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What It Means To Be Human - Research Paper Example

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There have been numerous philosophical viewpoints on the definition of mankind and what exactly differentiates the so called humans from other species. The subject matter possesses a great amount of controversy and many theories have been developed…
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What It Means To Be Human
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What It Means To Be Human

The human being is comprised of a complex amount of systems and characteristics hence can be defined from numerous perspectives. Many philosophers have expressed different view points on the subject matter. This paper will analyze the view points of Willard and Aquinas. Dallas Willard expresses his view points through cultural shifts, classical philosophy and modernity. In the process he investigates and analyzes arguments concerning human nature and derives the conclusion that humans were are solely distinguished by their ability to love and be loved and to serve and be served by others. Thomas Aquinas viewed human nature as a paradox, with the defining trait of dividing between spirit and matter. The paper will compare and contrast the different view points of these philosophers and how they argue and support their view points. Thomas Aquinas perceives the link between consciousness and matter ‘as humanity’s desire for God as an expression for the life of the trinity’ (Beattie, 2012). Humans are the only living species who have the ability to differentiate their existence between spirit and matter. This is a defining characteristic as humans are able to differentiate themselves for other animals. ...
perspective provides insight on the subject matter as the ability to value the meaning of life allows humanity to preserve it and create a society which is guided by boundaries which enable the preservation of life. This is a well structured argument as this is present in the human society and has not been defined as a trait in other species. The ability of separation of an inner self the physical being also enables one to act upon the means that cater for ideal conditions in society. Humanity also has the ability to ‘utilize its intellect to transcend its material confines with a unique imagination and freedom’ (Beattie, 2012). The modern philosophical referral to this matter is known as the problem of consciousness. The theory of evolution fails to explain the ability of one species, humans, to develop a conscience. Many philosophers agree with Aquinas’ viewpoint as they accept the ideology that the ability of mankind to question his very being and try to find ways to study and analyze reason for his existence and that of other species (Rose, 2008). Other species do not have the capacity to question their existence and other life forms around them. Most species are naturally aware of their existence and way to carry out their lives to put them at an advantage in their community. However, the complexity of this analogy is only characteristic to humans. Other species analyze their community for survival whilst humans analyze theirs for advancement and improvement of life. The fact that evolution does not show these traits in other species is Aquinas basis in disregarding this concept in the process of defining human beings. It is also his rightful basis on disregarding the ideologies of fellow philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Rene Descartes who perceive our ... Read More
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