Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

Existential Amiss

September 30, 2018

Common sense, Reason, Logic, Causality, Imagination, Morality & Ethics!

 Image result for Pic of Existential amiss

I intended to write this piece in a secular fashion but the overwhelming relevance of the Divine wisdom kept piercing through my thought canvas, hence surrendered making it part of the discourse. Human discourse or argumentation, anyway, barely scratches the obvious externalities of the issues while the Divine wisdom put forth the internally woven realities in a succinct yet aptly simple manner. One may notice the examples of such Subtleties in the course of reading this treatise.

Had Common sense, reason and logic been potent enough to reach the absolute certainty of the conclusions drawn, there would have been no need for the Divine religions to barge in. All of these tools are perceptual or experiential outcomes of human endeavors which; given the deficient nature of human faculties; are incapable of coming even remotely close to the level of Divine Wisdom; Revelation, the only fait accompli. (A subtle hint/deduced from Q, 17; 37) Hence some of the precepts of the religion are above and beyond the realm of human commonsense, causality, reason and logic, exuding perfect certitude and submission. (A state of affairs enormously repugnant and conceptually unacceptable to the secularists, anti-religionists and non-believers)

Note:- similar debate has been going on for long. a brief excerpt is quoted here.

[The innovative Jahmiyyah and Their Relatives from Ahl al-Kalaam Asharis and Maturidis fought the greatest battle and contention between the followers of the revealed Books and the sent Messengers and between the followers of the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans. Those who contradict the revealed texts with their reason (aql), and think the reason is definitive over the revealed texts].

Common sense is really not as common as perceived. Variegated sense perceptions render it somewhat-common, partially-common, quasi-common or purely individualistic rather than really-common in the true sense of the word.

  Reason and Logic are even more disparate; propitious-reason and logic; sometimes referred to as rationality; are used to justify a conclusion, one is at home with. (Rational bias) A slightest dissension or differentiation would entail disapproval or divergence. Therefore, all these tools may create some sort of near or quasi-convergence but not an absolute or conclusive one. Logic is derived from the Greek word “logos”. In Muslim Philosophy another Grecian alternative “monads”*1 is used instead, to justify a position/stance by distinguishing a good reason from the bad one. It is only the Divine revelation (wisdom, word) which is flawless, absolute and ultimate-truth; authoritative in its perception, understanding and validity…worthy of even blind-Faith.

Kurt Gödel puts it succinctly as follow:- 

The logical axioms that underlie everyday things like arithmetic depend on us accepting as reasonable the notion that infinity comes in several different sizes.

In Islamic parlance, however “pristine-reason” (Haq al Yaqeen); in the absence of a human messenger; is considered to be potent enough for a rational being to come; at least, to the cognition of the existence and oneness of God, hence obviating disbelief. “Pristine-reason” here, is “elevated to the status of a “non-human-messenger” of God, for reason gains an edge when the logic fails rational being. (Deduced from Q, 17: 15)

Contemplative tools; human faculties, given the amiss, may help us reach the level of most probable/likely certainty (in the temporal, ancillary and ritualistic matters) but not that of an absolute certitude (in the core matters of belief/faith); which is only possible by Divine consent/intervention through the heart (Q, 10:100), as in the above case of cognition of God’s Oneness. Here the externality of this intervention cloaked in the garb of; “pristine-human-reason”, is upgraded to the status of “non-human-messenger”

Non-believer’s obstinate rejection of the Divine, religious injunctions and that of hereafter; though based on (tenuous and vitiated) reason, logic and common sense, amply explains their state of affairs.           (Q, 10:100)

*1 Universal Spirit, the first cause, singularity, Divine, Intermediary agent etc.

Imam Ghazali;- “With regard to sense-perception says; it made him very hesitant to accept the infallibility of reason. He believed in the testimony of sense till it was contradicted by the verdict of reason. Well, perhaps there is above reason another judge who; if appeared, would convict reason of falsity and if such a third arbiter is not yet apparent it does not follow that he does not exist.”

When Imam Ghazali could not reconcile the philosophical dispensations with the Divine wisdom, (Obviously there is no comparison between the two; one represents the mundaneness, while the other, word of the Divine) he turned to Sufism.

In quantum physics (Double-Slit) experiment, our act of observing something seems to change what’s observed – we are ourselves part of the experiment. Is this the ultimate problem of self-reference, one that suggests a limit to how much we can ever reason about—our surroundings—the universe?

 Role of the religion, therefore, becomes inevitable; for it presents us with flawless and absolute truth; which is perceptually-authoritative and practically valid, engendering “Taqwa”. [Innate reverential-fear (Awe) of Allah (SWT). Distinct from the usual fear of other (agencies)]

An incisive consideration and pondering, on just two of the aspects of the divine religion: 1) Belief in the hereafter. 2) The contentment would vouch for and warrant religion’s inevitability.

Belief in the hereafter is often considered a conceptual absurdity and theological fallacy hence rejected by the non-believers. Belief in the hereafter, however, is the source of immitigable hope and equity, which no atheistic belief/doctrine/philosophy may even, conceives to offer. Unbelief in the hereafter renders one scuttled of many realities. Such as; ultimate-reality; ultimate-hope; ultimate-triumph, and ultimate-Justice. One, without the belief in the hereafter, is like, latching onto the event-horizon of a black hole of hopelessness and despair. The statistics, available on depression/hopelessness resulting in suicide and homicide, is a vindication of this fact. Conversely, in the overwhelmingly religious affluent Middle East, there are hardly any such issues, hence NO mental hospitals needed.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/scuttling-the-mental-capacity/

Contentment is a huge blessing for a rational being. When someone (even a non-believer) is suffering; no relief in sight; distressed/desperate, resorts back to God, is blessed with His mercy. (Q, 27:62) Overwhelmed with gratitude, he takes a sigh of relief and the most joyous sense of contentment sets in. (One’s resorting back to God while distressed, means un-recalcitrant-submission; invigorating the innate impulses; meeting the pre-requisites; of belief in Him, His injunctions, including the belief in the hereafter).

Is He [not best] who responds to the distressed/desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth?” (Q, 27:62)

“Deprived is the one who has been deprived of the reward of enduring distress”  (Khidr–a.s)                                                                                                                                          Fasting in the month of Ramadan from dawn to dusk is a fine practical example of it; whereby one is patiently content (nafs-al-mutmai’nna) all day long, hoping the accrual of the temporal and divinely rewards at the end of the day.

Faculties of thinking and the exercise of Free-will (choice) are also signs of deficiency on the part of the creation. Allah does not think but intends; for He is omnipotent; causer of both, the cause and the effect. Nothing wrong/bad may emanate from His essence (Q, 48:23); but from His schematic creational activities, such as the creation of rational beings inseminated with good and bad. Indeed, Our word to a thing when We intend it is but that We say to it, “Be,” and it is” (Q, 16:40)   On the other hand; when rational beings would exercise the option of intention; in the similar fashion; (without thinking and deliberations) it is bound to be fraught with pitfalls, for rational beings are created with an existential amiss.

Imagination is of non-local (metaphysical/spiritual) origin; for it traverses both, the local and non-local domain. Therefore, those who accuse believers of worshipping an “imaginary God” are, unwittingly, admitting this reality. God inculcated, in the constitution of the rational beings, two-pronged sense of imagination (topical and non-topical); a schematic molding, hence the relevance and necessity of Divine and Divine religion becomes inevitable. God does not think but “Wills” whereas man’s will (choice) subsists in God’s will whereby He equilibrates it with the elements of hope and fear, (existential amiss) rendering it rationally operative. (Q, 17:57)

People need religion because it is the blueprint for the functioning of the “Soul” in the temporal realm. Voltaire, an archpriest of rationalism, alludes to this inevitability in a mundanely best possible way: “Man would have to invent God, even if He does not exist”

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/?s=inevitable+God

Religious Truth is multifaceted. It is comprised of science, logic, philosophy, history, ethics, and experience all mixed together. It is, in a sense, a different kind of knowing, not ignorant of the other kinds of truths (known and yet to be known), asserting the inevitability of the religion.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/scientific-elaboration-of-surah-at-tin-fig-95-verse-4/

 (Hadith) Every child is born on Nature— (his natural disposition/course. Resorting back to/linking with the Creator)

“It is asserted here that fitrah is the essential condition and state of existence in which God fashioned mankind; with innate impulses/urges including the sense of good and bad; fear and safety; pain and relief; cognition of God; submission, transgression and arrogance etc. (existential amiss–Imperfection, tendency/choice to swerve). It is present in the very essence of the creation and is inextricably kneaded into the very substance of the “rational beings” (Q) which is acutely elicited in the following verse.

 

إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الاٌّمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الإِنْسَـنُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ
نَظَلُوماً جَهُولاً –

 “We did indeed offer the Trust to the Heavens and the Earth and the Mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid thereof: but man undertook it;- He was indeed ignorant  and foolish” (Q, 33:72)

 

Ordinary beings, given their basic knowledge of the religious fundamentals, are tested for their weaknesses (existential amiss). The window of forgiveness is wide open for them; even if they have a mountain of mistakes/sins on their back; as long as they keep seeking forgiveness with utmost sincerity and a commitment not to repeat the same. (There is no numerical or time limitation)  This is an esoteric expression of the unbounded mercy of the Creator; for the people of knowledge and intellect who understand.

Men of knowledge (Aalim/Scholar), given the higher degree of knowledge, are tested for the equitable dissemination of the knowledge while acting upon it themselves as is due. Their test becomes harder and their failure attracts equally harsher punishment, for they are given the knowledge as the inheritors of the Prophet (PBUH).

Prophets; given the highest degree of knowledge and the duty of disseminating the message entrusted to them, often face the hardest of the tests for their perseverance, firmness, devotion and endurance instead. They are immunized of the mundanity (existential amiss) to a large extent due to their highest station/status. (Protected from major sins—Asmah/Masoom); which keeps them even from minor sins but some rare slips. (Q, 4:31)

“If you avoid the major sins which you are forbidden, We will remove from you your lesser sins and admit you to a noble entrance [into Paradise]” [Q, 4:31]

Hadith: when a companion asked the Prophet, despite being a Prophet of Allah why do you always keep asking for His forgiveness? He replied; “for any moment passed without His remembrance” This emphasizes the point that one, regardless of his station, should never be oblivious of the innate existential amiss and always keep asking for His forgiveness.

“Cause and effect” is a phenomenon of the sequential morphing of things/ideas in the space-time spectrum. It, however, can’t continue ad-infinitum. It also cannot fully transcend back into the metaphysical/spiritual realm. Therefore, becomes unhitched, regressive, and even ineffective. ‘Ex Nahilo’ is an outright negation of temporal phenomenon of “causality”. God (SWT); the very first (primal) cause, therefore, is the sole cause/causer of the Universe. (Creational activity in the space-time realm is known as “Khulq/Takhleeq” )

“When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is” (Q, 2:117)

In the absence of space-time spectrum, there is but an intention/will (ordinance {Amar}), of the primal cause, for the matter/idea to come into being. In the metaphysical/spiritual realm, contrary to the physical realm, no material/tangible cause has to exist to produce a material/tangible effect. Divine causality, therefore, is inimitable by the rational beings in the space-time spectrum. (Creational activity in the absence of space-time spectrum is known as “Takween”)

Takween is derived from the word “KUN” fayakun. It is beyond and above the physical laws of the universe and does not need the matter, time or space for a thing to come into existence. (Ex Nihilo=Out of Nothing). Bypassing the temporal physical laws or the temporal causality is also called Takween. {creation of Adam and Jesus Christ—PBUT}

 Temporal causality vs. Divine causality

Here are vivid differences.

In temporal causality, a causer may activate the cause but may not have the capability to determine the effect. He would also not have the capability to alter the effect (outcome) of a cause. A rational being may be dealing with a clear cause or INUS (insufficient but non-redundant parts of conditions; which in itself unnecessary, but sufficient for the occurrence of the effects). This distinction would not exist in the Divine causality.

In Divine causality, The Causer of the cause and effect is the same. The Causer is omnipotent to alter/determine the effect(s) as He wills. The Causer is also competent to produce an effect without cause (Ex-Nahilo). The Causer may pre-determine effects or causes in multiple, and then afford the medium (sentient beings) the application of Free-will (Choice) to commensurate effect(s).

“And when We would intend to destroy a township We had sent a commandment (warning) to its people of authority leading easy lives; who yet disobeyed and transgressed; so as a result of our Judgment passed, We annihilated it with complete annihilation” (Q, 17:16)

Note:- (Ghazali’s views on causality, read: http://www.ghazali.org/articles/gz-aylon2.pdf)

Morality, mortified by the psychology of innate fear, sprouts from the Divine religious injunctions. Although it lays the ground-rules for this word, the effects also transcend to the next.

Morality, based on reward and punishment, (retribution) works wonderfully due to the psychology of “innate-fear” of being monitored unimpeded and continuously by the “Invisible”. Religion (Islam) “submission” was enacted simultaneous to the Creation (forbidding Adam and Eve from eating the fruit) and the punishment for its violation was established by the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Heavens. Satan (Lucifer) was also expelled for his disobedience due to his avarice and pride. They were not simply expelled but with specifically (and schematically) mandated rights, roles, and responsibilities; which, in specifically Islamic parlance could be called “Sharia’a” and in everyday parlance “Morality”.

Ethicality is developed by the rational beings, in the light of their past collective experiences. It regulates the immediate, contemporary cultural, societal or communal behavior. It is limited to temporality in scope, optional in its practicality; often floutingly by-passed without compunction. Needless to say that, the resourcefulness of Morality is unsurpassable by the man-made ethicality.

Ethics (Laws) are devised by the people for a community, society or culture; monitoring whereof is also done by people (an agency) employed for the purpose. The compliance would simply depend on either one’s call of the conscience or the fear of being caught by the monitoring agent. The physical absence of the monitoring agency would offer all kind of inducements to flout, as it cannot be established and no penalty would ensue.  This is the weakest aspect of the man-made ethicality.

A distinct difference between Divine law and the man-made law is that Divine Law compassionately seeks avenues to forgive while the man-made law is hell-bent on seeking evidence to punish.

Those who envisage morality, without religion, in fact, misconstrue ethics as morality.

After all, man is created with an existential amiss.

 Innate Fear, Psychology of fear is employed by the Divine to elicit the compliance of the religious injunctions without the presence of a physical watchdog.

  • An infant, when made to hold a bar, would continue clinging to it due to the innate fear of fall and hurt until made to feel safe to let it go.
  • In a situation of distress, “heightened state of fear/anxiety” (even in the case of a non-believer) all boundaries and impediments are dismantled; a connection between the Lord and the distressed-servant is immediately activated, and the call of the distressed is heard by the Almighty. (Q, 27:62)

Innate-fear, therefore, is not just a predicate of punishment, as often complained, but also that of an “SOS” signal, in the situation of distress.   

shakir2.wordpress.com

Topics covered:- Logic, reason, pristine reason, common sense, causality, Temporal/Divine causality, revelation, Divine wisdom, Inevitability of religion, Non Human Messenger, Gazali’s falsity of reason, imagination, Imaginary God, belief in the hereafter, Contentment, Voltaire’s rationalism, Fitrah, khulq/takween, Ordinary,/ scholar/ prophet, Psychology of Innate fear, Morality, Ethics and  The-Distressed.

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