avatarShameem Anwar

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Every Activity Engaged In By The Man, Whether On The Level Of Individual Or Social Life, Is Undoubtedly A Result Of Particular Psychological Drives And Inclinations!

The Power Of Inclinations

Picture by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Every activity engaged in by man, whether on the level of individual or social life, is undoubtedly a result of particular psychological drives and inclinations, and is fashioned with the aid of sense perception and bodily skills and powers under different temporal and special conditions. For example, man is driven to eat and drink by his instinct to nourish himself, and is motivated to help the weak and the needy because of his emotions of sympathy for other human beings. Then, by using his sense organs, he identifies the desired foods or identifies the weak and needy to be assisted, and carries out the desired tasks through the use of his bodily faculties.

The above-mentioned activities could be said to possess the specific “human” characteristic when they are guided by his reason, in addition to his instinctive and emotional drives, which man shares with other animals. That is, eating food and drinking water should be done with the aim of maintaining one’s health and strength, and emotions and instincts must be satisfied within the framework of some rational principles and under the guidance of reason. In many cases, however, reason is overwhelmed by emotion and instinct, and is unable to perform an effective role. When this happens, the activity is considered devoid of any human value.

The practical guidance provided by reason is itself controlled by the general notions and ideas that constitute the fundamental basis of man’s existence as an intelligent being. For example, the belief in the necessity of maintaining one’s health, or the urge to make sacrifices for the sake of a higher aim, is based on particular conceptions of the individual and society.

It is these general conceptions and basic patterns of thinking that play the major role in giving shape and direction to man’s efforts and struggles, and either make them meaningful and worthwhile in the human sense or deprive them of human meaning and worth.

These basic patterns of thought are termed as `world-view’. It is on account of the differences in worldview that fundamental divergence in personal behavior and social outlook takes place.

Just as the guidance provided by reason on practical matters is ignored in acts lacking in the `human’ character, when it loses all its effective force, so also the theoretical decrees of reason are not always given the attention they require. Many people never think of the `why’ of their actions, and do not build their lives on the basis of well-thought-out ideas. Such people either content themselves with imitating others or are simply indifferent to fundamental questions, although perceptive observers find their behavior to conform to a particular type of worldview.

For example, the conduct of an individual who thinks of nothing other than the enjoyment of transitory pleasures and pursuit of selfish interest is consistent with an individualistic and materialistic worldview, even if he has not accepted materialism consciously as a reasoned philosophical viewpoint.

Therefore, our efforts and activities are `human’ and `reason-able’ when, firstly, they are performed not merely under any influence, but on the basis of understanding and under the guidance of reason; secondly, when they are based on a logical and coherent system of thought and a correct worldview, not on raw adopted notions, or on an illogical and incorrect world-view.

In view of the above-mentioned principle, the necessity for the selection of a reasonable worldview capable of lending itself to rational justification is clear. Moreover, the existence of strong and conflicting currents in the realm of thought and belief, and the vulnerability of undefendable beliefs clearly indicates the need for learning logical arguments that confirm the chosen worldview and the necessity of acquiring the capacity to defend it.

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