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In the Name of God بسم الله
janali

Mantiq (logic)

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Not sure I agree. That which the logicians and philosophers call "the principle of contradiction" (asl al-tanaqus), is defined as "imtina` ijtima` naqhidhain wa imtina irtefa` naqhidhain" (the impossibility of conjunction and negation of two contradictories). In any case, even if we call it that, it is derived from the principle of contradiction..

The translation begins with 'The law of non-contradiction in traditions' rather than the 'principle of contradiction'. Presumably this is a translation error? The law of non-contradiction says 'not (A and not-A)' and this is different to the law of excluded middle 'either A or not-A'.

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Is there a difference between "law of contradiction", "law of non-contradiction", "principle of contradiction", "principle of non-contradiction"? They are all used (loosely) synonymously as far as I know (except for example in the context of discussions with dialectics). Maybe from this aspect the jump from principle of contradiction to law of non-contradiction was justified. Although you are right, I always use the former in translations, because there is a clear difference in technical definition (ijtima wa irtefa), which encompasses both law of non-contradiction (ijtima) and law of excluded middle (irtefa)..

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Bro The Persian Shah,

Can we say for certain that whether we realize it or not, we're always using laws of logic if we want to correctly understanding something?

Let's say we read in an authentic hadith, Imam Ja'far (as) ordered us to do X.

So, what's going on in our mind is this:

1. Whatever Imam commanded us must be obeyed.

2. Imam Ja'far commanded us to do X.

3. Therefore, we must obey him & do X

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Bro The Persian Shah,

Can we say for certain that whether we realize it or not, we're always using laws of logic if we want to correctly understanding something?

Let's say we read in an authentic hadith, Imam Ja'far ordered us to do X.

So, what's going on in our mind is this:

1. Whatever Imam commanded us must be obeyed.

2. Imam Ja'far commanded us to do X.

3. Therefore, we must obey him & do X

Of course, well noted. As was pointed out by more knowledgeable brothers previously, the laws of logic are a Divine blessing inherent in everybody's mind. Aristotle was only the first (known) to attempt to codify them (i.e. wrote them down), he didn't "invent" them - people were using their brains before him too. So then, what is the point of learning it if we already know it? The answer is that we use them subconsciously and since we don't pay much attention to them we commit mistakes in our thinking. By paying more attention and being really precise, we can "prevent errors in our thought" which is exactly what is noted under the chapter heading "the benefit of logic". Even sometimes great logicians who wrote the textbooks made simple logical mistakes in some of their comments. Which is why Shaykh Al-Ra`is, Ibn Sina, (and many others) says to learn it and practice it fully for two years until it becomes a malakah (permanent state) for you..

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A very logical law indeed but when imam Sadiq asws was asked if Quran is created or creator. He asws said neither of the two. It is Kalam Allah.

The Quran is undoubtedly created. There are many ahadith about this. I believe it is some of the 'ammah who believe it is not created but their evidences are weak.

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Without logic, programs would not run, neither would any sentence make sense. When you speak language, you automatically using logic. Language is built on axioms. Learning logic doesn't bring anything new, it just fine tunes your understanding and use of it. In computer science, it's transferred to set theories in which you learn to deal with sets.

There is no harm in learning logic, it only benefits. There is no dangers as people say there is. There is only benefit in learning logic. You learn common fallacies and how to arrange arguments and analyze language propositions as well as mathematical propositions.

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Is there a difference between "law of contradiction", "law of non-contradiction", "principle of contradiction", "principle of non-contradiction"? They are all used (loosely) synonymously as far as I know (except for example in the context of discussions with dialectics).

Well 'non' is a negation of what follows, in this case the negation of (the possibility of) a contradiction. And that's negating the possibility of [A and not-A]. If you google law of non-contradiction you'll only get the 'not [A and not-A]' rule, not the law of the excluded middle. I didn't know until I read your post that in Islamic philosophy (and probably Aristotelian philosophy) both these rules come under the umbrella of 'principle of contradiction'. I guess the reason classical philosophers grouped them under the same heading is that they both dealt with contradictions, one rule denying the possibility of both contradictories being true, and the other denying the possibility of both being false. It's worth mentioning that whilst the latter is equivalent to the law of excluded middle, strictly speaking it states : 'not not (A or not-A)', rather than (A or not-A). It's also worth mentioning that there is a small contingent of philosophers who deny the universal applicability of excluded middle whilst affirming the law of non contradiction, and that's another reason keep them separate in discussions.

Edited by .InshAllah.

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It's worth mentioning that whilst the latter is equivalent to the law of excluded middle, strictly speaking it states : 'not not (A or not-A)', rather than (A or not-A).

Well spotted.

It's also worth mentioning that there is a small contingent of philosophers who deny the universal applicability of excluded middle whilst affirming the law of non contradiction, and that's another reason keep them separate in discussions.

What is their argument exactly?

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Bro The Persian Shah,

Can we say for certain that whether we realize it or not, we're always using laws of logic if we want to correctly understanding something?

Let's say we read in an authentic hadith, Imam Ja'far (as) ordered us to do X.

So, what's going on in our mind is this:

1. Whatever Imam commanded us must be obeyed.

2. Imam Ja'far commanded us to do X.

3. Therefore, we must obey him & do X

Since this question is related (in one perspective) to the third aforementioned argument against the legitimacy of using logic, it would be appropriate to provide the refutation of that argument and elucidate the truth.

Argument #3:

The textual/narrative evidences (Qurʾān and ḥadīth) are the only legitimate means to follow. Whenever something contradicts with the textual evidences, the textual evidences are given higher authority.

Reply:

Overview

The true reason behind the stance that ahlul ḥadīth (the people of ḥadīth) have taken against logic relates back to their view concerning epistemology in Islam. They believe that the only way to "reach reality/truth" is through the Divine revelations, which include:

1) The Qurʾānic text, or

2) Aḥādīth from the Prophet and Ahlul-Bayt (as) - the latter negated by our Sunnī brothers.

Therefore, we pose the following questions:

What is/are the correct mean(s) to reach the truth/reality? and which epistemological view should one adopt in Islam?

There are numerous prevalent worldviews:

1. Experimental/Scientific: Acquired through the bodily senses and experiments.

2. Religious: Acquired solely through the Qurʾān and Sunnah whereby they dominate and govern the intellect.

3. Mystical/intuitive: Acquired through spiritual realizations.

4. Intellectual: (self-explanatory) - The intellect governs all other sciences.

There is no need, at the current moment, to dwell into each worldview and discuss its details. However, it is not difficult to prove that the fourth worldview is the correct and most accurate one to follow. The simplest proof is that when deciding which worldview you want to adopt, undoubtedly you do it through working your intellect. So, by definition, you need to use your intellect on a primary level.

For further elaboration and discussion, refer to the book of Āyatullah Mesbāḥ al-Yazdī titled, 'Theological Instructions.' (the book can be found here: <http://www.scribd.com/doc/20748186/BOOK-Theological-Instructions-%C4%80m%C5%ABzish-e-%E2%80%9BAq% C4%81-id-223-pp>, page 29-30)

Also, refer to the book of Āyatullah Muṭahharī (which I'd like to give my dear brother MAHFJ the credit for pointing this out to me) titled 'Fundamentals of Islamic Thought', p. 68 and onwards, p. 146 and onwards).

For those who know Arabic, refer to Āyatullah Sayyed Kamāl al-Ḥaydarī's book titled 'madkhal ʾila manāej al-maʿrifa ʿind al-Islamiyyīn - An introduction to the epistemological views in Islam. He (dt) does a great job at discussing all these worldviews (even more than the mentioned above) in detail. The book is available on his website.

Āyatullah Jawādī Āmulī states:

"The only scale for the sciences is what has been aforementioned regarding the necessary/axiomatic knowledge or what relates back to it. This is acquired through the intellect and not the senses, experiments, narrations or traditions. Therefore, the true knowledge revolves around the pure intellect ( ... ) where the Imām (as) said in a reply to Ibn al-Sikkīt when he asked him (as):

What is the proof (ḥujjah) upon the people today?" The Imam relied, 'It is the intellect (al-ʿaql). Through the intellect one recognizes those who speak the truth from Allah, thus, one acknowledges their truthfulness and those who lie about Allah, thus, one denies/rejects him." Ibn al-Sikkīt then said, "This by Allah is the answer" (al-kāfī, v. 1, chapter of al-ʿaql wal-jahl, ḥadīth 20), because knowing the Prophet truthful to Allah and the one who claims Prophethood [thus] lying to Allah does not occur but with knowing Allah and His names (...) and this knowledge does not occur but with the pure intellect ...

(source: ʿAlī bin Mūsa al-Riḍā (as) and Divine philosophy, p. 22)

It is noteworthy that Āyatullah Jawādī Āmulī in his book presents many narrations that are supported by the logical and philosophical principles.

Rebuttal

1. Since it has become evident that the ḥujjiyah (proof/authority) of believing in God, Prophethood, Imamate, resurrection, etc only occurs through the intellect, we conclude that the intellect governs all other beliefs. We only believe in God because intellect proves to us that a God exists, and that us, as creations, must obey that God. It also proves to us that God must be Just, and it is because of His Justice that He sends messengers and prophets to humanity to guide them on the path towards Him. Imamate and resurrection are proved in a similar manner.

Therefore, it is correct to say that if a narration, even if it was the most authentic narration we have, contradicts with a conclusive logical principle, then the logical principle is given priority over the narration.

Why? again, because it is the intellect that led us to accepting narrations from the Divine and His messengers. Therefore the intellect has authority over the Qurʾān and Sunnah.

Example: If an authentic narration explicitly mentions that God has a physical body with hands, legs, etc we automatically reject that narration since it contradicts with a conclusive/decisive logical principle which states that God is not physical and cannot be limited or defined.

2. The Qurʾān and narrations clearly established the authority of the intellect. An example of the narrations is given above. As for the Qurʾān, there is an abundant amount of verses that support this fact, examples are, but not limited to, the following:

a. Have they not traveled over the land so that they may have hearts by which they may apply reason, or ears by which they may hear? [22:46]

b. And if you ask them, 'Who sends down water from the sky, with which He revives the earth after its death?' They will surely say, 'Allah.' Say, 'All praise belongs to Allah!' But most of them do not apply reason. [29:63]

c. Indeed in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, and the ships that sail at sea with profit to men, and the water that Allah sends down from the sky &mdashwith which He revives the earth after its death, and scatters therein every kind of animal— and the changing of the winds, and the clouds disposed between the sky and the earth, are surely signs for a people who apply reason. [2:164]

3. We conclude from the aforementioned verses that the method that leads us to believing in God is through applying reason (i.e. via the intellect). Therefore, nothing that comes from the Divine must conflict with the intellect. For how can they defy the tool/means that led us to believing in them.

Insha'Allah this clarifies the confusion. I would like to apologize for the lack of clarity, which is due to the limit of my understanding, along with other factors of insufficient time and energy, etc.

Wasalam

Edited by Imami_ali

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(salam)

^ Jazakallah for that post

I was thinking about this whole issue, and to me it seems obvious that the intellect is essential, especially in matters of religion. How is one to determine that Islam is the true religion if not by intellect?

I would like to ask, what is Islam's position on using the intellect in deriving the laws of Allah (swt) - the shari`a?

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(salam)

^ Jazakallah for that post

I was thinking about this whole issue, and to me it seems obvious that the intellect is essential, especially in matters of religion. How is one to determine that Islam is the true religion if not by intellect?

I would like to ask, what is Islam's position on using the intellect in deriving the laws of Allah (swt) - the shari`a?

It depends what you mean by intellect. Brother Imami ali's post was informative but he didn't clarify what he meant by 'intellect'. Intellect in the sense of formal logical reasoning is necessary to derive laws of Allah swt, and without it no laws could be derived. If a hadith commands x or a verse commands y, how do we turn that hadith/verse into an obligatory law? By applying something like this:

1. If God commands something then that thing is wajib

2. God commands x

therefore

3. x is wajib

Or, for example, applying the laws of the sharia to individual cases:

1. If the drink is wine then the drink is haraam (law of sharia)

2. This particular drink infront of me is wine

therefore

3. This drink is haraam

In symbols:

1. If p then q

2. p

therefore

3. q

This syllogism is known as 'modus ponens'. This is why people who deny the necessity of logic dont know what theyre talking about. So, as I said, 'intellect' in the sense of knowing the principles that govern logical reasoning (like modus ponens) is necessary. But that isn't sufficient to derive laws - we need more than that. We need 'intellect' in a broader sense that includes basic principles other than formal logical reasoning. An uncontroversial intellectual principle that would fall under this broader sense of 'intellect' would be what the fuqaha refer to as hujayyit althuhur (authoritativeness of apparent meaning) in its general sense: If a hadith says do xyz then we take it on its apparent meaning unless we have good reasons to the contrary. For example, if we are told to wash our faces before salaat then we should actually physically wash our faces, not interpret the command in a metaphorical or spiritual way against the apparent meaning, unless we have good reasons for doing so.

Someone might argue that hujayyit althuhur is proven from the ahadith, but that wouldnt work, as a prerequisite to understanding these very same ahadith is applying thuhur, so the argument would be circular.

Beyond this it gets more controversial.

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(bismillah)

(wasalam)

This is a good topic of discussion and i wanted to add my view point which inshalla i hope some of you find conductive.

Mantiq is a crucial neccessity as an individual progress’s through life which in turn develops through ones experiences, knowledge and their intellect. The laws of mantiq are applied in nearly every instance of an individual’s life which drive’s them to act and to conclude in a certain way within the boundaries of their beliefs. Ones belief itself is the conclusion of their understanding and acceptance through logical means.

Using mantiq in our daily life’s and to apply mantiq to conclude a finding are two separate issues. Great thinkers and intellects of past and present apply the laws of mantiq to much greater boundaries which are sometimes beyond their capable capacity in which Allah created them in. Now to what extent can one apply the laws of mantiq to conclude a finding before it becomes controversial is the issue I believe.

To apply the laws of logic and to inturperate and to conclude the sharia can be dangerous regardless of the depth and capacity of the individuals understanding on the particular matter. The Masoomeen were appointed as Allah’s Wilayat Ul Mutliqah and through them Allah commanded the sharia. The Masoomeen even with their great level of insight never used their own logical reasoning to drive a particular law but rather taught us that which has been commanded by Allah.

Now to apply the laws of logic and to drive further rulings from the sharia which then becomes part of the sharia is a serious issue. Even though the intent may be pure the consequences of such verdicts can be harmful as:

1) a non infallible surely cannot conclude that which Allah desires

2) different Alims will differ with their rulings and understanding of the sharia

3) the sharia eventually becomes a battlefield of conflicting verdicts

This is evident through various rulings of learnered Alims who differ drastically with their conclusions. Mantiq is a crucial factor and a great tool for self advancement but should be concentrated within its boundaries and not be used by tampering with the divine laws of Allah.

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