Reason and God

Essay by terridax January 2006

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Religious faith and philosophical thought, the most fundamental spiritual forms in human life, have always found themselves in the peculiar position of not being able to get along with each other and of not being able to remain permanently apart. Their overlap of interest, as shown in their common concern for such matters as the ultimate nature of things, the form of the good life, the destiny of man and his status in the universe, has led to their mutual involvement.. Though the two forms may work together, we must not forget that their relations have also been marked by serious tensions Philosophy, on the other hand, is not free from complacency. Without the goad of religion and its focus on the ultimate problems of human existence, philosophers tend to retire into technical corners of their own and to concentrate exclusively on questions of methodology and formal expression.

Religious experience and insight highlight concrete problems of human existence and continually draw thoughtful men to their consideration.

The religious dimension of human life provides philosophy with endless material for its own speculation. When philosophy loses touch with religion, there is the great risk of formalization, so that ultimate questions are postponed and preliminary questions gradually come to occupy the whole ground. Philosophers themselves were fascinated by this development, and many sought to become part of it through the reconstruction of philosophy with science as a basis. Various forms of scientific philosophy developed, and the important total outcome was the exclusive rooting of philosophical thought in the highly abstract conclusions of the sciences.

With Kant's philosophy is neither broad nor deep, we shall be apt to think of him primarily as a thinker who set forth a most intricate theory of empirical knowledge and at the same time rejected the classic...