Arthur Schopenhauer’s Understanding of Religion and Her View on Philosophy of ReligionJune 26, 2021
Although Schopenhauer had placed his thoughts on an atheistic basis (which was a big step for his time) and described religion as a “metaphysics of the masses”, he was particularly fond of Christianity and Buddhism.
For him Christianity was a religion of pessimism, many dogmas and practices were structured within the framework of pessimism and could be beneficial for life. For example, according to Schopenhauer, “fasting” protected one to a small extent from the bondage of one’s desires, a mere insatiable cycle that often frustrates one’s consciousness, preventing it from conforming to it; it made the person a little stronger against their desires and weakened the desires a little.
Beyond Christianity, he had a keen interest and respect for Buddhism, which greatly influenced his thinking. Buddhism basically involved the destruction of wills as it led people to pain and disappointment, aiming at “nirvana” in which wills are destroyed and one is fully matured. It is a well-known fact that Buddhism and other Indian-based teachings greatly influenced Schopenhauer.
He thinks that Indian philosophy will greatly affect Europe in the coming days and will open new doors in Europe; He said that the influence of Sanskrit literature in the centuries to come would be as great as that of Greek literature in the 15th century. Especially in his later years, his respect for religious dogmas and the strange but important meanings he found in them increased; However, it should be noted that neither his philosophy nor himself was considered to be separated from the atheist foundation.