Secularism and religion
Secularism and Religion
Religion and Secularism have been around for years. People have many different views and thoughts about secularism. Secularism as a philosophy owes its origins to George Jacob Holyoake (1860), who introduced the idea that life should be lived by reference to ethical principles, and the world understood by processes of reasoning, rather than by reference to God or gods, or other supernatural concepts. From the perspective of government and governance, secularism refers to a policy that separates religious authority from the state .The opposite of secularism is usually theocracy; that is, where ...view middle of the document...
Is religion important in your life? Religion have changed over the years, but still have the same meaning, in this paper I will discuss the different types of religions.
Secularism Is the twenty-first century, starting with that awful date 11 September 2001, to be the religious century? What are we to make of the fact that a majority in the West believe in God and tend to describe themselves as religious? It is after all a fact that, in a society which frequently describes it self as secular, a majority of people believe in God and call them Christian. The UK, which is often thought of as one of the more secular countries in Western Europe, illustrates the point.
In its 2001 government-conducted census, 72 per cent of the population described themselves as Christian. In some regions, such as the North East and North West of England, this rose to an astonishing 80 per cent and 78 per cent, respectively. By contrast, 15.5 per cent stated they had no religion. Study reveals a similar picture across Europe. On average, 77 per cent of people stated that they believed in God. Those who called themselves a ‘convinced atheist’ registered at a mere 5 per cent, although a total of 28 per cent described themselves as ‘not a religious person’. And the figures for belief are higher for the USA. Such statistics are of course open to a variety of interpretations. For some the figures do not disprove the overall pattern of ongoing Christian decline,
Demonstrated by what they see as the more important and far lower numbers attending church services. They would argue that what people understand by Christian identity or belief in God is so vague as not to be meaningful. When comments about belief are made, what is intended is no more than a sense that they are good, decent people. For others the figures are evidence of a Christian persistence. They argue that ongoing belief in God requires an explanation. To say that religion is in decline is to miss an important part of the picture. Professor Grace Davie has argued that what the statistics show is that people have religious beliefs but they are not willing to belong to a church. Regardless of whichever of the many interpretations is preferred, the difficulty remains.
There is a persistent notion that Western history progresses relentlessly towards increasing secularism. This account of history begins with the crude anthropomorphism of the Greek and Roman gods. This develops into a more theologically and philosophically sophisticated monotheism. A shift in direction towards humanism occurred with the Renaissance before the triumph of the Enlightenment. At the Enlightenment, scientific thought and reason swept away the old superstitions of religion.
The final triumph of science and reason depends on education and, increasingly today in the West, the ability of liberals to resist the political power of religious conservatives, be they Christian or Muslim. In this book I am...