What makes us human?

Discuss the February 2017 Book of the Month, The Diary of an Immortal by David J Castello.
User avatar
Jennifer Allsbrook
Posts: 878
Joined: 23 Jul 2016, 20:35
2018 Reading Goal: 70
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 0
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 42
Favorite Book: Nightlord: Sunset
Currently Reading: Knightfall
Bookshelf Size: 125
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jennifer-allsbrook.html
Latest Review: "This Nearly Was Mine: A Novel" by Nancy Farkas
Location: North Carolina

Re: What makes us human?

Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 14 Feb 2017, 22:20

cjohns105 wrote:In many parts of the book we find Steven purposefully distancing himself from different aspects of his life before. At other times, the way he sees the world and the situations he encounters in it, seem to change dramatically in a short period of time without a conscious effort on his part.

What do you think the author is trying to say about what makes us human? Are the changes Steven goes through meant to aid him, or make a point to the reader? What do you think makes us human?
I am not sure exactly what the author may be trying to communicate to the reader. Change is a part of life and our ability to roll with the changes, to acclimate and adjust, make a difference in how the change affects us. On the larger topic of what makes us human - from a biologist's point of view, I would say that what sets humans apart from other species is our drive to achieve, to learn, and or to create technology. I started to say our concern for others but then I remembered all the species who exhibit parental care of the young, kin selection and altruistic behavior. We are not unique in caring for others or putting others' needs above our own. Once humans satisfy our basics needs, we begin to strive for more intangible things like knowledge or success. What drives us to spend hours researching, or climbing the highest peak, or training to accomplish feats of athleticism or art? Self-actualization and eventual self-transcendence. Good ole Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I believe this is what makes us human - innate curiosity, drive, and accomplishment.

Genaaa
Posts: 221
Joined: 09 Sep 2016, 21:51
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-genaaa.html
Latest Review: "A Messiahs Battle For The Human Realm" by Roberto Torres Rivera

Post by Genaaa » 23 Feb 2017, 09:20

I think our emotions are what really make us human. We have the ability to form coherent thoughts and feel so many different things, all at once.

User avatar
bluegreenmarina
Posts: 266
Joined: 26 Oct 2016, 14:43
2018 Reading Goal: 40
2017 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 5
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 176
Favorite Book: The Count of Monte Cristo
Currently Reading: To Begin To Know
Bookshelf Size: 1193
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bluegreenmarina.html
Latest Review: "The Things We Don't Say" by Roberta R. Carr

Post by bluegreenmarina » 06 Mar 2017, 14:14

I think compassion and the ability to experience empathy is a big factor, as is our adaptability and range of emotional language enabled by our large frontal lobes.

User avatar
thabi
Posts: 1
Joined: 07 Mar 2017, 04:25
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 3

Post by thabi » 07 Mar 2017, 04:39

Ability to think,adapt,love one another is very important and to love what we have to do always remember at all times that we are the master of our destiny,d that's what makes us the humans the most.

User avatar
AVIWESIKHULU
Posts: 1
Joined: 07 Mar 2017, 04:26
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by AVIWESIKHULU » 07 Mar 2017, 04:51

I think what makes us human is our innate curiosity and our ability to laugh, socializing, humanity beacuse a person is a person beacause of others

User avatar
Juliss
Posts: 1
Joined: 07 Mar 2017, 12:23
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Juliss » 07 Mar 2017, 12:43

We were created to be human and function has such with the ability to reason, to speak and to pray. Animals were created to function as animals with their instinct to guide them. Robots are loaded with information by human beings and given the ability to process them.

User avatar
Moniquejm
Posts: 266
Joined: 10 Mar 2017, 00:54
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 120
Favorite Book: What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict
Currently Reading: 30th Century: Escape
Bookshelf Size: 108
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-moniquejm.html
Latest Review: "Farmer Beau's Farm" by Kathleen Geiger

Post by Moniquejm » 10 Mar 2017, 01:25

Our ability to empathize makes us human. We understand how others feel and, most often than not, we comfort them to ease the pain. Just being intelligent and reason out are not enough to differentiate us from other species.

User avatar
dhomespot
Posts: 320
Joined: 07 Nov 2013, 20:37
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 17
Currently Reading: The Association
Bookshelf Size: 45
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dhomespot.html
Latest Review: "The Association - Everett" by Judy Kentrus

Post by dhomespot » 10 Mar 2017, 02:22

I would have to say our conscious, soul, and the ability to reason would be some of the things that make us human. Immortality, after a time, may take away some of those things.
"Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other."- John Steinbeck

User avatar
lindikamazwi
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Mar 2017, 15:53
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 0
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lindikamazwi.html

Post by lindikamazwi » 10 Mar 2017, 17:04

The fact we can think and react , whether positively or negatively and taking into consideration how the next person will be affected by our actions .

User avatar
Toria Mason
Posts: 42
Joined: 17 Jan 2017, 04:05
2017 Reading Goal: 12
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 75
Currently Reading: Thirteen Reasons Why
Bookshelf Size: 38
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-toria-mason.html
Latest Review: "The Last Valentine" by Felix Alexander

Post by Toria Mason » 15 Mar 2017, 08:05

Being human, in essence, is what's inside. Love, hope, fear, making mistakes, falling and getting back up again, learning, failing, LIVING. That is what makes us human.

KasieMiehlke
Posts: 88
Joined: 31 Mar 2016, 13:33
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 150
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 2
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 14
Currently Reading: The Haunting of Ashburn Place
Bookshelf Size: 125
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kasiemiehlke.html
Latest Review: "The Reel Sisters" by Michelle Cummings
Location: Newport, MI

Post by KasieMiehlke » 18 Mar 2017, 15:01

I believe our emotions and morals make us human. Our actions are not dictated by the need for survival, but by our conscience.

User avatar
francislunganyigalo2
Posts: 1
Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 12:51
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by francislunganyigalo2 » 19 Mar 2017, 13:05

The desire to live guided by the principles of fortitude love and goodwill. the knowledge that someday you will come face to face with your maker and give an account of your deeds both good and bad

User avatar
Natalie Charlene
Posts: 53
Joined: 15 Jul 2016, 23:08
2017 Reading Goal: 36
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 88
Currently Reading: Sandition
Bookshelf Size: 37
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-natalie-charlene.html
Latest Review: "Ketchup in my Veins" by Robert C. Devine

Post by Natalie Charlene » 20 Mar 2017, 17:44

I agree with a lot of what I have read in this thread. Emotions, intellect, the ability to choose--all of these things are part of being human, but they are not necessarily what separates humans from non-human animals. It has been proven that other animals, such as mammals with higher brain function (apes, dolphins, dogs, etc..) do experience emotion and have certain levels of intellect (obviously not as high as ours). Our brains proportionately have a much larger frontal cortex, which makes us, mentally, who we are. There are other animals out there that do have some levels of consciousness, the ability to experience emotion, and display characteristics that resemble empathy. However, compared to the rest of the animals kingdom, these mental traits are our superpowers.

User avatar
matildajay
Posts: 35
Joined: 01 Mar 2017, 03:34
2017 Reading Goal: 99
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 244
Favorite Book: The Glass Castle
Currently Reading: The Tender Bar
Bookshelf Size: 316
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-matildajay.html
Latest Review: "Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks" by Morton E Tavel, MD
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Location: Germany

Post by matildajay » 21 Mar 2017, 13:09

There are so many answers to this question. I would have to say our written and spoken language (stemming from the idea of logical thought), culture ( as in the social contracts we form with others, in circles big and small), and finally our range and capacity for emotions.
"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." - C.S. Lewis

User avatar
Jeyran Main
Posts: 239
Joined: 27 Sep 2016, 15:21
2018 Reading Goal: 150
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 2
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 182
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 193
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jeyran-main.html
Latest Review: "Stalking The Shadows" by BJ Edwards
Location: Canada

Post by Jeyran Main » 23 Mar 2017, 08:43

I believe besides our emotions and possessing higher intellectual abilities, it is our sense and soul that makes us human.

Post Reply

Return to “Discuss "The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959)" by David J Castello”