Metaphysics and the core of most religions seem to overlap. What's the difference between them, if there is one?

asked 03 Oct '09, 08:40

Jason%20King's gravatar image

Jason King

Metaphysics is the discipline that studies what is beyond the material. While religion involves dogma and rigid beliefs and more of an organizational structure. The former is more individual in its path, the second, more organized and structured by leaders.


answered 04 Oct '09, 19:17

Alma's gravatar image


Straight and to the point. Do you ever think that maybe the metaphyaics may prove the existance of God or an higher being one day as they check out what is beyond the material? Alma

(09 Nov '09, 05:08) flowingwater

You said Metaphysics is the discipline that studies what is beyond the material. Than their is so much to study isn't it. For what we can't see and understand is enormous isn't it? Alma.

(18 Jan '10, 06:40) flowingwater

well flowing water for me it is proven God exist. if you mean to prove it in the physical for every one to see then you might have a problem. because not many are at that stage yet and they would not see or want to believe. because they are not born again. well experience and enjoy.

(18 Nov '11, 00:11) white tiger
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

Meta etymologically means: after, beyond,self, among other definitions. Physics: means nature, natural science; it is the study of matter

A religion is a system of human thought which usually includes a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to a higher power, deity or deities.

Based on the above definitions the difference between religion and metaphysics is clearly that of empowerment versus dependency.

Ted Turner characterized religion a few years ago as a "Crutch for the Weak-minded", which sent the religious community into an uproar. While his comment ring true to a lot of people, the role of religion in the world cannot be underestimated.


answered 04 Oct '09, 19:44

user-32%20%28yahoo%29's gravatar image

user-32 (yahoo)

There is no need to go into metaphors people. Very simple. Metaphysics is based on science and religion is based on peoples beliefs.


answered 04 Oct '09, 21:20

Luciano's gravatar image


Metaphysics is a little more esoteric.


answered 05 Oct '09, 19:57

Penny's gravatar image


It's kinda funny when I am asked what religion I am. I answer I'm Roman Catholie raised but I beleive in metaphysical theories. Many people have no Idea what I'm talking about. I feel that it contributes to what ever religion you are. Metaphysics provides a bit more self focus on your true belief wheather you are Buddist, Jewish, Catholic, Christian etc.... Basically you do not have to pray to saints like at church at sunday mass. You become more involved in the stucture of your future.


answered 09 Oct '09, 03:09

Phil%20O%27Brien's gravatar image

Phil O'Brien

well i tell them i am that i am.

(18 Nov '11, 00:14) white tiger

Religion carries the belief and perception of group, to put it straight its seeing through others eyes. Metaphysics is more based on the reality supported by facts. Let me try to make ith throuh one of the example: Cocunut Trees are worshipped to an extent of God in one of the culture, cutting down a cocunut tree is a kind of disrespect- Religion view. The reason must be that it gives a good yield and the tree is completely of use and so on.. This can be a metaphysical view.



answered 07 Oct '09, 11:36

Keerthi's gravatar image


Bearing in mind that people will always disagree about the correctness of certain definitions (a fact that pertains directly to what metaphysics is all about), metaphysics is "the branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value." (The Free Dictionary by Farlex.) So is that the "real" definition of metaphysics? What is real? Language itself is merely symbolism. There is no intrinsic meaning to a group of squiggly lines that we call letters and words. So "metaphysics" and "religion" themselves do not mean anything other than what someone says they mean. If enough people agree, there can be a generally accepted definition, but then words and their meanings are always evolving. So your question and the various answers you receive are an example of what metaphysics deals with. What is real? What's the relationship of what we think and what is? What's the relationship of what is and how we name it?

Much of this website is dealing with that part of metaphysics that explores the relationship between our thoughts and reality, and the possibility of creating reality through our thought processes. Generally speaking, religion is "belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe". (Definition again by The Free Dictionary.) So, while metaphysics deals with what we say reality is and what we can do to create, religion says someone or something other than ourselves brought all things into being and has the correct definitions of what it all means. Our purpose is to learn the truth from that "other" and revere the "other."

So you might say that metaphysics is more centered on ourselves, and we take responsibility on ourselves for what is and what we do with it, and what we become. Religion is more centered on the "other" who creates and governs creation, and our responsibility is to take our directions from that creator.

The themes and topics of both religion and metaphysics are often the same, but they are approached from different directions and in different ways. And there are areas where the distinction between the two are blurred.

Religion and metaphysics are both much broader areas of study than the relatively narrow focus I've seen so far on this website, so I appreciate your question, Jason, as it may open up a larger field of inquiry. Thank you.


answered 09 Oct '09, 04:42

John's gravatar image


edited 09 Oct '09, 06:41

Consider this quote attributed to Buddha: "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. "

(09 Oct '09, 05:31) John

religion is the way how we live. the moral rules. metaphysic is searching what is beneath the surface of the matter.. everyone has a religion, but only few people understand metaphysic.A person can be a religious person and doesnot believe or work on metaphysic, or either can be metaphysic lover understand how the world infact is and does not believe in god.. or can be both religious and Metaphysic lover.. they are not connected.


answered 09 Oct '09, 09:04

ayse's gravatar image


Religion preaches certain set of practices to be followed in order to achieve deliverance and if you dont follow it, you are called anti religious,some of these practices have no scientific base.Meta physics doest through you out when you dont practice, you can experiement with it.


answered 11 Oct '09, 05:48

Basawaraj's gravatar image


Beloved, religion is putting the divine outside of yourself while metaphysics gives you a peek of who you truly are and what you're capable of...........Enjoy the game! namaste


answered 05 Sep '10, 01:35

daniele's gravatar image


religion is what mankind has translated from messages from spirit, which is what most of the bible is written from, i.e. prophets. Most prophets received messages from god/higher power. Metaphysics is also becoming a religion as it also takes those same messages and honors them as well as honoring other messages that are still coming through.

Meta - great than Physics - physical

Metaphysics as a religion is the worship of something great than the physical, a higher power. That's the same thing as religion. Religion worships god which is a higher power, great than the physical. Only without the strict structure as mainstream religions have.

I am a metaphysical minister and have opened up a metaphysical church, we have services, religious books from different religions. No one religion is wrong and no one religion is right it's all in how you interpret the writings. As a metaphysical minister we acknowledge and respect all religions for god spoke to all of the different cultures differently throughout history and this created the different religions.


answered 17 Nov '11, 18:39

Rev%20Michael's gravatar image

Rev Michael

Put very simply, religion deals with what others are telling you to believe, and metaphysics deals with you seeking your own truth from within. We all can do this by meditating.


answered 11 Jun '10, 19:01

Karen%202's gravatar image

Karen 2

The difference between Metaphysics and Religion are:

Metaphysics reaches beyond the nature (“physics”) as we perceive it, and to discover the “true nature” of things, their ultimate essence and the reason for being, while Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, purpose of the universe, creation of a supernatural agency, and devotional, and ritual observation often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.


answered 05 Sep '10, 03:55

Inactive%20User's gravatar image

Inactive User ♦♦

different part of the same absolute truth. like i said take what is good and leave the rest. and like i always say experience and enjoy.


answered 18 Nov '11, 00:22

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

the same as it has been since the last 'golden-age',
somethings are measurable but not necessarilly of substance or form,
then there are those-things that we believe in our imagination with faith
and are celebrated in groups of those with these like beliefs


answered 18 Nov '11, 01:05

fred's gravatar image


Metaphysics are activities that concern forces that extend beyond the range of our five senses ... religion is based on belief in a power beyond our comprehension.


answered 18 Nov '11, 07:59

blubird%20two's gravatar image

blubird two

Religion is the fruit that flows from one branch of Metaphysical thought.

Aristotle divided Metaphysics into three branches: Ontology – The study of being and existence; Natural Theology – The study of a God or Gods and questions about the existence and spiritual essence of humankind; and Universal Science – The study of first principles.


answered 04 Jan '13, 12:21

Chicken%20Little's gravatar image

Chicken Little

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