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    tWebber Anomaly's Avatar
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    Philosophies for or against religion

    There is among the many “isms” of philosophy a recognizable division between those branches of study that are [by varying degrees] inimical to or supportive of (or at minimum are not opposed to) religious belief—or more broadly belief in a supernatural reality of some sort beyond the natural realm of matter occupying points in time and space. The division is not immediately apparent for probably a variety of reasons, maybe the primary one being that the “for” or “against” posture is not the primary aim of any particular philosophical doctrine but is subsidiary to each.

    For example, empiricism—the doctrine that knowledge derives from sense experience—while necessary for the study of science is often taken further and used to support refutation of religious claims as knowledge by virtue of their distance from experience. So empiricism is a philosophy not directly against religion, but can be used to criticize it. Relativism--the philosophical doctrine that all criteria of judgment are relative to the individuals and situations involved—is more clear cut in its conflict with religion; most religions support the idea of truth as an absolute, which the relativist of course denies.

    I’ve spent more time than I like to admit in bits and pieces online as time permits looking for something like a list of the various philosophies and the general stance of each with respect to the reception of or rejection of religion or the idea of a supernatural reality. I seem to lack the skill of furnishing the best (properly worded) search criteria; can find no references to this division.

    Wondering if anyone here has better knowledge of where to find a comparison of this sort and would be gracious enough to share it? Thanks.

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    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anomaly View Post
    There is among the many “isms” of philosophy a recognizable division between those branches of study that are [by varying degrees] inimical to or supportive of (or at minimum are not opposed to) religious belief—or more broadly belief in a supernatural reality of some sort beyond the natural realm of matter occupying points in time and space. The division is not immediately apparent for probably a variety of reasons, maybe the primary one being that the “for” or “against” posture is not the primary aim of any particular philosophical doctrine but is subsidiary to each.

    For example, empiricism—the doctrine that knowledge derives from sense experience—while necessary for the study of science is often taken further and used to support refutation of religious claims as knowledge by virtue of their distance from experience. So empiricism is a philosophy not directly against religion, but can be used to criticize it. Relativism--the philosophical doctrine that all criteria of judgment are relative to the individuals and situations involved—is more clear cut in its conflict with religion; most religions support the idea of truth as an absolute, which the relativist of course denies.

    I’ve spent more time than I like to admit in bits and pieces online as time permits looking for something like a list of the various philosophies and the general stance of each with respect to the reception of or rejection of religion or the idea of a supernatural reality. I seem to lack the skill of furnishing the best (properly worded) search criteria; can find no references to this division.

    Wondering if anyone here has better knowledge of where to find a comparison of this sort and would be gracious enough to share it? Thanks.
    Some kinds of Neoplatonism, Stoicism, and Aristotelianism are friendlier to the idea of a supernatural reality than (say) Materialism - but it does not follow that they will be entirely compatible with Christian supernaturalism. Luther’s rejection of Thomist Aristotelianism is well-known.

    It could be argued that Christianity is a philosophy in itself - or a set of philosophies. One of the divides between much of Catholicism OTOH, and orthodox Protestantism OTO, has been, that Catholic philosophy - insofar as it has been Thomist - has been moderately Realist, whereas Protestantism has tended to be Nominalist. The differences has had far-reaching effects.

    Unless one knows a fair amount about the history of philosophy in Christianity, I don’t think one can really understand Christianity. The OT says what it does, because certain philosophical positions are adopted in it.

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    tWebber Anomaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
    Some kinds of Neoplatonism, Stoicism, and Aristotelianism are friendlier to the idea of a supernatural reality than (say) Materialism - but it does not follow that they will be entirely compatible with Christian supernaturalism. LutherÂ’s rejection of Thomist Aristotelianism is well-known.

    It could be argued that Christianity is a philosophy in itself - or a set of philosophies. One of the divides between much of Catholicism OTOH, and orthodox Protestantism OTO, has been, that Catholic philosophy - insofar as it has been Thomist - has been moderately Realist, whereas Protestantism has tended to be Nominalist. The differences has had far-reaching effects.

    Unless one knows a fair amount about the history of philosophy in Christianity, I donÂ’t think one can really understand Christianity. The OT says what it does, because certain philosophical positions are adopted in it.
    Thanks for your response RJ. I'm looking for something less specific, more along the lines of identifying philosophies that are inherently--understanding that no "ism" is entirely so--in opposition in one way or another to the idea of absolute truth. This is the best way I can think to state it. For example, the division can be seen in the early Greeks; Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in their own ways were defending truth (assuming the "right" life requires a truth standard sufficient to judge rightness by) while the Sophists arguably represent at minimum the importance of winning arguments over arguing truthfully by purposefully injecting obscurity into debate, slowing its forward movement [toward truth].

    Assuming moral truth exists as an absolute and the religious community at base has historically been in possession of some reasonable understanding and defense of it, there are obvious isms--relativism, moral skepticism, etc.--that are plainly a part of this division on the anti-absolute truth side. Other philosophies are more subtle, but there exists imo all the same a general anti-truth bias in some philosophies while others are supportive of or neutral toward it. I believe the stance of philosophers, that biases like this don't exist because each philosopher approaches his or her philosophy with impartiality to be (in many, not all cases) delusional. For example, I'm reading Simon Blackburn's Truth: A Guide right now. He states, after essentially inferring that those who hold fictitious religious beliefs are morons (my interpretation, of course) "We should, however, remember a long tradition in philosophy of calling things "fictions" without disrespect." This common form of throwing out salve to smear on wounds just created is amusingly a tool of the philosopher as it is to the common man.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    There is fundamental philosophy that is indifferent to whether God exists or not, or which other philosophy is valid or not, nor whether one religion is true or others are false. The philosophy is the Philosophy of science and Methodological Naturalism.

    I do not believe the difference between the spiritual/religious realities and our physical reality is absolutely defined without qualification, but for practical reasons they can be differentiated. To me without conflict, but others see conflict between science and human religious and philosophical beliefs. I believe that the conflicts are fallible human problems.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 01-10-2020 at 06:54 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber Anomaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    There is fundamental philosophy that is indifferent to whether God exists or not, or which other philosophy is valid or not, nor whether one religion is true or others are false. The philosophy is the Philosophy of science and Methodological Naturalism.
    Actually, this is probably the flagship of those philosophies noted in op. I believe the "indifference" you note is mistaken, though. I've been developing what I call the 'mechanism of value' the last 25 years, the premise of which, if it holds, is that all life is primarily bent either toward or away from prescriptive truth--as distinct from descriptive or factual truth. This 'for or against' stance can be seen as the point of reference division in philosophy. Not claiming the methodological materialist is aware of, or consciously pursues his/her philosophy from any sort of realization that the forces that came to shape one's embrace of an anti-truth doctrine is present. The opposition to prescriptive truth inheres every human being, causing what you correctly identify below as "fallible human problems". The conflict between truth and falsity within one's essence serves among other things as the producer of delusion in prescriptive matters. This notion seems supported by Christ's cry to the Father while on the cross, "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.", and is one basis for my belief that all will be saved...because all are ignorant to various degrees of our own moral offense.

    I do not believe the difference between the spiritual/religious realities and our physical reality is absolutely defined without qualification, but for practical reasons they can be differentiated. To me without conflict, but others see conflict between science and human religious and philosophical beliefs. I believe that the conflicts are fallible human problems.
    I agree with this generally, but believe the fallibility problems is a spiritual, not factual, issue created by the aforementioned natural tension and resistance between truth and falsity in the fragmentally falsified essence [soul] of each person.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anomaly View Post
    Actually, this is probably the flagship of those philosophies noted in op. I believe the "indifference" you note is mistaken, though. I've been developing what I call the 'mechanism of value' the last 25 years, the premise of which, if it holds, is that all life is primarily bent either toward or away from prescriptive truth--as distinct from descriptive or factual truth. This 'for or against' stance can be seen as the point of reference division in philosophy. Not claiming the methodological materialist is aware of, or consciously pursues his/her philosophy from any sort of realization that the forces that came to shape one's embrace of an anti-truth doctrine is present. The opposition to prescriptive truth inheres every human being, causing what you correctly identify below as "fallible human problems". The conflict between truth and falsity within one's essence serves among other things as the producer of delusion in prescriptive matters. This notion seems supported by Christ's cry to the Father while on the cross, "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.", and is one basis for my belief that all will be saved...because all are ignorant to various degrees of our own moral offense.
    First, Methodological Naturalism should not be referred to Methodological Materialism, because materialism would be a further assumption beyond the Philosophy of scientific methodology.

    Assumptions of 'What is 'for or against' stance can be seen as the point of reference division in philosophy.' is beyond science and based on other philosophical or theological assumptions or beliefs.

    I agree with this generally, but believe the fallibility problems is a spiritual, not factual, issue created by the aforementioned natural tension and resistance between truth and falsity in the fragmentally falsified essence [soul] of each person.
    I believe in God, but . . .


    From my present position of being neutral in this thread in the discussion of different philosophies for or against religions does boil down to whether God exists or not between the materialist philosophies versus theological philosophies. The matter of fact 'fallibility of human nature' is just the nature of being human, and not necessarily spiritual nor based on how conconsiders facts, nor being physical. The assumption that the fallible nature of humans concerning making choices being considered 'only' a spiritual or theological concern, would be assuming one particular philosophical for theological issues, or simply for the existence of God or one particular belief in God. This remains not a scientific question.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 01-11-2020 at 04:12 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber Anomaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    First, Methodological Naturalism should not be referred to Methodological Materialism, because materialism would be a further assumption beyond the Philosophy of scientific methodology.

    Assumptions of 'What is 'for or against' stance can be seen as the point of reference division in philosophy.' is beyond science and based on other philosophical or theological assumptions or beliefs.
    You're right. I've been corrected before on loose use of naturalism materialism. I stand again corrected.

    Point taken about being beyond philosophy. I do mix a metaphysical approach (existence as information) with what is considered theology by bringing value into the informational mix. This naturally sets off bells and whistles in philosophical discussions. When I take value further and distinguish between moral and factual truth as two simultaneously different kinds, it becomes a full blown--though odd or at least unorthodox--theology. Marrying a quality [value] with physical existence is epistemologically and ontologically improper. I have to agree with you, this approach steps over the threshold of static philosophical discourse...though your comment that the approach is "not a scientific question" sounds like you believe philosophical discussion needs to center on science. Science is only one field of philosophical study. As I understand it lots of philosophy stands outside science.

    I must be getting old shunyadragon; don't recall ever agreeing this often in a single post of yours.

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