Quotes on religious knowledge systems

Quotes on religious knowledge systems

These quotes on religious knowledge systems will help you to explore its nature, form links with other WOKs and AOKs, and provide discussion points for TOK lessons. They will also support you as you address knowledge questions within your TOK essay and TOK presentation.

Consideration points

  1. What do the quotes suggest about the nature of religious knowledge systems as an area of knowledge?
  2. What do they suggest about the purpose of religious knowledge systems?
  3. Are the quotes consistent, or do they clash about the role it plays as an area of knowledge, and its relationship with others WOKs and AOKs?
  4. Can you think of other ways of knowing and areas of knowledge that these quotes relate to?
  5. How many of these thinkers are you familiar with? Research the ones you haven’t come across before – and, indeed, the ones you think you already know. Click on the names to take you to the corresponding Wikipedia article, although this should only be used as a starting point for your research.

Finally, how would you use the quotes to construct a typical IB Diploma TOK essay title? Look at , and see if you can compose something similar (and think about how you’d go about structuring it)

1. The nature and purpose of religious knowledge systems

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
Gautama Buddha
The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place, but a state of mind.
John Burroughs
Wonder is the basis of worship.
Thomas Carlyle
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Tenzin Gyatso (14th Dalai Lama)
Where knowledge ends, religion begins.
Benjamin Disraeli
I am a deeply religious nonbeliever – this is a somewhat new kind of religion.
Albert Einstein
Lived religion is a very different thing from strict textual analysis. Very few people of any faith live their lives as literalist interpretations of scripture.
Mohsin Hamid
The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life’s wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion.
Herman Hesse
If faith is lost, there is no security and there is no life for him who does not adhere to religion.
Muhammad Iqbal
Did God invent us, or did we invent God?
Eddie Izzard
Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.
Soren Kierkegaard
Religion is the opium of the masses.
Karl Marx
God is a thought who makes crooked all that is straight.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Human beings must be known to be loved; but Divine beings must be loved to be known.
Blaise Pascal
All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.
Edgar Allan Poe
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
One person’s religion is another person’s cult.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.
George Bernard Shaw
There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
George Bernard Shaw
Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters.
Isaac Bashevis Singer

2. Religious knowledge systems and emotion

The true meaning of religion is thus, not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion.
Matthew Arnold
I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.
Henry Ward Beecher
I ask you to pray for me, for once age has overtaken us, we find consolation only in religion.
Paul Cezanne
Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.
G.K. Chesterton

3. Religious knowledge systems and faith

The enemies of the Christian religion and the Law of God confuse law with faith.
Randall Terry

4. Religious knowledge systems and language

In the world of language, or in other words in the world of art and liberal education, religion necessarily appears as mythology or as Bible.
Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

5. Religious knowledge systems and reason

A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.
Francis Bacon
God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It’s as simple as that.
Joseph Campbell
Happiness is a mystery, like religion, and should never be rationalised.
G.K. Chesterton
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Galileo Galilei
The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one.
David Hume
If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.
H. P. Lovecraft
There is nothing in our book, the Koran, that teaches us to suffer peacefully. Our religion teaches us to be intelligent.
Malcolm X
Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand.
Karl Marx
Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.
Bertrand Russell
Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.
Arthur Schopenhauer
The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reason.

6. Religious knowledge systems and the arts

Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Supreme serenity still remains the Ideal of great Art. The shapes and transitory forms of life are but stages toward this Ideal, which Christ’s religion illuminates with His divine light.
Franz Liszt
He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them, needs religion.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

7. Religious knowledge systems and ethics

I reject any religious doctrine that does not appeal to reason and is in conflict with morality.
Mahatma Gandhi
It’s simply untrue that religion provides the only framework for a universal morality.
Sam Harris
Teach a child what is wise, that is morality. Teach him what is wise and beautiful, that is religion!
Thomas Huxley
There seems to be a terrible misunderstanding on the part of a great many people to the effect that when you cease to believe you may cease to behave.
Louis Kronenberger
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine
The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Thomas Paine
We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
Jonathan Swift
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
George Washington

8. Religious knowledge systems and history

I think students should know something about religion as a historical phenomenon, in the same way that they should know something about socialism and humanism and the other great ideas that have shaped political philosophies and therefore the course of human events.
Steven Pinker

9. Religious knowledge systems and the human sciences

But in terms of how people live together, how we minimize the prospects of conflict and maximize the prospects of peace, the place of religion in our society today is essential.
Tony Blair
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
Napoleon Bonaparte
Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.
Mahatma Gandhi
Religion is part of the human make-up. It’s also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy.
Christopher Hitchens
Religion creates community, community creates altruism and altruism turns us away from self and towards the common good… There is something about the tenor of relationships within a religious community that makes it the best tutorial in citizenship and good neighborliness.
Jonathan Sacks
A cult is a religion with no political power.
Tom Wolfe

10. Religious knowledge systems and the natural sciences

A universe with a God would look quite different from a universe without one. A physics, a biology where there is a God is bound to look different. So the most basic claims of religion are scientific. Religion is a scientific theory.
Richard Dawkins
I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
Richard Dawkins
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
Albert Einstein
The conflict between religion and science is inherent and (very nearly) zero-sum. The success of science often comes at the expense of religious dogma; the maintenance of religious dogma always comes at the expense of science.
Sam Harris
Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.
Pope John Paul II
Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power religion gives man wisdom which is control.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them, needs religion.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Cite this page as: Dunn, Michael. Quotes on religious knowledge systems (10th September 2013). theoryofknowledge.net. http://www.theoryofknowledge.net/areas-of-knowledge/religious-knowledge-systems/quotes-on-religious-knowledge-systems/ Last accessed: 19th March 2018


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