What makes humanity? -- Ask Consensus


What makes humanity?

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The concept of humanity has been explored from various angles, leading to different interpretations and definitions. Here are some insights from academic research:

  1. Historical and Contextual Definitions: Humanity's definition changes significantly across historical eras and contexts. Plato defined 'man' as a 'two-footed featherless animal'. Other definitions have included the use of fire, the taboo against incest, politics, tool-making, understanding of death, and language use. The Hebrew term 'adamah', meaning 'soil', is suggested as a possible origin for the name 'Adam' in the Bible, highlighting the link between humans and nature (Sax, 2011).

  2. Scientific Development Perspective: From the viewpoint of scientific development, humanity implies the complete development of the human being, encompassing social-economic relationships, politics, culture, and natural ecology (Zhang Zhi-qiang, 2008).

  3. Morality and Human Nature: There's a distinction between humanity and human nature, as well as between morality and humanity. This indicates that humanity and human nature should not be equated as they encapsulate different aspects of the human experience (Zhang Yu-feng, 2006).

  4. Principle of Humanity: The principle of humanity involves inherent tensions related to universality, inclusion, and equality. Operationalizing humanity involves transformative practices emphasizing relational nature and humanitarian reform (Larissa A. Fast, 2015).

  5. Humanism and Culture: The concept of humanism, closely linked to humanity, evolves with new knowledge and centers on human interests and values. It's been connected to various movements and fields, emphasizing humanity over divinity (Matthew Cherry, 2009).

  6. Humanity and Education: Humanity in education refers to the development of human nature, personality, and abilities, emphasizing the importance of individuality and freedom (Zhong Xing-yu, 2005).

In conclusion, humanity is a multi-faceted concept defined differently in various historical, cultural, and philosophical contexts. It encompasses aspects like morality, culture, development, and individuality, each contributing to the broader understanding of what it means to be human.