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D'Nalor

Why are we human 'beings'?

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Why do we call ourselves human beings? we do not call dogs 'dog beings' or cats 'cat beings', so why do we call ourselves human beings?

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Well my thought would be because way back when our language was being formed we viewed ourselves, and still do, as to be superior to other beings. its more a matter of perspective than actually being. from our perspective we are the superior species due to our understanding and cognitive abilities, thus making us worthy of "being" human. that being said, the merriam webster dictionary's definition of being is : 1 a: the quality or state of having existence b (1): something conceivable as existing (2): something that actually exists (3): the totality of existing things c: conscious existence : life.

 

so anything that exists in this world that is living or conscious is a being of some sort. so the reason we call ourselves human beings would be because it sounds good and through the years it has been ingrained into our minds as a speech default. if we called ourselves human objects from the beginning we would probably have a discussion on why do we call ourselves human objects and not dog objects or cat objects. so it wouldent really be a biological question, more of a linguistic question.

 

i hope that made sense and i dident make a fool of myself on my first post. :)

Edited by badfella
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I agree with badfella.

 

I think this is more of a linguistics question than a biology question. As I understand it, the word "being" is used to denote sentience. When we discuss the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life we often refer to seeking out "other beings." Meaning other self-aware organisms with culture and technology.

 

As I see it, the term "beings" isn't really a value judgment as much as a simple (and useful) descriptor. And as badfella said, by now the words "human being" are probably being parsed at a phrasal level rather than analyzed individually.

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I don't know about the intelligence thing. a well trained dog is more intelligent than a baby, and we call babies human beings.

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I never thought of this before.

Maybe because we're the leading race of animals.

Same goes for the time thing

 

we're not the leading race of animals by most methods of measuring it. infact, i think only in technology do we come out on top.

 

we're not the most populous,

we're not the most widespread,

we don't have the most biomass,

we have a narrow range of conditions in which we can survive without technology

we die pretty easily

we don't affect the climate the most

and so on.

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we're not the leading race of animals by most methods of measuring it. infact, i think only in technology do we come out on top.

 

AAhh! That's not a very good slogan!

 

Humans are number one! Yay!

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This is probably more of a lingual or psychological question.

 

But other things are called "beings" as well, it's just not that commonly used. I suppose a layperson would consider a "being" a creature of sentience - if not a human, than an extraterrestrial alien or "mutant" life form.

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This isn't really a linguistics nor biological question as much as a philosophical one. Man is genetically programmed to wonder, and the first thing that early man must have wondered about was his own existence. Therefore, we came to think of ourselves as "beings", ones who are clearly defined and clearly exist. After all, our bodies are the only things that we can truly be sure of (the rest of the world is an illusion anyway, as scientifically proven) and so its existence is tantamount to our thoughts.

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