Studying Phylosophy

Philosophy and Religion


Studying Philosophy
Studying Philosophy

What is Philosophy?


Philosophy is a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behavior.

What is the philosophy of religion??


Philosophy of religion is the engagement of ultimate realities, and ultimate dimensions of experience, in cognitive, existential, and practical ways.


Philosophy and Religion are related as theory and Practice. Philosophy renders Religion more intelligible by explaining it.


Despite the fact that the primary meaning of philosophy of religion is a philosophy that says something important about religion, “philosophy of religion” has become something of a field of its own, with specialized courses, journals, and disciplines in academic training.

There are questions often argued in the philosophy of religion such as the nature and existence of God.


Philosophy of religion, the discipline concerned with the philosophical appraisal of human religious attitudes and of the real or imaginary objects of those attitudes, God or the gods.


Philosophical interest in religion may be said to have originated in the West with the ancient Greeks.


In the Hellenistic Age, philosophy was considered not so much a set of theoretical reflections on issues of abiding human interest but a way of addressing how a person should conduct his life in the face of corruption and death. It was natural, therefore, that the various positions of Hellenistic philosophers should both rival and offer support to religion.

Philosophy and Religion

There are steps that several philosophers had taken in the study of religion, It is a short but significant step from postulating the existence of God as a condition of morality to regarding the idea of God as a “projection” of human concerns.


They saw religion as compensation for, and therefore an escape from, unhappy aspects of the human condition.

Friedrich Schleiermacher for example, saw religion as the feeling of absolute dependence or the recognition of contingency, while    G.W.F. Hegel, the greatest of the idealists, identified true religion with the development of the entire world order. Not only is God in history; God is history.


Philosophers believed that It may be possible (or impossible) to prove the existence of God, but it may be unnecessary to do so in order for belief in God to be reasonable.


Perhaps the requirement of proof is too stringent, and perhaps there are other ways of establishing God’s existence.


Religions typically defend their core beliefs by combining evidential, moral, and historical claims as well as those that concern human spirituality. Because these claims together reflect the religion’s conception of what knowledge of God is, they must be taken into account when endeavoring to establish whether any particular belief within the religion is reasonable.


The Abrahamic religion (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) also appeals to revelation or to claims that God has spoken through appointed messengers to disclose matters which would otherwise be inaccessible. In Christianity, these matters have included the doctrine of creation, the Trinity, and the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Various attempts have been made to establish the reasonableness of the appeal to revelation through the witness of the church and through signs and miracles, all of which are thought to herald the authentic voice of God. Yet appeals to revelation by the various religions conflict with each other, and the appeal to revelation itself is open to the charge of circularity.


The idea of God

The claim that there is a God raises metaphysical questions about the nature of reality and existence. In general, it can be said that there is not one concept of God but many, even among monotheistic traditions. The Abrahamic religions are theistic; God is both the creator of the world and the one who sustains it. Theism, with its equal stress on divine transcendence of the universe and immanence within it, constitutes a somewhat uneasy conceptual midpoint between deism and pantheism. Deist conceptions of the divine see God as the creator of a universe that continues to exist, without his intervention, under the physical impulses that he first imparted to it. In pantheism, God is identified with the universe as a whole.

The soul and immortality

The belief in life after death, which is maintained by each of the Abrahamic religions, raises the metaphysical question of how the human person is to be defined. Some form of mind-body dualism whether Platonic or Cartesian, in which the mind or soul survives the death of the body, has been favored by many theologians. Others have claimed that some version of physicalism or materialism is most consistent with scriptural ideas about the resurrection of the body. The former group has a tendency to disparage or downplay the importance of embodiment; the latter group, however, faces the problem of giving an account of the continuity of the person across the temporal gap between bodily death and bodily resurrection.


Religion and Morality

Another concern of philosophers of religion is whether morality is dependent upon religion or is independent of it. Among those who take the former view, some say that morality depends upon religion in the way in which eating depends upon having an appetite:


Religion provides the motivation that makes people behave morally. To prove this, however, it would be necessary to determine whether the behavior of religious people is generally morally superior to that of non-religious people.


The main difference between philosophy and religion is that while religion is based on a set of unquestionable beliefs and dogmas about human existence pertaining to the supernatural, philosophy encompasses the doctrines that launch an inquest into the truth of the world around us reality of our existence.


Difference Between Philosophy and Religion.


  1. ​Rituals are not a constituent part of philosophical doctrines while Rituals are considered to be an indispensable part of religious orders.
  2. The discipline of philosophy is grounded in logical thinking that is guided by the principles of rationality while Religion is based on unquestioning faith and belief in existing doctrines.
  3. The strength of philosophical principles is comparatively limited while religious doctrines are extremely powerful in mandating social cohesion.
  4. Philosophy encourages individuals to search for universal truths by drawing logical deductions while religion provides its followers with certainly given answers to the core dilemmas of our existence.
  5. Myths are unimportant in philosophy as it relies on tangible deductions while myths are important in religious doctrines.
  6. ​Religious beliefs tend to be much more stringent and staunch than philosophical doctrines. Religious beliefs can turn into fanaticism, whereas, philosophical truths cannot inspire such volatile passions among its supporters.



The relationship between philosophy and religion is often the subject of ardent contestation. Some propose the theory that religion has its roots in philosophical thinking, some others vehemently oppose such a stance.

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