Philosophy

Religious people (faith-based) who initiate study of philosophy already convinced of the truth of their dogmas and seeking merely a confirmation of that will fail to grasp philosophy at all. Philosophy is not a tool to justify what you already believe. In fact, if philosophy can be said to be a tool at all, it is more of a tool for refutation than for justification. Everything, literally everything, can be subject to doubt. If you wish to do philosophy and do it the right way, then there can be no belief in your mind that you should seek to protect from doubt. No cherished article of faith that you should not genuinely question. Come to philosophy to purify your mind of falsehoods; do not come to philosophy cowardly and clinging to comfortable falsities. You can only learn from philosophy if you open yourself to the possibility of being wrong. You can hope that you are right and that your belief may survive the process of genuine doubt, but you cannot already believe that you are right before you even begin to philosophize. If you are going to do that, then you shouldn't even bother. Stick to your faith, cause what you are doing isn't philosophy. Philosophy doesn't like to be treated as Theology's handmaiden, and it bites back.

Comments

ahish said…
Good post. It reminded me of Plato's definition of philosopher in Theaetetus; a 'midwife' assisting in 'philosophical labor'.
Komal said…
Good post. This applies to dogmatism in general, not theology which may be undogmatic.

What I find most irritating these days is the complacent dogma of materialism. It's easy to ask people to question their theistic dogmas, but there is no room whatsoever (in the academy, at least) to ask people to question the metaphysical dogmas that underly atheism.
Awais Aftab said…
@ Komal

I agree.

I don't mind materialism as a philosophy. I only mind it as a dogma. If some philosopher feels that only materialism makes sense, then there is nothing wrong with holding that position. [Not that I agree with it.] The problem begins when this philosophical positions is presented as an unquestionable truth, something that we would be irrational to deny. It is also assumed that science proves materialism, which it doesn't. The unsettled issue of consciousness in cognitive science shows that materialism is not an obvious philosophical truth. Non-materialistic theories of mind like panpsychism are entirely consistent with cognitive science, and cannot just be dismissed.
Komal said…
Science cannot prove materialism, even in principle. This is because it presumes materialism, thus making any use of science to prove materialism circular.
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