Sokrat argues that "life without interrogation is not worth to be experienced". Human being is looking for answers for following questions while questioning the meaning of his existence. "Who am I? From where do I come to this world and why? What is the meaning and goal of my life?"
Sokrat argues that "life without interrogation is not worth to be experienced". Human being is looking for answers for following questions while questioning the meaning of his existence. "Who am I? From where do I come to this world and why? What is the meaning and goal of my life?" The essential aim of the philosophical and religious belief is to find answers for these questions and thus to provide happiness for the humanity.
The new age in which the individual brings his body and desires at the center of his life compels us for a life without interrogation. The popular culture carried over by the mass media a network brings human being away forms his ideals. As in the case of Bediüzzaman's proposal that "if there would not be any goal of life than the minds would transform into selves", when the human being becomes away from his ideals/interrogations then he puts at the center his bodily desires. As a result, this man living in accordance with his desires makes his "self and sources of desires" idols and can sacrifice everything -even his feelings- in order to fulfill his desires. Also, he sees every impediment as enemy. This attitude is a reflection of the misuse of "the libidinal force" which is from one of the three basic determinant forces over the human behaviors. After that time he is flowing through the valleys of error and the main issues in his mind become to be issues such as richness, power, fame, success, beauty and sexuality. If the man who makes these issues as the main goal of his life can not reach his aim then he deals with many psychological problems. According to the researches, one third of the women and two fifth of the man population is dealint with the problem of depression. This shows us that the main source of the problem is on individual.
From this point on, we define our subject for the dossier as "Popular Slavery: Sensuality". We try to explain the issue around some key concepts such as "id, egocentricism, conformity, hedonism, sensuality, egoism, narcissism, depression and success obsession".
Mustafa Ulusoy, in his article of "The Construction of a Desire from the Ashes of Narcissism: The Relationship Between the Identity and the Desire" explains about the systematic of thought which is not based on revelation is not a rationalist one, it only uses the reason as an instrument of the desires. The author tries to show that the desire is not in work only to satisfy bodily feelings, but it might also show itself with its cognitive aspect.
Yusuf Özkan Özburun, compares in his article the concept of "Super Man" of Nietzsche who based his philosophy upon the Ancient Greek, Pagan Rome and Eastern mysticism and presents this concept for the modern Western world with the concept of "Excellent Man" which is both the cause and result of the Islamic civilization. Özburun, claims that the ultimate goal of the creation is not to rule over the world but to be able to get the will of God. The "excellent man" is a man of equilibrium and it is emphasized as a sample model which defines the standards of the humanness because of the fact that the names and attributes of God are reflected upon the personality of "Excellent Man".
Furkan Aydıner, compares the ideas of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi with the ideas of Jeremy Bentham who was one of the great thinkers of the capitalist system and founders of the pragmatism around the concepts of pleasure and pain. According to Bentham, the "ultimate and unique" aim of the life is maximizing pleasures of individuals and societies and minimizing pains. But Nursi criticizes the hedonism strongly. According to him, the humanity can only accomplish the happiness when it understands the human being with all of the spiritual and bodily feelings and then satisfies them within the legitimate boundaries.
Nevzat Tarhan, claims that the modernity promotes the human prototype which was not virtuous but pragmatic, which prioritizes his happiness rather than other's happiness, which does not consider abstract tastes but concrete tastes as important. Tarhan, concludes his article in which he analyzes the narcissistic psychological stance and the characteristic of narcissist personality by listing the points during a possible interaction with such persons.
Sadık Yalsızuçanlar, reaches the conclusion of the man who knows the richness of his soul and the "self" as a trust can know also his God in his article which he wrote around the hadith of Who knows his Real Self knows his God. According the author, human being can only knows himself according to the level of the Names of God which are reflected in his self.
Yasemin Yaşar, argues in her article of "Civilization and Slavery" that the freedom which is intrinsic in the definition of liberty is completely different from the freedom that is understood by our contemporary men. The author suggests that people as trying to be free in the traps of this dissipated civilization fall into the misery and became slaves to their own selves.
A. Said Yargıcı, lists the reasons of the sensuality (1) to prefer the temporary taste, (2) to be deceived by the temporary life of this world, (3) making the resemblance to the God as the main aim of his life. As a cure, he proposes to be enemy to the self, but after it became satisfied, we should be compassionate against the self.
Reha Fırat, writes about the nationalism which is to be a social reflection of narcissism. He bases the nationalism on the selfishness and belligerence which are deep in the individual psychology.
S. Bahaddin Yaşar, analyzes the book of Telbîs-i İblîs (Devil's Enticement) by İbnü'l-Cevzî. This book enables us to compare the Islamic society in the twelfth century with our contemporary society.
There are also two articles except those in dossier. The first one is by Prof. Dr. Yasien Mohamed from South Africa, the article entitled as "The Pathways to Tolerance in a Multi-Madhhab Society: Faith and Forgiveness in the Thought of Said Nursi". The second one is English translation of the article by Nuri Çakır published in or 84th issue, "The Method of the Headscarf Defense and Proofs for Justness". We hope that this translation will be beneficial during the period of the internationalization of the headscarf debate.
As we gave up the word and invite you to the content of our periodical, we hope to meet you again with our 88th issue in which the dossier subject will be "Poverty".
ABSTRACTS OF THE ARTİCLES
The Construction of a Desire from the Ashes of Narcissism: The Relationship Between the Identity and the Desire
Mustafa Ulusoy/Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist
The human being thinks continuously about himself, other creatures and life. The semantic tie provides the link between the self, other and life of human beings. This need to reach meanings of the experiences necessitates thinking process. The thinking process is not addressed particularly to philosophers, but it is a requirement for every man during his life. The reason as an instrument producing ideas about the existence will either be based on the revealed knowledge or it will be an instrument by human desires and urges. It is certain that the thought system based on revelation does not exclude the usage of reason. It cannot be argued also that any systematic thought not based on revelation should be rationalistic. The aim of the author of this text is a thesis that any systematic thought not based on revelation was not necessarily rationalist, but they used reason in the hands of the desire and urges. The author will also try to show that the desire was not only for the satisfaction of the bodily wishes, but it could also illustrate itself with its cognitive aspect.
"Super Man" us "Excellent Man" at the Breaking Point of Civilizations
Yusuf Özkan Özburun
This article compares in the concept of "Super Man" of Nietzsche who based his philosophy upon the Ancient Greek, Pagan Rome and Eastern mysticism and presents this concept for the modern Western world with the concept of "Excellent Man" which is both the cause and result of the Islamic civilization. Author claims that the ultimate goal of the creation is not to rule over the world but to be able to get the will of God. The "Excellent Man" is a man of equilibrium and it is emphasized as a sample model which defines the standards of the humanness because of the fact that the names and attributes of God are reflected upon the personality of "Excellent Man".
The Happiness Crisis of Global Capitalisme
Dr. Furkan Aydıner/University of Florida, USA
This article discusses the happiness crisis of capitalism in the context of Jeremy Bentham's (1748-1832) hedonistic utility theory and Said Nursi's (1878-1960) ideas on happiness. Pain and pleasure are the essential concepts in both Bentham's and Nursi's teachings. British philosopher and social reformer Bentham's utility theory relies on the concepts of pain and pleasure. According to Bentham, the maximization of pleasures and minimization of pains is the ultimate goal for individuals and societies. The purpose of life for an individual who, by his nature, receives either pain and/or pleasure from anything he does is to maximize his utility.
Similarly, Nursi uses the concepts of pain and pleasure very often in his writings. In many parts of his collection, he compares believers, fasik (the misguided), and non-believers in terms of the pains and pleasures they have in this life and hereafter. He believes that such comparisons are the driving force behind the success of his writings which have reached to millions people across the world. However, Nursi strongly criticizes the hedonistic philosophy of life shaped by Bentham's utility theory. In Nursi's view, the failure of Western civilization in terms of bringing true happiness to humanity is the due to its misunderstanding or imperfect understanding of human nature. It is not possible to for any civilization to bring happiness if it denies or ignores the spiritual needs, but only responses to the animalistic needs of human beings. In other words, the capitalist Western civilization which relies on the hedonistic utility theory promises a false paradise by working only for the maximization of corporal pleasures without making any distinguish between licit and illicit pleasures. In Nursi's words: "Can it be said of someone whose body is in a false and fleeting paradise and whose heart and spirit are suffering the torments of Hell that he is happy?" According to Nursi, the only way to bring happiness to humanity is through the understanding of corporal and spiritual needs and their satisfaction by licit pleasures.
The Ethic Adventure of Modernity
Dr. Adnan Aslan/Philosophy of Religion, İSAM
This article describes an "ethical" development and egoistic adventure of modernity since Descartes. It argues that in Western thought, instead of revealed principles, thinking human ego became a source for reality and truth. According to this thought, it is human who can not only know but also create truth. Depending upon this proposition, modern mind has brought out several concepts and ideologies as well as institutions, which were concretion of modern man egoism. Arrogance, ambition, satisfactions of sexual desires are some of the main characteristics of not only modern man but also modern institutions. Therefore it is argued that only Islamic revealed principles are able to take human being beyond this egoism. In Islamic cultural history, Sufism has shown a good example of such possibility.
Who knows his Real Self knows his God
In Classical Arabic, the term real self means spirit. The meaning of a hadith uttered in this wide semantic sphere which also includes the later meanings of "identity" and "selfness" of this term real self should be considered in this framework: "Who knows his Real Self knows God". Who knows his Self, i.e., who knows the riches of his spirit and "identity" as a deposit also knows his Lord. The human being can only knows himself at the level of the manifestation of the Divine Names that have been revealed by his Self. The manifestation level of the Beautiful Names in his Self will determine the level of the God's knowledge by that person.
Civilization and Slavery
Yasemin Yaşar/Art historian
The humanity passed through centuries from various phases such as wildness and nomadism, being property, slavery, proprietorship and freedom. The contemporary man seems to be in the last phase in his social life, whereas in his inner worlds he lives in the slavery phase. Freedom which is intrinsic to the definition of liberty is entirely different from the term freedom the contemporary man understands. The men fall into misery and become slave to their self in order to be free. It is certain that the media is the prominent trap established by the dissipated civilization. The media does not put a chain on the foot and necks of people but on their pleasing and feelings such as hearts, reasons and secrets. The media is a factor which carries out this not coercively but lead the people to prefer these acts. The global media companies selected the entire population of the world, especially children, youth and women as their target. The real freedom (The Islamic freedom emerges from the compassion of faith), i.e., the real freedom is the inner freedom provided only by faith. Bediüzzaman states that "If the faith is so powerful, then the freedom becomes powerful" and emphasizes that faith is the mere instrument to save the men from the slavery to self.
Socialized Narcissism: Nationalism
The society criticizes and excludes the idea of selfishness. But very interestingly, nationalism which means selfishness at the social level is recognized as an outstanding quality. Nationalism also seems to tend to be transmitted through generations as one of the essential elements of the social sub-conscious. It is based on the trivet of the selfishness and belligerence deep in the individual human psychology.
The predominant power which rules over the societies promotes the feeling of nationalism which it settles down by societies on its own control because nationalism is recognized the most important instigator in order to activate the society according to its own goals when needed.
It is a utopia that all of the members of any society would be maturated to the degree that they could recognize this very fact. Therefore, intellectuals who can contribute to the slowly transformation of the social subconscious positively should think universally and act accordingly in order to overcome this paradox.
To be able to set up empathy is a very strong instrument to understand the "other".
Rather than the national and social interests, the social rights and inter-societal justice should be emphasized as in the individual level. But this needs, sometimes, to accept the risk of heavy prices for the intellectuals who are in favor of those such as his exclusion and punishment as traitor in the eyes of his society. Two examples of this very fact were Fanon and Sartre who had supported Algiers in the Independence War even though both of them were French citizens. Also in our country, the number of the intellectuals who think not in line with the official ideology and thus should visit the courts and prisons is not too few, unfortunately.
An Internal Critic to the Islamic Society in the 6th Century After the Hegira"
S. Bahaddin Yaşar
İbnü'l-Cevzi criticizes many incorrect acts within Islamic communities in his book Telbis-i İblis. He emphasizes that under every circumstances every men possess a demon which prepares tricks that fit to the conditions of the corresponding person. This work is the fifth book of the author in the science of akaid which tries to find solutions to problems according to the Qur'an and Sunnah. The author tries to identify demon sufficiently by illustrating the trick of demon in terms of the relationship between demon and men in detail. Even though it is strict in terms of his principles, it is not free from control and fairness.
The Pathways to Tolerance in a Multi-Madhhab Society Faith and Forgiveness in the Thought of Said Nursi
University of the Western Cape
This article we have discussed two pathways to tolerance, faith and forgiveness. Both require reason to temper religious fanaticism and aggression. They are essential for tolerance in a multi-cultural, multi-madhhab, and multi-religious society. Nursi exhorts us to reflect before we react, and to forgive before we revenge. We should have a mature faith in order to respect diversity of opinion, and we should forgive our dear ones in order that we preserve family ties. Revenge breaks human relations, and forgiveness unites them.
Click the link for the whole article: Faith and Forgiveness in the Thought of Said Nursi
Head Scarf Defence Method and Justice Evidence*
Translated By: Tuğba Gürsu
The people who see the head scarf as a part of daily life, because of the problems they faced, they need to defend themselves. In this matter some problems are occurred. Because some people use false methods while they are defending themselves. These circumstances are the result of continuity of the problems. As you see, in this article some faults of the people are focused. This condition bring with the new proposals. At the sane time this study, although it is a natural right, the prohibition of dress liberty by authorization tendencies is showing its inconsistency.
Click the link for the whole article: Head Scarf Defence Method and Justice Evidence
Source: This article is the editorial writing of the akademic magazine Köprü/Summer 2004