Philosophy is defined by Webster as: "The pursuit of wisdom". In short philosophy is the study of life itself: its mundane intricacies, problems and roborant challenges. Since religion is a part of our daily lives and of humanity since time immemorial, it would be difficult to separate one from the other.
All throughout the ages, philosophers had presented various arguments about the existence of God. One who moved away from the common fold is Friedrich Nietzsche. Although he popularized the slogan “God is dead,” and had frowned on organized religion; I concur with his succeeding argumentation that our personal relationship with a “God,” should be evident in our existence. He focused on the role of acting out our religious beliefs in our lives instead of allowing them to rusticate in the dustbins of our minds. True faith should be active, doing good works.
Religion could only exist when coupled with philosophy which has a vital, dynamic role. This is because without philosophy, religion does not have any means of clarifying itself to prove the existence of God.
I will not delve deep into the complexities of the logical fallacies of philosophers or with the diversity of beliefs of any religion but I will deal with generalities.
What are the specific roles of philosophy in religion? The following are considered as the roles of Philosophy:
1. Philosophy has an essential role in establishing and proving the existence of God. When a person wants to prove the existence of God, one has to use philosophy. Empirical methods do not completely support the existence of God. One has to go through the process of hypothesis, logic and then a logical conclusion.
One specific example is this:
The universe exists.
Only someone more knowledgeable and powerful than man could create the universe.
Only a super being like God could do that;
Therefore, God exists.
2. Philosophy is also constantly used in debating the various theories of different religions like,
"The Divine Trinity", "Heaven", "Purgatory", "Reincarnation", "Karma", "The Middle Way, and many more philosophical hypotheses.
Since faith and religion could not be proven through experimentation and research, they now could only be presented logically through philosophy.
3. Religion has provided a place where people could be able to find peace and contentment by way of philosophy.
Philosophy acts as the pacifier and serves as the venue for believers to be able to renew their faith through "philosophizing".
In reality, religion is the product of philosophy. It is because of philosophy that religion came to be. If man did not seek the answers to his existence, to his meaning in life, to his purpose in this world, then religion would not have been established.
They say that religion acts as the panacea for all human illnesses and problems and this is probably true because men tend to rationalize poverty and illness as a means of purifying themselves spiritually.
Religion without philosophy is like a lost, rudderless ship; it is sailing but with no specific destination.
Philosophy gives this direction to religion and at times, religion too gives direction to the formation of a person’s philosophy in life. We are not mere myrmidons of the specific faith that we have professed, but we are also products of our own myriad of experiences in life.
It goes without saying that the two coexist with each other. They are in a symbiotic relationship; for what is philosophy without religion? And what is religion without philosophy?
I have come across this video which answers the question: "Did God create evil?" and I would like to share this with you, because I know you'd agree that the data presented here is significant. Oftentimes, in our arrogance and ignorance we think we know all the answers, but truly educated people are aware that what they know is just a tiny drop in the vast ocean of knowledge.
Your contribution would be gladly noted.
Video courtesy of Rockdragun
Photo courtesy of Krishna