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Why Religion: Worldviews

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Why Religion: Worldviews

  1. 1. HRT 3M1 World Religions WHY IS RELIGION PRACTICED? It appears from archaeological records that one of the aspects of human nature is a search for the divine. Look at the following pictures and try to determine what we can learn about being human from these pictures? What do these images have in common? What are humans looking for?
  2. 2. Prehistoric Cave Drawings
  3. 3. Dante's Inferno
  4. 4. The Creation of Adam is a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo circa 1511. It illustrates the biblical story from the Book of Genesis in which God the Father breathes life into Adam, the first man.
  5. 5. Aztec Mythology Aztec mythology tells of four creator gods, each associated with a direction and a color— Tezcatlipoca, the north and black; Quetzalcoatl, the west and white; Huitzilopochtli, the south and blue; and Xipe Totec, the east and red. This drawing shows Hueheuteotl, the god of fire, surrounded by the four directions.
  6. 6. Science
  7. 7. Buddhism Wheel of Life This wheel illustrates the Buddhist worldview and provides instruction on how to live a good life. The wide circle divided into six units, depicts the six different levels of conditioned existence, while the outermost concentric ring of the Wheel is divided into twelve units, each depicting a phase of the cycle of cause and effect which keeps one trapped in the six realms of cyclic existence mentioned above.
  8. 8. Why Religion? Humans have always had a desire to understand their world/universe on a level that is not evident in animals Humans desire a greater meaning beyond ourselves and our everyday lives. This search for meaning comes in 4 areas: The Physical (that which we can see and touch - SCIENCE) The Communal (relationships with others) The Rational (reason - PHILOSOPHY) Spiritual Experience (RELIGION)
  9. 9. Why Religion Because humans are searching for meaning we often meet with things that we cannot understand – Mystery Trying to decipher and understand this mystery is what humans desire and can take two forms: ● Science ● Religion
  10. 10. Religious Questions Religion attempts to answer the mystery of existence through questions such as… ● Why do we exist? ● Is there immortality? ● What happens when we die? ● What is the “good life”? ● What is right and wrong?
  11. 11. Scientific Questions Science attempts to answer the "mystery" of existence through questions such as… Big Bang Theory — How and why did the universe begin? Time Travel — Is time travel physically or logically possible? Meaning of Life — What's the point of living? why are we here? Creation vs. Evolution — Are we descended from apes? Artificial Intelligence — Could a computer have a mind? Life After Death — What is death and why should we fear it? Extraterrestrial Life — Are we alone in the universe? Cultural Relativism — Are moral values relative or absolute? Ethical Dilemmas — How do we decide between right and wrong? Social Justice — Should the rich help the poor?
  12. 12. Worldviews Science and Religion, while similar in that they are attempting to answer the same questions, are two different worldviews There are 3 main worldviews: ● Cosmocentric ● Theocentric ● Secular Humanist
  13. 13. Cosmocentric Nature itself is seen as an expression of the sacred - the universe is alive and filled with a spiritual presence. Human lives are seen as dependent on nature’s patterns. Stories, narratives and symbols all reflect the beginning and continuation of the cosmos. Many NATIVE or ABORIGINAL cultures see their world in these terms and seek to integrate ways to honour nature’ s sacredness into daily life.
  14. 14. Theocentric This approach looks for deeper understanding of a reality beyond the cosmos. As Christians we call this REALITY, “God”. The belief is that God created the universe and is separate from the universe; each person is created in the image of God. The purpose of life is to discover the path that will lead to (re)UNION with God and to live in accordance with the rules and values that reflect and can achieve this purpose.
  15. 15. Secular Humanism In the modern era humanity became interested in itself and its own story – this has taken on religious or non-religious forms: Secular humanists believe that the dignity of the person, human life and happiness are achieved through human reason and effort alone. Goal of existence is to lead a good and useful life, focused on ‘NOW,’with no concern for eternity/no belief in an afterlife. Committed to improving life through science, education, art etc. So the main concerns of humans are fulfillment, growth and creativity for individuals and humankind.
  16. 16. Secular Humanism This view upholds the belief that there is NO divine presence and NO NEED for one since all nature can be viewed scientifically. Religion is an illusion; a stage to grow out of. People are viewed as free individuals who are no longer linked to a community. To be authentic people must be true to themselves, not outside rules. Beliefs, traditions, values and ethics based on reason NOT revelation (religion based/irrational). Secular Humanism is a way of thinking about the world where the ONLY truth worth considering is one based on HUMAN VALUES alone. Religion is pushed out of the picture, and SCIENCE and technology are believed to provide the answers to life’s problems
  17. 17. Science vs. Religion Modern times have involved a growing emphasis on a scientific way of knowing – what can be seen in the material world, what can be proven through observation and what can be understood through reason. It became more accepted that people should not accept anything as true unless they had observable and measurable reason to hold something to be true. This movement was known as RATIONALISM For Discussion/Thought: Q: CAN SCIENCE SAY ANYTHING ABOUT GOD??? Q: WHAT CURRENT ISSUES RAISE QUESTIONS OF REASON AND FAITH??? Q: IS RELIGION DEAD OR DYING???
  18. 18. Religion & the Modern World Although there has been no official state religion in Canada since 1867, it was founded by Christian explorers and thus its forefathers established institutions and laws based on Christian ideals. Brainstorm: Answer the following questions before going to the next slide. ● Where do we still see vestiges of Christianity in our society? ● What are some signs that the influence of Christianity is declining?
  19. 19. Vestiges of Christianity: Vestiges of Christianity: ● Canada's legal and ethical system are largely based on Judeo-Christian teachings ● We hear public figures asking God to bless our country ● Publicly funded Catholic school systems (Ontario) ● National anthem “God keep our land, glorious and free” ● Other ideas?
  20. 20. The Decline of Christianity Evidence of change: ● Greater number of people in Canada claim to have no religion – 2001, 16.2 percent or 4.8 million ppl (up from 1 percent in 1971) ● Popular culture reflects an increasingly secular world, often downplaying or mocking religiously grounded standards or right or wrong ● Laws no longer requires stores to close on Sunday ● The idea that individuals should be able to decide for themselves what is right and wrong has gained support (secular humanism). Notes: •In life, religion, politics, the economy, education, the sciences and morality were not seen as separate entities. The church was the only source of meaning and morality. •500 years ago in Europe it was almost unthinkable NOT to believe in God – this was true among the Europeans who founded/settled Canada. •Historically many Churches had connections to the state government, this is no longer the case. •Peace of Augsburg determined that European rulers could decide on an official religion for the state and all people in it •Exploration increases desire for wealth etc. and increase exposure to other cultures and belief systems •Efforts to break the absolute power of kings and emperors. Democracy – questions the idea that kings and emperors receive their power from religion or God
  21. 21. Religion & the Modern World All the areas of life that had been overseen by the Church (politics, economics, science, ethics etc.) began to develop on their own, separate from religion. Some aspects were now considered separated from religion (SECULAR) These disciplines looked less and less to the Bible/Church for direction and encourage people to find answers for themselves. Science ,not religion, began to provide the foundation of truth. Today religion is one of many social systems.
  22. 22. Views on God/Divine While there are different ways to view the universe that are also different ways to view and understand God/Divine: Terms: ¡Theism ¡Monotheism ¡Polytheism ¡Agnosticism ¡Atheism ¡Antitheist ¡Deism
  23. 23. THEISM A theist is anyone who believes in the existence of at least one god.
  24. 24. Other views of the sacred.. If you do not believe in at least one god – like the forms of THEISM - There are also several ways in which people may view the sacred.

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