CHAPTER 01 : PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
At the end of the Topic You should be able to:
Man is the center of discussion because of his/her peculiarity in designing, discovery, innovation, reasoning, thinking, loving, believing and so forth. Thus, various disciplines prevailing in the world have direct relationship with man. Some discipline such as philosophy, science, arts, theology, just mention a few impacts on man and vice versa is true. But, “who is a man?” Should be the first question to probe, what relationship exists between man and philosophy?, Man and religion? What relationship exists between philosophy and religion?, Is there any relationship between the two? This chapter has been designed to conceptualize man and showing relationship exiting between philosophy and religion.
Meaning of Philosophy
Webster dictionary conceptualized man as a human being, but at comprehensive level a man is a human race or being. A human being has direct relationship with philosophy and religion as well. (Ishumi and Nyirenda, 2002:3) conceptualized philosophy at two levels, etymologically and comprehensive ones.
Etymologically the term philosophy is a Greek word which is derived from two words which are “Philos” and “Sophia” meaning “Love” and “Wisdom” respectively. Therefore from the two words, philosophy means love or the pursuit of wisdom. However, from the meaning given here one may not be able to get a real and profound meaning of the concept philosophy.
This is because loving wisdom does not make someone a philosopher, if it could be a philosopher since everyone loves wisdom and wants to be a wise man in a society. Therefore, being a philosopher there is a more than loving the wisdom. The complete meaning of philosophy is in its comprehensives and detailed meaning.
At comprehensive level, philosophy means rational critical thinking in a more or less systematic kind about general nature of the world or reality, the justification of belief, the conduct of life and correct reasoning. It is the study that tries to speculate about the reality of existence of everything in the world.
Since several things of various kinds make up the world, many people have been contradicting on formation or origin of all these things on the Earth .Some believe that everything was created by super natural power known as God, and therefore he is himself responsible in everything relating to creation, formation and existence.
Some people don’t agree with this argument, they try to study many forces and circumstance that cause the formation of different things on the world. These forces to them are seen as the main cause for existence of something on earth like mountain, rivers, lakes and so forth.
Philosophy as a discipline engages fully in these debate to find out the reality of existence of all things on earth through correct reasoning. Philosophy always asks questions like how do we know? What is fact? How much do we know?
APPROACHES TO PHILOSOPHY
Philosophers are seen to have advocated their philosophical ideas focusing on two approaches. These are
TRADITIONAL APPROACH AND MODERN APPROACH
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 propounders of idealism here are Plato, Hegel and G. Bekerley
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. I. 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 which 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 .
Historical background of philosophy
“Philosophy” can be traced back to the time when human being began to wonder about their world with a desire to find answers to physical and non physical phenomena. Man centered on speculation about origin of the universe and its existence of things on the universe.
The philosophical ideas and speculation have been changing on time and space. Some written records available today trace the beginning of philosophy in 6th C (BC) in parts of Asia and Europe.
In case of Africa there are no defined documents revealing an existence of philosophy. This is because in Africa there was absent of written records, however, this cannot deprive the truth of possessing its own philosophy because people of Africa also could examine the question of reality, truth, value and reasoning. As it has been noted above philosophy and philosophical ideas have been changing overtime and space. The changes are closely connected to the developments in all spheres of human society as well as development of science and technology.
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 combined words is 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 and 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 as an activity
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:
It is providing a comprehensive view of the work, reality from questioning and critically thinking on the question. Example saying biology is study of living things or geography is a study of environment.
It is thinking beyond what can be demonstrated physically e.g. talking of shape and appearance of God or gods.
It is establishing a norms, standards, conducts and ethics when performing or approaching a given philosophical idea. It also involves thinking.
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 are reality and the nature of the world
It 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 as a study of content
Philosophy is found so since, and it deals with the areas of asking question and forming the answer on what is in conjunction with giving justification on the nature of reality. It is a body of knowledge.
Philosophy is the study of the following content.
NATURE/ HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy can be traced back to the period when man started to speculate the physical as well as the man’s 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 Athens 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 momentum 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;
Changes of Philosophical Approaches in Perspectives
At first philosophy embraced all discipline in arts, science and religion, in case of Western world and Greece by the 3 century (BC) philosophers were concerned with answering questions on theology, law, science, astronomy and all other subjects. At this time philosophy referred to as the mother of all science or queen of science “scientia emenentia”.
The transformation in philosophy came in the time of scientific revolution, whereby the notion of philosophy to embrace all discipline started to liquidate, at this time the scientific method and its discoveries tended to run counter to some of the answer put forward by philosophy i.e. the empirical set of evidences were put in place including seeing, touching, hearing, tasting and smelling. The speculation reasoning and faith issues coupled with philosophy started to get an answer. This was during the time of Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Kepter and Bacon, (Coplestone, 1953:91). Some philosophers emerged in the realm of religion/faith and thus philosophy changed in its orientation; many philosophers like Thomas Aquinas wrote much on theology detached from philosophy. Theology answered the questions of faith, religion and belief.
Theology became the philosophy that helped people to understand what they believed in, reasoning as a method of studying reality was now left to philosophy alone.
After scientific revolution a quite detachment from philosophy was, realized natural sciences such as physics, biology and chemistry emerged. The changes brought in an epoch of empirical science of nature on which empirical methods opposed to reasoning or faith i.e. subject matter limited to observed reality as opposed to an abstract (coupled with experimentation and observation). Later in the 19th century (AD) natural sciences were followed by the social sciences such as anthropology, sociology, psychology and History. From this time philosophy stood alone as a discipline of study.
Relationship between Man, Religion and Philosophy
As has already been observed above the questions posed were whether there is relationship between man and philosophy, man and religion and philosophy with religion. The fact is that man posses very complicated questions which their answers are from philosophy. Thus, the relationship which is into existence between man and philosophy is that the later answer the question to the former.
Also between philosophy and religion, the relationship which exists is that religion had essence from philosophy in the branch of theology. Religion also answers various questions relating to man on issues of believes, faith and generally the essence of the universe.
Role of Philosophy in Man’s Life
Philosophy is an important discipline to man’s life in general it has played a great role in shaping man’s life in different areas from time immemorial such importance are as follows:-
Importance of philosophy to man
BRANCHES OF PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy as other discipline of study like biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and others is stated into different branches. These branches are what the subject matter of philosophy can be studied and deeply understood by the learners, teachers, educators and other scholars. Example of these branches includes Axiology, Metaphysics, Epistemology and logic. These branches are further divided in sub-branches as will be explained later.
Etymologically the term metaphysics means place after physics or material reality or that comes after material reality. Metaphysics came from two Greek words. “Meta” which means “after” or beyond and “physics” means “material reality” metaphysics as the subject matter is interested in matter beyond the material reality. It can also be stated as the study of relationship between matter and mind (soul). It is the philosophy of existences, being and reality. It speculates about the existence of God and meaning of being. Metaphysics is dived into four major sub-branches theology, cosmology, anthropology and ontology.
This is the sub-branch of metaphysics dealing with the study of origin, nature, origin, space period and purpose nature and structure of the universe in its material (as a whole). Under this study several questions are posed which ask about the purpose of the universe. There are some questions which work with this branch like what is the universe to man? What things make the universe or the space?
The sub branch of metaphysics in the realm of religious belief. It deals with the study of reality about faith, religions and beliefs in question like the nature of humanity, the divine power, existence of God or gods, how many gods, Satan and Angels, and the relationship between man and God. It attempts to answer several questions which probe about the existence of God and the ability of the God to the universe. Some question which proper work with theology includes, is there one or more than one God? What are attribute of God? If God is good and powerful how that is evil exists? Are there such beings as Angles and Satan? If yes, what is their relation to God?
It is also called an Anthropological aspect of inquiry. It is a branch of philosophy which deals with study of man and inquiry. It deals much with the society cultural systems, beliefs and ideas. It studies the questions about relationship of mind and the body, about the nature of moral status, whether man is born good, evil or neutral and others. It studies a man as an object and subject. It answers the questions who and what man is the relationship between body and mind, the evil and goods that man has, and the soul of man.
It is branch of philosophy concerned with judgment of right or wrong deed in human institution. It studies systems and customs as seen in the lives of particular groups of human beings. The study concentrates on moral values and human conducts. The branch is grouped into two sub- branches, ethics and aesthetics
It is the branch of Axiology which judges the moral values and conduct of people in certain society. It is the standard of conduct either good or bad within a given institution.
Its judgment focuses on socio – cultural practices of a particular society including customs, traditions, and taboos. Thus, the good or bad deed is judged to a particular member of society depending on the given moral values of that particular society.
For example in the societies which practices Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), to them a good wife is that who is circumcised. In ethics therefore, circumcised one is considered good behavioured and none circumcised is not behavioured due to some standards of conduct (ethics) in such particular society.
Ethics works with these questions: –What is good life for all people? What is moral conduct? What is standard by which a good action is judged?
In other words Ethics attempt these questions by putting certain standards of judgment either good or bad.
Importance of ethics in our society
This is a branch of Axiology dealing with arts and beauty. It closely related to imagination and creativity and therefore tends to become highly personalized and subjectivity. Aesthetics deals with judgment about the values of specific forms of music, literature and visual arts. Aesthetics probes these questions: what is beauty? Where does beauty reside? Is beauty in the eyes of the beholder or is it in the things that are being observed? What is art and what is its purpose?
This is another branch of philosophy which deals with of reasoning. Logic refers to the science of thinking about or explaining the reasons for a particular method or system of reasoning.
It deals much with the way of thinking or explaining weather right or wrong and the ability to reason correctly.
In all of these explanations, reasoning has been often repeated. Reasoning can be defined as the process of collecting evidences weighing it and drawing conclusion on the basis of those set activities.
The methods of thinking in logic are divided into two; Inductive methods and Deductive methods.
This is the method of reasoning which starts from specific approach to general one. The conclusion is drawn from the premises surrounding a phenomena or an entity.
All human beings have blood.
Juma is a human being.
Therefore, Juma has a blood.
The given premises are correct and the conclusion drawn is also correct, thus, the reasoning of this nature is referred to as inductive reasoning.
This is the type of reasoning which starts from general to specific. The conclusion reached is thought to follow necessarily from the premises. In other words, it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false at the same time because wherever someone reasons, there has to be logical relationship between the propositions that the statement in the argument express. Example of deductive reasoning is as follows.
Not all form one students are young
Rwegoshora is a form one student
In deductive reasoning, the conclusion for this argument must be made by studying his age exclusively from other students that are there students who are older or younger than Rwegoshora. Therefore that conclusion cannot be inferred from the premises. If we conclude otherwise, then we are not arguing logically.
Incorrect way of reasoning is the situation where by an argument is not collected from correct premise rather from partially judged information and evidences
Importance of logic to man
The following are important of logic to human development:-
This is other branch of philosophy, which means the “theory of knowledge” The term epistemology is derived from two Greek words, “epistemo”, which means knowledge or truth and “logos”, the study or theory.
Therefore it is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature, source and validity of knowledge. It intends to answer questions such as: What does it mean to “know”? What are the sources of knowledge? What is truth? How do we come to know? What can we know?
In this branch of philosophy, various major sources of knowledge have been identified, namely; empirical knowledge, revealed knowledge, authoritative knowledge, rational knowledge and intuitive knowledge. Others are like scientific knowledge.
This is knowledge derived from human sense organ. It is the most practically verifiable and reliable source of knowledge. These senses of organs works properly through faculty of seeing, hearing, smelling feeling and tasting. According to this view, empirical knowledge is built upon the very nature of human experience, gained from assimilating observed data. However, these sources have some limitations which hinder its practicability. Physical conditions such as sickness, fatigue and mind frustration may disrupt and limit sensory perception to work properly but responding on this limitation human being have developed scientific instrument to aid them beyond the capacity of the senses. It has been done through laboratories and observations of various natures.
Revealed knowledge falls in the realm of religion. It is kind of knowledge which is obtained through supernatural reality. Revelation is God’s communication regarding the Devine will. The truth gained through this method is said to be absolute and uncontaminated. However, it has disadvantages because of dependence on faith and that cannot be proved or disproved empirically.
It is kind of knowledge that originate with experts a kind of knowledge which has made authoritative overtime by tradition, for example some books, written by a certain author cannot be disputed by any one because contain authoritative knowledge ,originating as it does with expert who have written it. The important of authoritative knowledge is that brings knowledge to all without each of us going out to search for that same information. It saves time and enhances progress. On the other hand, this source of knowledge is valid only if the assumptions upon which it stands are correct.
Rational knowledge is derived from reasoning. Reasoning is the core of rational knowledge. According to the rationalists knowledge obtained through sensation is a raw knowledge. It has to be organized by the mind through reasoning in a meaningful way before it has accepted as knowledge.
It is type of knowledge derived from intuition. Involves coming to know without having gone through the formal process of reasoning or an intermediate stage of thinking and sensory perceptions. It occurs beyond consciousness and experienced as a flash of in sight. It is a personal way of knowing in which there is a direct appreciation of a perception accompanied by an intense conviction that one has discovered what he/she is looking for.
Scientific knowledge (pragmatism and extencialism)
This knowledge is obtained through observations, experience trial and error as well as reasoning. It is the mixture of reasoning and experience. It is stable knowledge. Its theory maintains that an idea is true if it works or settles something it deals with.
Branches of philosophy are very crucial in development of philosophy as a discipline. It is these branches whereby different principles, critical thinking and argumentations are drawn. Some Philosophers and writers use these branches to develop their philosophical thought and covering the subject matter and content of philosophy as a discipline.
DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS
Different ideas from various world philosophers have put in place in historical perspectives. This is because of challenges confronting human race and some questions posed by human being. The following are some philosophical ideas given by philosophers.
PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS OF PLATO AND ARISTOTLE
He lived in 427 – 347 BC. He was an Educator/ Teacher of Aristotle. He wrote much on politics, ethics and critical thinking.
In 387BC he returned to Athens and opened school which referred to as platonic school (the academy). There he taught advanced mathematics and philosophy. He also expounded many ideas including reasoning, ethics and politics.
Until his death in 347 BC he became very influential philosopher in Greek and various principles and laws in administration, history, education and law have been developed and used in Greek and other parts of the world. Plato established his philosophy responding to the situation existed in Greece particularly the Athenians
Plato’s ideas on the field of state
In the field of state, Plato applies the human soul analogy to derive the concept of a state. He compares the ideal state to human soul. He argued that the human soul ha three different elements. The raw appetites, the drives (hunger and ambitions) and the thought or intellect. He maintained that in a virtuous or a just person each of these three elements fulfills its own unique function being guided by reason.
From this analogy, Plato contended that, the ideal or just state is also defined to have three elements, each performing its unique functions.
Here Plato came with ideas pertaining the ideal state; to Plato it meant “Republic”.
To him a state or republic possessed the people of different quality to serve the state or public basing on their innate intelligence, strength and courage
Plato further divided the duties to these groups as follows.
In his ideal state he concluded by saying that a state may be said to have temperance if the auxiliaries obey the Guardians in all things and the producers obey auxiliaries. Each group should obey the one up class but should be done willingly without any coercion but enjoying doing so.
Generally the philosophical ideas of Plato have got a vital contribution in the contemporary societies all over the world, both socially economically and politically.
Plato’s ideas on economy
On economy Plato believed that great differences in wealth are inconsistent with good governance. Therefore he maintained that, the ruler should abolish private ownership for if he/ she have private wealth, he/ she will have divided loyalty due to conflict of interest.
Plato’s ideas on democracy.
Plato’s view on Democracy was pessimistic (expecting that bad results in the future). He regarded government as a form of government or leadership in which people’s impulses are not put under control, the results of which is lack of order and direction. (Impulses; The people’s tendencies of acting suddenly without thinking about consequences) hence Plato regarded democracy as Monocracy i. e, rule or dominion of the mass. He therefore came up with the following assertions.
Plato came with the assertion that rulers of any state should be fit and best with qualified person
He also emphasized the equality of all citizens in the right to speak in the governing assembly and right before law.
To Plato democracy meant the rule by people. This came during the first half of the 5th century BC when it gained acceptance as a sole legitimate authority in ruling.
Plato’s ideas in educational approach.
According to Plato he termed education as a vital tool to bring up a generation that was sensitive to the service of the society, this means every citizen had a duty to serve the society accordance with their place and abilities as well (education knowledge).. It is an instrument by which a philosopher king is molded. Since it is a means of promoting the good of the society, it should not be left in the private hands. Therefore it should be provided by the state and should be closely supervised.
For well ordered government education was preoccupation of each man throughout his life, because the state itself or government would require the quality of its people and their rulers (the level of education of the people in certain states determine the stable government and state as well).
According to Plato the education acquisition could firmly depend on the abilities of individuals in the society. “the education system was duty – bound to selectively yet effectively prepare the young generation for future roles differentiated according to their abilities”.
Thus, he divided the people of his society into three categories, bright ones (the golden boys) these were educated for future position as philosopher kings, the less bright but physically fit (the silver boys) were to be trained to be the defenders of the republic (as soldiers), the pupils with lowest ability/ people intellectually less (iron boys) demanding vocation i.e. manual labour and similar occupations.
Plato also emphasized education to be a primacy of the social process. This means education to him was for discovering as well as problem solving tool in which each one would be trained for services of many in the society.
He argued the educated (golden boys) to liberate or to assist the non educated people in the society. The golden boys must acquire education to their level then they must descend into the society with problems (like disease, poverty, famine and ignorance) and assist in the whole process of uplifting them.
Plato’s ideas on forms of leadership/ government
Plato identified five forms of leadership or government. In his book VIII of the republic, he identified the following forms of government.
According to Plato, this is a form of government governed by rational philosopher kings
according to him it is a form of government or leadership in which the ruling class is motivated by love of honour rather than love for the common good
The form of leadership or government ruled by men who primarily desire riches. According to him, under Plutocracy, the society is divided in two classes, i.e. the class of the rich and that of the poor.
Plato regarded this form of government to be a result of Plutocracy since he saw democracy to be a type of leadership to be best used in the society which honoured wealth. Hence, he argued that “a society that honours wealth cannot maintain self-control”. Hence, Plato’s view on democracy was that it was a system of leadership in which people’s tendencies to act suddenly cannot be kept under control and the result is prevalence of chaos. Hence, democracy should be the system for controlling the decisions made by the rulers so as to maintain order in the society.
The form of government which is formed when the democratic mob submits itself to strongman, each person selfishly figuring to gain from the tyrant’s rule and believing that the tyrant will end democracy’s evil. In this form of leadership or governance or leadership, the tyrant in turn acquires absolute power and enslaves his subjects he seeks to cling to power forever.
How Plato’s ideas have influenced the socio-economic development of Tanzania.
The extent to which Plato’s ideas have shaped the socio-economic development of Tanzania can be looked upon basing on how Tanzania practices Plato’s ideas in running various sectors. These can be assessed in the following areas.
Education in Tanzania imitates the Platonic ideas of educational setting.
In Tanzania the learning is centralized in terms of curriculum and it is organized hierarchically.
It is the responsibility of the state to ensure that the national values are translated in the curriculum through the Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE) for primary, secondary, teachers’ colleges and vocational education; and higher learning institutions are managed through Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) while the non-universities are coordinated through National Council for Technical Education (NACTE).
The philosophy of Plato stands today in Tanzania since most of Plato’s assertions can be observed in Tanzania’s educational system. For example; In Tanzania education as one go up the education radar, the fewer learners may be found than the previous stage.
Political leaders use noble lie when necessary for the sake of state security. Even in Tanzania this has been adapted and practices as it can be observed when the leaders use the noble lie to the public or the foreign investors whenever it seems unsafe to the nation.
Leadership code of ethics
This requires the public leaders not to use public office for private gains. Therefore, in order to avoid conflict of interest, leaders should not be heads of public enterprises of which they own a share since they will find themselves using their powers to secure their interests. This has also been adapted in the Tanzania governing system.
Level of education for one to be a president
In Tanzania the aspect is given priority among the citizens when electing leaders, that the president should at least have a certain level of education, although the constitution does not require a contestant of presidency to be highly educated.
Importance of ruling according to law
Plato’s conceptions of sovereignty of law in which leaders are not to be guardians of the law is given emphasis in Tanzania. For example; in Tanzania there is control of abuse of power, independent judiciary and equality before the law.
PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS OF ARISTOTLE
Aristotle like Plato, was a Greek philosopher who lived between (384 – 322 BC). He was born in Stagira, a Greek colony in Macedonia. He was a philosopher, logician and scientist of his time; he was a student of Plato (studied in Plato’s academy in Athens).
Aristotle became a teacher of Alexander the great who became more influential ruler in Greece and Asia Minor. In 335 BC, he opened a school in Athens where he put into practice the ideas he had came to believe in.
Aristotle died in Calcis on the island of Euboea which had granted him a refuge when he was exiled in Athens. His ideas in education, democracy, state and economy, majority was a critique to Plato ideas and others oriented on the situation which were in place.
Idea of Aristotle in field of education, democracy and state
Aristotle ideas on the field of State
Aristotle claimed that the state is very important because it has to promote the good life of the citizens and the ideal state is the one which is governed by law.
Furthermore, Aristotle saw that man is by nature a social animal. Hence, a being who fails to live in association with others is either a beast or a god. According to him the state is the highest social order which exists for the complete life of the citizens and an individual can fulfill the end of his existence only in the state.
Aristotle came with the following assertions.
To Aristotle the state he conceived was that, it is a community in nature on which the human nature intrinsically exists. The role of human nature according to Aristotle was to expand the state to its highest power.
He also revealed the state in its development toward promotion of noble life and happiness of all citizens, thus, he considered the family, the community and the state as vehicles for morality and for the good life for man.
To him the best state is the one that comes into being and achieves its end through the highest good as manifested by citizens individually and collectively. Thus, to him a constitutional democracy which is supported by majority citizen is the best state and government as well.
In examining the various kind of government/ state he found virtue in monarchy, Aristocracy and what might be termed as constitutional democracy, but because of existence of corruption and irresponsible leaders monarchy can develop easily into tyranny, Aristocracy into oligarchy where wealth becomes a qualification of office and constitutional democracy into disorganized democracy i.e. mob rule.
Aristotle’s concepts of law in a state
While Plato’s ideal state is that governed by the philosopher king, Aristotle’s best state is the one governed by the law. Aristotle identified the following advantages inherent in a state governed by law.
Therefore, according to Aristotle law is a necessary condition of a moral and civilized life. That’s why the first sentence in his book of “politics” says; “man when separated from law and justice is the worst of all animals”
Aristotle ideas on education
In the realm/ field of education Aristotle came with ideas which became more influential in his time and such philosophy spread all over the world.
To Aristotle the proper learning is that which will encompasses the use of sense experience such as (tasting, hearing, touching, observing and so forth). To him the essence of things could be discovered only through reasoning (through channel of reasoning).
He emphasized that the learner (pupil/student) should be trained by the education which should be both moral and political one, that means the learner in general should be taught the virtues and examples of both being good (moral behaviour) and doing good (practicing good deed).
He emphasized that the curriculum to be used should be that which has included rhetoric – artful and articulation of public speaking in order to realize the virtues.
Both the learner and education (teachers, tutors and professors) should use inductive method in reasoning and argumentation (speaking, teaching and languages) i.e. from specific to general.
Aristotle ideas on Democracy
Form of government according to Aristotle is a democracy whereby all the citizens share equally in the government. It is a type of government in which inferior classes are well treated and the principles of equality among themselves are practiced. It is a government in which offices should be held for short terms so that all people can participate and all leaders speak for the interest of classes rather than their own interests.
One of themes on which Aristotle put more stress was democracy. To him He expounded various ideas on democracy as follows:-
Aristotle view democracy as a rule of many as opposed to select few. These many who should rule must be the poor who are majority in many society of the world. He thus opposed the richness as the quality of ruling others.
Also according to him, political formation should be divided between the rich and the poor to ensure a balanced democracy in two classes. He does not support the idea of people to hold offices (power) singly or a group of people (but should base on polity – the government ruled by middle class on which majority are poor and few rich).
His philosophy also encourages the polity government which combines democracy, oligarchy and aristocracy. This type of government to Aristotle was which could serve the nation as a whole, because considered the interest of the majority.
However, Aristotle accepted constitutional democracy as a precisely qualification for an ideal form of government/ state. But yet there are some criticism on his philosophy of state, first, the state have spread beyond confines of community (Greek city state), second, also in the light of modern science which has made everything relative to something else, it is not possible to talk of an intrinsic human nature and the best moral life, for what was moral and natural to Aristotle is manifestly immoral and unnatural today.
It is also notable that when Aristotle and his contemporaries spoke of citizens and the state composed by them they had in mind the small community of slave owners, the slaves being strictly excluded from this attempt to establish a natural and moral life. In today’s context when one faith proclaimed a being basic to all political system in democracy and equal rights to all human beings, this sort of exclusive states can come or remain in existence.
Aristotle’s ideas on education
Aristotle thought of adequate education to the citizens as the most important stabilizer of the state. Hence, Aristotle argued that the state has to provide education to its citizens. According to him, the state through education provides the means and the media to the individual attainment of intellectual, moral and physical excellences that will enable them live the good life. He argued;- “Good life consists not only a maximum use of pleasure but in being an active and virtuous person”. This is an element produced through education.
Influences of Plato and Aristotle’s ideas on development of our country
The philosophical ideas of Plato and Aristotle have significance in human life throughout the world in historical perspectives. Their influences have impacted on development socially, economically and politically as well. Here under are some influences of Plato and Aristotle in development of a country like Tanzania:-
First, in the field of education the learning and teaching uses their ideas for example logic argumentation as proposed by Aristotle and grammatical presentation of ideas and so forth.
Secondly, they have both formulated the principles which should be used in ruling and exercising of power for example in Tanzania we use democratic constitution which was suggested by Aristotle also by Plato who stressed equality of people in right to speak and equality before According to Tanzania constitution all matter pertaining government and its people are stipulated in national constitution.
Thirdly, Tanzania education system is still demarcating the people according to their abilities of understanding. This is observed through examinations which determine their (citizen) level of understanding. The one who are capable join the level of education according to their abilities, for example from primary education, then secondary education and finally tertially education. As the pyramid increases the number of learners decreases because of capability. Some of these ideas have derived from Plato philosophy who demarcated the people of his society according to their capability.
Also their ideas teaches the world society particularly Tanzania, that gaining power by using corruption can distort democracy and prosperity of nation. They also denied richness as a qualification of a person to be on power especially the philosophy of Aristotle. However, it is no longer practically because many politician use money or financial status to gain power.
Profoundly, their ideas have contributed on scientific approaches for example the philosophy of Aristotle put much stress on scientific observation than the idealist as suggested by Plato. To Aristotle the scientific innovation can enhance development of a nation. Besides, believes on God in realm of faith can enhance development and moral development as suggested by idealists (Plato and contemporaries). Thus, in development of a nation like Tanzania both scientific approaches and beliefs can induce national development. For example, industrial development induces scientific innovation and believes to God assist in reduction of sin, crimes and lead to observance of human rights.
Thus, the ideas of Plato and Aristotle have got much influence on socio – economic and political development in contemporary societies. Their philosophy has contributed much development in education, politics, democracy and governing system of many nations particularly Tanzania.
Analysis of philosophical ideas of Karl Marx and Lenin
As other philosophers, Karl Marx lived between (1818 – 1883), he was German social scientists, historian and revolutionist. He analyzed much on capitalism society and laid the theoretical basis for political movement. He analyzed the class struggle against the dominant classes / ruler who were subjugating, exploiting or oppressing the ruled class.
He came with dialectical materialism as it was formerly analyzed by Hegel that given situation(thesis) generate opposite forces (the antithesis) that ultimately break up the original situation and produce new one (the synthesis) “ this means the exploited classes like slaves during slavery, serfs (during feudalism), proletariat (working class) (during capitalism) should took action against the oppressors through revolution and impose the new system of administration which is free from exploitation and oppression.
Philosophical ideas of Karl Marx on capitalism, scientific socialism and communism
Marx philosophical ideas on capitalism, scientific socialism and communism came in as a result of situation existed during his time. But, also he became embraced with Hegel philosophy. Consequently, led him (Marx) to view capitalism system as enemy of society in his time. Thus, scientific socialism and or communism to Karl Marx could inevitably emerge due to contradiction and opposition pressure on capitalism. But how Marx viewed capitalism, scientific socialism and communism?
Ordinarily capitalism is defined as the socio-economic system whereby few people own capital and use it to exploit the majority. As already noted above Marx writings came as a result of situations which were prevailing in his society, thus, he developed negative altitude with the system. His ideas on capitalism were as follows:-
To Karl Marx capitalism is based on exploitation of the working class (proletariat) by owner of capital like factories, machinery and working capital.
To Marx each society develops an ideology i.e. a set of official belief or religious doctrine justifying the power of the ruling class. Thus, he gave example that during ancient slave holding , society was divided into classes on which the slaves toiled but owner exploited them, an ideology was Pantheon of Greco-Roman religion, during feudalism the ruling class (noble) exploited the serfs and an ideology existed was Christian religion. Then from feudalism to capitalism emerged new ruling class, the bourgeoisie who were able to accumulate monetary capital and modern technology of industrial production, ideology existed during capitalism stage was lazars fair liberalism, with parliament government that denied the vote to workers and protected the bourgeoisie. (Encyclopedia Americana 1982:388)
Marx predicted that people would be against capitalism system especially industrial workers who were exploited by the capitalist and would overthrow the bourgeoisie (capitalists) and expropriate the owners of capital and establish classless society.
Marx believed that capitalism would be paralyzed by the contradictions between the social nature of industry and the system of over more concentration private property. Capitalism would exhaust its possibility of development and give way in the next stage of proletarian heaven (socialism).
Socialism and Communism
Karl Marx used these term interchangeably but before going further, these two term should be conceptualized, communism is a social structure in which classes are abolished and property is commonly controlled as well as a political philosophy that advocates and aim to create a society, where socialism is a political philosophy that encompasses various theories of economic organization based on either public or direct ownership of means of production and allocation of resources . His ideas on socialism and communism were as follows:-
To Marx philosophy termed dialect materialism as better way to bring a desired society (socialism) to Marx given situation (thesis) generate opposite forces (the antithesis), that ultimately break up the original situation and produce new one (synthesis). That means the given situation was capitalism which were opposed by proletariat and ultimately sparked revolutions (antithesis), thus the society which emerged is the socialist communism society (synthesis).
According to the law of dialect each social system generate the forces that will destroy it and create a new system with a political revolution, thus to Karl Marx scientific socialism would inevitably realized through proletariat overthrowing the bourgeoisie class.
To him the mankind has experienced five types of society, primitive communalism, Asiatic society, ancient slave holding society, feudalism and capitalism. These type of society are coupled with own superstructure and ideology justifying the power of the ruling class. He noted that contradictions which would emerge within such society would create other type of society, thus, socialism came in as the result of contradiction which emerged in capitalist society.
Marx was convinced that his historical and economic research had created the basis for scientific socialism by breakdown capitalism and establishes proletariat ruling class. The proletariat ruling class would abolish private ownership of means of production, eliminate class differences and thus usher in the classless society of communism. At this stage therefore the contradictions between the ruling class and the subject will end and the process of dialect would finally come to an end.
However, several Marxists emerged all over the world and embraced his philosophy i. e. followed the doctrine of Karl Marx. Among those was V.I Lenin of Russia and became being called Marxists.
Lenin lived between 1870 – 1924 A. D. He was born at Simbirsk Russia and died in Moscow. He was a Russian revolutionary and a communist politician who joined the Bolshevik group and ultimately led the October revolution of 1917. He headed the Soviet state in initial years after revolution from 1917 to 1924; in his lifetime he developed the socialism and communism doctrines which used by the leaders who followed him and in other parts of the world.
As it was Karl Marx, Lenin also fought vigorously with the development of capitalism system in Russia. He challenged the capitalist system which was at the infant stage in Russia under the leadership of Tsar. The first profound step was to develop philosophy which could lead his people to the desired society of communism.
Philosophical ideas of V. I. Lenin on Capitalism, Scientific socialism, Communism and Democracy
Lenin’s philosophy based on situation which was prevailing in his society, but also the nature of capitalism system as a whole.
He explained the capitalism as the class or society which exploits majority such as petty bourgeoisie, proletariats, and peasants. This class of bourgeoisie decides on what to pay to the majority and dominate the major means of productions such as machinery, industries and capital.
Also according to Lenin capitalism and its doctrines appropriates institutions of violence like prison, police, army and so forth. These institutions have been used to subjugate the exploited class through threatening them. This has been done by powerful economically (capitalists) dominant class who sponsor the government or political dominating class
To him he suggested the only means of eliminating capitalism is inevitably trough revolution. Because no any democratic atmosphere will ever prevail in the capitalism system, thus, the exploited class should overthrow the exploiting class (the capitalists).
On scientific socialism V.I Lenin came with a doctrine on it in which he revealed some principles which should guide a state, workers and leaders. His views were as follows.
He believed that socialism could be established in a country which had not passed through the full development of industrial capitalism. Because of this stage the capitalist class (bourgeoisie) would not possess a handsome capital and ideology of exploiting the mass would be very few and not strong.
He believed that with introduction of scientific socialism the classes would be eliminated, something which he termed as exploiting class of the majority (bourgeoisie). Thus, to Lenin socialism meant that all means of production to be in the hand of the state which was to build the future classless society (Farah, 1985:597). The state could engage (in planning and distribution of resource) to the whole member of state (citizens) equally.
The scientific socialism could be attained only through revolution. And after overthrowing the capitalists, what he called dictatorship of proletariat should inevitably installed. This organ would include proletariats, peasants and petty bourgeoisie. Their responsibilities would be to crush the oppressors and exploiters, and to deal with anti- communist public action.
However, there is slight different between the socialism and communism. But what came first was the socialism by Karl Marx and communism came later under V. I. Lenin but all of them embrace equality also, referred to as Marxists or Marxist – Leninism philosophy.
This was political ideology based on idea of Marx and Lenin. But at an ordinary level communism is a social structure which could not embraces classes and private property ownership. The supporter of communism was V.I Lenin and his supporters were known as reds and were spread all over the world. His doctrine of communism embraced the following.
Communism could be built only by using force and terror; these means the communism doctrine could be installed through use of violence and abolish religious false consciousness because it is the tool used by the capitalist to exploit the majority (proletariat) thus, with this view, through use of force the communist government was able to abolish operation of Russian Orthodox church.
The classless communist society could inevitable built by professional revolutionalists who would build by small political party (vanguard party) at first. The party would be a tight knit organization operated like an army and would not allow anyone to oppose it.
To Lenin the communist and capitalist states could never live peacefully together. He declared that the two groups would struggle until one destroy other as happened in Russia which culminated in the formation of United Soviet Socialist Republic (U.S.S.R).
To Lenin the communism’s dictatorship of proletariat is governed with a decentralized direct democracy practiced via soviet (council) where the workers exercise political power and spread the communist ideology in such councils. Beside of spreading of communism in councils Lenin also encouraged the need to spread communist revolution to other countries of the world because capitalism had already moved across the borders of many nations under belief of imperialism (colonialism).
Marx and Lenin philosophy has influenced much the change of ideological and political system from capitalism to socialism, and also has sparked the emergence of radical intellectuals / people throughout the planet earth. Many people have embraced Marx – Leninism philosophy in the developing their nations but also fuelled the nationalist struggle.
Among of these included people like Mao, Trotsky andStalin but also including African nationalists leaders like J.K Nyerere and Milton Obote, other nations such as Cuba Vietnam, Venezuela and others are still embracing the Marxists philosophy.
Influences of Karl Marx and Lenin’s philosophical ideas on socio-economic development in Tanzania
Karl Marx and his follower Lenin and other Marxists influenced a lot in the development countries particularly Tanzania. But major influences include the following:-
However, Karl Marx and V. I. Lenin influenced much not only in Tanzania but also in other place of the world as well. Their philosophy of communism and socialism has been used by other nations. It has triggered many radical changes from capitalism system to socialism through number of revolutions. At the time many Authors writes their intellectual works biased either in capitalism or socialism schools of thought, beside the world government of today are either basing on capitalists or socialists philosophy.
ANALYSIS OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS OF KWAME NKRUMAH AND J. K. NYERERE
The background of Kwame Nkrumah.
Kwame Nkrumah lived between 1909 – 1972. He was born in Gold Coast (Ghana) among Nzima ethnic group. He studied and worked in the United State of America and Britain. He returned home by 1947 and from there he became a significant figure in Pan African movements. After returned home he became a general secretary of new established party called United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) but he broke away by 1949 to form his own party which was called Convection People Party (CPP). The Party became the leading nationalist party in the territory but following the success in the 1951 elections he became leader of government business and ultimately a prime minister even after 1957 independence. Constitutional change by 1960 he became the country first president
Philosophical ideas of Kwame Nkrumah on socialism, democracy and African Unity
Kwame Nkrumah as early African intellectual and Pan – African leader wrote and developed various ideas on socialism, democracy and African unity. His stand mainly depended on the situation which was prevailing in his time and anticipation of future in his country and Africa continent at large.
Nkrumah ideas on socialism
However, at the end some Nkrumah’s ideas were criticized especially when slogans such as “Nkrumah does no wrong”, “Nkrumah is a Messiah”, “and Nkrumah is a leader” became the government slogans. Ultimately he became the socialist dictator on which he faced great challenges. The economy drastically declined opposition members were languishing in prison without trial, states owned farms which were established in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern and Central regions could not yield good output because workers who were employed were lazy and corrupt.
Nkrumah’s ideas on democracy.
His democracy also focused on a single party democracy. To him many parties could alter development because could not be hindered by reactionary politician elites in the opposition parties and traditional chiefs who might compromise with western imperialist. Thus, he abolished the operation of many parties such as United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) and embraced his party called Convention People’s Party (CPP). However, he was criticized with his philosophy of focusing outside Ghana and denying internal affairs. But also overemphasis on single party politics and abuse of human rights was criticized, afterward; he was overthrown on24th February1977
Nkrumah’s ideas on African unity
Nkrumah was one among Pan – African leaders who influenced in the social economic and political development of African continent. His ideas on African Unity was as follows
Philosophical ideas of Julius Nyerere
The background of Julius Nyerere
He lived between 1922 – 1999. He was born in Eastern part of Lake Victoria in the District of Musoma. He belonged in the Zanaki tribe of Butiama. He attended his primary school when he was 12 in 1930 at Mwisenge Missionary center. He was then attended at government Secondary school at Tabora Boys.” He entered Makerere College in Uganda, by then the highest institution of learning in Eastern Africa, in 1943, where he graduated with a diploma of education in 1946 and returned in Tanganyika to teach at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Tabora. It was while he was teaching at mission school that Nyerere obtained a scholarship for advanced degree studies at Edinburg Scotland, from 1949 to 1952. When at Edinburg he became influenced with Fabian thinking on which later he embraced.
On his return to Tanganyika he started the liberation movement, in which the colonial masters enforced him to go on with the process of liberation or teaching profession. Afterward, he himself withdrew from teaching to the nationalist struggle. By 1954 he participated in the formation of TANU (Tanganyika African National Union). He became president of the union (a post he held until 1977). He entered the legislative council in 1958 and became chief minister in 1960. A year later Tanganyika was granted internal self government and Nyerere became the prime minister and in 1962 he became the President. From this conjuncture a history of Nyerere became more influential including uniting of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, introduction of socialism and self reliance as well as drifting from TANU to CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) as will be shown later.
Philosophical ideas of Julius Kambarage Nyerere on socialism, democracy and African Unity
Nyerere wrote and expounded many in the field of socialism, democracy and African Unity. But not only that, also included ideas on education and generally nationalist struggle in Africa. The following ideas are how he tried to expound on socialism, democracy and African Unity.
Nyerere’s ideas on Socialism
As a good follower of socialism philosophy he introduced philosophy of socialism and self reliance in 1967 after Arusha declaration. His idea of socialism and self reliance embraced the following.
Nyerere’s ideas on African Unity
Nyerere being a patriotic person in his country extended his idea to Africa continent as a whole. His ideas on African unity were as follows:-
Like other world philosophers Nyerere also put his ideas on democracy. His ideas were widely based on his interest as a patriotic leader of his country and African continent as a whole.
However, he did not only put his ideas in socialism, Africa Unity and democracy, he also extended his idea in education. He wrote many about the nature of education to be given in Tanzania environment and the needs of the society at the time.
He introduced education for self-reliance on which work was to be integrated in education system of Tanzania. At all level of education the learner could get the formal education at the same time engaging in societal activities, but also integrating the formal education and working activities .This became integrated in education curriculum of Tanzania.
He also came with education for liberation in which he stressed that education is the base of uplifting the standard of living of an individual from impediments.(Kassam, 1995: 250) in this regard he called upon educated ones to go back in their society to liberate people (non-educated one). He called some professionals such teachers, doctors, engineers, and others to work for the society without demanding a lot from the society. That is why he introduced compulsory national service; it was through national services on which individual could serve their society. Furthermore he expanded ideas on adult education which was introduced after Arusha declaration, lifelong learning education and learning for liberation from impediments. This education aimed at inspiring the desire for change and understands that change is possible, help people to make their own decision and implement such decisions for them, involving learners in productive work, and integration of the learners (students) and the society.
Nyerere is remembered by the world community as intellectual scholar, a leader and a philosopher who participated a lot in serving humankind. In Tanzania he is a father of national but at International arena he expounded many ideas in his writings which influenced socio-economic and political development in many nations. But he is recognized as the strong leaders who engaged in different war of liberating Africa continent which were under colonial regime.
Application of Nyerere’s ideas in our society.
As already noted, Nyerere expounded many concepts in education, democracy, politics, socialism and liberation. He developed many ideas which are vital in national development. Some of his ideas are as follows:-
People throughout the world have been a member in certain associations or groups, political party or Religion. These are formed by people with different purposes either for airing their problems to the government (political parties), for solving socio-economic constrains in the society such as diseases (HIV/AIDS), fund raising groups, and for unifying people against constrains like gender problems, environmental problems and so forth. Thus, these groups have been formed on political, economic, social and belief bases. A religion is like an association which base on belief. But, before going in detail the concept of the term religion will be conceptualized, nature of religion will identified and finally functions and importance of religious tolerance in the society will be shown.
Meaning and nature of religion
Religion concept has been defined different by anthropologists, sociologist, philosophers and theologists as follows
An anthropologist Anthony Wallace (1966:5) defined a religion as a belief and ritual concerned with supernatural beings, power and force .To anthropologists two concepts have been put in place which is belief associated with supernatural beings and rituals. In this regards belief is defined as a trust or accept as true, ritual can be defined as an order especially of religious ceremony. Therefore, a religion is something which is accepted by people on the present of supernatural being who is believed by the people through a certain ritual.
But according to the Advanced Learners Dictionary of the firth edition (1995) defined religion as a belief in the existence of God or Gods especially the belief that they created the universe and gave human beings their spiritual nature which continue to exist after the death of the body. Therefore, with these definitions attending to worshipping places by the group of certain religion revisit to an introduction part of this concept. It can be a body of a belief which is followed by a group of people for prayer (in worshipping places).
Nature of religions
The nature of religion is an essential qualities or character. The following are nature of religion as follows.
Types of Religion
Four types of religions have been identified which includes Shamanic, Communal, Olympian and Monotheistic, this has been put by Wallace (1966). To Wallace Shamanic is the type of religions without a full time religion officials but a part time religious figure who mediate between people and supernatural beings and forces. Shaman is general term encompassing curers (witch doctors), spiritualists, astrologers, poem readers and other, diviners.
Communal religions is other type of religion concerning with community rituals such as harvesting ceremonies and collective rites of passage, also it operate without full-time religious specialists, communal religion believes in several deities (polytheism) who control aspects of nature.
The other type of religions according to Wallace is Olympian religions, arose with state organization and marked social stratification, also encompasses professional priesthood like the state itself, the priest hood is hierarchically and bureaucratically organized. It derived its word from Olympus home of classical Greek Gods. Olympian religions are polytheistic include many gods with specialized functions for example god of war, the sea, and death. Olympian religion was prominent in the religions of many non industrial nation- states including the Aztecs of Mexico, several Africans and Asian kingdoms and classical Greece and Rome.
The forth type of religions according to Wallace is monotheism. In monotheism, all supernatural phenomena are manifestations of, or are under the control of a single eternal omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent supreme being. Monotheism has priesthoods and nations of divine power. Other kind of religions which believe on monotheism include Christianity, Islamic, Judaism but other religions, like Satanism, Hinduism and Shinto are either Olympian religion, communal or shamanic. But, all in all these religion of world are monotheism or polytheism.
The known religions of the world today
Through it has been revealed that some religion bases on traditions, others believe on many gods and others believe on single omniscient God. But at the moment the well known religions which are reflecting people’s belief include the following.
This is the most dominant and widely spread kind of religion in the world. Christians centers their teaching on one God, a true living God who is found in trinity, Jesus Christ to be the only begotten son through whom everybody in the world will inherit the kingdom of God, no one else. However, within Christianity there two branches of Christians, Protestants and Roman Catholics together with Anglican. In the group of Protestants there are several denominations such as Lutheran, Adventist church, Baptist church, Jehovah Witness, Pentecostal Church, and Moravian.
This is also the most world wide spread kind of religion whose teachings base on one God (Allah) who is indivisible and Prophet Muhammad as his last messenger in the world. Muslims do believes in five pillars of faith which are proclaiming that there is one God (Allah) who is indivisible, to pay Zakkah, fasting during ramadhan, to perform pilgrimage at holy mosque in Mecca and to pray five times in a day.
This is the least spread kind of religion in the world; Judaism is believed to be a special religion for one race of people Jews. It center belief on true God. Judaism is not differed with Christian teaching, but there is a deep belief that Judaism and Israelites is the most chosen people by God. The justification of this comes from the holy book like the Bible.
This is the least world wide spread kind of religion. It is dominant in Japan. It bases on God with some traditional rituals.
It is unacceptable kind of religion in the world. It believes to have started in United States of America (USA) and spread to other nations. Its teaching centers on opposing Christianity and other religions. It prays to evils and encourages people to enjoy life on earth, to members there is no a hell or everlasting fire after death.
Buddism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practice, largely based on teaching to Siddartha Gautama who lived between (563BCE) there are two types of Buddhism one Thersvada (the school of elders) and Mahayana (the great vehicle). This teaching for example Theravada is based on teaching of elders from ancient teaching. It was founded in India and widespread in countries like Sri – lanka, Southern Asia like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
Mahayana refers to the path of seeking complete enlightment for the benefit of all sentient beings. Mahayana spread from India to other parts like China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Tibet and Nepal. Briefly Buddism teaching centers on Dhama (teaching) ethical precepts, support of monastic community, mind fullness practice of meditation and devotional practices.
However, these kind of religions above have thousands of sect or denominations on which under Christianity religion there are denominations such as Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Adventist church, Anglican church, Baptist church, Moravian while in Islamic religion there are two sects/denominations such as Shiite and Sunni and in Buddism there are Thersvada and Mahayana.
Importance of Religion
Religion plays a great role in the given society or country. The following are the importance of religion:-
i. Religion helps to stimulate the society about the importance of everybody to participate fully in productive and legal works. This situation promotes the society development from individual to national level. Laziness is strictly prohibited or discouraged through different verses of the holy books like Bible and Quran.
ii. Religion helps in provision of important social services such as education, health services and so forth. Religions such as Christians and Islam have many educational and health services institutions which serves the society.
iii. Also it helps to unite the society from family to national level. It put more emphasis on love, peace respect and cooperation. It is love that makes people to help each other. Where there is no a conflict or misunderstanding between people. Where there is peace there is also cooperation between people. Peace, respect and cooperation are pillars of nation unity which start at family to the national level as well as at International level.
iv. Moreover, religion helps to awaken people awareness about their right and responsibilities as good citizens within their communities and nation as well, for example, during general election especially under multiparty, religious leaders played a great role by educating their followers on the important of registering, voting or being voted and participating in campaign rallies.
v. Religion plays a great role in the provision of humanitarian assistance to societies when needed. For example religion institution assists people affected catastrophes such as floods, drought and civil war stricken areas. The victims have been supplied with food, clothes and shelter.
vi. Religion promotes the enforcement of law and obedience and therefore assists in minimization of crimes in the society. Religion leaders preach about love, peace, respect and justice in the societies by referring to some holy books. For example, Christian refers to the Bible and Muslim to Quran.
vii. Religion provides entertainment; education is always imparted through songs and by using mass media such as radio and televisions. People do relax and become educated through religion songs (gospel songs) sometimes promote some beautiful carvings and drawing like that of Saints, Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary.
viii. Religion also can be used on an issue pertaining state administration. For example some state are purely ruled by certain religion principles like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan and some Northern province of Nigeria. These are ruled by Islamic Sharia but Christianity dominated states include Vatican and European nations.
Negative functions of religion
i. In some countries religion has led social stratification. For example in Indian there is a caste system basing on religion. The caste system demarcates the people into classes, but in other places like North and South Sudan reveals. Conflicts have reported in historical perspectives between the Northern Muslim (Arabs Muslim- Janjawid) and the Southern blacks who are Christians. Also in Nigeria conflicts have been widespread because of religion example in 2010 several killing in Jos plateau have reported. This has been caused with long – run conflicts between the Southern Christian and the Northern Muslims.
ii. Killing of people, because some religious forbid people to use any medicines when happens they are sick. Others are fundamentalists or extremist in nature which encourage followers to engage in violence for example fundamental Muslims engage in suicides bombing in many countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran. Also the Jehovah witness denomination prevents the followers to use any medicine when they feel sick. Consequently, followers have been always died.
iii. It has created laziness to some followers who misinterpret scriptures. For example from the Bible they misinterpret some verses which says “ Let the people not to trouble about tomorrow that they eats or drinks let them search first the kingdom of God and others will be multiplied.” With this quotation many followers stays without working, they do spend a lot of time on preaching and working, consequently ,they becomes poor and dependants.
However, religion plays a great role in shaping human behaviors and belief. Besides religion assists much in addressing socio-economic impediments facing man. For proper functioning of a religion the call on religion tolerance should be encouraged, also priests and religious leaders from all sects or denominations should assist their followers to interpret some scriptures properly, as well as leading them faithfully.
RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE IN THE SOCIETY
Within a given state or nation like Tanzania there are different religions. Each religion has got own followers who are living together in the society therefore religious tolerance is very crucial in motivating mutual understanding within the society.
What is Religion Tolerance?
Is the condition of accepting or permitting others religious beliefs and practice which disagree with one’s own. For example in Tanzania there are several religions such as Christianity and Muslims. The doctrine, beliefs and liturgy of these religious differs. Besides; religion, culture and background differ, thus people should tolerate each other in order to avoid conflicts in the society.
Importance of Religion Tolerance
As already explained above religion tolerance is very crucial because it is made by the people who live in homogeneous society and thus should tolerates to each other. The following are importance of religion tolerance.
i. Religious tolerance facilities the presence of peace harmony and national unity at large.
ii. Religious tolerance assists the government to administer and rule the citizen easily. Because wherever there is tolerance there is peace and hence forth the government is easily to unify people and administers them very easily.
iii. Religious tolerance assists the people to share the scarce resources together like health services, education and others. For example in many countries where there is religion tolerance people from one religion use other religion resources like school and hospitals.
iv. Religion tolerance assist in avoiding some conflicts based on faith and doctrine. Wherever there is religious tolerance no any follower from one religion will challenge or provide other religion based on preaching style, practice and culture.
v. Religion tolerance eliminates government favoritism and people despising other religion. With religious tolerance the government tries to eliminate biases and thus citizen follows their government. For example Tanzania as a country is not dominated with any Religion or no religious influences have interfered in government matter.
vi. Religion tolerance assists the society to have good neighborhood and cooperation is socio – economic problems. The religion understanding bring cooperation and good neighborhood in solving socio – economic problem such as wedding, fund raising, funerals, good communication and others.
Religious Tolerance in Tanzania
In Tanzania there are many religions at the moment. The following are important of practicing religious tolerance in Tanzania.
Some Religious intolerance in Tanzania
Though some importance of religion tolerance shown above, there have been some incidents of religious intolerance. This has observed within a religion (intra religious intolerance), one religion and other (inter religion intolerance) and state with religion (state v/s Religious intolerance)
Intra Religious Intolerance
Intra religious intolerance is a situation whereby a religion tolerance is absent by member of the same religion (mainly between different sects in the same religion). Many studies have revealed that no necessary for a religious intolerance to occur from different religions, but within a religion it is possible.
The main cause of intra – religious intolerance include the following
i. Access of power and conflict. When there is a power struggle between the members of a certain religious group, there will be a great possibility of the occurrence of a conlict in a country. For example; Mwananchi newspaper, April, 12 – 18, 1993 reported the conflict which occurred at one of the ELCT church (at Mount Meru Dioses in Arusha). The report was about the power struggle between the Meru people and the Chagga. Meru claimed that Chagga are controllers of the Northern Dioces and thus they favoured the Chagga to the detrimental of Meru area. Also in Islamic religion the struggle for power has been revealed especially when contesting for BAKWATA leadership the conflicts have been inevitable.
ii. Other conflicts are caused by interpretations and understanding of belief. Also conflict within a religion according to Tambila and Sivalon (2001) can be caused with some people to misinterpret the scripture and hence differ in understanding such a belief. For example within the Christian religion, the Protestants do challenge Roman Catholic on translation of the Bible. But also in Islamic religion the two sects of Shiah and Sunni do challenge each other. Consequently, it leads to intra religious intolerance and conflict.
Inter – Religious Intolerance
Inter – religious intolerance is the situation whereby conflict emerge between two different religions. This is mostly reported type of intolerance in Tanzania. The conflict has been between Islamic and Christian religions.
The main causes of intolerance are:-
i. Humiliate each other through public preaching. These humiliation cause conflicts for example in recent years the Muslim follower named Dibagula provoked Christian publically claiming that Jesus is not God. The situation triggered the conflict between the two religions.
ii. Muslims were against Christianity about selling of pork in their settlement or over pork butcheries in some parts of Dar-es-Salaam. It consequently led Muslims vandalizing three pork butcheries on Friday 9, 1995 (Mwananchi April 2 – 18:1993)
iii. Also there are some incidents of intolerance between Muslims and Christians example recently the church was blown in Zanzibar.
iv. Muslims allegations about government favoritism on Christianity. Muslims have been claiming that many Christians have been offered high ranks in the government and that the numbers of students’ admission at high learning institutions have been favoring Christian. This also shows the absence of tolerance between these religions.
v. Muslim and Christian’s family struggle against a deceased person. There has been struggles to died person if it appear that he/she has a close relationship with these two religion. Previously there was a case at Kisutu Court to decide which religious could bury the body. This misunderstanding causes conflicts (intolerance)
State and Religious Intolerance
Besides intra and inter religions intolerance the state also can be intolerance with a religion. According to Rubanza and Tambila (2001) revealed some causes:-
i. Allowing operation of pork butcheries is area which are heavily populated with Muslims which consequently led the riot of Muslims
ii. The Mwembechai crisis of 1998 at Mwembechai mosque and surrounding this involved a police to shoot two people to death, wounding many others and arresting many Muslims. The conflict was the culmination of several events which pitted Muslims against Christian and against the state.
iii. The discriminatory against Muslim in matter pertaining education and unemployment of many Muslims compared to Christian.
iv. Refusal by government to set up Kadhi courts.
v. Prohibition of public cooperative preaching.
Even though there existence of religious tolerance in Tanzania it is party practiced as we can revisit general election in Tanzania many religion voted basing on religious favoritism. Besides there are some institution which cannot admit or employ a person from other religion. Thus, religion tolerance should be encouraged from family to a National level for the betterment of Tanzanians in the future
Secularism also called Secularity is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institution and religious dignitaries (the attainment of such is termed secularity).
It can also be defined as the idea of something being not religious or not connected to religious affairs. An example of this is the government of Tanzania, which is independent of any religion in many states.
(b)How man relates to philosophy and religion
(b) Identify some importance of religious tolerance