Difference between Religion and Philosophy
If you randomly ask people to differentiate religion and philosophy, I guarantee you that a good number will say they are they represent the same thing. This confusion is not entirely unjustified because the two are closely related and have a lot of overlaps between them. First, both of them deal with how a man lives, and for the best part, address similar issues like, what a good life entails, how people relate with each other, and what our purpose in life is. However, several real differences between them warrant them to be viewed as two completely separate terms despite the similarities.
By definition, religion is a system comprised of a set of morals, rules principles, and ethics that guide the way people live and relate with one another in society. Philosophy is a broader field that addresses concepts such as metaphysics, exploring new ideas and knowledge, and trying to understand life in general.
To begin with, unlike philosophy, religions have rituals. These are ceremonies occasionally held to observe important life events such as birth, weddings, marriage, death, among others. Some religions also celebrate different times of the year, like the harvest season. A person who considers themselves “religious” must observe rituals endorsed by his religion. Philosophy, on the other hand, is concerned with how people think and how they relate among themselves. One does not necessarily have to observe or celebrate any life events to be considered a philosopher.
Secondly, the “religiosity” of a person is based on the firmness of his beliefs. Religion is associated with numerous supernatural beliefs, most of which cannot be proved. Faith in religion entails a firm belief in the existence of a subject of which there is no empirical evidence of their existence. Philosophy tends to disagree with this. Philosophy will only approve the presence of a subject or a phenomenon if it can be proved under-tested means of reasoning. If the subject under argument cannot be identified or explainable, then it does not exist to philosophers. However, it is also not uncommon for some philosophers to be believers of faith as well.
It is important to note the above distinction does not seek to entirely separate religion and philosophy. The fact that they address similar and closely related issues makes it possible for one to engage in both simultaneously. Nevertheless, it is still important to know the differences as it plays a vital role in how we perceive life.