What makes us human?

We aren’t the only sentient life, but we are the only species that has a conscience, and this along with empathy and compassion separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Does that make us better? No, we just understand consequences of actions, and that some decisions can be detrimental and others can be advantageous. This power of our imagination helps define a person’s character.

The human race is governed by its imagination.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Are humans natural savages despite the knowledge they’ve acquired, and developed through Evolution?

We’ve all seen ‘Lord of the Flies‘ and how if humans are left to their own devices in a small colony, they can revert back to primeval behaviour. Theists say that with a God in their lives they have a guideline for objective morality, but imagine a situation where a collection of theists are stranded in an isolated place where there are no laws.

Would those alleged god-given morals matter?

Would it be survival of the fittest?

Would they work together to ensure survival of the group, or would a hierarchy form where the most important, or confident took control?

At the end of the day it’s instinct to survive and maintain self preservation , but would a Christian group cope better than an atheist group?

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” – Dalai Lama

What makes us different to other sentients is language, bodily communication, and expressions, and add the ability of independent thought, decision making and problem solving through the use of the complexity of reason. Despite this, the main thing that distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom is the ability to form emotions, and how you portray those emotions can be the difference between being beneficial or detrimental to other people.

Are the emotions of love and hate what defines humans and distinguishes the difference between us and other sentient life? Of course some species of animals mate for life, but it’s not love as we know it. It’s instinct and they mate to continue the species to survive. Animals don’t understand the concept of hatred as that also requires understanding what hatred is, and if an animal goes on the offensive it’s either to defend or to capture prey. It’s not through a strong dislike, or hatred of another animal.

When it boils down to it, curiosity and imagination is what took humans out of the trees and led us to explore beyond our comfort zone as a bipedal Hominidae. We emerged from the forests and became a social species that had to co-operate to advance, and some found a purpose in faith as humanity clearly ultimately needs to believe in a higher power to direct them through life, but other people choose to question everything and live a virtuous life based on compassion and a love of humanity, using independent thought and critical thinking.

If you’re in agreement with what I’ve said, or not, we can’t be human without other humans. We are meant to interact; to dream; to have ambitions and goals; to seek happiness and solace when we are in need of comfort; to be human is about choice, individuality and acceptance. You can’t truly love another until you learn to love yourself. We aren’t meant to be alone.

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu