Phil265/Rels265 Final Exam 31 Multiple choice or True-False worth 1 mark each 3 Short Answer Questions from choice of 5 worth 3 marks each (paragraph or two in length) Introduction to Philosophy




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26 % Canadians believe in reincarnation

  • Anxious about dying: 43% for those under 35, 47% 35-54 olds, 40% among people older than 55



    Religious Practices

    • One in two Canadians say they pray privately daily to weekly

    Closing Churches

    • It is predicted that by 2040, 18,000 churches in England will close.

    • Closer to home, experts say Quebec -- where the Catholic Church once called the shots in public and private life--stands to lose about half of its 2,000 churches by 2016

    • http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=2090940#ixzz11Q8FPpJz

    Implications for health care workers

    • Declining numbers of organized religious groups means they are less able to supply the kind of support to the sick that they have traditionally provided

    • Increasing anecdotal evidence in Nursing profession, and growing research into role of nurses as ad-hoc spiritual confidants

    • Lack of institutional affiliation means many Canadians are relying on family, friends and strangers for spiritual support in times of crisis



    Religion vs. Spirituality

    The Rise of “Spirituality”

    • Despite the decline of traditional forms of religious practice 52% of Canadians said yes to the question: “Do you have spiritual needs?” (2005)

    • More than half (53 per cent) described “spirituality” in conventional terms (“God,” “prayer,” “religion,” and “a power beyond”); 47 per cent, meanwhile, expressed less conventional ideas (“inner self,” “oneness,” “force,” and “soul”)



    “Spirituality” Vs. “Religion”

    • Researchers for McGill program for “Integrated Whole Person Care” (Bio-Psycho-Social paradigm) note that an increasing number of participants in their studies of the impact of religion on health are uncomfortable using the term “religion”

    • Many participants equated the term “religious” with close involvement in a highly organized group

    • Many participants lack such involvement

    • Many used the term “spiritual” instead to describe their outlook on questions of religion



    Spirituality and Health: Developing a “Shared Vocabulary”

    • The McGill group (and increasing # of other people) recommends the use of the term “spiritual” to refer to “the human capacity to respond to the sacred in the search for meaning in life.”

    • Feel this term can avoid the problems resulting from the common equation of the term “religion” with participation in an organized community with a well-defined system of beliefs about supernatural realities

    • In short, it’s thought to be a more inclusive term for referring to the issues traditionally referred to by the term “religion”



    The “Religion” vs. “Spirituality”Debate

    • In 20th century religious studies scholars, social scientists, and theologians have argued for people in Western civilizations to broaden their definition of the term “religion”:

    • the feelings, acts and experiences of individuals in their solitudes, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider divine” (William James)

    • any kind of focus that allows individuals to integrate their lives” (A. C. Bouquet)



    Why Not Simply Broaden our Western Definition of “Religion”?

    • Term “religion” and the distinction between “religion” and “philosophy” only exists in the Western world

    • The equation of the word “religion” with the highly organized forms of theism only exists in the Western world

    • This popular understanding is perhaps due to the fact that Western European societies have been:

        1. largely uniform in religion (Christianity)

        2. dominated by “state” Churches that equated non-membership with “irreligion” or even “atheism”

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