What makes us human???

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by HaventGotALife, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    But animals have emotions. Our pets love us (and each other), elephants grieve for their dead, some animals even come to the aid of members of other species (dolphins being the most obvious example, but there are many others). What makes Humans different is that we can contemplate our emotions.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "No, Listy, what makes us human is we don't use our tongues to clean our own genitals." - Arnold Rimmer
     
  3. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's human to argue whether "err" should be pronounced to rhyme with "fur" or to rhyme with "Cher."

    But would we if we could? :p
     
  4. trekkiedane

    trekkiedane Admiral Admiral

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    ^Depends where they've been ;)
     
  5. Llama

    Llama Captain Captain

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    ATGCCGTACCATGACTACGTATTTAGCCTGATTAG
     
  6. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Take your genetic wizardy elsewhere, sorcerer. Everyone knows that human identity is determined by who has the loudest woofers in their car.
     
  7. Zulu Romeo

    Zulu Romeo World Famous Starship Captain Admiral

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    Funnily enough, tonight's edition of Horizon is entitled "What Makes Us Human?"

    I'd be watching it, but Wednesday night is Apprentice night. But hey, I'm only human. :bolian:
     
  8. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's a common question of both biology and philosophy. I would love to see this. But I have watched "Ape Genius" on NOVA this past month, and read a book called "The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates" that was the impetus of this thread (we debated this a little in the "What are you Reading?" Thread).

    My personal opinion, which is shaped by Frans De Waal among others, is that our capacity for emotion, our ability to deal in abstractions, opposable thumbs, reason (although sometimes it justifies what we naturally do), all lead to what makes us human. Also, our brain's ability to visualize is not uniquely human, but it is used in combination with dealing in abstractions to be able to see something before it happens in our life.

    I think it's just as important to understand what happens to us when the brain is damaged to see what we would be as a primitive primate. We become belligerent. We become selfish and violent. Autism, a lack of empathy, and Sociopaths (I know Antisocial Personality Disorder), show us what happens when our emotions aren't regulated in our brains. We have the capacity to do great things. This includes both the good and the bad. We can help someone who can do nothing for us, and we can kill for fun or out of prejudice. Knowledge, by itself, cannot explain what makes us human. Our humanity comes from social rules internalized and the mechanisms that allow us to internalize them. Our social order.

    I think God is a creation to allow us to have a king of our community without anointing a flawed human being. And, as De Waal points out, we cannot simply get rid of religion. It is both impractical and dangerous. We need something to replace religion first. That is what atheism should do--science has been used to justify as much genocide as conquering under the cross. We cannot get a moral structure from the raw data of science or the data is being misused. It should be open to new knowledge, but we need to satisfy the needs of religion without the dogma. Humanism brings that to life. I, personally believe, that we need an ultimate respect for human life. I think if we empathized more, it would lead to less war and killing. We think ourselves, individually, too important and others are secondary. We are the same. As an atheist, a moral man, that is what I want.

    But religion is as old as civilization. It serves needs of the animal. We cannot cut off our arm and still function. And I brought it up in this thread because it is also a part of the human experience. And our humanity is linked to morality.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  9. Portal

    Portal Commander Red Shirt

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    Cher is human? :evil:
     
  10. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    She was once, but now...:p
     
  11. Portal

    Portal Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the question should be, What makes us super human?

    Don't we all want to know what makes certain people tick.

    Where does one get their talents for example?
     
  12. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    By eating the brains of the people with the desired talents.
     
  13. Portal

    Portal Commander Red Shirt

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    Oh no Mr. Bill, it's the zombies!

    But seriously, what makes Patrick Stewart such an awesome actor? What makes Michael Jordan such an amazing basketball player? What makes Adele such a beautiful singer? Etc.
     
  14. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Stewart is British, Jordan wears Nikes, Adele sounds like it could be cigarettes.
     
  15. Portal

    Portal Commander Red Shirt

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    How is it that Albert Einstein was so smart?
     
  16. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Watch Clerks sometime. Someone should redo that movie with Einstein and Bohr as Dante and Randal.
     
  17. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I love you. Seriously.

    And I'm not just saying that because somebody slipped me some grainy nude photos.
     
  18. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    It was the 80's, I needed money for... school... supplies.
     
  19. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You can delete your own posts, you know. :)
     
  20. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Admiral

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    Just did. I had forgotten that we had that capability. Tahnks for reminding me.