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Being a human is about having courage, backbone, flying in the face of public opinion and namby pamby new age philosophy. It's about not being a victim to every whim of fashion and culture. Being a human is about having the security and confidence that emanates from the knowledge that there are billions of other people out there, all unique, yet *just like you*. It's a daily hope, an eternal destiny, a true adventure.
In other words, it's pretty fucking nice with or without the big G.
You know what I think being human means?
Being human means you get to be born to the good feeling of being thwacked on the ass.
Being human means you get to spend your first years in a state of delusion, sometimes called 'innocence' and 'childhood,' which is then shattered because the real world bitch slaps you in the form of someone hurting you. If you're lucky you won't be raped or sexually abused.
80 years or so later, after a life constantly spent trying to get ahead, trying to make a name for yourself, trying to be different from the other billions occupying this little measly hunk of rock, being human means you get to die right when life gets good... but first your body, the one that has never failed you yet, fails you. Being human means you get to wait to die, as your organs fail, one by one.
Being human means that when you die, your body is either ashed or put in some smelly old hole. You then rot until you are nothing.
Being human means you get to have some fun though. Watch out for taxes, audits, and lying politicians. Don't have too much sex, or you'll catch something.
And all the while, some dickheads with their heads up their asses are trying to convince you that some guy who died 2000 years ago loves you, and cares about your sex life, and if you don't give money to them you're going to burn in hell for millenium instead of rotting in some hole somewhere.
Being human means: (to me)
Experiencing love, joy, pain, sorrow.
Being exposed to beauty and suffering, music, culture, art, wealth, prejudice, hatred, loneliness, poverty.
Being told what to think and trying to think for yourself.
Learning and growing and being oppressed and breaking free.
Trying to find love, happiness and inner peace, and sometimes failing. And sometimes succeeding.
In the end, humanity is what you make of it. There are jerks and there are friends. There are the wise and the stupid. You get out what you put in...sometimes. And every now and then, tragedy falls or fortune winks. And some day, we all die, and receive our final judgement.
Talking to a very good friend of mine, we came to an interesting conclusion.
We decided that, as human beings are cabable of learning, and that this is the defining feature that separates us from other animals, and learning is based on the ability to remember past experiances, a child/baby/featus/zygote should only be concidered a human, when it can remember past experiences, and thus learn from them.
My friend writing now:
Please note that of course it is true that animals posess some kind of memory, and can learn to a certain extent. However, this ability is many orders of magnitude worse than in humans. Also note that it is true that babies have short term memory practically from when they exit the womb, however for real learning one needs long tem memory, which doesn't develop until much later. Until then babies/whatever act instinctively, i.e. like animals. Only after long term memory develops, are they acting as human beings do.