A Functionalist View Of Religion

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Religion is universal, but interpretations of the meaning of religions vary. There are several philosophers who interpreted religion in different manners, three of them being Tylor, Frazer, and Marx. Even though their ideals were different, they all three still held a general functionalist view on religion—that religion served the purpose to comfort or control humans. On the contrary to the functionalist opinions of Tylor, Frazer, and Marx, my personal belief coincides mostly with that of Rudolf Otto. I interpret religion as a great, unexplainable mystery (that may or may not have to do with human function), and not solely the result of one’s fears, one’s intellect, or one’s oppression. A functionalist view of religion revolves around one treating religion as if it were a logical, human operation that can be explained without spiritual connection, and Tylor, Frazer, and Marx all depend on using functionality to explain religion. Tylor believed that people invented religion because they feared death, and they wished to have peace of mind about the death of their ancestors. The fear that sprouted from the unknown, according to Tylor’s philosophy, was consoled by the creation of religion. Frazer believed that religion progressed as people evolved into higher-thinking creatures. Primitive humans, according to Frazer, believed in Animism, which is the concept that everything has a soul and is one with a god, whether it is a rock or a caterpillar. The next step of developing
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