I came upon an article today that prompted me to share my thoughts about a matter. In the article, the author was criticizing those who would belittle religion (in general). Specifically, the following comment was made: "...to make matters worse, thinkers like Richard Dawkins hold that...religious views are based on "blind faith"". But, he asks, "Has Dawkins never read any philosophy?... Does he really think that Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant and Hegel were all unthinking simpletons?"
Man, 'o man, talk about warped perception. It seems like there is an endless supply of straw men that the religious pundits will line up to make their point to the fellow faithful. I have never been a philosopher and have never studied philosophy. Furthermore, I am not familiar with any of the philosophers mentioned above - unless we count Richard. He's a philosopher in my view. My point, though, is that just because a person is able to produce a convincing argument, even over a lifetime perhaps, and because that persons philosophy (argument) may be held in high esteem by fellow philosophers and by folks who agree with the results or the crux of the philosophy itself, the underlying basis may not necessarily be one of truth or reality.
When one is equipped with science and the scientific method as we are now (as opposed to the time when people began writing about the imaginary [they were afraid that these boogy men really did exist] in what is now known as the bible), one must begin with the "philosophy" that there are no imaginary beings involved in either the creation of or the day to day operations of this planet that we call home. It is at that point - where, simply put, "we are"! If someone or some group wishes to show that there is an unseen entity at work now - one who may have been at work since the dawn of time itself - then that person or group must build their philosophy using the scientific method.
The philosophers that are mentioned in the article were likely learned men with many intelligent words to share with those who would listen. Having begun with bad information that has, for eons, been fed to the population as fact, doomed the results of their philosophy before the first word was written or the first thought thought, unless the conclusion leads one at the minimum to the point of neutrality where there are no gods. Unthinking simpletons? Not at all! These fellows were thinking simpletons.
And the sad truth is that the world is chock full of people who believe in one sort of god or another simply because they have been told that such things exist and/or they see and hear their fellow human beings talking and acting as if they really did exist.
Philosophy without science is foolishness and folly!