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188. The Morality of Human Existence: Delving into William Search's Theory through the Five Pillars

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

Introduction: The Interconnectedness of Morality and Existence

In William Search's thought-provoking books "Why" and "Conversations with chatGPT: Exploring the Theory of Morality and Existence," he postulates that the very reason for human existence lies in our moral compass. Through this lens, we embark on an exploration of the Five Pillars of Islam, as documented in the Encyclopedia of World Religions, to uncover how they connect to Search's theory and offer insight into the shared moral foundation across various faiths.

Section 1: Unraveling the Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam, as stated in the Shari'a, constitute a set of obligatory duties for every Muslim: Shahada (the profession of faith), Salat (ritual prayer), Zakat (alms tax), Sawm (fasting during Ramadan), and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). While the Qur'an mentions these duties individually, their consolidation as five foundational elements is found in the Hadith.

Section 2: The Sunni and Shi'ite Interpretations

Though the performance of the Five Pillars doesn't significantly differ between the Sunni and Shi'ite sects, their conceptual understanding varies. For instance, Twelver Shi'ites do not categorize Shahada as 'ibadat (worship) but rather as a theological aspect of tawhid (the oneness of God). Shi'ites also consider Jihad, Khums (the imam's tax), enjoining good actions, and prohibiting evil as integral to worship. Despite these differences, both sects believe in earning rewards on earth and in the hereafter by fulfilling their respective obligations.

Section 3: Parallels with Other Religions

Much like the commandments found in the Bible, the Five Pillars of Islam provide a roadmap for individuals to develop their moral compasses. One striking commonality among these faiths is the emphasis on love and care for others, particularly the less fortunate, which is manifested through acts such as Zakat in Islam or charitable giving in Christianity.

Conclusion: Morality as the Essence of Human Existence

The Five Pillars of Islam, as well as the moral principles found in other religious traditions, lend credence to William Search's theory of morality being the core reason for human existence. By examining the similarities in these moral frameworks, we come to understand that our collective moral compass transcends cultural and religious boundaries, pointing towards a shared purpose that unifies us all in the pursuit of a better world.

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