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The insatiable nature of human needs and wants has been a subject broadly and intensively explored in various academic, social and economic fields. The seemingly endless and unquenchable desire for better and newer things by humans has indirectly led to human progress.
The desire to fulfill these needs serves as motivation for inventors, entrepreneurs, politicians and religious leaders. It has also created endless personal, interpersonal and communal conflicts in human societies.
A particular realm where the insatiability of human nature – and thus the need to go beyond what is attainable by mere human ability – is the intellectual realm. Historically, since the dawn of oral and written communication, humans have been searching for the meaning of their own existence.
The consequence has been the proliferation of thousands of different religions in different societies throughout the world, and countless religious writings and sacred texts attempting to satisfy this singular intellectual conundrum (Imperato 85). However, from these ancient times to the present day, humans are still none the wiser concerning the intellectual purposes for their existence (Albl 42).
Concerning the same, new theories have replaced, remodeled and or discarded intellectual theories. People have dispensed the former with in an almost comical search to quench the insatiable thirst of human intellect concerning this and other metaphysical unknowns.
Similarly, human will exemplifies another characteristic aspect of humans that they cannot satisfy. If satisfied, it lasts only for a while, leading the individual to desire more (Pack and Kern 392). Because human will stems from the individual, the general expectation is that the decisions and actions that actualize themselves through free will lead to the long-lasting satisfaction for the individual. However, that is never the case.
For instance, many individuals choose their own career paths, and yet still end up regretting their choice, despite having made it themselves after a serious and careful consideration of all available options (Lee 280). Therefore, humans (via intellect and free will) show a tendency outdo themselves in a quest for satisfaction – going beyond what they can grasp.
Sin and Christian understanding of God
The concept of sin in the religious context (Christianity) involves the commission or omission of acts that go against stated moral rules. Whenever humans commit sin, especially persons subscribing to specific religions, for instance Christianity, they must confess of sin and seek forgiveness and/or redemption.
Interestingly, individuals not belonging to specific religions, and who violate moral laws still experience a sense of guilt for their act (Eagleton 81). Therefore, humans innately have a sense of right and wrong even in the absence of strict moral provisions to guide behavior.
As stated earlier, humans, through free will and intellectual pursuits, have always been on an insatiable quest for understanding themselves fulfilling their various desires. However, humans have not been successful: individuals exercise free will yet still end up regretting their choices.
The intellectual quest for metaphysical knowledge yields further questions that leave humanity with an endless desire to satisfy an insatiable human intellect. On the other hand, sin brings about a sense of guilt that a person can only eliminate through confession and atonement.
The insatiable desires and quests of humans and the guilt-inducing impact of sin indicate concepts that are beyond human grasp. The Christian understanding of God, as the creator of humans and the sole power who can satisfy the desires of humans, or eliminate the guilt of sin, explains the inability of man to gain control of his insatiable wants or feelings of guilt for sinning. Effectively, if God is the creator of humans, only by seeking him and living according to his will can humans find ultimate satisfaction and guiltless existence.
Albl, Martin. Reason, Faith, and Tradition: Explorations in Catholic Theology. Winona, MN: Anselm Academic, 2009.
Eagleton, Terry. The Nature of Evil. Tikkun 26.1 (2011): 80-94.
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Imperato, Robert. Footings: Creation, World Religions, Personalism, Revelation, and Jesus. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2009.
Lee, Ki-Hak. Coping with Career Indecision: Differences between Four Career Choice Types. Journal of Career Development (Springer Science & Business Media B.V. 31.4 (2005): 279-289.
Pack, Spencer and Kern, William. Aristotle and the problem of insatiable desires: a comment on Kern’s interpretation of Aristotle, with a reply by William S. Kern. History of Political Economy 17.3 (1985): 391-394.