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In the Name of God بسم الله

Philosophy Classes

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Thank you.

First Question is about brother Qa'im's part:How "purely" based on tradition was the school of the traditionalists,"how much" aqli part did they had?

 

These were more like points of focus. People like Hisham b. al-Hakam, Yunus b. `Abd ar-Rahman, and Fadl b. Shadhan were theologians who debated their opponents with `aqli arguments. They still knew the naql and batin, but their modus operandi was mostly in the aql.

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(bismillah)   (salam)   I said I was hibernating soon, and in a sense that's still the case, since new projects beckon as wintertime gives way to spring, gardening and all that, but I'll still remain

(bismillah)   (salam)   This is a reminder that the first class, inshallah, will take place this Saturday, 4th April, at 12pm UK Time.    Please see posts #47 and #49 for finding out what this means o

Salaam Aleikum,    Here is the lecture

I found this letter interesting in that it states the side of the people of truth is they reason against their opponents:

 

Yazid ibn Abd Allah quoting a tradition: Imam al-Baqir (A.S.) wrote to Sa'd al-Khayr:
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I instruct you to practice piety, because piety makes one immune from corruption; and provides gaining benefit m the next World. Allah, the Glorious and Majestic, keeps away dangers from a pious person, of which he himself has no idea and because of piety He removes his ignorance and blind-heartedness too. It was because of piety that Prophet Noah and his companions in the ship were rescued from the Deluge, and Prophet Salih and his followers were not harmed by the thunderbolt. Because of piety, the patient ones were saved, those noble and selected people [Prophet Noah and Prophet Salih and their followers and all those people who were patient] were saved. [Now] they have brothers who follow the same path and seek the same virtue. Because of hearing of the punishments of the sinful, they controlled their passions and praised Allah for what has destined for them, because He is worthy of praise. They reproached themselves for their shortcomings as they always feel that they deserve reproaches. They knew that Allah, the Blessed the High, knowing and patient gets angry with those who were not living for His satisfaction. He denies His Divine mercy from those who would reject His bounty and let go astray only those people who would reject His guidance. He gave them opportunity to repent by replacing their bad deeds with good actions, and repeatedly invited His servants to do this, and made no limitation for their prayer. Allah's damnation is upon those who deny what has been sent by Him. Allah has made it incumbent on Himself to be Merciful, so His mercy precedes His wrath, thus his justice became manifest. So he does not become angry with them unless they would arouse His anger. This is clear enough to those who are pious, learned and faithful. Whenever a nation denied the knowledge of the Book, Allah made them deprived of it too. He also made their enemies rule over them, when they themselves accepted their rule.
One of the signs of ignoring the Book is to give too much attention to the words and accents and distort their meanings. They recite the verses, but do not apply them to their lives. The ignorant are happy with mere memorizing; but the learned people are sorrowful of seeing that the verses are not put into practice.
Another sign of ignoring the Book is that a group of ignorant persons are chosen responsible for the Book of Allah, and they direct people toward whims and lusts and thus paved their way to destruction, they changed the religion's guidelines and left it behind to a group of ignorant and stupid people. Thus the "Ummah" refer to men's commands and follow them whereas they must refer to the commands of Allah the Blessed and the Most High.Woe to the cruel persons who substituted men's mastership for Allah's and are expecting men's rewards and seek men's gratification instead of obeying Allah's orders. Among the Ummah are people who are devout practitioners of Islamic rules, but are gone astray. They are enchanted by the Satan and their worship is a source of confusion and sedition, both for themselves and for those who follow them.
There are pieces of advice and lessons for the worshippers of Allah [in the sayings of] Allah's Messengers. A prophet obeys Allah in each and every aspect, but when in one case disobeys Him then Allah cast him away from the Paradise, or throws another prophet into the whale's belly, and saves him only after he has repented. Then you [O Sa'd] know these pseudo scholars and pseudo priests who have concealed and falsified what was in Allah's Book. They were not led to the right path and their transactions incurred nothing for them but loss.
Know then their similar ones among the Ummah' those who watched the words in the Holy Qur'an, but distorted their meanings and commentaries. These people are always walking behind the superiors of the society, and when these latter ones are dispersed they follow those who have more and better worldly means. Their ultimate knowledge is not further than this. They always wallow in greed and infamy; and always talk vain words and the voice of Satan is heard from their mouths. The true learned men are patient with them when they hear harsh and offensive words from them. These people criticize the learned men, when they advise them to perform what has been ordered by Allah. Whereas the learned men feel treacherous if they leave guiding the people, or lead the ones who go astray or not revive one who is spiritually dead. How they got bad! Allah the Blessed and the most High has taken the pledge from them in the Holy Quran to enjoin the good and to prohibit doing what is forbidden, and cooperate with each other in doing what is good and virtuous, and not to help them in doing what is sinful and transgression. The learned men are put out of patience in harassment by these ignorant people. Because if they give a piece of advice, the ignorant persons will say they have become rebellious and if they teach the truth which is left unknown, they say that they are against the truth; if they lead the life of a recluse, people say they've separated themselves from the "ummah" If they ask for the reasons, they say they've become hypocrites; and if they follow and obey them they say: They've disobeyed Allah the Supreme and High.
May these ignorant people be annihilated! They don't have a clear understanding of what they read in the Book of Allah, they deny the Book and only half heartedly accept what's written in it and distort its meanings and do not think that what they do is immoral. They are similar to the priests, forerunners in pursuing their caprices and whims and the great men of the land of destruction. There is another group which is standing at the junction of guidance and misleading, who do not recognize the saved ones from those who go astray. They say that people did not have different ideas concerning the religion [at the time of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)]. They are right. When the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) passed away, he left behind him a clear and distinct Shariah. Not even a tradition was changed then and not an evil innovation appeared among them. They were not against one another. But when the darkness of sins enveloped the people, two Imams (leaders) appeared: One leading to Allah the Magnificent and High; and the other to the Hell Fire.
At this time Satan started to speak and his voice was heard by his followers who were increasing and entered into the partnership with him in wealth and offspring. Thus they neglected the Book and the Sunnah and the heretical practices were increasing. But Allah's friends clung to the Book and wisdom and started reasoning with their opponents. From that day on the followers of the right path and the evil doers separated their ways and those who were guided refused to cooperate and were reluctant to take side with the righteous ones, but those who had gone astray supported one another, in a way the mob inclined toward such-and-such. So know well this group.There is another group, observe them delicately, the noble ones, and do not separate from them, so that you would join these who dwell in the Paradise because: "Truly, those in loss are those who loose their own souls and their relatives on the Day of Judgment: Ah! That is indeed the (real and) evident loss!" (39:15).

 

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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

Here is a beautiful lesson I learnt from brother Qaim's talk.

During the major occultation, given that we have the divergent trends - rational, traditional, esoteric - and sometimes heavy methodological disagreements, as we did in the past, the solution is to recite a collective salawat and allow the hubb and love of the Prophetic Household to unite diverse characters.
 
This solution is better than takfir or even drawn out argumentation ad nauseam, because it allows for the sunlight to break into distinct colours.
Monochrome canvasses have no shade or shadow, because they have no depth.
 
One could expand on this, cite examples and analyse relevant texts, but I won't belabour the point.
It is a splendid lesson, which so often needs relearning. 
 

(wasalam)

Edited by Jebreil
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Salam

 

I don't get what you mean by collective Salawat. We all bless the family of Mohammad but we are divided and groups are against one another, and some scholars see others as misguided or even disbelievers. 

 

I think that sounds poetic and nice, but, you have to expand on exactly what you mean.

 

It's like stating to love Mohammad, and the Umma will unite.  I don't think it's that easy and simple. 

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During the major occultation, given that we have the divergent trends - rational, traditional, esoteric - and sometimes heavy methodological disagreements, as we did in the past, the solution is to recite a collective salawat and allow the hubb and love of the Prophetic Household to unite diverse characters.

 
This solution is better than takfir or even drawn out argumentation ad nauseam, because it allows for the sunlight to break into distinct colours.
Monochrome canvasses have no shade or shadow, because they have no depth.
 
One could expand on this, cite examples and analyse relevant texts, but I won't belabour the point.
It is a splendid lesson, which so often needs relearning.

 

Thanks so much for this. Something for me to think about ad nauseam now. Very good points. Rational, traditional, and esoteric... Methodological disagreements... True.

 

I don't think any less can be expected in a time of ideological chaos with no apparent leader, so acceptance and tolerance rather than being divided is probably the wisest...

 

Thank you.

Edited by Hazyn
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University has become an institution to make money and to make people who will make money, for themselves or for others.

It is just another organ of the capitalist machine, and a machine, as it approximates efficiency kills reflection, humanity and joy.

 

But I still can't perceive anything intrinsic to the nature of academic research that precludes the injection of intrigue and rumination. I think you have mistakenly undermined the value of the institution in its entirety on a faulty basis, when in fact it is the responsibility of the individual to be engaged in a spirited manner. Does not philosophy, in the context of this discussion at least, merely teach one how to think rather than what to think?

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Jebreil, 

 

That artistic piece you wrote was simply majestic, and its delivery the icing on the cake. 

It truly constitutes an offence if you don't intend to have it published. 

^ this is what I have been thinking too

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Can you tell me what Jebreil looks like? I'm craving to know.

 

Perhaps he'd like to commission a portrait.

 

Name your price.

 

Jebreil,

 

It was a pleasure to hear your calm, posh voice. 

 

Jebreil, 

 

That artistic piece you wrote was simply majestic, and its delivery the icing on the cake. 

It truly constitutes an offence if you don't intend to have it published. 

 

You guys! post-73242-0-64506200-1364157470.jpg this burgeoning bromance is so adorable.

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On academia, I won't continue on the same vein, but draw a single distinction and ask you to judge. 

Supposing we are still being educated well in academia; isn't it also true however that we aren't being edified through academia, but if at all then through learned friends and, especially, generous elders whose conversation brings a new dimension to one's life?

My experience and my interaction with many who have gone to university says it's true. 

 

Alas, I have no wise elders to consult nor intellectually refined friends to engage in an enlightening discussion. But what could possibly be a superior substitute to information buried in voluminous books and academic reports? Isn't the optimal method of learning to piece together the jigsaw puzzle by ourselves so as to obtain the edification sought? 

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On academia, I won't continue on the same vein, but draw a single distinction and ask you to judge. 

Supposing we are still being educated well in academia; isn't it also true however that we aren't being edified through academia, but if at all then through learned friends and, especially, generous elders whose conversation brings a new dimension to one's life?

My experience and my interaction with many who have gone to university says it's true. 

 

Alas, I have neither wise elders to consult nor intellectually refined friends to engage in an enlightening discussion. But what could possibly be a superior substitute to information buried in voluminous books and academic reports? Isn't the optimal method of learning to piece together the jigsaw puzzle by ourselves so as to obtain the edification sought? 

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I would agree that the education we get is based to serve the system.Besides the few (system)critical teachers and profs I had,I didn't get much encouraged to ask and search by myself.Best example is the monetary system...no one gets teached in school how it works but how important money it is.

Edited by mina313
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Best example is the monetary system...no one gets teached in school how it works but how important money it is.

 

That is the most bizarre aspect of my politics degree. It is shrouded in a conspiracy of silence. There isn't a single module dedicated to teaching the operation of monetary policy and its relation to fiscal policy; it's just assumed that everyone is on the same page. In my discussions with fellow classmates there exists a consensus that it ought to be taught, but no one has been bothered, or had the guts, to raise the issue as of yet. I guess the burden is on my shoulders in the second year.

 

Of course, the business and economics departments of every university teach a factually inaccurate model of the banking system, courtesy of the status quo neoliberal textbooks assigned for the course. Hence, it's of no surprise that monetary policy isn't taught, as the private banks are thought to be benign financial intermediaries in lieu of having the monopoly power over money creation. 

 

For a thorough and accurate understanding of the monetary and banking system I cannot emphasise strongly enough the importance of the following book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Where-Does-Money-Come-From/dp/1908506547/ref=pd_cp_b_0 

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(bismillah)



 

(salam)



 

I regret to inform you all that we won't be having class tomorrow. Instead, this lesson will be postponed till next week as we are busy preparing material.

 

Additionally, those involved in the project are grateful for the encouragement we have so far received and ask for continuing interest, patience and future participation.

 

:)

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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

There will be a class today at 1pm UK time inshallah, which is in 1 hour and 20 mins. 

It will be through the same platform Hazyn has generously offered us.

 

Qaim's talk is being postponed for at least 2 weeks, because the brother has had previous appointments to attend to.

The second part of my talk on the Virtues of Philosophy included substance which was planned to parallel and reinforce his lecture. 

For this reason, I will also postpone this particular piece. 

Instead, we will be doing one of the following:

 

a. A gentle start to the second series (please re-read OP if you have forgotten what this will contain)

b. A few paragraphs of Descartes' Meditations

c. A single philosophical proof for an interesting doctrine

 

There is a slight possibility that I could devise a talk that contains strands from all three.

This talk will look less like a lecture and so I will punctuate it with posed questions to the listeners, inviting participation to track how much we are progressing. 

It will also, by necessity, lack some of the charm of the introductory talks, because we will be engaging with less colourful concepts, focusing on propositional knowledge at the expense of suggestive insight. 

 

If God helps, for any philosophical problem we discuss, I will show how the solution of some theological or religious legal issues depends on properly deciding that problem.

 

(wasalam)

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Salam

I couldn't open the link you have sent brother Jebreil.Can you or anyone else post the paragraph you recommended to read here or pm me?

Thank you.

Salaam Aleikum,

Pardon if it came too late, but today i couldn't attend to class, but have some one recorded the lecture already?

I think sis starlight wanted to record it..not sure though.
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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

Dhulfikar

 

Inshallah someone has recorded it. 

Perhaps they can message you the file for you to edit and place on your channel.

 

mina

 

This was the link: http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdfs/descartes1641_1.pdf

 

Page 6, right-hand column, from Let us consider the things that people ordinarily think to page 7, left-hand column, where it says As I reach this conclusion I am amazed.

 

*

 

Thank you to all who participated.

I will write a paragraph later summarising what we discussed inshallah.

 

(wasalam)

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yeah.. I have the recording..... but it's not edited and I don't know how to...

 

bro Ali musa.. since I already have your email address should I send it to you for editing??? 

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brother Jebreil.... I have been thinking about the question that you asked at the end of yesterday's lecture "why is it important to know  if an object remains the same or not after a change" in reference to the incident where Prophet Musa's (a.s) staff changes into a serpent and back into a staff... and I have to admit I am very confused, very very confused.....

... and  I have no one else to blame for it but myself since I have decided to delve into the subject with no previous knowledge  and  probably no aptitude either unfortunately...

 

anyway, so the  thing that's confusing me is how does one define the identity of an object, an artifact? For me defining 'identity' for a living thing , for example, a human being seems simpler since we can relate the identity to the soul.  What is the criterion for identity for a material, non living object? is it the parts of an object that it is dependent upon for its identity? is it the chemical composition? is its existence in a certain time? or do we associate identity by how it is perceived by our senses? 

 Is there a definition of identity that is agreed upon by all schools of thought?? I think not, because the Puzzle of the ship of Theseus is still unsolved???

Now coming to the staff and serpent I daresay that they were three different objects since there was no biological continuity between the three.Like you said in yesterday's lecture , a person growing up  could be called the same person, or my  example here, if a fruit, say an apple is left to decay and it does so bit by bit over a period of days we could say its the same apple, even though the properties and appearance is different? but then maybe not....the thought just came to my mind that grapes, grape juice to be specific changes into wine and even though the biological continuity is maintained somewhat grape juice and wine are two very very different things. So, maybe biological continuity is insignificant too, contrary to what I thought earlier. 

 

Allah is the Creator 'Al-Mussawir' the Maker, the Giver of form, so did He create new objects by giving instructions to prophet Musa (a.s) , the snake and the second? staff?

 

 My thoughts have flown off on a tangent,probably in a completely wrong direction. Maybe I should restrict myself to things I am somewhat better at, teaching medicine, doing laundry, building houses with lego...

 

Very much looking forward to your next lecture.

 

the correct thing would have been to send this to brother Jebreil on skype ,but something's wrong with my skype, needs to be upgraded to a newer version or something so I posted this here instead. I apologise to the other members for the inconvenience of this long and rather nonsensical post.

Edited by starlight
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Salam

One question that came into my mind after thinking about identity..."the what". If identity is bound to characteristics which are changeable and are not secured or fixed the whole time..because actually everything is in motion and changing,moving and so on...what is the sense in questioning the what,the identity,if there is actually none,because it's changing the whole time.?!

So maybe things and we don't have a "real" identity but are only identifiable? Then "the what" could be "simply" recognised through repetetive clusters and structures even in different contexts and circumstances without the "need" for fixed characteristics.

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(bismillah)

 

(salam)

 

mina

 

This question you pose is philosophically ancient and important. 

You cannot step into a river twice, said Heraclitus, or even once, commented Cratylus.

Mulla Sadra and his school made motion intrinsic to Substance, and since every object is substantial, every object is ever-changing, never being, always becoming (though Sadra did believe that things answer to the 'What is it?' question, and it is a philosophical issue to discuss whether or not his answer is satisfactory given his other commitments).

David Hume, an empiricist of an extreme kind, disputed the distinct existence and persistence of composite objects, conjecturing them to be mental figments produced from a summation of closely-knit perceptions. 

But the Peripatetic philosophers would forever come back and ask, 'If there is movement, what is doing the moving? If there is a change, what is being changed?' 

I'll leave this hanging for now, as food for continuing reflection.

 

(Wasalam)

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