Saturday, June 22, 2013

Is religion just applied philosophy?

Last night I was discussing something about Judaism with my future father-in-law and he asked something about if something was theology or philosophy.  It was mostly a segue into a different topic, but the connection between those two terms has festered.

Both theology (or religion) and philosophy try to answer questions about life, the universe, and everything.  How to best live your life; how be a good person; how to live in the world; are we alone; why are we here?  I don't know all that much about philosophy (or religion, besides a bit about my own), but that's a lot of overlap.  Just like there are many schools of philosophical thought, couldn't you just consider religions as others?

Philosophy asks "how should I live my life."  Religion answers that.
Philosophy asks "are we alone".  Religions answer that.
Philosophy asks how should we interact with others?  Should we rely on ourselves or others?  Does charity start at home or should we spread the wealth?  Religion answers all of these.

Are religion and philosophy just different sides of the same coin?  Is one a subset of the other (and which way)?
Let me know what you think!