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Thread: What makes us human?

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    Lightbulb What makes us human?

    A ship travels from one side of Greece to another to transport goods. This is a cumbersome task and it takes three days (hypothetically), each trip back and forth causes a part of the ship to erode and needs replacing. Soon the whole ship has been replaced; is it still the same ship as it was in the beginning or has it changed?

    Why the Theseus analogy? The same can be applied to humans:
    We shed our skin cells every few months, we grow and develop, our faces change, our personalities change, our cells die and replace themselves so every part of us, like the ship has changed. So, are we still the same person as we were ten years ago? What makes us human?

    There's not an absolute right answer and it's something to muse about.

    Edit: please stop pasting Anthropological responses, that's not what this question asks.
    Last edited by Sam C; 04-29-2018 at 04:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam C View Post
    A ship travels from one side of Greece to another to transport goods. This is a cumbersome task and it takes three days (hypothetically), each trip back and forth causes a part of the ship to erode and needs replacing. Soon the whole ship has been replaced; is it still the same ship as it was in the beginning or has it changed?

    Why the Theseus analogy? The same can be applied to humans:
    We shed our skin cells every few months, we grow and develop, our faces change, our personalities change, our cells die and replace themselves so every part of us, like the ship has changed. So, are we still the same person as we were ten years ago? What makes us human?

    There's not an absolute right answer and it's something to muse about.
    What makes water water?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamsterGT View Post
    What makes water water?
    If this question appears in my exam I would answer this
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    Master Sorcerer LadyCyborg's Avatar
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    The 'what makes us human' and 'are we still the same person' arent related at all but maybe that wasnt what you meant,

    What makes us human?
    I dont think theres really an explanation to that, the word human is just describing what species we are biologically

    But if i have to make up some deep reason
    Then id say the way we communicate more and have stronger and more sensitive emotions than other animals is what makes us humans stand out as human, because when a person lacks those two things we could ask "is he/she even human?"

    Are we still the same person?

    Physically yes, our organs and genes dont replace themselves,
    We only grow physically.

    Mentally?
    Most likely were not the same, as you said our personality and different parts of our personality change and or stand out more. If i compared my current thoughts and opinions to what i was for example 6 years ago there is a big difference.
    But of course some parts of our personality doesnt change, for example "my mind" is still not that feminine compared to what it was 8 years ago

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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyCyborg View Post
    The 'what makes us human' and 'are we still the same person' arent related at all but maybe that wasnt what you meant,

    What makes us human?
    I dont think theres really an explanation to that, the word human is just describing what species we are biologically

    But if i have to make up some deep reason
    Then id say the way we communicate more and have stronger and more sensitive emotions than other animals is what makes us humans stand out as human, because when a person lacks those two things we could ask "is he/she even human?"

    Are we still the same person?

    Physically yes, our organs and genes dont replace themselves,
    We only grow physically.

    Mentally?
    Most likely were not the same, as you said our personality and different parts of our personality change and or stand out more. If i compared my current thoughts and opinions to what i was for example 6 years ago there is a big difference.
    But of course some parts of our personality doesnt change, for example "my mind" is still not that feminine compared to what it was 8 years ago
    The title correlates with my question: what makes us human? I'm not discussing about how we're biologically different in terms of Biology or Anthropology to other species or primates. I'm simply asking what makes us a human being? I gave an old analogy to help aid my question: the Theseus Ship paradox.

    Communication is not what makes us human, all other animals communicate with one another in their own way, this isn't a reason for why we are the way we are. You can add the "what makes us who we are" but that's still the same question, different wording. Communication doesn't make us who we are, it's just how we converse with one another. Technically we're communicating right now but we're not using our voices or emotions—just a word processor that types each character as we press or type it on another external device.

    Our skin sheds and our cells die. We're made out of cells, therefore our organs are technically remade. It doesn't go from no heart to a new heart, it gradually replaces cells. Similar to how the heart pumps new blood after we loose some when we cut our leg for instance.

    Do note that this isn't just a typical question such as what's two plus two.

    Quote Originally Posted by SamsterGT View Post
    What makes water water?
    You cannot be hijacking my thread John Wick, get out of here!

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    I know right..... Why aren’t we Huwoman ?
    Nothing to see here

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamsterGT View Post
    What makes water water?
    Thats literally our exams questions

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    Quote Originally Posted by Awfa View Post
    I know right..... Why aren’t we Huwoman ?
    what mwakes us whuman owo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kranken View Post
    what mwakes us whuman owo
    Top ten questions science can’t answer owo. Wait who’s Science? I think it’s NOBODY so I’ll answer “What makes us huwoman is that we aren’t human” understandable have a good day
    Nothing to see here

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    “The essential difference between animals and humans is the ability to self-reflect. A chimpanzee, our closest genetic relative (around 99% similar in DNA), can be taught to do basically everything a human can, though of course at a more generally primitive level. But no chimp can self-reflect, that is, take that mental and spiritual leap of stepping outside of himself and seeing himself from an alternate perspective, or realizing consciously that he is alive, that his heart is beating, that he is walking the planet, that he will die someday, and that the moon is overhead.

    A human being is capable of great degrees of self-reflection, but few people achieve much of it, and many of the most intellectually sophisticated achieve little at all. Essentially they live their lives as highly intelligent animals. They work, they solve great intellectual problems, they learn complex skills, they multi-task at profound levels, they have profound memories, they learn numerous languages with radically different syntax's, they mate in unusual and complex ways – but they often never stop to truly reflect on their existences, much less the utter depths of their existences.”

    Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/diffe...psc-ma-mds-mba

    This articulates my thoughts better than what I tried to muster up.

    I personally do not like to look into too much of these kinds of thoughts because they make me feel insignificant and depressed.
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    We form coherent thoughts, and have much deeper emotions.
    "Sometimes a hypocrite is nothing more than a man in the process of changing."





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    We aren't ships, and our DNA is still unchanged.
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    What makes us human is the person who started calling our species that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by topazi View Post
    “The essential difference between animals and humans is the ability to self-reflect. A chimpanzee, our closest genetic relative (around 99% similar in DNA), can be taught to do basically everything a human can, though of course at a more generally primitive level. But no chimp can self-reflect, that is, take that mental and spiritual leap of stepping outside of himself and seeing himself from an alternate perspective, or realizing consciously that he is alive, that his heart is beating, that he is walking the planet, that he will die someday, and that the moon is overhead.

    A human being is capable of great degrees of self-reflection, but few people achieve much of it, and many of the most intellectually sophisticated achieve little at all. Essentially they live their lives as highly intelligent animals. They work, they solve great intellectual problems, they learn complex skills, they multi-task at profound levels, they have profound memories, they learn numerous languages with radically different syntax's, they mate in unusual and complex ways – but they often never stop to truly reflect on their existences, much less the utter depths of their existences.”

    Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/diffe...psc-ma-mds-mba

    This articulates my thoughts better than what I tried to muster up.

    I personally do not like to look into too much of these kinds of thoughts because they make me feel insignificant and depressed.
    I don't mean biologically or anthropologically. Self-reflection doesn't help answer the truely unaswered question: what makes us human? When our cells die for instance, how does this mean we're the same person? Just like how is the ship still the same whence its parts have been replaced during each voyage?

    Yes, we have an evolutionarily higher progressing than all other primates and other animals such as self-consciousness and the ability to think deep, profound thoughts but that's still not what makes us who we are. When we are physically altered like the ship, how are we still the same?

    Our senses and memories are not always accurate, when you're intoxicated your senses betray you and your mind dull and faded. When on drugs, you see things you would not normally which aren't actually there, this doesn't make them true. Reflection on existence is not a quality that makes us human.

    One answer that could be given would be the soul for instance.

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    "What make us human is ourself" ~ Definitely someone wannabe wisdom would say
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam C View Post
    Why the Theseus analogy? The same can be applied to humans:
    We shed our skin cells every few months, we grow and develop, our faces change, our personalities change, our cells die and replace themselves so every part of us, like the ship has changed. So, are we still the same person as we were ten years ago? What makes us human?
    Common sense. If a ship has replaced each and every one of its parts, it's still a ship. No, not a trojan horse, or a builder's hut, or a crafting table. It's a ship. What makes us human is that we're one of the species that could understand love and how to love fully. It may be confusing now, but wisdom comes with time.

    I'm neither a philosopher, nor a man full of wisdom, but I know myself. And I am human.
    ᴅᴏ ɴᴏᴛ ʟᴇᴛ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғᴀɴᴛᴀsɪᴇs ᴅɪsᴛᴏʀᴛ ʏᴏᴜʀ ʀᴇᴀʟɪᴛʏ

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    I feel like you got this from that channel called Vsauce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamsterGT View Post
    What makes water water?


    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam C View Post
    A ship travels from one side of Greece to another to transport goods. This is a cumbersome task and it takes three days (hypothetically), each trip back and forth causes a part of the ship to erode and needs replacing. Soon the whole ship has been replaced; is it still the same ship as it was in the beginning or has it changed?

    Why the Theseus analogy? The same can be applied to humans:
    We shed our skin cells every few months, we grow and develop, our faces change, our personalities change, our cells die and replace themselves so every part of us, like the ship has changed. So, are we still the same person as we were ten years ago? What makes us human?

    There's not an absolute right answer and it's something to muse about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TGR001 View Post


    - - - Updated - - -



    Did you just copy and paste this from Wikipedia? I'm sorry to break it to you but I think your answer isn't the answer OP is looking for.

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