From Philosophy Comes Religion

It depends on the definition of the word “philosophy”. So you are saying that animals have philosophies. (By the way: insects are animals too.)

There is
A) ontological philosophy
B) behavioral philosophy

And (B) depends upon (A).

Non-cognitive creatures rely on pre-wired ontological and epistemological presumptions within the neurological system; “If I feel touched on my right, something is touching me on my right”, “If I see it, it is there”, and so on. Being non-cognitive, they do not think about such things at all. They merely accept the truth of them without cognitive thought, and without which they could not survive at all.

And such ontological presumptions constitute a philosophy of survival involving ontological constructs (solid surfaces, dangerous enemies, good foods,…) as well as recommended behaviors (run, eat, sleep, watch, listen,…). They do not CHOOSE to do these things, They are pre-wired with the philosophy, not educated into it (although some do learn from their parents or by watching others).

And what about plants and mushrooms? They have no brains, but they obviously need to “know” something in order to survive. They get informations about their environment, process this informations, and react. Without that kind of “knowledge” they could not survive - just as many other living beings that have a kind of “knowledge”. Do you think that they also have a kind of “philosophy”?

The philosophy of a Man is different than that of a human.
The philosophy of a woman is different than that of a man.
The philosophy of a bull is different than that of a sheep.
The philosophy of a spider is different than that of an ant.
The philosophy of a grass is different than that of a tree.
The philosophy of a mountain is different than that of a lake.
The philosophy of radiant energy is different than that of matter.

But the philosophy of Affectance encompasses them all.

I conclude: Affectance has the greatest philosophy. :slight_smile:

Well, when you have to be the foundation of all physical existence, you need to be the greatest. :sunglasses:

It is true that all religions have philosophies in it. No intellectual can challenge it. And if he does so, he is not entitled to be called an intellectual. Yes, one may agree or disagree with those. That is an entirely different issue and acceptable too.

As far as the issue of preceding is concerned, I slightly differ from James. In some cases, philosophy predates religion, but in some cases, religion predates philosophy.

All those religions, which starts from any prophet or any incarnation of a diety, religion comes before philosophy.

Take Islam, there was nothing in Islam before Muhamad. He came first, then the philosophy of Islam came. The same true for religions like Shivaism, which starts from a particular deity.

But, there are a different type of religions, in which philosophy comes first and manifests religions, like Vedanta and Buddhism.

Contrary to general perception, Vedanta is not based on Vedas. It looks at Vedas as a sceptic, and takes its own course of investigation. It moves forth and back many times, tries different modes of investigation, and then reaches to conclusion after many amendments. Thus, it is a philosophy.

The same is true for Buddhism and Sufism too. Like Vedanta, Sufism also does not take Quran verbatim, as conventional Islam did and stll does. Sufism explorred different explanations and kept itself amending. That is why it is a philosophy.

But, if James think that Abrahamic Prophets were not Prophets in reality, and they just put forth what they considered appropriate at their times, he is right in his own way in claiming that philosophy always predates religion.

With love,

Anthropomorphism. In that sense everything is philosophy. Do you know that spiders and ants have minds? Mountains? Lakes? I thought philosophy meant having a mind in order to be aware of one’s existence.

No belief ever predates the philosophy that generated it. Every mind has a philosophy concerning how to obtain and deal with information (epistemology). A belief (ontology) cannot be formed until such is true. A set of beliefs can then form a recommended behavior based upon a behavioral philosophy for dealing with the believed situation (a “personal” religion). One must accept the ontological issue of God’s existence before one can recommend a proper behavior for addressing it. The recommended behavior for dealing with the nature of God and life CAN then become a religion as such behavior is taught to the public as a necessary behavior.

Every belief (or disbelief) concerning any existence is an ontological issue. How that belief came about is an epistemological issue. What to do because of the ontological issue is a philosophy of life (a strategy) issue. It doesn’t become a religion until such a behavioral philosophy is taught to the public.

It has nothing to do with anthropomorphism. A mind is only required for cognitive thoughts concerning what might exist or not. Behavioral philosophies (strategies for survival) are inherent in all that has a behavior to it. Mind is not required.

Ants, for example, have a social strategy, a socialist philosophy, that allows them to continue as a species. They do not think about it in any way, they merely do it, a “pre-wired” philosophy for dealing with life. A part of that pre-wired philosophy is an inherent ontology that involves the existence of food, water, enemies, queens, and so on.

There is a great deal of internal religious criticism and discussion, though not every religious group allows it or subgroup. Theology has all sorts of criticism, argument, debate…

The very idea of apriori suggests some things are simply obvious or based on intuition. There are religious people and philosophers who believe in rationalism - taken in the philosophical sense meaning as opposed to empiricism.

And sure, philosophers are generally not going to SAY that they are basing their ideas on emotion, but this does not mean it is the case, and religious people tend not to say this either. Many of the latter will in fact say that their ideas are based on empirical ‘research’ available to anyone.

And saying that something is philosophical or religious or based on the former does not mean that it is correct. The set of philosophies obviously includes mistaken ones and partially mistaken ones.

You can’t treat the terms as if they were epistemic evaluations.

What prophet arrived in a cultures without implicit and explicit philosophies?

If this is the way to evaluate whether something is a religion or a philosophy then much of Christianity and Judaism is philosophy. The beliefs have changed over time, many do not take the texts as literal and/or accept various interpretations of portions of the texts as valid. IOW are not fundamentalists, though even fundamentalists disagree with each other. All of the large religions have gone through changes over time. The way Catholics view the truth of scripture, science, morals, epistemology have changed radically through the centuries and even the Popes speak and write quite differently. Does this mean Catholicism is a philosophy and not really a religion?


I do not disagree much with what you said. But, you are taking philosophy at a different level, which is quite different from what is perceived in the context of religions.

With love,

So does a “‘pre-wired’ philosophy for dealing with life” mean something like an instinctive philosophy for dealing with life? And, if so, what can a philosophy of non-life things be?




There is nothing to deny in it that Judaism and Christianity are philosophies also. Every religion has to turn into philosophy by default, sooner or later. But, that is not what the subject of this thread. It merely asks whether they start as a religion or philosophy!

As I see it, the basic difference between the two types of religions is how they handle the basic idea. Some religions take basic idea as an actual event, while some take it as a metaphor.

Now, take Abrahamic religions again. No pope will ever agree that the story of Adam and Eve in their Bible did not happen in reality and Jesus was talking about a metaphor just to make is comprehensible for the folks.That is religion before philosophy.

On the other hand, Vedanta never claims that Vedas are reveled by Brahma. Vedanta does not reject Vedas but refuses it take them as a final authority and unchangeable. It considers Vedas written by sages on their own, and its events merely as a metaphors, not real. And, it takes from the Vedas what it thinks worthy, but also leaves and amends what it considers unworthy. Now, that is philosophy before religion.

With love,

Once a philosophy becomes a religion or a science, those who adhere to it disavow any more effort to further philosophize. It is the effort to philosophize that they are rejecting, not philosophy itself. If they reject literally all philosophy, they would reject themselves.

So they typically call philosophy what those other people do instead of merely accept our fixed philosophy (our “religion” or “science”).


Every behavior that leads to an end effect is an inherent philosophy to produce that end effect. A rock has the philosophy of yielding very little to pressure, not bending or changing shape. An ocean has the philosophy of engulfing anything and everything while never becoming any of it, basking in the Sun, feathering the breeze, refusing precise form, and eternally seeking “downward”. That is just what it does. It’s strategy for remaining what it is, its philosophy, and its spirit.

What priests or philosophers are willing to say to the public is a part of their philosophy for dealing with the public. Both philosophers and religions use metaphor and allegory. But that doesn’t mean they are going to necessarily explain anything concerning such things. Their philosophy is going to tell them how to say what to say for sake of their religion.

IMHO, the word philosophy requires a qualifying adjective., i.e., political philosophy, scientific philosophy, religious philosophy, etc.

…in which case:
Behavioral philosophy,
Instinctive philosophy,
Inherent philosophy

And what is the one thing that is common among them all? Philosophy - the rationale, reasoning, method, strategy, policy, and/or process involved.

Couldn’t it also be
Behavioral politics;
Instinctive politics,
Inherent politics,

Someone might have a physical and spiritual health philosophy of waking up at 4 AM and running for 5 miles. That would be a behavioral philosophy. Most people have an instinctive health philosophy that entails scratching an itch. A baby has an inherent health philosophy of growing. None of those have anything to do with politics.