What is “human nature”? Are we merely our mass? Or, are we our bodies and our judgments? Do we have an intangible judgment, soul, character or are all these simply adjectives with which we describe different functional responsibilities our biochemical cortical activity? And, why does it matter? What is the practical mean of such esoteric theoretical feelings about the very nature of humanity, human life and living?
Well, how we answer this crucial and enforcing question has an roughly limitless impact on our understanding of life and its purposes, its immediate and ultimate goals. It also affects our practical lives, our scientific and rational asks, and even our banal philosophy. It changes the broad sweep of life’s most crucial moral questions and the many minor moral decisions and cultural codes with which “were living” our daily lives.
How we understand our human nature implicitly determines our identities, our relationships, our thinking and our understanding and use of our rational dominances. It affects our logic of life and living, our moral code and decision making, our perceptions of life’s ultimate and immediate the aims and their numerous perceptual and practical utilities. How we understand human nature affects almost everything. So, it was essential to to get the question of human nature right.
The first happening of human nature, to which almost all concur, is our physical world. Every single man, female or child has a body. For a human being to be a human being, they must have a body, a physical, biological figure. That is a given, a actuality beyond debate, irrespective of that body’s shape, completeness or orthodoxy to the expected and conventional model. For a person to exist, they must have a body.
But, beyond this self-evident axiom of physical, organic cosmo, is where the crucial gaps about human nature emerge and the true significance of the question of human nature tackles us. For is human nature exclusively bodily? Is human nature exactly physical, time its physical body, precisely its definite biological appearance? Or, are we the combined effects of our discernible bodies and our intangible thinkers? Is our nature time one thing: our organization? Or are we two things: our figure and our brain?
Illuminated manuscript depicting Creation from BL Harley 2803, f. 6v.
For numerous in centuries past, this fundamental question was answered clearly, simply and rationally, with little struggle or dispute. It was such a reigning philosophical given that it was handled with a simple sentence, as if it was a rational and cultural given. Simply threw, the belief that all we are is our body was an crazy theme. The idea that our mind and our consciousness and all they entail are simply biological by-products was a self-refuting assertion. Putting this logical contradiction another way, “If all we are is biochemistry, we have no way of knowing that all we are is biochemistry.”
But numerous modern men and women in our “advanced” occasions no longer accept this axiom. They no longer know or understand what human nature is all about. They exclusively consider what can be seen with their hearts. They simply visualize the tangibility of our bodies and dismiss or pervert current realities of our intangible nature. They are estranged from themselves. They are adrift in a grindingly material world, a heartless, soulless, mindless mechanical cosmos, where human consciousness and awareness are mere misconceptions of cranial neural undertaking. For humanity’s many intangible phases are simply biologically rendered superstars, epi-phenomena of neural pleasure.
Many moderns have made everything beyond our physical bodies, explicitly and only such matters of biochemical undertaking. Our intangible human nature now is merely a mundane mental mirage created by our cortical work, an impression of thinker and identity generated by our neural network. We know this view of human nature as philosophic materialism or naturalism. And this materialist philosophy has infected our modern racial qualities and thinking in many ways, both explicitly and implicitly.
Culturally, though not yet unanimously, we have ignored our intangible center and reduced our human reality to biological auto-mechanics. Now our common axiom is that human nature is wholly physical, biological. Our judgments, our sentiments, our lessons are wholly neural. We are one thing. We are biology. Nothing more.
As human beings , no longer do we know what we are on even the most basic and self-evident degrees. We has now become puzzles to ourselves. Yet peculiarly, we claim the inherent liberty of our utterly physical belief of human nature to define and decide any and every feature of our intangible personhood, in a way that was we see fit. This materialistic panorama of human nature is the ideological bedrock of many of our most damaging practices and impressions including, abortion, gender and our rampant moral and theoretical relativism.
Because human nature has become a matter of this widely accepted malignant materialism, we are left without an explanation of our many human capacities, such as our spirit, our consciousness and our rationale. Our finely carolled sensory abilities, our emotional range including empathy and our moral insights and sensibilities are just some of the more crucial and common components of our daily human experience also flee explain.
Yet, probably the three most ubiquitous and damaging effects of this materialism are its effects on the reality and strength of rationalization, the estrangement and despair it surely multiplies and the loss of crucial evidence for the existence and quality of God and all that that necessitates. These three are certainly not the only crucial influences, but the issue is foundational to so many other facets of life that they deserve a more specific elaboration.
Let’s begin with reason. If all our intangible mental events are exclusively apparitions generated by neural occasions, then reasonablenes and logic are just misconceptions more, by-products of cortical the actions of our mentalities. Within a materialistic view of human mental functioning, deduce is reduced to neural task alone. Logic and its laws follow the same relentless reality and become mere commodities of neural pathways. Reason’s powers, its numerous scientific proofs, its practicality in conducting scientific research all disappear because all mental activity such as supposing, perceptual remark, analysis, deduction, introduction, even hunch are reduced to their neural world only.
This is why materialism is self-refuting because if everything mental is only biological, we can’t even know that idea is true because every suggestion is biologically bound and determined. Therefore, in centuries past, materialism was rejected as spurious because it rebuts the proposition that everything is biological. To admit the possibility that everything is biological, you have to accept this as the only exception to the conclusion of materialism, despite the fact that it rebuts the materialistic contention. This vital, core denial refutes the most assertion of materialism
Materialism upshots in complete human indifference. Our entire sense of ego, our part consciousness, our sentiment, our ardours, our decisions, our impression of duty and morality, our affection, our inclination, our relational commitments lose all their reality, all their beauty, all their nobility, all their joy because of the relentless reduction resulting from this materialistic philosophy. Nothing escapes this onslaught, even though they are we repudiate it or taken to avoid it. All is lost. For all is just and exclusively biochemical work. All is biology. Nothing more. It leaves nothing but absurdity and desperation. Yet, even the issue is mere perceptions too.
This is why materialism should contribute to engage wizards and sensuality and the dominance of these in the lives of countless moderns at the expense of deeper, more moral and relational commitments and a life informed by a well-formed intellect and shame floored in reason, moral truth, as well as in true-life goodness and beauty.
Finally, more firstly, materialism needs no god. All is affair and vitality, go and opening. And all that there is operates accidentally. Our cosmos had no beginning or extremity, despite technical suggestion to the contrary. All “that were” is biological, the product of mechanistic coerces and circumstantial accidents.
But, if human nature is a combination of tangible and intangible facets, our memory and its departments have a prominent power beyond its biological designs and functions. While we need these structures, “theyre not” our exclusively world. For we all have discernible bodies and intangible people. And our intangible spirits have countless facets. For “were having” sentiments and middles, rational and moral, aesthetic and scientific phases. And all these facets and pieces, powers and roles are real because we are tangible bodies and intangible beings. Made in God’s image. With a purpose and plan. To know and love God and all of our fellow humans.
For formerly the grinding mechanistic materialism ends in the face of the realities of the human experience, the question of God’s existence is all but sure-fire to even a fair-minded agnostic or an informed atheist. For all these numerous faculties must be explained as intellect and discipline asks, as love and goodness obligate.
And thus St. Paul tells us we are all “without excuse.” For the evidence of God’s existence and His nature is there for the taking. We simply have to rightly use our observational skills and our conclude as they are and not reduce them and everything else to matter and intensity. We precisely have to make our conscious brains and even our questions and see the evidence for God in our rationality and our cherish. For these are only real, if He is real.
We too recommend Mr. Cronin’s recent volume, The World According to God: The Whole Truth About Life and Living. It can be obtained from your favorite bookstore and through Sophia Institute Press.
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