Total Posts:5|Showing Posts:1-5
Jump to topic:

Everything that defines us as humans is...

desert_rat
Posts: 2
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/11/2014 1:11:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Everything that defines us as humans is directly dependent on culture. At birth a human is essentially a blank slate with a larger capacity for learning and function by a large margin than any other mammal.

This includes but is not limited to the following:
Morals/Ethics
Masculinity/Femininity
Language and communication style
Behavior
ETC.

This is a theory I have been pondering for sometime now, I would like others' thoughts. Thank you.
Philocat
Posts: 728
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/11/2014 11:25:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
If we think biologically then humanity is determined by our DNA, so it would not be contingent on culture.
There are dangerous implications of your theory that one's humanity is dependent on culture, as it can be construed as stating that people of cultures that are considered inferior are sub-human.
Furthermore, the list of human qualities that you list are present in all cultures; which would imply that culture is an irrelevant factor in deliberating one's humanity.
It is also worth noting that we cannot really imagine a culture-less person, so we do not really have a control group, as it were, to compare with.
Chuz-Life
Posts: 1,788
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/11/2014 12:30:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/11/2014 11:25:20 AM, Philocat wrote:
If we think biologically then humanity is determined by our DNA, so it would not be contingent on culture.
There are dangerous implications of your theory that one's humanity is dependent on culture, as it can be construed as stating that people of cultures that are considered inferior are sub-human.
Furthermore, the list of human qualities that you list are present in all cultures; which would imply that culture is an irrelevant factor in deliberating one's humanity.
It is also worth noting that we cannot really imagine a culture-less person, so we do not really have a control group, as it were, to compare with.

^^^ Nailed it.
"Sooner or later, the Supreme Court of the Unites States is going to have explain how a 'child in the womb' is a person enough to be recognized as a MURDER victim under our fetal homicide laws but how they are not persons enough to qualify for any other Constitutional protections" ~ Chuz Life

http://www.debate.org...
desert_rat
Posts: 2
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
12/11/2014 9:47:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/11/2014 11:25:20 AM, Philocat wrote:
If we think biologically then humanity is determined by our DNA, so it would not be contingent on culture.
There are dangerous implications of your theory that one's humanity is dependent on culture, as it can be construed as stating that people of cultures that are considered inferior are sub-human.
Furthermore, the list of human qualities that you list are present in all cultures; which would imply that culture is an irrelevant factor in deliberating one's humanity.
It is also worth noting that we cannot really imagine a culture-less person, so we do not really have a control group, as it were, to compare with.

Obviously our DNA would make us physically human, but mentally human is a completely different conversation and that is the topic I am referring.
I suppose that if there were a single definition of what is human then those with inferior cultures would be considered sub-human but that is not the case.
We do have case studies of humans raised without culture, namely the wolf-boy and others http://en.wikipedia.org....
Lastly the subjects I mentioned vary vastly between cultures, an extreme example is that observed by an anthropologist that found a group of people that had feminine males and masculine females, also there is the example of cannibalistic culture where that is completely normal. So if culture doesn't shape those things then I don't know what does.

Regardless the real argument can be derived from the case studies of feral children, after years of isolation or after years with animals they simply do not come out the other side human, homosapien but definitely not human.

Thoughts?
Range
Posts: 29
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
1/1/2015 6:09:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I agree with Philocat that we can't tale away someone's title as human because they have a different culture.

So here is a series of conclusions I could draw:

First. Being raised by wolves is also a culture; a human raised by wolves is cultured, just strangely. A house cat is still a feline even if it's been raised by humans.

Second. Humans raised by other humans are still called out for being able to do inhumane things. This is a pesky detail, but we have psychopaths who lack one of the basic components of human cultures all around the world: sympathy. It doesn't really matter; we still call them human for the biological reasons stated previously.

Third. We need to take into account change. An established human can retract into a world of schizophrenia and hallucinations, and they would still be considered human because of their history, or would they not? Food for thought.

Forth. We can wipe someone's memories or torture them to the point that they lose their mind. Are these people then not blank slates for the present culture to write up again? If people can retract into senselessness, then they can be infused into a new world in the same way.

Fifth. Changing cultures is a bit of a non-sequitur, in which case the third and forth points weight more lightly. However here's what I'm saying with these two ideas: culture supposedly defines our humanity, every single person's, therefore changing that pre-requisite into something else, no matter what it is, it ruins the whole chain of links we have that then define humanity.

If culture then humanity. If NOT culture then NOT humanity. If DIFFERENT culture then DIFFERENT humanity?
Anything can be justified. You just need a solid framework and some duct tape.