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TaylorWhite

IDST29
Spring2014

AliShariatiHumanityandIslamUniversalEthicsisIslam

1.Therearetwowordstodescribehumankind:basharandinsan.

2.ThewordsbasharandinsancomefromtheQurantodefinethewordhumankind.Utilizingthe
wordbashar,theQuranstatesthatbasharismanorthetwofootedcreaturethatshares
physiological,biological,andpsychologicalcharacteristicsofallhumansregardlessofraceorreligion.
WhilethedefinitionofinsanintheQuranisrelatedtotheevolutionofhumanbeingsthroughtheir
choicesinlife.

3.AccordingtoShariati,humankindisbasharbutnotnecessarilyinsan,becausenotallhumanbeings
havetheabilitytoattainmoralattributessuchasempathyandcompassiontowardsothers
(Shariati,188).

4.Shariatiisdescribingbasharasthemajorityofhumankindwhosimplypossessanimalisticand
violenttraitsagainstotherhumanbeings,whileapersonwhoisinsanissomeonewhopossessesthe
qualitiesofselfconsciousness,theabilitytomakechoices,andtheabilitytocreate(Shariati,189).

5.Apersonwhoisinsanissomeonewhopossessesthequalitiesofselfconsciousness,theabilityto
makechoices,andtheabilitytocreate.Thefirstqualityofselfconsciousnesscanbeseeninaninsan
whoperceivesonesequalityinnatureandone'srelationshipwiththeUniverse.Thesecondqualityof
theabilitytomakechoicescanbeseeninaninsanwhoisabletoovercometheiranimalisticurgesand
choosetorevoltandcontrolthemselvesagainstnature.Lastly,thethirdqualityoftheabilitytocreate
canbeseeninaninsanwhoisnotcontentwithinthelimitsofwhatnatureprovidesandmustpursueits
wantsthroughthecreationofnewtechnologiesandartisticendeavors(Shariati,190).

6.Humansdifferfromanimalsinthathumansarethreedimensionalbeingsinthattheyareconsciousof
themselvesandtheworld,theycanchoose,andtheycancreate.

7.AccordingtoShariatitheprisonsofhumankindarematerialgoodswhichpreventpeoplefrom
gainingselfconsciousness,theabilitytomaketheirownchoices,andtheabilitytobecreative.He
discussesthembecausevariousideologiesdoawaywiththeirneedsandbestowrelativeself
consciousnessuponthemallowingsocietiestoevolve.
8.ThreePrisonswhichhedescribesarematerialism,pantheism,andhistoricism.
Materialism:Materialismrecognizeshumanstobemadeofmaterialessence.Hewritesthatweare
composedofmatter,thereforeitisimpossibleforustoevolvebeyondthecapacityifthedimensionof
matteritself.
Pantheism:PantheismdescribesthatGodisallknowingandhascontroloffate.
Historicism:Historicismdescribesthathumansareapartofhistory.

IwouldsaythatIamtrappedbymaterialismasIlike,takecomfortin,anddependonmanymaterial
objectssuchasmyphone,andmycomputer.

9.Humanscanfreethemselvesfromtheseideologiesbyacceptingthemall.Wehavetheabilityof
freedomwhichallowsustomakeourownchoicesbydenyingthethingswedonotlike.

10.Peopleasliberators,creators,andconsciencechoosersareabletofreethemselvesfromtheprison
ofnatureandhistorythroughtheaidofscience.

11.Thesekindofhumanshavearesponsibilityinthisworldtodeviseaplantocreatesomethingin
whichmankind,God,andloveareallintertwinedtoinitiateanewcreationandvisionofIslam.