Sunday, April 17, 2011

Humanity

       What is humanity? By what point does something become less than human? Is humanity sentience, or is it sympathy? Is it the ability to sympathize yet choose not to? Is it our sense of humor? Is it the ability to perceive humor? To smile? What exactly is it? We treat humanity as though it is a model for intelligent life, but when you break down the word, and not very far mind you, you realize that it is not a model for intelligent life, and if it is, it is also a model of our incredible conceition. Humanity is comprised mostly of the word "Human" which implies that humanity, as a model for intelligence, emotion, and sentience, implies that only being that think, behave, and respond as we do or in a manner theresimilar are intelligent or sentient beings. However, there is yet no evidence to support that we are the model for any form of sympathetic, sentient, or top-intelligence organism on any outsource of our own planet, and even within the boundaries given by our habitat, we can only measure animals in relation to processes and patterns with which we are familiar. We may perceive ourselves more smart than all other animals that walk this shallow Earth, but this is only because we live in such different environments and manners from these creatures. Intelligence is not only measured in the number of maths or logics available or understood by a race as a whole, but there is a level of exploration and understanding that we do not seem to possess. Many animals are aware of coming disasters through natural gives like slight temperature or wind changes, yet we must rely on our mechanical instruments to tell us of such things. Certainly we can tell at a much later phase, when the leaves begin to fall from trees, carried off in the arms of a mighty wind, but by that point our dogs have known for days that the hurricaines were coming. That their home was about to be torn asunder by the angry forces of the world. They knew this because they have an area of intelligence that is different from ours. So different from ours that we don't often consider the prospect that what that animal thinks, understands, experiences could possibly be intelligence. And so we do not consider them humane species. But that seems to be the typical understanding of what "humanity" is. Intelligence or sympathy. Actually, it is most often sympathy. If a women falls and you refuse to help her, someone will undoubtedly say "C'mon man, have some humanity." What are they saying? Do they even know? And if "humanity" is a measure of sympathy, then what is our understanding of sympathy? A women falls and you are inhumane for not assisting her, but what of the many poached animals, or worse, the habitats destroyed by order of our governments, and in effect, by order of our societies. Can we, as predators, even understand the truest depths of sympathy? Do we fully understand our own so-called "humanity?" If "humanity" is truly, as the word suggests, then it is not a measure of intelligence, nor sympathy, nor capability, but rather a measure of ignorance, of arrogance, of our ability NOT to understand the world around us, of our ability to ignore our hypocracies, and of a thousand other things that are wrong with this race. Because humanity is just how human you can be.

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