Philosophy - The Bridge Between Science and Religion?

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Poll: How do you classify Philosophy?
Philosophy lies directly between Science and Religion (3)
15%
Philosophy is closer to Science (3)
15%
Philosophy is closer to Religion (1)
5%
Philosophy is an academic discipline in its own right (13)
65%
alexmufc1995
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I'd always considered Philosophy to lie directly between Science and Religion on a scale of academic discplines, but I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts?

Another point (picked up from a random philosophy book - Simon Blackburn perhaps), is that, when people complain about the abstraction of Philosophy, it is because 'practical' subjects such as Astronomy, Medicine and Pscychology have all moved out of the umbrella of Philosophy.
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ChaoticButterfly
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I would describe science as applied philosophy. Someone comes up with a philosophical idea about nature, they then test this idea. It it stands up to the scrutiny then the idea is accepted as having a certain amount of truth attached to it.
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I am not finite
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Philosophy is not really science or religion, in fact philosophy isn't really anything at all apart from speculative thought in many respects (what actually is the subject of philosophy? it just seems like abstract thought to me). The mitigated skepticism of Hume puts philosophy at the foundation of science (i.e explaining the methods of science) and in hostility to religion, which seems correct to me, faith and reason seem hostile to one another (although i'd say we can't have knowledge only faith and probability).
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Marco1
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Philosophy is the Mother of all other academic subjects. From the building blocks of philosophical enquiry sprang new branches of intellectual exploration and expression.

If a religion has any substance, philosophy in its true sense (and I don't mean thought confined to the parameters of scientific method) should complement it.

It is said that the longest journey we travel in life is the one from the head to the heart.
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JohnPaul_
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http://m.samharris.org/blog/item/our...ion-of-science


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there's too much love
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(Original post by alexmufc1995)
I'd always considered Philosophy to lie directly between Science and Religion on a scale of academic discplines, but I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts?

Another point (picked up from a random philosophy book - Simon Blackburn perhaps), is that, when people complain about the abstraction of Philosophy, it is because 'practical' subjects such as Astronomy, Medicine and Pscychology have all moved out of the umbrella of Philosophy.
Caution: Before reading this over the top reply to your thread bear in mind I have had many boring people make the same religion science binary assumption and I'm sick to death of it. Thus there may be elements of misplaced anger in parts all over this post.

I'd always considered people who associate philosophy with religion to fundamentally misunderstand the vast majority of philosophy.

But I'd be interested to know in what manners you think religion (or for many of these science) affect the vast number of meta-ethical theories that don't revert to naturalism or "cause God said so" logic, pretty much all of the philosophy of language, philosophy of economics, environmental philosophy, existentialism, philosophy of mind apart from a more and more irrelevant subset of metaphysics (such as Berkeley's idealism etc.).
And how any of them is between this imaginary science religion binary that I've never heard anyone whose studied philosophy refer to is also beyond me.

I've left philosophy of religion (pah!) and philosophy of science out of it for obvious reasons.

Why people must lump religion and philosophy together is beyond me. But then I presume that it's related to the fact that people simply haven't studied philosophy outside of what they expect (which is bloody ignorant).

Brb, re-writing P.I. for Wittgenstein so that instead it just says "God made language".
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delarsea
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I think people see similarity between philosophy and science due to the similarity in their rhetoric, but whilst they may be saying similar things, what the adherents to these disciplines do are very different.

Both parties claim to desire to find 'true, objective knowledge' of the universe, though they make use of different methods of reasoning to do this. Scientists make use of inductive reasoning, by which they observe frequent patterns in the world and try to think of reasons for these patterns by use of other things they have observed (or that have been proved). This means that science makes use of heuristic or approximate explanations for physical phenomena, rather than ones that they can be completely sure are true. In fact, scientists tend to gravitate towards ideas based on their 'usefulness' rather than their logical certainty

Philosophers, on the other hand, tend to make use of deductive reasoning, by which they concern themselves with what we can know with absolute certainty, by use of certain logical techniques (In this respect, Philosophy is close to mathematics and mathematics is seen by some as a subset of philosophy). This can mean for philosophers that their field of knowledge is restricted to stating the obvious (such as 'all bachelors are unmarried' or other statements true by definition) or other tautological statements (statements in which the subjects are irrelevant and could be replaced with anything, but the statement as a whole would remain true)

In a similar, but less rigorous, manner to science, Religion uses highly approximate explanations for all phenomena (such as stories of creation) that serve as allegorical guidelines as to how one should live their life. religions use ideas that are useful, not in the physical way that science determines usefulness, but in keep societies unified and keeping people spiritually satiated.

In conclusion, science and philosophy sound like they're similar, but actually in practice science is more like religion
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alexmufc1995
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(Original post by there's too much love)
Caution: Before reading this over the top reply to your thread bear in mind I have had many boring people make the same religion science binary assumption and I'm sick to death of it. Thus there may be elements of misplaced anger in parts all over this post.
That's okay

I'm doing a philosophy degree at Oxford next year (if I get the grades), so hopefully this will stop me from being so "boring" :')

Appreciate the reply though!
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JohnPaul_
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There is no distinction between philosophy and science. They do exactly the same thing, except when we talk about ideas that go beyond known or even possible ways of experimentation, we call these ideas philosophical, but it's never not scientific. And when we talk about ideas and concepts that are impossible or simply just don't pertain to reality, we may call this mythology.

For example, you can do science without entailing religion, but you cannot do religion or any other field of discourse without inherently and overtly doing science.

The bottom line: if we are talking or making claims about reality, even reality itself, using the highest standards of evidence and logic, is someone thinking scientifically.




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there's too much love
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(Original post by alexmufc1995)
That's okay

I'm doing a philosophy degree at Oxford next year (if I get the grades), so hopefully this will stop me from being so "boring" :')

Appreciate the reply though!
I just can't appreciate this chain and ball mentality of philosophy and religion being intertwined. There's a small part of philosophy where religion is relevant. But there's so much more to philosophy than religion.
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Melancholy
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Religion, Science, Maths, and so forth, share the same relationship to philosophy insofar as philosophers think about them and write books entitled "Philosophy of Religion", "Philosophy of Science", and "Philosophy of Mathematics". Quine reduces most philosophy to science, but in the act of doing so he is writing like a philosopher, not a scientist - so that's self-defeating. Likewise, many of the early philosophers were theologians who reduced explanations to God, but their style of writing, by offering reasons for their causative analysis, were distinctively philosophical. Philosophy is just thinking (99% of the time with the aim of pursuing Truth [or, whatever equivalent that truth-sceptics, private-language philosophers and pragmatists like Richard Rorty may use {!}]).
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arcturus7
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As has been stated, you can have "Philosophy of [X]" and as such you can describe small branches of Philosophy as being closer to religion than science, but on the whole I believe it is closer to science than religion. I think this for several reasons;

1) Philosophy looks for self-consistent answers to questions through a systematic and rational thought process; whether these questions be about religion, reality, knowledge or whatever, the main idea behind philosophy is to use logic to come to a conclusion. This is unlike religion in the sense that here there more emphasis placed on rational thought and skepticism, rather than faith and revelation.

2) Modern science is in many ways born out of the natural philosophy, which laid the foundations for the way we look at the world. The same cannot be said for religion.

3) Philosophy encourages discussion and questioning of it's own conclusions. It is rare to find a religion which allows you to freely question every answer it provides.

Philosophy encourages discussion, debate and free thinking. While it is not as rigorous as science and doesn't necessarily use the scientific method, it still aims to progress our knowledge. To me, philosophy is like a science lite - still worth doing, but I don't take it as seriously as solid science.
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there's too much love
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(Original post by arcturus7)
As has been stated, you can have "Philosophy of [X]" and as such you can describe small branches of Philosophy as being closer to religion than science, but on the whole I believe it is closer to science than religion. I think this for several reasons;

1) Philosophy looks for self-consistent answers to questions through a systematic and rational thought process; whether these questions be about religion, reality, knowledge or whatever, the main idea behind philosophy is to use logic to come to a conclusion. This is unlike religion in the sense that here there more emphasis placed on rational thought and skepticism, rather than faith and revelation.

2) Modern science is in many ways born out of the natural philosophy, which laid the foundations for the way we look at the world. The same cannot be said for religion.

3) Philosophy encourages discussion and questioning of it's own conclusions. It is rare to find a religion which allows you to freely question every answer it provides.

Philosophy encourages discussion, debate and free thinking. While it is not as rigorous as science and doesn't necessarily use the scientific method, it still aims to progress our knowledge. To me, philosophy is like a science lite - still worth doing, but I don't take it as seriously as solid science.
Again, I disagree with the notion of this idea that you have religion and science on two opposite ends, there are other axis. Philosophy of language, most of ethics, of responsibility etc. are largely related to neither science or religion.
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arcturus7
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(Original post by there's too much love)
Again, I disagree with the notion of this idea that you have religion and science on two opposite ends, there are other axis. Philosophy of language, most of ethics, of responsibility etc. are largely related to neither science or religion.
I realize that there are many different branches of philosophy, and that most of them are not directly related to science in any way, but I was referring more to the methodology used and the nature of the discussions involved. I never said that science and philosophy were closely related (as they used to be) but the question was whether or not it was closer to religion or science. In my opinion the processes involved in philosophy and how they reach their conclusions, on the whole, resemble science more than religion. That's not to say that the studies as a whole resemble science strongly.
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there's too much love
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(Original post by arcturus7)
I realize that there are many different branches of philosophy, and that most of them are not directly related to science in any way, but I was referring more to the methodology used and the nature of the discussions involved. I never said that science and philosophy were closely related (as they used to be) but the question was whether or not it was closer to religion or science. In my opinion the processes involved in philosophy and how they reach their conclusions, on the whole, resemble science more than religion. That's not to say that the studies as a whole resemble science strongly.
Well you get religious people who say that they use reasoning from science to show that God (or something) exists. That science and religion go hand in hand. Personally I think that's a load of rubbish but that is what they say.

I'm also not sure that that's true of all areas of philosophy. Where we start looking at gender, at disability and general embodiment, when we look at what language means etc.
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Baron of Sealand
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The bridge has been 'creative writing'.
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arcturus7
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(Original post by there's too much love)
Well you get religious people who say that they use reasoning from science to show that God (or something) exists. That science and religion go hand in hand. Personally I think that's a load of rubbish but that is what they say.
That's true, but what they're doing is interpreting the evidence to support their premeditated conclusions. Nothing in nature that we know of has the sole explanation "God did it", and so anybody who claims that some scientific discovery is evidence of God is simply expressing their personal interpretation of the evidence. That isn't a scientific way to do things, since using this explanation doesn't increase our understanding of the universe in anyways and, more fundamentally, it isn't testable. That's the antithesis of science. Anybody who claims otherwise is simply wrong.

(Original post by there's too much love)
I'm also not sure that that's true of all areas of philosophy. Where we start looking at gender, at disability and general embodiment, when we look at what language means etc.
But even in those areas, don't philosophers still rely on logical arguments and rational thought to still derive their ideas?

I just feel that when philosophy answers questions which are also investigated by science and religion, the way it goes about it is more akin to scientific questioning than religious inquiry. All the fields you talk about still seem to me to be rooted in rational thought and logic, which in my opinion is just not what religious study is like. Perhaps it is just me being somewhat prejudiced towards religion and thus unwilling to associate philosophy with it too closely.

On the whole I'd say Philosophy isn't a science, and is a discipline in it's own right, but that it shares more common ground with science than religion. Would you agree with this statement?
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Picnic1
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Religion is : God created stuff. These are the moral rules.
Science is : There is stuff. These are the physical rules.

Serious answers above so a jokey answer to philosophy which nevertheless will contain some truth:

Philosophy is : I was never quite good enough at science and I don't feel this idea that morality and fairness go hand in hand together as much as they could or should. I could become an artist but I can't draw massively well and I'm not a huge socialiser to become another Andy Warhol. I'm going to struggle to get very far in life unless I question existence itself, perhaps in a way that I imagine to be endearingly irreverent as opposed to all you 'squares'. Maybe I can get a nice girlfriend or a job in the arts with this. What's it all about ALFIE!

Or: What are the ways of categorising all the stuff and interactions between stuff that there are?

That should be what philosophy is. Instead it is dealt with by psychology or sociology and philosophy, the original super subject, is left with things that its students don't necessarily believe in , such as classical morality. 'But - hey- I can go in to law Nige'.
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there's too much love
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(Original post by arcturus7)
That's true, but what they're doing is interpreting the evidence to support their premeditated conclusions. Nothing in nature that we know of has the sole explanation "God did it", and so anybody who claims that some scientific discovery is evidence of God is simply expressing their personal interpretation of the evidence. That isn't a scientific way to do things, since using this explanation doesn't increase our understanding of the universe in anyways and, more fundamentally, it isn't testable. That's the antithesis of science. Anybody who claims otherwise is simply wrong.



But even in those areas, don't philosophers still rely on logical arguments and rational thought to still derive their ideas?

I just feel that when philosophy answers questions which are also investigated by science and religion, the way it goes about it is more akin to scientific questioning than religious inquiry. All the fields you talk about still seem to me to be rooted in rational thought and logic, which in my opinion is just not what religious study is like. Perhaps it is just me being somewhat prejudiced towards religion and thus unwilling to associate philosophy with it too closely.

On the whole I'd say Philosophy isn't a science, and is a discipline in it's own right, but that it shares more common ground with science than religion. Would you agree with this statement?
Sorry that this reply is so short but I think I see exactly where we disagree.

I think that science is based in rationality and logic (or at least aims to be, bad science etc. but lets ignore that because, well, that is science that is bad:P ). I don't think it's fair to say that that means all ways of thinking rationally and logically can be claimed by science.

So on a venn diagram you would have a nice big logic and rationale thought circle, with another circle completely inside it that was science.
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arcturus7
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(Original post by there's too much love)
Sorry that this reply is so short but I think I see exactly where we disagree.

I think that science is based in rationality and logic (or at least aims to be, bad science etc. but lets ignore that because, well, that is science that is bad:P ). I don't think it's fair to say that that means all ways of thinking rationally and logically can be claimed by science.

So on a venn diagram you would have a nice big logic and rationale thought circle, with another circle completely inside it that was science.
Fair enough - at least we know where we stand! At least we can both unanimously agree that bad science is a total misnomer - it's not science at all :P haha.

I see your point yes, that philosophy definitely isn't the same as science despite having similar groundings. I don't think we actually disagree as much as it appears - I just don't think I'm arguing eloquently enough haha.

Thanks for the interesting discussion though
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