I came across this conversation in a philosophy forum: "Tor: Theology presupposes a God, philosophy doesn't. Theology is reasoned belief, philosophy is a belief in reason. This is the essential difference between the two; it is the difference of de- pendence and independence; the difference of water and fire. Philosophy was once the handmaiden of theology; it caused the pot to boil. Theology as such could never be the hand- maiden of philosophy, it would only put out the fire. The question 'what is the nature of God?' is no longer a philosophical concern. Philosophy can exist and does quite well without such questions. Theology itself is even learning to get along without them. Of course theologians are over- ridden by the more crucial, life threatening question 'does God exist?'. There is a great deal of a-theology in the air. Voltaire has come of age and God must be invented --- all over again. Only this time he has to be constructed out of reason and not belief, but philosophy won't lend a hand. Thus, despite the contradiction in terms, theologians are trying hard to become 'philosophical', while employing every means available to waylag the journey of actual philosophers, to catch them, if not to turn them completely about. Today there are many theologians who, although unable to convince the atheists in their own midst of God's existence, nevertheless don a cloak of objectivity and appeal to the learned world at large to adopt agnosticism. This is Pascal's wager all over again, only much watered down. In effect, they want every free-thinking and independent soul to remain waiting in their churches, synagogues, and monastaries with hands clapsed in prayer...until all the 'evidence' comes in. There are several reasons for such an appeal, the most obvious of which are to gain time, to limit the amount of ill spoken of religion as a whole, and, if possible, to engender a new doubt in the hearts of those who are already doubters. If they wait out the feelings of secularism to change, then perhaps they can pounce upon the scene again, usurping control of society and proclaiming the priest as ruler. In effect, the whole plan is but an ill-disguised attempt to gain power; or if you will, from another perspective, an expression of powerlessness and seclusion --- since such an appeal has no hope of winning adherents. cognito: Religion originally came about to satisfy man's questions about the world around him. Then it was used by certain powers to control. Now... It is simply there to spread fevered belief. That also brings about somehing I was thinking about earlier. Is there any state higher than existence? Woldn't existence be the highest state, and threfore perfection? That would mean that if God existed, God was perfect, and we're all pefect. Therefore we are equal to God or we all are God. But then if something didn't exist would have a state of non-perfection, and could a non-existent thing have a state, even a state of non-existence? But, in all respect to those who practice a particular faith, I would like to say that nowdays religion is sometimes used to instill morality in people. Tor: Whether inadvertantly or not, you have given an interesting, and may I say 'excellent', spin to the whole St.Anslem/Fool argument. Now I want to read this old argument again --- from a fresh perspective." Questions, comments? I have to admit I found it interesting.