Philosophy

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Aaron Jagdeosingh

Man CAN live by bread alone
In this article I demonstrate that I do not agree with the position of Islamic cleric Ayatullah Murtaza Mutahhari. He states: as man is able to have a higher awareness of himself and his environment by extrapolation, man has the ability to have aspirations and, as a result, he has faith. Faith is the major difference between the animal man and other animals. He then proceeds to show that faith is necessary for man to live a sane life and be useful to civilization. The Christian Bible supports Mutahhari’s premise, illustrated in the Old Testament reading, (Deuteronomy Chapter 8, verse 3) and the New Testament reading, (Matthew 4, verse 4): “Man shall not live by bread alone,

but every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.”
In his article “Man and Faith” Mutahhari philosophizes on the fundamental differences between man and animals although “man is a species of animal”. Mutahhari speaks on the numerous differences that distinguish the animal man from animals. He asserts that man has reached a level far beyond what animals can ever attain. Mutahhari believes that the extent and breadth of man’s awareness is what grants him a special virtue - separating and raising him above other animals. To illustrate this he compares awareness and desire in man and animals, then moves on to what makes man distinctive and then concludes with the relationship between humanity and animality. In his comparison on awareness and desire in animals and man, Mutahhari discusses four points: animal awareness is external, superficial and material; it is singular and not and specific; it is only related to the immediate environs and surroundings; and lastly it is immediate and confined to the present with no relation to the past or future. On the other hand, for man, awareness transcends external boundaries and infiltrates the internal workings and interactions of everything that intercepts its being, and thinking, regardless of time...
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