Allama was always interested in Human life; he understood it as absolute truth that must be taken seriously. He also believed that “The Nahj-al-Balagheh is a great manifest of the various aspects of a dynamic man on the path to supreme perfection. He regarded the book as original source of knowledge far from “baseless hallucinations or mortal moods of poetic imaginations.” However, some people accept to travel on the path of knowledge while others reject and thus distinction is made among believers and non-believers. The 2nd volume of his commentary on Nahj-al-Balagheh, which discusses the choicest values and behaviors that could guide man to the highest ideals in his life, has laid the foundation of this treatise on intelligible life. He thinks that most of the human beings choose to live in a steel trap of their own uncalculated desires and wishes, simple-mindedly calling it “free life”. It is a life molded by “selfish” emotions and actions, busy in breaking rules of nature, thus fighting against God’s will, people bring disaster and death to themselves and others. However, Allama would not leave the desperate convoy of humanity to reach its doom. He is quite optimistic in his approach and confidently says: “We can state, according to historic documents and man’s spiritual qualities, that man can always start from square one again; he can always degrade to zero, and restart his development. He may even get to zero from subzero levels, and then determine his new path . . . he earnestly prays: Dear God! Will there come a day when these beings who call themselves man and claim to have dominated the universe come to themselves, for they have not yet done even the slightest thing to solve their simplest problems?”
Allama would never leave mankind to drown in his “what there is;” he always called man to “what there should be.” It would be a sin to leave human life indulged in worldly affairs and some sins are deadly for the development of consciousness in human beings; not only they make the conscience stop functioning, but actually destroy it, creating something “anti-conscience. It is being done by following hedonistic, material and utilitarian approaches in life, which are promoting determinism and fatalism at all levels. He says that “In the confusion of the 20th century, the 21st civilization has put all of mankind up for sale like goods.” He said: “No conscience, no sound mind could be satisfied with present situation of morality, ethics and virtues; it will ask itself, ‘With all the natural forces and niceties I have, why shouldn’t I use them to serve human beings? Men who have no advantage over others in love, and no supernatural factor—God, in fact—to prove their popularity, either. This is the unsolved mystery Bertrand Russell and I wrote to each other about and discussed. He, however, had no solution.”
Throughout the book he has criticized the material social scientists whose hegemony has arrested the development of humanity as a whole. Naturalism has been the product of desperate attempt of some modern philosophers to align Philosophy with the scientific method of Francis Bacon to pursue knowledge in material world with the five material senses only. Such pursuit has promoted fatalism and determinism of the worst kind, because naturalists tend to see every behavior as biologically determined and adaptive to one’s socio-physical environment; human traits and potential is seen as fixed having limited capacity to develop. The pursuit of physical pleasures thus becomes the sole objective in life, as life is temporary and short-lived and it ends here forever. Neither, there is any concept of life-hereafter, nor any realization of divine accountability. Hence, system of meta-values is regarded perennial, unnecessary and must be discarded at the earliest. Personal intelligence is considered enough to code personal morality for oneself. It is not that naturalists completely reject the existence of inner
Kafkazli Seyyed Javad Miri Meynagh is a PhD researcher at the University of Bristol, Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy and he has been working on the relation between Social Theory and Philosophy since 1999 at the department of sociology in Bristol-England.
This is an interesting work for students of social sciences and anybody who is interested in comparative sociological investigations. The author has lucidly approached perennial questions within a modern context based on the parameters of primordial school of social theory.
seyed javad miri