Exam Question – Jan 11 ©
Using evidence from Source C and your own knowledge, examine the extent to which there has been a decline in the importance of religion. (13 MARKS)
Religion in the 21st century is becoming almost non-existent, it has been said that there has been a “disappearance of God” and society has become less religious than in the seventeenth century. We have become more urbanised, industrialised and educated and we have lost sight of God and have become more like drones being controlled by the government rather than by religion.
In the seventeenth century religion was very big. The world was controlled by religion no matter what the beliefs. In England the ruler decided what religion everyone had to believe in, if they disagreed they were killed because they thought they were sinners by not believing the right thing, this shows the power of religion. People were cast out and killed for not being a part of the right one. However as time has went on rules have changed. Protestants were introduced by Henry VIII and brought in divorce, this is probably when the beliefs started to get questioned and changed. Women had little rights and little to do and sometimes going to church or praying was their pass time. Even though many priests were killed they were not in short supply, unlike in society today where priests are scarce, there was always one waiting to be chosen. It’s only since the start of the 19th century when the major change in religious views started. People started to believe less as science progressed. Laws changed such as divorce which made people become okay with the idea of a divorced couple; marriage started to be about love rather than money and power. People from different countries started to bring their religions with them and in this present day we are no longer classed as a country with one religion, we now have that many immigrants that we have so many different religions here. This helps to cause people to stop believing as it made it look like a very good folk’s tale. All these religions created different stories including different gods and traditions that even some people changed their religion. However, because of all these different gods it made it hard to believe that there was even one at all. People started to question the bible as more people were able to read. They figured out things that didn’t really make any sense and they found that sometimes the bible contradicted itself.
Science has played a big part in causing a decline in religion. New discoveries are made every day which suggests that the story of Adam and Eve is really just a story. There have been many findings on humans which are thousands upon thousands of year’s old, way before Jesus or God, which were found by Charles Darwin. The homo-sapiens or caveman, have proven that we have developed from chimps and monkeys gradually getting more intelligent. We branched off from the chimps and the monkeys and started developing rounder jaws, flatter faces and straighter spines. This shows that we were not made in one day, that it took thousands of years to get to what we look like today. This theory caused a lot of controversy between people as it started to get them to think about whether the stories are real about religion. Many stopped believing and started to look more to science as it had proof on its findings whereas religion did not. The people who claimed they had seen Jesus are all dead and even though it is in the Bible, the translation from Latin to English wasn’t precise. Even the story of how they world was created in seven days was challenged, the big bang theory was introduced when they were able to see into space. They were able to see how gases and chemical and a meteor came together to create a large bang to create the earth. This then created all the life forms that started from little organisms and then developed to their surroundings to survive.
In society today because of all