Assess the view that science has replaced religion as the main ideological influence in society today (33 marks).
Ideology as a contested concept is defined in many different ways depending on perspective. The success of science has lead to a widespread belief in it, as it can ‘deliver the goods’. Science and technology have revolutionised economic productivity and improved living standards. Science is an open belief system which means it is open to different beliefs and every theory created is open to criticism, scientists are constantly testing theories and they set out to falsify them or to prove them e.g. the big bang theory. When a theory is disproved the search for a new explanation starts.
Comte and Weber believed that because of the enlightenment project rational scientific thinking would overtake religious explanations of the world e.g. people began to doubt the creationist theory when the evolution theory came about, it challenged the beliefs of many religions that believe that God created the first humans as the theory suggests that humans were the product of the evolution of apes. Similarly the big band theory suggests that the world was created by two atoms colliding which caused an explosion that created earth, this caused a uproar from followers of religions that believe that God was the one who created the world.
It has bee found that society is more likely to turn to science rather than religion to make sense of the world, especially during times of need for example when someone is sick. Not as many people rely solely on praying to God for a person to get better as they used to, they rely more on science to provide medicine to cure people for example chemotherapy.
It could be argued that people are losing faith in science as a belief system. Giddens said that people in late modern society have serious doubts over the enlightenment beliefs of the ‘promise’ of science. No matter hoe established a scientific theory it will be revised or...