Enlightenment in Western and Islamic traditions

Enlightenment in Western and Islamic traditions

Enlightenment in Western and Islamic traditions
Which tradition provides greater Enlightenment

In the world we live we are always faced with conflicting ideologies that influence our thinking This is certainly true about Islam and secularism In my case and in the case of most Muslim individuals who live in a modern society society sometimes demands us to reject secular Western values and follow Islamic values and vice versa Due to such conflicting influences on our thinking we are sometimes confused as to which tradition to adopt as a transcendental decision the Islamic tradition or the Western tradition

To help decide which tradition to follow I am going to investigate which tradition provides greater enlightenment I will do this by breaking the paper into the following parts

1 General concept and definition of the word enlightenment
2 The Age of Enlightenment in the West
3 Enlightenment in Islam
4 Successes and Failures of enlightenment in the West
5 Why Islam is more enlightened than the Western ideology of enlightenment and should be promoted

General concept and definition of the word enlightenment

The word enlightenment has many different meanings depending on the context in which it is used If we look at the literal meaning of the word enlightenment we will find that it comes from the verb to lighten The prefix en means to make or become and the suffix ment means a state of being Therefore if we join the components of the word enlightenment together we will find that it literally means to become brightened

However the broad definition of the word enlightenment according to most cultures and societies is the acquisition of new wisdom or understanding Wikipedia 2006 Enlightenment concept section 1 If we look at this definition we will find it is very similar to the literal definition of enlightenment When we say a person has become brightened we mean he has become wiser more intelligent or has acquired new wisdom

In general there are two different concepts of enlightenment religiousspiritual enlightenment and intellectualsecular enlightenment Both concepts of enlightenment are strong opposites of each other This is why most people that believe in secular enlightenment often reject religious enlightenment and vice versa Secular enlightenment is enlightenment that is not regarded as religious spiritual or sacred whereas religious enlightenment is the opposite According to Immanuel Kant a German philosopher of the enlightenment the Enlightenment was the period in the development of European civilization when Mankind grew out of its selfinflicted immaturity as cited in Davies 1996 p596 or it is mans release from his selfincurred tutelage as cited in Dupr 2004 p1 The concept of Secular enlightenment was important in Europe during the 18th century because it caused a dramatic change in the everyday thinking of Europeans The characteristics of Secular enlightenment were the rejection of old dogmatic beliefs which were replaced with the belief in reason as a measure over all things The Enlightenment was in fact the intellectual movement that advocated this concept

The Age of Enlightenment in the West

The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in American and European philosophy or according to some scholars it also includes the seventeenth century and the Age of Reason This was the period where innovative and intellectual ideas were being propagated so as to challenge traditional dogmatic ideas and beliefs During this period an intellectual movement known as The Enlightenment advocated reason as a method to investigate and study all the various scientific fields which included the social sciences aesthetics ethics philosophy logic economics literature and natural sciences physics biology chemistry They believed this would allow human beings to obtain objective truth about the universeThe main figures of the enlightenment were Descartes Pascal Bayle Montesquieu Voltaire Diderot and Ro

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