the big bag philosophy
A Philosophy is like a Big Bag
... into which we throw everything whatsoever. Some of these bags are smaller than others. Some have definite shapes and some select few have hard exteriors that cannot be misshapen. These are more like boxes than bags. They are inconvenient to carry around ... hence, there are few of them and damn few willing to lug them around.
Let me elucidate the difference between "loose" and "tight" philosophies.
When you throw something into your "bag", you will say "I understand that now", i.e. if it's in the bag, it's understood in relation to all other things. Inside the bag there should be a hierarchy of smaller bags into which all things are placed. It should be understood that no one has the all inclusive hierarchy with a little bag for every little thing possible. We all have some "slop" inside the big bag marked "To be sorted" which means, "I don't presently understand this but it goes into the bag hierarchy ... somewhere.".
In the loosest bag, there is no bag hierarchy. There is only the "slop". There are no internal bags within bags. The big bag is just an empty void into which everything is heaped helter-skelter. It isn't to be sorted later ... it's never to be sorted out ... except by God ... who will do it for us ... in the form of his representatives, i.e. priests & clerics.
They'll do your thinking for you. You don't have to bear the responsibility of independent thought. They will tell you what to do and what to think. All you must do is "Obey" ... without question ... because ... they are infallible ... (but of course). They even say this right up front without embarrassment.
Religion's bag is made of rubber
It stretches to accommodate anything whatsoever ... even blatant contradictions. After all, who can doubt God's mysterious "plan"? These contradictions are only apparent, eh? You better believe it!
No matter what happens ... "It's God's will" ... "It will all work out in the end". I like what James Randi said on his site a few weeks ago. The Pope said that when he was shot, it was God's will that the bullet would not kill him. God caused the bullet to miss its mark ... to which Randi replied (more or less) ... "Yeah, God guided the bullet ... right into his stomach". Thanks God. When thousands are killed by floods, everyone prays ... most die ... the few freak survivors have tales to tell of divine intervention. "I prayed to our lady of Guadalupe, and the tree I climbed up in was the only one left standing. I know that God heard my prayer." Apparently, the 100 other schmoes in the adjacent trees weren't praying ... but we'll never know 'cause ... they're dead.
Thus, religion accommodates anything whatsoever and turns it toward "divine ends".
The opposite type philosophy has little in the way of wiggle room
My philosophy requires that the constants associated with the universe change with time (they all start out equal, quantitatively, as "1" and change from there). If this is not so, I am undone and everything I have endeavored to understand is subject to suspicion. It may be that some things are right and others wrong ... but my fundamental "bag" is falsified. Actually, since my bag is rigid, it's more of the box type. I must fit the pieces into it as I find them. For if they don't fit, I take it that there is something wrong with the box. If I must adjust the "fit" of my box to accommodate new data, I lose confidence it it.
Not so with religion. If something doesn't seem to fit ... just stretch and enlarge it. No problemo! You can see why I have no respect for the world's religions ... they have no standards ... no absolutes but one ... which is ... anything goes in the bag ... "God did it".