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Dualism in Islam?


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#1 AskerOfQuestions

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:18 PM

How far does Islam agree with the Dualism?

#2 Shia & Proud

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:21 PM

There's a body and there is a soul. That should pretty much answer your question.

#3 AskerOfQuestions

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:28 PM

There's a body and there is a soul. That should pretty much answer your question.


Not really

Does the soul have a location? If so where is it?

How can we prove that our souls are individual

#4 Shia & Proud

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:33 PM

^The location of the soul doesn't make a difference. Heard of property dualism? It's still dualism. So long as you make a distinction between mind and matter, you are a dualist.

#5 AskerOfQuestions

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:37 PM

^The location of the soul doesn't make a difference. Heard of property dualism? It's still dualism. So long as you make a distinction between mind and matter, you are a dualist.


Strawson argues that we cannot count minds in the term Descarte puts in. How do I know that my soul today is the soul I will have tomorrow? What evidence is there to suggest this when the soul has NO location, NO mass, NO physicality.

#6 Shia & Proud

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:41 PM

^Strawson demonstrates how it is the same mind, or whether there can be more than one mind. Regardless of this, so long as you are accepting these two (regardless of number or whether they are substance, states or properties), you are a dualist. Before you question the nature of the soul, question its existence. If you are actually going to go ahead and believe in the soul, you will have to accept that it doesn't have location or physicality, unless you are a property dualist. Even there, you'll have loads of problems. No one is saying the only form of dualism is Cartesian.

Edited by Shia & Proud, 30 November 2009 - 03:10 PM.


#7 AskerOfQuestions

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 04:59 PM

Well how can we explain this "body" and "soul" that we believe?

We believe we have only one soul, but applying the Strawson logic could put us in trouble.

I am not sure what a property dualist is, if you could explain it?

#8 Shia & Proud

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 05:14 PM

Property Dualism is the belief that there are mental states and physical states, but the mind and body are not two different substances, as Descartes had suggested. However, mental states cannot be found in the brain since they are a different property. In other words, there is no ghostly soul looming over our heads or whatever beliefs there may be. They hold the stance that this property is there when we are born and dies when we die (Unlike substance dualism).

Well it all depends on whether you are a materialist or a dualist. Ryle would refer to the soul as a 'dogma of the ghost in the machine', that human behaviour is mistakenly ascribed to mental and physical states. The terms 'belief' and other such 'mental states' are mistakenly catagorised as mental states, whilst they are in reality a fragment of folk psychology, and physical in nature. Or you can take the Dualist stance and countless of questions will arise from there.

Edited by Shia & Proud, 30 November 2009 - 05:15 PM.


#9 AskerOfQuestions

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 05:49 PM

Property Dualism is the belief that there are mental states and physical states, but the mind and body are not two different substances, as Descartes had suggested. However, mental states cannot be found in the brain since they are a different property. In other words, there is no ghostly soul looming over our heads or whatever beliefs there may be. They hold the stance that this property is there when we are born and dies when we die (Unlike substance dualism).


Property Dualism suggests that our soul/mind dies when our bodies do? That doesnt seem like an Islamic belief.

Well it all depends on whether you are a materialist or a dualist. Ryle would refer to the soul as a 'dogma of the ghost in the machine', that human behaviour is mistakenly ascribed to mental and physical states. The terms 'belief' and other such 'mental states' are mistakenly catagorised as mental states, whilst they are in reality a fragment of folk psychology, and physical in nature. Or you can take the Dualist stance and countless of questions will arise from there.


Materialist notion goes against Islam does it not? Does it not suggest that the mind will also perish?

#10 eThErEaL

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 01:54 AM

How far does Islam agree with the Dualism?


We certainly don't believe in the Cartesian dualism; we don't believe in two mutually exclusive "substances" which have nothing to do with each other.

To the extent that we do indeed believe that there is a spirit, and a body we can be called dualists. But to the extent that we believe that there is a barzakh in-between the spirit (ruh) and the body (jism), which we call the soul (nafs), we can be called nondualists!

the soul (nafs) which contains within it, bodily elements and spiritual elements (since its an in-between-ness) starts out initially as a mere body (we all started off unconscious no? we were a drop of semen and we were as good as lifeless) and ends up into something purely spiritual.

body = imperfection.
spirit = perfection.
soul = a transition from imperfection to perfection within a time span.

Once our perfection is reached, we are no longer in need of our body. Once our perfection is reached, our soul becomes united and one with the spirit. Our soul is no longer a body once we reach our perfection. This perfection is called "death".

By perfection. this does not mean we become infallible saints. :)
By perfection, we mean simply that our identities become fixed. Perfection means that we no longer have any chance for "improvement" or "de-provement".
By perfection we mean the degree to which we were able to live up to our spirit. So being "one" with or "identical" to the spirit does not necessarily mean being "one" with or "identical" to the spirit as such or the spirit in its utter perfection. To the contrary, to be "identical" or "one" with the spirit, means to be "identical" or "one" with the spirit insofar as we have lived up to it, or insofar as we were able to be in harmony with it.

This very harmony or this very living-up-to (or lack thereof) mentioned above is in fact what is known as the "subtle body" (jasad) as opposed to the "dense body" (jism) which we find ourselves with right now. This jasad is who we really are (it is our true identity). This jasad has not only one form, but many forms at once (it is after all a "spiritualized body", or a "perfect" body). It not only has many forms at once but also perceives things much more intensely than the way way we perceive things right now.

This is just a general idea of what is involved. This issue is way more complicated than what was just outlined. and although it may have sufficiently answered your initial question, it will probably create more questions.


.

Edited by eThErEaL, 01 December 2009 - 01:58 AM.

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#11 AskerOfQuestions

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 12:04 PM

Could you clarify the actual difference between the soul and the spirit?

You seem to suggest that the spirit is the "in-between" element. I still dont understand how the spirit is both partially physical and non-physical.

Maybe I just didnt understand your reply.

#12 eThErEaL

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 02:12 PM

Could you clarify the actual difference between the soul and the spirit?

You seem to suggest that the spirit is the "in-between" element. I still dont understand how the spirit is both partially physical and non-physical.

Maybe I just didnt understand your reply.



its the soul (nafs) that is the "in-between-ness" of the spirit and the body.

1) The spirit (in itself) is not sensible and therefore invisible. The spirit is also simple and noncomposite. it is pure awareness or consciousness. it is meaning.

2) The body (in itself) is sensible and therefore visible. the body is essentially composite and infinitely divisible. It in itself unaware or unconscious. it is form.

Now it is quite clear that we have never experienced any of the two qualities (numbered above) by themselves. Have we ever expericed pure simplicity or pure invisibility? or pure awareness? no we have not. Have we ever expereinced pure sensation, or pure composition? no we have not. the pure body itself doesnt even exist for one to even experience it.

So how then can we talk about them and know these two qualities? The answer is that we dont know these two qualities in and of themselves. but we know them when both quaities come togetehr and are mixed. If you look at the word "cat". This word is exprienced the way it is precisely because it is a mixture of "form" (the visible word written out) and "meaning" (the invisible essence of what it means to be a cat). So we can see "a coming together" of form and meaning. we can experience an inbetweenness of form and meaning. If you wat to know why modern philosophy (Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza) pretty much fail, it is because they have lost sight of the reality of "inbetweenness". Only the existentialist philosophers have almost captured this reality, but their problem is that they have lost sight of the fact that spirit and body are also seperate (or they dont emphasize it as much). the difference between the two approaches is that of methodology. the moder philosophers use the methos of "ratiocinaion". When people use this faculty they will have the tendency to seperate things and place them in different catgeories. They will be careful to distinguish between "A" and "-A". the method of the existentialists however ignore the faculty of ratiocination and instead try to capture the bare experience of things without rationalizing them. that is why they fuse togetehr "A" and "-A". This is the facculty of khayal (imaginal faculty). Both of these two methods if used alone, are problamatic. The correct approach is to use both "khayal" and "ratiocination" when trying to understand something. so remember, "ratiocinaion" separates, while "khayal" brings together. This approach of using both "khayal" and "ratiocination" is grounded in Sacred Tradition. It is found in the Traditions of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity. By Tradition i mean "sacred tradition" not "conventional tradition". these are esoteric teachings found in all sacred revealed traditions. This goes to show that only when one is gruonded in a religious tradtion will they not deviate or miss the mark. People who have faith in religion will always prosper. and the philoophers who think for themselves will always fail.

#13 Shia & Proud

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 02:21 PM

Property Dualism suggests that our soul/mind dies when our bodies do? That doesnt seem like an Islamic belief.



Materialist notion goes against Islam does it not? Does it not suggest that the mind will also perish?


I never said property dualism is Islamic and yes, materialism doesn't comply with the Islamic concept of mind and matter - since Islam is also dualist.

We certainly don't believe in the Cartesian dualism; we don't believe in two mutually exclusive "substances" which have nothing to do with each other.

To the extent that we do indeed believe that there is a spirit, and a body we can be called dualists. But to the extent that we believe that there is a barzakh in-between the spirit (ruh) and the body (jism), which we call the soul (nafs), we can be called nondualists!

the soul (nafs) which contains within it, bodily elements and spiritual elements (since its an in-between-ness) starts out initially as a mere body (we all started off unconscious no? we were a drop of semen and we were as good as lifeless) and ends up into something purely spiritual.

body = imperfection.
spirit = perfection.
soul = a transition from imperfection to perfection within a time span.

Once our perfection is reached, we are no longer in need of our body. Once our perfection is reached, our soul becomes united and one with the spirit. Our soul is no longer a body once we reach our perfection. This perfection is called "death".

By perfection. this does not mean we become infallible saints. :)
By perfection, we mean simply that our identities become fixed. Perfection means that we no longer have any chance for "improvement" or "de-provement".
By perfection we mean the degree to which we were able to live up to our spirit. So being "one" with or "identical" to the spirit does not necessarily mean being "one" with or "identical" to the spirit as such or the spirit in its utter perfection. To the contrary, to be "identical" or "one" with the spirit, means to be "identical" or "one" with the spirit insofar as we have lived up to it, or insofar as we were able to be in harmony with it.

This very harmony or this very living-up-to (or lack thereof) mentioned above is in fact what is known as the "subtle body" (jasad) as opposed to the "dense body" (jism) which we find ourselves with right now. This jasad is who we really are (it is our true identity). This jasad has not only one form, but many forms at once (it is after all a "spiritualized body", or a "perfect" body). It not only has many forms at once but also perceives things much more intensely than the way way we perceive things right now.

This is just a general idea of what is involved. This issue is way more complicated than what was just outlined. and although it may have sufficiently answered your initial question, it will probably create more questions.


Firstly, are you suggesting that the soul only comes into existence with our birth? And if so, why doesn't it die as our body dies?
Secondly, if you are saying that once our soul reaches perfection and then reunites with the 'spirit' (I want a source for this), and no longer needs the body, then you have clearly shown that it is dualism.
Thirdly, by 'inbetween' in 'barzakh', what is meant is we are in between worlds, namely the dunya and akhira. Not in-between body and spirit?

#14 eThErEaL

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 04:00 PM

Firstly, are you suggesting that the soul only comes into existence with our birth? And if so, why doesn't it die as our body dies?
Secondly, if you are saying that once our soul reaches perfection and then reunites with the 'spirit' (I want a source for this), and no longer needs the body, then you have clearly shown that it is dualism.
Thirdly, by 'inbetween' in 'barzakh', what is meant is we are in between worlds, namely the dunya and akhira. Not in-between body and spirit?


1) the soul is nothing but the very body at the beginning. nohing but a lump of flesh initially.
2) the soul just becomes spiritualized over time. it is not dualism insofar as the soul is the very transition (in a time span) from body to spirit. once the soul becomes spiritualized, the body disintegragtes into nonexistence (or becomes governed by other souls like plant soul, animal soul--as we see in the food cycle perhaps).
3) the Koran uses "barzakh for the meeting point of the sea and the fresh water. it means inbetween ness in general. there are 3 types of barzakh. one is that between heavens and earth. another is between nonexistence and Being. and another is between body and spirit.

#15 kumail786

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 06:41 PM

As far as dualism goes we do believe we have a body and a soul.
At school i do philosophy and compared to a certain philosopher who believes we can access things through our soul, islam differs.



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