There is a fundamental difference that sets us apart from all other animals
■ By Roberto Grao / Contributed
Does human life make sense? What is it? We appear in the world, but no one has asked us permission or any opinion. Anyway, we could not even respond due to our deep and extreme weakness and indigence when we are born.
Soon we know that our life is limited, it has had a beginning and will have an unknown ending. In the solitude of our conscience, we may ask: Where do we come from? Where do we go? Who are we? Why do we exist? What will become of me? Do I have the same fate as animals that disappear of existence without leaving any trace?
Philosophers of all time have asked the same or similar questions without reach to any clear, definitive, and valid conclusions. Due to the ascertainment of their disability, most of them chose to explain the origin, characteristics and phenomena of our world.
In any case, only with the light of natural reason, we can deduce that, as the great Greek philosopher Aristotle said, the human being is “a rational animal”. This comes from their parents by generation, as many of the animals that inhabit the earth live with us and have a similar fate to ours: birth, grow, reproduce and die.
However, there is a fundamental difference that sets us apart from all other animals; the superior intelligence and understanding is an essential difference from them. That reason, that knowledge of oneself, others, and environment, refuses to die out and return to the non-existence.
“The profound and definitive sense of our life is only found in God who is the intelligent being that created everything that exists – including us.”
To accept this senselessness of future non-existence implies to accept the origin of man, world, matter and its constant evolution as unique reality, and what is more surprising, it implies to accept that the intelligent physical order of the universe and the perfection of laws that govern the behavior of matter are apart from something substantial, transcendental and permanent that will go on until the infinite.
But that attitude profoundly disgusts the vast majority of human beings that rebel to disappear into nothingness, “not to be”, as Hamlet, Prince of Denmark said. In the ordinary life, because humans don’t reach any valid conclusions, they often tend to be content with what we might call minors senses: have a family, have one or more children, write one or more books, do some important scientific or technological discovery, create a great company, achieve a relevant position in society, etc. Because at the moment of truth, the end of our life on earth when relentless death comes, those minors senses are insufficient because we are alone and no one accompanies us in that transcendental transition.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, I have the conviction that the profound and definitive sense of our life is only found in God who is the intelligent being that created everything that exists, including us. He made it for love and to make us apart of complete happiness for all eternity. When we accept this reasonable idea, questions that I expressed in the beginning acquire a full sense: We come from God, we go toward God, we are children of God, created in his own image and likeness, and we exist because God wanted to involve us in his infinite and eternal happiness.
I will not have the same fate as irrational animals, but if I have faith, if I do good deeds throughout my life and if I try to keep the commandments, I will reach that desired happiness. Jesus said: I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will never die. I think these are definitive and incontrovertible answers.