"Humanity" a Word for Humans?

What does "humanity" mean? Is it that perfect person with a big heart who helps other beings? Well ...not exactly.


4 min read
"Humanity" a Word for Humans?

When I say the word "humanity," what is the first thing that comes to mind,‌
‌Human rights organizations? United nations? Human Rights Watch? Or you may think of that perfect person with a big heart who helps other beings. A caring and loving person.

If your answer is one of the things mentioned above. Congratulations, you are a person with simple thinking.‌

Let's go back a little bit in time shall we?
Where did that word come from? What is its origin and how has its meaning changed according to its use. According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.‌ ‌Humanity is:

"Those branches of knowledge, such as philosophy, literature, and art, that are concerned with human thought and culture; the liberal arts." [1]

and According to the Century Dictionary:

"Learning or literature of a merely human or secular kind: opposed to divinity: generally in the plural, with reference to the several branches of such literature, as philology, grammar, rhetoric, poetry, the study of the ancient classics, and the like. In Scotland, in the singular, applied to Latin and Latin literature alone: as, a professor of humanity." [2]

Did you notice anything? The definition never mentioned or specifies what type of behavior such as "the perfect person with Big heart who helps other beings. A caring and loving person," a person must adhere to be called a human.

I am not trying to judge you now, but after reading these definitions, you often find yourself wondering what happened, what has changed until the meaning of a word that describes the behavior of the human being is changed with time. ‌
‌The precise definitions of the collective common for humanity are Love, Kindness, and Social intelligence. [3]

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The word love as one of the synonyms of the humanity is a big mistake and its denial of all scientific articles such as "Yes, Animals Have Feelings (Op-Ed)" By Jonathan Balcombe," [4] as the title said Yes, Animals Have Feelings. Can feel the love and the hate. Let's take the dolphins as an example. Although the main character in this story is the human, also the dolphin's mind size is so close to the size of the adult human.

https://web.archive.org

"This behavior is particularly interesting because it shows that the dolphin had a sense of the future and delayed gratification. He had enough presence to realize that a big piece of trash got the same reward as a small piece, so why not deliver only small pieces to keep the extra food coming? He, in effect, had trained the humans." [5]

They can look in a mirror and say, 'Hey, that's me'Dr Lori Marino, Psychologist [6]

This is considered a great and surprising achievement and evidence that dolphins have a mind to think and having feelings like laziness, so what prevents them from having emotions like love and Cognitive intelligence?

The BBC published an article in 2012 entitled "Dolphins deserve the same rights as humans," say scientists. [6]‌ Another  article but this time published in Sciencemag By David Grimm in 2010 entitled "Is a Dolphin a Person?"[7]

Through these articles, you can notice that our definition of humanity is not only limited to humans, but also to those intelligent beings.

"But it's not just size that matters. Dolphins also have a very complex neocortex, the part of the brain responsible for problem-solving, self-awareness, and variety of other traits we associate with human intelligence" David Grimm [7]

From the above, we can say that feelings, communication skills do not necessarily reflect a term specific to humans, but even other creatures such as dolphins, who have already been mentioned, enjoy these complex desires. So calling a behavior such as a loving and caring humanity behaviors is a denial of the fact that humanity is not only Humans.

Recommended reading:

How to Boost Your Self-Esteem
“There is a culture. There is nature. But there is consciousness, and its elaboration—self-consciousness—and these may well play an important role in human destiny”, said Jordan Peterson . Human beings are not determined by culture and nature only but most importantly consciousness.

Sources:


[1] ahdictionary website 14:45(+1GMT) 8jul2020
[2] wordnik website 14:45(+1GMT) 8jul2020
[3] wikipedia website 14:48(+1GMT) 8jul2020
[4] ivescience website 15:11(+1GMT) 8jul2020
[5] web.archive.org website 15:23(+1GMT) 8jul2020
[6] bbc.com website 15:30(+1GMT) 8jul2020
[7] sciencemag.org website 16:10(+1GMT) 8jul2020


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