Philosophy of Religion and Its Importance in Everyday Life
Philosophy of religion is, in the simplest terms, the study of religious thought. Philosophers of religion seek to answer some very important questions that have been around since the dawn of time and continue to be relevant today. These questions include: Is there a God? If there is a God, what is he or she like? And furthermore, what does the belief or disbelief in God mean to us?
Philosophy of religion is a part of our everyday lives, whether we realize it or not. Our beliefs, or lack thereof, in God are an ever present force that affects our thoughts, feelings and actions in everyday situations. Our personal beliefs effect what we perceive as ethical behavior; plague our conscious and subconscious thoughts, which in turn affect our judgment, for good or ill.
Since our beliefs, thoughts and feelings about God and religion are individual, there are many different schools of thought within the study of philosophy of religion. It is important for people to be aware of their beliefs and how they affect our everyday choices. For example, if you are working with someone whose beliefs differ from those of your own, your beliefs and personal biases could either become a barrier in that relationship, or you could seek to find a common ground with which to strengthen and build that relationship and work together harmoniously.
It is important for people to be aware that their personal beliefs, whether religious or non-religious, lead them to hold some degree of bias toward anything that is not in agreement with those beliefs. These biases sometimes cause us to treat people with inequity. They can fuel hatred, envy, and mistrust, leading people to act in opposition of the moral teachings of their faith, or other ethical values.
Being aware of exactly what you believe and why might help us to realize how many different philosophies of religion exist, and may help up to set aside some of our personal biases to make this world a little more accepting. For more information on how you can explore your own beliefs, you can read How to Develop Your Own Philosophy of Religion. And remember, we are all unique individuals with varying ideas about God and religion. Learning a little more about philosophy of religion could help us all to accept each other for who and what they are; fellow human beings.