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Post Reply What does it mean to be human?
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Posted 6/14/15 , edited 6/14/15
To explain what it means to be 'human' is extremely vague. To answer this question, I'm assuming you mean mentally, and not physically.
For example, AI, what is the difference?

If your every move controlled a robot, and all of your senses were artificially stimulated, All of your sight was from a black and white monitor encompassing your entire field of view, all of your hearing was from two high definition stereo headset speakers, your vocal expression was rebounded by the mic from that headset and displayed to those around you, touch as well as taste was electrically stimulated to precise sensations.

Along with being raised by humans and never told that you're otherwise or could never tell the difference.

Would you even know, you're artificial or human?

So in this manner, to be human is to be a sentient, conscious being, raised in a human environment, and brought up with a human culture.
That is what it means to be human. No purpose. No specialty. Just individuality and indifference.

Humans are so boring.
Yawn, next subject.


"If you're familiar with my post, did you notice each quote is different?"
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Posted 6/14/15

Derpixel wrote:

To explain what it means to be 'human' is extremely vague. To answer this question, I'm assuming you mean mentally, and not physically.
For example, AI, what is the difference?

If your every move controlled a robot, and all of your senses were artificially stimulated, All of your sight was from a black and white monitor encompassing your entire field of view, all of your hearing was from two high definition stereo headset speakers, your vocal expression was rebounded by the mic from that headset and displayed to those around you, touch as well as taste was electrically stimulated to precise sensations.

Along with being raised by humans and never told that you're otherwise or could never tell the difference.

Would you even know, you're artificial or human?

So in this manner, to be human is to be a sentient, conscious being, raised in a human environment, and brought up with a human culture.
That is what it means to be human. No purpose. No specialty. Just individuality and indifference.

Humans are so boring.
Yawn, next subject.


"If you're familiar with my posts, have you noticed each quote is different?"


To quote the Matrix, "What's real? What you feel? What you think? What's real is just electrical impulses interpreted by your brain." Maybe we're all plugged into the Matrix. Maybe not. It's a cool idea, though.

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Posted 6/14/15
In response to the original question...

Humans are not entirely rational creatures. Yes, they usually act upon whatever is in their best interest, but not always. Quite often, humans demonstrate altruism towards one another, even if they have no connection. This (in my opinion) disproves the theory that humans only act in self-interest (according to this theory, an example of a mother saving her child could be the instinctual desire to protect one's genetic material).

Humans are very social creatures. Although each human can be individualized with its own unique personality, humans together create these huge societies that they serve and protect. If these societies were to degrade and each human were no longer a part of a larger organism, then perhaps altruism would cease to exist within humans; however, this seems unlikely because humans will always gravitate towards one another, forming a society.

TL;DR: Being human is being a part of society, for better or for worse.

In response to the humans vs. nonhumans

I believe that being human and having humanity are two separate things. Since all the members of society are currently human we don't have to worry about what to call nonhumans, but when robots become sentient and begin to contribute towards society, then maybe we'll have to come up with a word to describe everything in society. There will no longer be an "us" and a "them," but only a "we." Kinda like the different races of a country.

How long did it take for us to identify by our country, and not our place of origin? Personally, I'm Asian, but I'm also American. I don't view my neighbors, who are Caucasian, African-American, Latino, etc. to be any different than me when it comes to our place in society. In this case we are all human.

TL;DR: Robots and humans in society are kinda like the different races in society. At first it'll be like "us" vs. "them," but after a while it'll simply be "we."

Side note: my thoughts are kinda scattered, so my writing might be kinda meh.
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Posted 6/14/15
That is not really what I meant. I meant if humanity were to create an AI, that is truly sentient. And if it were raised as a normal human being.
Would it be Human.

My answer is yes, being Human is what 'you' are. If someone lost all morality and went completely feral. They wouldn't be counted as human anymore by the population. So if being human is not physical, it is mental. And what defines an AI as being truly sentient, is what answers; "What does it mean to be human.".
Rephrased as: "What dictates being human."
Which implies there is something definite that defines 'being human'.
So learning to tell the difference between an AI and a Human determines what a 'Human' is.
Once you ignore the physical aspect of both parties you can determine what a Human is on a metal scale.
And such, that is the answer to the question.


"What goes up, just might be what is in my pants, the world will never know."
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Posted 6/14/15
To be human is to Love and to Lose That Love Those who Lose the most have a better outcome at life
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Posted 6/14/15

Derpixel wrote:

That is not really what I meant. I meant if humanity were to create an AI, that is truly sentient. And if it were raised as a normal human being.
Would it be Human.

My answer is yes, being Human is what 'you' are. If someone lost all morality and went completely feral. They wouldn't be counted as human anymore by the population. So if being human is not physical, it is mental. And what defines an AI as being truly sentient, is what answers; "What does it mean to be human.".
Rephrased as: "What dictates being human."
Which implies there is something definite that defines 'being human'.
So learning to tell the difference between an AI and a Human determines what a 'Human' is.
Once you ignore the physical aspect of both parties you can determine what a Human is on a metal scale.
And such, that is the answer to the question.


"What goes up, just might be what is in my pants, the world will never know."


The real question here is, "Can an imperfect being create something better than itself?" We're flawed, no doubt. So can something flawed create something better than it's own existence?
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Posted 6/14/15
Human - Compassion, feeling/empathy, the ability to love above all, caring for one's fellow man, wanting peace, safety and happiness for one's fellow man/woman.

Inhuman - Heartlessness, selfishness, the ability to hate above all, caring only about one's self, wanting war, pain and suffering for one's fellow man/woman.

Those are my takes on being human or inhuman.
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Posted 6/14/15
So if an AI had those 'human' attributes, would you consider it human still?



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Posted 6/14/15 , edited 6/17/15

Derpixel wrote:

So if an AI had those 'human' attributes, would you consider it human still?



"Hobo Humping Slobo Babe!"


No they would be a sentient ai that could probably beat me up.

Edit:
That signature thing you have there is making me LOL
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Posted 6/14/15 , edited 6/14/15

DraconemOfSevens wrote:

With the recent anime out (Plastic Memories) with androids very similar to humans, I'm curious to see what the opinion is on this subject.

So, what does it mean to be human?

Is it our biological mass? Our emotions? Our thought process? Our ingenuity? Our flawed nature?

I'll start us off.

People constantly refer to humanity in several ways. One, as a species, and two, as an above-average conscious sentience. I could be human because of my DNA, or I could by human because of my sentience. The problem with the latter is: what if we encounter another species that is sentient, we can't call them human because of their sentience, can we?

I think we are human because of a combination of our DNA and our perception on the universe.

We are our own, unique characters because of our sentience.

What do you think?


What it means to be human....
Is to be a human being.
I want to be honest here, we are a species of animal. Any mammal, fish, reptile, or bird is, including us. We have just evolved more than other animals. That doesn't mean we're the smartest. And it most definetely does NOT mean we are the most superior. It just means we have adapted to survive in more ways than any other animal. All animals think, all animals have feelings, all animals are just like us. We all adapt, we all evolve, we all find ways to improve our lives. To me, being human is simply to have the DNA of a human.
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Posted 6/14/15
To me being human means being less bestial.

Anything that is unique to humanity defines us, regardless of whether it's subjectively good or evil.

The only thing that comes to mind that is truly unique to us at the moment is the ability to record and utilize enormous amounts of knowledge.
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Posted 6/14/15
To be human? If we define Human as being of or relating to Humans or Humanity, well that's just what we humans say it is. We created the term "Human" to distinguish our selves from other beings, and we create and apply other such definitions to other beings and objects. If you get rid of the definition, there is no Human. The question has no one answer, it is completely subjective, you as an individual decide what that answer is.
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Posted 6/14/15
i dont have tail
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Posted 6/14/15

DraconemOfSevens wrote:


staphen wrote:

"Human" is a term used to distinguish humans from other animals, much like "cat" is a term used to distinguish cats from other animals. If another being comes along with the same level of sentience as humans but a different physical makeup, I'm sure we'll develop a term for them too. As for androids, I think that classifying them as human would really have no practical purpose and would only serve to confuse matters.


That may be true.

But why would developing a term for another species be a wise idea? (Not quoting you)
Since when has developing a term for something different ever been a good idea? I think that would confuse things even more. We would only create tension between our two species.

At what point does an android become a character, instead of an object? At what point does an 'alien species' become more than just that? When do they become a character? As there is no term for a 'person-like' "thing", I'm using the word character. It works, too, because in a sense we are all just characters in a massive story.

We can classify species with names, and robots with words, but at what point do they become more than that? When we know it has a level of conscious sentience that of equality to ours?

At what point do androids or other species become 'separate intelligent, conscious, sentient minds' such as us?

Maybe its just my view of the universe, but if you have a dog, is your dog only a dog, or is your dog more than that?

If we are all on the same level of sentient conscience, we can segregate each other, but we all think, experience, understand.

In a sense, I think I'm basically asking how we view other 'characters' compared to our own. But its broader than scientific classification, its a philosophical question, attempting to get at our view of others, not just in the human sense, but in the universal sense.


Developing terms for other species allows us to disambiguate language so that when we communicate using those terms, we can more accurately convey meaning through our words. Tension that builds between species can also be a part of that meaning, but the tension will not have grown from the existence of the terms used to disambiguate, but rather from the actual differences between the species which will be present whether you develop new terms or not.

I can only assume that by pointing out that your question isn't about scientific classification indicates that my answer appears to be about scientific classification. Maybe my answer should be that I, personally, take the word at face value. I do not consider androids or aliens as human, nor do I consider heinous criminals as nonhuman. Though there may be similarities between humans and androids or humans and aliens, I see no immediate reason to ignore the differences and blur the lines between them. I also find no particular comfort in pretending that I am not the same species as someone who is capable of heinous crimes.

Maybe, if and when we get further into mechanizing body parts or manufacturing humans, the lines between humans and androids will begin to blur on their own. However, I can more easily foresee the need to further differentiate by developing new terms, rather than consolidate into existing terms.
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Posted 6/14/15
Humanity is a species with a nature that mirrors the world's nature -- conflict. We're essentially living representations of chaos and thereby are the perfect example of its beauty as well as its flaws. We create magnificent structures, ideas, technologies, and systems yet simultaneously we destroy not only the beauties of this world but OF those that we create.

To be human is to thrive and suffer in our own magnificent imperfection. We oppose ourselves not just as a species but as individuals and in doing so we're able to achieve a greater understanding of the world as well as ourselves. Opposing perspectives have allowed us to doubt and doubt has allowed us to question. Our civilizations are so advanced because of this very reason; our chaotic nature compelling us to form more advanced societies either due to necessity or the desire for more efficiency. Thus we've created a perfect example of the pros and cons of controlled chaos.
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