Basic Human Functions – just like animals e.g. food, drink, shelter, etc. However, there is a choice e.g. lion will eat meat while a sheep will eat grass –pre-programmed. Human beings can eat either –a choice.


Emotions – more developed than animals – however, some are comparable e.g. love for offspring, dislike, like, affection, jealousy, hatred, revenge, envy, competitive, greed, anger, disgust, etc

Cognition or human thoughts – animals think too. Through this process we recognise what we are doing.


Metacognition – thinking about thinking. This is the trait which is only possessed by human beings. While recognising what we are doing we also can evaluate our thinking i.e. why are we doing it? Animals do not have this ability. This is the domain where values start playing their role. The values here will be relative as these will vary according to the individual choices and the values of the society in which the individual lives. For example we mention human ‘conscience’ which is ‘internalised society’ i.e. the values of the society (or family) in which one is born will become his conscience. As long as the individual conforms to these relative values his conscience will not ‘hurt’ him (or guilt). This now raises the question of what is ‘wrong’ and what is ‘right’. When we operate at this level, we become a human being. Free will means the freedom to choose – however, having chosen we can only live by the choices we make in our life.

_______________________Human level________________________


Meet physical needs within the domain of relative values. We do not need permanent values if we do not wish to develop our ‘self’. Emotions as desires + thoughts operating through human intellect to achieve these desires is enough to meet our needs. This is a level of human conflicts with others as those in power wish to accumulate for themselves without any regard for others…




NB: Up to this level of existence we do not need the permanent values.




Since there is no guidance built within us due to the existence of our free will; the need for the permanent values comes into play at this stage. However, these values exist as an external criterion and it is up to us to live our life within these values or to live according to the relative values of a society.




Human ‘self’ - human personality develops through our thought process. Our thoughts precede our actions. We make choices in our day to day living by using our freedom to choose within the constraints imposed by the society. For example, when we are without a job and there are no other means of subsistence available we may be forced to beg from others in order to survive. As we don’t have anything inbuilt within us therefore we need values to guide us in making our decisions. Human self means accountability and another life beyond the realm of the meta-cognising self? This opens infinite possibilities for us and the self develops (through thought process) when it works for the good of others. Permanent values start playing their role at this stage of development. Examples of the permanent values – Equality as a human being, Absolute justice, Human dignity, Accountability of the self, Basic needs, Knowledge, etc.

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