What It Means To Be Human

901 words - 4 pages

At some point in time we have all wondered what it means to human, and what we are supposed to do with our lives. Throughout the centuries, there have been gradual changes in what it means to be human. Through Pico della Mirandola we will how man became the measure and took the place of God, through Charles Darwin we will see how nature and science began to take the place of man, and through the art of Friedrich we can visually see all of these changes.
Before the Renaissance, God was the measure of all things. People believed that everything in life was predestined, and that they could not be anything more than what they already were. During the Renaissance humanism became widespread, and ...view middle of the document...

The importance of humanity was reduced because humans were really no more than inhabitants of a tiny planet circling the sun in a gigantic solar system. Charles Darwin’s ideas were based completely on science and nature. Darwin says in On the Origin of Species, “Man does not actually produce variability…nature acts on the organisation [organization], and causes variability…during the constantly recurrent Struggle for Existence, we see the most powerful and ever-acting means of selection.” (Darwin) Darwin believed that the meaning of life was reproduction, and survival of the fittest. Because of Darwin, religion had been taken away completely, and the existence of human beings became a part of evolution. Being a human was no longer about reason, but survival. Humans are no longer divine beings, but have evolved from nature. All of this leaves us with an emphasis on nature and science that man is just a part of, but not the center of.
Through art, an emphasis on humans during the earlier periods can be distinguished. The main focus of majority of the pieces of art, whether it be sculpture or painting, was of humans, and the magnificence of the human body in detail. During the Romantic era, paintings start to move away from the emphasis on humans and them being fantastic, and move towards an emphasis on nature. Nature is going to take over, and that can be see in Caspar Friedrich’s painting Monastery in the Snow. This oil canvas tells us that religion is not the center because it depicts monks...

Find Another Essay On What It Means to be Human

What it Means to Be Free

1327 words - 6 pages In the Nineteenth century, most people had one goal that they wanted to obtain more than any other. It wasn’t immense wealth, health, or even material goods, even though that was probably what some had in mind. It was the freedom. There are numerous ways in which freedom could be defined such as: having the “rights” of a white adult male, having a voice in the community/ government, not being owned by another human, being able to speak, write

What it Means to be a Boxer

619 words - 2 pages out that he had Parkinson's disease which affects the muscles, motor skills, and causes slower speech. But, I bet you if I asked him if he had any regrets about boxing because of what it did to his brain I?m sure he would say that he had none. Why? Because being a boxer means something. It means that you have worked to the best of your ability to become something that so few have accomplished. In my opinion I believe that before a boxer steps into

What it Means to be an American

1423 words - 6 pages What it Means to be an American What does it mean to be an American? In my eyes to be an American means to have privileges, rights, and freedom. America isn't perfect, but it is one of the only countries that have rights given to people of different diversities and gender. America does not have tremendous poverty. Instead we have choices given to us by the people who fought and died for the American people. Without George

What It Means To Be A Man

869 words - 3 pages What It Means To Be A Man Thesis Statement: The objective of this essay is to effectively provide the reader with a definition and more importantly a better understanding of the word man. From a religious perspective man was created as an image of God; thus the title man itself should be respected. Many people use the word so often that they never have a full understanding of the word itself. For the most part people give the word the denotation

What It Means to be an American

753 words - 3 pages What It Means to be an American Many people dream about being an American. They dream because they envision America as the land of peace and prosperity. But is it? At times it has been, and at times its not. It is hard for the United States to be correct all the time because they have been unwilling designated as the “World Police”. Throughout history there have been examples politically, economically, and socially, where being an

What it means to be American

1537 words - 7 pages What it means to be American? Everybody you ask this question to will have a completely different response. Some responses might have similarities but none will be exactly the same. In the beginning of the year my response was “To be an American means having a rich history, having opportunities to better ourselves, and having freedoms.” Unfortunately not everyone has had the same opportunities or freedoms. Native Americans, who are indigenous

What It Means To Be An American

1393 words - 6 pages doesn’t express individuality in a direct manner but rather indirectly. It is the fact that one has created a new genre that makes him an individual by splitting old conventions and making new ones. In summary, what it means to be an American is one who is an individual, not a sheep in a flock. From the American frontier to the counter-culture movement of the 1960’s, the individual has shined throughout history. It’s the individuality of the

What it Means to Be Brave

580 words - 2 pages The word bravery can often be interchanges with the words of courage, or daring, but what defines courage? The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary states: "mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty". Another words, bravery means the defense of many things at own personal loss, or risk. The defense of one's or others' country, the defense of beliefs/or principles, and the defense of the weak.When the

What It Means To Be American

662 words - 3 pages So, what is it like to be an American? It's an amazing feeling. Our country has life so much easier than many other places of the world. We are entitled to our rights and freedoms. Americans have pride and stand up for what we believe in. People have worked way too hard to throw away everything they have accomplished. We should be thankful for what we have. Our lives are so much easier than of many people around the globe.A "Native" American is

What It Means to be an Amaerican

1344 words - 5 pages What it means to be an American People today have mimicked their lives after what they are seeing celebrities do. TV and movies can also help influence people they can inspire someone to become a better person, take action and unite people to come together. Through popular music, art, film, and literature, we can discern that American identity is influenced by what we see on TV, movies, art work and, music. The Statue of Liberty is

What it means to be an American

543 words - 2 pages What does it mean to be an American? The soil of the middle-east stained with the blood of our American soldiers just so we can not take advantage of our right to vote. Though sometimes questionable, America's overall image portrayed to other countries is an honorable one. America is known for its democracy and as well as being a land of opportunities and many freedoms. America's assortment of ethnicities and cultures is proof that our country

Similar Essays

What It Means To Be Human

1885 words - 8 pages have the usual physical features such as fingers, eyes, arms, hands, feet, etc., but what does it really mean? Must the human be able to speak? To take upon the actions of themselves? Whatever it means, it can be interpreted in any way from anyone. The physical attributes of any human can be compared to those of our evolutionary ancestors. However, it is possible to believe that there are many characteristics that make a human, but only six

What Is Means To Be Human Kant And Plato

1234 words - 5 pages 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

What Is Means To Be Human? Comparing The Epic Of Gilgamesh With The Odyssey

1233 words - 5 pages What it means to be human"The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege (Charles Kuralt.)" The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest surviving work of literature in the world with the story dating back over three thousand years ago. Most versions read today are from circa 1200 BCE which is around 400 years older than Homers "The Odyssey." Even though these epics were written so far apart, they tell

What It Means To Be An American

361 words - 2 pages What It Means To Be An American Being an American to me, means that I am free to do what I want that is within the boundaries of our laws. It means that I may dress as I want, not as other people want me to. We can go to baseball games, enjoy a good movie in the sanctuary of our homes, or just spend some quality time with the family. It is because we have this freedom, that we must constantly be alert to maintain it. There are many "ups" and