GENERAL STUDIES-PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
GENERAL STUDIES-PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
I. Concept of philosophy
Philosophy is the Greek word having the two words. Philo means the love of or pursuit of and Sophia means wisdom (knowledge). The simple meaning two combine word with the love of wisdom or knowledge. Loving wisdom involve seeking to know and understand about what things are in their nature reason of existence and outcome of their existence.
Wisdom is the state of using intelligence in doing anything by acting planning or thinking.
Philosophy can be defined as the rational speculation about the reality of anything existing in this world. This study involves critical thinking which is systematic on the nature of the world by giving justifications under the basis of belief correct conduct of the life.
Philosophy is the study of nature causes a principle of reality, knowledge and values basing on logical reasoning rather than empirical method. It deals with attempt to discover the meaning and purpose of existence through reflection of all dimension of thought.
- Being the concept of philosophy in its meaning involves three technical explanation:-
- Philosophy is an activity.
- Philosophy is a set of mind attitude.
- Philosophy is a study of content body of knowledge.
In this part philosophy is said to involve questions, asking question and think about them all in the nature of all existing things in the world. The people who are concerned in this work (asking question and thinking about them) are termed as philosophers e.g. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Karl mark, Fredrick angels, T. Kennedy Kwame Nkrumah , J.k Nyerere, sidhatta Gautama ,Jesus Christ, Mohammad.
The activities of asking questions and think about them are categorically put in the following area:
- Synthesizing: It is providing a comprehensive view of the work, reality from questionings and critically thinking on the question. Example saying biology is study of living things or geography is a study of environment.
- Speculation: It is thinking beyond what can be demonstrated physically e.g. talking of shape and sex of god and Gods.
- Prescription: It is establishing a norms, standard, conducts and ethics when performing or approaching a given philosophical idea. it also involves thinking.
- Analysis : It is critical examination of the words to use in communication when operating given philosophical idea.
- Philosophy is a set of mind attitude speculation of what is reality and the nature of the world, start first with the idea develop in active mind. Therefore the first need of a person to have an active mind that will bring to development of new philosophical idea is commitment ,self awareness ,desire of completeness in work and desire of speculator examination of phenomena (wishing to go deep in understanding of reality). Allowing that to happen our mind needs flexibility and openness so as to allow the new ideas that might be philosophical when examines.
- Philosophy is a study of content, philosophy is found so since, and it deals with the areas of asking question and forming the answer on what in conjunction with giving justification on the nature of reality. It is a body of knowledge. Philosophy is the study of the following content.
- What is reality? (metaphysics).
- What is nature of the truth of knowledge?(epistemology)(theology).
- What is value? (Axiology).
- Rational critical thesis reasoning (wisdom) logic.
NATURE/ HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy can be traced back to the period when man started to speculate the physical as well as the mans’ physical phenomenon in the universe. philosophy started with wondering or curiosity. that is why it is called search of wisdom.
philosophy started with rising questions. For example “what next after a person has died? Is there another life part from the Universe life? if there is, where?
By its origin the classical period of philosophy is traced from philosophers in Anthens which is divided into four large eras.
THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY (600BC – 400BC)
This is the time when philosophical ideas were said to originate and initiated by philosophers like Socrates – (469 – 399 BC Plato (427-347 BC) and Aristotle
MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY (400BC – 16AD)
The history of western medieval philosophy is generally divided into two periods; early medieval philosophy which began with St. Augustine in mid 4th century to 13th century. The Second period was high medieval philosophy which listed up to 14th with philosopher like St. Thomas Aquinas
This is sometimes known as modern philosophy and is influenced by technological innovations. During this period new ideas about human experiences had started to gain momentam especially in the 16th century in Europe, later Asia and other parts of the world like Africa. The prominent philosophers of this period include Karl Max, Fredrick Angles, George W.F, Hegel, Lenin Kwame Nkrumah and J.K. Nyerere.
The Eastern philosophy: Broadly the various philosophers of the East Asia, included China, India, Japan and Persia. Ancient eastern philosophy developed mainly in India and China
THE AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY
There is no evidence about time when philosophy started in Africa. However, much like the same historical development in the field of philosophy in other part of the world, philosophy that emerged in Africa was also based on discussing the reality of things in the world.
BRANCHES OF PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy being an inquiry dealing with every things existing in this world, It is divided in to four branches having sub branches of specification in each as follows;
This is the branch of philosophy that attempts to study the reality of things beyond physical manifestation, it is made by two Greek words”Meta” that means beyond and “physics” that means material. In studying this metaphysics performs the speculation and synthesis activities of philosophers as the ask the question
WHAT IS REAL?
Metaphysics does its attempts in four branches
- Cosmology: This is the sub branch dealing with the study of reality about the universe in its material, nature, origin, space period and purpose.
- Theology: The sub branch dealing with the study of reality about faith religions and beliefs in question like the nature of humanity the divine power existence of God and gods how many gods
,Satan and Angels and the relationship between man and God.
- Anthropology: The study of man as an object and subject. It answers the question who and what man is the relationship between body and mind, the evil and goods that man has, and the soul of man.
- Ontology: The sub branch that answer the questions like the meaning of life and existence and what existence , what exists the size shape and color of existing idea etc.
This is the branch of philosophy that deals with the theory of knowledge and truth. It studies the nature of knowledge ability sources, acquisition and the validity of it in human mind.
Epistemology thus shows some approaches identifying the type of knowledge and its sources.
TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE
- Empirical knowledge – This is the type of knowledge obtained through experiments and experience done by sensing smelling and testing.
- Revealed knowledge – This is the kind of knowledge obtained through inspiration and divine power, people are manifested to have this type of knowledge on their interpretation and prophesying ability.
- Authoritative knowledge – It’s a kind of knowledge obtained from personal authority and experts in something it may be connected to actual practices and authorities in social lives to vise elders.
- Rational knowledge – This is the type of knowledge obtained from critical and rational reasoning on something existing. It involves the power of thought and judgement of materials.
- Intuitive knowledge – It’s the kind of knowledge derived from the instances of intuition (knowing something without going through sensory perception or reasoning).
This is the branch of philosophy dealing with the general theory of values. It answers the questions on what good and bad values in connection with its judgement association with the human mind on how appreciate them. Their justified in two aspects.
The part of axiology that studied and analyses the moral values it identified the right and wrong conducts together with its nature in human behaviors.
Is the aspect of dealing with creation and principle of art and beauty, It studies human feelings, thoughts and attitudes on how he appreciates what is seen beautiful. Aesthetic the principle of beauty its nature and how beauty is made.
Is the fourth branch of philosophy that deals with the principles and methods of correct reasoning, it explores how we can distinguish the rational or logic thoughts and irrational thoughts.
There are two methods of reasoning
- Deductive reasoning.
Is the form of reasoning general premises of something to specific idea or thought in this form a conclusion is reached through the method of demonstration.
This is the form of reasoning whereby a conclusion is reached by using premises from specific to general, in this approach one is forced to accept the conclusion through given premises.
Importance of logic to man
- Logic investigates how argument are formed
- Logic examines argument in any language, in order to make a distinction between correct and incorrect reasoning.
RELATIONSHIP AND IMPORTANCE OF PHILOSOPHY TO MAN
- Philosophy enables people to generate principles and norms of conduct for example there are several norms adopted in some social institutions like churches, schools e.c.t
- Philosophy helps to enhance an understanding about the existence of man in the world through speculations.
- Philosophy develops curiosity among people in critical thinking. Through critical thinking a person can apply deep logical and analytical process of material to get the reality
- Philosophy encourages the love of work and responsibility of the people in the society.
e.g. Philosophy of socialism and self-reliance in Tanzania advocated by J.K.Nyerere encouraged equality and hard working
- Philosophy is regarded as the core mother of all other subject in the world.
- Philosophy has been used to boost social services such as Education. Different Philosophers have been surveyed to be used in the field of Education (Education for self reliance
APPROACHES TO PHILOSOPHY
Philosophers are seen to have advocated their philosophical ideas focusing on two approaches. These are
TRADITIONAL APPROACH AND MODERN APPROACH
- Materialism or Realism schools of thoughts.
This is the school of thought which emphasize the reality of anything to have been associated with the mind conscious (idea). These believe that it is only idea which is real and not material object.
The idealists suggest that an idea is the primary unit of material, the idea starts first in our minds then an object is structured and deigned to reality.
The idealists here are Plato, Hegel and G.Bekerley
MATERIALISM / REALISM
It is the school of thought criticizing the idealists according to them the existence of objects depends on experience over any material and the inductively reasoning (reasoning/judging from specific to general). The materialists believe that an object is real simply because even the universe is material in nature. So by them material/object starts first then ideas are produced from the material. Philosophers here are Karl max, Aristotle, V. Lenin who is also considered to develop communism with Karl max who called it socialism.
This approach also emerged as a critique to the traditional approach that they failed to establish the frame work or their ideas and belief on the nature of reality. The modern approach developed their ideas that were said to identify the frame work of thoughts as;
This was the school of thought who supported the idea of scientific observation and experience in suggesting the nature of reality.
They believed that the nature of reality is an observation of experimental changes of the material rather than basing on beliefs ideas. Basing on scientific observations and experiments, the modern approach also suggest some other ideas given the existentialism, neo Marxism and Marxism which is all much focus on the reality of humanness and consideration of human being as the only unique creature in the world .
DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS
(a) The Ancient philosophers
A Greek philosopher who lived in 470BC-399BC. He developed the philosophical idea of rational (critical thinking as the only way and method of attaining knowledge). Socrates discouraged empiricism and suggested questioning and dialogue development or debated (Asking what) to give a good room of knowledge and understanding an idea or reality of something the advanced ideas were like;
- There is only one good knowledge and one bad ignorance.
- To attain knowledge one should consider himself ignorant first.
- No man does evils willingly.
NB: Socrates believed on education, free will knowledge and virtue.
He was a Greek Philosopher student of Socrates and writer of Socrates philosophical ideas. He developed the idealism philosophy suggesting that only ideas are real and all other things reflect the idea. Plato emphasized on the idea of real education suggestion that “A strong, just and civilized society will only be built where there is existence of a real idea of education. By Plato the Idea of real education was the bases of any developed society which is strong and civilized.
Plato classified the society to have three groups of people having different ranges in the perception and reality of education and its yields as follows:
- Golden boys
The group of people who are bright, having a good perception of idea of real education and its products. This group identifies all educated people, so suggest them to hold administrative positions like governors, rulers ,planners, policy makers, diplomats etc.
This is the group of less bright people who can only catch some training; these can be trained to become defenders of the national interests like, soldiers, watchmen.
This is group of less intellectual having poor understanding ability. These are to be trained for manual works and unskilled duties. Plato emphasized on dialogue as the better method of arriving to a good conclusion. He also suggested that it is better to suffer than committing
injustice. Plato also suggested “it is only punishment that will change people who commit injustice”
The Greek philosopher Plato’s student, he developed the philosophy of using intelligence and principle to arrive a goal.
Aristotle inverted the idea of science philosophy so separated it from the rational thinking philosophy. This branch of philosophy focusing on principles, he called it metaphysics. By Aristotle, the equation of knowledge is connected to some principles and it starts from what we know or think then asking what, How and why, he also suggested the following ideas:
- Good does not change.
- Ethics the politics are the bases of people who are living happy .
- Logical reasoning is important in the changing nature.
THE MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHIES
This time is identified by philosophers who attempted to put into practice, the ancient philosophical ideas and their modifications to see the validity, these are
St Thomas Aquinas
His argument was that, everything that exists has a cause. But since there could not be an infinite chain of causes back in to the past there must have been an uncaused first cause. “This is God”
Suggested the following religious ideas as
- God exist in soil of very human being
- People cannot change their sinful ways. Unless by the help of god’s grace
PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS OF KARL MARKS AND LENIN
Karl Max was born in Troves London in 5Th May 1818 and died on 14th March 1883 Karl Max ideas on capitalism, scientific socialism and communism (1818-1883AD)
Karl Max theory of capitalism, scientific socialism and Communism can be understood by looking at his fundamental doctrines which are analyzed below as follows
- The economic interpretation of history
- Dialectical materialism
- The class struggle
- The doctrine of surplus value
- The theory of the socialist evolution
PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS OF LENIN (1870 – 1924 AD)
Lenin was a Russian revolutionary thinker born on the 22nd April 1870 and died in Jan 21st 1924 Lenin’s ideas on capitalism, scientific socialism and Communism.
IDEAS ON IMPERIALISM
Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism
According to him, this stage had characteristics which would finally destroy itself. These include;
- Dominance of export of capital not goods
- Concentration and centralization of production by the big enterprises
- The merging of Bank capital and industrial Capital to form finance capital in which banks took up new role of lending money for and directing investment
- Dominance of Monopolies in the form of cartel, syndicates and trusts.
- The formation of International monopolistic association which struggle to divide the world among the capital powers
LENIN IDEAS OF SOCIALISM
He believed that socialism in society is always a result of revolution in which working class would take control of government and means of production
PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS OF KWAME NKRUMAH (1909 – 1972)
- Historical background
Kwame Nkrumah was born on September 21st 1909 in Nkroful, Gold coast (Now Ghana) and led his people for the struggle for independence from Great Britain to independence in 1957. He went on be named as life president of both the nation and his political party, until the army and police in Ghana Seized power in 1966. Where he found asylum in Guinea. He died on 1972.
Ideas of Nkrumah on Socialism
Nkrumah was Marxist who with no doubt believed that there were existence of classes and straggle in Africa said
” Nothing is father from the truth. Africa class struggle was been ranging in Africa As in the
rest of the world; it is a struggle between the op pressers and the oppressed. According to Nkrumah, revolution is an integral part of the world socialist revolution
Ideas of Nkrumah on Freedom
Nkrumah political philosophy was based of the need for the freedom and unification of Africa “For freedom is not a commodity which is given to the enslaved upon demand, it is a precious the shinning trophy of struggle and sacrifice.
Ideas of Nkrumah on Neo Colonialism
Nkrumah urged that the Neo-colonialism of today represents imperialism in its final and perhaps its most dangerous stage. He said
“The essence of neo-colonialism is that the state which is subjected to it is in theory independent and has all the outward trapping of international sovereignity. In reality its economic system
and its political policy is directed from outside.
Ideas of Nkrumah on unity
That Africa must unit was one of his key political ideas. In 1963, he wrote a book “Africa must Unite” In his book he advocated for the political union of African states as the means to safeguard Africans independence and the soundest foundation of economic, social and cultural achievement.
PHILOSOPHY IDEAS OF J.K. NYERERE (1922 – 1999)
He was born in April 13, 1922 at Butiama village near Musoma to a local Zanaki chief called Nyerere Burito. He was the first Prime Minister of Tanganyika and also the first president of Tanganyika and later in 1964 the first president of the United republic of Tanzania.
This is one of the most respected African freedom fighter, politician and philosopher in Tanzania. Nyerere advocated several philosophical ideas, having a visual in education as significance idea of building a strong society and civilized me:-
Nyerere philosophical ideas were: –
- Socialism and self reliance.
- Education philosophy.
- The Ujamaa philosophy (Family hood and brother hood).
Socialism and Ujamaa philosophy
- Members has equal right and opportunity.
- All members can have peace and justice.
- People have to work cooperatively and responsibly in their organized village (Ujamaa village).
- Humanness was sensual than wealth in the Ujumaa philosophy.
NYERERE IDEAS ON EDUCATION FOR SELF RELIANCE
- Education is a tool for mental liberation and it was to work for common good to promote quality.
- Education would address reality in life.
- Education would produce planner, organizer of activities and decision making in the society.
- Education was to produce and integrate all productive work or duties
- Education and work would give meaningful, experience and accurate practice.
- Education should give confidence and critical reasoning to the learners. vii Primary education was to be a complete system to allow productivity.
viii Primary education students were to begin at the age of 7 to allow productivity as they leave the school.
ix. Then from ignorance and impact the spirit of desire for change. ix.There were to be adult education served or provided to people to rescue.
PRINCIPLE OF TANZANIA PHILOSOPHY
(Socialism and self reliance)
Tanzania living and believing in socialism and self reliance, philosophy is guided by the principle of peace, unity, work, love and equality.
Is the absence of violence and chaos in the society due to different factors like undemocratic government or dictatorship government, injustice treatment and in equality, Peace is promoted by observing democratic principle like tolerance, Human right but it destructed multi practice of democracy by involving corruption mismanagement of state resource unevenly consideration of social needs and intensive social stratification.
The feeling of devotion to something or someone, the state of being concerned to someone’s intrinsically. Love is the root of patriotism in the country e.g. loving the wealth of the state and its proper utilization.
The sense of togetherness of people in all they do for their own betterment, unity develop justice and equality, so removing tribalism, regionalism and social classes.
The legal use of physical power and labor in doing a legal activity for personal development which is beneficial to the society and state at large,Every individual must work for his own betterment and survival.
All people are considered equal, be regarded and treated equally. Equality promotes together and cooperation in work for an improved development pressure.
MEANING AND NATURE OF RELIGION
Religion is a set of beliefs, faith and practices centered upon a specific super matured power i.e. God
These practices, beliefs and faith are guided by certain principles of worshiping on God or more, prayers and rituals. Religion are therefore composed of common aspects of justice devotion to God. Respect, Tolerance, faith, obedience, peace and proper morals.
TERMINOLOGIES IN RELIGION
i) DEITY OR DEISM
Is the other term of the name God while Deism is the system of terming God in different names.
The system of believing in one God; or in existing of one God.
Is the form of faith or system of faith of opposing the existence of God. They believe in something which are different such as sun, moon, things which had nature strength.
The form or system of believe in many gods. They believe in existence of several gods having or being less than one super God termed HENOTHEIST OR HENOTHEISTER.
The form of believe that people worship the nature to have superior power.
RELIGION OF THE WORLD
The world is consisted of religions that are classified according to the number of adherents and their faith Religions conches be seen in the categories of;
- Abrahamic Religions.
- Non – Abraham Religions.
THE ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS
This part identifies the religious belief developed by the descendants of Abraham. This category included the Christianity, Islamic and Judaism.
Analysis of ABRAHAMIC Religions
- Christians – 2.2 bills adherents.
- Islamic – 1.6.bills adherents.
- Judaism – 14 mills adherents.
COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS
- Monotheism (believes in one god).
- Conversion of non – believers.
- Conformity to the seven days cycle.
- Trust in Holly scriptures
e.g. – Bible – Christians Qur’an – Islamic Tanakh – Judaism
- Belief in resurrection of the dead
- Final Judgement.
- Divine revelation.
- Common stories.
- Belief in the kingdom of God on earth.
THE NON ABRAHAM
The believer is the world having different forms of beliefs and characteristics from the Abraham’s. These are such as the Hinduism, the Shinto Confucianism, Buddhism, Satanism etc
Their different beliefs are such as
- Belief in multiple Gods.
- No final judgement day.
- No resurrection of the dead.
- No specific days for worship etc
The non- Abrahamic religions are now connected to involve other new forms of religions existing with apposition of the old for of beliefs.
RELIGION AND GOVERNMENT
Religions ideologies and their philosophies in states are considered differently according to the nature of the state and its administration in the sense that there are some states that combine religions ideologies in state administration (Non – secular state) while there are other states that religion is separated from state administration (secular states).
Is the state or political system that separate religion from states affairs, in this the state does not consider religion to be a part as administration.
In secular state individual are free to perform their religions duties without interference of the state’s political system.
- The system allows social tolerance.
- Existence and exercise of human rights.
- Its goods ground of employment.
- It is a unit of peace and harmony.
- Facilitates is educating people.
- Strong interstate cooperation.
NON SECULARISM STATES
Is the system in which a state religion and political are combined together being used as part in administration for people and state.
In this system the states control and interference all religion and state welfare, in non secularism policies and religion are cooked in one pot.
Such that religion ideologies are used as the base of running political system e.g. Algeria and England.
- The system protect the doctrine of the states ideology.
- It helps in softening peoples mind to be ruled.
- It create the room of unity and cooperation.
- System promotes morals and respect of the states authority.
- It helps in provision of social services equally by the government to its people.
- Promotes national identity e.g. Arabic countries.
- It strengthens the philosophy of given religion.
- There is no freedom of worship.
- There is an interference of the government in religion and personal issues (welfare).
- It distorts reasoning capability.
- It involve the dictatorship and administration.
- Led to inferiority complex to the believers.
- Easy violence to occur due to appearance of some classes.
- Poor interstate cooperation.
THE ROLE AND FUNCTIONS OF RELIGIONS IN SOCIETY
Religion has great influence on society. Its functions can be seen through social, political and economic life
SOCIAL FUNCTIONS/ ROLES
- Provision of education
There are many primary, Secondary School, Colleges and Universities belonging to Islamic and Christian religions.
For example: –
St. Augustine University, Tumaini University, St. John University of Tanzania and Morogoro Islamic University to mention just few
- Defending the moral quality of a society. Religion is builder and defender of the moral quality of a society.
- Provision of health services through building hospital, dispensaries and health centers.
Example: Bugando,KCMC and Hindumandal
- Maintenance of law, order(obedience) and thus minimizing crimes (Immoralities) in the society.
- Protection of human rights in the society. It strengthens equality through scriptures which says all people are equal before god
- Enhancing economic development through encouraging people to work hard. Eg” If anyone will not work, let him not eat.” (2The3:10)
Political roles / Functions
- Religious leaders give advice to political leaders in different issues. Eg. Corruption
- Religious leader provide critical to reflection on policies and public behaviors of leaders and of different interest groups in society.
- Religion, Though leaders, defends the common good, the dignity of human beings, points out evil in society and reminds leaders to serve other and not themselves.
- In religious states, religious is integrated in the state administration. Eg. The Islamic sharia is used as the state ideology in saudi
THE IMPORTANCE OF RELIGION TOLERANCE IN THE SOCIETY.
Religions tolerance; Is the peaceful existence/willingness of existence of religion in the state i.e. everyone has responsibility of respecting the belief of other people.
Religion and religious group must practice positive tolerance for other, and for other religious group. This necessitate the freedom of worship which is considered one of basic human right guaranteed in most national constitutions.
FREEDOM OF WORSHIP
It is the right of a person to follow or not to follow religion. This rights included freedom to change religion or freedom to worship in the community alone or with other, publicly a privately.
CHAPTER QUESTION REVISION
- “Philosophy has more than two branches” Discuss.
- Account for principles, obstacles and failures of education or self reliance as advocated by Mwl. J. K. Nyerere on education in Tanzania.
- Discuss socialist ideas and show how they can facilitate or hinder the social and economic development in Tanzania.
- To what extend have the ideas of Aristotle and Plato influenced the social economic development in Tanzania.
- Why is religions tolerance important to a country like Tanzania.
- Compare secular and non-secular state
- Outline the main political ideas of J. K. Nyerere and then impact on the development process in Tanzania
- What must be done to advance Nkrumah and J. K. Nyerere dream of a United Africa?
- Explain why people worship in religion
- What is the role of religion in politics and social development in Tanzania