Evaluation of others' efforts – a main body

This is an extract from the piece continuing from the Introduction above.

Traditionally religion has played a large part in the lives of human beings; religion is “… a sort of ‘system’ that retains and transmits information” (Babb, 1995, P. 1 in Beckerlegge, 2001, P. 1). It has formed the basis of many communities over the centuries and helps to form the values and the moral codes by which people live and work each day. This ‘system’ informs people of the best way to live their lives, being passed on from generation to generation through example and the following of a holy book. The place of religion in society today can be seen to be changing constantly; previously religion was an integral part of the psyche of members of society no matter where they came from in the world. Now society (and the world at large) is segregated into three distinct camps with regard to belief in God or a supreme entity; theists are those who believe that God and spiritual beings exist, atheists believe that there is no God while agnostics believe that no body can be certain one way or the other about this issue. The way that individuals conduct their lives can be influenced hugely by whether they follow a religion or not – it is a way of life, a way of living; if you do not adhere to a faith it could be said that there is little to no moral hold on you and therefore temptation to please yourself about what you do will lead you to have little to no regard for how your action will affect others. It could be said that for some there is less community and less community spirit due to a lack of concern and falling moral standards which inevitably has an effect on social cohesion. As technology has advanced and its influence in society has grown so the apparent need for God has diminished watering down and, some would say, negating the need and effectiveness of the religious institutions in the community.

The technological advances have had two distinct effects on religion and society: one is known as Globalisation Theory which involves the interaction between the two via political, economic and technological systems; “… people’s lives are influenced by organisations and social networks located thousands of miles away from the societies in which they live” (Giddens, 1993, P. 742) and as a result a hybrid culture has developed which combines local, national and world influences. The second is the theory of Secularisation which champions the notion that religion is being displaced in an increasingly materialistic society – it can be seen as “that process by which religious institutions, actions, and consciousness, lose their social significance” (Wilson, 1982, P.149) which Bruce attests “… has seen the power, popularity and presence of religion decline” (1999, P.117). Whilst I acknowledge the apparent lessening of religious influence on society as a whole I am privileged to witness the power of the religious communities in the work that I undertake. The influx of foreign nationals to the United Kingdom has led to distinct communities within larger communities which has had both negative and positive effects – on one side “… we see conflicts that arise as quite diverse and often contradictory cultures clash within the same social unit” and on the other “… globalising and socio structural and cultural forces furnish a common context that attenuates the differences among these ways of life” (Beyer, 1984, P. 2). I believe (due to my experiences) that the latter is by far the most prevalent attitude among the majority of people with whom I have contact each day.

How might this be amended to make it better?

1. Standardise the tenses in the first sentence.

2. The second sentence could be altered to read ‘It has formed the basis of many communities over the centuries and helps to shape the values and the moral codes by which people live and work each day’ rather than ‘It has formed the basis of many communities over the centuries and helps to form the values and the moral codes by which people live and work each day.’

3. This sentence could read

‘Now society (and the world at large) is segregated into three distinct camps with regard to belief in God or a supreme entity: theists are those who believe that God and spiritual beings exist, atheists believe that there is no God while agnostics believe that no-one can be certain one way or the other about this issue’ as opposed to ‘Now society (and the world at large) is segregated into three distinct camps with regard to belief in God or a supreme entity; theists are those who believe that God and spiritual beings exist, atheists believe that there is no God while agnostics believe that no body can be certain one way or the other about this issue.’

4. This could read

‘The way that individuals conduct their lives can be influenced hugely by whether they follow a religion or not – it is a way of life or way of living which dictates the way that they act.  If you do not adhere to a faith it could be said that there is little to no moral hold on you and therefore the temptation to please yourself about what you do will lead you to have little to no regard for how your behaviour and actions will affect others’ rather than ‘The way that individuals conduct their lives can be influenced hugely by whether they follow a religion or not – it is a way of life, a way of living; if you do not adhere to a faith it could be said that there is little to no moral hold on you and therefore temptation to please yourself about what you do will lead you to have little to no regard for how your action will affect others.’

5. This section could read

‘Technological advances have led to there being two distinct ideas about their effect on both religion and society. One is known as Globalisation Theory which involves the interaction between the two via political, economic and technological systems -  “… people’s lives are influenced by organisations and social networks located thousands of miles away from the societies in which they live” (Giddens, 1993, P. 742). As a result a hybrid culture has developed which combines local, national and world influences’ as opposed to ‘The technological advances have had two distinct effects on religion and society: one is known as Globalisation Theory which involves the interaction between the two via political, economic and technological systems; “… people’s lives are influenced by organisations and social networks located thousands of miles away from the societies in which they live” (Giddens, 1993, P. 742) and as a result a hybrid culture has developed which combines local, national and world influences.’

6. This sentence could read

‘The influx of foreign nationals to the United Kingdom has led to distinct communities within larger communities which has had both negative and positive effects. On one side “… we see conflicts that arise as quite diverse and often contradictory cultures clash within the same social unit” whilst on the other “… globalising and socio structural and cultural forces furnish a common context that attenuates the differences among these ways of life” (Beyer, 1984, P. 2)’ rather than ‘The influx of foreign nationals to the United Kingdom has led to distinct communities within larger communities which has had both negative and positive effects – on one side “… we see conflicts that arise as quite diverse and often contradictory cultures clash within the same social unit” and on the other “… globalising and socio structural and cultural forces furnish a common context that attenuates the differences among these ways of life” (Beyer, 1984, P. 2).’

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