Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Is religion a hindrance to consciousness?

It seems that religion is the attempt to answer life’s big questions. questions like “why are we here?”, “What is our purpose” etc. To me this seems to be the answer that would come easiest, as if mankind became tired of questions not being answered, so they imagined a answer that was so unbelievably fantastical, that people took to the idea, because it was such a comforting and romantic notion. This idea attempted to explain every question we had about our human existence, If an all-knowing power exists than theres no need to continue wondering, and being frustrated by a lack of answers. But to me this seems extremely counter – productive. If we are to really answer all the questions we have as a society, we can never be satisfied with the answers we have. over and over again, we believe we have a final answer, but with that answer comes even more questions. regardless of how arrogant mankind becomes, we can never truly know everything. Historians don’t know exactly when religion started, but there are thousands of theories as to why religion was born. It very well could be that at the time, people were not advanced enough to understand things that they were witnessing, or didn’t have the technology to really defend, or prove their ideas. But the romantics of religion seem to be that no technology, or tests are needed to have the theory of an “almighty force”. But now that people have become much more persistent in challenging the social norms, more and more alternate theories have been developed and with the technology we have, are becoming more and more valid, and have yet to be proven wrong. but to me the most important part of these religion-opposing theories is that there is proof, there is physical, observable, evidence to back up those ideas. For instance, originally people thought that the heavens were in the clouds of the sky, but now that we have planes, and and even spacecrafts, that take us higher than where people thought “heaven” resided. And to this day there has never been a proven report of seeing a “paradise in the sky”. Better yet, the Greeks believed their gods resided on top of a VERY CLIMBABLE hill and no one ever bothered to check, and prove that theory. We now know of course, that olympus is not actually on the top of the mountain. I have found with religion that for me the concepts are difficult to understand, or support because there is no observable evidence, only speculation, or theories. It seems the debate of science and faith may never end.


3 Responses to Is religion a hindrance to consciousness?

  1. parkercopeland says:

    Awesome perspective. I like how you said religion can be proven wrong but don’t overlook that science only disproves parts of religion (e.g. clouds are not heaven, the earth is older than 5000 years, oh snap shes round,). Science is not yet at a place to disprove the existence of God or the arc of the covenant, holy grail etc. By the same token religion uses “faith” as an excuse not to seek out proof and information. You said it perfectly, this is really lazy, and this is what let the human race slip into the dark ages. We can’t be lazy like that, we should always be seeking more information (even if that means we only come up with more questions).

  2. bryanjack says:

    In the argument as you’ve constructed it, it may be difficult to come to other conclusions, but this needn’t make alternative views arrogant or lazy. The best of science is not pitted directly against the bases of most religions (as they have evolved in cultural traditions in every human society and civilization), even if various churches have intermittently found themselves on the wrong side of history. And in fact, one might argue that those who spend their lives committed to the scientific project bear a resemblance to the reverent or devout. As a species, we are hungry for meaning and purpose in a universe that has – throughout history – provided very little in the way of either. And by addressing the questions that science cannot answer, the cultural enterprises of the arts, philosophy and indeed religion have acted as guides of the human race since time immemorial.

    So long as we make sense of our lives without definitive proof that there is an underlying order to the world and our lives, the assumption that there requires a leap of faith whether you believe the order to be scientific or religious.

    “As a challenge to your thinking, you may enjoy a few posts from one of Philosophy 12’s perennial open online participants, Chris, who wrote this provocative post during last year’s course, The Faith of Science http://philosophy.talons43.ca/2013/10/10/the-faith-of-science/

    Here’s his opening paragraphs, building to a thesis:

    “Faith is belief without evidence; faith is belief even in the face of contrary evidence; faith is believing what you know is not true. Is that faith?

    “I’ve heard it defined in this manner. It would appear that the various scientific methodologies don’t embody faith in the manner described above. Science, after all, is supposed to be evidence driven, constantly changing, empirically verifiable, falsifiable etc – faith has no place in this prestigious human enterprise.

    “Does religious belief fall under the condemnation of the above definitions? I can’t speak for all religious believers, but I certainly don’t know any thoughtful people of faith that would ascribe to the above descriptions of faith. Rather, faith is trust based on reasons.

    “So here is my thesis for this short article: science is supported by several unprovable assumptions that require the faith of the scientist.”

  3. sassidy says:

    Please break up this paragraph and add hyperlinks. It was really difficult for me to read cause it wasn’t a broken up piece of writing.

    You wonder why the Greeks didn’t climb Mount Olympus to check if there were gods living there. Due to the overall ancient-ness of that time period, information and facts were perhaps lost, so we don’t know how many people (if there were any) actually climbed it. Honestly, because people believed in these gods and goddesses, they wouldn’t believe anyone who said that there was nothing there: much like how philosophers’ ideas are ridiculed by the “normal” society!

    The first post on this forum suggests that the Greeks were unsure of which mountain was Mount Olympus. Anyone who found nothing on top of a mountain would have likely been told that they climbed the wrong one.

    Hopefully that somewhat answers your question. :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *