This is because, in each module that you study, you are expected to do a research to prompt your thinking and reasoning. It is therefore important to have the required skills as you draft your paper for proper understanding to the readers. It should be noted that writing research papers is a test of how best you understand the subject.
He is the author of The Territories of Science and Religionand the editor of Narratives of Secularization Brought to you by curio. On the contrary, the modern social sciences, which took shape in 19th-century western Europe, took their own recent historical experience of secularisation as a universal model.
An assumption lay at the core of the social sciences, either presuming or sometimes predicting that all cultures would eventually converge on something roughly approximating secular, Western, liberal democracy.
Then something closer to the opposite happened. Not only has secularism failed to continue its steady global march but countries as varied as Iran, India, Israel, Algeria and Turkey have either had their secular governments replaced by religious ones, or have seen the rise of influential religious nationalist movements.
Secularisation, as predicted by the social sciences, has failed. To be sure, this failure is not unqualified. Many Western countries continue to witness decline in religious belief and practice.
International surveys confirm comparatively low levels of religious commitment in western Europe and Australasia. Even the United States, a long-time source of embarrassment for the secularisation thesis, has seen a rise in unbelief. Yet, for all that, globally, the total number of people who consider themselves to be religious remains high, and demographic trends suggest that the overall pattern for the immediate future will be one of religious growth.
Scientists, intellectuals and social scientists expected that the spread of modern science would drive secularisation — that science would be a secularising force. If we look at those societies where religion remains vibrant, their key common features are less to do with science, and more to do with feelings of existential security and protection from some of the basic uncertainties of life in the form of public goods.
A social safety net might be correlated with scientific advances but only loosely, and again the case of the US is instructive.
The US is arguably the most scientifically and technologically advanced society in the world, and yet at the same time the most religious of Western societies. Nehru was confident that Hindu visions of a Vedic past and Muslim dreams of an Islamic theocracy would both succumb to the inexorable historical march of secularisation.
But as the subsequent rise of Hindu and Islamic fundamentalism adequately attests, Nehru was wrong. Moreover, the association of science with a secularising agenda has backfired, with science becoming a collateral casualty of resistance to secularism.
Turkey provides an even more revealing case. In order to make sure that Turkey was on the right side of history, he gave science, in particular evolutionary biology, a central place in the state education system of the fledgling Turkish republic. For them, evolution is associated with secular materialism.
This sentiment culminated in the decision this June to remove the teaching of evolution from the high-school classroom.
Again, science has become a victim of guilt by association. The US represents a different cultural context, where it might seem that the key issue is a conflict between literal readings of Genesis and key features of evolutionary history.
But in fact, much of the creationist discourse centres on moral values. In the US case too, we see anti-evolutionism motivated at least in part by the assumption that evolutionary theory is a stalking horse for secular materialism and its attendant moral commitments.
As in India and Turkey, secularism is actually hurting science. In brief, global secularisation is not inevitable and, when it does happen, it is not caused by science.
Further, when the attempt is made to use science to advance secularism, the results can damage science.
The science and secularism pairing is so awkward that it raises the question: Historically, two related sources advanced the idea that science would displace religion. Both works were translated into multiple languages.
Today, people are less confident that history moves through a series of set stages toward a single destination.Open Document.
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When writing an essay it is good practice to consider your reader. To guide the reader through your work you will need to inform them where you are starting from (in the introduction), where you are going (as the essay progresses), and where you have been (in the conclusion).
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