Assignment Four : LUSENET : Walsh Intro to Philosophy : One Thread

In the words of Tabataba'i, Islam is the road to happiness. Through Islam, mankind comes to realize that God's divine plan is already within each of us, we need only to examine our life in order to find it. Then, of course, we must work to implement it. This ideology is simplistic and incredibly subjective. What does it say of the fitrah, or innate nature, of one such as Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin? What would happen if the basic nature of someone was in fact great evil and cruelty? Is this then God's will? After all, what can better define our nature than our very own actions, as Aristotle is quick to point out? I do not find the article to be at all reasonable for this reason.

The article by Chittister concerning the Benedictine rule is a more reasonable one. The call for wisdom, hospitality, equality, depth, and a connectiveness with God are all noble pursuits. The idea of work as a way to honestly and earnestly pass our time may seem somewhat socialistic at first, but upon further reflection it is intended as a meditative and spiritual process. It is a form of contribution rather than a way of gaining material goods. the Benedictine rule is offered as a guide to life rather than an absolute rule. However, the tone of the article makes it appear that not following this rule is unhealthy for the soul. The idea that one must find a way to balance work with leisure as well as prayer seems unneccesary. The idea that leisure has a holy aspect, one of contemplation, through which one may find enlightenment, seems ludicrous. If work is a societal contribution which is part of our duty towards God, why is one also expected to devote leisure time towards God as well? Were we not created with free will? Why is it necessary to search for a meaning to life or a divine plan? Isn't it gift enough to have a free will and a natural span of life? Leading a good life and finding happiness should be a worthy goal in and of itself. I do believe that we should examine our lives and contemplate reality, but we must do this for ourselves.

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2000

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