I have never studied or even read much about philosophy but am very interested in it. The thing that I have always wondered is this:
Has the study of philosophy over the centuries actually made the world a better place, in terms of practical everyday living for average people, or is it just a luxury subject that some people enjoy thinking about?
If it has improved the world, in what tangible ways? Or does anyone think philosophy has any negatives or that we'd be happier and less worried if we didn't think about it?
I used to be a Christian and at that stage of my life I confused philopsophy with religion. But now I am an atheist and, taken overall, I think religion has made the world a worse place to live. Its contribution to art and other positives such as its acts of charity are outweighed by the wars it has caused and acts of inhumanity done in its name and by its need to control peoples' minds and actions.
Now I understand the difference between philosophy and religion, but I am not sure...