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Philosophy And Religion

Reflection on religion has been a principal route leading men into philosophy for religion as a two-sided phenomenon. In the orthodox forms it asks men to believe in miracles, imposes on them commands which run counter to their instincts, and is in many ways a record of intolerance and fanaticism. Yet one of the profoundest minds have been sustained by religion and it has natured some of the more penetrating visions of ht human condition and some of the most appealing models of human personality. Is there some balance that can be struck between these two sides of religion? What  rational purpose does religion serve in the world? In what way , if at all, do religious beliefs make sense? To explore these questions seriously , philosophy comes to our aid. A little philosophy, addressed to the problems of religion, generates still more philosophy, addressed to questions that go beyond religion. For the philosopher Diderot, religious belief is a gamble. Speaking for himself, Diderot says. If a man wants to bet on religion, and is capable if living decently and allowing his fellows to hold their own different views, his purpose is not so much to refute religion as to deny that the world will collapse if people were allowed to think abut religion as they please. Diderot’s criticism of religion contains most of the central points in the atheist and antagonistic indictments of religion. Intellectually, religion is presented as a standing contradiction it asks us to worship a God who has made life on earth a misery for most human beings, and it portrays God as a judge who cares more about our unquestioning acceptance of a creed than about the way we actually behave. And morally religion is and outrage against human nature. It imposes the killjoy ideas of a few melancholic’s on the shale human species .Religion fills man with unreasoning. so much so even the act man’s consciences by unnecessary anxieties. And it corrupts calculation of remarks and punishment. Diderot’s ideas presuppose a secular, humanistic basis for morality, but it does not attempt to demonstrate the validity of this outlook. Nor does it meet head on the argument that the major questions are barge when the validity of religion is discussed in secular terms. Is there a single logic by which all questions must be discussed, no matter what they are? Or do certain kinds of beliefs, notably the beliefs of religion, require special kinds of argument and proof? George Berkeley also discusses the above matters. And interestingly agrees with Diderot inane fundamental respect. He does not thing that a discussion of religion requires a separate logic or any special kind of argument. On the contrary, religion is just a matter of everyday common sense. It is people like Diderot, he says implicitly, who lose their common sense when they discuss religion, Indeed in their idolizing of science they adopt arguments which they world feel embarrassed to use in their ordinary affairs. George Bernard Shaw once said that he took to writing comedies because he discovered that when he Spode the truth everybody laughed. Berkeley, speaking in an old largish tradition of argumentation, insists that he is sating only what everybody really knows and then he looks around in apparent surprise when everybody seems startied.Berkeley said his intention was to prove the existence of God, and at the same time to puncture the affectations of people who wrap themselves in “advanced” ideas and then go around talking non-sense. Berkeley is the plain man’s philosopher. That so what gives his philosophy its passion and charm, and also the comic aspect. He wants to show that the plain man is right  in what he normally thinks, and that people who have their heads turned by the latest intellectual fashions are wrong. But plain men are usually unaware the views need elaborates defense. Nevertheless, though plain men may think Berkeley mad, he is on their side. I his quarrel with other philosophers. he scores heavily. For example, reasoning from a “scientific” are produced by light rays which come form external objects. Register on the retinal o the eye. and are sent by nervous impulses to the brain. Philosophers thus have produced ad puzzle. while vision is and event inside our heads, and what we see is only in our minds. There is something out their something material which exists independently o us, which is the because of our sensations but which we never directly conserve. Thus Bertrand Russell once said that when a brain surgeon looked at a patient’s brain what he is really observing is a portion of his own brain And from the way of thinking has come a mare’s nest of problems: How do we prove the existence of the world outside our minds? And how do we explain the interaction between two such different entities a smatter” and “mind”? An important philosopher, poisonous disproves materialism and proves the existence e of God. He suggests an arresting metaphor-the universe as God. He which allows us to experience the world as a message to us, contriving, are set forth for us to discover and adore. We must now turn to Santayana. Like Diderot Santayana is a materialist in natural philosophy; like Diderot he also thinks that religion must be measured by its impact on this world. And yet, though