Uploaded by Maha Amir

Philosophy and Religion

Name: Maha Amir
Roll # 1428
Section: B-2
Major: Psychology
Submitted to: Sir Yasir
Philosophy and Religion
Table of Contents:
1) Introduction to Philosophy and Religion
2) Similarities between Philosophy and Religion
3) Differences between Philosophy and Religion
4) Philosophy supporting religion
5) Arguments for the Existence of God
6) Philosophy against Religion
7) Arguments for the rejection of God
8) Conclusion
Philosophy and Religion
Philosophy of religion is the philosophical and comprehensive study of the true
meaning and nature of religion. It includes the study of principles, values,
believes, practices, worships and ways of living prescribed by varis religions. It
also focuses on the questions raised on the existence of God or even Gods and
the orders or commands given by Him.
Before going forward it is necessary to describe the two basic terms ‘’philosophy’’
and ‘’religion’’
Philosophy is a Greek word which literally means ‘love of wisdom’. It is the study
of fundamental concepts such as knowledge, reason, reality, values and believes
and world beyond reality. Simply it is the study of ‘’thinking about thinking’’.
Traditionally philosophy was divided into three main branches although this
division is not absolute. These were Natural philosophy, Moral philosophy and
metaphysical philosophy.
Natural Philosophy:
Natural philosophy is the philosophical study of nature i.e the physical world. It
includes the study of universe and whatever is present in it. It was from this
branch that many branches of science such as biology, physics, astronomy etc
evolved which led to the diverse study of these disciplines.
Moral Philosophy:
Moral philosophy includes the study of abstract, immaterial things such as
goodness, right or wrong, morals, beauty, virtue etc. It revolves around questions
like what is goodness in itself. What makes a thing bad? What is morally right? Is
something right is right in all circumstances? What are the objectives standards to
judge whether it is right or not? What is beauty in itself? Is beauty in object or in
the eye of beholder? All these questions are the soul of moral philosophy.
Metaphysical Philosophy:
Metaphysical philosophy is the study of reality or beyond-being. It includes the
study of existence of God, creation of universe, superiority of God. It revolves
around the questions of reality i.e. what is real? Can reality be grabbed by five
senses or is it supernatural?
Religion is the belief in the existence and superiority of an Unseen Being and the
words, places or practices that join the people to their God. It is the belief in the
Unseen creator who is the sustainer of the universe.
Religion plays a vital role in shaping the lives of common people by providing
them a path for spending a happy life. Man’s life becomes disciplined by following
a religion as it gives a direction to all his interests and desires. Man needs a
religion to regulate his or her behavior, for mental peace, social solidarity and as
an agent of socialization. In short, a person’s life is incomplete without a religion
although people who do not believe in any religion still exist.
Major religions of the World:
There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the
world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religions namely
Other folk religions
Common elements among all Religions:
Although different religions may vary in their religious practices, sanctioned
places, customs and festivals but all religions do have these points in common:
 Every religion believes in the existence of the supreme being/s that controls
our destiny.
 God is ever-living.
 Every religion promotes harmony and non-violence. Quran, Bible and
Bhagavat Gita all give the message of kindness and forgiveness.
 All men are equal in the eye of every religion. Not a single religion
differentiates people on the basis of color, creed or race.
 All religions tell basic morals in order to live a peaceful life
 God is omnipresent i.e. he resides everywhere.
Similarities between Philosophy and Religion:
The similarities between religion and philosophy are much less as compare to
their differences. However some of the similarities between the two are as
Search for the Meaning of Life:
Philosophy is in constant search for the meaning of life. The question that why
was man sent to this world or what is the purpose of his existence rises in the
mind of every philosopher and even common man. Religion does the same in
its own way. It invites people to search for the reason of their creation and
their duties towards eachother and God.
‘’So let man consider of what he is created’’ (86:5)
Search for Ultimate Reality:
Philosophy is an enquiry about the ultimate nature of reality. It is keenly
interested in knowing what is beyond physics. Question about the existence of
God has always been the favorite topic of philosophers. Religion also asks its
followers to observe the natural phenomenon to get the knowledge about
their God.
‘’Observe what is in the heavens and earth’’ (10:101)
Both religion and philosophy tell specific set of morals and values which are
important for living a civilized life.
Mutual Relationship:
Philosophy and religion share a mutual relationship. Religion provides a
direction to the philosophical thoughts and courage to reach its goal whereas
philosophy defends religion by providing logical evidences against atheistic
point of view.
Differences between Philosophy and Religion:
Although both philosophy and religion are very much same in dealing people
affairs there are distinct differences between the two.
Rituals vs. Thinking:
Religion is the name of observing certain rituals according to the way prescribed
by religion. Observance of these rituals is compulsory in order to be called
completely religious whereas philosophy is only concerned with the thinking of
people. It does not include any such customs.
Supernatural Believes vs. Strong Evidence:
Religion demands strong believe on many super natural realities, the biggest one
of which is believe in the Unseen God, whereas philosophy asks for strong
evidences before accepting the reality of anything.
Revelation vs. Human intellect:
Religious knowledge is solely based on revelation which is beyond doubt and
cannot be denied or falsified whereas philosophical knowledge is based on human
intellect which is often subjected to criticism.
Contentment of heart vs. intellectual satisfaction:
Religion pays greater attention on spiritual aspects of the universe because its aim
is contentment of heart whereas philosophy emphasizes on rational arguments
because its aims is intellectual satisfaction.
Philosophy Supporting Religion:
As described above philosophy has taken upon itself to protect the religion from
Atheistic views, it has provided several arguments to prove the existence of God.
Arguments For the existence of God:
Most widely used three arguments for the existence of God are :
1) Cosmological Argument
2) Ontological Argument
3) Teleological Argument
There details are as follows:
Cosmological argument:
Cosmological argument also known as First Cause Argument and is
generally linked with philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas
Aquinas. Cosmological argument for the existence of God is that nothing in
universe is made without a creator. For example, if we look at a house then we
consider the creator the masons who built it and all the labor which was used for
its construction. Then when we look at the mankind and all the things which are
created without man’s effort such as mountains, trees, even Human beings and
small insects. Existence of all these natural objects which cannot be created by a
common man urges us to believe in the existence of Ultimate Cause who is the
Uncaused Cause , The God.
Ontological Argument:
Ontological argument also called as ‘’ priori ‘’was first presented by St.
Anselm in 1070. It is based on the idea of perfection. Everyone on this planet has
some image of perfect being in his mind. We also know that not a single man is
flawless in this world. Thus the idea of perfection cannot be associated with any
person which means a Supreme Being must exist that is free from flaws and is
perfect because an non-existent thing cannot be claimed perfect therefore the
God, perfect being, must exist.
Teleological Argument:
Teleological Argument also known as The Design Argument for existence of
God is most common example we can see with naked eye. Has anyone ever heard
for an explosion in which there was creation rather than destruction? Certainly
not! But if we take a look at this Big Bang theory which is mostly being described
in the creation of this whole solar system then we come to know there is
someone who is taking control of it. There is someone who is changing the time
and making days and nights. There is someone who made this whole solar system
and has even made species in system which was created after the explosion.
Smooth running of every natural phenomenon around us urges us to believe in
the existence of God.
Philosophy against Religion:
Apart from providing arguments for the existence of God several philosophers
often called ‘atheists ‘have also provided many arguments for the rejection of
Atheism is the complete absence or rejection of the existence of God.
Philosophers who called themselves atheists provided arguments for their such
believes therefore questions about the existence or absence of God have been
poking in minds of people since centuries.
Atheist Philosophers and Their sayings:
Epicurus who belonged to the era of ancient philosophy and lived from 341 BC
to 270 BC believed that death should not be feared as either God does not exist
or even if he exists he can neither reward not punish people. One of his famous
saying is:
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche , a 19th century philosopher , was also famous
for his atheist Point of view. He considered the creation of both man and God a
mistake. According to him:
‘’Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?’’
Karl Marx who lived from 1818 to 1883 was nearly an atheist throughout his
life. Throughout his life he condemned churches for being Allies of government.
According to Marx:
‘’Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and
the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people’’
Arguments for the rejection of God:
These philosophers along with many other atheists have presented their
arguments. Some of them are as follows:
Unseen Identity:
Philosophy is the study of logic. It denies accepting anything without proper
evidence. Atheists’ philosopher question on the existence of God because of his
being Unseen. Their claim is that how can one believe in such an identity which
has no material existence and whose existence cannot even be proved by any
Existence of Evil:
The presence of evil also raises many questions on the existence or superiority of
God. David Hume , a well known Scottish Philosopher , presented an argument
questioning about the superiority of God.
According to him:
If evil is from the intention of God
Then He is not benevolent
If evil is contrary to His intentions
Then He is not omni-potent
Therefore existence of evils proves either God is not Benevolent or Omni-potent
thus clearly rejecting His Supreme Authority.
Sufferings and Misery:
After the world faced two deadly wars , a general massacre of thousands of
people and miserable situation of million others caused people to rise questions
on the existence of God who could not or probably did not save His people from
miseries. The faith of people on God started to decline resulting in their complete
atheist identity.
Conclusion: Summing up , it can be said that philosophy and religion
share a very unique relationship with philosophy trying to protect the religion
from atheists views at one end and also questioning on the basic principles of
Religion at the other end.