“Truly you have formed my inmost being;
You knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made.” (Ps 139:13-14)
The Christian faith teaches us that man is the “crown” and “key to God’s creation.” “According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to human persons as their center and crown” (cf. Gadium et Spes 12).
This sounds theological yet it proves that man is of no ordinary creature. He is the only creature amongst the millions and billions of creatures that was “created after God’s image and likeness” (Gen.1 :).
Hence, man is the only creature that is endowed with the faculty to wonder, think and look for rational solution with every problem he encounters. He is a little less than angels. The psalmist vividly expressed this by writing;
“…You have made him little less than angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet.” (Ps 8:5-7)
Man can distinguish right from wrong. Man eats even if he is not hungry, drinks even if he is not thirsty, man loves and longs to be loved as well. Whereas, dogs eat only if their hungry, monkeys drink because their thirsty, cats and other brutes do not love and know not how to love. For no other animals except man has the ability to think and love.
Because of his God given gift i.e., his intellectual faculty man becomes curios and wonders that caused him to ask questions such as these:
What sort of thing am I?
Where do I come from?
Whereto am I going?
Why am I here?
What is my future and destiny?
What must I do to live well and happy?
Throughout the history of human beings, man has endeavored to discern the truth and the reality. Man inquires “What are things really like?” and “how can we explain the process of change in things?” Man recognizes that things are not exactly what they seem to be, that “appearance” often differs from “reality.” The facts of birth, death, growth, and decay – coming into being and passing away – raised not only the questions about personal destiny but also the larger questions of how things and persons come into existence, can be different at different times, and pass out of existence only to be followed by other things and persons. These simple yet complex questions are answered from generation to generation through philosophy.