The notion of humanity has been around as long as man itself. Throughout history this idea has been attributed with certain values and concepts that define it. But at what point, if ever, does someone truly lose his or her humanity? To answer this question we must first start with addressing what it means to be human, and what separates our race from the fauna and flora of this Earth. Is it our ability to think, to reason or to take pity on all species, not just our own? Perhaps it is our curiosity with the unknown, or as many believe, our obsession with perfection that epitomizes what it means to be human.
Is perfection in a human being even an achievable goal? As Salvador Dali once put it, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it,” the general consensus is a blatant no. No matter how perfect they seem, someone can always strive for more. The film Gattaca looks at perfection in another light, in a time where near-perfection is easily attainable, it is however, our imperfections that define our individuality. And this leads us to another point. It is our individuality that defines who we are, and therefore is the core of our humanity itself.
But if it is our personal traits that make us human, are there bad qualities in a person that can lead to them losing their humanity? I believe not, that no matter how bad an atrocity someone commits, they still belong to the human race, are still our eternal brother or sister. Because without evil there can be no good, without fear there can be no courage, all of which are some of the most important qualities in a human. Like Ying and Yang, there must be balance in all good things. So I believe that humanity is a gift that cannot be taken away, but may be abused without good reason for evil.
Therefore it is our species-specific traits and qualities that make us human, but which ones we choose to show and how we show them is what defines our humanity. Our society is complex,...