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Does A Society Make Us Human?

1183 words - 5 pages

Through years of searching and pondering can no one man figure out a way to make each person come to the same conclusion on each and every subject. The age-old question of "does a society make us human" can be answered in either two ways: yes or no. A simple answer can rule the verdict of whether a person disagrees or agrees. However, a "simple answer" would never satisfy the society's insatiable appetite for knowledge of self and mysteries of the universe. This sensitive subject demands the careful venture into the various ideas of what causes a person to wake up one morning and realize he is human. Firstly, society and human must be broken down into a definition. A system of patterned interactions among organized groups of human beings is one way to define society. A human can be defined as belonging to, or having the qualities of, man or mankind. Society expects different qualities that go beyond the basic qualities of what a human is. On an anatomical level, an animal must have the physical and biological make up belonging to that of Homo sapiens to be called a human. At this point, this information would conclusively prove our genetics, not society, make us human. Unfortunately, the question may not call for the scientific definition of humans, but the interpretation to which centuries of scholars have come to. Moreover, one must examine characteristics such as physical, intellectual, and skills. Physically, there has been proof that without social norms, humans would not walk or talk. For example, Kingsley Davis studied a small, American girl named Anna. Anna, age six at the time, was kept in isolation of human contact by her grandfather her whole life. She could not walk, talk, or feed herself and Anna showed paucity in responses to humans. Even with years of training, the child never mastered walking. As one can imagine, the lack of ability to walk can be expected. If no one showed a person how to walk and coax him or her to walk, as every person does to their infants, no person would be able to walk. Though this action comes natural now, walking only came about because some person told you to. Intellectually, humans would not become as smart without the guidance of society as shown in William Goldfarb's "Psychological Privation in Infancy and Subsequent Adjustment" published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Goldfarb's study showed without a doubt that dearth of close interaction with at least one adult can cause stagnant personality and mental progress as the subjects showed heightened aggression and low IQ scores. In the same fashion, ordinary skills can not be achieved without society's guidance. Simple feats such as eating with forks, speaking in sentences, and interacting with others. How can any person function in any society without the simple capability to interact with another? Unfortunately, a person's life may depend on this skill in situations such as calling 9-1-1 for help and explaining the...

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