Hello to All!
For my first major contribution to this wonderful blog, I’ve decided to try something different. In addition to the usual text-style, this post will also be in an Audio-log style. Just follow this link — http://blip.tv/file/4829697 — to hear the audio-log, or click the “continue reading” link below for the text version. Be sure to let me know in your comments what you like better.
George (“The Meager Weakling”)
I’ve been thinking about the question which I’m about to pose for quite some time–way before I started this blog, and certainly way before I ever thought about starting this blog. It seems to me that there are a number of times when people have used religion as some foundation in their arguments for such-and-such a position in such-and-such a topic. Indeed, this seems (to me, at least) to be a growing trend in the increasingly conservative environment that I believe is growing within our culture.
But, as someone who is interested in Philosophy, I can’t help but wonder if any of that is appropriate. If one really wants to make an argument for their position, then is it “kosher” to use religion to back up some claim, or conclusion, in their thinking? In other words, does religion have any merit as ‘evidence’ in a philosophical argument?
I seem to be of the opinion that religion should stay away from such arguments with as long of a pole as possible. If one ultimately pushes this type of evidence hard enough for a long enough period of time, then one shall ultimately be left back at square one: with no evidence.
Just think about it for a sec. What does religion have that could be of any merit to a philosophical argument? A religious text? That might solve things for a minute. But then my next question is going to press on the actual text itself. Who wrote it? What authority does it have? What gives this text the merit to act as a foundation to some claim, or conclusion, in an argument? And, for these questions, I am left with unsatisfactory answers. So unsatisfactory that I have a hard time not being a skeptic on the issue.
Okay, so what else is there . . . . . . . . . . . . . . personal revelation? That seems to be another possibility. Until I ask what authority that personal revelation has in the matter. And then things get even more fishy with questions about the validity of the ‘personal revelation’ even being a ‘personal revelation,’ as opposed to some hallucination or other malfunction.
Hmmmmm. Things aren’t faring well for religion, and, in fact, I think that it would not for any other possibility offered. The subjective nature it entails, as well as the non-empirical nature of its claims, seems to make religion an unfit candidate to act as evidence in a philosophical argument.
But what happens then?