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Secularisation is commonly defined as the decline of religion and the loss of religions influence over state issues. Many sociologists argue that secularisation has occurred within the modern world due to the increase of scientific and rational thought, which provides alternative explanations of existential questions. Positivists argue that scientific and rational thought has provided an alternative metanarrative by explaining the functions and phenomena of the world. For example; traditional religions would explain disease in terms of god punishing the individual, whilst scientific and medical knowledge explain the existence of disease due to poverty and lack of education.

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