Why do we treat Philosophy and Theology as two separate subjects? Why do we treat science as the opposite of both?
Philosophy (Philo=Love Sophy=Wisdom) is simply the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge and existence. It’s asking why does this world work the way it does. Theology is the study of the nature of God and religious belief. Who God is and how we follow Him.
Now at first glance these two do seem relatively different. And I am sure in some other religions there are places where this is the case…. but let’s view this in relation to Christianity from which I get the most criticism of my use of the words for.
In Christianity, God created the heavens, and the earth, and all that we see and know. He put things into motion and all things both begin and end with Him. To know this is our theology…. but can we really have philosophies separate from this?
To truly believe all things were created by God, is to believe that there is no way to truly understand all things nor how they work without first understanding the creator and how He thinks. Therefore to truly delve into philosophy, we must first approach our philosophies from a bases of our theology.
Even outside Christianity however; Whatever your ‘God’ is as we have discussed in earlier posts, is whatever is your judge of what is truth and what is false. What is right and what is wrong. What is and what isn’t. So whether your God is God, Allah, Yourself, The cosmic energies, Society, Wisdom, or the bajllion unknown deities of the cosmos…. your philosophies will in some form or manner be affected by your theology.
The way I view it is like this:
I know my theology. This is how I view reality and my purpose. But from my theology comes the questions I philosophize about seeing what concepts I can draw coming from the basis of the theology I know as true. Once these questions seem to make the most sense, I then run tests and make observations, from which I can see if there is much weight or accuracy to my conclusions, or see if there are observations I had not thought of before.
Theology sets the foundation, Philosophy sets direction, Science builds the strength. Though the latter two do not stand on their own. They all intersect. So if you were to ask me if I philosophize, discuss theology, or make scientific discoveries, I could not answer you… or if I did I would just say “yes” because the truth is I do all at once. I philosophize based on the theology that I know is true and unchanging, which I scientifically test to see if it holds any weight.
Now do not call a philosopher a theologian, a scientists a philosopher, or any combination of the above as they REALLY do not appreciate it… like ever…. and if there is one point that all of these individuals share equally it is the ability to argue in a round about manner for days until you give into the futility of your quarry, so honestly it hardly seems worth it. But realize the differences and live better yourself! Stand strong in your unchanging faith and build it up so that you can begin to have fun with it and philosophize out further questions. Then don’t be afraid to scientifically look to see how well your concepts hold up… because it goes far faster when you have that theological basis to judge your observations on.