Nature has intended that man develop everything that transcends the mechanical ordering of his animal existence, entirely by himself, and that he does not partake of any other happiness or perfection except what he has secured himself by his own reason and free of instict.
Nature does not do nothings superfluously and is not extravagant in the employment of its means to its end. Since nature gave man reason and the freedom of will that rests upon reason, that serves to show clearly nature's purpose in regard to man's equipment. . . . The discovery of his food, of his clothing, of his external security and defense (for which nature gave man neither the horns of the bull, nor the claws of the lion, nor the teeth of the dog, but just hands), all pleasures that can make life agreeable, even his insight and intelligence, indeed, the kindness of his will should be achieved by man's own work. Nature seems to have delighted in the greatest parsimony; she seems to have barely provided man's animal equipment and limited it to the most urgent needs of a beginning existence, as if nature intended that man should owe all to himself as though he should eventually struggle up from the greatest backwardness to the greatest skills, to inner perfection of mind, and (as far as it is possible on earth) to blessed happiness. Man alone should have the credit (for having accomplished this), as if nature were more concerned with man's rational self-esteem than with his well-being. In the course of human affairs a vast amount of hardship awaits man. It seems as though nature had not cared that man live well, but that by progressing thus far man would prove himself through his conduct worthy of life and well-being. However, it remains perplexing that earlier generations seem to do their laborious work for the sake of later generations, in order to provide a foundation from which the latter can advance the building which nature has intended. Only later generations will have the good fortune to live in the building. But however mysterious this conclusion may be, it is nevertheless necessary, if one assumes that an animal species is to have reason, and is to arrive at a complete development of its faculties as a class of reasonable beings who die while their species is immortal.