What is the proper role of religion in a modern, secular society?
Secularisation is the transformation of society from one, which had close religious values, towards a society with nonreligious (or irreligious) values. It is believed to have come about as a result of the development of science and the increased use of rationality in philosophy, particularly by two ‘classical’ sociology philosophers, Karl Marx and Max Weber. They both believed that the significance of religion in society would decrease in modern time, and that as we gained more and more knowledge of the world around us, we would soon realise the illusion that is religion, therefore reducing its role in society. As a result of this, it has led to the debate of whether religion has a proper role in a modern, secular society, or whether in fact the role of religion has disappeared and has been replaced by the advancement in knowledge of science and use of rationality. I believe that evidence suggests that religion does have a proper role in a modern secular society due to three key reasons.
Firstly, religion provides a clear moral guideline for all. This belief is one which is universal, as all religions, whether it be Christianity, Buddhism or Islam, all provide some sort of moral code which all humans live and abide by. Furthermore, without religion in place, there is nowhere else for a moral code to originate from. This is because all other ethical codes either come from or agree with the one put forward by religion. For example, in the Bible, many of the 10 commandments, such as ‘thou shall not steal’ or ‘thou shall not murder’, have been taken and implemented in today’s secular society. Therefore, this demonstrates that religion does have a proper role in today’s modern secular society.
Secondly, religion gives meaning and purpose to people’s lives and almost acts as a ‘means to an end’. This is because religion gives people hope of there potentially being an after life or something...
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