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What Does It Mean To Be Human?

1389 words - 6 pages

"I'm only Human," is a response everyone hears when someone makes a mistake. Does that mean humans are in heritably fallible? Or are we fallible because of society? In Mexico it is polite to greet someone by kissing them on the cheek, in the United States it is considered an invasion of personal space. Personal traits make up society, nevertheless there are characteristics that is common throughout all of our species. People's identity is formed through their moral behavior and conscience, making them human.For centuries humans functioned by morals and conscience, but in today's society we have a social order. The government and those in power help formulate our opinions and are utilized to keep us in check. The fundamental aspect of humans is morality and their relationship in society due to their interaction based on conscience efforts to keep order.
Many philosophers and psychologist from Jean Piaget to William James have theorized what makes a person who they are, their identity. Jean Piaget believed that the identity is formed in the sensorimotor stage and the preoperational stage. This means that a child is forming his identity as late to the age of seven (Schellenberg, 29) However, identity is strongly impacted by society such as school, church, government,and other institutions. Through our interactions with different situations our personality develops (Schellenberg 34). "In most situations there is a more diversified opportunity for the development of social identities, reflecting what the individual wants to put forth to define the self as well as what others want to accept,"(Schellenberg 35). Therefore, humans, much like animals, adapt to different situations based on who they are with. Individuals are always changing much like society when nurture comes into effect.
Various theories have been raised on whether or not morality is something someone is born with or acquired.  Sigmund Freud is considered one of the giants of psychology. Freud hypothesized since the early days of humanity the son has always envied his father, and coveted his mother. He believes the father is in a constant rivalry with his son, this is called the Oedipus complex. Freud believes this is the root of our morality, "Freud view was that adult morality is built around a sense of guilt, and that this guilt is in turn the product of the Oedipal situation," (Schellenberg, 47). The suppression of sexual impulses help children create a set of prohibitions named the superego. Freud believed that everyone has three psychological components: id, ego, and superego. The id and superego are always at odds with each other. The id represents the primal part in our human behavior but it is restrained by the superego. Freud believes that we our original identity is rooted in the id and it is shaped later by the superego to become the ego.
Psychologists have different theories on morality, however the best theory of moral development comes from Lawrence Kholberg. Kholberg...

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