What it Means to be Human

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What it Means to be Human In this class, Athens to New York, we students are asked to ponder four very thought provoking questions that force us to relate to our place in society. We were first asked, “What does it mean to be human?”. We then were questioned about, “What does it mean to be a member of the community?” and, “What does it mean to be moral, ethical, and just?” Next we were asked to go further and think about, “How do individuals and communities respond to differences of races, class, gender, ethnicity, etc.?” Then in reading the works of others like Plato’s “The Trail and Death of Socrates”, and Sophocles’ “Antigone”, we began to observe how Socrates and the characters in Antigone dealt with their place in society, and their humanity in a different society, ancient Greece. The days of ancient Greece was a time when few defied those that governed them, and those that did usually found a similar fate, execution. Socrates met this same fate after his trial that was documented by Plato. He was accused of corrupting the youth with his unconventional thoughts of the advancement of his society. A society, and life he had such a devotion for that he would have done anything. Socrates felt that his teachings were for the better of this community. Through his voice was how Socrates gave back to Athens all she had given to him, that was how felt he was being part of the community. Unfortunately Socrates refused to accept that he could not question those in a position of authority and he paid the price with his life. He willingly gave his life to the authorities and laws to which he has lived by all his life by. Even when Crito, a friend of Socrates, offered him a way out, an escape Socrates refuse... ... middle of paper ... ...our community, we have an inborn desire to better our lives and environment, as Socrates illustrates for us again and again. We have a belief in a higher power, a devotion strong enough to evoke a responsibility to a being no one has ever seen. Most importantly what makes us human is that we have a mind that thinks of the complexities of the life and a heart that breathes in the love that those around us exhale. And though all the adventures of love and war, there is one thing that remains constant. Each human being defines morality, ethics, and being part of a community for his/herself. It is not, however, the one social definition, or each individual’s definition of these things that we should all be searching for in this world. We should instead be searching for the ability to accept many different translations, while still staying faithful to our own.
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