Reconciliation of Philosophy and Science by Ibn RushdJune 27, 2021
Ibn Rushd considers and grounds the problem of relations between religion and philosophy, which he attaches special importance to, in the context of the previous issues. While examining this problem, Ibn Rushd compares religion and philosophy in terms of “purpose”, “subject”, “method/discourse” and “sources” like Fârâbî and Avicenna, but unlike them, he does not feel the need to provide a rational explanation for how the phenomenon of revelation takes place.
According to him, in contrast to the two purposes and functions of religion as teaching people “true knowledge” (al-ilmü’l-hakk) and “good behavior” (al-alü’l-hakk), philosophy’s “all beings (existence), It has only one function, which consists of examining and interpreting in terms of being a proof for the existence of Allah, His wisdom and power. Religion and philosophy, which are in “unity of purpose” in terms of epistemology, differ in the method and discourse they use for this common purpose. Religion is much more comprehensive than philosophy, which uses only the method of reasoning (reasoning – proof) and therefore can appeal to a small number of people, both in terms of the mass of people it targets and the methods and discourses it uses. For this reason, Ibn Rushd reached the conclusion that “the position of philosophy in terms of religion should be determined, not religion in terms of philosophy” and Faslu’l-makal. He tried to do this in his work. To put it briefly, according to our philosopher, religion encourages philosophy, which is in unity with its purpose, subject and method, as necessary (wajib).
Like Farabi and Avicenna, Ibn Rushd, who accepts that religion and philosophy are fed from the same source, expresses this understanding with the analogy of “milk brother” and tries to justify it with a completely different approach. What Ibn Rushd is based on in reconciling religion and philosophy, as in many other issues, is the “principle of causality” discussed above. As it will be remembered, if there is information about the necessary (possible) entities in the human mind, this means that there is an “essential structure” (amr) in those entities that the information is related to. The reason for these “characteristics”, which are the subject and basis of human knowledge, is none other than divine knowledge and wisdom. In other words, the knowledge of God becomes the cause of these special structures, and they become the cause of human knowledge. According to this approach, by comprehending these characteristics, the human mind actually comprehends the divine wisdom, becomes enlightened with knowledge and becomes the mind in the real sense. (İbn Rüşd, 1980a, 812) (İbn Rüşd, 1992, 115) Despite some temporary reasons, it may seem to some people that philosophical research and proof, that is, the data of the mind and religious texts, are not in harmony at first glance. In this case, what needs to be done is to reconcile religion and philosophy, which, according to our philosopher, is through the interpretation (ta’wil) of religious texts. It is clear that ta’wil, which has such an important function, requires a certain knowledge and skill, and it is not a job that anyone can do randomly. In fact, it is obvious that this situation creates its own inner dynamic of religious contemplation. However, as our thinker has rightly stated, it is not right to subject every text to interpretation as much as to accept every text in its clear sense. Because such an approach has the drawback of causing religion to be perceived as a mysterious and complex body of information that cannot be understood by everyone.
Ibn Rushd is of the opinion that it is not possible for religion and philosophy to lead people to contradictory conclusions. Because the source of both the principle of causality, which lies at the basis of philosophy, which is the product of human reason, and is valid in the ontic order, and religion, which is the product of revelation, is Allah’s eternal knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, religion fed from the same source and philosophy are intertwined, “philosophy is the friend and foster brother of religion”, “truth does not contradict the truth, on the contrary, it supports it”.