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Religion vs Philosophy.

 
 
StupidBoy phil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 12:42 am
@diamantis,
You're not going to find any prominent historical figure in Western culture outside of the last century that wasn't at least nominally a Christian. It's well known that Benedict de Spinoza was never a pious man, but he professed to be a Christian; anything less was a painful death sentence. Now I'm not a scholar of Galileo's life, but it seems to me, based on his work, the feelings of the Church at the time, and his outspoken attitude in the face of threats from the Church that he was about as Christian as Spinoza. Like you said though, there've been enough assumptions about what historical figures were thinking.

Philosophy and religion lie at opposite ends of a spectrum. For the moment, I'm going to talk strictly about Western philosophy and Christianity. It is easier to deal with these smaller pairs than to go after broad categories. Religion has a set of answers and it seeks to find facts to fit these answers. Philosophy has a set of facts and it seeks to extrapolate, through the faculty of reason, a set of answers to fit these facts. Religion is like a backwards version of science; in both you start with a hypothesis but in science your hypothesis may be discarded if later fact-finding shows it to be a poor hypothesis. Religion discards facts that don't fit its hypotheses. The scriptures have not been edited to conform to modern society, they haven't been updated to include what we've learned about the human condition. Despite women being allowed to vote, allowed to teach, and even, in some Christian faiths, allowed to be members of the clergy, 1 Timothy 2 has not been removed from the New Testament. The Judeo-based religions simply cannot allow for errors in the thinking portrayed in their scripture; they're based on God's infallibility and the perfection of the message delivered in the scripture of choice for that given religion. If such errors are unacceptable, well then we'll simply pretend that they're not errors.
neapolitan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 10:12 pm
@StupidBoy phil,
StupidBoy wrote:

You're not going to find any prominent historical figure in Western culture outside of the last century that wasn't at least nominally a Christian.


Albert Einstein

StupidBoy wrote:

Philosophy and religion lie at opposite ends of a spectrum.

But at least you admitted they are part of the same spectrum!
StupidBoy phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 10:25 pm
@neapolitan,
The Albert Einstein who said:
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."?

Einstein misses the criteria anyway, I said outside of the last century. The 20th century was a bit more tolerant of atheists, but even so, Bertrand Russell was deemed by a court as morally unfit to teach philosophy in New York because he was an atheist. The point is that up until the last 100-120 years, being an atheist was a death sentence. If you admitted to not being a Christian, THEY WOULD KILL YOU. So someone in the 1700's purporting to be a Christian is meaningless.

Quote:
But at least you admited they are part of the same spectrum!


Genius and mental retardation are on the same spectrum too... If you want to consider my admission that both philosophy and religion can be considered world-views as a victory, then congratulations, you've won.
0 Replies
 
hammersklavier
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 08:22 am
@diamantis,
StupidBoy wrote:
You're not going to find any prominent historical figure in Western culture outside of the last century that wasn't at least nominally a Christian. It's well known that Benedict de Spinoza was never a pious man, but he professed to be a Christian; anything less was a painful death sentence. Now I'm not a scholar of Galileo's life, but it seems to me, based on his work, the feelings of the Church at the time, and his outspoken attitude in the face of threats from the Church that he was about as Christian as Spinoza. Like you said though, there've been enough assumptions about what historical figures were thinking.


StupidBoy, Spinoza was a Jew!

Also, Nietzsche, although he started out training for the ministry came to grow so dissatisfied with Christian principles that he renounced Christianity and embraced atheism. As a Victorian philosopher, he certainly falls outside the twentieth century.

So does the Enlightenment philosopher David Hume, also a professed atheist.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 02:52 pm
@hammersklavier,
hammersklavier;47593 wrote:
StupidBoy, Spinoza was a Jew!

Also, Nietzsche, although he started out training for the ministry came to grow so dissatisfied with Christian principles that he renounced Christianity and embraced atheism. As a Victorian philosopher, he certainly falls outside the twentieth century.

So does the Enlightenment philosopher David Hume, also a professed atheist.
Yup. And same with Voltaire, another fairly unapologetic atheist (or at least anti-Christian) who was born in 1694.
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 02:56 pm
@hammersklavier,
StupidBoy wrote:
You're not going to find any prominent historical figure in Western culture outside of the last century that wasn't at least nominally a Christian.


As has been mentioned, this is untrue. Aside from the countless Jews and Muslims to be considered, there are also such figures as Nietzsche.

I do not recall Hume being a professed atheist, though some of his arguments seem to suggest that he was an atheist.

StupidBoy wrote:
Now I'm not a scholar of Galileo's life, but it seems to me, based on his work, the feelings of the Church at the time, and his outspoken attitude in the face of threats from the Church that he was about as Christian as Spinoza.


Galileo's most significant opposition was from academic circles, and some of his most ardent supporters were churchmen. The Catholic Church forced Galileo to recant his ideas because, in short, Galileo was an *******.

StupidBoy wrote:
Philosophy and religion lie at opposite ends of a spectrum.


In the east, they are almost indistinguishable. And even in the west, the idea of secular philosophy is modern. Depending on time, place and the nature of the philosophy/religion, they might be at opposite ends of the spectrum or they might also be the very same study.

StupidBoy wrote:
Religion has a set of answers and it seeks to find facts to fit these answers. Philosophy has a set of facts and it seeks to extrapolate, through the faculty of reason, a set of answers to fit these facts.


This is not an uncommon position to hold, but I do not see much truth in the claim. Perhaps in some cases, what you say above is the case, but to generalize about all religion acting in such a fashion is a hasty generalization. Even if we limit ourselves to Western religion, we find that faith traditions tend to begin with the circumstances facing mankind and moving from there to form "answers".

StupidBoy wrote:
Religion discards facts that don't fit its hypotheses.


This, I think, is demonstrably false. We can look at a host of religious thinkers and we find them looking at facts and moving from there. This is where we get disagreement in theology: theologians look at facts and move from this point, often times disagreeing. During the 60's and 70's there was a flurry of work done by churchmen examining the cultural changes of the period. These men looked at the circumstances and from those circumstances discussed the spiritual implications.

The Dalai Lama once said that if science contradicts Buddhism, go with the science. I've met more than one Christian clergy member who agreed with His Holiness.

StupidBoy wrote:
The scriptures have not been edited to conform to modern society, they haven't been updated to include what we've learned about the human condition. Despite women being allowed to vote, allowed to teach, and even, in some Christian faiths, allowed to be members of the clergy, 1 Timothy 2 has not been removed from the New Testament. The Judeo-based religions simply cannot allow for errors in the thinking portrayed in their scripture; they're based on God's infallibility and the perfection of the message delivered in the scripture of choice for that given religion. If such errors are unacceptable, well then we'll simply pretend that they're not errors.


The scripture does not need to be edited to fit modern circumstances. That's what theology is for. When the scripture becomes entirely outmoded, new scripture is written. That's history.

What needs to be understood is that not all Christians subscribe to Biblical inerrancy: the doctrine that the Bible is without error, contradiction, and that the Bible is the perfect word of God. In fact, this view is, worldwide, a minority Christian opinion. Most Christians are able to admit that the Bible contains error, contradiction, and that the Bible cannot be the perfect word of God because men wrote the texts included in the Bible.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 04:29 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I'm still confused why there must needs be a polarizing conclusion drawn.

For some, Religion and Philosophy compliment quite harmoniously. For others, it draws out inconsistencies. It's enjoying the harmony or working through the consistency that makes human thought such and individualized process.
0 Replies
 
hammersklavier
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Feb, 2009 06:49 am
@diamantis,
Didymos, my aesthetics teacher last year told our class this anecdote where Hume helped some old woman and she returned his favor by spitting at his feet because he was an atheist (apparently somebody never got the parable of the Good Samaritan).
0 Replies
 
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 01:30 am
@diamantis,
diamantis wrote:
In my view, religion and philosophy ought to be in total contrast,since religion is based in revelations and myths,has no scientific validity,it provides no evidence or proofs but dogmas.
On the other hand, philosophy is based in critical thinking and judgement ,in sound reasoning and rationality.


Yet both are theoretical.Hinduism,Buddhism,Daoism,Confusionism,Zoroastrianism,Islam,Judaism, and Christianity to name some, all philosophies, and all religions.
Science is based on fact. Philosophy is based on theories. As is religion.The big bang theory and the Genesis account of creation are both what? Theories. Seems to me that there is quite a bit of critical thinking in religion too. I also found Siddharta Gautama's teachings to be quite rational and pretty sound. As well as Kierkegard and other famous philosophers. Are both not more than just a set of ideas?I guess it depends on your definition of each.
0 Replies
 
Oh phil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 07:31 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I have to disagree with your portrayal of religion. One can turn to clergy for spiritual guidance and also base one's spiritual development on personal experience.

I disagree that religion, as a social institution, has very little to do with spirituality. A big part of spirituality for most people is communal practice. This is true in every faith tradition, and true in many purely spiritual traditions (traditions without an organized clergy, without organized institutions). Spirituality is not just a personal issue, but also very social. Even if your spiritual life takes place completely behind closed doors, that spiritual life has immense social importance because you exist within society. Also, the social nature of religion and spirituality plays a large role in the evolution of religion and spirituality; through social interaction ideas are exchanged and developed.


Like any religious discourse, this only makes sense if one accepts the existence of imaginary entities which have no effect in the real world. In this case the imaginary entity is the "spirit".

You're kidding yourself Didymos. You don't have a "spirit".
hammersklavier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 01:34 pm
@Oh phil,
You're kidding yourself, Oh!. Whether or not such a thing as "spirit" exists or not or is even a logically valid proposition matters not when you're talking about the laity's perception thereof. In Didymos's case, if the people being surveyed truly believe in a "spirit" of some kind then (duh) to them said "spirit" exists and we can commence our discussion as if it actually does (whether or not it actually does).
Oh phil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 03:35 pm
@hammersklavier,
hammersklavier;48025 wrote:
If the people being surveyed truly believe in a "spirit" of some kind then (duh) to them said "spirit" exists and we can commence our discussion as if it actually does (whether or not it actually does).


We could do that, but I don't think we would be having a philosophical discussion. We would be having a religious discussion, effectively engaging in religious behaviour. This shows in miniature why religion and philosophy are incompatible.

I don't think Didymus is speaking on behalf of people being surveyed, I take him to be speaking for himself, and since he uses the concept so often and so positively, I am taking it that he thinks he has a spirit and/or that he thinks the concept "spirituality" is something you can say without challenge in a philosophical discussion. If I'm right, he is wrong.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 03:57 pm
@Oh phil,
Oh! wrote:
We could do that, but I don't think we would be having a philosophical discussion. We would be having a religious discussion, effectively engaging in religious behaviour. This shows in miniature why religion and philosophy are incompatible.


Often times there is no difference between religion and philosophy. Depending on the circumstances, to engage in one is to engage in the other as well.

Oh! wrote:
I don't think Didymus is speaking on behalf of people being surveyed, I take him to be speaking for himself, and since he uses the concept so often and so positively, I am taking it that he thinks he has a spirit and/or that he thinks the concept "spirituality" is something you can say without challenge in a philosophical discussion. If I'm right, he is wrong.


The concept of spirituality can most certainly be challenged.
Oh phil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 05:08 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;48044 wrote:
Often times there is no difference between religion and philosophy. Depending on the circumstances, to engage in one is to engage in the other as well.


Religious believers and non-believers are equally able to reliably distinguish between religious beliefs and what we might call secular beliefs.

See if you can tell the difference yourself. Let me know if you have any difficulty doing this.

Quote:

The concept of spirituality can most certainly be challenged.


Can it be defended? I think it's indefensible, and you must either defend it or agree to stop using it.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Feb, 2009 06:17 pm
@Oh phil,
Oh! wrote:
Religious believers and non-believers are equally able to reliably distinguish between religious beliefs and what we might call secular beliefs.


Yes, this is true. However, the fact remains that philosophy and religion are not mutually exclusive and are sometimes the very same subject.

Oh! wrote:
Can it be defended? I think it's indefensible, and you must either defend it or agree to stop using it.


Of course spirituality can be defended, even if you disagree with the arguments made.

As for me defending spirituality, sure. No problem. You might want to check out some threads in the philosophy of religion section of the forum.
Oh phil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 03:07 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Yes, this is true. However, the fact remains that philosophy and religion are not mutually exclusive and are sometimes the very same subject.


Be careful about this Didymos. You said engaging in one can be engaging in the other. Not for me.
0 Replies
 
hammersklavier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 07:14 am
@Oh phil,
Oh! wrote:
We could do that, but I don't think we would be having a philosophical discussion. We would be having a religious discussion, effectively engaging in religious behaviour. This shows in miniature why religion and philosophy are incompatible.

I don't think Didymus is speaking on behalf of people being surveyed, I take him to be speaking for himself, and since he uses the concept so often and so positively, I am taking it that he thinks he has a spirit and/or that he thinks the concept "spirituality" is something you can say without challenge in a philosophical discussion. If I'm right, he is wrong.

Did I say I would be engaging in philosophy? No. It would be sociology...or perhaps theology.
Oh phil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 07:57 am
@hammersklavier,
hammersklavier;48155 wrote:
Did I say I would be engaging in philosophy? No. It would be sociology...or perhaps theology.


You said "if the people being surveyed truly believe in a "spirit" of some kind then (duh) to them said "spirit" exists and WE can commence our discussion as if it actually does".

Get this clear in your mind Hammersklavier: I will not commence such a discussion, I will not engage in religious behaviour, I would rather eat dog faeces. If you bring your pus-bag God into my presence I will rip his head off and **** down his neck. **** your God, **** your theology. Get the general idea?
hammersklavier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 08:31 am
@hammersklavier,
Oooh Oh! A personal attack! Quelle idAnd here was me thinking this was a civilized forum...
Oh phil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 08:50 am
@hammersklavier,
hammersklavier;48163 wrote:
Oooh Oh! A personal attack! Quelle idAnd here was me thinking this was a civilized forum...


It's not a personal attack. God isn't a person, he's an idea, a ******* stupid idea.
0 Replies
 
 

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