Church of philosophy

I think it would be interesting to turn a philosophy like Kantianism or Nietzscheanism into a philosophical school with dogma and initiates.

If they can be attributed to A philosophy, they could be contributed to philosophy.

Religion : Christianity :: Philosophy : Stoicism. No?

I would say the major difference between philosophy and religion is the worship of a God or Gods. As an atheist I gain nothing from a church, but I miss out on many of the advantages a church provides; such as a community, a source of information, cool sculptures, sometimes free booz. A church of philosophy offers information to a wider group of people, on a wider selection of topics. JOIN ME AND YOU WILL BE GRANTED UNLIMITED POWER.

Not really.
The function of every religion is to “maintain the legion” or to manage the gathering. All religions and governments are formed specifically for that purpose, control society.

When any particular philosophical thought spawns a means to control society and is implemented, it is no longer called a “philosophy”, but rather a “religion”. The “God” concept was merely a very effective philosophy and if properly understood, is easy to see the truth in it.

Religions and government types are made of strict philosophies used upon people. If there is a single concept behind it all, that one thought is the “god” (the dictator of what can or cannot be).

Visit your local Universalist-Unitarian church.



I’d say one difference between religion and philosophical schools like Stoicism or Epicureanism, is authority. Religion derives its authority from revelation and the institution itself, where as philosophical schools derive their authority from reason and the institution itself. Another difference is religions believe in the miraculous, philosophical schools don’t or rarely believe in the miraculous. Questions over theism versus atheism or idealism versus materialism are neither here nor there. You can have a theistic/idealistic philosophy, but you can’t have an atheistic/materialistic religion, religion has to derive part of its authority from a higher power of some sort. Atheistic Satanism is not a religion, but it’s not a philosophy either, it’s more of an ethos. This would make Buddhism and Jainism philosophical schools, even though they believe in a dynamic soul in the case of the former, and a static soul in the case of the latter. Confucianism and Daoism are more contentious, as they’re not particularly reasonable, relying more on common sense/tradition or intuition to get their points across. They may be philosophies, but they’re philosophies in a looser sense of the word. Like Satanism, Confucianism is more of an ethos than a philosophy and so is Daoism.

Sure. So go found a Church of Religion, and see how that works out for you.

And will you be meeting on Sunday … or the Sabbath/Saturday … or Wednesday night Bible study?

What day is church of philosophy day?

Yeah, you could say the basic difference is their epistomological beliefs but that touches on their belief in a God or not. I’m not attempting to create a strict division or definition. Maybe you can say the religious are equivalent to metaphysicists, and philosophy is all encompassing of every doctrines including religion?

Why? Are they atheists? I’m not really interested in spirituality. I just want to shoot the shit with smart people for a couple hours on the weekends without organizing a TED talks or something.

Passive aggressiveness on the internet? How adorable! =D> =D> Do you have a point you would like to add to your resistance? I will try to guess what you find so offensive about the concept, this way you can just make grumpy face emoticons or poop yourself every time you disagree.

So is it the word church?

Would it suit you if it was called a forum or a symposium instead?

Is it the tax deductions? Maybe you’re a libertarian?

Is it the overall distrust of someone heading a mindset that you cherish? Because I promise I’m not trying to be philosophy pope.

Is it the idea of philosophy going mainstream? Maybe you’re a hipster philosopher?

Would a church of philosophy include theism, atheism, agnosticism or all of the above? I think it is the word “church” that is problematic.

You could at best have a religion of a philosophy not of philosophy itself. Philosophers don’t agree about what philosophy is. Religions must have a certain degree of consensus to exist . All philosophers need is a forum.

Attempts in this direction illustrate why it wouldn’t work. Comte developed the ‘religion of humanity’ for positivist societies in order to fulfil the cohesive function once held by traditional worship. It doesn’t seem to have become a major religion at least in term of numbers. But, that church is apparently for people who agree with Comte’s positivism which must be the True Philosophy. If anyone disagrees on a major point and wants to make an issue of it, I suppose they have to start their own church.

Unitarians encourage members to develop their own theologies. I wonder how many Unitarians, once they developed their theology left the Unitarians because their theology conflicted with Unitarianism.

I thought the point was obvious. Making a ‘church of philosophy’ makes just as much sense as having a ‘church of religion’. That is to say, no fucking sense at all. For the reasons I stated at the very beginning of the thread- there’s nothing coherent to build the church around- no doctrines, no ethics, not even a methodology. As has been said by others, you could have a church devoted to some particular philosophy, but not philosophy of itself- for the same reason you could have a church devoted to a religion, but not to religion itself.

That’s why your Religion:Christianity::Philosophy:Stoicism analogy works against you- just like you can’t have a church of religion, you can’t have a church of philosophy either. So great, now I spent twice as many words criticizing your position as you’ve spent proposing or defending it, because a one-liner saying the same thing made you grumpy. So yes, go found a Church of Religion, and you’ll see exactly why a Church of Philosophy won’t work, either. By your own analogy. It’s not passive aggressiveness, it’s an unwillingness to spend more effort on your position than YOU did.

So meetings on weekends? Sunday morning worship service, perchance? Will there be food? maybe at least bread and wine? :wink: Will there be a collection plate passed, for expert speakers?

Well yes. Church refers to a Christian house of worship. There is no word to describe a place where people discuss a wide variety of topics on a weekly basis. Even a forum is more descriptive of social discussions not scientific or religious discussions. You could say a university, but then you’d be associating what I want to do with teachers being payed to give lessons to pupils. The English language has a void to fill. I picked two words that sorta describe what I want and mushed them together. That’s what happens with language, but people are biased so they are instantly turned off by the words regardless of what they think of the idea. So what words do you propose we use to describe this house of debate?

Philosophers don’t agree about what philosophy is? What are we doing here then? I would hope none of us are under the impression that philosophy means baking and that this is a baking forum.

We just need a forum? This is the peak of philosophy then?

Ah yes, speaking of the beginning of the thread I did request that we not discuss the differences between philosophy and religion. These types of discussions are like watching a debate over the differences between black metal and death metal. You can’t fault me for not explaining my position on a topic I was trying to avoid. I guess if I was to structure the labels, it would be Philosophy as an umbrella category, within philosophy would be religion and secular concepts. Within religion could be Christianity, and within secular concepts could be stoicism. Somewhere in the bowels of philosophy would be the secretarial art of organizing labels that everyone insists on engaging in. I can’t wait until we start janitorial duties. Anyway…

So according to you, “open minded” philosophers have put up unnecessary barriers that make it impossible for two groups to share a church? How is it possible to have an internet philosophy forum if two groups can’t share the same space? Are you claiming that everyone here believes the same thing? Or are you claiming that a church in name alone is somehow going to make everyone poop themselves?

And what’s wrong with a church of religion? It could be like a mall of religious houses. Sounds much more interesting.

A collection plate! I didn’t think of that. I could get some pope shoes.


This is news to you? Compare logical positivism or analytic philosophy with existential or hermeneutic philosophy. Very different concepts of what philosophy is about. Depending on how philosophy is defined, there could be a whole lot of things that are neither baking nor philosophy.

Did I imply that or did you just read that into my words? Who determines what philosophy is let alone the peak of philosophy? Who decides what to do in a church of philosophy? Church and philosophy can arguably be defined as antithetical to one another.

You said this…

If the word philosophy has no definition, what are we even referring to when we say the word? What did you expect to find on this site when you looked for a philosophy forum? Please tell me you don’t honestly believe that there isn’t at least some consensus on what the word philosophy is describing. There are pretty good definitions for the term. People have been teaching philosophy for thousands of years consistently with the same information. Please don’t try to convince me that it is some coincidence that they all happened to be discussing the same thing. You’re point isn’t that philosophers don’t agree about what philosophy is. Your point is that people hold different personal philosophies. Those are two completely different things and completely unrelated to having a church of philosophy. If you can have a lecture hall for philosophy, you can have a house for philosophy. You can have a bathroom stall for philosophy or a forum for philosophy. You just don’t want to call it a church for some reason.

Why would a church of philosophy need to be a religion? If philosophers don’t need a consensus, just a forum, then why would their church? I think it’s pretty obvious what you do in a church of philosophy. This + beer.

It was a flippant comment. You can win it as a point if that kind of thing is important to you. I don’t really care.

Good question. The word philosophy has multiple definitions. What do you mean by the term?

People arguing about their opinions. That’s pretty much what I found.

Where is the consensus between Ayer and Heidegger? You’re probably right that there is some commonality. But apart from the fact that they both support their thought with arguments I don’t know what it would be. Is that your idea a church of arguments? Argument seems to be antithetical to the idea of church which is supposed to be a unity of spirit.

If the word philosophy has multiple definitions, what are you referring to when you use the word?

Really? So the database hasn’t changed for thousands of years? That’s clearly false.

They weren’t. Some were discussing metaphysics. Other’s maintained that metaphysics is gibberish unworthy of consideration.

To me, the word church implies religion. You would have to explain how you can have a church without religion. To me, if you take religion out of church it isn’t church. If that’s true, your thesis is nonsense.

Flippant comments tend to generate misunderstanding. I’m not interested in winning points. Just trying to see if your thesis makes any sense. So far, I don’t think it does.

Will it have a steeple? I like steeples.

Steeples began as a marker for where a bull was being offered. You brought your cow there to be “serviced.”

Will the church of philosophy service people?

Instead of church call it Gatherings. You’ll upset no one, except maybe a few Druids. Do a history of philosophy in services.
Or divide your gatherings into the branches of philosphy–epistemology, ethics, politics, etc. I tried such a group in college. We called ourselves Palladians. We didn’t offer a viable alternative to the traditional religious church. At best, people go to church to learn how to live. Maybe philosophy can teach that. Who knows?