Persuasive Letter

May 5, 2013

123 Main Street
Any Town, NJ 12345

Dear Abdulsalem:
I know it has been awhile since I spoke to you but I just wanted to let you know I just took a philosophy class and really learned a lot. I know you have been hesitant about talking about your religion but I just wanted to share some thing with you and see if you will have a different view. The biggest thing I learned about was the difference between Theology and Philosophy. I may have always kind of grouped them together but I not only see how they can be similar in one religion but I can also now see how they can be different in others as well. By the end of this letter, I am hoping to persuade you to be open minded with things like philosophy and theology.
First, I thought it would be good to just go through a simple definition of what each is. Theology is simply the belief in God. I, myself being a Roman Catholic and you being Muslim just means we may call him something different but we both believe in a high power. With theology we both look for a clear understanding of our religion and make assumptions from our doctrines. Philosophy actually assumes nothing. It is different since philosophers are always looking for the proof of the argument. Philosophy is actually a discipline that uses reason and logic to understand its reality. I know you always leaned more to the philosophical side as you are a skeptic by nature. I, myself, am a true believer and do not need to “see” to believe.
In my class, I also learned about a few other religions and what they thought as well. Just to back up my own Christian upbringing, I thought I would share a view with you. AS you know the biggest question Philosophers have is if God really exists and if so, why did he send his son and how can he be referred to as the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. One of the Philosophers that tried to evaluate if God did exist was St. Anselm. He envisioned God as the “Greatest Conceivable Thing” and said that only a “fool” can think God does not exist. He created something called the ontological argument which simply means that God’s existence is self-evident and it is harder to believe there is no God. So even though he assumes God exists, his argument is valid because only a fool would think he did not.
I thought I would look into the Muslim culture and see if I can find an argument as well. I found something on the internet and thought I would share this too. Ibn Rushd (Averros) was a Muslim Philosopher and highly regarded in the West. His interpretations or Aristotle sparked interest among the other Muslims and Ibn sought to ease the tension between philosophy and religion. “His novel exegesis of seminal Quranic verses made the case for three valid “paths” of arriving at religious truths, and that philosophy was one if not the best of them, therefore its study should not be prohibited.” (http://www.iep.utm.edu/ibnrushd/) He was a strong believer that theology and philosophy went together and they helped demonstrate deeper meanings of their representation and words.
The last religion I looked at to see if they thought theology and philosophy went hand in hand was the Jewish culture. We both know they believe God exists just what is different from my religion is that they do not believe Jesus was already on earth. They do not believe that God would have put his only son on earth to suffer at the hands of others like he did. Moses Maimonides was a philosopher who attempted to reconcile reason and revelation.
I believe that each philosopher and religion proves that theology and philosophy can work together to prove there is a God and to understand that we are better off believing that to be true then not. We used to talk about how many people can believe in all different Gods yet we knew they were still referring to once diving being. This just proves that even though each philosopher needs proof, the unknowing can actually become the truth they search for.