Why is Philosophy of Religion Not Taken Seriously in Academic Circles?

I recently came across an article on Reddit that discussed how philosophy of religion is not taken as seriously as other sub-disciplines of philosophy in academic circles. Even in religious institutions like Notre Dame, such a discipline is not taken as seriously as other disciplines, and students are reportedly told to avoid doing their dissertations on the subject. While it was not mentioned in the article why exactly this was the case, I think that I can offer a speculative theory on the basis of my experiences with debating such topics with religious people.

The core problem with the philosophy of religion, in my experience, and more specifically philosophical arguments for the existence of God, is that there seems to be a certain level of dishonesty inherent in them. This is not to say that believers themselves are dishonest; it is wrong to attack the character of individual believers here. I am merely commenting on the methods used to reach the conclusion that God exists. While most academic endeavors, including those of a philosophical nature, try to remain open minded, to build perspectives based on evidence or reason, and to allow facts or the logical validity of arguments guide one’s views, arguments for the existence of God are often designed to defend one’s preconceived worldviews. Even the use of the word “apologetics”, which is often associated with these kinds of arguments, implies that their purpose is to defend something, rather than build up knowledge. There is no reason in any of the arguments I have seen for the existence of God to place God above other theories, even when the God hypothesis is a valid alternative on the surface.

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Science ‘Proves’ Jack the Ripper, Next God?

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I know this is a stretch, but please follow me down the rabbit hole. As we know, it would have been absurd to believe that humans had evolved or had any connection on a molecular level to many species around us one hundred years before Darwins day; that is exactly why no one believed it (mostly). Before Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was discovered by Watson & Crick, it would have been almost impossible to truly know who had committed a serious crime without catching the perpetrator red handed, but now it is just the natural progression of how one would investigate a crime scene. Science pushes itself forward in ways we could never have dreamed mere generations before – in my opinion the truest beauty of all that is around us is the understanding and the ignorance that only science can bring us.
Continue reading “Science ‘Proves’ Jack the Ripper, Next God?”