Notes on being human:


To honestly understand the human condition with all its greatness and short comings. We must assume a neutral view point. It is difficult for a human to be able to see the conditions of being human from a bird's eye view perspective. We simply are engulfed in the ways that we are and within this normalcy we must resort to creative imagination to gain insight into our very selves. 

One way to do this is to look at the human race and all its endeavors from a hypothetical Alien's point of view. When we look at all other creatures we already do this. Such as when we look at the behavior of ants or flies or dogs we can pause and observe them more objectively than we can readily observe ourselves. It is because we are not caught in their worries or ways of feeling and living. Therefore, we can use a more neutral language to describe why they do what they do and how they do it. 

Imagine an alien in its spaceship coming to earth and without being seen, observing us in our everyday lives. How would this alien who doesn't know anything about humans interpret our behavior? 

Lets give a few examples:

- lets say when two people are arguing they can either be politely discussing things or be involved in a furious engagement. There are different outcomes that can result from these two courses of actions and to us from within the "being human" perspective, these would make sense through our immediate emotions. Such as we can say things like "I was arguing because I was pisses off" or "I didn't want to hurt her feelings because I care for her." But to our hypothetical alien these explanations are meaningless. For any explanation to sufficiently satisfy him he would need to see the purpose and reason of these two different actions and what lead to them. A useful methapor can be about when we ask the question of the reason why  flies relentlessly flying into bright objects. Even risking getting burnt or worse, death. A fly if it could speak may say "I Felt like it" or "the desire to do so was too strong." But this really wouldn't explain much to us. Because we would then wonder why it felt that way or why the desire to do so was so strong. We may wonder why the fly doesn't fly into everything with the same determination. 

For this reason, our immediate reasons which most likely are emotional would be of very little satisfaction to the alien. He would probably ask other questions to understand why we do the things we do from a different stand point than from our personal reasons for doing them. 

Because as we may like to admit,  our  feelings often lead us to courses of actions such as anger fits and frustration fueled arguments  which in turn may  make things worse for us. We know somewhat why we get frustrated and argue with people. But from the alien's standpoint, this could seem silly as we continually act in ways which in turn end up hurting us, not much different than the fly, and these actions often don't seem to serve a good purpose rather than be a spur of the moment arising of emotional response beyond which we are unsure why we did any of it. 

We can of course explain our actions with reason and resort to logical extrapolations of it. However when two people are caught on a heated fight or an argument, they both will have the reasonable explanations ready from their individual perspectives. These explanations often will be thought of after the fact. As difficult as it may be to admit that we do not act on emotion. Most times we do and although we may have good reasons behind our actions as far as we are concerned. Often we need the push of the emotions to make or intentions a reality. Especially the kind of actions like arguing and fighting are triggered through an emotional reaction. And even if we solely were to act on reason and logic alone. Our reasons may not make any sense to the alien. He may seek for deeper more fundamental reasons than what we consider is sufficient. 

However, there is hope. Because as intelligent and creative creatures. We can use the power of our imagination and our deep thinking to suspend our usual judgements and look at ourselves anew and even discover things about ourselves which before were beyond our thinking.