Assess sociological explanations of science and ideology as belief systems

Topics: Marxism, Science, Sociology Pages: 2 (1003 words) Published: December 4, 2014
Assess sociological explanations of science and ideology as belief systems (33 marks) A belief system is a set of ideas that a person uses to make sense of the world around us. Science can be defined as a way of looking at the natural world, which is systematic, objective and capable of generating universal laws. Ideology is a systematic set of beliefs, which serve the interests of a social group in society. It is often associated with the ‘power’ and the ability of those at the top of the society to put forward their own ideas as right. These ideas could be distorted, partially true and put forward for a purpose. Science has had a huge impact on society in the past few centuries with medicines curing disastrous diseases and the growing success of technology. This success has led to a widespread belief in science; believing science can deliver well to the people in society. However, this success has been dimmed by science causing problems; for example global warming and pollution as these are both products of science.  However the good and bad effects of science show features distinguishing it from other belief systems as it enables us to explain predict and control the world in a way that non-scientific or pre scientific belief systems cannot do. Science is a belief system as it fills the gaps which ideology and religion cannot fill and science also makes sense of the world around us. An example of this is science explains why earth is the perfect environment for humans to live on. However, Rationalists point out that science is based on fact, whereas beliefs are not: they rely on faith. Therefore, Rationalists argue that science is not a belief system. Dawkins put forward that science is based on evidence so science cannot be a belief system. Whereas some people use science to explain the world but we need to have faith in science, an example of this can be in regards to cures for cancer. Therefore people have faith in system and would claim science is a...
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