The Philosophy of the Human Person
Mel M. Garcia
Philosophy is the expression of man’s curiosity about everything which includes his attempt to make sense of the world basically through his intellect was popularly said by Alan Watts.
Many of us in this training class thought for a moment why we were here. A certain amount of curiosity sprang from our minds why this was planned. We began to wonder. We asked why.
Coming from different fields of endeavor, we were all ushered to this perplexing subject that entailed an in-depth understanding of man – his god and his world at large.
Though all of us had dealt with this course back in college and in the graduate school, still some points of bedazzlement advanced to our spotlight.
At the beginning of things, we were all treated to a feast of man’s nature – his very self that has longed been explored and tried to be understood, why he behaves the way he does today and how he has transformed from a mere creature of simplicity to the modern thinking machine he has become.
Man has been the center of our curiosity as his purpose and existence are brought to our attention – his acquisition of freedom that is placed against morality in an environment that inevitably leads to a final close – his death.
As we went on, we were made to realize that man is by nature a natural philosopher. Because of his powers, his intellect and senses, man has drawn his separation from just being a savage animal. Man thinks. He uses the power of reasoning – he has logic boiling in his head. Aristotle said that nothing is in the intellect that is not first in the senses.” He has been given the powers to identify what is true or false (intellect) and to feel what is good or bad (senses). The combination of intellect and senses has placed man on a pedestal where he exercises his dominance over other beings in the world – playing the role of God at some point.
As Philosophy is said to make human beings wise men, he has engaged himself into a lot of questionings, dialogues, rational arguments and systematic presentations.
In his quest to decipher his own self, man discovers an even more befuddling concept about everything – the truth, which by far has been disclosed as the center of Philosophy.
Man philosophizes so much that he even questioned God and the world. Through the changing times, he has embarked on a journey to unlock the mystery of the world’s origin – who created it and who was this omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent Supreme Being that governed all that was on earth and in the great cosmos.
As he goes through this seemingly Herculean task of understanding his very self, he stumbles on three objects in the philosophical universe – the world, his god and to his surprise himself.
Man has employed various approaches to open Pandora’s Box. Out of his overflowing curiosity, he has never ceased to explore his complex self even further.
Logic, epistemology, metaphysics and ethics have become his tools in understanding his world – why all beings exist and where they come from. He has learned much with this yet he has never rested looking for the ESSENCE in his EXISTENCE.
As we live through our existence, we learn what is right and wrong. We are all bound by morality as we attempt to understand our profound humanity.
All our actions may be the same yet our motives remain separated which in turn are difficult to determine especially when mounted against varied circumstances.
Our existence has been placed under the strict ruling of ethics which traces its roots in discipline at its very essence. Our thoughts, wisdom, principles, morals and beliefs are all subjects for criticisms and in the long process of scrutiny, they have outlined so much our WAY OF LIFE.
All this began when we wondered. Everything was set on stage when we asked ourselves the essence of our existence and what made us realize it. We had our presentations on this platform only to find out that we are just being introduced to the philosophy of the human person.
As we closed the day, we were led to reflect that “we as teachers are shining beacons that light others’ path, but in order to do that we need to know why we exist so we can embrace our essence”.