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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Religion and Philosophy

Many religions latch onto philosophies that exist in their societies; when the religions come into being, there is the accompanying need to explain things with apologetics, and we see philosophies drafted into service. Of course, this process continues throughout the life of the religion, for instance St. Thomas Aquinas wrote more than one thousand years after St. Paul's letters were written.

Although most religious people are very much used to falling back on their philosophies, such systems of thought are entirely superfluous.

If you want to see a paradoxical juxtaposition of religion and philosophy, look at the Lord Buddha's life, then glance at the logic and metaphysics of later Buddhism.

Such metaphysics and philosophies may indeed participate in the history of the development of religious ideas, but once a religious discovery is made, the metaphysics should fall away as a propaedeutic that has lost its function. The fact that the philosophies do not give up their grip on the minds of most men is demonstrated most obviously in the continuing debate about whether religious claims are susceptible of proof, or whatever the philosophy du jour fancies.

Once the philosophies, rigorous and popular, and the social conventions are removed, what do we see when we look at the true geniuses of religion?

Do we look up in the sky, searching for kites flying across the brilliant and blinding sun?
Or do we see a tangled forest of kites' tails?

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