First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
What makes us human?
18050 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
U.S.
Offline
Posted 6/6/14

Syndicaidramon wrote:


onibrotonel wrote:



Is it our own choice to whether to use or not use past experiences?
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
Even though you experience it, it doesn't mean you understand it. Or even actually apply it on another occasions.

We have things like regret, reminisce, denial, etc.


Yes. We have things like regret, reminisce and denial. So what? Those are all products of the way our brain works. That's why you DON'T see those things within people whose brains are malfunctioning. Like with psychopaths for instance, who do not show things like regret, empathy or sympathy. Because their brains are unable to do so. It's all a matter of how our brains individuall work.

And no, it's not my choice to whether or not filter new input through past experiences. It's inevitable. You'd have to reset your brain in order to do that.
If I had that kind of power, I'd just wish away my ADD. But I can't. Because I cannot decide by will how my brain functions.


Hmm...

How about sticking on a diet or doing more reps when lifting weights?
That takes willpower. The person has the option to quit or not. He sticks on the task depending on it would benefit him or not.

Fine.

If there's no free will, does it mean also that there's no such thing as selfless act, right?
Every action is selfish.
3910 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Pandemonium
Offline
Posted 6/6/14 , edited 6/6/14

onibrotonel wrote:


Hmm...

How about sticking on a diet or doing more reps when lifting weights?
That takes willpower. The person has the option to quit or not. He sticks on the task depending on it would benefit him or not.

Fine.

If there's no free will, does it mean also that there's no such thing as selfless act, right?
Every action is selfish.


Well in terms of being on a diet or doing more reps, I can't really speak for others. But going off on a self-analysis, those are all things that at least I do in order to accomplish a goal. A goal brought on by a variety of different societal factors (external stimuli) and how my brain has reacted to that stimuli. Which is that I want to be fit, both in order to be healthy and live longer, and also in order to fulfill a desire to both be confident in my appearance, which will raise my self asteem and make me more adept in social situations. Maybe even to the point of finding a partner.

Of course, I could not go on a diet, and I could not do more reps, but that would mean to essentially surrender to the status quo of having not achieved my goals. And that is unacceptable for me. For others, that is not the case. But it is for me. Because my brain does not allow me to be confident unless I meet what I personally deem to be the desired criteria. It is required for me in order to live a fulfilling life.
Once again, something that is out of my control.

And of course there are selfless acts. Why we commit them, I will not say, because I dare not pretend as if I have enough understanding of human, societal and evolutionary psychology to make an informed statement regarding it.
65319 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / Atlanta, GA
Offline
Posted 6/6/14 , edited 6/6/14
I could say something like "intelligence makes us human" but then you might rightly think that there are some disabled people lacking in intelligence who we still consider human. I could take about form, but we have people crippled by unfortunate accidents or disease who might still rightly be considered human. I think I could go on and try to pick properties that might make us unique and we might still find exceptions to that rule.

Every once in a while, we run into things that resist reductive definitions. All this makes me think is that this might be one of those times.
46 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M
Offline
Posted 6/9/14
intellect and emotions...
...and bags of flesh and blood
21469 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / North America
Offline
Posted 6/12/14
To derive the pith of human existence is no simple matter, so for now I'll take a temporary stance. This species has always been small in nature, but tremendous in scope. I see that we've always been a non-independent species, such that without our grand tools and other traits we would succumb to death more simply. In a sense we were born cyborg always utilizing things, which were typically of our creation. I use man liberally to refer to the species, but more on point man has the Achilles heel of inferiority in base. All the while, though, that has been checked by our potential intelligence that has led to this state of very natural use of tools for aid. To quickly surmise, I believe it is our scope through the means devised to live, survive, and thrive.
709 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / M / Take a guess
Offline
Posted 6/18/14
Guilt. Almost any other emotion can be seen by animal instinct.
12453 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / F
Offline
Posted 6/19/14
The question needs work. Genetics is what determines that we are human. That is all. Humans are a species.

Most people seem to be answering the question: What makes humans different/special? Or some variation thereof.

For my short answer, I say nothing, except maybe the need to ask this kind of question.

For the long answer... well, it's a very long answer. Reading a bunch of poetry, religious texts, and hitting the science (especially physics and neuroscience) will maybe lead to some understanding, with a bit of effort. They all tend to start sounding the same when you dig deep enough, which is interesting.

If you want to know what makes us what we are, not genetically, but in some other, philosophical or spiritual sense, then my answer is, we do. Sort of. But my brain suddenly decided it has had enough fun today so tackling a explanation is pretty impossible. Fortunately, many people much clever than me have already attempted to explain this very thing in a multitude of interesting ways. It's kind of a hard explanation, so there is no simple answer. I know there are some people on here who are very interested in the sciencey side of things, so I am sure someone else can recommend stuff on that end. I would personally be interested in some recommendations. As for the artsy stuff, I think William Blake is pretty great. Walt Whitman is great too, and somewhat more comprehensible. And lately I've been getting some really interesting stuff out of Mary Oliver's poetry. And for the religious angle, I don't know where to begin. The Upanishads could be an interesting place to start. haha. Basically all of human scholarship is at some level attempting to get at this answer, so really anything can be revelatory. And I'd love to have my own reading list expanded. Maybe I'll revisit this idea when I am not super tired.
72866 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / M / Central KY.
Offline
Posted 6/19/14 , edited 6/19/14
In most simple terms...That We know to
...Other than that, as far as separating Us from the "Animals"...Not much.
26434 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
19 / M / Future Gadget Lab...
Offline
Posted 6/19/14 , edited 6/19/14
I doubt I ever could answer that. Biologically, it's our species. On a conscious level, it might be our emotions or capability to think abstractly, but what happens when we create robots or androids that can do these very things? This isn't an easy question, after all, and philosophers are still asking this one and probably will be for the rest of eternity.

If anything has ever answered what it means to be human and was brilliant in doing so, I'd recommend you watch the old movie Bladerunner (directed by Ridley Scott). Perhaps this might be a good place to start.

However, I'm an existentialist, and so I'd answer along the lines of "it what you make it out to be; there's no right or wrong answer"

And this is a God who doesn't care because he has other affairs to attend to:

169 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M
Offline
Posted 6/19/14
Personally, humanity is defined by our individual agency. It is through our own volition that we experience emotion, whether it be happiness or sadness. Though external circumstances may play a role, it is up to us to decide whether we want to be happy or not. What distinguishes us from animals is our rationality and our irrationality.

Animals do not possess social institutions like religion, while us humans do. Humans possess a greater capacity for intelligence and thus, have organized themselves into nations. Ok I think I'm tired. I don't really know what I'm saying at this point.
2841 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / Houston, Tx
Offline
Posted 6/24/14
Because we wear clothes.

Obviously..
543 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28 / M / Bakersfield
Offline
Posted 6/24/14
Depends on what you mean by human. The question is a little to vague for me. I will gladly engage in this discussion if you can help me to clarify what you mean by "human." Are you referring to humans as biological organism, or are you referring to humans as "persons" (I hate to use that term... sorry)?
Banned
32153 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
50 / Niggerous,VA
Offline
Posted 9/1/14
Either a vagina or a pair of testicles.
2185 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F
Offline
Posted 9/1/14
Our emotions, looks and personality.
3788 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F / The Far Shore
Offline
Posted 9/1/14
the fact that we're fleshy meatbags with a significant amount of intelligence
First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.