The Difference Between Religion, Philosophy, and Science

The Difference Between Religion, Philosophy, and Science

From US Customs and Border Protection: "What is "religion" under Title VII? "


"For purposes of Title VII, religion includes not only traditional, organized religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, but also religious beliefs that are new, uncommon, not part of a formal church or sect, only subscribed to by a small number of people, or that seem illogical or unreasonable to others."


US law protects unpopular and illogical religions.


"Title VII’s protections also extend to those who are discriminated against or need accommodation because they profess no religious beliefs."


US law protects the freedom to be nonreligious.


"Religious beliefs include theistic beliefs (i.e. those that include a belief in God) as well as non-theistic “moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.”


US law protects and recognizes non-theistic religion.


"Religion typically concerns “ultimate ideas” about “life, purpose, and death ... Religious observances or practices include, for example, attending worship services, praying, wearing religious garb or symbols, displaying religious objects, adhering to certain dietary rules, proselytizing or other forms of religious expression, or refraining from certain activities.  Whether a practice is religious depends on the employee’s motivation."


Religiosity means implementing a core philosophy via worship, meditation, symbols, and personal standards. Not every philosophy is worship-based, but all worship is philosophical.




Religion vs. Philosophy vs. Science

Religion is a system of beliefs that address fundamental questions about life, nature, and existence. Religion is philosophical by nature, but not every philosophy is religious. Religion embodies an unwavering commitment to a set of ideas, beliefs, or practices. Science isn't considered a religion because it's open for revision. Religiosity is unquestioned devotion, philosophy is critical curiosity, and science is test, retest, and revision.


Differences Between Religion, Philosophy, and Science


Unquestioned devotion


Critical curiosity


Test, retest, revise


As people progress through life, their experiences, exposure to new ideas, and personal development may contribute to swings between religiosity and nonreligiosity. There may be times when an individual embraces religiosity, seeking solace and meaning in unwavering convictions. During such times, the hesitation to question can provide a sense of stability and security.

In contrast, there may be moments when people incline toward nonreligiosity, which is defined by critical curiosity and a desire to question, expand, and change their beliefs. This phase frequently includes an openness to different points of view, a dedication to continuous learning, and awareness of the changing nature of knowledge.

The relation between religiosity and nonreligiosity clarifies a malleability of beliefs and behaviors. Religiosity and nonreligiosity aren't mutually exclusive, people can indeed travel along a spectrum of varying levels of thought, questioning, and convictions at different points in their life.

Individuals can negotiate life's difficulties by adopting a multifaceted approach that incorporates religion, nonreligious philosophy, and science as needed. Many people find meaning and solace in religion, which provides them with a moral compass and a community of shared ideals. Philosophical curiosity encourages critical thinking and open-minded exploration, allowing people to challenge assumptions and widen their views. Science, with its empirical rigor, offers a methodical approach to comprehending the natural world. Balancing these components enables people to approach difficulties from a comprehensive viewpoint, combining faith, thoughtful inquiry, and evidence-based understanding.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.