Inconsistency between "Theory and Practice" in "Determinism and Free will" Issue in Attar Nishāburi's Thoughts

Hassan Mehdipour
2016 Adabiyyāt-i ̒irfānī  
The present paper aims at clarifying the problematic issue of determinism and free will in Attar's thoughts. It explores the reasons why in some of his poems determinism and absolute negation of man's free will and power could be seen, while a good number of his other poems could not be understood without considering man's free will. To explicate this inconsistency, the method of logical analysis of propositions, derived from Attar's poems, and critical approach were employed. Having separated
more » ... ttar's views into two domains of theory and practice, the presuppositions and logical requisites of each category were investigated with a focus on determinism and free will issue. The relationship between these two domains in terms of consistency or inconsistency was also investigated. It was concluded that the inconsistency is originally grounded in the two domains of theory and practice. In Attar's poetry, those poems which are related to theoretical issues, especially those based on his theological-mystical principles like exposing God's causeless existence, His absolute agency, and Divine decree and destiny yield absolute determinism. Nonetheless, this determinism enjoys certain requisites which are inconsistent with ethical and behavioral recommendations, religious obligations, human competency for education and training, prophetic guidance, and moral commitment; and hence makes them futile and pointless as their central presupposition is man's free will. On the other hand, Attar underscores these matters in poems which deal with practical issues, mystical conducts, ethical recommendations, religious commands and prohibitions, and persuasion to striving and devotion. However, we have shown that although Attar, confessing to his inability in offering a rational solution, strives to resolve the conflict with some justifications like Divine attraction and human striving, he is not very successful. In the end, we also mention some other moral requisites of Attar's determinism concerning the nature of moral concepts.
doi:10.22051/jml.2017.16288.1379 doaj:a12f015825c5439f87dfd9e953fddd31 fatcat:p3diettzyffvpczo4kepjw42ee