Essay On Human Dignity By Francis Fukuyama

analytical Essay
1074 words
1074 words

Millions of years of evolution have taken us from a single cell to a genetically unique animal we now call humans. This progression and advancement has taken us from beings with no language or sense of thought, to what is now an extremely advanced human race, exploring the world as we know it. In Human Dignity, Francis Fukuyama explains the concepts of what makes an animal human. This can be a very hard concept to grasp and even Fukuyama cannot give a clear answer. Fukuyama agrees that there is not solely one characteristic that makes an animal human, it a group of elements, which he calls Factor X. These elements are what should ultimately give animals the right to be treated with dignity, honor, and respect. If animals can develop an advanced …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that animals can foresee future events, but that is merely a form of conditioning rather than logically thinking.
  • Argues that humans can rationalize, interpret, and understand what they are thinking about and why. animals are conscious of their actions, in spite of acting on instinct as other animals do.
  • Explains that the more time humans use that is not dedicated to surviving, the less 'human' they can become. dignity, honor, and respect are all traits that humans strive to achieve over the course of a lifetime.
  • Analyzes how fukuyama's human dignity explains the concept of factor x, which is an unknown but essential human quality worthy of respect.

Animals can appear to plan for the future, for instance gathering food and storing it for future use, but then again this seems to be nothing more than instinctive behavior. Actually rationally thinking about the future involves considering prospective consequences. Animals may be aware when it is feeding time, but they will not rationalize about what they want to eat; it’s less of a choice and more of a need on a basis for survival. Animals can have distinctive capacities for memory storage. The phrase "an elephant never forgets" derives from elephants’ notable ability to recall the locations of places, other animals, and things, such as water holes, long after visiting them only one time in their life. What separates humans from animals are their abilities to reflect on the events from they’re past and evaluate them, or wish they had done something differently. How animals do learn is from repeated experience and instinct. One would expect that when a deer has a close encounter with a car, it would not cross roads or learn to cross when there are no cars, but that is not how animals think. A deer will still cross the road; it is purely luck that prevents the deer from getting hit by a car. Fukuyama references the concept of consciousness as a key element of demanding respect and dignity. While explaining the concepts of feelings of pain …show more content…

Being able to think and reason should be a primary requirement for deserving dignity and respect. With no ability to think or reason how could an animal even understand that it is being treated differently than other animals. Fukuyama argues this point as well, “Human reason…is pervaded by emotions, and its functioning is in fact facilitated by the latter.” Clearly moral choice cannot exist with out reason but it can also be seen in other feelings such as pride, anger, and shame. Humans are conscious of their actions, in spite of acting on instinct as other animals do. Animals do not contemplate any deeper meaning of life or justify complex mathematical equations or even think about the question ‘why’; Humans, however, do think about those things. It is our conscious thought that sets us apart from any other animal in the world. Yes animals have perception and problem solving abilities, but unlike they are not able to understand complex knowledge based concepts, although they can solve problems within their normal parameters. Every animal on the planet should have the ability to solve problems but only to a certain extent, the extent of survival. When a situation becomes a matter of life or death animals must to be able to learn to live. Survival of the fittest has ultimately

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