Presentation on theme: "Man and Animals Knowledge and Faith Reference: Man and Universe By Ayatollah Murtaza Mutahheri."— Presentation transcript:
Man and Animals Knowledge and Faith Reference: Man and Universe By Ayatollah Murtaza Mutahheri
Man and Animal Man has many things in common with animals but also has many dissimilarities which can make him superior to animals. Like animals man has wants and desires and makes efforts to secure and realize them. However – Man knows more – Understands better – Wants and desires are of a higher level.
Awareness and desire in animals 4 prisons of animals An animal knows the world through its external senses only. That is why its knowledge is: 1.Superficial & does not penetrate the things & has no access to internal relations. 2.Partial (not general but limited). 3.Regional (confined to its living environment) 4.Limited to present & unconcerned with past or present. (Animals are not aware of their world history & dont think of the future). If an animal does come out of the 4 prisons it does so instinctively and unconsciously, and not by its own choice.
Limitations to wants and desires in animals Like its knowledge the level of wants and desires are also of limited scope. 1.Its desires are material and limited to eating, sleeping, playing mating and building a home or nest. – No desire for spiritual needs, moral values, etc. 2.All desires are personal (selfish) or at most limited to its mate and young ones. 3.Desires are regional (only related to living environment) 4.Desires are instantaneous pertaining to present time. If animal breaks out of above limitations it does so unconsciously, instinctively and by the direct order of God (eg bees).
Awareness and desire in man Mans knowledge passes from exterior of things to their inner reality. His knowledge not confined to any particular place or time. His knowledge extends to events which took place before his birth and also extends to other planets and stars. He seeks objectives which are not just materialistic but also are in the interest of entire humanity. Man often gives more importance to his ideology. Service to others may be of more consequence than his own welfare.
Basis of the distinction of Man Mans vast knowledge of the world can be termed as science. Mans superior spiritual tendencies if based on an intellectual infrastructure is faith. Main difference between man animals: Knowledge and faith. Some western scholars maintain there is no significant difference and mans wants and desires are similar to an animal. (Thomas Hobbes). Some say the main difference is that man can feel pain and pleasure better than animals. (Descartes)
Is humanity a superstructure? Because of similarities and dissimilarities with animals man has a double life: an animal life and a human life. Material life and a cultural (ideological) life. Some scholars conclude that humanity of life is not important and what is important is his animality. These theories not only deny the importance of human tendencies towards belief in Allah but also understates mans rational approach.
Evolutionary march of man begins from animality but should proceed towards the highest point of humanity. Animality of man is nest in which humanity develops. Evolution of society takes place exactly in the same way as the evolution of soul in body. The culture and ideology of society is its soul. The perfect man will be a man of knowledge and faith with a sublime ideology not a man only concerned with material needs.
Relation between Knowledge & Faith Certain parts of Old Testament have created an idea of contradiction between knowledge and faith. Eg. Book of Genesis, Ch 2, verses 16-17: Of every tree of the garden mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. According to this God wants than man should not be aware of good and evil. The Forbidden Tree is the tree of knowledge. Man attains knowledge only if he rebels against Gods command.
Holy Quran tells us that Allah taught all names to Adam and then ordered angels to prostrate themselves before him. Prophetic traditions tell us that the Forbidden Tree was related to the animality of Adam, not to his humanity.
It is this conception which has divided European culture during the past 1500 years into two distinct periods: age of faith and age of science. Science and faith have been placed in opposition to each other. Islamic history divided into two periods: period of advancement of knowledge & faith and period in which both of them declined.
Faith & Knowledge supplement each other Knowledge gives us light and power Faith gives us love, hope and warmth. Knowledge helps make appliances and accelerates progress. Faith determines the purpose of human efforts and gives direction to them. Knowledge brings about outer revolution. Faith causes inner revolution. Knowledge makes the world mans world. Faith makes life the life of humanity.
Knowledge expands the existence of man horizontally. Faith lifts it up vertically. Knowledge trains mans temperament. Faith reforms man. Knowledge beautifies reason and thought. Faith beautifies spirit and feeling. Knowledge provides outer security. Faith provides inner security.
Knowledge gives protection against diseases, floods, earthquakes and storms. Faith provides security against restlessness, loneliness, sense of insecurity and low thinking. Knowledge harmonizes the world with man. Faith harmonizes the man with himself.
Dr Iqbal said: Believe me, Europe today is the greatest hindrance in the way of mans ethical advancement. The Muslim on the other hand, is in possession of these ultimate ideas… Pure scientific training can produce a semi- man not a complete man.
Can knowledge and faith take the place of each other? Knowledge cannot take the place of faith which gives us love and hope besides light and power. Faith removes selfishness. Faith also cannot take the place of knowledge which makes us familiar with nature and aware of ourselves.
Separation between knowledge and faith causes irreparable losses. Faith without knowledge ends in prejudice and serves no purpose. Without knowledge, faith becomes a tool in the hands of the clever hypocrites, eg Khawarij, wahabis, etc. Knowledge without faith is like a sharp sword in the hand of a drunken. It is a lamp in the hand of a thief to help him steal at midnight.
Where there has been knowledge without faith, the knowledge has been used wrongly, for instance, to amass wealth, power, exploitation.