Philosophy of religion is a branch of philosophy concerned with questions regarding religion, including the nature and existence of God, the examination of religious experience, analysis of religious vocabulary and texts, and the relationship of religion and science. It is an ancient discipline, being found in the earliest known manuscripts concerning philosophy, and relates to many other branches of philosophy and general thought, including metaphysics, logic, and history. Philosophy of religion is frequently discussed outside of academia through popular books and debates, mostly regarding the existence of God and problem of evil. The philosophy of religion differs from ...view middle of the document...
Whereas a theologian elaborates rationally or experientially on the nature of God, a philosopher of religion is more interested in asking what may be knowable and opinable regarding religion's claims.
Other questions studied in the philosophy of religion include what, if anything, would give us good reason to believe that a miracle has occurred, what is the relationship between faith and reason, what is the relationship between morality and religion, what is the status of religious language, and does petitionary prayer (sometimes still called impetratory prayer) make sense?
Going beyond metaphysics, the philosophy of religion also addresses questions in areas such as epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophical logic, and moral philosophy.
What Is GOD?
Among theists, some believe there is just one God (monotheism), while others believe in many gods (polytheism). Some Hindus have a widely followed monistic philosophy that can be said to be neither monotheistic nor polytheistic. Within these two broad categories (monotheism and polytheism) there is a wide variety of possible beliefs. For example, among the monotheists deists believe that the one God is like a watchmaker who wound up the universe and does not intervene further in the universe, and some theists believe that God continues to be active in the universe. Ignostics object that a coherent definition of God must be presented before the question of the existence of God can be meaningfully discussed.
Rationality of Belief
The second question, "Do we have any good reason to think that God does or does not exist?” is equally important in the philosophy of religion. There are several main positions with regard to the existence of God that one might take:
• Theism - the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities.
1. Pantheism - the belief that God exists as all things of the cosmos, that God is one and all is God; God is immanent.
2. Panentheism - the belief that God encompasses all things of the cosmos but that God is greater than the cosmos; God is both immanent and transcendent.
3. Deism - the belief that God does exist but does not interfere with human life and the laws of the universe; God is transcendent.
4. Monotheism - the belief that a single deity exists which rules the universe as a separate and individual entity.
5. Polytheism - the belief that multiple deities exist which rule the universe as separate and individual entities.
6. Henotheism - the belief that multiple deities may or may not exist, though there is a single supreme deity.
7. Henology - believing that multiple avatars of a deity exist, which represent unique aspects of the ultimate deity?
• Agnosticism - the belief that the existence or non-existence of deities or God is currently unknown or unknowable and cannot be proven. A weaker form of this might be defined as simply a lack of certainty about gods' existence or nonexistence.
• Atheism - the rejection of belief in the...