Freedom

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MAC E-LEARNING | SCHOOL OF TARBIYA


INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION
Instructor: Dr. Ahmed Abdel Meguid
Professor, Department of Religion, Syracuse University

COURSE DESCRIPTION

What is freedom?

This is one of the most challenging question of our era particularly nowadays as freedom is associated with the foundations for our lives. It plays a role in creating the most sought after political system, or how freedom when at the disposal of a people results that society genuinely believing themselves as the civilized world.

Freedom in this course will be discussed two folds: absolute freedom without coercion and the notion of freedom of the mind vs. the freedom of the body.

Since we are always abstracting from the reality around us, our body gives access to all senses and material in of itself. The later can be an issue between the mind and the body and how we think, construct meaning, reason and rational capacity.

The question then becomes: how much freedom do our minds have if the body is the gatekeeper between the material world and the mind’s rationality? Which one wins in the battle between the two dimensions? And what is the role of freedom in relation to these two dimensions of rational and bodily material of our agency?

Dr. Meguid will explain the dichotomy between freedom and free will (freedom of the will). If the will is the power associated with the human, a concept examined with particular attention to Abrahamic faith traditions as they hold the notion of reward and punishment, then how much voluntary and involuntary actions are at human disposal? God’s accountability of human behaviour and ethics is also discussed in greater detail in light of freedom of the will.

This course will also discuss the works of Augustine of Hippo in relation to our will when aligned with the mind and therefore it being a power for good and failure to align with one’s will to the mind is what leads to evil. Dr. Meguid covers this notion with great detail and explains to what extent do human beings naturally gravitate towards evil (matter) and how does our capacity to align with the mind saves us. He will conclude with illuminating why freedom should be affiliated with the mind and instead of the body.

Syllabus

To view the full course and syllabus click here.


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