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What Is Means To Be Human Kant And Plato

1234 words - 5 pages

What Does It Mean to Be Human? What is life? What is human life? One might ponder this question atop the Eiffel Tower watching the tiny network of society move with the motion of an ant colony. I see people who go to work so they can buy that next pair of Gap khakis thinking that they will impress that girl or guy who they have been watching. They compete with cars and the best country clubs. These people conform; these people are instruments of the system. They simply wish to be normal, to have societal norms imposed upon how they should live. In other words, many humans believe material items make them human; material items and societal values define whom they are. To me and many other ...view middle of the document...

Then he is forced to go out into the sunlight, but his eyes need to adjust to light before he can really see. As his eyes adjust, he starts to see the animals and the sun. "And now he would begin to draw the conclusions that it is the sun that produces the seasons and the course of the year and controls everything in the visible world, and moreover is in a way the cause of all that he and his companions use to see." The man finally understands that the images he and his friends saw in the cave are only reflections of the truth, and the animals and sun that he is now seeing in person are the realities. Like human life there are different levels of ignorance that the individuals within the cave had to overcome from imagining, to belief, and reality. We must strive to seek the true knowledge. We must strive to ascend the cave as humans to see true knowledge and to understand our environment and the world through a larger picture of the world. We have seen the oceans and crossed them. We have seen the mountains and tunneled through. We have seen the sky and space and we have conquered them. It is human nature to explore, so we must continue to teach exploration and education in a world full of ignorance. Only when one strives to ascend the cave are they truly human.Another factor that makes one human is the balance between autonomy and responsibility in a community. Society can often limit our autonomy which makes individuals feel that they don't have to be responsible for their actions or realize their full ramifications. Even tossing a piece of plastic litter can harm wildlife, devalue property, and cost the government a great deal of money to pay to have it cleaned up. The relationship is about the limits of individual autonomy and the responsibility each individual has to the larger community.The relationship between autonomy and responsibility is best described in Jean-Paul Satre's The Humanism of Existentialism. Satre believes existence comes before essence. This means that first one exists, then through one's choices and actions, one shapes what it is to be human. Existentialism is the belief that individuals are 100% free. They are free to determine their own scale of values. They are free to pursue their own interpretation of being. They are also at the same time 100% responsible. While people can make their own decisions, they must make responsible decisions. Individuals...

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