Saturday, 16 April 2016

On Priests and Philosophes.

It occurred to me earlier that schools of philosophy are not so dissimilar to religions, since both amount to unprovable belief systems based on the pronouncements of one or more persons presumed to be enlightened. So then I wondered whether the reason why the decline in religious observance is not matched by a comparable decline in the reverence paid to schools of philosophy has more to do with our veneration for clever people than with our faith in their pronouncements.

But maybe not. I suppose the main difference between the two is that whereas religions seek to order and arbitrate on the human condition, usually in the name of an also unprovable supreme being, schools of philosophy incline more towards encouraging healthy debate of the ultimately unknowable.

OK, but I still wonder whether – given that individual philosophies are highly complex and generally only debated by intellectuals in refined knitting circles – schools of philosophy actually have anything like as much influence on the human condition as religions do.

So tell me I’m wrong. I’ll be fine with that.

No comments: