Different branches of knowledge have different viewpoints on whether we will remain humans in the 21st century. The virtue of being human has been lost over time.
I wonder... Have we ever been human?
Humanity faces many challenges, making this a difficult question to answer.
For the last few years, I have worked with more people than I have ever done, and as an emotional intelligence coach, I have been fascinated by the human potential to grow and improve on both an emotional and human level.
In order to answer whether we have ever been humans, first, it is necessary to distinguish the difference between human and non-human beings. It is very hard to draw a sharp line between the morphology of the different human races and the morphology of the various varieties of apes we know, merely by looking at the appearance of each. Only the Bible tells us that humanity is different but is no clear biological reason for all of this other than human beings having souls. The problem becomes more complex, however, if you do not read the Bible much. On top of it, evolutionary psychologists uncover a new species that possesses a high level of sophistication on a daily basis.
Diversity in mental and physical attributes has always been considered an essential part of what it means to be human. There are some people who are smarter, have higher morals, ethics, and other traits that philosophers talk about.
It’s also important to keep in mind that not everything about us, whether it be mental or physical, is necessary for us to be humans. A few things can be lost or gained to become more human. We might achieve this with a larger Neo-cortex or if we get rid of some undesirable traits. Do you think humanity would be at risk if we lost or gained a limb?
In addition to body enhancements that we have been undergoing for the past 70 years, plastic surgery really began to take shape. What happens if we enhance our bodies to the point that we start to look like we’ve been mutated? We've all seen plastic surgeries gone wrong. Just like with our bodies, we are also trying to change nature, starting with the filters on our phones. The experience is similar to looking at a beautiful landscape and thinking to ourselves: “Nahh, what a shame to have this mountain here. Maybe I should make it smaller and move the rainbow to the left.” However, that’s another long discussion, since it has nothing to do with recent developments in biotechnology and genetics.
Lastly, what it means to be human is a very elusive concept, mostly because we value it so highly, yet it cannot be precisely defined. In the same way that your mental competence sometimes puts you in and out of it, so can your moral conduct. Therefore, what we need is constant guidance, discipline that promotes and maintains humanity. That leads us to yet another question, whether humanity is even real, or is it a construct. In other words, if it exceeds the natural level necessary for survival.
Making goals, finding purposes, ideas, and passions is more than just a matter of survival and reproduction in the Darwinian sense. However, if I must be honest, it is hard to explain anything Darwin has discovered as being human.
The only thing that sets humans apart from all other species is our education. Storytelling has the potential to get people into the right mental space to be able to deal with others and the world. In order to become a certain being that you would otherwise not be, it is important to look people in the eye and to speak in complete sentences. Education is designed to make you able to justify your arguments and opinions, rather than just say: “It’s like that because I feel that way, or because I see it that way, or because they said it on the news...” There needs to be some kind of larger perspective that takes other people’s perspectives into consideration because their opinions are valid and should be considered in any understanding of humanity. The Greeks were the first to come up with such a concept of education and called it paedia, (which means education.) Using Paedia, the Greeks attempted to create human beings out of the biological species Homo sapiens, and when they were doing it in their days, they didn’t believe that everyone was capable of it.
People were organized into special legal categories from the Roman times until the middle ages. A person’s lineage and descent defined them and, therefore, determined how they were treated legally. Except during the crusade, where that law was suspended in order to successfully accomplish a project that was of mutual concern to everyone. However, after the project was completed, the previous law of family discount was reinstated.
Modern society continues to organize and treat people differently based on their citizenship, the university they attended, their political views, the size of their bank accounts, looks, etc.. A body enhancement is another way you’re thinking about humanity that is somehow detached from your current physical existence, which means that your humanity has something to do with something other than your current physical situation.
The history of humanity is a book written in blood. Every time we fight, we think we’re just by-products of some greater design. By-products that no one really worries about because that species is built to destroy itself. In the grand scheme of things, humanity is insignificant.
We haven’t achieved much as a species. What good have we done? Does humanity have any long-term benefits? It seems impossible to make a society where people are able to act as full human beings. It is still true that race and gender are biologically defined. In addition to ecological damage, we are the only species on this planet that is responsible for the devastation of our planet. Natural resources are being depleted, and the biosphere is in danger. The re-engineering of the planet for our own benefit has not served anyone but human selfishness. We exist as a species and that mindset is based on the idea that Darwin has actually wiped the slate clean. When we use animals for extensive research, we cause unnecessary suffering to them. To convince anyone who is not convinced by medical research, I will also mention fashion and cosmetology.
Basically, the world has gone to shit and now humans don’t even want to be around each other. Humans are more comfortable being alone. Currently, 39% of adults in the world are single. The number of single Americans outnumbers the number of married people. We prefer animals such as dogs, cats, talking parrots... Additionally, people increasingly identify more with their existence in cyberspace than with the existence of their physical bodies, a phenomenon that shouldn’t be underestimated. The whole concept of humanity, training, and discipline becomes irrelevant from that standpoint because it is as if humans have left the building.
How should we interpret this? Our modern world basically rejects the notion of humanity as a serious concept. What are the things we need to consider when diagnosing and fixing the problem? Perhaps the reluctance to admit failure has to do with the difficulty of solving problems that are related to poverty, gender, or racial inequality. The need for political and local intervention has not yet been met, which could inspire new ideas that may have been inspired during the 18th and 19th centuries. Other priorities always take precedence over serious problems. Also, concern is what human beings think about each other, such as issues of sentiment. If we look back at all the projects we have done in the name of humanity, only to create disasters, we find it difficult. People are left with a self-loathing attitude toward humanity as a result. Does humanity have a chance of moving forward and unifying as one global civilization?
We can still do it, but Jeffrey Sachs and Bono flying around the world raising issues like the poor and rich division is not enough. These issues must be addressed in another way. In order for the world to progress, we must first make changes to ourselves, for without this we cannot progress, and to fix humanity and our planet will require a concerted effort from like-minded people worldwide. In order to succeed, we need to come together without starting another fight.
For a very long time, we fought communism because the government designed it to control the people. But what have we done with this freedom? Everyone is free to voice their opinion, and the Internet allows anyone to spread their bullshit, and this bullshit has many followers. From controlling government to controlling media, we have manipulated our way to success. Freedom does not exist. We fought for something we never understood.The mind free of worry is content with the memories of our most memorable moments and the best lessons we have ever learned. It builds confidence without the need for arrogance. You are happy seeing the surrounding in this exact moment, and the air you breathe smells just the way we like it.