Functions And Dysfunctions Of Religion Effect

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2. 3. Functions and Dysfunctions of Religion
The evaluation of functions and dysfunctions depends upon one’s criteria of what is positive and negative. Therefore, there are often conflicting assessments of the relative positive or negative effects of religion. In a way, functionalism stresses social stability and underemphasizing conflict and change, functionalists often believe that societies are quite well-integrated systems (Roberts, 1990). Structural-functionalists have frequently assessed social functions as being most essential, while considering individual dysfunctions as necessary ills. Functionalists have also been concerned mainly in the factors influencing and influenced by belief.
Marxian assessment appears accurate in many instances, Religion’s stabilizing effect has often been economically dysfunctional for subjected people by consoling those who are frustrated and deprived; religion may inhibit protest and social change which would result in a more unbiased society. ‘by postponing reforms, this effect of religion can contribute to the build-up of explosive resentments which eventually result in revolution and in more costly and destructive changes’ (O’Dea, 1966). Basically, Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim agreed on the way in which religion functions in society. Religion unites people around common
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But religion may also encourage immaturity and dependence in people. Many religious groups, including a wide variety of charismatic cults, insist that converts abdicate decision making (Conway and Siegelman, 1978). Members are simply to do what their leaders tell them, the fact remains that religion, including many mainline denominations, does not always encourage independent and critical thinking. Marx maintains that independent thinking is part of being a mature person and that religion is often dysfunctional in this respect (Roberts,
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