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REL 2011 FIU Secularism Secularization and Pluralism Summary Essay

REL 2011 FIU Secularism Secularization and Pluralism Summary Essay

Question Description

Summary Part 1


Features of secular state are:

  • it does not have any official religion
  • it neither encourages nor discourages the practice of any religion
  • all citizens are free to propagate, profess or practice their own religion
  • no discrimination is made among citizens on the basis of religion

A secular state would be one that has no religious symbolism attached to its government or institutions. It would have no laws that favor religion. The system of government, both in its theory and its practice would allow all citizens to participate equally in government or choosing representatives to government regardless of whether they were theist of atheist. Decisions would be made on the basis that they did not favor religions but promoted the right to freedom of religion and freedom from religion equally.

For this summary, let us bring into conversation our reading from the assigned article and the following quotes:

“Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money!”
– George Carlin, American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use.” (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
– Steven Weinberg, American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

“There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages.” (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)
– Ruth Hurmence Green, American author (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

“I do not believe all religions lead to God because no religion leads to God. Religion does not lead people to God any more than cups quench your thirst.”
– Bruxy Cavey, Canadian actor and author

“Tell a devout Christian that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yogurt can make a man invisible, and he is likely to require as much evidence as anyone else, and to be persuaded only to the extent that you give it. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept its every incredible claim about the universe, and he seems to require no evidence whatsoever.”
– Sam Harris, American author, neuroscientist, philosopher, and podcast host

Think about our world society at-large, then bringing the above quotes and the other readings assigned for this week into conversation with one another respond to the following questions:

  • In your opinion, what role does religion play across cultures in the world today, and how could secularization disrupt this order? Choose from Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, or Islam as points of reference (you can use Google News to access information useful for this task).
  • Which above quote do you connect with the most, and which one do you disagree with, and why?
  • If there was one thing you could change about how religion impacts society, thinking of the ideologies proposed by secularization, what would that be? Why?

Summary Part 2

Read this short article: https://www.stateofformation.org/2013/09/secularis…

Secularization and Pluralism are hot-topics in the universe of Religious Studies discourse, and academia as a whole. From a Religious Studies perspective, and in laypersons terms, they are best defined as follows:

Secularization: the process of either influencing people who were strictly religious or conservative of a certain cultural practice or disciples of certain ethical/ philosophical principals, to drop or relax their practices and adopt more liberal and popular culture; or as a society or institution relaxing set principals that forced members to adhere to strict code of conduct and setting them free to adopt liberal and popular practices of their choice. Secularism is a principle that involves two basic propositions. The first is the strict separation of the state from religious institutions. The second is that people of different religions and beliefs are equal before the law.

  • In true secularism, religions have to respect the laws of state, one common law for all religions (in marriage, divorce, etc.)
  • It is the concept that a society should be built, governed and operated without interference of personal beliefs, traditions and opinions based on such.
  • Secularism is an idea centered on separation of religion from worldly affairs.

Pluralism: a pluralist society connotes a nation/society marked by the absence of discrimination/bigotry of any sorts, (particularly along religious and ethnic lines). As the word pluralist itself suggests “numerous” – i.e. existence and acceptance of diverse opinions, beliefs and principles – and refers to the environment which is not only tolerant of all the elements residing in it but also an environment of harmony whereby people belonging to distinct cultural and ethnic backgrounds do not have a blinkered attitude towards the practices and cultures of other groups.

  • Pluralism is a view based on the concept that all religions are paths to truth, and reality, thus adherents of all existent religions will reach to salvation and prosperity.
  • Pluralism is acknowledging the fact that multiple power groups should exist and compete in a free and open marketplace of ideas, from which policies and law are generated to govern the society.
  • It is a form of society in which minorities maintain their independent cultural traditions without any restrictions.
  • Simply stated, it is a concept that supports the idea that people with disagreeing beliefs live in the same society peacefully without disbanding their beliefs.

Bringing into conversation the readings for the week, to include the assigned article, and the above passage, what religious milieu would you prefer to live in, a secular one, or one that is pluralistic? Explain your response thoroughly and thoughtfully.

Layout and Design:

Writing 200 words for each Summary Part 1 & 2, and complying fully with the following criteria makes for a successful assignment:

  • Typed in Times New Roman in a 12pt font
  • double-spaced
  • numbered pages
  • appropriate heading (name, class, date, professor’s name, topic)
  • creative title (use your imagination and create a cool title)
  • use of literature and citations if applicable
  • your grade will reflect grammatical inaccuracies in your work.

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