RE: What Constitutes Humanity?

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Date: Tue May 15 2001 - 11:44:27 PDT

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.
This also implies that possession of language is not a sufficient or
necessary condition. My daughter at one-week was certainly human, despite
not speaking English.

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? ;-)


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