National Book Award Finalist. How did humanity originate and why does a species like ours exist on this planet? Do we have a special place, even a destiny in the universe? Where are we going, and perhaps, the most difficult question of all, "Why?" In The Meaning of Human Existence, his most philosophical work to date, Pulitzer Prize–winning biologist Edward O. Wilson grapples with these and other existential questions, examining what makes human beings supremely different from all other species. Searching for meaning in what Nietzsche once called "the rainbow colors" around the outer edges of knowledge and imagination, Wilson takes his readers on a journey, in the process bridging science and philosophy to create a twenty-first-century treatise on human existence—from our earliest inception to a provocative look at what the future of mankind portends. Continuing his groundbreaking examination of our "Anthropocene Epoch," which he began with The Social Conquest of Earth, described by the New York Times as "a sweeping account of the human rise to domination of the biosphere," here Wilson posits that we, as a species, now know enough about the universe and ourselves that we can begin to approach questions about our place in the cosmos and the meaning of intelligent life in a systematic, indeed, in a testable way. Once criticized for a purely mechanistic view of human life and an overreliance on genetic predetermination, Wilson presents in The Meaning of Human Existence his most expansive and advanced theories on the sovereignty of human life, recognizing that, even though the human and the spider evolved similarly, the poet's sonnet is wholly different from the spider's web. Whether attempting to explicate "The Riddle of the Human Species," "Free Will," or "Religion"; warning of "The Collapse of Biodiversity"; or even creating a plausible "Portrait of E.T.," Wilson does indeed believe that humanity holds a special position in the known universe. The human epoch that began in biological evolution and passed into pre-, then recorded, history is now more than ever before in our hands. Yet alarmed that we are about to abandon natural selection by redesigning biology and human nature as we wish them, Wilson soberly concludes that advances in science and technology bring us our greatest moral dilemma since God stayed the hand of Abraham.
We live spiritually when we live in the presence of God. The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard is often read for his contributions to Christian theology, but he also has much to offer about spirituality--both Christian and more generally human. C. Stephen Evans assesses Kierkegaard's belief that true spirituality should be seen as accountability: the grateful recognition of our existence as gift. Spirituality takes on a Christian flavor when one recognizes in Jesus Christ the human incarnation of the God who gives us being. In this clearly written and substantive book a leading scholar on Kierkegaard's thought makes Kierkegaard's contributions to spirituality accessible not only to philosophers and theologians but to pastors, spiritual directors, and lay Christians. The Kierkegaard and Christian Thought series, coedited by C. Stephen Evans and Paul Martens, aims to promote an enriched understanding of nineteenth-century philosopher-theologian Søren Kierkegaard in relation to other key figures in theology and key theological concepts.
The Nature and Meaning of Reality and Human Existence
Author: William R. Melich
This is a book that spans several topics that are assigned as a chapter. These topics include my philosophy on existence, human existence, and the ultimate realm of reality, as well as on energy and matter, dimension, motion, time and space, the natural world, education, politics, religion, athletics, economics, ethics, perception and actuality, and so on. Many of the ideas, principles, and theories are not radically new, yet I hope that my presentation of them can provide some perspectives that you may have not considered, which in turn can help you broaden your awareness and inspire a more dynamic and enthusiastic pursuit on the deeper meanings of both experience and imagination. This book, as such you could say, is a basic scientific but mostly philosophic summation of what I have learned through my current lifetime of study and contemplation.
Literature reveals that the hidden strings of the human `passional soul' are the creative source of the specifically human existence. Continuing the inquiry into the `elemental passions of the soul' and the Human Creative Soul pursued in several previous volumes of this series, the present volume focuses on the `passions of the earth', bringing to light some of the primogenital existential threads of the innermost bonds of the Human Condition and mother earth. In Tymieniecka's words, the studies purpose to unravel the essential bond between the living human being and the earth - a bond that lies at the heart of our existence. A heightened awareness of this bond should enlighten our situation and help us find our existential bearings.
Inspired by the role Mother Nature plays in governing and placing everything in the universe in order, author Lafontant Clervil wrote The Cycle of Human Existence. The book is his attempt to answer questions he has grappled with for years with about man, mans nature and mans destiny. Clervils extraordinary narrative embraces and explains his persuasive theory that each human beings life is an endless cycle. In the process of birth, growth, aging and death, man goes through three natural reigns -- animal, mineral, and vegetable. During his time on earth, man is in the animal reign. After life, decomposition changes the body into the mineral reign. The chemicals and minerals from the body are used by plants, which produce foods rich in the same chemicals and minerals to rebuild, repair the body and sustain life. In this respect, mans existence is an endless cycle. Clervil believes that man is built by, with and in the power of God, the donor of life. Man is a sum of energy and has the power to do marvels. The essence of man is eternity because man cannot be destroyed according to the natural law of conservation of energy -- just transformed.
The Nature And Meaning Of Reality And Human Existence
Author: William Melich
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
The premise of this book is that the truth is absolute. It´s theme: Every aspect of everything real is ultimately bound together by the absolute nature of reality, in other words; "what goes around, comes around." As such it deals more with the nature of things than it does with the details. By philosophically discussing the fundamental principles and various aspects of existence, human existence, and reality, I have successfully placed them into their proper perspectives and brought them all together into a single point of expression. The concept of my philosophy is clearly expressed and completely understandable to anyone with a strong desire to learn the deeper nature of the physical and abstract aspects of reality. Acquiring such wisdom is a choice that both expands awareness and increases intelligence. Undoubtedly, different people will favor different chapters and certain aspects of my philosophy. As such this book is an effective source for encouraging its readers to continue on a journey of finding purpose, meaning, and truth. Truth is that which is consistent with reality in the sense that it must exist in and of itself. Falsehoods such as contradictions, deception, delusion, and denial merely exist as abstractions with ultimately detrimental consequences. Living by truth is a choice that builds character based on integrity, which will in the longterm produce and preserve genuine happiness based on real value. Existence is pure and eternally present. Surrounded by only itself, nothing exists beyond it for it is everywhere. It contains everything and is contained by all. It is the timeless realm of being without physical form or size. It differs from reality in that reality determines the laws that govern existence, and existence is merely the place where the laws of reality apply. It is the one constant that never began and will never end. Human existence involves a complex array of emotional responses, unique identities, free choices, psychological behaviors, intellectual activities, and various characteristics reflective of the nature of action which can be anything from extreme malice and destruction, to ascending virtue and benevolence. Reality is the ultimate realm which both contains and determines the nature, identity, and meaning of everything real; thus (in spite of chaotic and destructive events), it brings it all together into its cohesive, endless cycles from within and throughout the one and only eternal universe.
This book examines core concerns of human life. What is the relationship between a meaningful life and theism? Why are some human beings radically adrift, without radical foundations, and struggling with hopelessness? Is the cosmos meaningless? Is human life akin to the ancient Myth of Sisyphus? What is the role of struggle and suffering in creating meaning? How do we discover or create value? Is happiness overrated as a goal of life? How, if at all, can we learn to die meaningfully?
Do human rights apply only to a certain culture group or can they be demanded of all cultures and religions? This discussion about a common world ethos demonstrates how relevant and explosive that question is. In his study of ethical relativism and historical thinking, Eberhard Schockenhoff shows how the universal recognition of fundamental norms that guarantee the minimum conditions for human existence can be substantiated. Dealing critically with the two most important branches of research in present-day moral theology--autonomous morality and teleological ethics--the author presents a new theological-ethical theory of natural law. Integrating the theory of practical reason and Aquinas' understanding of natural inclinations, Schockenhoff compares this synthesis to the insights of present-day anthropology. This method allows him to re-establish a connection to classical natural law ethics. In so doing, he indicates how ethics can fulfill its most important duty: to arrive at the recognition of anthropologically grounded material norms without falling prey to a logical error. According to Schockenhoff, claims of natural law and of human rights formulate an indispensable minimum, while biblical ethics (the decalogue and the Sermon of the Mount) and the high ethos of the world religions point the way to an encompassing realization of the concept of the good life. Renowned moral theologian Eberhard Schockenhoff is professor at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. He is the author of numerous works and managing editor of Zeitschrift für Medizinische Ethik. Brian McNeil is a parish priest in Munich and a translator of theological literature. PRAISE FOR THE BOOK: "The book is impressive in many respects. It is thorough and precise about the specific problems associated with natural law theory, and the chapters on relativism and historicism exhibit impressive erudition and insight. Few books on natural law grapple so extensively and fairly with objectors as does this one, and its responses are admirable in their breadth and depth."- Mark Graham, Theological Studies "A masterly treatment of many of the most important issues in moral theology."--Brian V. Johnstone, Studia Moralia "This book demonstrates convincingly that natural law has not become obsolete in ethical discussions. . . ."--Peter Fonk, Theologische Revue "In regard to topics that are coined by the Roman-Catholic tradition, the author includes Protestant authors in his considerations with a naturalness that has to be seen as a fortunate sign of ecumenical openness. Schockenhoff manages to revive answers of the tradition that have sometimes been put aside, and to bring them up in the challenges of today."--Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Theologische Literaturzeitung "An exceptional discussion of the concept of natural law as it applies to a modern world of moral relativism. . . . This is a high quality work, providing both a wide overview of the concerns of natural law and offering a respectable solution worth further consideration. Schockenhoff's work is highly recommended."--Matthew Ryan McWhorter, Catholic Books Review OnLine "This book by one of the leading Catholic moral theologians in Germany, teaching at Freiburg University, presents a simple thesis in an elaborate and sophisticated fashion....Schockenhoff's highly learned and impressive account deserves attention and critical engagement." -- Bernd Wannenwetsch, Studies in Christian Ethics
Following a critical review of previous theological scholarship on Heidegger and a survey of North American philosophy of religion, the book examines Heidegger’s philosophy of religion and its influence on the North American variety of the same.