Thursday, May 1, 2014

526: Averroës

There is a resemblance between the Western Middle Ages and Islamic philosophy since 632 CE, a year before the death of Muhammad.

There was a lot of science  like mathematics. medicine astronomy, but most of all metaphysics, to which these sciences had to conform,

for all this metaphysics was focused on theological issues. What the Arab philosophers did was what the Scholastic catholic theologians did thereafter:

reconciling general and scientific knowledge with theological ideas and not the other way around. It happened to Galileo Galilei:

In 1616, an Inquisitorial commission unanimously declared heliocentrism to be "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture."

There is no difference here with the Arabic world and the position of science and philosophy. Like in Europe, where Aristotle taught the basics of scientific thinking and natural science, Plato’s Ideas saved the theologians.

The last great Arabic thinker in this endless debate was Ibn Roshd, better known to us as Averroës (1126 - 1178).

But like Avicenna and a number of other islamic philosophers, Averroës wasn’t primarily a philosopher, but an orthodox muslim.

Like others he was an all-round scholar, judge, astronomer, physician of the calif, believer in the Quran and thinker.

Averroës not only rejected the idea, but plainly denied that the ratio and belief eventually could be in accordance with each other.

The real source of all problems between philosophers and theologians lay in the fact, that they failed to appreciate that ratio and belief played on different levels.

What was true from a religious point of view, was completely unsuited for philosophical considerations.Not the Quran was the problem, but the way of debating.

Thence Averroes divided human understanding into three classes, according to the different types of man.

At the bottom of the ladder you find the simple and unenlightened people for whom belief and the clear voice of authority is enough.

Halfway the ladder you find the dialectic people, who demand probability arguments to become convinced. Something like “Look how complex this little insect is built…..can’t be just coincidence….quite probable it is the design of a Creator.”

Finally, at the top of the ladder, there are the people who demand inferences that show absolute certainty of proof. Only for such people the use of philosophy is meant.

The Quran, the divine revelation, was meant for all three groups, but only those who had reached the highest level of wisdom, were able to set aside the rules of the simple belief when debated about the Truth.

Averroës might be called the last great Islamic thinker. After him the debate fell silent. His “Aristotle” was embraced by the catholic Scholastics like Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquino.

But the Arab world went down into continuous fighting between all kinds of factions, a continuous battle with the Turks and the Byzantine Empire, a continuous battle against christians.

You could say that since 632 CE after a short period of philosophical creativity between 950 and 1258, the debate in the Arabic world never stopped: the debate on how to make the ratio bend for the ideas of the Quran.

The Discussion

[13:24] herman Bergson: Thank you ^_^
[13:24] herman Bergson: .
[13:24] Daruma BoaDaruma Boa claps
[13:24] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:24] Gemma Allen: that is the problem still trying to fit it
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: well they refuse to let ratio win over belief i guess
[13:25] Gemma Allen: yep
[13:25] Daruma Boa: thats the problem. religions battle witch is the best
[13:25] herman Bergson: In Europe 1650 and after the empiricists took over from the theologians and real science became possible
[13:25] Daruma Boa: but i mean there can not be find an answer
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: no
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: only ratio and science can find true proofs
[13:26] Daruma Boa: and a battle is NO answer.-
[13:26] herman Bergson: the problem is an epistemological one Daruma.....
[13:26] Areyn Laurasia: for all that wisdom.. why war?
[13:26] Daruma Boa: well religion has nothing to do with profs
[13:26] Daruma Boa: its about believing
[13:26] Daruma Boa: science is proofing
[13:26] herman Bergson: science is open to criticism....falsification because wecan test the way knowledge was acquired...
[13:27] herman Bergson: but when you base your axioms on "revelation" no criticism is possible
[13:27] herman Bergson: nor development because all becomes 100% dogmatic
[13:27] Areyn Laurasia: yet a lot of scientific discoveries were made by accident
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: no cause people just say god exist and thats it without ever have seen anything of god
[13:27] herman Bergson: While in our world Einstein was able to improve on Newton's theories
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: still they conclude he did everything
[13:28] herman Bergson: I wont do it ...
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: so you cant apply proofing on religion indeed
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: 2 different things
[13:28] herman Bergson: but you cold make a project on the attempts to proof the exitence of god
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:29] herman Bergson: That bejiita was in fact the basic assumption of Averroes....
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: hmm ok
[13:29] herman Bergson: logical proof didn’t apply to revelations....
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: hmm no they seem incompatible to me sort of
[13:29] herman Bergson: And this is still the case in this world...
[13:30] herman Bergson: So we are stuck with all those individuals who claim this special knowledge by revelation.....and all others how are willing to believe then....
[13:30] herman Bergson: If I only knew why!
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:31] Areyn Laurasia: and those are the majority?
[13:31] Gemma Allen: i think so
[13:31] Gemma Allen: in many places
[13:31] Areyn Laurasia: we're so in trouble
[13:31] herman Bergson: If you look globally Aryn....I think so yes
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: and also what are really these so called revelations, dreams, hallucinations or is there really something
[13:32] herman Bergson: But if you look at the rea power globally....then I think no...then Capital is the new god
[13:32] herman Bergson: and religion
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: compare with seeing ghosts, many have claimed but no one have managed to proove them and i’ve never seen one
[13:32] Daruma Boa: most ppl have no believe anymore. only believing in capitalism. true herman
[13:32] Daruma Boa: believe
[13:32] herman Bergson: that is the problem Bejiita.....
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: When i see a ghost i believe
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: and am sure i really see a ghost and not dream for ex
[13:33] herman Bergson: No Bejiita...wont work....
[13:33] Daruma Boa: bejita thats a big issue.
[13:33] Gemma Allen: welllll
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: guess more complex then that
[13:33] Daruma Boa: we humans are not able to see a lot.
[13:33] Daruma Boa: a lot what science has already proofed
[13:33] herman Bergson: When you tell your neighbor he will look at you with that strange look and say....Sure have seen a ghost ^_^
[13:33] Daruma Boa: so....
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:34] Daruma Boa: e.g. u cant see micro organism
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: you can with a microscope
[13:34] herman Bergson: we can with a microscope Daruma
[13:35] Daruma Boa: but not in your daily life
[13:35] Areyn Laurasia: so we don't see them with our naked eyes but we can invent tools to help us understand more
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: no, but everyone have seen microscopy pics in books at least in school so they know they are there
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: bacteria ect
[13:35] herman Bergson: Thanks heave no....:-)
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: and probably looked at them on microscope themselves
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: i have
[13:36] herman Bergson: just suppose you could see al bacteria and virusses around which we now only see under a microscope....!
[13:36] Daruma Boa: yes i know what u mean
[13:36] herman Bergson: It is not the microcosmos that bothers us....we even can "see" higgs particles...
[13:36] herman Bergson: it is the macrocosmos.....
[13:37] herman Bergson: that kept the Arab philosophers busy too.....
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:37] Daruma Boa: but the more we get to know, the more we have questions.
[13:37] herman Bergson: the attempt to understand why the world is as it is
[13:37] Daruma Boa: dunno which scientist this said
[13:37] herman Bergson: all scientist do say that ^_^
[13:37] Daruma Boa: the deeper u go you see things, which we even can not imagine
[13:37] Daruma Boa: now
[13:37] Areyn Laurasia: the more we learn, the less we realize we know? something like that?
[13:38] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:38] herman Bergson: Socrates already said "I know that I don't know"
[13:38] Daruma Boa: so i guess in 10 years we laugh about "ghost2;-)
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:38] Areyn Laurasia: I'm sure we have seen ghosts... in movies
[13:39] Gemma Allen: well people hve not laughed in over the centuries so far
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: WHO DO YOU CALL? GHOSTBUSTERS!!!
[13:39] Gemma Allen: they continue to be with us
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:39] herman Bergson: oh yes....and the funny thing is...we call them horror movies.....
[13:39] Daruma Boa: ;-)
[13:39] Areyn Laurasia: so they exist in a way... the way we create them
[13:39] Daruma Boa: they are all among us!
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:39] herman Bergson: who has invented the idea that ghosts are bad by definition?
[13:39] herman Bergson: Like aliens too...99%  are monsters
[13:39] Daruma Boa: everyone has its own ghost to carry in life
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: i d love to have some ghosts around as long they are nice
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: good company
[13:40] herman Bergson: We are silly beings....
[13:40] Bejiita Imako:
[13:40] herman Bergson: when we fall from the stairs we blame it on an evil spirit....
[13:41] herman Bergson: when we just managed to prevent it we give credit to our guardian angel :-)
[13:41] herman Bergson: the brain invents a story for everything
[13:41] Daruma Boa: and when u know how it works, u can use it.
[13:41] Daruma Boa: we humans all need pictures.
[13:42] Daruma Boa: or symbols
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: seems so
[13:42] Daruma Boa: our brain is a tool
[13:42] Daruma Boa: u must know to use it
[13:42] herman Bergson: our brain is to some extend a fairytale machine :-)
[13:42] Daruma Boa: for some
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: ah i guess so
[13:42] herman Bergson: and we love to believe the stories
[13:42] Gemma Allen: of course
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: sometimes it goes wrong though
[13:43] Daruma Boa: when we believe we can reach a lot
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: and thats where u get these horrible religion wars ect
[13:43] Daruma Boa: thats the prob of humans. they do not believe in themselves
[13:43] herman Bergson: not yet Daruma.....that is the long way to go in evolution of the brain I think
[13:43] Daruma Boa: yes its work for everyone on its own
[13:44] Daruma Boa: a everyday work
[13:44] herman Bergson: Well...I am done with Islamic philosophy.....
[13:44] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:44] Daruma Boa: they also^^
[13:44] Areyn Laurasia: where do we go next? :)
[13:44] Gemma Allen: what next
[13:44] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:44] herman Bergson: It made me understand a lot of what is still kicking and alive in that culture...
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: have been really interesting
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: an eye opener for sure
[13:45] herman Bergson: The most important observation might be that they don’t fight as individuals against ...the other or the state.....
[13:45] Daruma Boa: true
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: no
[13:46] herman Bergson: they fight as groups of believers agains others hwo are wrong or disbelievers....
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: its death ot all non believers or deah to those with a different belief then ours
[13:46] herman Bergson: and that has been the case since 632 and has untill today never changed....
[13:46] herman Bergson: you see it happen in Syria.....
[13:46] Areyn Laurasia: maybe the Mahdi will come along
[13:47] herman Bergson: you have  the Allawites ..the government.....and a plethora of all kinds of religious groups fighting this government and even eachother....
[13:47] herman Bergson: They are destryoing that country for more than two years now already......!
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: aaaw yes
[13:48] herman Bergson: Just because of that JIHAD....
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: awful development
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: so meaningless
[13:48] herman Bergson: Yes utterly meaningless....Bejiita
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: hmm
[13:49] herman Bergson: and one big stalemate for no one knows who is fighting who anymore and to what purpose...
[13:49] Areyn Laurasia: why isn't the western world stepping in? why have the gap so that all these other religious groups utilize it?
[13:49] herman Bergson: just addicted to the fighting and becoming a martyr!
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: oil maybee
[13:49] herman Bergson: That Aryen, is the big problem.....
[13:50] herman Bergson: the US did it in Iraq....and failed.....
[13:50] Gemma Allen: stupid move
[13:50] herman Bergson: because th eUS sees the individual against the doctator....
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: just made it much worse
[13:50] herman Bergson: but the Iraqis only see the sunnites against the shiites as the real war
[13:51] herman Bergson: there are religious factions fighting each other....that is no furtile soil for democracy as we know it....
[13:52] herman Bergson: Because all kinds of Western ideas are not conform the Quran!
[13:52] herman Bergson: Equal rights?.....For women???? The very thought of it ....!
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: if they could they wuld probably blow the entire planet up to cosmic dust cause then EVERYONE including non or dofferent believers will see the REAL god
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: when all is dead
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: scary thought
[13:53] herman Bergson: Don’t think so Bejiita.....
[13:53] .: Beertje :.: I have to go...thank you Herman it was a real nice class again
[13:53] Gemma Allen: no way
[13:53] Gemma Allen: ok have to go too
[13:53] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:53] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:53] Gemma Allen: herman
[13:53] .: Beertje :.: have a goodnight
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: cause they believe they come to god including the others they kill when they blow themselves up
[13:53] Areyn Laurasia: good night
[13:53] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye   
[13:53] Gemma Allen: for now
[13:53] herman Bergson: Yes...let's do some fun stuff....
[13:53] herman Bergson: Class dismissed!
[13:53] herman Bergson: :-))
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: cu soon all
[13:54] Areyn Laurasia: not all muslims are like that, Bejiita :)
[13:54] Daruma Boa: will leave also
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: no but the most extreme are
[13:54] herman Bergson: Indeed Areyn, the majority isn’t…..!
[13:54] Daruma Boa: have a nice time^^^
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: thats one good thing at least
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: cu on tuesday all
[13:54] Areyn Laurasia: better see more of the world while it's still around :)
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: hehe yes
[13:55] herman Bergson: But you only need one idiot to blow up a market place
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: i guess so
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: and thats 1 to many
[13:55] herman Bergson: unfortunately.....

[13:55] Bejiita Imako: cu tuesday

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