Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Damned Lazy Theologians

I hate theology, but I hate philosophy of religion even more. I consider it lazy philosophy. Generally, it requires laying down an ostensibly arbitrary set of rules and ideas (religion), and then commencing intense contemplation of it. At least theology makes no bones about what it actually does. It's meant to be the Supreme Court of sorts for whatever religious formulation you take to be true. If something isn't very clear, you call upon the theologians to think about it and eventually they get back to you. The fact that this process sometimes takes hundreds of years is your problem.

Philosophy of religion, on the other hand, has that pesky word "philosophy" in it. That means that it must deal with things like knowledge and justification and an unerring quest to drill down ever deeper into the fabric of the world and understanding. As such, philosophy of religion has one major issue: it must prove the existence of God.

Until you've done that, speculation on the nature of God is pointless. Hell, you could even go so far as to take the skeptic's argument and say that speculation on anything ever is useless until we prove that the world itself exists. While I, and just about every major philosopher, thinks that the skeptic's argument is a bit extreme, proving the existence of a supreme entity is not.

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