The Reductionist Theory Of Religion

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When studying religion, there are two common techniques used to analyze and interpret religion: the non-reductionist approach and the reductionist approach. Non-reductionists do not believe religion can be broken down into simpler terminology. For this paper, I will be focusing on reductionism and providing examples from people we’ve talked about in class this semester. The reductionist approach focuses on explaining religion completely in human terms. Reductionists use non-religious reasonings and explanations to explain things instead of relying upon religious explanations. Psychological, economical, and societal terminology may be used. Throughout this essay, I will reference the works of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Russell McCutcheon, and Friedrich Nietzsche. These are the four main …show more content…
He believes religion is a social activity. People participle in religious events just to be apart of the group. Religion is a tool that helps people act in society. People are not religious for their own morality or salvation, but to seem moral and correct based on society’s standards. He thinks people are religious just to appear like they are good people. Instead of using religious terminology, he uses psychology and sociology. Durkheim reduces religion to a product of society. This is another example of reductionism.
Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher and cultural critic. He believed religion and most everything derived from human’s will to power. People want to achieve and be ambitious. People are religious and moral because they have the priest as an example. They strive to reach his example. If the priest is held so high in the eyes of society and God, then people also want to mimic his behavior and be successful. To Nietzsche, religion represents the sacrifice of freedom. Religion is synonymous with morality. When religion can be broken down into non-religious concepts that is the main idea of

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