The Skeptics Of Al- Ghazzali Essay
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Philosophy, Descartes, Christians, Life, Knowledge, Iraq, Baghdad, Consciousness
Abu Muhammad al-Ghazali was born in Ghazzal near Tus in 1059. He studied theology in Nazimaya of Neishapur. After his teacher had died, he travelled to Baghdad in 1091 and became the principal of Nizamiya in the town of Baghdad at age 34. In Baghdad, he was highly appreciated as a knowledgeable person. He began to develop an internal crisis of divine essence during his early 40s. One thing that pondered in his mind was how to avoid hell and eventually go to paradise. He pondered about how he would be rewarded with eternal life since he felt that his life had become so much attached to the world. Some of the elements of his internal pressure could be viewed through his book ‘The Deliverance from Error’ which outlined the validity of human knowledge.
Al-Ghazali’s Empiricist Ethics
Al- Ghazalis’ approach on ‘The Wisdom of God’s creations’ reveals the manner in which he used an empiricist approach towards divine creation. AL-Ghazzali fails to embrace other philosophers, rationalist approach to his ethical and legal thoughts in a bid to bring out his belief in divine purposefulness. Historians suggest that his theories were motivated by his engagement with the voice of Galen.
In another theory, he tries to falsify the intellectual truths. He asks himself some personal questions regarding his reliability on intellectual truths. He comes to the conclusion that behind every intellectual truth, there is a side judge that is dependent on for passing any judgments.
Anther empirical theory can be looked at when Al-Ghazzal tries to study the relative connection between dreams and wakefulness. He argues that people only dream when they are asleep. Thus means that he is either conscious or sub-conscious. He laments that the dreams are almost real while one is sleeping but when one wakes up he notices that all he was dreaming is fiction. In this way, he tries to prove that our beliefs while we are dreaming, are quite different to our beliefs when we are awake. Through all the above, we see empirical skeptics in the philosophies of Al-Ghazzal.We get a different views in the life of Al-Ghazzal in his last days. We are told that he saw the light and became a strong believer after undergoing a personal experience gathered through Sufi Ascetics. He argues that things the eye can view are beyond normal sight and adds that prophecy can only be achieved when one encounters divine light.
Comparison of Descartes and Al-Ghazzali
Modern Philosophers and scholars have compared the epistemologies of Descartes and Al-Ghazzali, and as a result picked out immense similarities. Al-Ghazzali uses methodological skeptics to solve the major problems in philosophy. Al-Ghazzali dwells on two main issues; for instance, how to acquire knowledge and the justification of the knowledge. Descartes majored in issues of doubt and arrived at the same solution as AL-Ghazzali. Modern scholars also state that the Philosophy of Arabs was influenced by the Western Philosophy, seemingly to say Al-Ghazzali’s philosophy influenced the philosophy of Descartes. Both philosophers coincide in reasoning for no doubt. They use the divergent views to put across their epistemological foundation. In addition to this, there has not been solid proof that Al-Ghazzali influenced Descartes since no connection has been established among them.