What does being human mean to you?

RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,346 ✭✭✭
This might seem like a weird question to ask because the dictionary clearly defines what a human is. However in Doctor Who "A Good Man Goes to War" River Song explains that the word Doctor which in most cultures means healer. Explaining that "we got that word from you" to the Doctor. In some cultures it means something else.

Even in the real world there are examples words that have changed in meaning over time. Fag for example means something different in the U.S. and the U.K. it use to mean a cigarette for both but for some reason in the States it's become an insult for homosexuals while people in the U.K. still see it as just a cigarette.

What I'm really asking with the title is what does being human mean to you. Not the dictionary definition of the word, but how do you personally feel the word has changed if at all. I have long sense held the belief that human is a terrible awful insult to call someone.

Why in my mind is being human such a terrible thing? Well if you look at human history it's full of war, humans are constantly getting into stupid arguments hurting and killing each other over such trivial things. There's also the humane society that seems to believe that the best way of dealing with sick or unwanted pets is by killing them. So called humane traps are often horrible. There's like a sticky pad thing that's suppose to be more humane than a traditional mouse trap because instead of that metal bit that springs down on the mouse, the mouse instead just gets stuck to this pad and isn't harmed... except that it then can starve to death dying more slowly, chew it's own legs off as some animals are known to do, or try to eat the sticky parts which can't be good for the mouse and then dies an even more horrible death. The only truly cruelty free traps are the catch and release method. When I'm constantly bombarded by human being associated with such horrible things I see it not as what you are, but what kind of values you hold. That's why I see human as such a terrible insult because to me it's the same thing as calling someone a monster or a barbarian. I don't like to associate myself with that word because all the terrible things that it represents.

I guess to put it simply while most people see "human" as a noun, the word that means what we are as a race, I see human as a verb, a word that means person who causes pain, suffering, and death to other life forms. Basically the complete opposite of everything Nerdfighters stand for. I don't think anyone in the Nerdfighter community is a human because as I've come to understand it we are their polar opposites.

I don't identify as human. I barely even really identify as a person but that's for a whole different reason. I don't really know what to call my species really because generally we see other species as animals or aliens from other worlds. I'm definitely from Earth, just not human... though that said in Sci-Fi most aliens for some reason are usually given a similar or in some cases the exact same name as the planet they originate from. Vulcans are from Vulcan for example. So Earthling would make more sense. We don't live on the planet Huma so why call ourselves humans? It seems the only reason human exists at all is to separate the dominate life forms on this planet from the animal kingdom as they would technically also be Earthlings. They are from this planet as well. So what the heck are we?

I think my best option is that I'm an Alter. Which is that other reason why I'm not really a person. People only have one single personality, they're complete. I'm just a fraction of a whole person sharing my body with other Alters. Anyway, what does human mean to you and if you agree that it's come to mean something other than just the name for our species then what word do you think would best replace it? What would you like to be known as if you could be known as something that isn't human?
Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!


  • Gara_the_engineerGara_the_engineer In a log house at the edge of the forestPosts: 621 ✭✭✭
    The meaning varies for me, but all are significantly more positive than how you see it. I use it to a) define what species I'm talking about, b) say that someone is "flawed, but doing what they can with who they are", or c) say that someone is caring or compassionate etc, as we all should be (may be because that the word "medmänniska", which means "fellow caring human being", literally translates to just with-human, a human with you. And language shapes how people think).
    This may be thanks to the fact that although there is way too much cruelty in this world, I've grown up around mainly decent people - humans - and have never had reason to despise them as a group. Many individuals, yes, but never as a group.
    The meaning of life is to give life a meaning
  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,346 ✭✭✭
    There are some people who I think are decent (mainly nerdfighters) but I don't think anyone really self identifies as human. They've even made that a joke in some movies where a non-human character disguised as a human will make the mistake of trying to identify themselves that way and then a human character will correct them saying "Little tip for the future, you don't need to say you're human because everyone here already assumes that everyone they meet is human." I think because of that, I've never really viewed any individual as human. I only identify people as humans when they show signs of cruelty towards others.

    I suppose most people do self identify as human even if they don't verbally state that fact. I also think that they probably see the group humans and the group people as the same thing. In my my mind people can be good or bad. Each individual person is unique. But humans is just a group that I toss the worst people into. Good people, are just people... or nerdfighters. I don't view them as human.

    It's kinda become my version of Fanny or Slag for the U.K. or Fag for the U.S. While others outside of those places might view those words as perfectly innocent the people within those places, those words mean something else. I'm not really going to explain fanny or slag because I'm not entirely sure what those words mean to the people in the U.K. I just know it's not a good thing to say over there. Slag to me just means this guy.

    He's one of the G1 Dinobots and that was his original name. It's sense been changed to either Snarl or Slug depending on which version you're looking at due to the fact that Hasbro can't sell a toy named Slag in the U.K. anymore.

    A little off topic but I also find the word "normal" to be insulting. Normal to me means, unoriginal, boring, bland, the same, identical to others. This would seem to go against the whole idea that everyone is unique. Why would anyone want to be normal? Being weird is so much more fun. Some people feel insulted when I call them weird but that's actually the highest compliment I could give someone. Most people I know are similarly weird, my dad who also feels being weird is better than being normal, plus I worked in theater. The stage manager who originally hired me actually said that being weird was a job requirement... well that and having no life which was really just a joke about the long hours we work in rehearsal. Theater people embrace the weird, which is probably why I was always so comfortable there. I kinda feel like Nerdfights embrace that weirdness as well because you don't need to act normal, whatever that means, to fit in here. I've never really felt like an outsider here ever when I'm saying crazy things like "I'm not human". ;)
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!



  • AnFaAnFa Hessen, GermanyPosts: 77
    I never viewed normal as something someone can actually be. You can't define normal. It is, in a way "like everyone else" but "everyone else" is not one set of traits, since everyone is different. If you just took the average of all traits a human can have and call that normal, you would probably still not find even o e normal person, or if you do find exactly one, it would be the only one, and therefore not normal anymore, but highly different. There is nobody who is really just "normal". But there is probably also nobody, who is in all things as far as possible away from "normal" or "average". Everyone is in a few things not that different than others and in other things definitely different from at least most. That said, there are people, that try to be normal, people that try not to be normal and which you try to be can change during your lifetime. I, as a formerly strongly bullied kid, used to want to fit in, to be normal, so that others wouldn't bully me anymore. My earliest experiences with being different were negative ones. That viewpoint changed when I grew up. Today, I embrace my weird self, and I think a lot of whats considered normal is soooo stupid. Because, while I don't think that people can be normal or not at all normal, I think ways of acting, reacting and stuff like that can. What is normal or not has a lot to do with what the society you live in values, what that particular society, that is everyone and noone and probably still some people more than others, considers normal or not. In modern western society, men that wear make-up are weird. But male korean popstars do it all the time and their society doesn't tell them that they are less normal because of it. In general, popstars are most of the time considered neither weird nor normal. They can get away with so much stuff that would be considered weird if other people did it without being considered weird.

    I think, people that you would consider normal are (mostly) people that want to be normal and to fit in. That doesn't make them inherently bad, in my opinion, but it might make me look down a bit on them, since I think that fitting in is not really a good priority to have. But on the other hand, if someone just wants to be not normal and prioritizes being different from others, that is not necessarily better. Though I have a feeling that it doesn't happen as often and not as extreme. In a way, everyone wants to not feel completely alone and isolated, so part of a group in which they fit in, and at the same time an individual. Yes, I also feel like theater people value weirdness more, but even they, in their group want to have a place to fit in, which, with others like them, they can with all of their weirdness.

    There were people who probably bullied me to fit in. Others didn't say anything against it, to fit in. Was that the best, morally superior thing they could have done? No. Did it hurt? Yes. Did it make me hate them at the time? Yes. But does it make them bad people? No. It does, in a way, make them human, though. Humans make mistakes, we feel peer pressure, we can be scared to be too different (which could lead to being bullied ourselves, or worse, see Nazi-Germany), so sometimes we just PIZZZAA up royally. But I think we all have the potential to do good things, too. Yes, I consider myself human. I belong to this species. Also, I make mistakes, which is human, too. I have the potential to do really PIZZZAA things, to others, to the world, but I also have the potential to maybe make the world a slightly better place, to make it suck less. I think Nerdfighters are humans, but we are a group of humans that decided, that we will try to use at least some of our potential for good. Does that make us less human? I don't think so. Also, we can still fail to make the world better.
    Anyway, sorry for probably rambling a bit too much...
  • AnFaAnFa Hessen, GermanyPosts: 77
    Hey, I just noticed the interesting way of censoring swearwords... :D
  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,346 ✭✭✭
    The dictionary literally defines normal as socially accepted so while everyone is different most people try to hide those differences to be like everyone else in the society they live in. That's normal and it's boring and also a terrible way to live. The things some people will go through to fit in, to be considered normal is really rather sad. And who decides what's normal anyway? Bullies who think everyone should be like them, or as I call them, humans.

    Also you must be new here if you just noticed that everything gets censored by pizza. Unfortunantly it makes talking about Moby PIZZZAA or PIZZZAA Grayson/Robin rather difficult because the censor can't tell the difference between the nick name for Richard and male genitals. If only automatic censoring was advanced enough to pick up on context instead of replacing every use of a word with pizza.
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!
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