By Rev. FR. Jonas Richmond Atarah, Catholic Priest of Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese
The Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization of the United Nations, (UNESCO), recommends the third Thursday of November, every year as the World Day of Philosophy for our reflection. The Oxford dictionary defines Philosophy as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline. It is also the theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour. The theme for this year is “The Human of the Future; The future for philosophers is now.” The philosopher Albert Einstein said “Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.” By implication, we create the conditions in the world that affect our lives and must take a second thought now for the future. The year 2022 is getting to an end with many challenges against human life, such as diseases, wars, global warming and climate change, shortage of basic needs, like food and water, among others. The human of the future is the person who respects the signs of time with responsible reasoning as a project. The human person cannot get to the future without respecting the past and present. The sense of time and life purpose must be of focus for the future. The Latin saying “homo viator” – meaning human on the way -teaches us that human life is on a journey.
Human life is measured according to the energy used in the past and the reserved energy at present to be used for the future. We have to gather energy for life from nature and nurture that energy for future use. The friendship between nature and human beings largely determines how far human life can progress and triumph. Nature is bigger than human beings, but human behavior is essential in growing nature. As far as human beings depend on nature for basic essentials like air, water and food, human behavior can threaten the existence of nature. When we observe nature today, we realize that the activities of human beings in the past have affected nature more negatively than positively. There is climate change, mostly because of human and technological activities affecting mother earth.
At present, we are experiencing floods, bushfires, water and atmospheric pollutants as a result of our actions and inactions. The problems affecting nature are enough and this is the time to call on humanity to change from the negative ways of doing things that affect nature and to nurture our reason to restore a healthy relationship between humans and nature. The past should not define us, but should rather determine our relationship with nature by forming our conscience for global friendliness and better life. The human of the future ought to be a philosopher and to be ruled by the philosopher-king.
The Philosopher reflects and critiques past experiences that have positively and negatively affected the present time, in order to project concepts for future development. The Philosopher king ensures that the human being walks the way of peace and prosperity. The future is assured for the human person with peaceful interpersonal and international relations. We are facing global wars against nature, nations and persons, simply because of our selfish reasoning and imperialism.
It is therefore incumbent on us to iron out the thoughts and misdeeds affecting our nature and nurture the youth to take up the culture of philosophy to seek pleasure with wisdom. The pleasures that we enjoy today would only continue tomorrow when we maximize the potential of our environment with the reason for the purpose of making the earth a common and habitable home.
All creatures and children of God must be seekers of truth, justice and peace and growth. In order to fight against global warming and unfriendly human nature, may we be imbued with the words of Albert Einstein, which says, “Striving for peace and preparing for war are incompatible with each other and in our time more so than ever.” Happy day of philosophy.
May we all in our own small ways, learn the art of philosophy to nurture nature for development, prosperity, truth, justice, unity and peace.