Reason and Science and Their Relation in the Shiite System of Thought
The prevalent discourse between rationalism and scienticism is an opportunity to properly describe the relation between reason, knowledge and religion. According to the Shiite system of thought, reason may be observed from two perspectives – i.e. ontological and functionalist perspectives – and knowledge may be observed from three perspectives – i.e. 1- experimental knowledge, 2- absolute knowledge, 3- revelational and inspirational knowledge. As a result reason and knowledge may be related from two respects: 1- inherence, 2- impressionability. Reason and the third kind of knowledge have the relation of equality; in other words reason and knowledge are inherent and concurrent, i.e. all the learned are reasonable and all reasonable individuals are learned. Also reason and the second and third kind of knowledge have the relation of generality and peculiarity in some respect; this means reason and non-inspirational knowledge are not inherent or concurrent. From the second perspective, i.e. the bilateral function of reason and knowledge, reason needs knowledge to become enriched and knowledge needs reason to develop and flourish. In other words reason and knowledge complete and integrate each other which help to discover the reality. The final point is that not only religion is not an obstacle rather it guides human to a higher degree of knowledge and reason and can create a rational and scientific revolution.
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