First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
Post Reply What does it mean to be human?
9051 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 6/18/15

DraconemOfSevens wrote:


streamhopper wrote:


DraconemOfSevens wrote:



You made some good points.

I made this topic to hear what other people's opinions are, so I don't want to add too much.

But just a philosophical question here: Why have a universe with no conscious sentience to experience it? My personal opinion would question that we are a fluke. Its like whatever that saying is, I'll just change it for this topic: "If the universe exists, and no one is there to see it, does the universe really exist?"


A good point. But if other life forms on our own planet are capable of intelligence in a manner we can't understand, how could we understand intelligence that evolved on a planet other than our own? It's not to say it doesn't exist; I believe it's likely there are other life forms out there, be they simple or advanced. It's just too big of a neighborhood to not have neighbors.


Of course, most multi-cellular organisms that have evolved brains (I'll use empirical evidence here, for the sake of strength of words.) have some sort of intelligence (although it is a philosophical question to ask whether or not 'things' that we may not think possess sentience do or do not). Considering we have a hard enough time understanding one another's intelligence, I can see your point. However, it is likely that we may find a way, there is a possibility at minimum.

As for that last statement, though, considering we don't know the scientific requirements for life (we only have our own rock here to attempt to find "requirements for life") and we cannot know the philosophical implications of life as truth, I think it is also likely that we are alone in the universe. I could reverse what you said, and instead say "The universe is too large, or too complexly unknown to know whether or not we are alone, at this point."

I don't know how this relates to what I said in the first place, though. I meant to say, philosophically speaking, what would be the purpose of creating a universe if nothing could see it, experience it. This is kind of an old thought. If I'm not mistaken, I do believe that religious texts stated that (in some texts, anyway) the 'creator' (or creators) got bored of the emptiness and thus created man (other high-level sentience). The only point I'm trying to make with that, is it relates back to the point: Why create a universe with nothing to experience it.

Anyways, carry on. I am interested in seeing the many ways people view humans, or, depending on how you take the question, intelligent, high-level sentient consciousness.


Heh. Well, at 2am, you take your chances on what I'll say. :)

However, to more fully address your point, if some sentient being or beings did create the universe, why would they need other beings, especially lesser beings, to appreciate and/or experience it? I'd think they would be able to appreciate their work, like an artist creating a painting. Certainly the beauty of the universe itself is pretty neat, enough to marvel at even without a life form like us. Or perhaps we're alone because we're an experiment, to see the feasibility of expanding our type of life form.
5136 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / Limbo
Offline
Posted 6/18/15


I didn't necessarily mean that I thought that a sentient being created the universe, but moreso that, philosophically, if nothing experiences the universe, then what is the point of it existing? Although, to address that first point anyway, it is kind of like how a chef doesn't enjoy their own food as much as someone else. Or how an animator, or an painter, a photographer, a musician shows off their work. Sure, they can admire it on their own. But they would rather also see the reactions of others to their work, as well.

I think that the point isn't to just marvel at your own work, but let others see it as well. If no one ever saw Picasso's work, or Leonardo's, or no one ever heard Mozart's work...

Well, we would've never been able to admire their work along with them.
4138 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
19 / M / Colorado
Offline
Posted 6/18/15
To be top of the food chain
9051 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 6/18/15


Good point, but that's assuming that whatever created it possesses such emotion. Personification is a potentially flawed path of logic. Suppose whatever caused the universe to be created followed a path of pure logic, devoid of human emotion. Appreciation of work would be of no consequence, or even understood.
5136 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / Limbo
Offline
Posted 6/18/15

streamhopper wrote:



Good point, but that's assuming that whatever created it possesses such emotion. Personification is a potentially flawed path of logic. Suppose whatever caused the universe to be created followed a path of pure logic, devoid of human emotion. Appreciation of work would be of no consequence, or even understood.


Not necessarily. I thought that, too. Following that same logic, logic is also a product of the human mind. Anything you think up, I think up, Einstein, Newton, whoever, is a product of the human mind.

It is more likely that a creator would possess all and more of the qualities that we do. If the creator doesn't understand the emotions, they cannot give them to us. I can't make a machine that feels something outside of my own senses (think a new sense, an added sense from the five main senses.) because I can't perceive that sense myself.

Anyways, off-topic. Plus this is turning into a two-sided conversation between me and you. Lets keep the theme of 'What does it mean to be human/sentient?' please.
6165 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / 馬鹿外人
Offline
Posted 6/18/15
But, I thought humans are considered androids by another species who engineered us in a lab?
118 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
14 / F / Fort Lee, New Jersey
Offline
Posted 6/18/15
That's deep.
How I comprehend a human being is what it percieves itself to be. If one being concieves its own mind, it understands that what it thinks it is, is actually its fundamental nature. In simpler terms, a human is what a human think itself is.
Rohzek 
15004 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M
Offline
Posted 6/18/15

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?


Interesting question. I am inclined to side with Descartes on this one. He basically said that the fundamental human nature is that we all have minds that think (or have a "thinking substance" in his words res cogitans ). The qualities of thinking is this strange phenomenon called "creativity," where it is neither random or predetermined. Nevertheless, this creativity does have its limits. A great example of this is human language. Language has certain grammar rules and syntax, etc. Within these limitations we are able to create and express a near infinite number of ideas.

So what would we do if we came across an animal or alien that held these same capabilities, particularly a language? I would imagine that although we would acknowledge the difference in DNA and species, we would still accord them human rights. After all, the idea of natural human rights is fundamentally based upon the idea that base human nature is a creative nature. Therefore anything that unduly restricts that nature is an evil tyranny.

Some might say that the gorilla KoKo exhibits this human creativity through sign language, and thus deserves human rights. I disagree simply because she only knows a set number of ideas in sign language, if any at all since it is controversial. She possess no syntax, or concept of grammar. Thereby, her creativity is very much limited. She is more akin to a computer fooling a master chess player than a human. In short, asking whether or not KoKo thinks or is creative is just about as meaningless as asking whether or not a machine thinks.
4733 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / M / Chicago, Illinois
Offline
Posted 6/19/15
I think being human goes in conjunction with what higher being exists after our lifespan. Sort of like in Hindu faith where your entire life and future reincarnations of your life you strive to reach Nirvana, but if you are not religious that can be achieved by just simply doing things you won't regret doing in life, and making yourself and those close to you happy
First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.