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American political and social life that Tocqueville discusses - Essay Example

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Name of author: American Social Life: Religion according to Toqueville’ s views American social and political life has been changed a lot ever since the introduction of democracy. The life in America in the nineteenth century was entirely different that the life at present…
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American political and social life that Tocqueville discusses
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"American political and social life that Tocqueville discusses"

Download file to see previous pages This paper analyses Toqeville's account on religion in America in nineteenth century and its influences on democracy. There is hardly any human action, however, it may be particular, which does not originate in some general idea, men have conceived of the Deity, of his relation to mankind, of the nature of their own souls, and of their duties to their fellow creatures. Men are therefore immeasurably interested in acquiring fixed ideas of God (Toqueveille, p.22) Toqeville has pointed out that majority of the ideas developed in this world are attributed to God or Deity. It is a fact that even atheists are developing their arguments based on the teachings of the religion. In fact the influence of God and religion is forcing the people to think in terms of good and evil. In the absence of religious teachings, nobody would have cared about the seriousness of committing mistakes. Religion is the only entity which talk about a life after death and whereas all the other institutions and philosophies are talking about the present life while keeping a blind eye towards what is going to happen after one’s death. “One of the principal advantage of religion is to furnish fundamental questions a solution which is at once clear, precise, intelligible to the mass of mankind and lasting” (Toqueveille, p.23). ...
Religion restraining on every side of the free movement of the human mind. It imposes a salutary restraint on the intellect and it must be admitted that if it do not save men in another world, it is at least very conductive to their happiness and greatness in this (Toqueveille, p.24) As stated earlier, the hope for a life after death prevents people from controlling their thoughts of committing any evil act in this world. It is a fact that human mind is just like a free bird which travels randomly from one place to another without any preferences of priorities. However, the thoughts about the future world force the people to put a strong control over his thoughts and activities. Because of the constraints imposed by the religions, people cannot think freely as stated by Toqueveille. “It is doubtful whether man can ever support at the same time complete religious independence and entire political freedom. If faith be wanting in him, he must be subject; and if he be free, he must believe” (Toqueveille, p.24). Political thoughts and religious teachings may not travel always in parallel directions. There are some political thoughts which support majority religious teachings fully whereas there are many other political thoughts which reject all the claims of religions. For example, in Islamic countries like, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, etc religion dominates over politics. In fact politics in these countries cannot be separated from religion and religious teachings. In other words, religion is actually ruling in these countries. On the other hand, in communist countries like China, freedom to believe in some kind of religion is prohibited. In such countries, religion has few roles in social and political lives of the public. On the other hand, in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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