The inclination of human action. These natural inclinations correspond to some objective state of affairs that fulfills it. If you desire sustenance, that is rooted in the desire to preserve your life.
Desire for food proves that food exists. The desire for food is a human action based on the real existence of food. The phenomenon of hunger is unthinkable apart from food, since the stomach is “built” for food. In eating food, we aim at preserving our own lives, which is unthinkable apart from the possibility of unconditioned life. The inclination of human action does not make sense unless they correspond to an objective state of affairs.
- It does not make sense to experience hunger if there was no food.
- It does not make sense to experience thirst if there was no drink.
- It does not make sense that human beings aim to preserve their lives unless they were created and intended to live.
- It does not make sense that human beings in their decisions aim for ultimate fulfillment and ultimate joy unless the unconditioned form of those desires did, in fact, exist.
Why inclination of human action matters
These basic desires correspond to an objective state of affairs. This is provable. Hunger points to the objective existence of food, thirst to the objective existence of drink, sexual longing to the objective existence of the sexual act, and so on. This is much more than a set of correspondences that simply happen to be the case; the correlation is born of the real participation of the desire in its object.
Desire to fulfill the inclination of human action towards sustenance proves the argument. Our sustenance is aimed at ultimate fulfillment. We sustain ourselves with objectively-existing food and water. Our natural desires for food and water would not exist unless food and water existed objectively and independently of the human person. It’s not an artificial inclination. Hunger points to the objective existence of food. My hunger for a cheeseburger does not prove the existence of a cheeseburger.
How desire confirms reality
- If I desire a cheeseburger, does that mean a cheeseburger exists? Yes or no?
- If I experience hunger, does that mean food exists? Yes or no?
- Why would we experience hunger for food if there was no food?
The desire for food is much more than a correspondence that simply happens to be the case. The correlation is born of the real participation of the desire in its object. The desire for a cheeseburger is rooted in the base desire for food. Which means that there is an objective state of affairs that exist where sustenance exists in its unconditioned form. This is what we call ultimate fulfillment.
Therefore, desire for food is a basic desire that would not exist unless food exists because the desire itself is grounded in the object which already exists. Because every innate or natural desire corresponds to some objective state of affairs that fulfills it. Examples of the first type of desire— natural desires— include the desire for food, for sex, for companionship, for beauty, and for knowledge; while examples of second type include the longing for a fashionable suit of clothes, for a fast car, for Shangri-La, or to fly through the air like a bird.
Desires of the second category are externally motivated or psychologically contrived, they don’t prove anything regarding the objective existence of their objects: some of them exist and some of them don’t. But desires of the first type do indeed correspond to, and infallibly indicate, the existence of the states of affairs that will fulfill them: hunger points to the objective existence of food, thirst to the objective existence of drink, sexual longing to the objective existence of the sexual act, etc.
Thus, desire to get a nice car is based on an external motivation. The desire for fulfillment is not an external motivation but a natural motivation. “Natural” means “that which we have without any external imposition, i.e. things humans just have.” By its very structure, the mind already participates in truth. As for beauty, human beings are naturally attracted to the things they find beautiful and turned off by things they think are ugly or disgusting.
The purpose of sentience is to discover truth.
Unless your sentience was reliable enough to inform you about what is true, you could not possibly have claimed to have concluded that your sentience was unreliable. You cannot undermine the definition of sentience I gave you without presupposing that the definition is correct.