Head of the Department of “Fundamentals of Philosophy and Spirituality”
of the National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek,
Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, professor
Researcher at the Department of “Fundamentals of Philosophy and Spirituality”
of the National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek
Researcher at the Department of “Fundamentals of Philosophy and Spirituality”
of the National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek
Abstract. The most ancient forms of worldview and the initial sources of scientific ideas about the world are mythological, religious and philosophical pictures of the world, the existence of each of which was extremely important in the formation and development of human civilization. The mythological picture of the world prevailed in the early stages of the development of human society and still retains some elements in the consciousness of individual individuals. A higher stage is the religious picture of the world, which was a priority in the middle Ages. In the era of high technology and the digital economy, the scientific picture of the world is already beginning to prevail, but at the level of everyday consciousness, the influence of a religious worldview is still noticeable.
In this article, we will try to analyze some aspects of the Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic worldviews through the prism of philosophical categories of the general, separate, and special.
Key words: worldview, mythology, religious worldview, world religions, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, cosmogony, cosmology, the meaning of life, hylozoism, and fatalism, free will
Any world picture whether it is a combination of mythological representations, philosophically reasoned views or scientifically proven facts, in its essence, is a system of views on the origin and structure of the universe, on the purpose and meaning of human life. For the main component of the world picture is the search for the answer to the questions: by whom and how the world is created, what driving forces set it in motion, what is the place of a person in the universe, what is the relationship between life and death, etc. Thus, in the picture of the world, space and time are represented as finite or infinite, objects that fill the world space and differ in living and non-living are distinguished. These objects are in various relationships with each other and make up an integrated system.
The picture of the world should describe this system of interconnection of objects. It manifests laws and rules to which the elements and parts of the world obey. As they say, “light and heat give life, while darkness and cold are markers of death” [12, p. 94].
If in the scientific picture of the world these laws are the laws of physics, then in the religious picture of the world, in particular, in Buddhism, this is the law of karma, i.e. responsibility of man for his actions that violate the balance in the world. In defining the purpose of life and world processes, one can also observe differences, for example, in the Christian picture of the world, the merging of the world with God is confirmed, and achievement of supreme bliss and harmony for all that exists. However, in the scientific picture of the world, the question of the expediency and goal-setting of the world (teleology) is considered meaningless, the world has no goal; it exists according to the laws of nature. “The influence of religious consciousness and cognition on the comprehension of truth requires special attention in the framework of understanding the role of the rational and the irrational in them” [1, p.20].
Therefore, the place and role of man in the world is a fundamental question of any picture of the world, for the main task of man is to solve the problems on which the existence of all forms of life depends. Thus, the variety of pictures of the world implies their interconnection and interdependence, but differences in world outlooks are also assumed.
Methodology and methods
In the preparation of the article, such philosophical methods of scientific knowledge were used as comparative analysis; induction and deduction, logical and historical, and systemic, structural and functional approaches were used. The authors cite the works of A.M.Khamidulin, M.I.Bilalov, P.A.Polomoshov, A.V.Smirnov, A.I.Osipov, O.Nikolayeva, K.M.Magomedov, enter into polemics with other scientists. The authors in their studies substantiated common features in the pictures of the world of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, their significance in the spiritual and moral development of society, as well as their distinctive features in understanding the universe, man and his freedom.
An ancient and ordinary picture of the world is mythology, in which space and time are simultaneously presented as finite and infinite. For example, space is represented as infinite space, as well as many finite small spaces, like a large space. And time is understood as a large time, consisting of endless cycles of short times. In general, in the mythological picture of the world there is an endless appearance of new worlds inside the big world, and each of them has its own space and time. According to mythology, the world in which people live is surrounded by other worlds, and is in constant relationship. They are populated by their inhabitants; they have their own laws and regulations, their goals. These worlds are connected with the world of people, for the natural forces of other worlds actively influence a person and become part of their lifestyle.
To achieve his goals and satisfy his material needs, a person must know about other worlds and be able to influence other worlds, to negotiate with forces from these worlds. Therefore, you must simultaneously live in the world of people, outside this world and in the general world, which allows you to move from one world to another and see each world a little from the side. Therefore, a person in the mythological picture of the world has a dual beginning. As one side of its existence, the human body lives in its small world, and the other side of the human soul is between all worlds.
The rudiments of hylozoism, a philosophical doctrine of the animation of all matter, were formed in mythological consciousness. Although the term hylozoism (Greek ὕλη – matter and ζωή – life) was introduced only in the 17th century by Ralph Kedworth who together with Henry More (1614 – 1687) spoke of “plastic nature” – the unconscious, incorporeal substance that governs and organizes matter, this theory was developed by representatives of the Milesian school of natural philosophers. The roots of such ideas go back centuries. In the mythological picture of the world, all objects are considered as living, having a soul. It follows that a person should not incur their anger with his wrong behavior, even with stones you need to be careful. Also, all worlds and the entities that inhabit them obey a huge variety of different laws and rules. So, for example, for a stone thrown by a hunter to hit the target, you must first agree with the stone or subordinate it to your will, otherwise it will never get where you need it; to cross the river, you must first ask her for permission. To communicate with a person, you need to know in advance what he worships and what he hates; then, by offering his beloved or threatening what he fears, you can try to influence this person. The same applies to all living beings inhabiting any worlds. Even the laws governing people and other entities are also a special kind of living creatures, with which you can either try to negotiate or defeat them.
From a mythological point of view, the world is a large battlefield where a wide variety of creatures strive to achieve their goals. All of them are subordinate to the great world Law. However, this Law itself is divided into many small laws called fate, and each person has his own individual fate. The law of fate leads everyone along the path of his life, and everyone is subordinate to his Rock until he outgrows him and cannot overcome him. The meaning of human life in mythology is determined in two ways, the first is the path of complete submission to fate and humility with what is given by Rock. Another path is the path of a hero who conquers his own destiny and conquers a new, higher fate, which again needs to be overcome, etc.
There are plenty of studies devoted to mythology, but interest in this layer of culture is not waning, as evidenced by the defense of a number of dissertations, the publication of monographs and a dozen articles recently [2; 3; 6; 11]. Answering the rhetorical question: “why do we need a myth?” researchers emphasize that “Myth is an integral part of the overall human cultural foundation. Wisdom (with a capital letter) accumulated by mankind since time immemorial, found its fixation in it. But we, modern people, are extremely far removed from this Wisdom, which to ancient people seemed timeless, eternal .
The authors also argue that “over the centuries there has been a process of accumulation of unbelief, denial and rejection of the Wisdom embedded in the Myth … In many ways, we still feel this attitude to ancient knowledge” .
It is hardly possible to agree with the authors about the negative attitude of modern people to mythology. Observations show that there is no total denial of myths and cannot be, and that in the era of scientific and technological progress, you can meet millions, maybe billions of people who have not “grown” to the scientific picture of the world and are content with superficial knowledge about the world around them. There is no particular need for an ordinary worker, who then obtains his daily bread, to think that the change of day and night does not occur with sunrise or sunset, but with the rotation of the earth around its axis; or for a farmer who grows grain or vegetables, neither the theory of the expanding universe, nor the theory of the “big bang” makes much difference.
Thus, the mythological picture of the world, like the process of myth-making, has not completely “died out” and retains a certain charge in the modern era. In so doing, it supports and “nourishes” the religious picture of the world.
A distinctive feature of the religious picture from the mythological one is manifested in the idea that the head of the world is the supreme God, who has absolute power, and no one has the right to violate his will. God is eternal and unconditional, he created all living beings, and only he can decide the fate of everyone. God is omnipotent; He created the world for good, and gave the world the ability to freely come to good itself.
However, freedom is also a possibility of evil. Therefore, God puts up with this opportunity for freedom. To the end, a person can never understand how to combine the omnipotence of God, on the one hand, and the reality of evil, on the other. If God is omnipotent, then there must be no place for evil.
If there is evil, then God is either not omnipotent or not all-good. Any attempts to choose one of these two extremes always turned out to be wrong in something. Religion claims that this is a great mystery: it is also true that God is omnipotent and omnipotent, and that evil is real in the world. For the human mind, this is incompatible and paradoxical. But this is not antagonism, not a mistake, but a necessary contradiction, expressing the transcendence of God’s nature beyond the limits of the human mind and requiring faith from a person.
According to the religious picture, God creates a world with finite space and time. But world time is irreversible; everything created by God is moving farther and farther away from its beginning, approaching God or moving away from it. God creates an infinite number of inanimate bodies, living beings, matter. Man is in the center of the universe between beings above man (angels) and beings below man (animals, plants). However, of all created beings, man most fully expresses the nature of God, and over time, man can raise above all created beings in the world.
It should be noted that Islam, unlike many other religions, considers a person to be a beautiful and intelligent creature, the crown of creation. In this regard, the position of Islam was perfectly expressed by the great Uzbek poet and thinker Alisher Navoi. Turning to Allah, he exclaims:
“You are an unrivaled creator, you have shown so many marvelous things,
Everything, as in a magic mirror, endowed with beauty.
You have created a lot of valuable things,
Chains of mountains and ribbons of rivers –
But the treasure of all was dearer to you than man”.
Continuing this thought, Navoi admires the Creator’s skill, the beauty of everything he created:
“The world of animals, bowels, water and plants emerald –
The most perfect work has been invested in it all by you.
There is a stamp on any of your creations,
More than all creations, man will delight us” [5, p.58].
All laws in the world are an expression of God’s will. Evil is a violation of this will, and its fulfillment, since no one and nothing can go against the will of God. The law of love is the highest law in the world. In the world, love, and even hatred, is the only expression of the thirst for love.
Thus, universal love for everything represents the meaning of the world in the religious picture of the world, but the path to this lies through freedom and the possibility of evil. God does not want to force love and do good, freedom is given to the world so that the world itself, from within itself, comes to Divine love as the only true law of life. And in order for this to be understood by the world, some deviations from its goal are possible.
The meaning of human life and for everything created by God is to freely accept the will of God, to overcome the blind love of freedom in oneself, to combine the freedom and love of God into a single whole. And at the same time, in violation of the will of God, man continues it, only changing the ways and terms leading him to God. This is the great secret of the meaning of human life. Consequently, the religious picture of the world, as an integral system of ideas about the general properties and laws of nature, arises as a result of the generalization and synthesis of the religious experience of people. It proceeds from the distinction of being in itself and by virtue of its creation. This difference is manifested in the dualism (duality) of the religious concept of being, since it contrasts absolute being, which is identical with God, to the whole variety of natural things endowed with being. In fact, this picture provides for distinctive ontology: the ontology of uncreated being and the ontology of created being.
Absolute being cannot be known rationally. A person who accepts the world as something self-sufficient believes in the possibility of reason. According to the religious concept of peace, the only thing the human mind can do is to subordinate itself to faith in the existence of the Absolute, and what the Absolute is not a matter of reason. From here follows the semantic content of the world. It acquires meaning not by virtue of how a person relates to it, but by virtue of how the will of God is realized in it. This determines the strategy of human behavior.
We will try to consider all the above philosophical discussions about the religious picture of the world from the point of view of three world religions: Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.
Buddhist picture of the world, i.e. ideas about space, time, and higher personal and social values differ from the traditional picture of the world in all basic respects. The space in Buddhism consists of three main spatial zones (worlds) located one above the other: the “world of feelings” (kama-loka), the “world of forms” (rupa-loka) and the “world-without-forms” (arupa-loka). By “sensory world” is meant the physical world as a place of residence for five types of living creatures – the inhabitants of hell (narak), hungry spirits (preet), animals, people and celestials, that is “Sensual world” covers the underground, earthly and heavenly worlds. The “world of forms” is an illusory world where living things are liberated from sensory experiences while maintaining their outer physical shell. It is divided into 16 levels, correlating with the four main types of yoga concentration and their steps. “World without forms” is a sphere of pure consciousness consisting of 4 levels.
The terrestrial and elevated space in the Buddhist picture of the world is marked horizontally (as well as Chinese). The Center of the world stands out – the sacred mountain Sumeru (Meru), on four sides of which are the four main continents of Buddhist cosmography – Jambudvipa (southern, associated with India), Purvavideha (eastern), Avarogadaniya (western) and Uttarakuru (northern) it seemed to be the habitat of physically and spiritually perfect human beings living in an ideally utopian society, and the location of miraculous plants and objects that have the ability to grant immortality. It is believed that on the top of Mount Meru is the second of the six heavenly spheres, where the gods live, headed by the Lord of the world – Indra.
All creatures inhabiting the worlds obey the general law of rebirth (samsara), depending on the committed acts (karma). According to Buddhist beliefs, the world (the Universe) did not have a beginning, but an end is possible – achieving an ideal state – nirvana. Achieving nirvana – the salvation of all living beings and stopping the eternal process of change and suffering in the world – is possible only through the efforts of all people, with the help of perfect beings – bodhisattvas and buddhas.
Buddhist thinkers believed that this process is infinitely painful for a person, transferred from death to death, from one suffering to another, from trial to trial. “Here we are dealing with the meeting of each person after the end of his life’s journey with the invisible reality surrounding him, access to which only mystics have access to during life” [12, p. 98].
The Buddha, who argued about the painfulness of life, formulated the concept of change. Life is nothing more than a series of manifestations, formations and disappearances. The world is a constantly renewed cycle of birth and death. All things are changing. According to Buddhism, there is nothing permanent neither among the divine, nor among the human. For Buddha, fire is a symbol of the endless stream of becoming without beginning and end. The world is a stream of fleeting events, appearing and disappearing, to be replaced by other, karmically related events. There is only movement; there are no leaders, but an act; there is nothing but becoming. Thus, “for a speedy awakening to reality, it is enough for a person to see, understand, realize and finally merge with the Pure Unfading Unlimited Light that is in the first moments after dying, which personifies Buddha Amitaba, a symbol of Life and Wisdom” [12, p.99].
In order to explain the continuous existence of the world in the absence of a constant substrate, the Buddha proclaims the law of causality and makes it the basis of continuity. Everything that exists arises from causes and conditions and in all respects is impermanent. Everything that has a cause must perish. Everything that is born and organized ultimately disappears. Every substance is limited, and its existence changes sequentially, in accordance with the preceding conditions. The past is drawn into the stream. Causal evolution cannot be regarded as a mechanical sequence of movements. This is a single state in which the past defines the present.
In Buddhism, the past determines the fate of the present. Even in a soulless universe, the eternal cosmic law manifests itself. This is a huge maze that moves according to plan. The wheel of the cosmic order moves without a creator, without a certain beginning, and will exist forever due to the cohesion of causes and effects. And Buddhists are trying to avoid this continuous movement. To the question of who created this world and movement, Buddhism does not answer, considering it not the main one. However, they acknowledge the fact that things are volatile. There is no being in the world, only becoming. Hence the indifference of Buddha to the existence of things. There is nothing to waste time on futile attempts to grasp that which always eludes. Hence, the indifference of Buddhism to the earthly world in which the tormented human heart cannot find inspiration. “A person has very bad karma, he does not manage to make a choice” [12, p.99].
Man suffers from attachment to things. A radical break with them is necessary, the search for a state in which there is no place for variability that provokes suffering. Finding complete equanimity and peace is possible only in nirvana. Reaching nirvana above reaching heaven is a state of superhuman peace. Nirvana is causeless, but there is a reason to achieve nirvana, the octal path. Nirvana reaches a person with a pure mind, free from sensual pleasures. Thus, Buddhism is aimed at the formation of a kind of ethical-cosmic vertical overcoming karma, the law of reincarnation. The creative principle is the volitional mental activity of a person. The acting person is interpreted as the only noteworthy reality.
Initially, Buddhism did not imply the presence of God, nor the immortality of the soul, nor free will. Real “eternal” questions for man and human consciousness have always been put at the center, and man himself was perceived as an organic part of the Cosmos. The main goal of Buddhism is to comprehend the soul through the rejection of comfortable environmental conditions – nirvana. Only having lost dependence on worldly goods, is a person able to take control of his consciousness. Buddha, in his thoughts, came to the conclusion that people suffer primarily from themselves.
An excessive dependence of a person on the opinions of other people, an illusory faith in the immutability of the soul leads to its degradation. The thinker himself did not consider his teaching divine. The philosophy of Buddhism does not contain dogma, and the results depend only on the efforts of man. A new view of man is being formed. He is not a master of nature, but a kind of consciousness that occupies a special place in the world order.
From the point of view of our picture of the world, it is important that Buddhism is a doctrine of the salvation of all living beings. However, it was recognized that not every person in this life will achieve enlightenment, because human consciousness is individual in nature and not everyone is able to understand the philosophy of Buddhism. Absolutely anyone can adopt the Buddhist religion to achieve certain goals, following the path of self-improvement regardless of social status, ethnicity, etc.
The fact that a person is doomed to suffering, to the torment of an endless rebirth of the soul, but he has a choice, he himself determines his fate, the form of future rebirth. The form determines the amount of actions accumulated over a past life, and such a force is called karma. Karma determines the future fate and suffering of a person, while the behavior of a person remains an important factor. From this point of view, Buddhism provides a logically correct critical assessment of the world.
In the course of further development, Buddhism comes to the recognition of a higher spiritual principle. Nirvana is identified with the Buddha, who from the personification of the moral ideal turns into his personal embodiment, into the object of religious emotions. Simultaneously with the cosmic aspect of nirvana, the cosmic concept of Buddha arises. The cult of the Buddha embraces all aspects of the life of a believer, starting with family and marriage relations and ending with general public holidays.
The proposed way to save Buddhism caused the democratization of religious beliefs. The conditions of virtue in Buddhism are independent of external things, no matter which the person is all imperfect, only an honest, righteous life matters. Buddhism, being in opposition to the caste system, followed the principle of absolute autonomy of the individual, so long as it does not require liberation from the fetters of real existence, considering all human connections with the world, including social and political ones, as evil and therefore should be eliminated. The ideal of absolute detachment from the outside world leads the most orthodox followers of the Buddha to abandon the improvement of social orders.
A peculiar feature of Christianity is the creation of a kind of religious picture of the world about a transcendental God. The supernatural nature of God is represented in his power and will. This correlates with the idea of Christian creationism about creating the world, not by force of necessity, but by the free will of God. The act of creation is the will of God, and not a natural phenomenon and does not proceed from its causal determination. No one can answer why God created the world, but His free will is consistent with His mind, will and goodness. In accordance with them, God creates the world.
God created the world “out of nothing”, because before him there was nothing. All created things come from God. All that is not is nothing. Form, beauty, unity in the world has as their cause the Creator. The instability of form, the incompleteness of unity and beauty result from falling away from God. The seal of “insignificance” lies on all created things, bodily and spiritual.
Having created the world, God knows and predetermines not only the general principles of the device, but also the fate of each individual thing. The divine idea of a thing intended for creation is its complete individual concept, where it’s past and future are given in the present. In the divine plan, all ideas are perfectly coordinated; wisdom contemplates the idea of each thing in its correlation with all things in general. For created things, ideas act as patterns by which they are created, as the basis and causes of their being.
The order of the created cosmos reflects the order of the wisdom that created it: the order of things reflects the order of ideas. Thanks to order, the world is an ordered hierarchy of creatures, distributed in their places and having different relative values. The closer to God, the greater the value of creation. “For in the series,” Augustine writes, “that somehow there is, but not God, who created it, the living is placed above the inanimate, capable of giving birth and experiencing desires – above that which is not capable of this. And among living beings, the sentient are superior to the non-sentient, as, for example, animals stand above the plants. Among those who feel, the rational are superior to the unreasonable, as humans are superior to the other because of the order of nature” [4, p.55]. Thus, in Christianity, the world of divine order is God’s arranged ascending ladder of beings.
Creationism encouraged Christian theologians to see order, harmony, and beauty in the world. But to man, much in the world is presented as unreasonable, nasty. How to justify God for the existence in the world of disorder and evil? Believing Christians felt the gap between the earthly and heavenly worlds. This is how Calvin put it: “If heaven is our homeland, then what is earth, if not a place of exile?” If leaving the world is an entry into life, then what is the world like than a tomb? What is being in it, if not immersion in death? If liberation from the body is entry into complete freedom, then what is the body, if not prison? If one rejoices at the presence of God, there is a limit to happiness, is it not a misfortune to be deprived of this … So, of course, life should be despised and without any value” .
Christianity offers two options for justifying God. The first option is metaphysical theodicy, in which the world is created by the perfect Creator, it is created – in particular, man – free; from here, from the freedom of the creature, evil penetrates. Evil and lack are not from God, but from creature. The world is something paradoxical: created by the creator, he is not Him, but there is something else, i.e. independent. How God’s omniscience and freedom of creation are combined is the secret of his providence.
The second option is aesthetic theodicy, based on the contrast between the world and man, the perfection of the world and the imperfection of human perception. According to the theologians, a person sees disorder and evil in the world because of the inability to embrace the whole. Just as one cannot judge the beauty and meaning of a mosaic picture by stopping his gaze at one fragment, one cannot understand the world, appreciating particular events and chance events. Even what seems to be evil actually serves the general order, i.e. the maximum good of man.
Aesthetic theodicy leads to the idea of a “natural order, which should exclude” miracles “from nature, i.e. something going as opposed to its general laws. Unique events from the point of view of the system are natural. Nothing made by God contradicts nature, for him nature is that which he created. A true miracle should be recognized unless the very creation of the world and man, the existence of which is recognized by all so ordinary and natural.
In the Christian picture of the world, the natural origin of everything in nature is explained by the initial consistency of divine ideas. The created nature of God receives his laws of his existence from him. Violation of the laws of nature would mean a violation of the divine providence with which it was designed.
So, the proposition that God continuously rules the world is a universal principle of the Christian picture of the world. In cosmology, this principle leads to the idea of world harmony and meaningfulness of events taking place in the world. Human life acquires meaning only in concordance with divine providence, and human history under the sign of divine good. However, the achievement of Christianity, the main achievement for understanding by everyday consciousness, is the idea of the free will of man, and with it the relative independence and complete distinctness of the created world from the Creator God. “Christianity gives each person a chance through the development in himself of the potential of true divine freedom to become a god-like, genuine son of God” [9, p. 88].
This is due to the presence of evil in the world, as opposed to the private will of the universe, but also that the connection of man with God is declared unconditional, i.e. absolutely free love. In turn, the connection of the created world with God is carried out through His rule, which would not be necessary if the world was completely initially determined. Christianity, as the pinnacle of Hellenic wisdom, is paradoxical, antinomic, aporic, and dialectical through and through. The latter is the most difficult to understand, especially in a tradition far from Hellenic sophisticated intellectual culture. So there are simplified, vulgarized versions of monotheism – monophysites who considered Jesus not to be a man, only to God.
God in Christianity is forced to maintain the attribute of omnipotence more gently than in Islam, but to program the consequences of the freedom granted to him by man and to initially coordinate these consequences with the world order established by him [9, p.88].
Man in Christianity, as in many world religions, is represented as an individual who opposes nature and society. A man should not be equal to the same person, which follows from the concept of his equality not before people, but before God. In the Christian religion, a special position is occupied by the negative equality of man before God, the opposition of all sinners to a single and sinless god.
Man’s earthly existence is a priori sinful, since his body carries the original sin of his ancestors — Adam and Eve. Jesus helped everyone to get rid of sinfulness by cleansing them of original sin by their death. But the life of every person does not immediately become sinless, in order for this to happen, it must be devoted to the knowledge of God and unlimited love for him.
A little later, in the medieval scholasticism, statements of a slightly different nature can be found. Scholastics, in particular Thomas Aquinas, ceased to deny the importance of not only spiritual, but also intellectual knowledge of man. According to their concepts, a person in Christianity should not only love and accept the teachings of God, but also not forget about his own intelligence when understanding the world around him and realizing the beautiful in nature and living beings that surround him.
After such a rethinking of the role of man according to Christian dogmas, without going beyond them, in the theology of Christianity he gradually begins to acquire value as an independent individuality. They begin to appreciate a man for his existence and for his intellect, capable of understanding God and his teachings, and not for his divine predestination. The church dictated the doctrine of the higher divine and lower human principles, which enabled the theologians to talk about the value of human life on Earth, and not just about its divine future.
A completely different person appears in the Islamic picture of the universe. First of all, he is the governor of God. This is what the Qur’an says: And the Lord said to the angels: “Verily, I will make a viceroy on earth [a man, Adam, from whom the human race will descend]. (Quran, 2:30)
Each person is a unique and unique creation of Allah, moreover, a perfect and wonderful creation. Yes, the Qur’an emphasizes the shortcomings of the sons of Adam (such as impatience, ingratitude, ignorance), but nevertheless, perfection prevails in the human form. The 64th sura of the Holy Quran says: “He created the heavens and the earth in truth, gave you [human] appearance and made this appearance beautiful (Quran, 64: 3). This thought also occurs in Sura 95: “We created man in the most beautiful form” (Quran 95: 4).
Man also has a special function, real possibilities and abilities, laid down in him by the Creator. Islam recognizes the dual nature of man, that there is good and evil in him. The confrontation of these two principles, as well as the confrontation between faith and unbelief, brought and bring human civilization from one level to another; the rivalry of individuals, peoples, states, civilizations tempers people, reveals new facets in them; the replacement of wars (military operations, conflicts, information wars) with creative peaceful periods has moved and continues to move science and culture to new heights.
We cannot agree with the Russian researcher P.A.Polomoshnov, who claims that Islam arises to a large extent from the processing by the Arab consciousness of the Christian idea of monotheism. “In the Islamic civilizations of the East, the personality principle is poorly developed, the person is represented as a member of the community, the community,” he says. – Therefore, freedom is the possession of status in the community. In the West, in Christian civilizations, where the principle of personality is developed, freedom is the ability to be an individual personality and independently determine one’s behavior” [9, p. 89].
First of all, from a historical and theoretical point of view, the assertion that the emergence of the youngest and fastest growing world religion is connected with the Arab consciousness, with the processing of Christian monotheism is untenable.
In Islam, freedom implies submission to the will of Allah, thereby removing the contradiction between the will of God (predetermined) and the will of man (free).
The differences between Islam and Christianity can be reduced to the differences in the words and deeds of the founders of these religions. Jesus Christ did not achieve any visible success and died a “slave death.” This death was his main deed. The less visible, external success here, the greater should be “invisible success”, the grander the scale of the deed of the founder of religion – victory over death, atonement for the sins of mankind, the giving of believers eternal life. And the more in the minds of his students become the scale of his personality.
Now, from this point on, the “processing by the Christian consciousness” of the Old Testament monotheism (the Jewish Torah) begins, since it is not a mere mortal who can atone for the sins of all mankind, but only God.
As A. Khamidullin correctly emphasizes, “God in the Qur’an is called light: “Allah is the Light of heaven and earth. His light in the soul of a believer is like a niche in which there is a lamp. The lamp is enclosed in glass, and glass is like a pearl star … Allah directs to His light that He wills” .
According to Islam, Allah chose a simple man from the Arab tribe of Quraishites as his messenger. The image of Muhammad and his activities are different from the image of Jesus and his deeds. Muhammad is the prophet through whom Allah speaks. His is that his words come from Allah and Allah himself guides him and does not require faith in his resurrection from the dead and his divinity. The speech of Muhammad is completely simple than the speech of Christ. He is only a transmitter of “revelation.”
Different personalities of the founders, their different lives, different interpretations of their mission are the main elements of the differences of the religions generated by them. First of all, different interpretations of the relations of the founders of religion with God and their mission also imply differences in the idea of God. Both in Christianity and in Islam, God is one and only. But the monotheism of Christianity is combined with the belief that God crucified on the cross, which gives rise to the doctrine of the Incarnation and the Trinity. Here a paradox is introduced into monotheism, into the very idea of God and his relationship with creation, that which cannot be understood by the human mind, contradicts it and can only be an object of faith.
The monotheism of Islam is “pure”, devoid of Christian paradox. The Qur’an emphasizes the uniqueness of Allah. He has no companions. Recognizing the existence of “companions” of Allah is the main crime against Islam.
Different ideas about God in these religions are inextricably linked with different ideas about man. In Christianity, man was created “in the image and likeness of God,” but Adam’s original sin “damaged” man’s nature so much that it required the atoning sacrifice of God.
“The fact of the matter is that the whole meaning of human freedom, and this, perhaps, is recognized by all theology, that man through likening to God receives only the opportunity, and the measure of this assimilation depends on the man himself, on how he will use this freedom of his own [7, p. 63].
Islam has different ideas about man. He is not thought to be created in the image and likeness of God, but he does not experience such a grandiose fall. A person is rather weak than “damaged”. Therefore, he does not need redemption from sins, but the help and guidance of God, showing him the right path in the Qur’an. “The human soul does not appear in Islam as the arena of the world battle of good and evil; this is not an area where, in each particular and individual case, not only the personal fate of a person is decided, but also the metaphysical fate of the world” [10, p.46-70].
Different systems of ideas about a person also imply differences in ethical values. Faith in Christianity is inextricably linked with love for God, who so loved a man that for his sake he underwent crucifixion. Islam also implies faith, but it is a slightly different faith. The very word “Islam” can be translated as humility. Faith here is not faith in the paradox of the crucified God, not separable from love for him, but submission to the instructions of Allah given through the prophet in the Qur’an. These directions are clear and understandable to people. They relate to the few and uncomplicated (therefore, they must be strictly observed) ritual prescriptions and the legal standards regarding the marriage, divorce, inheritance, and punishments for crimes that have already been developed in the Qur’an. All this is real and feasible, and the Qur’an emphasizes that Allah does not require anything supernatural. He demands from people ordinary, normal, but orderly and ennobled by Islam life. The simplicity of religious claims stems from the fundamental idea of Islam about divine predestination. Allah acts in accordance with his plans and determines all without exception, even the most insignificant events.
One of the six pillars of the dogma of Islam (iman) is faith in the predestination of Allah (kadar). The word “kadar” was originally understood as “power”, in the sense of the power of God to perform any action. Hence the “cadar” began to be understood as “predestination”. The doctrine of predestination stems from the theistic nature of the Islamic religion. The Qur’an portrays Allah Almighty Creator – anything in this world fulfills His will, any event occurs only with His will. Man’s actions and actions depend entirely on the creative action of God. Let us pay attention to the following verses:
“There is no deity but Him, the Creator of everything” (Quran 6: 102);
“The Lord creates what He wills and chooses, but they have no choice” (Quran 28:68);
“You will not wish it if Allah, the Lord of the worlds does not want it” (Quran 81:29).
God does not just maintain the world, freely disposes of it, but creates it every second, creates it again and again, so that in every subsequent moment anything, creature, person becomes different. The created world does not even have a relative ontological status; Allah can change everything when he wants.
A literal understanding of these verses reduces the essence of predestination to coercion. Allah forces all his creations to the result that was previously determined by Him. In extreme form, this tendency was expressed by jabarites (jabr – coercion, torment), representatives of the first worldview schools of early Islam. It was a one-sided understanding of predestination, a denial of a person’s freedom, belittling his responsibility for his actions. In this case, the censure of the sinner and the encouragement of the righteous are equally meaningless. The manifestation of the prophets and God’s books, it turns out, do not play any role, since the salvation of man does not depend on himself.
Opponents of the fatalists – cadarites (cadar – the ability to do their actions) consider freedom of choice obvious. Cadarites proceeded from the thesis that God can only be thought of as just. It is impossible to imagine that God, having predetermined people to evil deeds, would demand from them responsibility for these deeds. God, possessing the quality of free will, had to create people with the same quality. Cadarites also went to extremes, absolutizing human freedom.
Overcoming these extremes, Abu Mansur Maturidi created the Islamic doctrine of freedom of choice, without which the appearance of the prophets with the aim of leading people would be senseless. “Who follows the direct path, he acts for his own good. And he who falls into error, does harm to himself … We never punished people without sending an envoy to them” (Quran 17:15). “Let’s say: Truth is from your Lord. He who wants, let him believe, but he who does not want, let him not believe” (Quran 18:29).
Human trials also confirm freedom of choice. “Verily, all that is on the earth, We have made adornment for it in order to test people and reveal whose deeds will turn out to be better” (Quran 18: 7).
Moral responsibility can be assigned to a person only if he has the freedom of choice. “Everyone is responsible for their deeds.” (Quran 74: 38). “Stop them, they will be asked” (Quran 37:24).
Man deserves paradise and hell thanks to his actions, which once again proves the freedom of his choice. “Allah promised the believing men and women of the Gardens of Eden.” (Quran 9: 72).
The strictest monotheism of Islam and freedom of choice logically lead to the unsolvable antinomy of man’s obvious responsibility for his actions and ideas about the exclusive prerogative of God in the creation of all things. The resolution of this contradiction in theological disputes stretched for centuries, during which several most important concepts took shape. So Kalam was born – speculative theology, rationalistic Muslim philosophy.
Thus, it can be safely asserted that at the center of the religious picture of Islam is man as the crown of creation. The Holy Quran states: “Everything created by Him [Allah] is perfectly [done masterfully, in the best way, in harmony with everything else]. And [He] gave rise to the creation of man [the progenitor of humanity Adam] from clay. Then he made [the creation] of his descendants (Adam) [that is, people originating from] a clot of insignificant liquid. Later he prepared it [by starting the development of organs and body parts] and breathed into it from His spirit [that is, he revived the matter in the process of formation]. He gave you [people] a hearing, a vision, and a heart. But you do not thank much” (St. Quran 32: 7–9).
While a person is alive, he has the opportunity to rise to the level from which the ancestors of mankind, Adam and Eve, were once reduced by God’s wisdom. The main assistant to him in this is faith in the Creator and its postulates, and the main opponent is the damned Satan, who received a reprieve to the End of the World. The Lord gave him the right to test people for strength, determination and steadfastness.
“Adam received the words of prayer from the Lord [prayed for forgiveness with Eve] and was forgiven [and both were forgiven]. Verily, He is All-Forgiving and Gracious” (Quran, 2:37).
Although Satan contributed to the transgression of Adam and Eve, but still it was their personal choice. And repenting of sin, they received the forgiveness of the Most High. God created man not aimlessly and meaninglessly. Although his existence is temporary, he has been entrusted with many functions and responsibilities related to the development and prosperity of life on earth, through which a person reveals his potential and proves to himself what he deserves after death, the End of the World and the General Resurrection – or Hell (by the justice of the Creator), or Paradise (by His mercy).
“We [says the Lord of the worlds] said: “All of you [Adam, Eve and Satan] get down from here [to Earth]! You [Adam and Eve, as well as all subsequent generations of people] will be shown the right path from Me [through the prophets, messengers and the Scriptures], and those who follow My path will not be subject to fear [will not be enslaved to them; such people should not be afraid of what is to come after death] and will not be saddened [for being left in the mundane, turning into the eternal]” (St. Quran, 2:38).
“We [says the Lord of the worlds] give you an inheritance [and your family as well as each of the people provides many opportunities, benefits and gifts for a while]. [And in the pursuit of the worldly or the eternal, do not forget that] in the end [the most important quality of a person] is piety [manifesting itself, among other things, in the vision of apparent sin as sin, and obvious evil as evil. After all, sometimes imaginary piety is able to turn a person into a devil, dressed in the cape of a prophet, whose true essence is revealed to us by the fruits (results) of his deeds and actions]” (see: Quran, 20: 132).
“God’s color (coloring) [by which the hearts of believers are painted. The faith of these people is natural and is represented not so much by arguments on religious topics, not so much by individual attributes in clothes or style of behavior, but by sincerity and altruism  in actions that are responsible for life, time, and God’s gifts]. Who can give a color better than that of God?! We worship him” (Quran, 2: 138).
Each of people has his own mission, each is destined to have his own destiny. Having understood and experienced this, a person should concentrate on his life path, on what God has given him to realize his potential, for worldly accomplishments and achievements. Here is what the Messenger of Allah said on this occasion: “He who makes all his worries [circling] one [main] – worries about what [sooner or later] he will return to God, will have all his earthly troubles (troubles) allowed by the Lord [after all, with all his inclusion and activity of the soul, the heart will be calm]. [When a person learns to maintain the graceful whirling of the fall foliage around his main meaning in life, then anxieties and worries will cease to fall in his path, interfering and rustling under his feet like withered autumn foliage. The center of all his aspirations will be the mood of the heart and mind to understand what this or that choice can turn into for him in eternity].
Whose attention will be scattered between worldly concerns (anxieties, anxieties) [and nothing more; he who is likened by his carelessness or over-employment to a tree with numerous branches directed in different directions], will deprive himself of divine attention [will be beyond the mercy and generosity of the Lord of the worlds. From such a vain person the Almighty will turn away]. The creator will not even be interested in where [and how] he will die.”
“For whom worldly life will become [main] his alarm [vanity will begin to eat him; fears, anxiety and anxieties will not allow him to sleep and eat; everything and everything in his deeds and actions, aspirations and desires, even a prayer addressed to God, will revolve around the transient, worldly], that the Almighty will make it torn (His affairs will be torn by Him) [to shreds and scattered everywhere, he will try hard put them together and have time to do something], and [in the end, having achieved nothing serious, losing hope and confidence in his own abilities and capabilities, he will come to the conclusion that the Lord] will put him [the seal] of poverty [directly ] between the eyes: in a secular monastery he will receive only what is already [minim it is] determined for him [and will deprive himself of God’s mercy and generosity].
Whose aspiration (the end point of aspiration, the essence of his intentions) [will be] eternity [how worldly things will return to him on Judgment Day in the form of irreversible punishments or Divine retribution], the affairs of that Almighty will bring together [necessary circumstances, opportunities, people will appear in time on his life path, unexpectedly, will be nearby;
The Creator will bless him with focus, concentration, a clear vision of worldly and eternal goals, tasks, as well as the optimality of their solution]; and also fill the heart with his happiness (full self-sufficiency); worldly life, wishing it or not, will fall at his feet [the gates of earthly abundance and all-round well-being will, as necessary, open unhindered before him]. ”
Thus, the nature of Islam predetermines the penetration of the religious model of the world into the very fabric of the socio-political life of Muslims. Such a system is much more stable than the Christian. That is why, obviously, it did not create the prerequisites for a breakthrough to a new, already non-religious civilization.
On the whole, the religious picture of the world as a whole is presented as the superiority of the ratio of the rational and the irrational. The religious worldview as a cognitive culture contributes to the transformation of value attitudes. As a result of a comparison of religious pictures of the world, we came to the conclusion that different understanding and representation of the world cannot be the basis for the superiority of one picture of the world over another. It can be argued that they developed in accordance with the socio cultural environment and performed certain communicative and compensatory socio cultural functions.
The elements of the correlation of religious pictures of the world in the modern world can be the basis for inter-confessional dialogue in the general matter of educating a modern person. Concepts on educating human morality can be a means of humanizing modern society and preserving human sincerity.
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Nigina Şermuhammedova, Asal Babayeva, Cavlonbek Kodirov
Dünyanın dini mənzərəsi “ümumi” və “xüsusi” fəlsəfi kateqoriyalar aspektində
Ən qədim dünyagörüş formaları və dünya haqqında elmi fikirlərin başlanğıc mənbələri dünyanın mifoloji, dini və fəlsəfi mənzərələridir ki, bunların hər biri insan sivilizasiyasının formalaşmasında və inkişafında son dərəcə vacib rol oynayıb. Dünyanın mifoloji mənzərəsi bəşər cəmiyyətinin inkişafının ilk mərhələlərində mövcud olub və indi də ayrı-ayrı fərdlərin şüurunda bəzi elementlərini saxlamaqdadır. Daha yüksək bir mərhələ orta əsrlərdə prioritet, hakim dünyagörüş olan dünyanın dini mənzərəsidir. Yüksək texnologiya və rəqəmsal iqtisadiyyat dövründə dünyanın elmi mənzərəsi artıq üstünlük qazanmağa başlamış, lakin gündəlik şüur səviyyəsində dini dünyagörüşünün təsiri hələ də nəzərə çarpmaqdadır.
Bu məqalədə buddizm, xristianlıq və islam dünyagörüşlərinin bəzi aspektləri ümumi, ayrı və xüsusi fəlsəfi kateqoriyalar prizmasından təhlil edilir.
Açar sözlər: dünyagörüşü, mifologiya, dini dünyagörüşü, dünya dinləri, buddizm, islam, xristianlıq, kosmogoniya, kosmologiya, həyatın mənası, hilozoizm və fatalizm, azad iradə
Нигина Шермухамедова, Асал Бабаева, Джавлонбек Кодиров
Общее и особенное в религиозной картине мира
Древнейшими формами мировоззрения и исходными источниками научных представлений о мире являются мифологические, религиозные и философские картины мира, существование каждой из которых имело чрезвычайно важное значение в становлении и развитии человеческой цивилизации. Мифологическая картина мира преобладала на ранних этапах развития человеческого общества и до сих пор сохраняет некоторые элементы в сознании отдельных людей. Высшая ступень – это религиозная картина мира, которая была приоритетной в средние века. В эпоху высоких технологий и цифровой экономики научная картина мира уже начинает преобладать, но на уровне обыденного сознания еще заметно влияние религиозного мировоззрения.
В этой статье мы попытаемся проанализировать некоторые аспекты буддийского, христианского и исламского мировоззрения через призму философских категорий общего, отдельного и особенного.
Ключевые слова: мировоззрение, мифология, религиозное мировоззрение, мировые религии, буддизм, ислам, христианство, космогония, космология, смысл жизни, гилозоизм и фатализм, свобода воли