Human Being 5
I believe that a human being is many things. It is someone with ahominid lineage someone with an enhanced mental development andupright posture any being that has embryonic beginnings somethingcomplex that can either be good or bad people created in the imageof God and people who live rational lives.
Human beings are all species that come from the hominid lineage. Therationale for this definition is that, we all have an origin we musthave come from somewhere to be referred as humans. As Smith (2012:1)notes, anyone who claims to be human must have originated from Homosapiens. The definition does not exclude anyone. However, itincludes animals. In my assumption, I thought that animals cannot becategorized as human beings. Based on this argument, it seems thatall animals with a hominid lineage are humans. The definition affectshow we treat animals, by ensuring we also care for them and considerthem part of our lives.
A human being refers, to a woman, man or child who apart fromoriginating from a hominid lineage has a better mental development.This means that one is able to think, talk in a manner that can beunderstood and stand in an upright posture (Creech, 2016:1). Thereason for this argument is because what differentiates human beingsfrom animals is their mental capacity and upright posture (Bergman,1997:1). The definition excludes people who have mental and physicaldisabilities. Such people are unable to talk in ways we understand,while physical disability may limit someone from standing upright.Such a definition may affect how people with disabilities aretreated, as they may be considered not human due to their inabilitiesto think on their own, or generally do things on their own like otherhuman beings.
“The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity” introduces anotherinteresting definition of a human being. The Center says that a humanbeing is any person with human being origins human being origins inthis case referring to having embryonic beginnings (The Center forBioethics and Human Dignity n.d:1). The definition is furtheradvanced by Iglesias (2001:67) who claims that anybody in theirembryonic form is fit to be called a human being. She also notes thatsomeone who is able to concentrate, listen and has awareness ishuman. The reason for this definition criteria is because all humanbeings are first an embryo that later develops into a full grownhuman. The definition excludes embryos that are terminated or do notfully develop. My assumption was that one can only be human in theirphysical state. Based on the definition, it is clear that even aperson in their embryonic form is human. This may influence howpeople begin to treat fetuses. For instance, prior to abortingsomeone may consider that they are ending human life, contrary tobeliefs that embryos are merely a collection of cells.
I also agree with more interesting definitions have been suggestedby Ventegodt, Andersen, Kromann and Merrick (2003:1176) who thinkthat a human being is something complex. The authors further notethat there are good and bad humans. The good ones are people who havegreat value and demonstrate love towards others. The bad ones arepeople who seem to be influenced by evil forces. The rationale forthis definition criterion derives from my belief that to be goodmeans to be humane humane referring to someone who is caring orloving. The definition includes both good and evil people. Myprevious assumption was that bad people are not human beings due totheir inability to be loving and caring. The definition affects canaffect how we refer to bad people. For instance, when people do wrongthings, they are referred to as inhumane. However, such a decisioncould change to referring to such people as bad human beings.
Biblically, humans are people created in the image of God, butinferior to Him. The reason for this definition is because Ibelieved that we were all created. This is supported by the Bible,which notes that a human being is someone who is very special to God,by following his commands (Tkach, 2015:1). We can only be special tosomeone who has created us, just like a child is special to theparents who create it. The definition may exclude people who do notbelieve in God and the creation story. For instance, Moritz (2009:1)argues that, scientist may not believe in the creation story byquestioning who created God. My assumption is that everyone knowsthat God is supernatural. It may affect how non-believers in Godperceive human beings. For instance, a non-believer may view abeliever as a mere creation, or non-believers may despise believersfor thinking that they resemble God.
Kant, in his essays, argues that human beings are people able ofliving rational lives rationality in this case referring to anatural problem, which can be solved by humans (Jacobs and Kain,2003:51). Kant’s view is expounded by Wilson (2007:139) who statesthat a human being is someone able to raise themselves above nature’scrude states, towards humanity. In conclusion, I think that it is notpossible to conclude on a single definition of human beings.
Bergman, J 1997, Evolution and the origins of the biological racetheory, Investigator vol.52, pp.1-1.
Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity n.d, What does it meanto be Human? 1-1. Retrieved from:http://www.consciencelaws.org/ethics/ethics046.aspx
Creech, R R 2016, What is a human being? Explore God, 1-1.Retrieved from: http://www.exploregod.com/what-is-a-human-being
Iglesias, T 2001, The dignity of the individual: Issues ofbioethics and law, Dublin: Pleroma Press.
Jacobs, B & Kain, P 2003, Essays on Kant’s Anthropology,Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Moritz, A 2009, How can a scientist believe in God? Retrievedfrom: http://home.earthlink.net/~almoritz/scientist-belief-god.htm
Smith, DL 2012, What does it mean to be human? Psychology Today,1-1. Retrieved from:https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/philosophy-dispatches/201205/what-does-it-mean-be-human
Tkach, J 2015, What are human beings? Grace CommunionInternational, 1-1. Retrieved from: https://www.gci.org/humans
Ventegodt, S., Andersen, N J., Kromann, M & Merrick J 2003,Quality of life philosophy II: What is a human being? ScientificWorld Journal, vol.1, no.3. pp. 1176-85.
Wilson, R 2007, Subjective universality in Kant’s aesthetics,Oxford: Bern.