What Does It Mean to Be Human

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What does it mean to be Human?

By Rudy Trevino
    
Origin, meaning, morality and destiny. These are not just random words attached to the big questions of life raised by humanity in the context of traversing in, what to many is, a mundane existence. The questions of where we came from, what the meaning of our existence is, whether there is such a thing as wrong or right and what is to become of us when we die, are questions that might makes us wonder what it means to be human. Is a robot human when human intelligence is imported into its memory so as to give it the ability to speak and listen? It could be programmed to ask someone how they are feeling today, but will that make it human? As a boy, I recall time spent playing with neighborhood kids who lived across the street from my house. The boys, whose parents attended a Pentecostal church, would deride our family for exhibiting certain behaviors they found offensive. For example, it was their belief that, watching television was sinful and, therefore, condemned by God. Other taboos or sins were smoking, drinking, dancing, and mother wearing pants instead of dresses. In their estimation, we were all going to hell. My dad was going to hell, my mother was going to hell, I was going to hell, and even our parrot, who could cuss the wallpaper off the wall, was going to hell! Even though I didn’t fully espouse their distorted beliefs, I remember how their conversations with me, systematically, got me started thinking about my humanity and my purpose in life. I began to ask who I was, where did I come from, and what was my purpose for living. In my quest for meaning, I was forced to think deeply if our humanity (who we are and how we behave) might provide a clue as to where I came from. Our postmodern culture dismisses absolute truth and propagates that anything is permissible as long as it doesn’t hurt others. But not wanting to hurt others began to clue me in on why the concept of our humanness was important...
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