When I began to read your “Who doesn't need philosophy?” post, I immediately started to think of reasons why adherents of religious and nonreligious worldviews need philosophy as inquiry. Indeed, one can think of many good reasons why such adherents (especially the dogmatic ones) need philosophy.
However, as I continued to read, I noticed the irony of your post (particularly the final paragraph). It seems at least possible that your entry is a dialectic antiphrasis to make the point that we all need philosophy as inquiry, including sincere believers and religious and nonreligious dogmatists. Humanity needs to inquire because humanity needs truth. As Aristotle put it in the first sentence of the Metaphysics, all humans by nature seek to know.
Over the weekend, I found myself wondering whether your post is antiphrastic or literal. Do you really think philosophy as inquiry is unnecessary for the religious person? Or do you think the religious person should philosophize? I think the latter; I am curious to know what you think; either way I appreciate the thought provoking post.
To answer the reader's question I will write a commentary on my post.
Philosophy: Who Doesn't Need It?
The title is a take-off on Ayn Rand's Philosophy: Who Needs It? Rand's rhetorical question is not intended to express the proposition that people do not need philosophy, but that they do. So perhaps we could call the question in her title an antiphrastic rhetorical question.
Who doesn't need philosophy?
I don't approve of one-sentence paragraphs in formal writing, but blogging is not formal writing: it is looser, more personal, chattier, pithier, more direct. And in my formal writing I indent my paragraphs. That too is a nicety that is best dropped in this fast medium.
People who have the world figured out don't need it. If you know what's up when it comes to God and the soul, the meaning of life, the content and basis of morality, the role of state, and so on, then you certainly don't need philosophy. If you are a Scientologist or a Mormon or a Roman Catholic or an adherent of any other religious or quasi-religious worldview then you have your answers and philosophy as inquiry (as opposed to philosophy as worldview) is strictly unnecessary. And same goes for the adherents of such nonreligious worldviews as leftism and scientism and evangelical atheism.
The first two sentences are intended literally and they are literally true. 'Figured out' is a verb of success: if one has really got the world figured out, then he possesses the truth about it. But in the rest of the paragraph a bit of irony begins to creep in inasmuch as the reader is expected to know that it is not the case, and cannot be the case, that all the extant worldviews are true. So by the end of the paragraph the properly caffeinated reader should suspect that my point is that people need philosophy. They need it because they don't know the ultimate low-down, the proof of which is the welter of conflicting worldviews.
(The inferential links that tie There is a welter of conflicting worldviews to People don't know the ultimate low-down to People need philosophy as inquiry all need defense. I could write a book about that. At the moment I am merely nailing my colors to the mast.)
He who has the truth needn't seek it. And those who are in firm possession of the truth are well-advised to stay clear of philosophy with its tendency to sow the seeds of doubt and confusion.
Now the irony is in full bloom. Surely it cannot be the case that both a Communist and a Catholic are in "firm possession of the truth" about ultimate matters. At most one can be in firm possession. But it is also possible that neither are. There is also the suggestion that truth is not the sort of thing about which one side or the other can claim proprietary rights.
Those who are secure in their beliefs are also well-advised to turn a blind eye to the fact of the multiplicity of conflicting worldviews. Taking that fact into cognizance may cause them to doubt whether their 'firm possession of the truth' really is such.
The final paragraph is ironic. I am not advising people to ignore the conflict of worldviews. For that conflict is a fact, and we ought to face reality and not blink the facts. I am making the conditional assertion that if one values doxastic security over truth, then one is well-advised to ignore the fact that one's worldview is rejected by many others. For careful contemplation of that fact may undermine one's doxastic security and peace of mind. (It is not for nothing that the Roman church once had an index librorum prohibitorum.) Note that to assert a conditional is not to assert either its antecedent or its consequent. So it is logically consistent of me to assert the above conditional while rejecting both its antecedent and its consequent.
The reader understood my entry correctly as "a dialectic antiphrasis to make the point that we all need philosophy as inquiry, including sincere believers and religious and nonreligious dogmatists."
In saying that I of course give the palm to Athens over Jerusalem. But, if I may invoke that failed monk and anti-Athenian irrationalist, Luther: Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders.