What part of philosophy supports religion ? Or is religion itself its own philosophy ?

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    Thanks for the question and welcome to philosophy! There is definitely some complexity here for sure: the "God of the philosophers" (e.g., as found in Spinoza) was/is quite heterodox for mainstream theologians...
    – Joseph Weissman
    Sep 9, 2016 at 20:44
  • This is relevant to your question: philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/30555/13808 Sep 9, 2016 at 21:11
  • times change and are a changin': a century ago, you'd probably found that percentage reversed; that this percentage is what it is, is what Nietzsche means by saying that 'God is dead'; that its a proposition that no serious intellectual could seriously believe in; Heidegger might put it down to the rise of the technical mentalite; personally I'd say it's the rise of a certain obscure element of the Greek-Judaic synthesis that is Western civilisation, the Epicurean element that is now holding sway; ie a materialist, atomic ethic. Sep 10, 2016 at 0:49
  • In the East it is the opposite. Philosophy and religion mean the same. To be a philosopher means to be religious. Sep 11, 2016 at 11:07
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    It is in general the nature of philosophy to question "knowledge" and in general it is the nature of religion to proclaim "knowledge". Sep 11, 2016 at 16:58

4 Answers 4


There have been long periods of time in every major philosophical tradition when philosophy has been carefully shaped to lie within a religious context.

Hindu philosophy is clearly Hindu. Aristotelian philosophy between the time Greece left off leading the West, and the time it got back to Europe, was carefully cultivated in a way that would not offend Islam. Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy within Europe was carefully monitored and fitted into a Christian context from early on until the end of Scholasticism. And so forth.

So, historically, there seems to be no basic clash between philosophy and religion, except over which should dominate the mindset of a period. Our own period is one that cannot see religion as a predominant force in shaping thought, but that is largely a post-Victorian phenomenon, restricted to the West.


these days (and in fact for centuries) prominent (Christan) theologians are as well versed in philosophy as any secular philosopher. in that tradition, at least, there is no inherent incompatibility between philosophy and "religion". then again, there is no inherent incompatibility between science and religion - there is no shortage of first-rate scientists who are also deeply re ligious.


I would argue religion is inherently philosophical, one proof of this is how many variations of Christianity there are. Those variations wouldn't exist without people that questioned the Church, scripture, and God.

Philosophy is a tool and tools by themselves cannot create context. For instance, if philosophy were a programming language then Christianity would be a git hub project written in that language. To go one step further, atheism in this analogy would be the issues tab on github.

I'm not bashing atheism necessarily, remember that philosophical knowledge can be used to compliment religion as well as scrutinize it. Atheism at times can contrast with religion as a reminder or a warning that is very wrong. However, atheism is neither a tool nor a project, it is simply a critique.

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    It would help to define philosophy and religion at the top for the purposes of your answer, but I think this is a pretty good start. (you've got a definition for philosophy in the second paragraph).
    – virmaior
    Oct 11, 2016 at 1:31

Jainism & Buddhism are atheistic religions arises out of philosophies. You can refer their philosophical texts. Hinduism is a religion, it's Philosophy is monism( if talking in a loose way).

Anyway, how will you precisely define Philosophy? How it differs from doctrines, tenets, believes etc? Because interpretations are based on what we understand from the term Philosophy.


  • Is there anything as atheistic religion ?, I thought atheism was the complete lack of religion Sep 10, 2016 at 12:04
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    @user6798995: atheism is a non-belief in God / god / gods. A lack of religion may or may not be identical to atheism, depending on what "religion" is or what "God / god / gods" is / are...
    – ig0774
    Sep 11, 2016 at 19:42
  • a lot hinges on how we define "religion." On many sociological definitions, it is not coterminous with believing in a god/gods/spirits. Instead, it's having a set of social and group practices and rituals that correspond with those. If we look at the list of "world religions," both Buddhism, Hinduism (yes really), and Confucianism represent major religions that have both deity-free and deity-full variants (I am less familiar with Jainism so leave it out).
    – virmaior
    Oct 11, 2016 at 1:30

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