I found this quotation from Lyndon LaRouche’s 1986 proposal “The Science and Technology Needed to Colonize Mars” profoundly moving, and would like to share it with you (emphasis mine).
Human beings are absolutely distinguished from beasts by virtue of the fact, that every normal newborn infant has what is sometimes called “the divine spark of reason.” This spark, if developed, enables each of us to develop the power of creative reasoning, the quality of reasoning typified by the work of the best scientific discoverers. Such persons are potentially of great benefit to both contemporary society and future generations: One new, useful idea, discovered by such an individual mind, is of benefit to all mankind. This benefit is partly direct. It is also indirect: new, better ideas to come, will start from the most advanced discoveries of preceding scientists.
This same spark of reason, gives man not only the capacity for scientific discovery, which no beast can do. This spark of reason is the basis for durable ideas of beauty, and for that quality of lovingness toward other persons typified by Christian love: not bestial forms of erotic “love,” but what the classical Greeks called “agapē.” Everything that is good and beautiful in a person, is a reflection of the development of this divine spark of reason.
It is the potential for development of this divine spark of reason, which places mankind above the beasts, which defines mankind as in the image of the living God. This quality which sets each of us above the beasts, is our true “human nature.” The fuller realization of this beautiful potential in ourselves, is our true self-interest.
If this be our “human nature,” then what does this nature tell us is mortal man’s proper destiny? Can it be anything but the efficient self-development of that capacity for good which is the divine spark of reason within us? To be good, can never be separated from good deeds, from work which is consistent with goodness. Which, then, is the goal: the deeds of which goodness makes us capable, or the goodness which is affirmed by such deeds? The answer to this seeming paradox is elementary: Good deeds are necessary to the fulfillment of the quality of goodness in ourselves; it is by responding to the challenge about us with good deeds, that we strengthen goodness within us. To become good, by aid of deeds which respond properly to whatever practical challenge faces us, is our true self-interest, our true goal.