Sunday, August 18, 2019

Philosophy’s Prejudice Towards Religion Essay -- Philosophy Philosophi

Philosophy’s Prejudice Towards Religion ABSTRACT: Religion acquired a bad press in philosophical modernity after a rivalry developed between philosophy and theology, originating in philosophy’s adopting the role of our culture’s superjudge in all of morality and knowledge, and in faith’s coming to be seen as belief, that is, as assent to propositional content. Religion, no longer trust in the face of mystery, became a belief system. Reason as judge of propositional belief set up religion’s decline. But spirituality is on the rise, and favors trust over reason. Philosophy could make space for the spiritual by acknowledging a difference between belief as propositional assent and religious faith as trust, a distinction lost with the mixing of Greek philosophy and Christian faith. Artistic or religious truth disappeared as authentic forms of knowing. But Michael Polanyi reintroduced knowledge as more than can be thought. Also postmodern and feminist thought urge us to abandon autonomous reason as so le limit to knowledge. We have space again for philosophy to look at openness to the spiritual. If spirituality confronts us with the mystery of the existential boundary conditions, religion may be a form of relating to the mystery that confronts us from beyond the bounds of reason. That mystery demands our attention if we are to be fully in touch with perennial issues of human meaning. At least philosophically speaking, religion has acquired a bad press in modernity. It may be explicitly rejected, simply not be talked about, or perhaps be discussed as an area of investigation. But religious adherents who explicitly involve their religion in doing philosophy are both rare and seldom respected. Much of this goes back to a history o... Grand Rapids, Mich., Eerdmans and Amsterdam, Rodopi, 1989. In the series Currents of Encounter. (3) See the earlier mentioned works by Neusner/Chilton and Cantwell Smith. (4) Hans Georg Gadamer and Thomas Kuhn also contributed to the decline of identifying knowledge with only true (propositional) belief, with assent to rational understanding. Barry Allen has recently taken up this theme in various articles. See for example "The Ambition of Transcendence," forthcoming in Religion without Transcendence? edited by D. Z. Phillips, London, McMillen, Claremont Studies in Religion; "Forbidden Knowledge," in The Monist, April 1996, 79,2, pp. 294-310; and "What was Epistemology?" in Rorty and his Critics, edited by Robert Brandon, London, Blackwell, 1997. (5) In the Ten Commandments sin spreads its effects for three generations, while love endures for thousands.

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