What does it mean to be Human? 23 replies

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Dragonelf68

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24th September 2007

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#11 12 years ago
Ihaterednecks;4260973Don't you love all these pessimistic dickheads coming and fucking up the thread? A human in my opinion, is an animal. An animal that is on a higher level of consciousness and a higher mental tier than the others, it can make mistakes and can be naturally territorial, with the right conditioning. A necessity that one mass to be considered morally human is a basic sense of compassion and conscious. Not the thought conscious, mind you, but a feeling or a link for your fellow man, so you won't go around butchering them or performing other atrocities for various reasons.

Took the words right out of my mouth.

Actually I read a study on this one, been several years, but extensive research has shown that some animals may have a concept, but that is not the same as being sentient, at least not as we understand it. For example dogs and cats are aware of minute concepts because they have an intellectual 'instinctive' cognitive ability of a human 2 or 3 year-old, which is about the same time human children start to grasp the concept of being self aware (you know, the what and why stage). Yet for our domesticated friends, it never quite gets to this stage and some research suggests this may be why cats and dogs share a kinship with us (although, I think dogs stick with us, because we share something in common: we are both pack animals). The majority of animials react on instinct; alive but not aware. Now take dolphins, science is still atempting to figure out their language, yes language a distinct one. Modern computers with sophisticated software suggest dolphin linguistics are far more advanced than our own, and that they may be "self aware" to the extent of being sentient liken to early humanoids or more, we just don't know for sure. The obvious question, if this is true how come they are not at a similar stage as we, and science suggests that we got the upper hand (no pun intended) with opposable digits and living on land. Having to dwell in a changing environment forces a species to adapt or die, and thus new skills are learned advancing our concepts - least that's what anthropology suggests.

You are giving a good point there, but we still react on instinct. If something happens to fast for our mind to react to, it resorts to instinct. Or if our adrenilin is going, the mind will base all actions on instinct. And another example of humans striving to learn, but computers are a man made item, and therefor, are unable to comprehand anymore of something then we are. Who is to say that animals don't acknowlage that they exist? We can only prove so much.


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emonkies

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16th July 2003

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#12 12 years ago

1) Keeping records of our accomplishments, good and bad and recognizing achievements like literature and music and medicine. To also remember those who have passed before us so they will be remembered.

2) The ability for a person to put his life on the line for a total stranger (Like a fireman for instance) or to sacrifice their life for same person. "There exists no greater love than a man who gives his life for his fellow man". The example I speak of are people in Concentration camps of waiting to be executed who stepped forward and took the place of a friend or fellow prisoner knowing their fate is certain death.

3) The ability to do without to help someone who is also in need. Ergo you need food, money, or medicine, but you give it up to help someone who is also in bad or worse shape.

4) The ability to be moved to action by compassion.

5) The stablishment of religion. As far as we know man is the only species to practice and follow religion.




themanclaw

Self-Righteous Bullshit

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25th September 2006

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#13 12 years ago
A good point. But to be taught what exactly?

Everything. 99% of things a human does it taught. Which means so much of someone's personality is environmental influences, coupled with this is a higher capacity to learn than other animals.

but humans do have free thought, so they may 'organize' all of these things they have learned however they want.

and on a less serious note; humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.

other than that; humans aren't much different from most mammals. (which also experience many of our emotions) and we also act in similar ways as well; we fear things that are different, have the desire to be accepted, ect.)




Guest

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#14 12 years ago

On a philosophical level I believe Anlushac has pretty much covered all the bases. Humans are, at their core, emotional. As far as we know we are the only animal that often acts because of some emotion, for good or evil. Most animals do what they do because that is how they survive. WE often do what we do not to survive, but to allow others to survive. You sometimes see this in animals, but only in a mother caring for her young, and very occasionally, such as in herds of bison, a large family unit caring for an individual. But humans are the only species that will go out of their way to help a perfect stranger. In fact many animals would simply ignore a fellow hurt animal, and if they happen to be a carnivore, they may very well devour them.

So maybe the question should also be, why are we like this? Is it just DNA and "how we are" , is it as some suggest because of some kind of god or higher power? Is it some yet to be discovered "soul" that exists outside of our physical body? What is it?




Nemmerle Advanced Member

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#15 12 years ago

Many humans would also readily ignore a fellow hurt human and historically speaking have done so when those humans fall outside their own tribal groups more often than not. Personally I am more inclined to believe that it's an effect of a relatively recent social conditioning effect than anything innate about humans that sets them aside from others.




Badha1rday

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26th July 2005

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#16 12 years ago

Conscience.

And having opposable thumbs.

Wanting to expand our knowledge about everything fits in too.




emonkies

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16th July 2003

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#17 12 years ago

The obessive-compulsive behaviour to catalog, name, and label EVERYTHING




masked_marsoe Advanced Member

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15th April 2005

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#18 12 years ago
badhairdayAnd having opposable thumbs.

Koalas have four opposable thumbs. ;)




homo sine domino

 

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#19 12 years ago

I think compassion and empathy is what makes us truly human. Those that lack or have a twisted sense of that lack fundamental human characteristics.




AlDaja

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#20 12 years ago
tyrannicida;4262242I think compassion and empathy is what makes us truly human. Those that lack or have a twisted sense of that lack fundamental human characteristics.

That would be an adequate and truthful description. :nodding: