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Alex Hutchins

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What does it mean to be human?

As a College professor, I start the first day of every class by asking my students this question. Needless to say, they do not know how to answer it, even though they have previously had psychology and philosophy courses prior to the Junior/Senior classes that I typically teach.

So, if students do not know how to answer this question right away, then my next question is, do the rest of us know how to answer this question right away or would it require some reflection?

Or, does anyone really care?

I am sure that it has different meaning for different people but would it also have different meanings for different cultures?

Does being human mean some different in Christianity than it does for Muslims or people of the Jewish faith or agnostics for that matter?

Do we need to prove that we exist in order to answer this question? And, while you are pondering this one, let me explain: I am talking about "I think therefore I am," but is this life "real" or is this life a metaphor for the life that we will all be experiencing after death? If this life therefore is not real, does it matter that we exist and furthermore, does being human have any meaning at all?

Are we human because we oftentimes do not practice what we preach?

Are we human because we can skillfully put down the thoughts and comments of others?

Are we human because we are arrogant or wealthy although I see the two as mutually exclusive myself?

Are we human because we have faith and hypocritically live out that faith in our daily lives?

Are we human because we are a racist and have found clever ways to hide why we feel that way?

Are we human because we have cheated on our spouses?

Are we human because we like to engage in wars all over the globe so that we can prove we are better than others, or stronger... while really wanting to impose our way of life on them?

Are we human because we cannot accept cultural diversity as the new norm?

What are your thoughts as to what it means to be human?


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  • Jun 30 2013: What does it mean to be Human?
    This is a difficult question but I think that although we are born as egoist,,we always have to thank before every action that we make: if im making this action ,Will it harm other people even creatures or Nature?
    Thinking we live in a world of cause and effect,and every egoïstisch action can cause damage for the whole.
    Most of the time we are not aware of the fact that we have to cooperate with other people,animals,and our surrounding Nature.
    If we work together and think about the benefit of the whole,we will only gain,since we recieve another mindset,we get happy by helping,caring,and feeling responsible for each other.
    On the other hand people get healthy too,because it reduce stress,humanity deel more secure,and Nature will provider us with its sources since we care for it.
    Maybe this sounds like a dream,but we never tried,and dreams sometimes become reality.

    (Positive form of Golden Rule): One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

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