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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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    Jul 4 2013: Human is a word that conceputally simple yet, extremely complicated of which decribes the existing creatures on the Planet surface and this creature is fully equipped with a number of tools to further it's existance and adapt to whatever changes that may occur.

    I don't personally think that us humans are capable to define ourselves and if we ever did try to set up a comprehensive definition, it'll be some part of what we think or what we believe as you pointed out in some parts of your question follow-up, aslo if you go through viewers comments it'll give the sense that the way if defined differ ffrom one to another in accordance with their major, life style, culture, religion etc cetera etc cetera, and that can be just for certain periods of time which means some other times we'll have other things to tell.

    MAYBE if we can ask other Creatures of what we call animals, we could possibly figure this out and yet we remain humans and what it means to be a human is that you're a human being.

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