Human Beings Possess A Distinct Consciousness

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Feuerbach first says that since human beings have religion and animals don’t, there must be something that human beings possess that essentially differentiates them from animals. Human beings possess a distinctive consciousness which he calls “species consciousness” that animals don’t possess. In other words, a man that possesses a “species-consciousness” he is capable to take its own essential nature as an object of thought. In addition, the human individual has the capacity of thought which means that he can engage himself in an internal dialogue and thus the human individual stands a relation to his species. When a human being is conscious of himself as a human, he is also conscious that he is a being that is able to feel, to think and to will. In other words, the three mental faculties that Feuebarch identifies as crucial in the development of Christian consciousness are reason, will and affection. Furthermore, reason, will and affection are absolute perfections of the human. However, they are not powers that human beings possess, they are rather “constituent elements of his nature”. For example, those constituent of the human beings manifest themselves when an individual is moved by the emotions expressed by music; when an individual feels the desire to gain knowledge; when the conscience of an individual dictates him to moderate his desires in order to avoid limiting other’s freedom.
Moreover, the human individual recognizes himself as an intellectually, morally,
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