Just as the created world is a world summoned into existence under command, to be a human being in that world is to live in search of a summons. It is to recognize, first of all, that we are here not by choice or on account of merit, but as an undeserved gift from powers not at our disposal. It is to feel the need to justify that gift, to make something out of our indebtedness for the opportunity of existence. It is to stand in the world not only in awe of the world’s existence but under an obligation to answer a call to a worthy life, a life of meaning, a life that does honor to the divine likeness with which our otherwise animal being has been--no thanks to us--endowed. It is to feel the explicit need to find a way of life for which we should be pleased to answer at the bar of justice when our course is run, in order to vindicate the blessed opportunity and the moral-spiritual challenge that is the true essence of being human.
More from Leon R Kass