What does it mean to be human?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by water, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. water

    water the sea

    What does it mean to be human?

    Define "human".

    Is it just the organism biologically being referred to as Homo sapiens?
  2. duendy

    duendy Registered Senior Member

    well we are human. but i feel that formany many they have lost human-ness and have turned into what they think via what they have been taught. that hguman=machine!

    asyou are what you eat you are what you thnk. ae thoughts a kind of food?...heh

    s if i imagine that, say ''nature is tooth and clw....man is inherently evil....and is machine (Oan btw i was sichk of all tha 'man man man' definision. what happened to WOman??...then so he shall tink and act that way. which for me is not being human...a livin ORGANISM~~~~~~~with all the potential of what that M E A Ns
  3. (Q)

    (Q) Encephaloid Martini

    Any member of the family Hominidae.
  4. duendy

    duendy Registered Senior Member

    ooooooo sharp and cold like a jagged piece of glass on a cold day
  5. water

    water the sea

    An organism then, a chemical soup. A living piece of meat.
  6. kenworth

    kenworth dude...**** it,lets go bowling

    i think when people talk about human or being human they mean having compassion.
  7. Baron Max

    Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    And what about those "humans" who have no compassion? What are they? Apes? Gorillas?

    And how can you measure "compassion"? Or do we just take someone's word for it that they actually have "compassion"? If a person really has little or no compassion, but walks around saying that he's compassionate, is he compassionate?

    Or is compassion an action, not a thought/feeling? I.e., a compassionate person actually DOES something for the unfortunate, rather than just claims to be compassionate?

    Baron Max
  8. kenworth

    kenworth dude...**** it,lets go bowling

    im just going on the kind of things that are called inhumane."man's inhumanity to man" etc.
  9. cosmictraveler

    cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always.

    Being human means many things. The ability to reason, create, love, hate, commit suicide and write are a few examples of being human.
  10. duendy

    duendy Registered Senior Member

    often times it is the height of comedy...being human

    we dont know where the fuck we have come from...or are going to, and for many , WHY we ARE here. comon be honest
  11. Avatar

    Avatar smoking revolver

    It means to be the most complex living entity on this planet. With all the pros and cons that derive from that fact.
  12. Tyler

    Tyler Registered Senior Member

    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!"
  13. Tavas

    Tavas Registered Senior Member

    its double sapiens for modern humans
  14. c7ityi_

    c7ityi_ Registered Senior Member

    A human is a creature which can express the self consciously, also at mental state. But humans can advance and become like God...
  15. Prince_James

    Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog)


    Don't abuse the term "metaphysical". Metaphysics has nothing to do with love, compassion, et cetera, it has to do with theology, first principles, and ontology.


    To be human is to be a creature whose prime strength is the boundless intellect.
  16. Light

    Light Registered Senior Member

    Might as well add my two cents worth. :)

    Without mentioning all the things we can and do wrong, I'd say the following:

    The ability to create, make and use complex tools, harness and shape nature and other animals to do our will, the ability to comprehend the intangible, and to imagine and create things that never existed before. (I'll also avoid listing all the psychological aspects.)
  17. water

    water the sea

    Complex in what sense?

    * * *

    Do you have a definition of what it means to be human, aside from the biological definition?
  18. water

    water the sea

    According to the above definition, is a person with Down Syndrome or Alzheimer's, human?
  19. water

    water the sea

    Based on what criteria are you allowing yourself to be this choosy?

    The same to you: Is a person with Down Syndrome or Alzheimer's human, according to you (as you state above)?
  20. Prince_James

    Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog)


    Why did you change your excellent icon? I loved that one. Moreover, talk to me on MSN more!

    Now, to answer your question.

    A person with alzheimers or down syndrome remain human, as they are built physically to have the capacity for great intellect, but that capacity has been destroyed via disease. As persons, they suffer horribly from the ailment, and are stripped of the chance to soar to the heights of human greatness, but they retain a baseline humanity.

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