Philosophical Perspectives on Religion, Ethical and Moral Values (2)

Philosophical Perspectives on Religion

Religion is an issue of intense trepidation for every reflective person, whether one ultimately rejects its validity or not, because it addresses and answers the most fundamental questions of human existence. It is impossible to answer ‘What is Religion?’ without resorting to personal opinion. Like ‘What is good?’ the question is one of the values that are perhaps not open to the scientific inquiry. It is quite an intractable problem. Although most of humankind has an idea of religion, one struggles to explain it. When asked, many would say that religion is a way of life-based on belief in God.

Dennett (2014, 10) wonders why religion, since so costly, has survived. Religion arose when people embraced an intentional stance, which attributes agency to various things, whether animate or inanimate, that puzzle or frightens them. Throughout, Dennett is not concerned with the truth of religious beliefs but rather with their origin and function in individual behavior and culture. Wittgenstein (1996) emphasizes the importance of religion not as a set of quasi-scientific doctrines but as a form of life influential in the latter route. (Wisdom, n.d.) argues that religious claims should not be construed as referring to practical issues but should be assessed regarding the differences they make to the believer’s life. (Griffiths, n.d. {b.1947}) holds that each religion is unique in its historical particularity. And religious doctrines are rooted in and definitive in the respective community, making universal and exclusivist claims. (Wilkins, J.S. and Griffiths, P.E., 2013).

African philosophy explains African beliefs, religions, and worldviews. 

It explains African mythologies and cosmogonies, African rituals, and morals. The Philosophy clarifies African systems of thought, African tribal art, and African ethno-philosophies. An African has his frank phenomenon of himself, society, universe, experiences, and ethical problems such as the problem of evil, life & death, knowledge, marriage, destiny, and so on translated into his religion.

Religion is an essential cultural characteristic and one of the ethnic ‘descriptors.’ Most religions seek to transcend the divide between the ordinary, mundane world of everyday life and the spiritual. Religion provides an ethical framework from which human beings can lead their lives. Any nation’s cultural and religious background is essential to interpret the people’s religious thoughts and what shapes their thoughts and sometimes politics (Asaju, 1990). Smart (1992) suggested seven dimensions of religion. One of the seven is the ethical and legal dimension, covering religious rules and laws that stem from each tradition’s narrative and doctrinal aspects.  – continuation on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

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