The classical and popular questions of “where do we come from?”, “where are we going?” and “what are we?” still permeate all philosophical and psychological approaches to the human being. It is not possible to dissociate these questions and their possible answers from the epistemological background that is very explicit and summarized in the antagonism between dialectical and teleological questions.
Understanding dialectics fundamentally as a process, and teleology as a purpose, we establish two irreconcilable parameters regarding conciseness and coherence, since the relationship between opposition and transformation - dialectic and process - does not resemble causal, deterministic explanations that lead to finalist explanations as determinants of correctness and consistency. Everything develops in these contexts, in these opposite strands; so this is the way one perceives, thinks, has dialogue and argues, even without knowing which the baseline reference is. Believing to be the fruit of the evolution of species or to be created by God also exemplifies this association.
In the empirical findings - in which sensoriality stands out -, what is verified is the dense, the functional, the purpose that explains and justifies everything. In dialectical, procedural visions, the processes and their mediations are imposed. When it is said, for example, that what is important to man is pleasure, or to feel good, even when suffering or making one suffer, as is the case with the mundane explanations of the book Fifty Shades of Grey and other equivalents (restoring the sadomasochism of Marquis de Sade), purposes are affirmed as a justification of behavior: in this case, it is pleasure; in others, it may be revenge, power, or the encounter with God.
Purposes do not define man, they explain nothing since they are contingent upon their purposes and imply in denying the relational character of the biological, neuropsychological structure of humans. When this understanding does not exist, arise elementary explanations, causal explanations about the questions of what we are, what is human, through concepts such as human nature, instinct, or the fruit of a creator, as constructors of men. The human being is an organism that fulfills itself in satisfying needs, but it is also a possibility of relationship. To end possibilities in needs is to transform into an animal, into a machine (robot, depersonalized), so the more the individual situates himself/herself as purposes, as results, the more he/she becomes dehumanized.
Being self-referenced in the own biological/organic structure is depersonalizing itself, animalizing itself, and thus being capable of any action to fulfill desire, to achieve pleasure, and to surpass the presence of the other, transforming him/her into an object of pleasure, power, or fury. In this organic framework of needs, there is no transcendence, no consideration, no questioning; consequently, the law of the strongest prevails, in which everything can be done to survive, to meet desires. When the only criteria are those of the purpose; that is, those of the result (such as having pleasure), nothing stops the pedophile, the necrophiliac, and the zoophile. The processes are reduced to predetermined and determinant causal relations.
When the relational dimension becomes more emphatic, the individual discovers possibilities beyond contingent, biological needs, he/she perceives that subordinating motivations to purposes and results does segment, mutilate existence according to advantages / disadvantages, conveniences / inconveniences, satisfaction / dissatisfaction. To become a by-product of economic, social, and religious orders is to be dehumanized, as it is also dehumanizing to prepare to live seeking pleasure, redemption of acts, absolution of guilt, or construction of shields and protections by means of power and wealth.
Seeking purposes is to build a scale for values that mark, contain, and justify the surrender to religions, institutions (family, etc.), and the enjoyable pleasures, from drugs to sex, for example. Questioning what is good or bad is always propitious, although the most important is not to be marked by these teleological criteria, so that the myriad of structural and contextual variations of relational processes can be globalized.