What Are The Main Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Rational Choice Approach To Religions Behavior?


What Are The Main Strengths and Weaknesses of The Rational Choice Approach To
One of the pioneers of the rational choice theory has been Gary Becker.
He states that this approach can be applied to all human behaviour, including
religion. This approach has three assumptions. It assumes that people engage in
maximising behaviour. When applying this approach to religion we are not
concerned with money. We are concerned with the maximisation of personal
benefits. When we make a decision we weigh up the costs and benefits and choose
the option which offers the most benefit. Secondly, there are ‘markets that
with varying degrees of efficiency allow the actions of different participants
to ...

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Secondly, a rise
in price increases the quantity supplied, the example given is women in the
labour market. Thirdly, competitive markets are more efficient then
monopolistic markets and lead to the diversity of a product. Fourthly, a tax on
the output of a market reduces that output eg the punishment of criminals is a
tax on crime.
Finke and Iannaccone have applied this theory to religious behaviour and
understand that the high degree of religion in America is attributed to the
existence of a free market and therefore competition and diversification in
religion. Finke argues that in a free market start up costs are low and this
leads to new ideas and more diversity and therefore more chance of everyone
finding a religion they like. Also in a competitive free market earning a
living acts as an incentive to clergy to work harder and try to tailor their
religion to suit the demands of the consumer. He also suggests that state
monopolies are less efficient in the absence of ...

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it imposes
on their lifestyles outweigh the benefits or that religion would not benefit
them at all.
Iannaccone believes that economics can explain known facts about
individual decision making with regards to religious behaviour. He believes
economics can explain facts about denominational mobility, typical age of
converts, typical patterns of inter-religious marriage and participation levels
found in different marriages.
The majority of Americans remain in the churches they were raised in and
return to them if they drift away. If they do move it is likely to be to a
similar church. Iannaccone explains these facts with reference to investment ie
people have already spent a great ...

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What Are The Main Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Rational Choice Approach To Religions Behavior?. (2006, March 19). Retrieved September 22, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/What-Main-Strengths-Weaknesses-Rational-Choice/43017
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"What Are The Main Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Rational Choice Approach To Religions Behavior?." Essayworld.com. March 19, 2006. Accessed September 22, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/What-Main-Strengths-Weaknesses-Rational-Choice/43017.
"What Are The Main Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Rational Choice Approach To Religions Behavior?." Essayworld.com. March 19, 2006. Accessed September 22, 2018. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/What-Main-Strengths-Weaknesses-Rational-Choice/43017.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/19/2006 08:57:43 PM
Category: Religion
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1739
Pages: 7

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