Brief Thoughts on the Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of religion is, in fact, not philosophy. It’s apologetics, a defense of a given faith. It is the inversion of the Socratic method. It is not an enterprise concerned with truth, for its practitioners claim to have already located the truth. It is an enterprise concerned with verification–even despite evidence to the contrary. Actual philosophy doesn’t proceed in this manner. Philosophers of mind (who aren’t convinced of some religious view of the mind) don’t set out to verify their predilections. Philosophers of science don’t either. Ethicists don’t either.
A philosopher of religion is usually a believer from the outset and all of their arguments and conclusions will make that obvious to anyone. It’s high time to demarcate philosophy and theology and jettison the so-called philosophy of religion from the enterprise of philosophy. Pretending to ask questions isn’t the same as actually doubting and questioning. The pretense of skepticism isn’t actually skepticism. One can question even the existence of god for a brief moment as Descartes did, but it’s all for nought if one’s conclusion is that he most certainly exists.
I’m an atheist; the nonexistence of god is a settled matter because I actually doubted Christianity and then other religions–and arrived at the conclusion that the concepts of god presented in purportedly revelatory texts do not exist. I am as skeptical of time; sure, we experience time, but my question is whether it is a fundamental reality in the universe. I am not looking to falsify or verify time. I am seeking the truth of the matter and it matters not to me whether it’s fundamental in our universe or not. That’s how philosophers proceed! Apologists would learn a thing or two if they weren’t so intent on persisting in their beliefs.