Last night I discovered a funny game on Google, while I was laying in my bed doing nothing: it’s called The Higher Lower Game. It is extremely simple though, because you have just to choose which word it’s more googled between the two pics the server randomly presents to you. Some results, however, really shocked me. I found out that “Starbucks” had 6,120,000 monthly views in 2015, “Ikea” had 30,400,000 and “Ryanair”, the Irish low-cost airline, had 20,400,000 monthly views! While I was having a blast and trying to get some sleep, I noticed that other interesting words, such as “deforestation”, “Green Peace” and “Hunger”, were not performing so well. Only 246,000 monthly research for hunger, 135,000 for deforestation and 33,100 for Green Peace. Since basically anything makes me think, I asked myself: why? Hunger, famine, global warming and so on are important issues and we don’t even google them? I know, I know: it’s just a silly online game and there is nothing to worry about. Maybe, but since we are the ones behind our screens, these outcomes tell us what captures our attention and what we read and watch on a daily basis.
So, yesterday I went from The Higher Lower game to the concept of humanity (yes, this is insane). What is the real meaning of the word “human”? Why are we human beings and what is like to be a part of this?
In one of my previous posts, I claimed that currently morality is an expanding circle which incorporates humans, animals, plants and even our entire planet. Humanity is placed in the inner part of this circle for a reason: we are the ones that can make a difference due to the fact that we are able to think and nature provided our species with a precious feature: reason. This doesn’t mean that our specie is superior and that we have the right to spoil the planet’s resources. I am just implying that the complex reasoning ability that we have, makes us different from the other animals and that it is possible to use these skills to do good.
It is necessary to save the planet, stop the pollution and protect all the other creatures, but this is not the first step. Firstly, we have to understant what makes us humans and what the concept implies.
Am I human because of the colour of my skin? That’s impossible, if I said this I would be racist. What about my gender? Am I human because I am a woman? No way, my father and my brother are men and I am pretty sure they are humans too, therefore it’s not like this, plus I am non sexist. I am also convinced that I belong to the group labelled “human beings” not because I am a small brunette who was born in Italy in the 90s, who wears glasses and whose favourite colour is purple. What I’m trying to explain is that we are not defined by those differences and there must be something that is intrinsic and that defines the human nature.
Forget the accidents, everything that it’s not primary and that is ephemeral (Aristotle would say “what exists in and is said of another): it is necessary to look for the substance, the real essence of what we are examining. Therefore, to me, a human is a living being whose specific characteristic is the complex ability of reasoning, which is more powerful than the reason of the other animals (non-human animals), because it is linked to an articulate language.
As far as I am concerned, there is nothing more important than the reason and the language that could describe us as humans; there is nothing less specific and more general than this that can define the concept of human. Humanity is the general term used to indicate the entire specie, or the human condition or our nature.
To conclude, it’s worth saying that the most remarkable point of this statement is that a definition like this, if accepted and really embraced by everyone, could eliminate discrimination, violence and hate; no more sexism or racism.