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Thread: What does it mean to be human?

  1. #41
    My mere two cents which I do not wish to debate. I am merely stating my opinion:

    A human is a body/soul union. All those biological and genetic distinctions which identify the human specie from other animal species are the physical attributes that make up humanity, and the capacity for intellect, free will, the ability to love, the ability to recognize beauty, immortality (and a few others) are the attributes which are found in the human soul. It is not merely one or the other of these two parts that make humans human, but the unity and oneness of the parts, indistinguishable, which makes the distinct specie of the human.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler
    Why is this in philosophy? It's a science question to be answered by science people. Unless you're asking what metaphysical attributes humans possess that other creatures don't. In which case, you're just going to get a lot of silly people saying "compassion, heart, love, understanding...." and even sillier people replying with "ah, but what does love mean!"
    But these are the things that people care about most.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince_James

    Who says? A world without intellect, by default, is meaningless. Meaning only develops out of intellect.
    James, how old are you?

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by water
    What does it mean to be human?

    Define "human".

    Is it just the organism biologically being referred to as Homo sapiens?
    I think that to be human...
    is to to objectify,
    is to be aware of one's mortality, and
    is to be able to transcend.

    Now for the longer answer:

    In my five-dimension model of cosmic evolution, I place humans as representative of what I call the Countersubjective dimension. The other four are the Subjective (all forms in general), the Intersubjective (living things in general), the Transsubjective (conscious awareness of and participation in evolution), and the Intrasubjective (cosmos as One-and-Many). By "Countersubjective," I am referring to the human quality of living within constructs and tendency to objectify self and other - a double-edge sword for sure. I see, however, the Transsubjective dimension as having already come into view...if we can survive long enough to realize it and make a shift.

  5. #45
    Peace in small things LightEagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince_James
    How do we love and hope differently from a dog and cat? And what reason do you have to believe we were created in the image of a benevolent Creator?
    Do you think a dog or cat hopes? The basic definition of hope is to believe in something unseen. It accompanies a choice. An example would be a crisis one goes through in a relationship with the accompanying belief that the situation will improve in the future even though it may not seem that way. A dog or cat is driven by its desires. A human being has the choice not to be governed by desires and impulses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Water
    I wouldn't dare claim that, as I have no way of proving whether we have that ability.

    For example, I can ask myself, "Do I love and hope right now?" and I couldn't say that I do.

    How do you suggest that this ability be identified and tested?
    The fact that you as an individual cannot ask that question does not imply that it is not true for the majority. Your inability to answer the question may also be purely ascribed to present circumstances. I can ask myself if I hope and love and my answer would be a most definate "yes!" As I have mentioned above, we have the ability to choose. It can be tested based on the fact that we hope that things will be better and that there are answers to our questions, because of the fact that we keep on living. If you argue that we live because we are biolocically "programmed" to, then how do you justify the thousands of suicides each year? How do you explain someone taking his/her life, because he/she has lost hope, i.e. the belief that a given situation will improve. In addition we continually strive to better ourselves in stead of leaving it to the natural processes of evolution. Just take our technmological advances as an example and our paradigm shifts due to the proliferation of science.

    Quote Originally Posted by Water
    I have spent more than 20 intese years with cats, and dogs too. I do not presume for a second to know how they love and hope, so I couldn't make comparisons between cats or dogs and humans.
    The question is not whether they love and/or hope, but rather if they DO love and/or hope. The next question would be whether they can CHOOSE to love and/or hope. Can they choose in spite of desires of impulses? Does your dog/cat "love" you because he/she chooses to? What would happen if you don't feed it for a few months?

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightEagle
    The question is not whether they love and/or hope, but rather if they DO love and/or hope. The next question would be whether they can CHOOSE to love and/or hope. Can they choose in spite of desires of impulses? Does your dog/cat "love" you because he/she chooses to? What would happen if you don't feed it for a few months?
    A little off the topic here, but I would like to inject something.

    It's not so obvious in some animals, cats, for example, but dogs clearly have many of the emotions that humans do - including hope. They desire attention and praise (and by default, acceptance), express affection, happiness, anger and hurt feelings. They clearly hope for attention and to be played with and will try a number of things in an effort to make those hopes realities.

  7. #47
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    Human?

    The ability to control our sexual urges.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince_James
    duendy:




    Okay, Gary Busey.

    me::who is he?

    First off, define evil.

    me:::it isa human concept abstracted from a wholistic process. for example, isa crocodile attacking and eating a young child evil, or is it naturally hungry? contrast that with a human who seeks the little girsl to use and abuse for his/her pleasure. surely the latter is evil, and grows DUE to a divided consciousnss which hasLOST FEELING.

    Second off, you do know that Lucifer does not exist,

    me:::byunderstanding the originary meaning of the term 'Lucifer' which means 'Venus'. so yes, Venus exists, butas for te mythical charactr concocted by tat Luciferian and Christian belief, no. except in teir heads.

    yes? There is no being that goes by the name "Lucifer" in the traditional sense. Thirdly, the Illuminati doesn't exist.

    me:::how do YOU know that?

    Who says? A world without intellect, by default, is meaningless. Meaning only develops out of intellect.

    me:::i am not ANTI intellect. i am anti intellect assuming it islordin over everything


    Emotions can only arise in reaction to something else. When someone close to one dies, one is often sad. Is not this a reaction to death?

    me:::tat is te intellect disseacting natrual process in a linear way--which is what overly intellectual observation will do. rather action is not re-action when it is not divided from itself. so example, whe i am sad, there is the action of sadness. its not re-action obviously

    Moreover, consciousness, having developed alongside sense, surely came before emotions, as emotions require a complex system of chemical interactions to feel, which are not found in bacterium and other microscopic conscious lifeforms.

    me:::we are ot talkin bacteriums, but humans. and of course emotions precede intellect. yu can see tis in te history of mythology in the west. there was the viseral ecstatic emotional rituals of classical Dionysiansm which then became reformed by the philosophical/intellectual Orphics who were the first to WRITE down teir DUALSTIC dogma. they belieed they were divine spirits trapped in Nature/body/emotions/matter....!
    when we are born, we ont come out of mamas womb intellectualizing, but cryin!

    I don't have a religion. But yes, women are more "Earthly" as traditionally been asserted.

    me:::bit of a generalization

    Emotion derives from chemical processes in highly developed brains and is naturally selected for as it can aid in survival.

    me:::hmmmmm that way of putting it sounds typically reductionist and darwinist. i would say rather....we are human and FEEL. someofus anyhow

    There is nothing "disordered" about emotions as regards that. What is ridiculous is relying on emotions when the intellect is far supreme and not based on something subrational.

    me:::there you go again wit your supreme intellect. yes te intellect is prt of our pocess. but to intellectualiz it as being the 'god' is absurd, and very dangerous too. rather see that intellect--as it can do--compartmentalizes eality....cuts it up, and ten places itself top pf the tree. how silly is the intellectual-obsessed-with-itself-mind? VERY

    Yes. For reason is far better than feeling.

    me:::in your intellectual bible, no doubt.

    Water:



    Yes.



    The intellect can do everything. It can find the very secrets of nature, of being, of mind. It is the closest thing to a God in existence.

    me:::find the very ecrets of Nature...my arse

    In what way are they illusionary?

    Quantum Quack:



    Good! Debate! It's been a while since we've intellectually battled to find the truth.

    The term "it is only human", it is a term rooted in a slave mentality and based on the desire for mediocrity and fear of perfection which chiefly characterizes said slaves. By being chiefly of the intellect, humanity is -not- bounded by its "limitations" at all. In fact, the road to perfection is clearly an easy road to trod for the human, as he has control of the most powerful force that inhabits the universe, the aforementioned intellect.



    Whilst we might have those things, we are chiefly "the thinking animal". We are Homo sapiens, the wise man, for a reason.

    duendy:



    Formed by feeling? Feeling can only exist when energy and matter are present. One cannot feel nothingness. Moreover, what foundation do you have for this?

    me:::chekout Christian de Quincey, who goes into about all this in much depth. i ca resonate it wit it because of psychedelic experience, and insights from oter tings and stuff i have read.........the current mind/body problem in science which is a continuation of a long long patriarchal insistence of a dality between 'spirit' and 'Nature',,,,,seem to have come up against impasse. de Quincey really spaks the obvious....someting ancient people knew. that spirit and matter were NVER really separate to begin with. end of 'problem'!...its the way yer ask questions...


    And why ought one have emotions at all? They have no inherent value.
    which means you hate humanity and being human. why no be Dr Spock then...heh.

    becauuuuse, dude, FEELING is being HUUUUMAN, and animals feel too, and insects, etc

  9. #49
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    duendy, if both humans and animals feel, then feeling is not the definition of a human. what is it that separates us from animals? it is the conscious thinking of course. so we could say that a human is a creature which possesses all the qualities of animals, plants and matter, but also a new ability: consicous thinking, sense of self.

    also, lucifer does exist, but maybe not in the way you think.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by c7ityi_
    duendy, if both humans and animals feel, then feeling is not the definition of a human.

    me:::how so? we very much DO feel. we are one of the most sensitive of creatures, no?

    what is it that separates us from animals? it is the conscious thinking of course.

    me:::why do we presume only we consciously think? not too long ago, and still in some cases, animals were believed to be merely atomatons, and much evel has been done to millions of them due to tat HUMAN concept!
    So be careful what you assume.

    so we could say that a human is a creature which possesses all the qualities of animals, plants and matter, but also a new ability: consicous thinking, sense of self.

    me:::you might. i dont

    also, lucifer does exist, but maybe not in the way you think.
    like i siad. IF you want to explore mythical terms, go to te etymological roots of the term if you can. that tells you its original meaning. if some ignorant people from tere want to make a comic book character out of their misubnderstanding, i will also explore that, but not be taken in by it. just as well when we learn what they can get up to believin what tey do......!you probably dont know the half

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by duendy
    me:::how so? we very much DO feel. we are one of the most sensitive of creatures, no?
    That's what I said.

    So be careful what you assume.
    Why should I be careful?

    Almost no animal can recognize themselves in a mirror. They are not conscious of themselves.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by c7ityi_

    Almost no animal can recognize themselves in a mirror. They are not conscious of themselves.
    Well, what do you mean by "conscious of themselves"? They are certainly conscious of being. Perhaps we could flesh out "conscious of self" more. I think that means maintaining an image of self that is related to but apart from being. Capacity to self-objectify.

  13. #53
    LightEagle,


    Do you think a dog or cat hopes? The basic definition of hope is to believe in something unseen. It accompanies a choice. An example would be a crisis one goes through in a relationship with the accompanying belief that the situation will improve in the future even though it may not seem that way. A dog or cat is driven by its desires. A human being has the choice not to be governed by desires and impulses.
    Have you ever had a cat or a dog?


    I wouldn't dare claim that, as I have no way of proving whether we have that ability.

    For example, I can ask myself, "Do I love and hope right now?" and I couldn't say that I do.

    How do you suggest that this ability be identified and tested?
    The fact that you as an individual cannot ask that question does not imply that it is not true for the majority.
    So what if it is true for the majority?


    Your inability to answer the question may also be purely ascribed to present circumstances. I can ask myself if I hope and love and my answer would be a most definate "yes!"
    Read again what I said:
    For example, I can ask myself, "Do I love and hope right now?" and I couldn't say that I do.
    Are you perfect? Do you claim that you love and hope 24/7?
    I didn't ask *whether* I love and hope *at all*, but whether I love and hope *right now*.
    How many hours a day do you love and hope? I mean, truly love and hope? 3? 5? 8? Do you love and hope in your sleep?


    As I have mentioned above, we have the ability to choose. It can be tested based on the fact that we hope that things will be better and that there are answers to our questions, because of the fact that we keep on living.
    Humans can also keep on living in ignorance, or a coma. Terri Schiavo did it for a long time. The coma can also be of a spiritual nature.
    The "fact that we keep living" doesn't prove much about our ability to choose.


    If you argue that we live because we are biolocically "programmed" to, then how do you justify the thousands of suicides each year? How do you explain someone taking his/her life, because he/she has lost hope, i.e. the belief that a given situation will improve.
    Now that you put it this way ... do you know the argument that to the person about to commit suicide, suicide is the most rational option?


    In addition we continually strive to better ourselves in stead of leaving it to the natural processes of evolution. Just take our technmological advances as an example and our paradigm shifts due to the proliferation of science.
    "Technological advances" are yet another aspect of evolution.
    I think it is erroneous to think that wanting to improve oneself (in whatever way) is extraneous to evolution.


    The question is not whether they love and/or hope, but rather if they DO love and/or hope.
    ?
    You've asked the same question twice, treating it as if it were two different questions.


    The next question would be whether they can CHOOSE to love and/or hope. Can they choose in spite of desires of impulses? Does your dog/cat "love" you because he/she chooses to? What would happen if you don't feed it for a few months?
    What are you trying to prove with this whole cat/dog argument?
    That humans are in some way superior to animals, or at least sufficiently different?
    Be clear and exact.


    * * *


    PavelB,


    The ability to control our sexual urges.
    So? What makes you think animals don't "control" their sexual urges? It's not like they screw around 24/7.
    Objectively speaking, there is no difference between how animals "control" their sexual urges, and how humans do it. When they get on to having sex, they get on to it, it's the same in humans as it is in animals. Both humans and animals are choosy of their sex partners; both animals and humans sometimes end up not having sex even though they showed a desire to do it.


    * * *


    duendy,


    me:::how so? we very much DO feel. we are one of the most sensitive of creatures, no?
    We might be one of the most "sensitive" creatures, but we are not the *only* "sensitive" creatures; and so since sensitivity is not specific only for humans, sensitivity cannot be used as a criterium for what distingusihes and animal from a human.


    me:::why do we presume only we consciously think? not too long ago, and still in some cases, animals were believed to be merely atomatons, and much evel has been done to millions of them due to tat HUMAN concept!
    What do you think constitutes a clear differentiation between animals and humans?

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by c7ityi_
    Almost no animal can recognize themselves in a mirror. They are not conscious of themselves.
    The mirror test proves nothing about recognition of identity in animals. This test assumes that animals recognize themselves THE SAME WAY humans do, primarily by vision. But this is only an assumption, unprovable.

    Watch a cat upon approaching a mirror: the first thing she does is look into the mirror, and smell it. And since it doesn't smell, at least not like a living being, the cat turns away. Smell seems to be more important for the cat to establish identity than vision.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onefinity
    Well, what do you mean by "conscious of themselves"? They are certainly conscious of being. Perhaps we could flesh out "conscious of self" more. I think that means maintaining an image of self that is related to but apart from being. Capacity to self-objectify.
    Animals are not conscious of their body. If they were, they would be ashamed of being "naked". Adam and Eve ate the fruit (they became conscious), and they saw that they were naked, so they were ashamed. God made clothes of "skin" (the body) for them.

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by c7ityi_
    Animals are not conscious of their body. If they were, they would be ashamed of being "naked". Adam and Eve ate the fruit (they became conscious), and they saw that they were naked, so they were ashamed. God made clothes of "skin" (the body) for them.
    ?
    Are animals souls without bodies?

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Prince_James
    In what way are they illusionary?
    In that they are just thoughts.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by c7ityi_
    That's what I said.



    Why should I be careful?

    Almost no animal can recognize themselves in a mirror. They are not conscious of themselves.
    which is SELF-consciousness isn't it?

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by water
    ?
    Are animals souls without bodies?
    Um, no.. that was probably a bit out of place.

    When Adam fell into a deep sleep, that is when he lost his divine state of consciousness (rest), he became an unaware living being, separated from the negative pole, the female principle. The mind dressed into material clothes. bodies which can only reveal one gender. Adam and Eve imagined that they were a man and a woman, and forgot that they are the mind, and the mind is the whole.

    Animals are unable to sin. They have no karma. They are not yet separated from God. They are controlled by God.

  20. #60
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    me: how so? we very much DO feel. We are one of the most sensitive of creatures, no?

    water: we might be one of the most 'sensitive' creatures, but we are not the 'only' 'sensitive' creatures and so since sensitivity is not specific for humans, sensitivity cannot be used as a criterium for what distinguishes an animal from a human.

    i did say one of. and let me try and expand as to what i am meaning by 'sensitivity' in tisinstance. i am referring to emotional senstivity.........how many dogs for instance have the kinds of phobias some humans can get..? how many cats, pigs, donkeys etc?...this is not o say they couldn't. but i feel the increase of sensitivity for humans is the use of languge with its contradictions. social pressure & so on

    water: whatdo you think constitutes a clear differentiation between animals and humans?

    self-reflection. being able t seemingly scan the past, and predict, worry, angst over te future. in actuality we aren't scanning any 'past'....the thought patterns are happening NOW, but we still have te 'traces' of past we worry over, and bring this worry--carry it over into te future...................this is connected wit self-consciousness. somepeople can become so self-consciouss they become rigid. not often do you see tis in animals. human culture promotes self-consciousness
    so self-consciosness is self-reflection. a looking IN...wheras the animal, and te human who has resolved guilting self-consciousness--whic has been indoctrinated via guilting myths, philsphies etc--look OUT...or better a Janusian in-out simultaneously

    someone here mentioned the Garden of Eden myth. i suppose an interpretation o it can be the emergence of self-consciouness. but we must keep it in mind it is writ by patriarchs who are known for inversion, ie., making apositive into a negative. ie., makin nakedness a sin!

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