Re: What Constitutes Humanity?

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Tue May 15 2001 - 12:53:31 PDT wrote:

> Wow, Jeff actually makes sense here. It's not about the meat.
> The one thing that indisputedly defines us as human is the set of
> bi-directional relationships we have with other humans. If you have no
> relational exchange with others, you are not human.
> This concept implies that humanity is not a wholly intrinsic property of an
> indvidual, the balance of membership in the set of humans comes from outside
> the individual.

I love this definition!!! There's something really big lurking in this.

> To play the devil's advocate momentarily, my daughter, now 2, possesses
> language. By Jeff's definition, she's finally human. Or is she? She
> doesn't speak as well as Tom. (Or so I gather, having never heard Tom
> speak.) She doesn't write - did Jeff mean written language is required? If
> so, do you have to be able to spell correctly? Is tomwhore human? ;-)

So, my point in "language," "calculus," etc. was to demonstrate that, if you've
got to have some arbitrary defintion of when a human starts, there're
existential arguments that are as reasonable and defensible as biological
arguments. I actually find all of these arbitrary definitions somewhat
repugnant, though I had been convinced that they were necessary.

Tom Whore? Human. Language doesn't require spelling. ;-) (I hope, or I'm in
trouble when I get excited, too...) Besides, it's quite clear that Tom is
totally fluent in a wonderful, whimsical, magical language that the rest of us
can only aspire to. :-)


Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu May 17 2001 - 14:41:36 PDT