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Flashcards in Science and religion Deck (26)
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What is creationism?

An acceptance of the Genesis account of the creation of the universe as factual truth.


What are the major questions that philosophy, religion and science tries to answer?

How we got here, and why we are here.


What is the difference in approach between religion and science?

Religion asks why and science asks how.


What is the big bang theory?

the theory that the universe originated sometime between 10 billion and 20 billion years ago from the cataclysmic explosion of a small volume of matter at extremely high density and temperature


What did Stephan Hawking say about the Big Bang Theory in reference to religion?

An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job.


What do Creationists believe?

That the bible gives a factual account of God's creation of the world in six days.


What do other theologians believe about genesis?

They think creation is an ongoing process in which God plays a part. But they don't view the Genesis story as a literal account, but rather a story designed to help people understand their relationship with God and the natural world.


How did Professor Richard Dawkins challenge all religious accounts of creation?

Evolution is not a faith position. Like the 'theory' the earth is round and not flat, evolution is supported by mountains of scientific evidence, accepted by informed scientists and church people from the pope on.


What is a Goldilocks zone?

the "Goldilocks Zone" around stars where planets with Earth-like conditions could develop. The "Goldilocks Zone" is a range of distance from a star where it is not too close to be too hot for an Earth-like planet, and not too far away to be too cold for an Earth-like planet. The distance is "just right" for an Earth-like planet.


How did Darwin's discovery challenge religious beliefs?

Challenged the view of God as the creator of animals, and of humans to be like himself.
Natural selection conflicts with the account in Genesis that every being was created for a specific purpose.
It is a cruel process, so leaves no space for a God who is concerned about the welfare or suffering of his creations.


How did Michael Behe attack Darwinism?

He argued that life at a molecular level is so complex that it could not have come about by small incremental changes. Everything has to function at the same time; it would not work if parts only evolved gradually. Behe says Darwin has no explanation for such life. The best explanation is God.


What is Irreducible complexity?

The idea that some biological organisms are too complex to evolve without the help of an unevolved intelligence.


What is intelligent design?

The idea that the universe must have a designer rather than being the result of change or undirected natural processes.


What does Freud say religion originates from?

the ritualistic nature of religious activity is a compulsive obsessive neurosis – this he called the “universal obsessional neurosis”. Freud argued that religion arises from a fear of a chaotic an unordered world (The Future of an Illusion, 1927). A person’s resolution of this traumatic perception of the world is to project on to it their memory of their father, who provided a world of order and regularity while they were a child.


How did Freud say the Oedipus complex was linked to religion?

Freud noted more complicated emotions at work. He traced these conflicts back to when the child is being breast-fed. Once it is weaned, the child becomes more aware of the world beyond its mother. It sees its father apparently replacing it in its mother’s affections, and it experiences feelings of jealousy towards him. Freud calls this the Oedipus complex. The child represses the conflict into its subconscious mind. Throughout its adult life, this repressed memory then takes the form of a neurotic obsession. In particular, the jealousy felt towards the father manifests itself in the apparent religious obsession with God as a father figure.


What did Freud say happened in Primal hordes?

In these hordes dominant males have ‘first pick’ of the breading females and become the natural leaders of these groups. Within the horde younger male members become resentful. This resentment and jealousy is coupled with their respect for the dominant male as head of the horde. Freud called their attitude to the father ambivalent. Eventually, they plot to kill him.
After his death, they begin to idolise the father figure, setting him up as a totem. The horde experiences a traumatic collective guilt which is transferred to some object or animal: the mind deflects the feelings of guilt onto the new totem.


How did Freud link primal hordes to religion?

The totem becomes a way of controlling guilt. This stage of the process is called animism. Freud then traced the process through to its second stage which he called religious, in which the reputation of the slaughtered father grows to divine proportions, through the ambivalence and respect remain. To illustrate this, Freud referred to the Catholic celebration of the eucharist – the mass. In the mass, the slaughter of the God is recreated, and the representatives of the original horde eat the symbolic body. In this way, the guilt feelings are dealt with.


What did Freud say the purpose of religion is?

Freud was arguing that religion is a way of dealing with the inner guilt that is experienced as a result of the Oedipus complex (with its feeling of sexual repression), coupled with the natural fear of a disordered universe. Feelings of powerlessness are dealt with through the totemic projection of father figure and the ritualistic practices of religion.


Criticism of Freud's ideas?

Religion has beneficial uses
Freud’s idea would only work if guilt could be passed down generationally. The ambivalence and guilt that lead to religious activity would need to be present in every generation. Even if the primal crime of patricide actually happened, guilt for the act cannot be passed on
It was also pointed out that Freud’s argument that religion arises out of the worship of a father figure neglects to consider the religions in which the point of worship is a woman, or the religious systems that have no deity at all.


What did Carl Gustav Jung think religion was caused by?

Jung argued that God is an archetype. Each of us is born with the tendency to generate religious images. We share in these archetypes through the collective unconscious. Individuals participate in their cultural heritage through these archetypes. Jung argued that there is no way to prove the existence of God – all that can be asserted is that God exists as a psychic reality.


What did Jung say the purpose of religion was?

Jung argued that religion is a necessary safety feature, acting as a balance, preventing disparity, between different archetypes and thereby preventing neurosis. This process is called individuation.


What does Hume say about psychology and religion?

Hick argues that the verdict that religion can be explained away by psychology is ‘not proven’. While Freud and Jung offered valuable insights into the mechanisms that lead to religious belief, there is nothing compelling in either account to lead us to conclude that religion is a construct of mental activity.


What does Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) say about religion?

Durkheim attempted to demonstrate that religious phenomena stemmed from social rather than divine factors He came to define religion in terms of its function within society. He saw it as a means of social cohesion. In The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (1912), Durkheim noted that religion is an important part of the stability and integration in a society. These beliefs and practices unite people into a single moral community e.g. the church. Durkheim suggests that by worshipping god, people are in fact worshipping society. It is easier to visualise and direct feelings towards a symbol or totem rather than a complex concept as society itself.


How did Karl Marx view religion?

stifling free social self-expression
Marx saw true human nature as being both self-conscious and self-deterministic. This true character is frustrated by both capitalism and religion. Religion replaces this determinism with empty meaningless imagery, devoid of dignity.


What did Karl Marx think religion is used for?

Past societies tried to keep the exploited class under control by using elaborated political organisations, laws, customs, traditions, ideologies, religions and rituals. Marx argued that personality, beliefs and activities are shaped by these institutions. By recognising these forces, he reasoned, people will be able to overcome them through revolutionary action.


What did Max Weber think the power of religion came from?

The German sociologist Max Weber believed that the power of religion is wrapped up with the power of the charismatic leaders who begin religious movements, and with the people who continue their work. He made some distinctions between mainstream religion and the ‘sect’. He tried to find a positive role for religion in the development of society.