This web-page looks at the key characteristics of the human being from the perspective of a human being’s relationship with God and the fact that human beings are transcendent – namely that we have a soul that survives bodily death.
Hamlet (Shakespeare) – Act 2,Scene 2 : “What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? “
Modern man has come a long way from even 100 years ago in terms of almost any physical attribute – lifespan, population, health, wealth, education, well-being, knowledge, technology, economics, psychology, capabilities for destructive power, and other attributes. However, the human being has not become happier, more “fulfilled”, more at peace with oneself. These characteristics must be developed by individuals, much like one has to achieve the salvation of our own souls, albeit with the assistance of the Almighty and our fellow human beings. We have indeed explored many variants of the belief system of secularism which have beguiled us into considering ourselves as God, replacing the real God, with its many attendant belief systems such as materialism, moral relativism, scientism, and other “belief” systems. This challenge of secularism and theistic and non-theistic belief systems will be addressed elsewhere.
Given that one must accept the objective fact of God, there is a great need to rediscover the spiritual side of ourselves and our relationship with God. Much of this loss has also arisen from the loss in our understanding of ourselves as transcendent beings i.e. we have a soul that transcends death. The material life does not give meaning to our lives. Ultimately it is through a personal relationship with God, in the form of Jesus Christ, and participation in His church, that allows us to rediscover that relationship.
Initially what about our flawed human nature and the problems that creates, as follows:
Looking at the nature of man: is he / she reasonable , a rational animal above all else? Check this out:
From a Christian perspective, this aspect of human nature is termed original sin. This is discussed as follows:
Is there an afterlife? Watch
What about values in this life? Watch
The worth of the human being
There are a number of qualities that you need to develop for a happy life, such as forgiveness. Watch
and a brief overview of happiness itself
The human being is made in the image and likeness of God
The transcendent context (i.e. life after death) and Near Death Experiences
Next, Father Spitzer S.J. clarifies a. what is the soul (from 6:40 to 19:00 in the video below) and what is the evidence for the existence of the soul, from 38 to 49 minutes in the video. Check it out!
He (Fr Spitzer SJ) also looks at human evolution in terms of the soul (from 16:55 to 32:15 in the video below) and even addresses the possibility of aliens somewhere in our universe and the possibility of them having souls (from 33:15 to 53:40 in the video below)