Introduction to Philosophy: an essay that offers my own answers to 6 major questions in philosophy

Essay by naomioUniversity, Bachelor's March 2002

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Is belief in God rational?

Both science and religion depend on each other as they try to answer the same question of whether God exists. The definition of "rational" involves clear and vivid thinking, complete and accurate information, and no faulty conditioning.

What is belief? Everyone has a belief system, whether they're Christians or not. Everyone has some sort of personal philosophy. The question is, is it a good one? To "believe" that we do not believe in anything means we must lack entity. For we all act on certain beliefs, and our suppositions have either a conscious or subconscious influence on our lives and behavior.

The philosophical reasons for our beliefs are based on rationalism (based on mind and reason) and empiricism (based on science). Our level of senses and reason should provide topical explanations. But, reason is not straightforward, simple or clear-cut, for people see different things as being reasonable, and what is reasonable might not be true.

So why do we believe in what we do? The three common factors are sociological, psychological, and philosophical. The sociological factor influences our beliefs from the social context we live in, the culture we are part of, and the background we have been brought up in. As a result, many children take on the same beliefs as their parents. The social factor is therefore a cause of belief, and not a reason. The psychological factors are concerned with the reasons on a personal level. We see our beliefs as satisfying the self, giving us a purpose, identity and a sense of belonging to a group. We all have a basic and inbuilt need for direction. But these influences are mere limitations, as we can get personal satisfaction from nonsense. Our experiences and feelings can never be an infallible guide to...