SOC211H5 Lecture Notes - Cucking Stool, Big King, Demonology

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4 Apr 2012
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Lecture 2: Scientific Approach to the Understanding of the World
- When we discuss about the universe it involves our physical (nature) and
social life
- Two major ways of understanding the world
Criminology
- The scientific approach to the study of social control and deviance
- Forms of behavior
- Example: worship is a form of human behaviour
What is “science”? (One exam question)
- Methodical investigation
- Rule-bound:
Data collection
Hypothesis testing
Formulating theory
- Examples: Biology, physics, chemistry…
- They all come to the same conclusions about the world
- Curiosity leads to hypothesis testing and collecting data
- Rules: sample size, accuracy and etc…
- Exchange notes and use measurements (instruments of measurement) to
make it methodic
- Observation is methodic (you have to see it)
Where do you learn all these?
- Universities
What are other approaches?
How is a scientific approach different from them?
Religious Approach (Pre-scientific/unscientific)
- Premises of all religions:
A- There are supernatural forces
- Beyond ordinary human powers (demons, gods, angels, spriites..)
B- Control/Intervene
- Natural and social processes
- All religions share the above points
- The image of God to be a big king gives a sort of psychological relief
Original Sin (adam and eve)
C- This can be direct or indirect
- Through humans or animals
D- Some for good and some for bad (evil)
- Crime/deviance
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The First Murder: Cain kills Abel
- Why humans commit evil acts (crime)?
1. Influenced by “evil” forces
2. Their own nature:
- Wicked (sinful)
- Weak (easily tempted)
Good forces & acts: positive results
- Harmony
- Order
- Normality
- Happiness
- Enlightenment
- Peace of mind
- Salvation
Evil forces & acts: negative results
- Disorder
- Chaos
- Unhappiness
- Darkness
- Abnormality
- Suffering
- Damnation
- Punishment
Various forms of Punishment
- By God(s):
- Hell
- Plague
- Etc.
- By Humans:
- Excommunication
- Burning at the stake
- Etc.
Polytheism
- Many gods and/or goddesses
- Have different powers
- Control different spheres
- Example: Ancient Greece and Rome
Monotheism
- One god
- Omnipotent
- Omnipresent
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