Sociological Evidence for Religion's Influence Over Individual Consciousness

Sociological Evidence for Religion's Influence Over Individual Consciousness

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Sociological Evidence for Religion's Influence Over Individual Consciousness


Statistical evidence suggests that in terms of institutional religion,
membership is in decline in Britain and in much of the rest of the
world. Church attendance figures show a continuing drop in attendance
throughout the twentieth century particularly in Anglican, Baptist and
Catholic Churches. It has also been found that the number of children
being baptised has dropped from 65% of the British child population to
only 27%.

Many sociologists use these statistics as support for their hypothesis
in the secularisation of our society. However an equal number
disregard these facts as evidence of secularisation, arguing that for
our society to become secular there must be a decline in religious
belief not just Church membership. Institutional religion can be
defined as a large organisation, that has particular codes of conduct,
values and morals which members are supposed to follow. Private belief
is when an individual has their own set of beliefs and moral
guidelines to follow, worship and abidance to these rules are
conducted personally and internally. An opinion poll conducted in 1991
called the British Social Attitudes Survey found that only 10% of the
English population and 1% of the people in Northern Ireland denied the
existence of God outright. This suggests that Britain has a religious
population supporting the idea that religion still has major influence
over religious consciousness. It is therefore necessary to explain
what has caused the decline in popularity of institutional religion if
it is not a decline in religious belief itself.

It can...


... middle of paper ...


...ety this has lessened ????????????/.
Finally the development of rational ideologies such as Communism have
highlighted negativity within religious institutions (for example
Marx's claim that 'Religion is the opium of the people').
Desacrilisation can be denounced for its lack of hard data, it almost
appears that much of the theory is based on the impressions of
particular researchers. When looking at society from a different
perspective it is clear to see that the supernatural does play a
significant role in our lives. An example being belief in
superstitions such as walking under a ladder or making a wish when you
break a wish bone or blow out candles. To imply that supernatural
belief has been banished from our society would eradicate all
superstitious related actions, yet they are still prevalent in our
society.

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