“What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? ” (NASB1995) This verse is taken from Psalm 8:4, I cited this verse on the account of my wonder and curiosity on what really is man? I guess this question has already been brought up years ago by scribes, teachers, politicians, scientist and even philosophers. Even David, the man after God’s own heart has also asked on what is on this man that even the God of universe is so fond of him. With all reasons, judgments, questions has been clashed, I have no better answer than other great philosophers.
But let me try to expound my idea on this notion truthfully. There are many definitions of man. Some says that man is a rational animal. Others would say that man is a being and has a special place in the universe on the account of their abilities and level of reasoning. While others argued that one thing to observe that humans are but a tiny aspect of the universe and even of life on our own planet. Whatever their justifications may be, I hold unto this one truth that I believe in, Man is created in the image and likeness of God.
I’m not saying this because I am a Christian but because I have learned not to depend solely on the knowledge of this world but on the wisdom from God. By simply understanding that man is created in the image and likeness of God, then surely man has a great value. Therefore, every human being is bestowed with dignity and his sense of being. I believe that we are all equal here; sinners or saints, rich or poor are all given by dignity. Thus, one cannot say that I am better off with the others. Man is a spiritual being because of the spiritual acts that he does.
This includes intellection and reasoning. Indeed, man is a rational animal. Man is formed as the highest creation since being rational, he can think more, he is free to choose and decide, he can explore, and he can do all things according to his goal that will lead him to happiness as well as to see the good. Moreover, by its uniqueness, soul is the source of the things of man can do what other cannot do. Each one is unique and thus each one can be distinguished by each soul that describe who you are. Taking up Philosophy of Man subject has been subject to my queries before.
Why do we have to take up this when our field is on medical and nursing. It was later then that I realized that this course subject is vital because it gives us a thorough understanding on our patients especially the dignity of humans. Astounding as it was, I found this subject to be a challenging one because it harnessed the way we think and reason out. It taught us to examine ourselves, to look beyond one perspective and to dug deeper. Another essential attribute of man is his freewill. Freewill is the capacity to choose.
If by the word “free” one means that people have the ability to make certain choices on their own free from compulsion, force, or coercion then the answer is “yes. ” For example, people have the ability to choose to go to the store or stay home, to buy a newspaper or not, to eat beef or to eat fish, etc. such choices are within the natural capacity of human beings. People are free to act according to their nature. We humans are moved not by instinct but ideas. I think that this is one of the greatest attribute in man.
We are not robots controlled by any manual operations or animals driven by instinct. Yes, we are creations but our creator never imposed on us but give us freewill. I have also pondered out that man is a seeker of happiness. We are all different but we also have something in common and that is our pursuit of happiness. We study hard, get a decent job, find a partner, start our own family, these are all means to gain happiness. Happiness, we all know, comes with the possession of some good; but where, or, in the possession of what good is perfect happiness to be found.
However, there’s one thing that I’ve realized, no matter how happy we could be in this world, we would not be content because we are made for something eternal. To be loved is to be known and to be known is to be loved. Man is called to love and communion. I guess this is the basis of our morality everything which is governed by love. Man is not made to be alone. That is why Eve was created for Adam. I truly believed that there is no greater joy to love and be loved in return. Love enables a person to be good and self-giving which creates the good of persons and of communities.
Courtney from Study Moose
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