What is Man if not a Rational Being

Oluwaseun Macaulay Written by Oluwaseun Macaulay · 1 min read >

A human, a meld of sentience and intelligence. Similar to other animals in existent, we are sentient. We as well as them understand that we exist but unlike them, we are intelligent and have freedom of choice. Due to our intelligence, we can be attracted or repelled by our realities but due to our freewill, we can act in any way and form we deem fit.

The Human is intelligent. Understanding the things around him is fully within his grasp of abilities. Describe a concept to him and he can visualize it. From the most detailed to the most sparsely defined idea, he will come up with an image in his head, piecing together the various aspects of it to make a whole picture. One could argue that a computer could do similar but, its limits are well defined within what the programmers and operators have set. Whereas, man’s ability extends to his reasoning, processing and analysing of separate pieces of information.

Our Will. This stems from our intellectual appetite for the things we are attracted or repelled by, regarding that which we understand. And in some cases we may not fully understand it.

You may think that Will and emotions are similar. If you do, you are correct. Both of these have an influence on the decisions and choices we make but this is about where the similarities end. Our emotions are triggered by the things within our vicinity and we perceive them with our senses or they are imagined. It goes beyond the expected experiences we feel, such as a person vexing us and making us angry or receiving a warm hug from someone we treat dearly making us calm and happy. It also expands to the joy we can getting from smelling something we find nice and making us happy.

On the other hand, the Will relates to abstract realities such as a general class. I as a person can disapprove the whole class of thieves. A man hating a specific thief is normal and can even expected if you have been personally wronged but it can be said it is illogical to hate all of them. But having a man disapprove thievery is where the Will comes into play.

The emotional desires of man can be satiated i.e. I have enjoyed myself for quite the while, I should go and read now. But, no amount of goods can satisfy the human will i.e. once a life a frugality appeals to me, there is no amount of being frugal that would make me sick and tired of it or make me fill like I have had my fill of it. As we have noted, emotions are influenced by the things around us so although we have the ability of free choice, we should not allow ourselves use emotions as the deciding factor in making our choices. We should rather use our intellect which is a better representation of who we are and less willing to be altered by some form of stimuli or the other.

Mainly two thinks make us worlds above animals, our intellectual cognition and intellectual appetition and these are what makes us rational.

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