Lesson 14: The Vicissitudes in the Life of Man
Certainly you will have heard of the spacecraft “Apollo”, a perfect example of the marvellous progress man has made in science and technology. It took man above the clouds, beyond the atmosphere, and allowed him to set his feet on the surface of the moon, thus opening the door to a world hitherto unknown to him.
Looking at the design of this space-craft, we see a huge mass of nuts and bolts, large and small, and various delicate and complex instruments; the command module, the main craft, the lunar landing module, landing and take-off equipment, fuel tanks, telecommunication and navigational apparatus, power sources, safety devices and sufficient stores of food, water and other necessities. Each of these parts has its own role. Obviously, if it were not for these various parts, Apollo would never have come into existence, and it would not have been able to overcome the difficulties facing man on his way to the moon.
This example shows us that in a whole whose parts are connected with each other and in harmony, variety cannot be avoided.
Now let us look at the world of existence, to discover that diversity here is neither pointless nor without reason. Without doubt, the beauty and complexity of this world is due to the variety of its parts, and we cannot call this diversity meaningless or unjust.
In the last lesson we showed that injustice exists where all have the same right to use something equally, but distinction is made between some and others. However, the parts of the world had no existence before they were created, and so they had no pre-existent rights which would enable us to say that the existence of distinctions between them constitutes an injustice In fact, the world of creation owes its existence to variety, and if there had not been any variety there would not have been any universe, there would have been just one big uniformity. It was this variety that brought into existence atoms, solar systems, galaxies, trees, plants and animals.
Turning now towards variety in human life, we see that diversity in man is not an exception to this general principle of variety. If we look at diversity in human ability, intelligence and memory and ask why they are not the same in all humans, we must ask before this why plants and minerals do not have these superior faculties. Then we can see that neither of these questions can be properly discussed, because such questions can only arise when rights are being trampled on. In this case, neither of these two conditions existed prior to creation that a distinction between them should be seen as an injustice.
Another point to notice is that God demands from everyone according to his ability and responsibility, and no one is asked to do more than his bodily and mental powers enable him. This is justice itself.
For example, if a headmaster gives the examination of the most advanced class to one of the lower classes this is an injustice. However, if he gives the easy questions to the lower class and the difficult questions to the advanced class, then no on can complain that there had been an injustice. Instead, he would be regarded as just by any meaning of the word.
Therefore, if all existent things are regarded from the same point of view, and their responsibilities were all the same, to make a distinction as regards their creation would be an injustice. But we know that responsibilities are proportional to the individual's capabilities, and thus there is no injustice. For example, if a small screw in a machine has to do the same work as the largest cog, there would be injustice; but if each part must work according to its design and possibilities, then there is no injustice.
Moreover, we believe that God is Wise and that He does nothing for no reason or for no good purpose, and we believe that the world has a special design so that no speck can come into existence without reckoning or design, as we explained in detail previously when we showed how nothing is without its place and its use. If, in some cases, something appears useless or without a function, it is in fact because of the limited nature of our minds. Not knowing something does not mean it does not exist.
We can conclude from this that all the variations in things have some good purpose, and that they are all perfectly useful and necessary in the system of the universe, although we may not be able to understand this by our restricted thinking.
It may be objected that all individuals may have the same characteristics, talents and abilities, but that because of the needs of society they are forced to divide their labour among themselves. The answer to this is that if this were the case, those who seek an easy life would choose the easier occupations and the difficult.
1. What is a perfect example of the progress man has made in science and technology?
2. What makes the world have beauty and complexity?
3. Can we call this diversity meaningless or unjust?
4. What would happen if we had no variety and no universe?
5. Is the diversity in man and expectation to the general principal of variety?
6. Are memory an intelligence the same in all humans?
7. Does God demand from everyone accordingly?
8. Would there be any injustice if each part of something must work according to its design?
9. What can we conclude from all the variations in things?
10. Why are individuals forced to divide their labour amongst themselves?