Religion vs philosophy

Essay by septiemecielHigh School, 10th gradeA, December 2002

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Religion vs. Philosophy

Religion has existed as long as humans could think, wonder, and ask themselves the simple question "why?". We have always believed in a higher being that would control events that occur in our lives. Of course, the idea that something or someone beyond us has a higher degree of power over our existence differs greatly in the existent cultures and has changed significantly over the centuries. In the western world, between myths with numerous gods to the monotheistic thinking, came philosophers that rejected the myths and tried to find "logical" answers to their inquiries. Or was it the other way around? Philosophers in a quest to find answers found themselves looking to God for their answers?

All philosophers have found themselves asking basic questions such as: "Where do we come from?" and "What is our purpose on earth?" Hours have been spent, pondering, trying to find answers to the mysteries of life.

Believers have turned to God for answers, this through prayer, rituals at critical stages in life, meditation or "possession" by spiritual agencies. In a way, philosophers are like spiritual leaders, they express their beliefs and hope that others will share the same view on these issues, and they both teach it. As Aristotle taught his "steps to happiness", Paul preached about the religion, or the path of enlightenment that would lead to a better life. Religion is by definition "a sacred engagement with what is taken to be a spiritual reality". By defining it so, it is possible to reflect on the importance that religion has taken in human life without all assuming that our religion is the right one. Religion cannot be defined as something with a one fixed meaning, or even a zone with clear frontiers. It is part of individual life but...