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The Concept of Being a Human and The Philosophy Behind Humanism

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What Makes You Human?

The concept of being “human” is one of convoluted nature. To be human means standing apart from animals, even though we possess many of the same characteristics. However, the aspect that allows us to separate ourselves is the consciousness. Our mental capacity persists for a long period of time and gives us the only ability to be aware of the mind itself and of the world around us. Through the human mind, we are able to have multiple mental states, which inhibit us to feel, thus, developing our character. Additionally, a consciousness such as ours allows us to have advanced processes of thinking that let us integrate information and make deliberate choices. We are, also, given the ability to have morals.

Mental states are important in making us human because it’s a component that only thinking and feeling beings can acquire. Through this trait, we are able to experience a variety of notions. For example, we are able to remember moments in our lives. Through remembrance, as a whole, humanity is able to grow from mistakes and try to achieve better results for the overall health of society. The development of medicine is a good instance to prove this statement because we learn what does and what doesn’t work in vaccines to increase life-spans. Additionally, unlike many animals that act on sheer instinct, humans behave because of desires that aren’t instinctual, which results in people making choices.

The calculated choices that humans make is a direct outcome of humans’ unique ability to have the complexity of thought. Humans particularly use this skill to assess a situation and then often, create a path toward helping themselves or others. It can be either long or short term. Additionally, making myself and others “human” can be done by seeing that the we integrate information and analyze it. For example, Hunt inspects the history of human rights as well as the term “self-evident” that revolves around human rights. Her article helps demonstrate that humans can glance to the past to inspect what humans do in the present and in the future.

Additionally, a part of making us human is due to our consciousness giving us the ability to have morals. A human needs to figure out what they conceive as right and wrong, whether it be what’s done in society or what’s done to us on a personal level. For example, De Las Casas states that “the Christians have slain and destroyed so many and such infinite numbers of souls,” recounts the horrific acts of warfare against the people of Hispaniola, San Juan, and appeals to the king to halt the abuse. He recognizes the atrocities against another person. Additionally, this example extends to another important aspect of making us human, which is to act against injustice. Ashni and Gerber demonstrate this well in the article, “Burqa: Human Right or Human Wrong?” because Muslim women who wear modest dress such as a burqa are being discriminated against. They wrote that “the Australian government has a responsibility to protect the right of Muslim women…to practice their religion.” Therefore, a part of being human is that people stand up, speak out, and write against prejudice in order to achieve positive consequences.

Overall, in my opinion, what makes us human is our state of being aware. This is unique to humans. Due to it, we are able to have intentions, memories, and feelings. We have such intricate manners of investigating and processing subjects, which allows us to make choices. We are able to discuss and create a long term future for ourselves. Finally, we have freethinking ethical and moral judgement. Our consciousness is a key component to calling myself and those around me human.

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The Concept of Being a Human and the Philosophy Behind Humanism. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from
“The Concept of Being a Human and the Philosophy Behind Humanism.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
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