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Thread: What does it mean to be a human being?

  1. #1
    Let's make this showy! Array raz's Avatar
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    Nov 2008

    Default What does it mean to be a human being?

    In an attempt to learn more about my Fi, I've come across a lot of books, people, and ingrained thoughts that remind me to "act as a human being." Apparently, people have ingrained definitions for what it means to be a human being. To me, it means to see and adapt to any new possibilities and utilize what's available to you in terms of options you are aware of.

    We apparently have the ingrained physical and mental limits caused by our race. Our body is vulnerable. We have biological needs and restrictions. Our brain is faulty. We make mistakes and have difficulities in understanding. To me, I just view them as mere setbacks. To me, to be human is to work through those restrictions, using any means necessary.

    Quite a vague topic, I think. Learning about Fi has made me question how I and others define "being a human being." Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    . Array Blank's Avatar
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    Mar 2009


    I dunno. I'm just going to take a stab in the dark until other people have more poignant things to say.

    I think that being human puts us in a fairly unique position. We share many things in common with our animal brethren, but the defining feature that sets us apart from them is that we have the ability to shape the world into almost any image we desire. We have the power to turn a grove into a desert, parts of the sea into islands, and the power to take away life for entirely selfish reasons.

    Our ability to think, feel, and empathize is what I think it means for us to "act human." These three seemingly basic, yet incredibly sophisticated functions allow us to compare the past and present and how we would feel between different scenarios. It's kind of hard to describe, and I've been sitting here trying to rewrite this paragraph over and over, but I think that being able to think and create a "golden rule" of some kind is what separates humans from the rest because we're able to draw inferences from events that haven't actually happened.

    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
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    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by raz View Post
    In an attempt to learn more about my Fi, I've come across a lot of books, people, and ingrained thoughts that remind me to "act as a human being." Apparently, people have ingrained definitions for what it means to be a human being.
    What they mean is be social, not in the sense of out-going, but in the context of not having anti-social personality disorder (psychopathy) -- "act like a human not a reptile." At least that is how it sounds to me.

  4. #4
    Nips away your dignity Array Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    9 sp/sx


    What it means for us being a human being is how we define ourself both internally as well as externally given out capabilities.

    Although some would refute this, I believe we all have free will. We are all capable of following our own thoughts. Do the things we deem important. What it means being a human being to me, is that we aquire knowledge and experience, wisdom. And use that wisdom to the best of our knowledge.

    It's pretty tricky what I just said, because a dellusional person aquiring an unhealthy set of morals and values may still mean that person uses his aquired 'wisdom' to the best of his knowledge, and thus act as a human being without question.

    But then again, perhaps part of being human being is trying to guide the people around you as well, to all share a similar mindset of morals and values, at least within acceptable parameters. But this is where law comes in.

  5. #5
    HAHHAHHAH! Array INTJ123's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    That's a good question, but since we don't know the origin of life it's also a hard question to answer, it's open to interpretation and people are divided over this.

    Maybe we are just automated atomitons in the universe, doing what we were designed to do. Can you really be anything other than yourself? This would mean there isn't much meaning, just to follow your sequence of events.

    Although the concept of free will has always been very appealing to me. The very use of the word will in this ambiguous manner makes it that much harder just to grab the concept of free will let alone decide if it's "free" or not.
    Example, I remember this idiotic psychology 101 teacher was skewing the whole concept to the class, he said "who believes in free will? raise your hands, okay those of you raising your hands, fly around the room right now." He says "AH HAH! you can't! So free will can't exist!" Then I asked him, what is the will? is it somthing physical? UH oh thinking outside the box is dangerous, he ignored my questions and moved on with the lesson, the fkin closed minded prick.
    My point is he completely missed the big picture, we CAN fly, in air planes, and this was accomplished through our intentions of flying. Not some magical free will that let's you do anything magically, which is apparently how he saw it.

    So anyways in that sense I do believe we have freedom of will/desire/intention.

    But that doesn't answer what it means to be human does it? Maybe it's subjective, maybe it's selfish to think there has to be a meaning? and not having the answer just causes fear and confusion. Maybe the meaning of life was to spread love? Who knows but all are entertaining thoughts.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array
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    Jun 2009


    There is no inherent meaning to our status as humans. We simply are. Whatever meaning you wish to assign to human life is the meaning it will take on. Personally, I don't believe you really need to have a meaning attached to being human. For me, being alive is more than enough.

  7. #7
    Protocol Droid Array Athenian200's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    To understand what it means to be human, you need a sense of what it means to be inhuman, and why that can be a temptation.

    [YOUTUBE=""]Angels of the Dark[/YOUTUBE]

    From this, we can gather that to be human means to be vulnerable, to fight a losing battle, to be a part of the world, and to be concerned about the well-being of others more than your own entertainment. To suffer illness and pain in order to understand and express empathy.

    When one wishes to be inhuman, it means they want to be invincible, betray their side to fight on the winning side, be above and apart from the world, and care more about their own amusement than others. It also means to give up empathy in exchange for being free of emotional pain.

  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    To understand what it means to be human, you need a sense of what it means to be inhuman, and why that can be a temptation.
    And this is an ever present temptation. And this is the temptation presented by MBTI. For the very purpose of MBTi is to reify living human beings, that is, to turn living human beings into things.

    How eagerly MBTI is gobbled up.
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