PHILOSOPHY: MAN’S ULTIMATE CONCERN

HEJϽMI OR COMFORT

Growing up, I realize we are constantly struggling in life. Both the poor and the rich, men and women, the strong and the feeble, old and young. I did not understand why the rich are still fighting for more when they have enough to sustain themselves. I saw them as greedy men. I did not understand why people could offer their fellow human even their own children for sacrifice. Why people follow those politicians to rallies for them to come into power to make their own histories and lucre.why should we be conscious with our votes. I did not understand why people kept on moving are from one belief to another. I did not get why young and energetic people take their precious lives. Why people are desperate to make money. Why we all seek for protection. Why we are schooling. Why they say “ladies would do anything to get what they want”. And I did not understand why there are supporters of pietism. Why Christian and other religious people want to make it to heaven when hell is an alternative. Man kept on strangling in life. I did not understand all these.

I began looking for a reason why all these things are happening in the world. I meditated on it for long. I realized that they were all circulating around one thing. That is life. I asked myself again what is it about life is that driving all these? Many answers rushed into my mind. But I critically saw that, there is an ultimate reason and the search for this reason is causing all these. This ultimate reason is hejϽmi(comfort). Man always want to feel at ease or content with what is doing or where he is. Man is striving for money to gain comfort. man ascribed to a religion because he in search of comfort from the supernatural. Man wants be in paradise because he believes that over there, there is comfort. I now understood why people took their lives. They thought taking their lives will end their worries and give them comfort. In all that
man does, he wants comfort.

Then it came into my mind again that can’t happiness go all these. I need money to make me happy. I took my life to make me happy. I’m schooling to make me happy. I want to marry to make me happy. I worship God because I’m happy with that. I chose paradise because that will make me happy. I killed my enemy because I’m happy with that. It is quite plausible but fallacious. I do not think I will derive happiness from all this. Immanuel Kant once said that “man is naturally aware of morality- what is evil or bad and what is good”. But we see evil is dominant in the world. I don’t think I will kill you because of happiness.

No! Because as I sit here on my sick bed, I realized that the person next to my sick bed is just carried to mortuary. I’m very happy that I’m having life right now but I’m not comfort with my sickness. I’m happy with my single room apartment because there are people on the street who desire to have this apartment. But I’m not comfortable with it because this place is too small for me and my family of six. Man’s ultimate concern is hejϽmi. Man is always looking for hejϽmi. Though man may be concerned with happiness or any other thing, what man needs and values most comfort in this life.

Paul Tillich also defined religion as man’s ultimate concern. Can we then conclude that unbelievers have no ultimate concern? It is true that man is concern with religion because to believe not in anything is a belief in something. What about the atheists? Atheists do not believe supernatural beings and religion at its bases has to do with beliefs and practices concerning supernatural beings. Then we may be forced to say that atheists have no ultimate concern or they are not men. Religious people are not concern with their religions but the comfort they derive from their religions. Primarily, religion seeks comfort for its members not truth. If many religious claims contradict but they are considered as the truth by their adherents. Then what should be considered as lie? I remain a Christian, Muslim, Traditionalist or an atheist because that is where I feel comfortable. I may freely move from one side to another if, I feel discomfort in former and think there is comfort in the later.

So, I asked myself again can man be truly in comfort? This leads to a parable of a man and his Savior.

A man is who sleeping on the street made a prayer
to his Savior for a single room apartment. Later
he sked for camber and hall apartment. He was
granted his desire. He then went to marry and
gave birth to four. He saw that the place was
small to contain his family. He again prayed to
his savior to favor him with a full house.asked 

for camber and hall apartment. He was

granted his desire. He then went to marry and
gave birth to four. He saw that the place was
small to contain his family. He again prayed to
his savior to favor him with a full house.

“Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains” said J. J. Rousseau, a french philosopher. He claimed society takes away man’s freedom and leaving him discomfort. So, we should enter into “social contract” to surrender our sovereign to the state to rule. I agree w[ HejϽmi and Comfort is used interchangeably
Comfort is the state of being at absolute ease or content with what you are doing and or where you are. ]ith Rousseau that man is chain, that is, discomfort but even if we come under social contract or rule, we still be in the realm of discomfort or we still be in chain The rules or laws made by the state also limit our comfort. Just as the parable, man will seek for comfort by striving to attain a position or place. When he gets to that place, he will realize that he is not comfortable there. So he has to work towards a new place. The new place or position that man seeks is not always ascending. No matter what it is, man can never be comfortable. I doubt if man ever gain comfort in full. Because man is always looking for comfort in what ever he does, and man I think, will never stop striving for comfort. Probably, man will attain comfort in full when he dies if only there is no life after death.

The ultimate concern of man is to be at ease in whatever he does. For that reason we are doing whatever we can to be content. We search for comfort in our present conditions and even in the future. The problem of evil will also forever remain in this world since man can never gain comfort in full and man will not stop seeking for comfort. Man by nature, is born into discomfort, thus man will keep seeking for comfort but man may never get comfort in life.

NOTE

HejϽmi and Comfort are used interchangeably

Comfort is the state of being completely at ease or content with something or somewhere.

REFERENCES

Philosophy; The Big Ideas.(2015, January 4). Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/comentisfree/2012/jul/11/rousseau-man-born-free-social-contract .

Philosophy of Nature: The pursuit of comfort.(2015, January 21). retrieved from hhttps://physicalplace.wordpress.com/2009/01/03/the-pursuit-of-comfort/ .

Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Kant and Hume on Morality.(2014, December 27). retrieved from plato.standford.edu/entries/kant-hume-morality/

http://www.gaiaonline.com/forum/morality-and-relgion/tillich-s-definition-of-religion-do-you-agree-with-it/t./53876049/ .

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Published by

Dennis Lawer

Level 200 student of University of Ghana. Sociology and religion.

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