Evidence for and against secularists For Secularists -evidence that religious practice is declining: -in the I-J membership of Christian Churches has declined since the ass, however membership levels of Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim religions has increased – attendances of services has declined in Christian Churches -civil marriage services have increased, religious marriages and baptisms have declined.
Wilson looked at these figures and argues that secularists is happening -levels of disengagement- church moving away from the state- high levels of assignment shows that secularists is happening, in Britain there has been disengagement over the last 200 years, the Monarch is no longer the active leader of the Church of England, but not complete disengagement as there are Bishops in the House of Lords and the Queen is a symbolic leader of the Coffee, and there is compulsory religious education in secondary state schools.
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However in France they are totally disengaged they are not even allowed to wear religious symbols to school and they are not taught R. S, could be argued that France is secularists. However in Iran there is a Theocracy- so total engagement and therefore they are not secularists. -millions have dropped out of mainstream religions over the last few years, although people are Joining MR. the net movement is decreasing.
Secularists from within- Herbert religious organization have become less religious and less spiritual for example Christian American groups do community work which is not religious and so their religion has become watered down. The myth of the golden age of religion- we usually compare membership levels from now o what they used to be but Martin highlights those figures from the past are miss leading as lots of people attended church as it was sometimes the law to attend church and it was socially unacceptable not to go to church and therefore the figures are invalid.
Methodological evaluation if these statistics: -Membership figures- using a questionnaire or consensus people may not tell the truth and so results may be invalid. Might not be religious, may feel pressurized into putting you’re religious, could be embarrassed to say you are religious especially with younger generations. Attendance figures can be invalid using the same points as above. Also standing outside religious buildings is not representative as it might not be a typical day egg a wedding. Religious weddings are declining but those who are having them may not even be religious/not having it in church for religious meaning. Belief levels have decreased over time- this is found out by asking people. Grace Davie says that people are ‘believing without belonging. Lackawanna- ‘appropriations of religion’. Therefore people are still religious Just not part of a religious group. Both re saying that religion is not declining Just changing form.
Against Secularists -rise of fundamentalist religions all over the world Evidence For And Against Secularists By Allegro membership levels and high religiosity amongst ethnic minorities. BUT- Bruce said that some may be attending fro non religious reasons: cultural transition and cultural defense. -rise of NEAR- membership levels are growing for example yoga, Kendal Project, crystal healing. BUT- some follow NEAR for non religious movements and some argue that they cannot actually be categorized as religions
Conclusion for secularists debate It depends on the definitions used: The Substantive definition (what it involved etc) Inconclusive definition- a lot of phenomena will be defined as religion because not many criteria used- conclude that secularists is not happening Exclusive definition used- excludes a lot of phenomena as a lot of criteria used- conclude that secularists is happening this is because religions that could be used as evidence against secularists would not be allowed to be used as it would not be classified as a religion under the exclusive definition.
The definition of secularists Sharon Hanson- broad and narrow approach Broad- has religion lost its significance for the whole society e. G. Levels of disengagement? Narrow- impact of religion on the individual e. G. Are they still believing? If the narrow approach was adopted it is less likely to conclude that secularists is happening because people are believing without belonging etc. Broad approach is more likely to say that secularists is happening as membership levels are dropping etc.
Depends where you are talking about geographically with a global focus this would hide big differences in seculars=sensation -most secularists in the western world as we are putting more belief in science than the eastern world (disengagement) -Europe- Poland are strongly religious and it has a powerful influence on the state and society. Stark and Bantering- religion acts as a compensator for all our hardships, if you agree with them then secularists will never fully happen as there will always be a need for religion. However people may use other compensator such as friends/ councilors, drugs, etc.