2.c.7 – What binds the philosophy to religion?

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February 22, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

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What binds the philosophy to religion?

We know that our cultural environment affects the way we see reality; Indeed, one of the ways in which this happens is through religious education, in fact with it are handed down behavior patterns and values, it is justified the social practice with its roles and often it is also established a relation with nature, maybe turned into a god; in religion therefore there are answers to fundamental questions of philosophy. It is then possible to conclude that in religions there is generally a major philosophical component with the peculiar feature of not being criticizable as contained in a sacred tradition.
The presentation of the universe that we find in religious philosophy seems to be crystallized in the sacred tradition; in fact, history teaches us that even the religious models evolve, but in very long time, so there are no major differences from a generation to another. Faster changes create scandal, social disorder and generally are branded as heresy. Religions provide some basic references for formation of a basic mental model common to everyone; then everyone will do the personal integrations that will not overturn the original model, except in exceptional cases.
At this point we may ask why there is a philosophy as discipline of study separate from religion and sometimes in conflict with it but, as we said, religions tends to set their own models, keep them, but they don’t change them and then the philosophical inquiry, namely the development of new models, is an activity external to the religion.
On a large population of believers, there is often a small percentage of dissatisfied people that accept with difficulty the religious education received. These religious misfits develop a personal belief, a model that will diverge in a more marked way, compared to the others, from the common religious model; in other words they will do a philosophical inquiry without the usual sacred constraints. Their intellectual work can make a great contribution to the evolution of traditional models in case this is absorbed in a the second time by the dominant religion or, otherwise, may give rise to a non-religious philosophical tradition.
It is also known that certain philosophies independent by religion have with time acquired a sacralization process, thus becoming real religions.
We can conclude that religion and philosophy are closely linked:
• religion enhances and transmits the results of philosophical research
• philosophy contributes to the historical evolution of religions
• philosophy meets certain religious needs of the human psyche, like that of having a mental model having the function of  moral reference and psychological support.

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