Eternity of Moral Values [Electronic resources] نسخه متنی

اینجــــا یک کتابخانه دیجیتالی است

با بیش از 100000 منبع الکترونیکی رایگان به زبان فارسی ، عربی و انگلیسی

Eternity of Moral Values [Electronic resources] - نسخه متنی

Murtada Mutahhari; Translated by: A. N. Baqirshahi

| نمايش فراداده ، افزودن یک نقد و بررسی
افزودن به کتابخانه شخصی
ارسال به دوستان
جستجو در متن کتاب
تنظیمات قلم


اندازه قلم

+ - پیش فرض

حالت نمایش

روز نیمروز شب
جستجو در لغت نامه
لیست موضوعات
افزودن یادداشت جدید

Eternity of Moral Values

Martyr Murtada Mutahhari

Translated by A. N. Baqirshahi

The original in Farsi, entitled "Jawidanegi wa akhlaq,"
appeared in a memorial volume Yadnameh ye Ustad Shahid Mutahhari (Tehran:
Sazman-e Intisharat wa Amuzish-e Inqilab-e Islami, 1360 H. Sh./[1981]).

Before entering the discussion concerning the eternity
of moral values it should be noted that according to the philosophies of
being' reality and knowledge as well as moral values are considered to be
permanent. Though here I will not be concerned with the permanence of
reality, but it is necessary to deal with the question as to why reality
and ethics are dealt with separately.

What is the difference between moral principles and
other principles which we refer to as reality'? After all moral values
also constitute certain principles and that which is said concerning
scientific principles, that they are eternally true, should also apply to
moral values.

However, I also think that the right thing is to keep
these two issues separate. But first of all I must refer to a minor issue
to establish that the issue of eternity of moral values is very important
for us and that it is closely related to the eternity of Islam.

Ethics comprises certain teachings, and if we believe
the moral, humane, and social teachings of Islam to be transitory then the
conclusion will be that the teachings of Islam dealing with morality and
education are also subject to change. That is, it would imply that such
principles had a validity in their own their time, and with changes in
conditions these moral principles should also change and so should the
basic teachings of Islam. As a result the major part of Islam would be
obsolete and should be abolished.

Of course, the issue of evolution of reality is related
to this matter, but the issue of relativity of moral values has a greater
bearing on the eternity of Islam. Let us now proceed to clarify the point
as to why the issue of ethics is separated from the issue of reality.

Speculative Wisdom and Practical Wisdom:

Reality relates to theoretical principles and ethics
deals with practical principles. In other words, ethics is subsumed under
practical wisdom (hikmat-e amali) and reality is subsumed under
theoretical wisdom (hikmat-e nazari); therefore, we cannot apply the
principles of practical wisdom to reality, for theoretical wisdom deals
with facts as they are or were; whereas practical wisdom is confined to
man and deals with things as they ought to be-that is, as to how man is to
conduct himself-and hence is prescriptive (insha).

But the nature of theoretical wisdom is descriptive
(ikhbar), that is, it deals with the question as to whether a certain
proposition corresponds to facts or not, and if it is does, whether it is
eternally true. But such questions do not arise in ethics.

In our philosophical literature, theoretical reason and
practical reason are regarded as two different types of human faculties.
But Muslim philosophers did not discuss their features and differences in
sufficient detail. However, they have left useful hints concerning the
issue. They suggest that the former faculty is inherent in the soul by
means of which it tries to discover the external world; whereas the latter
consists of a series of perceptions of the soul, which administers the
body, for the body's management.

Practical reason is considered to be a natural arm of
the soul and theoretical reason as a metaphysical arm. Thus the soul
possesses two perfections: theoretical perfection and practical perfection
(the philosophers hold that the essence and nature of human being is
knowledge and its perfection lies in knowledge, whereas the mystics do not
consider knowledge as the ultimate perfection of man and are of the view
that a perfect man is one who attains to reality not one who discovers

Regarding the faculty of practical reason, they hold
that the soul as the administrator of the body is subject to certain
principles for better governing the body as a prelude to its attaining

Early Muslim philosophers defined justice in terms of
freedom (justice in body). The soul stands in need of-the body and it
cannot attain theoretical perfections without it, but in order that the
soul should be able to make the best use of the body, it must establish a
kind of balance between its faculties.

The faculty which establishes such a balance between.
soul and body is an active faculty. In case this balance is established,
the soul is not dominated by the body, rather it is the body which is
subordinated to the soul. They considered justice to be a kind of
subordination of the body to the soul in which the body is controlled by
the soul. This is all that our early philosopher have said on this issue.
It seems that, relatively speaking, Ibn Sina (980-1030) has treated the
issue of theoretical and practical wisdom more thoroughly than any other
Muslim philosopher.

In the section on theology of his al-Shifa', Ibn Sinaa
classifies wisdom into practical and theoretical. In the section on logic
of the Shifa'; he treats it in more detail and probably in his Mubahathat
he discusses it in greater detail than in any other place. On the whole
these old discussions provide a good ground for study, but they have not
treated the -subject sufficiently and there even exists some ambiguity
about practical reason. That which can be inferred from the statements of
some of them is that practical reason is a kind of cognitive faculty of
the soul.

That is, they maintain that our intellect possess two
kinds of cognitive faculties, one is the faculty of cognition used in
theoretical sciences and the other is the faculty used in practical
sciences. But others like Mulla Hadi Sabzawari (1833-1910) hold that the
term intellect' (aql) is used equivocally for theoretical and practical
reason and that practical reason is not a cognitive faculty, that it is a
faculty of action and not one of cognition.

Hence their statements do not make clear whether or not
practical and theoretical reason are two cognitive faculties (regardless
of whether they are two distinct faculties or two aspects of one faculty),
or if one of these is a cognitive and the other a practical faculty. In
the later case, using the term reason' for practical reason is equivocal,
that is, practical reason is not reason in the sense of a cognitive

Subjectivity of Normative Judgements:

It should be noted that Allamah Tatatabais discussion
of i 'tibariyat (subjective or normative ideas) in the sixth chapter of
his book Usul-e falsafeh wa ravish-e realism (The Principles of
Philosophy and the Method of Realism') is undoubtedly an invaluable and
original idea (unfortunately I was not able to write complete footnotes on
it). Its only demerit is that he has himself conceived this idea and then
followed it up without relating it to the statements of his predecessors
which could help us in tracing the roots of these issues in the words of
thinkers like Ibn Sina and others on practical reason and theoretical

It would have been better if he had started from their
statements. The reason for such a gap is that his point of departure was
jurisprudence ('ilm al-usul) not philosophy. He was inspired by the ideas
of the late Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Isfahani regarding itibariyat.
Therefore, he did not relate it to the views of the philosophers.

Allamah Tabatabai maintains and this is of course my
interpretation-that whatever we ascribe to practical wisdom relates to the
world of i'tibari (subjective) notions. Thus, theoretical wisdom or
objective truth consists of objective ideas which are the real face of
things. Practical ideas are normative notions. Normative ideas comprise of
commands and prohibitions and all those notions which are dealt with in
'ilm al-usul.

The Allamah considers all itibariyat of the type where
an objective idea is extended and applied to something else; human reason
or the soul as a cognitive faculty cannot originate or create a concept,

/ 7