The Spirit of Humanity 

Categories: Being HumanHumanity

The human being is a complex matter, and many believe that just trying to understand life and what it means to be human is a futile attempt to rationalize life. To act of being human is to balance between multiple probabilities and outcomes. Sometimes we have to avoid these outcomes, but at other times it seems we should pursue them relentlessly, to better understand and appreciate life. The secret of life is when reason and feelings join in harmony, and we become wholesome.

Where reason is balanced perfectly by feelings and when the mind and body come together in perfect unity, a whole new life emerges, a quality of life that is neither feeling nor reason, but something deeper and more complete. Humanity is a difference of kind rather than degree, for to be human you must have free will derived from God a freedom to explore and communicate.

Every generation asks the question of what makes us special, or whether we even are.

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The biggest divergence in society is whether our cognitive abilities differ from those of other animals 'in kind,' or merely in degree. There are many traits and behaviors that make humans unique, some of these traits and behaviors are identifiably exclusive to humans. To take one example, humans communicate linguistically in a way that is very much so different from our great ape ancestors. Humans can generate a virtually limitless variety of words and concepts. We do so by creating symbols for different domains of knowledge such as art, gender, space, leaisure, and friendship thereby generating new social laws, social relationships, social construct, and technology.

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In the words of Mr. Edelman, “The present is not pregnant with a fixed programmed future, and the program is not in our heads. The theories of modern physics and the findings of neuroscience rule out not only a machine model of the world but also such model of the brain”

“So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)”. The proverb that mankind was created in God’s image is the essential point in Genesis I that sets mankind apart from the other animal species. “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind (Genesis 9:6)” is also important because it establishes two facts. Firstly, that the image of God was not destroyed in the 'Fall’, the original sin of mankind described in Genesis 3. God can still speak of human life as being special because mankind is in God’s image even after the demoralization leading up to Genesis 3 to 8 with revelation of human. Nature to sin. Secondly, the fact of creation in God’s image is presented in Genesis9:6 it states, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood shed, for God made man in his own image” as the basis to a fundamental point in human ethics. It is this fact that makes human life special and the taking of human life a serious offence, a crime against humanity. To move towards a biblical understanding of what it means to be human we then must understand what the “image of God” represents. Before considering alternate interpretations, we must clarify one additional point. In Genesis 1:26 God says, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness”. It has been interpreted very commonly as a distinguishing factor between the image and the likeness of God, for example suggesting that the image is something that was unaffected before the introduction of sin in humans whereas the likeness was destroyed. This separation of the two terms is, however, difficult to decipher from the text itself. The statement is an example of parallelism with the two words serving as synonyms or at least as complementary concepts that are inseparable. God made al of mankind in His image and likeness.

A traditional view of the image of God focuses on the task God gave to human beings to rule over His creation as His stewards. As a result, this idea finds support in the text, viewed on verse 28 enumerating when God gave dominion of life to his children. opposition of this view also argue that the phrase can be translated “as God’s image” rather than “in God’s image”. If this translation is correct, then the idea is of man-kind representing God to the rest of Creation. We represent in a tangible, visible way the invisible God. He is the King over all Creation, and we are His stewards. Our purpose is to be the disciples of God’s rule as it is worked out in His world.

This is not to say conclusively that there is nothing intrinsically unique about mankind but that identifying some intrinsic quality that sets us in a separate class from animals is not necessary for the biblical description of man to be objectified. debate amongst Christians of human nature on a biblical level should not be analyzed as a challenge of religion, is not intended to answer and misses the most important point, which is our purpose in God’s plan. Attempts to explain the image of God that focus on what we are rather than what we are for fall short of the “biblical story of creation”. It is a human nature to think more about our identity than God’s purpose. The image of God, it would appear, is found in relationships, responsibilities and potential. Genesis 1 and 2 may not define to our satisfaction what we are, but they do something much more important, something science can never do – they tell us why we were created

So, then, even if science could prove that all the differences between mankind and animals that are open to scientific investigation are only differences of degree rather than kind, the foundation of the Christian view of humanity would still not be shaken. It is difficult to identify differences of kind between animals and human beings in Scripture other than in terms of our purpose and place in God’s plan. When the writer of Psalm 8 looked at the immensity and majesty of the cosmos he asked the question “what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (verse 4). Rather, his conclusion is that it is because of the purpose that God made us for, to rule over His creation (verse 6). If there are differences of kind they are there because they fit us for God’s purpose.

To be human is a gift from God, it is not comprehensible within our realm of knowledge for it is futile to

“This idea of shared humanity and the connections that we make with one another - that's what, in fact, makes life worth living.”  -Clint Smith

Updated: Sep 21, 2021
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The Spirit of Humanity . (2021, Sep 21). Retrieved from

The Spirit of Humanity  essay
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