Understanding Human's Existence and the Valuing Process
A Premier Catholic University in the Province of Bohol
HOLY NAME UNIVERSITY
Cor. Gallares & Lessage streets, Tagbilaran City
The Philippine Values Systems
JUAN PAOLO S. ARANAS
IMEE E. SELMA
Masters in Public Administration
DR. GRACE M. SAMSON
THE MEANING/DEFINITION OF PHILOSOPHY
Philosophy is just like any other
endeavour or field of learning in the
context of its being a science. It
investigates and presents evidenced,
complete body of knowledge or
The purpose of Philosophy
• Philosophy enables us to understand ourselves better;
• Philosophy helps us understand others; our fellowmen;
• Philosophy helps us understand others’ ways of thinking
• Philosophy helps us understand the world and our place and role
• Philosophy helps us understand the significance, meaning, value
and finality of human life; and
• Philosophy helps us know and understand God in his nature,
essence, activities, and attributes.
Thus, philosophy enables us to understand all things in their
ultimate causes, reasons, and principles through our reasoning
THE MEANING OF PHILOSOPHY OF MAN
Philosophy of Man is an open-minded, cerebral-empirical activity.
Philosophy is linked with;
•It is connected to metaphysics since it studies the being of action; with
•Sociology since it considers the horizontal or social dimension of man; with
•Psychology since it studies the nature of man as a being composed of body and soul
endowed with reason; with
•Theology since it inquires into the avenue of man’s relatedness to God in the context of
•Epistemology since it investigates the true notion of the human nature specifically man’s
intrinsic ability to know about truth; and with
•Theodicy since it provides an arena of questions about human nature and human
conditions from the standpoint of the nature, essence, and activity of God.
Philosophy of Man is a course that deals with man that desires to know who and
what man are.
The primary objectives in studying
Philosophy of Man:
•Philosophy of Man gives us a broader horizon in understanding ourselves, others,
•Philosophy of Man helps us to identify the points of divergence and convergence
between us and animals and between us and the plants;
•Philosophy of Man exposes us to a thorough and deeper understanding of
ourselves as unique dipartite creatures; that we are the substantial unity of body
•Philosophy of Man helps us understand better our nature, the meaning of our
existence, our point of origin, and our terminal point who is God; and
•Philosophy of Man enables us to encounter the diverse views of different
philosophers concerning our nature, our uniqueness, and our role in the whole
spectrum of God’s creation.
THE PROBLEMS IN PHILOSOPHY OF MAN
• Philosophy of Man has two main problems, namely:
• The nature of man
What is man?
Who is man?
• Condition of being human
What is the state or condition of being human?
Why does man exist?
How does man exist?
MAN IN THE CONTEXT OF HIS NATURE
Relative views to the issue of Human Nature:
•Encyclopedic view – (taught primarily by Dennis Dedirot)
this maintains that the nature of man is good. (In Chinese
Philosophy, this is also maintained by Kong Zi – whos
Latinized name is Confucius and his discipline Meng Zi –
whose Latinized name is Mencius)
•Economic view – (taught by Adam Smith and his
adherents) sees man as one who is destined to be happy
in the context of material abundance.
• Scientific view – (Sir Karl Popper) believes that man
lives in three worlds, to wit:
1. Physical world – bodily existence
2. Internal world – which is the locus of ideas, thoughts,
3. Social world - which pertains to man’s social relations or
• 4. Scholastic view – basically upheld that man is a
being, a creature, whose destiny is to live in two worlds,
viz.: the spiritual world and physical or material world.
THE MEANING OF HUMAN NATURE
According to the postmodern philosophers, it
is good to say that we really do not know anything
at all. Like Socrates’ humble one-liner: “What I
know is that I do not know.”
According to philosophers, there is nothing
wrong if measures and efforts to adapt those well-
defended and well-established thoughts about the
meaning of human nature and many other issues
are done and pursued.
Here, Classic understanding of Nature as the
ultimate principle of operation of a given reality.
Classic view of man dictates that the nature of man
is to think, to feel and do or act only those that are
inherent in his nature.
Human Nature is characterized as:
Three-fold level of Human Nature
•Somatic Level – refers to the body, substance,
constitution, or stuff of man and secondarily (or
accidentally) to bodily structure, color, etc which
are conditioned by culture and environment.
•Behavioral Level - - refers to the mode of acting of
every man. Man has a universal way of acting or
conducting himself properly.
Approaches of behaviour (Psychologists)
Cognitive – refers to knowledge or understanding or
the mental dimension of human existence
Affective – refers to the emotional or the dimension
or the feeling – part of man.
Psychomotor – pertains to action
• Attitudinal Level – refers to the mental reaction
of every man to a given stimulus or the position
of every individual concerning his opinion,
feeling or mood.
THE MEANING OF HUMAN CONDITION
• Human conditions absorbs and embraces the
totality of human nature
• Thus, to talk of human condition is to consider
how man exists and lives distinctively as a human
being (how is it to be human?)
• Third, if man has a distinctive way of existing and
living, how does man realize this?
Man’s experience of existing and living as
man is the indispensable ground where man can
discover the meaning of his existence.
In sum, human condition means realizing the
state of being human and finding the meaning of
existence as man. (The term “meaning” means
sense, purpose, and direction of human life.”
MAN: ACCORDING TO THE EXISTENTIALISTS
Existentialism stresses the difference
between existing and living. To the Existentialists, it
is an imperative for every man not only to live but
also to exists; man must not only live but but also
For them, the subsequent fact of simply
living one’s life is to assume a life that has no
vitality, no responsibility, and no self-
Salient Points in Existentialism
For the existentialists, particularly Martin
Heidegger, man is the only kind of being that
exists. Only man has existence because man is the
only kind of being who knows he knows he exists.
Reality for the existentialists is richer than
Man: The Focal Point in Existentialism
• Man is a subject; he is neither an object nor a means to be used but a value in
• Man is an initiator of action; he is creative; and only man can perform
responsible and free acts.
• Man is the center of feelings and emotions; he has the power to feel not only
pain but pleasure but also passion, like, love, hope, and fear, among others.
• Man is self-related and others-related.
• Man is capable of transcendence; man can go beyond what is actually given.
• Man’s existence is a “thrown” existence; man is thrown to exist in himself and
into the world.
• Man exists in a body; thus, man can only assert himself through body – his
• Man is intrinsically free
• Man has to admit the fact of death – his own death.
• Man is an open-ended entity; he is bundle of complexities; he is a box of
Existential Philosophers and their views
The meaning of human existence is
found in man’s exercise of freedom and
responsibility under the scope of man’s
individual and social undertakings according
For Heidegger, the meaning of human existence can only be
attained when man lives his life authentically. Authentic can be
achieved by undertaking this process:
•As man owns his existence, he has to project his possibilities; man
has to make himself.
•Man has to free himself from his inauthentic existence with the
“they” so that man can own his existence.
•As man makes himself, he has to experience dread, care, concern,
and guilt. Besides, man has to listen to the voice of conscience so
that he can resolve to live authentically; and
•With man’s resolute decision to live authentically, man has to
accept death as his ownmost inevitable possibility.
For Kiekegaard, man can achieve a
meaningful existence when he liberates
himself for his “crowd-existence.” This
liberation is possible if man lives not only in
his aesthetic mode of existence but also in
the ethical and religious modes.
For Jaspers, the attainment of the
meaning of human existence is possible
when man is seen as a whole or as the
“encompassing.” Seen this way, man can be
the encompassing when he sees himself as
an existent being, as a conscious being, as a
spirit, and as existence.
For Frankl, man can find meaning in his
existence in a threefold manner, namely;
•By doing a life-project;
•By experiencing value, particularly in the context
of love; and
•By finding meaning in suffering
MAN: A BEING-IN-THE-WORLD
Man is being-in-the-World; he is not a
being-in-an-environment. An environment is
only true to animals, not to man. Man has a
world, not an environment. Man is not bound
to an environment; he is open to the world.
What is the meaning of the term “world”?
World is derived from the Anglo-Saxon
words: weor and old. The former means “man”
while the latter means “age.”
The world, as such is as old as man; earth is
older than man. Which concept is true? Is there a
world without man and vice-versa?
The Views of Natural Scientists
To the natural scientists (i.e., physicist,
biologists, etc.), it is always possible to talk of a
manless world. For the rationalists, the world is an
object to be known, it is governed by a system of
laws; it is a place where man lives. For the
materialists, the world is the totality of all material
entities which are the results of processes and
forces. Both rationalists’ and materialists’ views of
the world clearly show that there is world apart
from man and it is only a mere place where man
The Views of Existential Phenomenologists
To the existential phenomenologists, there is no
world apart from man and vice-versa. For them, there is a
world because there is a man and there is a man because
there is world. According to Marcel, the world and man are
related to each other in the sense of exchange, involvement,
and participation. Heidegger treats the world “neither as the
sum total of all the things of nature nor a fundamental
character of the community of men….but it means the
“how” on which things is “in the whole” as implicitly related
to Dasein…” Thus, for the existential phenomenologists,
there can be no world without man since man takes the
world as a necessary datum of his existence in the context of
Are there kinds of worlds?
Since man presents himself only in relation to
the world because he is a being-in-the-world, so
man arranges the world around him. Man arranges
or organizes a world around him by virtue of the
fact that things around him are not mere objects
since they constitute a network of meanings. Thus,
there exist many kinds of world.
What are the implications of the meaning of the world in relation to
•The man is a subject.
•That as a subject, man exists, and therefore, is conscious of his
existence that it is an existence-in-the-world.
•That man as a subject means that man considers the things which
surround him not as a mere object but as a networks of meanings.
•That man establishes meanings to things which surround him by way
of his being “at-home” in the world which he arranges for himself; and
•That as man arranges a world for himself, he actively takes his task as
the “builder,” “gardener,” and “guardian” of the world.
MAN: A PERSON-WHO-ALWAYS-
Historical Data of Personalism
Personalism, as a philosophical movement, was
founded by Borden Parker Browne and was
developed later by Max Scheler, Emmanuel
Mounier, Henri Bergson, and Martin Buber. As a
philosophical movement, personalism is a study
of man as a person.
• The Meaning of Man as a Person
Since personalism takes man as its main concern, it rejects the
legalistic connotation of the term “person”, as that which refers
to anything or any reality which is endowed with rights since this
definition treats of person both in the context of things,
establishments, or institutions, and human beings. Thus, in
personalism the term “person” is solely attributed to man
inasmuch as it requires freedom and rationality as defined by
Man as a person, then means that man is unique; that man is a
who; that man is a subject; and that man is a self.
• Man as a Person-Who-Always-Exists-with-Others-in-the-World
By virtue of the fact that man as a person is unique, a who, a
subject, and a self, man is never alone in his existence in the world;
man has that indelible trademark of his “being-with: existence in the
Since man is a person, his “being-with” existence should not be
confused with a “being-for” kind of existence. “Being-for” is the
opposite of “being-with” in the sense that the latter is heading to a
direction of treating man a person. Thus, in man’s intersubjectivity,
man is called to treat his fellowman as a person; this is made
possible only in the context of man’s “being-with” existence.
• Man’s “being-with-others” can be viewed from to
• General Standpoint – Man’s being-with-others as a person is
man’s intrinsic “being-with” to both things and man’s fellow
• Specific Standpoint – Man’s being-with-others as a person is
man’s irrefutable “being-with” his fellowman only because
in the specific sphere, man’s “being-with” is treated in the
existential perspective. Because things do not exist, man
alone has the capacity to co-exist with his fellow human
Man’s co-existence or intersubjectivity, in the
one hand, does not require a learning process or
experience since man’s “being-with” is a priori and
intrinsic in his being a person. On the other hand,
man’s being-with-others requires a learning
process in the context of the quality or mode of
man’s being-with since human relatedness is not
immediately given but needs to be established.
Three Levels of Human Relations or
• I-It level of Relationship – human relatedness capsulizes,
more or less, the “being-for” existence of man and not
man’s being-with existence. “I” does not treat the other
as a person.
• I-He/She Level of Relationship – Is not an impersonal
relationship but a personal one inasmuch as the “I”
considers and recognizes the other as a person.
• I-Thou Level of Relationship – This relationship happens
when the “I” and the “Thou” are bound together in the
context of love.
MAN: A HISTORICAL BEING
• History and Man
“History” is derived from the Greek word historia which means
“learning by inquiry.”
Man’s relatedness to the world is the bearer of man’s
historicality; it is man’s relatedness to the world that gives birth
to history. Therefore, there is no history apart from both man and
man’s relatedness to the world.
History can only be measured in terms of man’s existence in
time; history is temporal since time is constituted of ecstasies
which are past, present, and future. History, then, means not
only the past but also the present and the future.
• Historicity and Man
What makes history not only the past but also the
present and the future is the historicity of man;
historicity is not the noun form of history since it is
historicality; historicity means the intrinsic
transcendental capability of man to exist in the ecstasies
of time; thus, man is historicity first before man
becomes historical. History is present only when man
exists in the ecstasies of time by way of transcendence.
An associate of Heidegger, however, named
Rudolf Bultmann claimed that there are two ways
through which happenings or occurrences of facts or
events in history can be assessed, namely:
•Geshichte – attempts of historians to really capture
how facts or events did occur.
•Historie – attempts or efforts of the historians to
account only those facts or events that have meaning
MAN: A BODY, HIS BODY
It is impossible to talk of human existence
apart from the human body
The human body is man’s expression of his
presence in himself, in the world, and his fellow
The Human Body as Finitude
The human body refers to the
finitude of man in the sense that human
bodily existence is limited by space,
time, and death. Besides, the human
body is also limited in terms of its
The Human Body as Subjectivity
The human body refers to man’s embodied
subjectivity; man’s body is infused in his
subjectivity. Thus, the human body is not a thing to
be used or exploited because it is a subject-body.
As a subject-body, it cannot be the object of
“having”, since the human body cannot and never
be disposed of, unless when it is treated as an
object. The embodied subjectivity of man refers to
the whole man as rational, affective, and
The Human Bod as a Gesture of Encounter
The human body is not an
instrument of man’s encounter of things
and persons in the world; it is man’s
expression with himself as an embodied
MAN: THE ACTOR
• Man and Action
Action is proper only to man; animals do not act but only move.
Action entails intellect, knowledge, freedom, voluntariness, and
The nature of man makes man the only being of action. As rational,
man possesses intellect so that he can know the nature of the act,
whether it is good or bad. As a being who is endowed with freedom,
man knows that he has the choice whether to perform or not to
perform a particular action. Man acts according to his intellect and
will (an expression of freedom) and is responsible for the
consequences of his actions.
• Moral Assumptions
The following assumptions are drawn in order to elucidate the
inherent capacity of man in the context of reason and
• As rational and free, man knows that there are actions that are
right or wrong, and good or bad.
• As rational and free, man knows that there are actions that he
is not obliged to do;
• As rational and free, man knows that he is responsible for his
• As rational and free, man knows that wrong actions are
punishable and right actions are rewardable
To know Purpose To choose
To Think Function To do
Truth Goal Good
Wisdom Ultimate Goal Virtue
•Intellect Compared with Will
• Values and Action
Man cannot perform actions which are value-free;
actions presuppose values; actions are expressions of
Values are objects of human desires; values re good;
good implies satisfaction and suitability; values are
synonyms with good. If man’s actions are expressions of
values and since values are good, man then, is singled
out to perform right and good actions.
Man: A Sexual Being
• Sex and Morality
The term “sex” is derived from the Latin word
secare which means “to divide” or “to cut”.
Accordingly the word secare originates from the
Latin word seco which means “division” or “half
of the race”.
Before we approach the depth of man’s being a sexual animal, it is good
to ask preliminary questions like- is sex dirty? Do you approve of premarital sex or
fornication? Is virginity, both to the ladies and to the gentlemen, still of value
today? Is the purpose of sex procreation? Is sex a value in itself? If one of the
purposes of sex is procreation, why are fornication, adultery, concubinage, and
the like deemed morally evil? If a spouse is sterile or impotent, would not the
purpose of sex be made futile? If there exists an issue of triennial cohabitation
(the wife remains a virgin after three years of marriage) or relative impotency (the
husband is impotent only when he wants to have conjugal act with his wife, but
not with other women), can these not validate sexual promiscuity to any of them?
True enough these issues treat of the subject of sex in the context of morality so
that it is commonly believed that whenever the term sex is mentioned, an
immediate interpretation could easily ensue, (i.e. that the topic is moral and
ethical). In addition there are some who would, without proper evaluation,
localize morality in the sphere of sexuality. All these presuppositions are
misleading. The fact of sex does not categorically belong to morality and the truth
and validity of morality cannot be found only in terms of sex or sexuality.
• Sexuality Compared with Sex
Both sex and sexuality can be contained in the word
“sexual”. As a sexual being, man has sexuality and is
capable of expressing his sexuality through sex. This
thesis appears so simple but when it is critically
analyzed and evaluated, it entails a lot of intricacies.
What we would like to do is to understand the
differences between sex and sexuality. Through this, we
can hopefully have a comprehensive understanding of
man as a sexual being.
Sexuality is broader than sex in as much as
the latter is contained in the former and functions
as its expression. This means that sex cannot be
detached from sexuality; however, it is possible to
keep sexuality from sex.
Sex is basically a human activity. Only human beings can engage in
sex; animals do not, although they have sexuality. Animals mate;
they do not engage in sex. Since sex is a human activity, it is,
therefore, fundamentally oriented towards procreation. In its
empirical reality, sex is a form of pleasure. Furthermore,
psychologists qualify sex as a tension-releasing activity. As an
empirically pleasurable human activity, sex is a means to an end and
not an end in itself, for it is fundamentally geared towards the
generation of a new life. In other words, the sense of responsibility
is embedded in this activity. Thus, it is not just a mere activity since
it has its divine implication which can be translated into a
responsible sexual engagement. In this light, sex can only be
justified and should be empirically exercised in the context of
marriage because, in itself, marriage guarantees the embedded
responsibility in sex.
Whereas sex is an expression, sexuality is the one
being expressed. Sexuality is the foundation of man’s
personhood. It is the specific manifestation of man’s
being-in-the-world. Because man is a being-in-the-world-
with-others, sexuality manifests man’s inherent need to
relate to others. In this regard, sexuality can be
interpreted as the fundamental factor of man’s
intersubjectivity or man’s interpersonal relatedness. Thus
sexuality presents the uniqueness of a person in his
emotions, feelings, actions, attitudes, and thoughts,
Since sex, which is the expression of
sexuality, but of course, not the only expression, is
oriented towards procreation, it follows that
sexuality signifies the incompleteness of the
individual human person. It is through sexuality
that human incompleteness can be complemented
by others who are just like the “I” who is
• Sex and Society
Our society today is saturated with sex. Sex exists
everywhere. It is projected in clothing designs; it
is in the magazines, music and movies; it is in the
advertisements of whatever sort; it is in the
stickers, shirts, etc. As a whole, the
contemporary man needs a reorientation
towards the real meaning of sex and even of
sexuality since there are some who want to
change and even have changed their sex.
One of the devastating blows which the
authentic meaning of sex suffers is its being
disassociated from love. Love, instead of being
prior to sex, becomes reversed; sex instead, is
made prior to love. The truth of the matter is that
sex is just the effect of love, not vice-versa.
There are manifold misconceptions and malpractices
regarding sex. Although it is true that there can be love even
without sex, sex without love must not be accepted and
tolerated despite the fact that it is done. It is commonplace
to hear of people in mainstream society to have affairs.
People who have affairs are those who prefer to engage in
love and sex in the absence of commitment to marry. Many
of these people are young. Hence, it is good for teachers in
human sexuality to deal with topics like teenage
relationship, reproductive system, childbirth, marriage,
abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, reproductive health
problems, birth control and the like.
• Sex and Love
“Women give sex to get love. Men give love to get sex.” This is
equivalent to harassment and degradation of the sanctity of
feminine sexuality. This kind of behavior requires the serious
concern specifically of parents and sex education teachers. Sex
should not be divorced from love. Sex should be used only in
accordance with the plan and will of God. Within God’s plan, man’s
sexual instinct is good since it is a powerful source of life, and of
unity between two human beings. If contrary to God’s plan, sex
becomes a means of division, a source of perversion, cruelty and
even death. Hence, sexual union is justified only when it is an
expression of love. And since true love demands permanence and
faithfulness, true love then seeks the happiness of one’s partner,
not of one’s self
• Sex and Marriage
In as much as sex should only be engaged upon in the
context of marriage, then it should, in the context of
modesty, be called marital act or conjugal act that
inevitably results in the formation of a domestic society
we call family. As a marital act, sex becomes the
greatest expression and consummation of love that
binds the spouse to partake in the sacredness of their
commitment to each other and to their off springs.
Marriage is the only means towards the
exercise of sex. Outside marriage, sexual practices
are perversions, distortions and are, therefore,
against God’s plan. Through marriage each human
person’s uniqueness in the dimension of sex is
being complemented. Sexuality, which is always
more than genital sexuality, expresses the
fundamental fact that human beings live as male
and female, relating to each other as two
incomplete beings that only become complete
when they unite, by complementing each other.
• Sexual Revolution (Transformation of Man’s Consciousness and
Conduct Towards Sex)
One of the alarming revolutions in this century, particularly in the last
several decades, is called the sexual revolution. The Filipinos have
learned to alter their conscious and conduct relative to sex. This is
evident both in high and low societies in the Philippines. Today,
swapping of marital partners is done by some members of the upper
class. What is unacceptable before is now tolerated, although this
tolerance is not absolute. Concrete examples are homosexuality,
lesbianism, premarital sex, fornication, live-in or common-law
marriage, concubinage, adultery and prostitution. Before, homosexuals
and lesbians were considered deviants. Today, they are accepted as
normal members of the society. All these are evident manifestations of
modern and contemporary sexual trends; they are irrefutable proofs
Man: The Lover
Love is a strong force within man that drives him to
make things that seem to be impossible. The concrete
examples of love’s power which drive man to break the walls
that of what is preconceived as extraordinary are- the Hanging
Garden of Babylon, the TajMahal in Agra, India, the San
Juanico Bridge (that connects Samar and Leyte symbolizing
therein Ferdinand Marcos’ love to the Leytena Imelda
Romualdez). Nevertheless, madness in love does not always
drive man to do positive or constructive things. It also drives
man to destroy what he loves. This contention is precisely
affirmed by Oscar Wilde when he said that “every man kills the
thing he loves; the coward does it with a kiss, the brave with a
sword.’’ Thus,love also means pain and even death.
Love is dynamic principle of action. It serves as the
fundamental characteristic of the human person’s being-
with-others. As a passion or as an emotion, it can be
purely subjective, hence irrational, or objective, hence
rational. It is purely subjective and irrational when its
beholder is enjoying himself in his being with his beloved
who is just a tool in keeping him pleased with himself. On
the contrary, love is objective and rational when it is really
the other person that the lover loves and enjoys
specifically as a person whose being and uniqueness are
important in themselves. “The capacity of love,
objectively, is what makes us persons…Love then is at…
the core of our rational consciousness.”
A human person is guided by love to discover
others as values. Through love, man learns how to
consider others as persons, as other “Is” and not as
means but ends in themselves. Through love, man
is guided to act properly as a loving person.
Man: The Worker
On account of man as the shepherd of being, the
builder of the world, and the gardener of the world, man, in
the Christian perspective, is also called God’s co-creator of the
world. It is in view of man as the worker that all these are
Work is one of the basic aspects of the human person’s
being-with-others-in-the-world. Through work, the network of
human relatedness is well expressed. Thus, man works to
supply his needs and those of mankind. We cannot deny the
social implications of work inasmuch as everything which man
does always bears an inherent social character.
Through work, man establishes his dignity.
Through work man produces his own food and
thereby makes himself superior over other
creatures which cannot, on their own accord,
produce their own food.
Work is not a curse from God because human
sinfulness since, even if man did not sin, man is still
inclined to work. This is emphasized by both St.
Thomas Aquinas and Pope Leo XIII.
For the Christian, the worker is more
important than work. Work is man’s service to
God; it is man’s grateful response to God, his
Creator and Sustainer. The Christian is not
ashamed of the nature of his work because he
finds God in his work. Work is man’s way of
glorifying God; it is his gesture of service to both
God and his fellowman.
Man: The Thinker
Like all animals, man also possesses a brain.
But man’s brain is intrinsically loaded with a mind or
an intellect; and man is intrinsically equipped with
capability to think. This contention is based on the
irrefutable premise that man is an animal rationale.
From man’s being inherently animal rationalecomes
the flux of thinking. Where else can we charge man’s
proven agility for inventions? If man is not a thinking
being, then first of all, there couldn’t have been any
science and technology that both spawn the ever-
increasing complication of human interests and
Man has senses which enable him to acquire
knowledge through his body. Through his body,
man possesses nine senses. Five of these which are
known as vision, taste,smell, hearing and touch are
considered as the external senses. And four of
these which are known as memory, imagination,
consciousness and instinct are considered as the
Man: The Believer
“There is but one freedom. To put oneself right with
death. After that everything is possible. I cannot
force you to believe in God. Believing in God
amounts to coming to terms with death. When you
have accepted death, the problem of God will be
solved-and not the reverse.”-Albert Camus
• Faith and Man
Bertrand Russell, a philosopher, argue that religion or
faith is a result of fear of the unknown or fear of what is
next to happen after death. True enough, it is
undeniably horrible to imagine what is going to happen
after we die. But in the epigraph, Albert Camus provides
a sound antithetical argument that as long as man
accepts God, death ceases to be problem. He gave
emphasis of freedom i.e., belief in God is a choice; and
when one has embraced the choice to believe in God,
then the depth of one’s fear of the unknown will vanish.
Man’s search for the meaning of his existence
will become superficial, inauthentic and
unwholesome, and the will eventually collapse
when it is disassociated from God. It is true that
not all men believe in God. However, man’s
disbelief in God can never affect the truth of God’s
existence. God is neither conditioned nor
determined by man’s belief. Whether man
acknowledges God or not, God, remains as He is.
The existence of evil, atheism, suffering, pain
and all sorts of human tribulations are not
deterrents for man from believing God. But belief
in God is not all that matters. Man’s love of God is
also on the same footing in terms of importance.
However it is true, there are many men who walk
astray. Instead of loving God, they hate God. But
even if man hates God, God remains a loving God
to his creatures, primarily man.
If man has to be taught to love God, how can
man do it if, first of all, he does not know WHO
GOD IS? If love has always its object, then, it is
impossible for a person to love somebody if he
does not know him. It is, therefore, clear that man
should know God. It is an indispensable criterion
that man should question why he believes in God
so as to make his faith not just a mere faith or a
blind faith but a reasoned faith. When faith is
reasoned, it becomes truer, firmer, and more
The most spectacular and comprehensive
question about God’s existence is the one which is
raised by Feodor Dostoevski when he said that if
God does not exist, it follows that everything is
permitted. The wisdom of this contention lies in
the fact that in the concrete human experience,
not everything is permitted. Therefore, there is
God because if there is no God, we certainly will
live in a world of utter confusion, chaos, and moral
There were no atheists in the medieval period.
The people who contradicted the Christian belief
during this time were only a handful of heretics and
infidels. Atheism rose only during the modern and
contemporary periods. With the advancements in
science and technology, the modern and
contemporary man has started denying that God is his
Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. He doesn’t want to
accept God as the most powerful or Omnipotent
Being. Armed with his sophisticated discoveries, man
wants to compete with God.
The present society has lost its faith in God. The
contemporary man claims he does not need God anymore.
Through his inventions, he believes that he is more powerful
than God. The present-day atheists are convinced that their
robots and computers are more powerful and mysterious than
man created by God. But we know they miss a very important
point. They forgot that they-who are the inventors of these
highly sophisticated machines-, come from God. Moreover,
these atheists should wrestle with the fact that they can never
make life, since life can never be made, but created. And only
God can do it. The inescapable fact is that these atheists can
never create a single blade of living grass or single strand of
DR. EDDIE E. BABOR, Ph.D, Ll.B
as my main reference for this