simons De Behavior argued that religion acts for females as it does for the oppressed classes, as It creates a false gender consciousness among females. It makes women think that they are equal to men when really they aren’t. Women, like the oppressed classes, are told they will be rewarded in heaven for their sufferings.

IANAL el Said, believed that there is an immense patriarchal dominance in religion by men over women. She argued that as men wrote the scriptures, and the interpretation of them was almost exclusively male dominated, it has enabled men to use religion as an abuse of power. Religion is something that is hard to define precisely. Exactly what constitutes a religion is contested and depends fundamentally on the criteria used to define it. Because Of the boundaries where religions begin and end can be so blurred, it makes defining it extremely difficult.

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