Salvation and Damnation in Plato and Avicenna’s View

Mohammadreza Shamshiri

Abstract


Salvation has always been one of the principal issues in the area of ethics. Influential thinkers like Plato and Avicenna have written about it, trying constantly and diligently to decode the meaning of salvation (happiness) and damnation (unhappiness). The present essay investigates the nature and grounds of salvation/damnation in the philosophical writings of Plato and Avicenna. In Plato’s view, salvation means the idea of the great good. He confirms that achieving great good by human beings is possible. Accordingly, great good is considered absolute, eternal, unchanging, knowable and rational. Plato believes that great good is the salvation and sense of relief which is realized through satisfying the three dimensions of self and perfecting the non-rational faculties by submitting them to the rule of reason. To achieve such a salvation one needs to practice virtue at the first place. On the other hand, Avicenna contends that salvation means realizing the potential talents and capacities of human beings in a consistent and coordinated way. For Avicenna, it is impossible to separate salvation from perfection and for that matter perfection from reason. In other words, any form of perfection, especially rational perfection, is indeed a kind of salvation. Plato and Avicenna have discussed ethics along with their theories of salvation/damnation. This is because achieving salvation and avoiding damnation is deemed to be possible through ethics and ethical knowledge. Therefore, by using a descriptive-analytical method, the present essay delineates the nature of salvation/damnation and ways to achieve one and to avoid the other from the perspective of Plato and Avicenna.

 


Keywords


Salvation, Damnation, Self, Virtue, Reason, Truth

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