Rationalism And Religion Essay

1072 words - 4 pages

We are the Perfection of Imperfectness The question of the co-existence between rationalism and religion has been argued by many philosophers, such as Descartes. The compatibility between rationalism and religion has brought up many different ideas and thoughts. I do not think that both can be compatible.In English, the word rationalism derives from the Latin word ratio, which means reason. We define rationalism as a system of though that emphasizes the role of reason in obtaining knowledge. When we associate rationalism and religion together we claim that the fundamental principles of religion are self-evident and that revelation is not necessary. I do not think that any religion is a religion without its revelation. When we think back on every religion's history, we find a "book" that basically paves the path for the religion's followers. If we did believe that the principles are innate then we would have no common understanding of what the essence of religion is. As I mediate the question of compatibility, I will dissect my own religion, the religion of Islam, as well as rational views on God.In Islam, the religion does not allow one to ask questions about the religion. Therefore, any rationalist view of the religion would be going against the religion. Many rationalistic views come from ones own interpretation of the Koran. According to Abdullah Ibn Abbas, "He who speaks about the Koran on the basis of his personal opinion only, will find his abode in hell fire." Because of the strong faith of many in Islam, rationalistic views are often condemned. An important element of my argument would be the topic of faith. Many rationalists in the religion believe that faith does not have to be "physically" shown. Those who demonstrate their rational beliefs do not "physically" believe. Rationalists can just think of God and say that they are one with God. They question why they must "physically" show their faith. A general concept of Islam is holding prayer five times a day. When a rationalists questions this fact the religion answers that it's a commandment from God and the prayer is considered to be a continuos and daily discipline for Muslims. When we pray, we recite the Koran that has God's genuine words and directions. We also offer thanks and blessings to God. The prayer itself is considered a supplication to God. God has proscribed laws that we should adhere to, and praying is one of them. Yet, the role of reason denies the compatibility between rationalism and religion.In Islam, no other activity is to take priority over God. The word Islam means "submission" and the word Muslim means " one who submits." Islam places emphasis on obedience to God. In Islam there are followers who are classified as the "doubters and deniers." They believe that since we are predestined for heaven and hell, why bother practicing the faith. They deny the mainstream practice. These followers can be classified as rationalist. They question many topics and "deny" what...

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