How Serial Idolatry has Sabotaged Modern Western Philosophy

03 February 2015    Richard Russell, BRLSI member

My outrageous hypothesis is that all philosophies - including avowedly 'secular ones - have underlying and inescapable divinity beliefs. This is revealed in the basic answer given to the basic ontological question - What do you take to be self-existent on which all else depends? For the (Christian) theist the answer is God, the self-existent being on whom all creation depends. By contrast secular modern philosophies have typically absolutised or divinised one or two aspects of creation, variously matter, mind, biological growth, logic, sensation, historical process, economic relations, language and more. Then they have proceeded to 'reductionistically' explain - or dismiss - all other aspects in terms of them.

Thus, modern philosophy has offered us a succession of messianic-isms, from theories of everything, denouncing and replacing each other, with monotonous regularity. Exhaustion has now set in. Post modernism is generally rejecting of God and his substitutes - theism and -isms of western metaphysics. In doing so does it not condemn itself to little more than a parasytic existence as the pathologist of the dying or (dead?) western philosophical tradition?

So does western philosophy need to be saved by rejecting as futile its idolatrous divinity beliefs and even recognising that Christian theism could offer the resurrection of philosophy too?