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    Of course you can; religion is a form of philosophy. How is it not? Very often do people confuse scepticism with philosophy, and faith with religion. Empirism is having faith as well. We all have faith in some things - though it might not always stretch out to believing in a devine entity. But how is believing that what you see is actually there not faith?
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    im not religious and dont really know much about christianity even and i find this makes it harder for me to argue a decent point in my P&E AS classes. the religious folk seem to have it easy if you ask me. plus a lot of the philosophydep at my school are religious. But do it anyway! its all good fun!
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    OP: I kind of know what you're saying!
    I was arguing with a teacher not too long ago about wether philosophy was blasphemous or not.
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    Yes, you can be. Philosophy as an academic subject is quite atheistic. By all means, theistic philosophers exist but generally not in large numbers.

    A lot of it depends on whether you're capable of putting a 'philosophy hat' on and chucking it away when it comes to your own beliefs. Some people can do that. I can't, mainly because I don't like doublethink.

    As to whether it might make you lose your faith? If you teflon-coat your religion enough then even the strongest facts will bounce away like fat kids on an inflatable castle. I wouldn't worry too much.
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    Plenty of people are religious and study philosophy. The experience of the RS department at my school, however, specifically regarding A level, was that it did lead to a considerable, though not huge, number of students leaving the faith they were brought up in. I'd guess that was more because studying arguments about the existence of God led them to challenge their own reasons for believing in a way they previously hadn't (particularly likely given that it's late teens we're talking about) than because philosophy has any kind of knock-down method of converting theists to atheism.
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    The goal of philosophical training is to challenge assumptions, investigate the validity and soundness of arguments and question everything.

    It is no coincidence that upon studying philosophy and logic, one's 'belief' in anything labelled 'god' starts to appear increasingly silly.

    Too often is religion imposed on children by parents who simply accept religion as a tradition rather than a set of assumptions which can, and should, be challenged.

    If children are raised in a way that their parents didn't try to instill any kind of religious belief in them, would they find religion themselves? Potentially, but it certainly wouldn't be any kind of organised religion such as the catholic church, islam, judaism etc.

    Which raises the question, are established systems of worship even required within the framework of religion and belief itself? i.e. Kierkegaard.

    I personally have no objections to personal systems of belief. However; I do object to organised religion which seeks to impose said systems of belief (read; opinion) as fact and truth.
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    (Original post by Oddjob39A)
    The goal of philosophical training is to challenge assumptions, investigate the validity and soundness of arguments and question everything.
    I don't think that this is true. Is the view that we must challenge (all?) assumptions not itself an assumption? The fact that a proposition "God exists" could be false is no reason (on its own) to question it - it could equally be true.

    What's more, the view that philosophical training is geared to challenging assumptions seems to me to be a definition that rule out certain forms of philosophy that are specifically designed to 'leave everything as it is'. John McDowell is certainly a philosopher, yet he wouldn't buy your goal of philosophy, and that goal isn't reflected in a lot of his work (which is, nevertheless, good philosophy).
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    (Original post by RawJoh1)
    I don't think that this is true. Is the view that we must challenge (all?) assumptions not itself an assumption? The fact that a proposition "God exists" could be false is no reason (on its own) to question it - it could equally be true.

    What's more, the view that philosophical training is geared to challenging assumptions seems to me to be a definition that rule out certain forms of philosophy that are specifically designed to 'leave everything as it is'. John McDowell is certainly a philosopher, yet he wouldn't buy your goal of philosophy, and that goal isn't reflected in a lot of his work (which is, nevertheless, good philosophy).
    No it is not an assumption, it is a maxim.

    I never said anything was false, I said one can only know something to be true once one has questioned it and arrived at the conclusion that said principle is indeed true (Actually; see my signature! :P)

    And I am sorry but 'leaving things as they are' is bad philosophy. Not only would normal people in the street challenge arguments which they believe to be dubious, but so do good philosophers.

    Further to my point, the notion of 'leaving everything as it is' not only prevents the revelation of truth and falsity, taken as a general disposition would surely stand in the way of empirical advancement in many if not all fields of human endeavour. Try telling a cancer research professor to not challenge the assumption that cancer is incurable and that he ought to 'leave it as it is' and tell me his/her reply.
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    (Original post by Oddjob39A)
    No it is not an assumption, it is a maxim.
    but the proposition "It is beneficial to philosophy to challenge all assumptions" is.
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    (Original post by stoney)
    but the proposition "It is beneficial to philosophy to challenge all assumptions" is.
    No. It.is.a.maxim.

    'You must challenge all assumptions' - Assumption

    'It is benefical to challenge assumptions' - Maxim.
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    (Original post by Skl89x)
    Seriously?.....lol my course as the teacher says ' we learn there isn't really a god' .... I think it kinda kills it, u have to be open minded i guess...i told my absoloutist hindu mate he really wouldnt like it..
    i'm an athiest/agnostic myself.. so im open to anything really, and can judge what convinces me most. You learn, in my case, u don't have to be religious at all...instead just have your life's own philosophy

    xxx

    don't be ridiculous you dont learn there isnt really a God! if you learnt there isn't really a god, religion wouldnt exist and neither would the subject. I have two christians in my philosophy class and although they are religious they are still able to listen accept and respect other peoples views. As for being and athiest/agnostic..? an athiest doesn't believe in God and an agnostic is unsure as to Gods existence, so how can you be both lol?
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    lol i wrote that post ages ago forgot bout this thread... erm i meant i vary between the two- like sometimes i dont know others times i do, im wierd like that my opinions not fixed but im moreso a non believer. my point of the thread was that this really full on religous person i knew didn't agree with anything in philosophy because of his own beliefs- and because its such an open minded subject, i was just wondering if people who are very absolutist in their beliefs would be able to study it... but now its clear that they can- especially if their faith is strong enough. x
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    (Original post by Oddjob39A)
    No. It.is.a.maxim.

    'You must challenge all assumptions' - Assumption

    'It is benefical to challenge assumptions' - Maxim.
    really? Surely if you ASSUME that it is benefical to challenge assumptions then that renders it an assumption, no?
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    (Original post by stoney)
    really? Surely if you ASSUME that it is benefical to challenge assumptions then that renders it an assumption, no?
    I am not assuming it is, I know (and can prove it to be) beneficial to challenge all assumptions due to the very nature of assumptions i.e. that they are unproven assertions. I don't think I have to go into this in depth, you should be able to see for yourself how fallacious it would be to just accept assumptions without questioning them. Here's an assumption (keeping with my previous example); Cancer will never be cured. Would you just accept that and never challenge it? Clearly not, that is the entire goal of science.

    'Challenging all assumptions is beneficial' is not an assumption because if it was an assumption, it would be an unproven piece of hypothetical reasoning, whereas in actual fact, I have shown it to be a maxim founded in empirical verification, worth living ones life by and can do so again and again.

    If you think that accepting everything that is said to you without challenging every single piece of data you are given, developing your own thoughts and ideas and deciding which to keep and which to discard, then you lead a very strange life.
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    (Original post by Oddjob39A)
    I am not assuming it is, I know (and can prove it to be) beneficial to challenge all assumptions due to the very nature of assumptions i.e. that they are unproven assertions. I don't think I have to go into this in depth, you should be able to see for yourself how fallacious it would be to just accept assumptions without questioning them. Here's an assumption (keeping with my previous example); Cancer will never be cured. Would you just accept that and never challenge it? Clearly not, that is the entire goal of science.

    'Challenging all assumptions is beneficial' is not an assumption because if it was an assumption, it would be an unproven piece of hypothetical reasoning, whereas in actual fact, I have shown it to be a maxim founded in empirical verification, worth living ones life by and can do so again and again.

    If you think that accepting everything that is said to you without challenging every single piece of data you are given, developing your own thoughts and ideas and deciding which to keep and which to discard, then you lead a very strange life.
    Ah ok fair enough I see where your comming from now.
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    (Original post by stoney)
    Ah ok fair enough I see where your comming from now.
    Wow, the first person on TSR without an unassailable ego :p:

    Rep. for you young sire
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    (Original post by Oddjob39A)
    If children are raised in a way that their parents didn't try to instill any kind of religious belief in them, would they find religion themselves? Potentially, but it certainly wouldn't be any kind of organised religion such as the catholic church, islam, judaism etc.
    The fact that you can be so certain on something you obviously have little experience, is quite strange. I know quite a few people who have found belief in an organised religion after having been brought up with athiestic/agnostic beliefs.

    In terms of the original question, the answer is yes. Philosophy is, at the end of the day, opinions and beliefs of a few notable people but essentially, their opinions have no weight if you can provide a defence for your own view point. I am a thiest and I find studying philosophy strengthened, rather than weakened, my belief (i don't accept non-propositional faith). So much so, that I hope to continue my studies in it outside of my main career choice (Medicine).

    But yes, I do see why some people may alter their theistic beliefs when first introduced to philosophy, especially if they have never really thought deeply about why they believe what they do.
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    Actually, I highly doubt you can prove, to the general satisfaction of people from different philosophical standpoints, that it's beneficial to challenge all assumptions. The only uncontroversial way to do that would be to show conclusively that doing so will (or is more likely to than any other course of action) result in beliefs that are closer to the truth. And conclusively showing that any belief-selecting method at all passes that test would be a massive philosophical advance - you'd basically be revolutionising both epistemology and philosophy of science.
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    (Original post by wanderer)
    Actually, I highly doubt you can prove, to the general satisfaction of people from different philosophical standpoints, that it's beneficial to challenge all assumptions. The only uncontroversial way to do that would be to show conclusively that doing so will (or is more likely to than any other course of action) result in beliefs that are closer to the truth. And conclusively showing that any belief-selecting method at all passes that test would be a massive philosophical advance - you'd basically be revolutionising both epistemology and philosophy of science.
    That would make an interesting afternoon.
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    Probably get you a professorship too
 
 
 
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