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Reflections on the Nature of the Human Being, the Reason for Being

Essay by   •  February 10, 2018  •  Essay  •  3,069 Words (13 Pages)  •  317 Views

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Reflections on the Nature of the Human Being, The Reason for Being

Introduction

        Introspection is hard to come by. No reflection achieved over the weekend. Then on Tuesday, while traversing the South Luzon Elevated Skyway above Nichols Ave., a bus bumped the rear end of my car. On Thursday, my mother complained of high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting. So now I’m in the hospital and have to forget other concerns except to wait for the doctors and nurses and reflect.

What is the Nature of Human Being? What is His Reason for Being?

Humans with their capacity to reason are naturally good. The resources of the universe are unlimited. The purpose of man is to live earthly lives based on morals derived from his capacity to reason. Humans go through earthly life driven by the belief to achieve a better place after death (or to be reborn as a higher form of being). As the available wealth in the universe is unlimited, humans live lives informed by science, inspired by art and motivated by compassion. “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion, and the will to help others.” (Albert Schweitzer).

        The universe is rationally ordered. Humans occupy a high if not the highest order among the creations in the universe. To discuss the nature of man is to discuss its essence. Humans are imbued with traits that distinguish it from other species. The capacity to use reason to achieve its purpose sets humans apart from other creatures. Upon birth, humans are aware that life will end at some point. But humans using their capacity to reason choose to live their lives – experience childhood, love, marriage, have children, get sick, grow old and eventually wither and die.

        Humans go through life – not only to survive but to achieve their best potential using all their faculties. Humans live lives on earth – trying to earn as many points to achieve a good place in the afterlife. To avoid pain and to enhance happiness is a part of human existence. Humans to avoid pain will act in self-preservation. In the never ending struggle to live and survive, only man has rational thought processes that can be utilized to achieve a higher chance of survival and security. But, survival is not the ultimate purpose of life. In an effort to enhance the ability to cope with the environment by understanding the nature of their existence, only humans have developed the capability to ask: “Why am I here? Is there a purpose to my life, how can I achieve my purpose or how can I do more?”

        Those who try to explain humanity and its reason for being using a purely rational, objective and scientific process concludes that human existence is the result of randomness and survival of the fittest (i.e. meeting of single egg and one from a million sperm) and that there is no preordained meaning or purpose invested or imposed on human beings. But if there is nothing more to life than just mere survival, i.e. that there is no higher purpose to human existence, then, life will be disappointing and very uninspiring. It might have been better to have just ended it sooner rather than wait for natural death.

        Isn’t it that while humans are striving for happiness, an emotional condition achieved by reducing pain or any discomfort they can also find deeper meaning to life?

        Those who philosophize that there is no higher purpose to life assume that the resources of the universe are limited. Thus humans will always act in self-interest to get his share of the limited resources.

The universe is perpetually changing. Since it changes continually over time, then the resources of the universe are recycled and limitless. But if indeed, the resources of the universe are limited, then, it is best for human beings to use reason and all his other capabilities to work with other human beings to efficiently use such limited resources to improve the universe and human condition.

Humans are responsible to make the best of life not only for themselves but with all others whom they share the earth and the universe. Humans have the freedom to think for themselves and using reason and knowledge as a tool are strongly capable of solving the problems on this earth. While the purpose of life on earth is to accumulate points for a better life in the next world, humans are responsible for their own life and should be happy in the adventure of new discoveries, seeking new knowledge and exploring alternative options.

As humans experience life, they should use science and its methods of rational and logical reasoning, empirical support and skeptical evaluation in reaching conclusions to add to the ever growing body of knowledge and reliable information. But while science and logic are the basis of knowledge, humans should also rely on other sources such as intuitive feelings (gut feel), hunches, flashes of inspired thoughts  - are also sources of new ways to look at things, explain events and new concepts.

It is up to each individual to give purpose, meaning and value to his life using his own thoughts, free will and responsible and creative actions. While living earthly life, humans in one way or the other push for the building of a better world, more just and more humane existence.

Humans exert effort to meet his needs and wants. Happiness should be pursued. However, pure happiness is only achieved when humans use their faculties and talents not exclusively for their own benefit but for the benefit of others as well.

Happiness or its higher form joy - can be found in moderation. For a pursuit of excesses leads to moral deprivation i.e. too much focus on wealth accumulation, eating too much, pursuing pleasure.

While humans pursue perfection and a higher purpose other than survival, humans are fallible. Human knowledge and moral choices (though based on reason) are fallible due to changing social conditions.

While humans pursue a good life after death, their choices while traversing life on earth should be grounded on what affects the present i.e. their person, their families, society and all humans and living things on earth. Humans will eventually come to an agreement on the basic values because most often all their needs, interests and desire are the same.

If only man will go back to his inner self – will use reason and morals derived therefrom, the universe will be a better place to live. In the words of Shakespeare -- “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god – the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals” (Hamlet).

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