2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Religion: a Disease Born of Fear and a Source of Untold Misery to the Human Race?

Gemma Bone, 2006, Stage 2

Objectives + My objective for this project is to look at the role that religion plays in our society and examine its positive and negative aspects. + I am going to concentrate on the effect that Christianity in particular has on the West, especially in politics. + I will look at religion with regards to social policy, including controversial issues such as: * Abortion *Contraception *American aid to developing countries ridden by HIV. + I am going to use as a basis for my enquiry the ideas of Bertrand Russell, arguably the 20th century’s greatest philosopher and a prominent social critic who is famous for his atheism and views on religion + I aim to critically examine his arguments in the light of other disciplines including sociology, psychology and anthropology to see if his ideas are reinforced by other leading thinkers. + I am then going to apply his ideas to the contemporary world to examine if they are still valid 50 or so years on and to finally conclude whether I believe religion in the form it takes today is overall a positive or negative social force.

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