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What Does it Mean to Be Human

  1. Sep 29, 2005 #1
    So, may I ask you guys, What Does it Mean to Be Human??? After all the studying of different philosophies, what makes Human Human??? How does one become Human??? What is the philosophy of Being Human???
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2005 #2
    The word human is an invention in itself. Being human is exactly what you believe it is.
  4. Sep 29, 2005 #3
    I hate it when people make remarks as such. That is the same as saying that a man is really a woman because I believe it is.

    The manner in which he asks suggest he is looking for an objective explanation of a human, not a subjective explanation.
  5. Sep 29, 2005 #4


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    Specific DNA structure
  6. Sep 30, 2005 #5
    You are offering less than myself to this topic. Instead of throwing an idea or perspective out there, you simply try to limit them. You're such a hero. Thanks for saving this thread.
  7. Oct 1, 2005 #6

    I think that the most of the definition would change with time, but i have to admit that certain parts would remain the same (not quite sure what that is though, sry).Example: i think that no matter how advanced we get, we will always have a certain unconcious will to survive, at almost all cost, and from that a wariness towards potentailly threatening stangers.

    in the catholic doctrine what makes a human human is their soul. animals have wut they call "vegatative souls" and humans have souls that can reason. to me, this makes the soul sounds like higher reasoning skills, so i dont agree with this.
  8. Oct 2, 2005 #7
    Being bipedal and having a large brain for our body size (and of course the cognitive abilities that go with this). Primates develop and rely on culture, so what really separates us is the bipedalism and an increased reliance on culture and cognitive abilities. If you're going with the whole soul thing, the previous stuff might collide with this. That is, unless you allow for all organisms to either have a soul or be able to reach some transcendent level of experience due to increase in cognitive abilities (could be that other organisms are able to transcend what we normally experience thru their adaptations). Perhaps we've developed a sensory system to allow for this area of experience and that's what makes us human. I'm sure a lot of people thought synesthetes were completely bonkers when they told them about the taste of colors.
  9. Oct 2, 2005 #8
    oh yeah, and to know that you don't even know what you don't know. I guess the ability to recognize your own lack would apply here.
  10. Oct 3, 2005 #9
    wow that last one is really profound, lol. i think that is a good idea. that probably seperates us from everything but chimps. i'll have to remeber that one...
  11. Oct 3, 2005 #10
    I was out to my parent's house last night. They have a growing puppy that is pretty bright. He certainly does some things most people would consider human behaviors. For one... he is decieving which I thought was really interesting. I never really thought a dog could be cunning enough to try to do stuff behind your back. Let me explain.

    This dog has a little toy called pengy. It is kind of a stuffed penguin with like a donut hole in the middle.

    A little info. My mother is severly sight impaired, but she is smart and can see well enough to understand what is going on. This dog knows this and tries to take advantage of it.

    This dog that we will now refer to as Arrow, has a serious tendancy to chew on everything in sight. One particular object he enjoys chewing on is a wooden handle on a little basket that his toys are kept in. It is actually kind of a cloth basket, but the handles are wood. My mom always catches him chewing on these handles and tells him "NO!!" He knows for sure that he should not be doing this. As evidence to that, my mother has a spray bottle handy. If she picks up the spray bottle when he does it, he will stop and walk away.

    Now... Arrow is pretty clever for a dog. He actually takes his penguin toy over to his basket and sets it on top of the handle. He trys to make it look like he is playing with pengy, but in reality he is sticking his nose through the hole to chew on the handle. It is pretty impressive.

    I have kind of come to the idea that humans are no different from other creatures in the sense of being alive. We simply have intelligence. I really believe that animals like my cats at home are just as realy as us being alive. They simply do not have the brain power that humans do. I do know that all species do not have all the mental attributes of humans, but I really think they are just as precious as us.
  12. Oct 3, 2005 #11
    If only dolphins had opposable thumbs...

    http://tursiops.org/dolfin/guide/smart.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  13. Oct 4, 2005 #12
    define the word "one".
  14. Oct 4, 2005 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    I think your question is your answer. :biggrin:
  15. Oct 4, 2005 #14
    umm, probably "I". so, How do I become Human, truly human???
  16. Oct 5, 2005 #15
    If you're not now, you might as well give up lol.
  17. Oct 5, 2005 #16
    I "became" human because i intended to always do right, and prior to that, i intended to not harm anything.

    perhaps the question ought to be: How do i become I ?
  18. Oct 5, 2005 #17
    "I "became" human because i intended to always do right, and prior to that, i intended to not harm anything."

    is that being human or humane?
  19. Oct 5, 2005 #18
    I think asking the question of what it is to be human is one of those questions that each person must answer for themselves.

    We all have different goals in this world. We all have a different perspective on life. If I tell you what makes me human, it won't necessarily apply to you.
  20. Oct 5, 2005 #19
    providing theres no other species wondering.....

    On a general note if your looking for something special, I havent been able to find it,.... :frown: I deduct things I see in animals and things that can be lost because of dicease and I'm left with nothing.

    On the other hand theres always the experience of being human, thats something that is specific to our race and impossible for a non-human to have. the infamous "what it is like to be human" :yuck:

    The question wether this is of any value we'll have to discuss with monkeys
  21. Oct 5, 2005 #20
    Prior to being unique, humans are all the same.

    good one. how about: being a humane human is a pre-requisite for going beyond human.
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